Bob and the boys (you may know them as The Blakes) just returned from a whirlwind tour of The Big Apple where they were smashing sets at CMJ. Mr. Husak wrote a typically fantastic blow-by-blow account of the five days the band was carousing, often drunkenly, about the city. Because of the magnitude of Bob’s most recent dispatch we’ve decided to break it down in to our first two-parter.
So here begins the adventures of Bob Husak in New York City, ahem, part one.
We spent the past several days at CMJ in New York City in an attempt to wow the music industry with our rugged charm. Accompanied by Lars and the ever-present B. Brown, we flew Jet Blue out of Seattle on a direct flight to JFK on Tuesday, and I have to mention that it was a nearly painless experience. This was the band’s first time in NYC, together or separately, and I for one was amazed at not only the vastness of the city but also the lack of unused space, with old buildings crammed together everywhere I looked. We stayed with our friend, ace photographer Doron Gild, and his roommate Terry at their small apartment in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. On our first night in town we met up with Doron and went to his local watering hole, Redd’s, and had a few. Kea, a friend of mine from Seattle who moved to New York over a year ago, swung by with her roommate. The rest of the crew eventually retired to Doron’s and I accompanied Kea and roomie to a club in the area called Galapagos to see a band named Cheeseburger. I coincidentally ran into our MTV buddy, Scottie Diablo, who was in town with a couple of acts he manages. After the show I took a cab back to Doron’s. The next morning we rode the subway to midtown Manhattan for our on-air performance at the Gibson showrooms (formerly the legendary Hit Factory recording studios) which had been taken over by KEXP for the week.
I like the subway. Lars, who was staying with his sister uptown, met up with us and took us to the Carnagie Deli, where we ate the largest sandwiches I’d ever seen. They consisted of two pieces of bread and an ungodly amount of meat. The Hit Factory is an awe-inspiring place; it’s made up of labyrinthine corridors leading to impressive showrooms filled with Gibson’s finest products. Before the performance we practiced some songs in a showroom with B. Brown on guitar. He learned quickly. The on-air set went very well, and the live room sounded incredible. John Richards had on this bright red zip-up designer sweater that made him look like he was ready for Christmas. Funny guy. After a picture and interview session, we took a cab to the lower east side to party with the KEXP staff at a bar called the Hi-Fi. Upon exiting the cab, we were called out by a Puerto Rican sitting on the sidewalk against a fence. “You’re the band,” he said, “and he’s the manager,” indicating Lars. “What’s the band’s name?” Instead of answering immediately, we asked him where to find the Hi-Fi. “I don’t give a fuck about some bar, I asked you what your name is.” We told him we didn’t have one yet. “Bullshit. Don’t fuck with me.” We finally told him our name, and he predicted good things for our future. New Yorkers may have a bad rap, but I think they’re misunderstood. They’ll bust your chops but it’s all in good fun. After several drinks at the Hi-Fi, we went back to the apartment and watched a Schwarzenegger classic.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!