Sunday started just like every other day while I was in New York – waking up on the top bunk of the world’s smallest bunk bed in the world’s smallest hostel room, amazed at the fact that considering the previous night’s intoxicant intake, I actually didn’t feel so bad. After the requisite random walk around lower Manhattan (including the mandatory stop at Nino’s) it was time to meet up with some other TB chuds and take off for New Jersey (aka “land of many American flags”) where we got a hotel room (charged to the TB expense account, of course) to allow for ample pre and post show booze pounding. After calling and then waiting around forever for a cab, we finally made it to Maxwell’s just in time to catch the start of the first band’s set. I believe they were called The Plungers, but don’t quote me on that. I saw them for about fifteen seconds, before I took off down the street trying to find this amazing pizza place that I had visited years before that serves massive slices. I found it and promptly hightailed it back to the club, devouring my delicious slices along the way. I got back just as the Little Killers were plowing through their set and they sounded decent. Have you heard the Little Killers LP? If so, they pretty much sound exactly like that live. To be honest, after a weekend of bands, and knowing that Teengenerate was coming up next (after having blown me away the night before), I wasn’t paying that much attention. I caught a few songs, but was mostly concentrating on getting as many drinks down my gullet as possible before Teengenerate hit the stage. After Little Killers finished, I made my way up front and planted myself at stage right. I was looking forward to the more intimate setting of Maxwell’s after seeing the previous days’ shows at Southpaw, which was fine and all, but fairly large and not that welcoming. Before long, Fink and Fifi made their way to the stage and even though they were just tuning and getting things organized for a couple of minutes, the crowd was getting super excited. When they burst into "My GTO" people went nuts and it stayed that way the whole night. What followed was a blur, but what I do know is that Teengenerate OWNED the stage unlike any band I’ve ever seen. No one in the room was anything other than completely captivated by the band from start to finish. It was impossible not to be when each song pummelled along like it did and featured killer guitar work and choruses so catchy that everyone was screaming along with them and pumping their fists at just the right moments. And how can you complain when they played only hits like "Get Me Back", "Sex Cow", "Gonna Feel Alright", "Dressed in Black", 'Let’s Get Hurt", "Mess Me Up", and the requisite assortment of primo covers, the best of which was "This Is Rock’n’Roll" which could go down as the best individual song I’ve ever seen performed live on a stage. I was so into it, it felt otherworldly. The band stopped only briefly a couple of times during the set and when they put down their instruments the first time, there was no way people were letting them leave. They came back and after announcing that they were only playing a few more because they were “too old” they proceeded to tear through a half dozen or so songs, before once again putting their instruments down. Again, people wouldn’t let them stop, and they played a second encore and ended with "Wild Weekend", which seemed just right. It was all done in about an hour. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night for me was how much I enjoyed the Firestarter and Raydios songs they played. I’m a Fink man myself, and after Saturday night’s show the only minor gripe I had was that they played too many Firestarter and Raydios songs. Fink’s guitar and vocals were the loudest on Saturday (and least from where I was standing), and anytime Fifi played and sang it didn’t sound as good. But at Maxwell’s, the levels were perfect no matter who was up front and the Firestarter songs like "Keith Richards Man", "Slam Rock", "Rock’s Dead" and "She’s Red" and especially The Raydio’s "Don’t Mind" sounded amazing. Teengenerate’s two shows at Dot Dash will go down as two of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Big thanks to everyone involved in putting this on and getting them to come over. I had a blast. (Right click and "Save as..." to listen to Teenganerate at Maxwell's.)
Other Dot Dash/NYC highlights:
-Reatards: If Fink’s the best front man to a band I’ve ever seen, Jay Reatard comes in a close second. That guy pours his guts and soul into every song when he’s up on stage and gets INTENSE! The dual guitar attack on display throughout their set was ass-rapingly fierce and I never knew Ryan was such a good drummer. A lot of people were saying how they were better at the Blackout, or better back in the day, but I thought they gave Teengenerate a run for their money on Saturday night, which is saying quite a bit. As a side note, during their set that crazy guy from Kajun SS turned around, smiled at me maniacally and casually reached out and squeezed my balls for no reason at all. I don’t know the chap, but I thought that was fucking hilarious.
-Zero Boys: I could have done without the oven like conditions inside, but the Zero Boys put on a show that destroyed about 99% of all the other bands out there that are half their age. Non-stop, high energy action from start to finish. I wish I could say the same for The Gizmos and Los Reactors. Nope. They sucked.
-Human Eye: The crowd on Friday was kind of quiet and lame, which took a bit away from their set, but I’m thankful that I finally got to see a Timmy Vulgar act in person. When they started smashing/burning shit at the end, I was hoping for the cathode ray tube to discharge violently, but nope, it just sizzled.
-Jeffrey Novak One Man Band: I missed the Rat Traps on Wednesday, but was thankful to catch Jeff’s one-man band. He was the highlight of the BBQ on Saturday and seeing that much enthusiasm and raw talent from such a young kid was really encouraging (and taping a drum stick to his strumming hand is genius).
-New York City in general: NYC kills any other place I’ve ever visited. I was glad to have been there a couple of times before and glad to be travelling alone, as this time I could do whatever the fuck I wanted, whenever I wanted to, and didn’t have to worry about rushing to see and do absolutely everything. It was quite possibly the most fun-filled five-day stretch of my life. What else ruled beyond Dot Dash itself? Well, how about seeing a bunch of friends again, getting to meet a tonne of people for the first time (amazingly, no one I encountered all weekend [except for a few douchebag staff members at Southpaw] was an asshole), Coney Island, Crif Dogs (all meat should be bacon wrapped), 24 hour subways, The Cyclone, Nathan’s, that random dude selling Stooges records on the street, Manitoba’s, the Montreal crew and their rolling skills, that cute Irish girl that had supper with me on Saturday, waking up in the hostel with a cracked out, fully naked junkie furiously scrubbing her crotch with a towel mere inches from my face, Nino’s Pizza (order a couple of slices, plant yourself by the window and I guarantee you’ll jizz your pants twice – once for the best tasting pizza you’ve ever had and once for the non-stop stream of amazingly attractive women of all shapes and colours walking by the corner of St. Marks and Avenue A), random walks at all hours of the day, and enough drunken insanity to last me a year or two (such as when a certain someone [we’ll call him “Tonnes of Fun”] went crazy after the show on Sunday and impulsively bought round after round of drinks for the whole table, then went on a boy kissing rampage, then tried to convince the cabbie to find after hours booze, then resigned himself to buying a suitcase full of White Castle hamburgers! Vomiting and dropkicks to the head also ensued.). I want to go back!
Text by Jeff Greenback
Pics by Mark Murrmann and Young Steve Strange