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A Whole Bunch of Concerts and the Passing of Music Royalty


Going to watch Iggy Pop, Melvins, Melt Banana and the death of Prince


“It’s all just dream-catchers.” – Me, when Anna asked me the exact second I woke up if I wanted to go to the Native American Museum.

It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks since I last checked in, however, most of the action was over a week ago so it might be a little difficult to remember it all, but I’ll do what I can to piece it all together…

Thursday, April 14
Glenn Harris, a friend of mine from high school, and his wife, Julie, stayed with us for a week en route to Italy and this guy is like he is on an intravenous Red Bull drip. They were arriving at around 5:00pm from their 30-hour flight from Melbourne, then Glenn wanted to go see Iggy Pop and Josh Homme play at the Capitol Theatre, a 40-minute train ride away at 8:00pm.

They had no problem getting from Grand Central Station to our place, about a 10-minute walk away and Julie was exhausted. Anna had a work dinner so Julie was going to collapse at our place and Glenn and myself were going to head back to Grand Central to catch our train to Port Chester for the show, a train that only departs once or twice an hour. One problem; Donald Trump was taking part in the New York Republican debate near the station and in the hour since Glenn and Julie had arrived, the police had closed off all the streets around the station, as well as most of the main entrances, and the streets had filled with protesters. They were screaming, pretending to beat people dressed as The Donald, it was madness!

It doesn’t look like much, but this thing was huge! I only took a few photos when we first saw the protestors, but our aim was to try and get into the station. We asked some cops where we could enter, but they were just useless. Here is one exchange I had:

Me: “Excuse me, where can we enter Grand Central?”
Morbidly Obese Policeman: “Well, normally it’d be here.”
Me: “Great…”

We eventually made it to an entrance, but I guess it was at the same time most of the protestors and supporters were arriving and there was just chaos, a huge wave of angry people coming out of the station while we were trying to enter. Glenn stayed behind me as I tried to work my way against the surge of people. As we were going through the doorway into the station, I felt a huge shove in my back and it came from someone who had just marched past me. Glenn told me the guy had walked past me and turned back around to hit me, the only reason I can think of is that he overheard a Trump supporter say something, looked back, figured it was me and gave me a shove. Oh well.

We finally made it inside, figured out the ticketing situation for trains that were traveling outside of the subway system and went down to our platform, only to find out that this whole screw-around with all of the closed streets and station entrances had made us miss out train. The next one was in about half an hour and it would get us to the Capitol Theatre about 20 minutes after the doors opened.
There was no support act, but the show hadn’t begun by the time we got there. When Iggy and co. finally got the show under way it was great!

Iggy Pop was on fire, his new album is great, he still jumps around like a mad-man, but he can’t really walk properly anymore. It’s quite strange, actually — he’s completely capable of hopping on either leg, but when it comes to walking, he looks like he’s recently had a hip replacement. Also, I figure when he writes he must just use the word “f__k” instead of spaces between words, because that’s definitely how he speaks.

Still, it was the old Iggy, they didn’t play any Stooges stuff, but Iggy was spitting at the crowd, showing his underwear (they were blue) and just going crazy.

Setlist:

  1. Lust for Life
  2. Sister Midnight
  3. American Valhalla
  4. Sixteen
  5. In the Lobby
  6. Some Weird Sin
  7. Funtime
  8. Tonight
  9. Sunday
  10. German Days
  11. Mass Production
  12. Nightclubbing
  13. Gardenia
  14. The Passenger
  15. China Girl

Encore:

  1. Break Into Your Heart
  2. Fall in Love With Me
  3. Repo Man
  4. Baby
  5. Chocolate Drops
  6. Paraguay
  7. Success

Here is the opening track from the night, “Lust for Life“:

We had to wait about 45 minutes for our train back to the city to arrive and we saw some strange sights. There was a guy who looked like the offspring of Christopher Walken and Ricky Gervais and there was a dude who looked like Sarah Silverman with a moustache that was rolling joints while they were checking his tickets:

I pretended I was taking a picture of Glenn to get the photo of the guy, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have cared, he was probably too baked to even notice.

Friday, April 15
Friday was going to be a similar game-plan to Thursday — Anna was going out for some drinks with colleagues, so Julie would join them. Glenn, myself and my friend, Jordan, were going to Webster Hall to see Napalm Death, Melvins and Melt-Banana. I don’t like Napalm Death, but all of us love Melvins and Melt-Banana are insane. The other reason I wanted to go to this show is because Mike Patton has done a lot stuff, both albums and live shows with Melt-Banana and has just released an album with Melvins, as well as having Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover from Melvins in a few of his bands, so there was the possibility he might make a cameo. I’ve seen both Melvins and Melt-Banana and they are both incredible, let’s see how these shows would hold up.

We arrived on time and I thought I saw Mike Bordin, the drummer from Faith no More, behind the table at the merchandise stall, but it just turned out to some guy called Craig.

