Old John with white hair
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk.
They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say,
Such, such were the joys,
When we all, girls & boys,
In our youth time were seen,
On the Echoing Green.
I awoke with lazy eyes and ringing ears, reminders of an abundant night suffused with rock and PBR. Cigarette pack empty; same goes for the wallet. My phone lays striken, drained, sapped and powerless; together we recharge and reminisce over Facebook requests, new numbers, new faces. A familiar feeling; a new day. Indeed, it was the weekend.
The workday had ended a nighttime ago, and we had made moves. A free Akron/Family show? You don’t say. To Brooklyn Bowl we go – to fried chicken dinners, questionably disinfected shoes, and deep varieties of Brooklyn Brew. I ask the bartender for his strongest potion, he fills a glass of Brookyln Blast, the delicious and high alcohol content local brew. I sip but do not gulp, for the night is young and the mood is merry, and I shall not squander it over untimely inebriation.
Sit tight bro, the music will be on soon. We take a smoke break, and outside a couple argues over vanished funds and the merits of tobacco. A steady stream of people flow into the venue, and some are pissed for not RSVPing to the free event. We are good though – my boy MyFreeConcert hooked it up with a Facebook post, heralding the free goodies that would mark my evening. You’re the best, bro.
Akron goes on; bowling shoes are switched for dancing shoes, as bodies bounce, fists pump, and possessions are dropped on the ground. The smell of chronic enters in the air, I look all around but sadly cannot locate the source. Instead, I take another sip of brew and blast out. Sobriety ends and drunkenness ensues, and from here on out, the night would be reflected by a combination of mass confusion, bursts of laughter, and highly questionable decisions. For what is a Friday, if not for these moments, these epic nights of hysterical rage?
Some time later we find ourselves at Metrosonic Studio on Roebling. A friend of mine, Owen Black, runs a space adjacent to the live room called Trumbull Studios, and this party is partly his. Shots of cheap whisky pour from a handled bottle and our night vanishes deeper into the rabbit hole. I remember a massive spliff I had rolled after work, and it is sparked. Things get spacey.
Waking up to blinding sunlight I immediately resent not buying another pack of smokes the night before. But it is Saturday in June, and it is the best of days. Birds chirp outside the window, calling me back to sleep. But alas, a busy day awaits, and a cold shower jolts the senses back to life.
Time to roll out, head back into Willy, for the ridiculously awesome Crest Fest. Crest Hardware is a store in Brooklyn that throws a yearly arts/music festival in their bin Laden-like compound on Metropolitan Ave. Walking in, a wide hallway opens into a massive courtyard where a brass band has everyone jumping and cheering. A path from the courtyard snakes into a bizarre maze of arts, crafts, barbeque and beer. Further back, a garden provides a quiet sanctuary from disco beats emanating from a nearby tent. Only in Brooklyn does one find such an immediately contradictory scene; at once chaotic, urban, majestic and pristine. Ace is the Place? Fuck that. Crest is the best.
More than Brooklyn itself, I care for the people of this borough. In a city characterized by people in a rush, Brooklyn in the one place where nobody is in a hurry. Stop in any bar, a party or show, and you’ll find welcoming faces, warm greetings, abstractions of people you only read in books.
We met a bunch of you at a rooftop party. Taught ya’ll the basics of photography, snapped mad pics of you. Drank a variety of beer and hard alcohol beverages, ate some food, tried to speak French. You were quality people; you won us over with your good looks and pleasant hospitality, and gave us hope in the human race. We wish we didn’t have to leave you, but a free White Rabbits show at Music Hall of Willy was calling our names.
Even though I have been thrown out of there countless times, Music Hall is one of those venues that I couldn’t live without. I remember one of the first shows I ever went to in New York was at its predecessor, North Six. Remember that place? The dicey interior, bleacher seating, dirt cheap beer. Smoke mad trees inside with bands that were playing. Miss the old North Six, but glad they upped their game and made it into one of the nicest mid-sized venues in the city.
My boy Will Armstrong, who did lighting on our Miracles of Modern Science and Menomena videos, once again crushed the lights at the White Rabbits show. Really awesome, unique lighting design, perfectly timed to key musical changes, adding visual energy to an already lively performance. A great show; a great day.
Shall we never forget our youth, our days spent on the echoing green. Long live the summer, those Arcadian days of mirth. Long live the weekend.