ANIMAL COLLECTIVE @ PIER 17

June 5th, 2007 |


Howdy, did you miss me? No, I didn’t fake my death to escape Sallie Mae or run off to Canada to join a psychedelic lesbian rock band. Yes, I am now just pulling myself out of the black hole that has been this past month, resolving to get on with my life whether I have a legitimate “gown up job” or not. That’s what my dad calls it at least. As if being miserable every day, six days a week, walking some asshole publishers dog and picking up it’s crap while balancing a tray of Starbucks on my arm makes me more of a grownup. If that’s being responsible than I like living by the seat of my pants. Besides, what’s the point of doing some horrible job that you hate if what you really want to do is something entirely different? I want to write, so what the fuck? I’ll keep babysitting, freelancing and selling expensive clothes to rich people until my ship comes in. (Dear agents, publishers and editors I’m currently looking for representation, don’t be shy! I also write Fiction and have a novel I’m trying to sell! Seriously, e-mail me at larecord.com).

So given that I’ve had lots of time on my hands, I was able to attend two shows this weekend. The first was at the South Street Seaport, an annual summer extravaganza in which every Friday a different band plays the pier. Kicking things off this year were Danielson and Animal Collective. I showed up just as Danielson, dressed in little police uniforms, had taken the stage. The entire place was swamped with throngs of sweaty, dirty, hipsters all shoving and jostling around while their plastic cups of Bud Light spilled all over the people standing next to them. It looked like a mild nightmare. I held tight to my cell phone and navigated my way through the crowd, screaming into the receiver as my friend Athena gave me directions to where she and her other friends were standing, until finally we both were yelling “can you hear me now?” at the top of our lungs only to realize we facing each other and shouting into cell phones. It was that kind of mess. So Danielson and Animal Collective? I literally DON’T REMEMBER ANY OF IT. I was so busy trying to not get my toes stepped on by nineteen year olds that I could barely see the stage. The sound system was way too loud and the whole place smelled like fish, pizza and weed. I think there were so many people smoking the Gange that I must have gotten contact high the second I stepped up out of the subway and into the tepid wet heat that has become this past week. I’ve seen Animal Collective before and I know they’re good, so I’m going to go on that. But I must say, they played WAY TO LONG for the size of that crowd. Athena, Alice, Gayseph and I finally wandered away to sit on giant pieces of decorative driftwood, waiting for the guys so we could leave.

Next I called my friend Elaine to see what she was up to and she said that Cheeseburger was playing at Union Pool and would I like to come out and join her. I readily accepted, as I love both Elaine and Cheeseburger. When I showed up I remembered why I hadn’t been to Union Pool in almost a year and why I hadn’t had fun there since 2003. The whole place is like an NYU bar on the weekends now. It was a flurry of leggings, feathered bangs, those stupid Afghani neck scarves (the ultimate sign that people my age or younger are mentally handicapped), the only person in the place I didn’t want to hurl on was Andy the DJ, an old regular who’s been spinning there since before even I showed up. So, feeling my grumpy bone starting to twitch I went looking for Elaine, thank god I found her when I did cos’ I was about to bail. We headed to the back as The Boggs took the stage. I’ve heard of the Boggs before but never seen them. NEW FAVORITE BAND ALERT! Ohmigawd! They’re great, amazing even. Their sound is punchy-bassy-double drums-disco-new wave, cool. The lead singer has an Iggy Pop type staccato that balances nicely with the other female lead, whose angelic quietness resembles Meg White, accept with more power and range. If they come to your town, go, go, go!

Next was the incomparable, testosterone-beer-slinging-sausage fest, known as Cheeseburger. If these guys weren’t so good, I’d hate them. They fling beer on their audience, while their fans elbow each other in the ribs like Neanderthals (some dude even punched me in the boob and when I dumped ice on his head he said, “what babe? You want another beer?” And you know his dad is some professor of gender studies at some liberal arts college and his mom is a lawyer and he grew up going to Montessori and Waldorf schools wearing tie-dye and getting his hair cut once every two years. I hate rich kids!) Anyway, they did some amazing metal covers and scorching originals. Everyone loved Early Man a couple years ago but I actually like Cheeseburger a little more. Their lead singer, I think is certifiable and his screech! Holy Fuck! Plus I really like his whole Miami Vice vibe.

You can’t plan for the best things in life, otherwise they wouldn’t be the best, they’d be the most effectively thought out and executed. And there’s room for those things too. Does this mean I’m an artist in the true sense of the word or just plain lazy? Probably a little bit of both, but as I sit and look down from my comfortable Cheshire cat limb, casting judgment all those around me, somewhere, someplace, some struggling individual reads this and gnashes their teeth, thinking what I already know: takes one to know one. For that, I just might be guilty.

Reporting Live from New York,
I’m Nikki Darling and You’re not!