Melt Banana came out first and it wasn’t the first time I had seen them, but I completely forgot how nuts they were. From Wikipedia:

Melt-Banana is a Japanese noise rock band that is known for playing extremely fast grindcore and noise music mixed with experimental, electronica and pop-based song structures. The band has released ten albums and toured worldwide extensively.
Melt-Banana does not currently have an official drummer. There have been two drummers who were official members, and a number of guest drummers, for studio recordings and live performances.
Melt-Banana’s music falls under what many call “noise rock.” Agata plays highly unorthodox guitar with extended techniques. For instance, he overlaps two different guitar riffs, simulates lasers and sirens, and has an impressive arsenal of effects, almost all made through his guitar and large amount of effects pedals. Yasuko O. belts out high-pitched screams and raps very quickly.

As usual, they were crazy, just guitars, vocals and everything else done through a Macbook. Glenn spent most of the set trying to work out where the drummer was.
Also, I never realised until then that Yasuko O, the singer, is 43 years old! A couple of Melt-Banana pics:

I recorded part of their set, but don’t shoot the messenger:

Next up was the reason we were there, King Buzzo and the Melvins and they were as brilliant as you’d expect. Buzz was in fine form, resplendent in his eyeball sweater.

I can’t find any setlists for the show we were at, Melt-Banana included, but they played the previous night at the Music Hall at Williamsburg and it looks like Melvins played a similar set both times. Unfortunately, Mike Patton was a no-show:

Setlist (Thursday Night’s Show):

  1. Eye Flys
  2. Deuce (KISS cover)
  3. Queen
  4. The Kicking Machine
  5. National Hamster
  6. Magic Pig Detective
  7. With Yo’ Heart, Not Yo’ Hands (Malfunkshun cover)
  8. Leech (Green River cover)
  9. Frosted Flake (Redd Kross cover)
  10. Sesame Street Meat
  11. The Water Glass
  12. Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
  13. The Bloated Pope (Melvins & Lustmord cover)
  14. A Growing Disgust
  15. The Decay of Lying
  16. Revolve
  17. Second Coming (Alice Cooper cover)
  18. Halo of Flies (Alice Cooper cover)

We stuck around for a few songs from Napalm Death, but it wasn’t worthwhile. My back was killing me and none of us were Napalm Death fans, but there was a guy in overalls that was going nuts and he was a bit of fun to watch.

We decided to make our way down to a favourite of mine and Jordan’s, Peculier Pub, and Anna and Julie met us there. Another dodgy dive bar that I love, always a fun place, great beers and an awesome jukebox.

Saturday, April 16
Glenn and Julie did their own thing, but Ween were playing that night at Terminal 5 in New York. I had tried to get tickets when they were announced, but they sold out in seconds. We checked out online and they were just too expensive, so we just went to my absolute favourite bar, Jeremy’s Ale House, the one with all the bras hanging from the walls and ceiling.

Not much happened after that until Thursday.

Thursday, April 21
I got up for work on Thursday and saw all over the news that a body had been found in Paisley Park. I just remember thinking, “Boy, I hope Prince doesn’t get in any shit over this.” I was hoping he could avoid an OJ Simpson situation, the thought never once crossed my mind that the body could actually be his. I found out the truth when I got to work.

I have always been a Prince fan; I remember when I was about four years old. We were visiting my cousins and my uncle, Ron, was telling my Dad about how great “Purple Rain” was. My Dad got a copy and played it endlessly in the car and I loved it. Dad always had Prince albums around, live albums, compilations and I think I pocketed all of them. I remember when Prince was the weird one and Michael Jackson was considered normal, but I’ve been a big fan my entire life, known for being the guy who sings Prince songs when drunk, especially “The Beautiful Ones,” and Thursday was a truly sad day. There were tributes all over New York, all of the buildings in Minnesota were lit up purple, the presenters on the basketball all wore purple and, apparently, pornhub.com changed the ‘P’ in their logo to the love symbol, but all of that respect shown was truly warranted.
I never got to see him live, but I will always wish I did.

R.I.P. Prince, the true King of Pop, 1958-2016 

prince gif

Prince_logo

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About Dr. Tan's Travels (99 Articles)
My name's Tim. I'm a freelance writer and former ESL teacher from Melbourne, Australia, who taught in Daejeon, Korea for six months in 2007 and, until February 2015, had taught in Singapore for seven years. My wife, Anna, is an ophthalmologist. Between March 2015 and July 2016 we spent a month in Pondicherry, India, three months in Bonn, Germany, and 12 months in New York before returning to Singapore, all for training and work placements for her. The reason I wanted to keep this blog is because I suffer from epilepsy and have a terrible memory, therefore this would be a great way to help me remember our travels. I will do my best to keep it updated and even continue writing now that we're back in Singapore, but there is one problem; I have a pretty severe phobia of anything medical.

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