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Last month, November 2017, I went to New York City again. If you remember, last time I went to see Lee "Scratch" Perry. This time was a similarly big event; I was going to see John Cale from the Velvet Underground. Since I wanted to hang around in the city for a bit, and because bus tickets were cheaper in the middle of the week, I opted to stay for a few days.

On the way to New York, I missed the bus! Wow, that was a terrible experience. There was a ton of traffic, and I saw the bus pull out as we pulled up for me to get on. They never seem to leave on time except for this time! I tried to see if I could get the bus to stop and let me on, but the driver wouldn't do it. I didn't really expect him to. I did get a really cheap copy of X-Men vs. Street Fighter for PS1 while I waited for the next bus. It was terrible having to buy another ticket though.

Anyway, I eventually got on the bus and made it to Manhattan. I was staying in Brooklyn, so I had to take the subway or a bus or something. Unfortunately, the subway I needed to take was not running to Brooklyn that night. I think I could have found another way, but Google Maps is awful at giving directions there. I ended up taking an Uber, which was way more than I wanted to spend. I got to my Airbnb okay, and was able to sleep and everything.

My host was a nice lady, and she was very accommodating to me. Unfortunately, she did not have wi-fi, so I had to go to a coffee shop to use the internet. I actually wrote two posts (this one and this other one) at that coffee shop. I also found out about two shows that were happening in New York on the days before the John Cale show I had come to see.

The first show was one featuring the band Fruit & Flowers that I had heard about at the show with Casper Skulls at Spirit back in Pittsburgh. The second show was for the Jesus and Mary Chain! I would have to get some tickets for that but figured I had enough time.

That night, November 16th, I went to Brooklyn Bazaar. That was after I had a very long and engaging conversation with my host about gentrification, Pittsburgh, "New Brooklyn", and the current political climate. It was good to hear of the efforts being made to fight for immigration rights and against police brutality and racist laws. The bad part about all of this was that I got to the show late. I missed Fruit & Flowers, the main reason I had gone to the show!






I did get to see two other bands - Roya and New Myths. This was some kind of local bands showcase, LPR Presents, so there were no touring acts. I wish there were more all locals shows in Pittsburgh that weren't just organized by Wild Kindness or some terrible Gorilla/Afton thing. Anyway, Roya was first, and they were great. They had a 1970's, Sunset Strip/Doors sound, though the singer sounded a lot like Niagara from Destroy All Monsters. I loved the surf sound produced from the vibrato arm on the guitars. The songs really pushed forward with a sound like what I imagine a desert would be like after dark, a sort of "end of the 60's" Manson cult danger thing combined with a hint of Levi's commercial.




I talked with the drummer from Fruit & Flowers for a little bit and got a CD. New Myths was ready to play. They were a lot different than Roya, much more of a ROCK band like in all caps. New Myths reminded me of The Runaways, a sneering kind of 70s hard rock, especially that guitar tone. They also had some really dancey songs that emphasized the bass and drums. In addition to AC/DC and the like, they recalled that early 2000s sound of The Strokes or the dance-punk of Franz Ferdinand.

After the sets, I talked more with the members of Fruit & Flowers. I found out that the drummer also played with Tall Juan. I knew that both bands would be playing together in December, though I won't be able to see such an awesome lineup.

I should mention here that Brooklyn Bazaar is quite a big building, a bigger version of Spirit here in Pittsburgh. It seems pretty cool, though I only saw some of it. I left soon after everything was done, bought some produce from a little market, and made it back to my Airbnb. Tomorrow I would head to the Playstation Theater to grab tickets for and then see the Jesus and Mary Chain.

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