Monday, August 13, 2007

My Very First Pool Party!

Yesterday I finally got to go to a McCarren Park Pool Party (I meant to go both the last two weeks but had conflicts and couldn't). It was a blast! Even in the 90 degree weather. I'm so mad that I haven't gone before and now they're almost over.

I'd like to start out by saying that never once have I been happy when the G is running on the F line (because that means the F isn't), but it worked out quite perfectly for this one day. It meant I didn't have to transfer trains and getting to Williamsburg has never been (and will probably never be again) so easy to get to from where I live.

So when I first got there, I heard a marching band and so I went to see what was going on. It was Mucca Pazza. Let me tell you, if Marching Band were like that in high school, even I might've joined. Hell, I'm tempted to go pick up some portable instrument and learn it just so I can join now (as of this moment I only play the piano). They were so cool! So much fun! So talented! So silly! Very theatrical. They may have actually been the highlight of the day for me (or well, maybe I won't go that far because there were a lot of highlights and I don't think I could pick between them). And I love that they had instruments not typical to a marching band like the violin or the accordian (they plugged them in to amps, which they wore as hats). And at one point one guy whistled into a bull horn. There were even cheerleaders. It was really a fun way to start off the day. They played at Sound Fix last night too after the pool party, right before Junior Senior, which made me even more tempted to go, but I was tired and hot and hungry and wanted to sit down. And I had to work the next day.

So first up on the actual stage was Birds of Avalon. They should've maybe said something or made an announcement before they started playing because those of us not standing near the stage or engaging in the festivities of the Pool Party didn't even realize that the DJ had stopped and it was indeed a band playing until part way into their set. Although, to be honest, I wasn't particularly enraptured by them anyway and I really can't remember enough about them to really write about them. They seemed like they had a good energy but for some reason I just couldn't focus on them. Maybe it was because of these guys:

They were doing crazy animal dances. And non-animal dances. We went up and joined them (and by joined I mean stood nearby and danced not quite as crazily, except for Sarah who got her picture taken with them). Or some of the many other distractions such as the slip-n-slide or dodgeball(?) might've been why I didn't pay much attention to Birds of Avalon. Their bass player seemed really cool though. I'll say that much. And when I did pay attention to them, they seemed to be putting on a good performance. There was one song I actually really liked, but I have no way of knowing it was.

Second to hit the stage was The Thermals. They held my attention a little better and I enjoyed their performance quite a bit. Like Birds of Avalon, they had a lot of energy and their bass player seemed really cool (maybe I just have a bias toward female bass players...). But they all seemed really cool actually. Again though, I didn't really venture close (as I'm sure you can tell from my pictures, though my camera makes it look like I was even further away than I was). I stayed in the protective/pleasant shade of the mist tent. Musically, I liked them better than Birds of Avalon. They had a little more pop-i-ness to their rock, which I like. And their sound seemed more cohesive than Birds of Avalon.

The headliner was Ted Leo & The Pharmacists. They were awesome. I knew they would be. Lots of energy, great music (and they have a pretty good variety of sounds too), nice guys - some funny "conversations" with the audience. And the crowd was pleasantly tame, yet very enthusiastic (meaning for once there was no stupid rowdy moshpit). Highlights included Bomb.Repeat.Bomb., from their new album, and my personal favorite, Me and Mia. Also, it was bassist Dave Lerner's last show with the group, after six years, so there was a touching moment at the end when they opened a bottle of champagne in his honor and hugs were exchanged all around. One annoying moment was when some girl ran up on stage and started shaking her bum around at the audience and molesting the Dave Lerner and Ted Leo as they played. Dave Lerner was not so happy. He actually moved away from her. Ted Leo just kind of pretended she wasn't there for the most part. Finally some guy came on stage to kind of shoo her off. Security was clearly not as tight as at Siren Fest where a girl who tried to run up on stage only got like 6 feet before she was grabbed by security.

One other random thing I thought was kind of cool was that I think the lead singer of The Hold Steady got off the train at the same time as me (at least it looked just like him and he lives in Brooklyn) and then I saw him again later on stage talking to someone before Ted Leo went on. I thought that was kind of neat since if I hadn't seen them just a few days ago, I wouldn't have recognized him (watch, it probably wasn't him...). And THEN I was getting off the subway at work this morning and there was a guy from Mucca Pazza walking up the stairs next to me! And I actually talked to him (I'm kind of shy so that's a stretch for me). I was like "star struck" though. I just kept telling him, "I saw you yesterday and you guys were great!" I think he appreciated it though. They're from Chicago, and from the way he was talking it sounds like maybe they just moved to NY. Or maybe they're just here for an extended stay. I should've asked him, but I was like a giddy little school girl so I just kind of giggled and ran away.

And now some samples for you:

Dirge [mp3] - Mucca Pazza - "A Little Marching Band" (iTunes unavailable)
Surf [mp3] - Mucca Pazza - "A Little Marching Band (iTunes unavailable)
Horse Called Dust [mp3] - Birds of Avalon - "Bazaar Bazaar" (iTunes)
A Pillar of Salt [mp3] - The Thermals - "The Body The Blood The Machine" (iTunes)
Me and Mia [mp3] - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - "Shake the Sheets" (iTunes)
Bomb.Repeat.Bomb. [mp3] - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - "Living With the Living" (iTunes)

And more pictures:

Mucca Pazza

More Mucca Pazza

The lovely atypical marching band instrumentalists

The cheerleader no one paid much attention to...

Can you tell how obsessed with them I am by how many pictures I took?

And still more pictures of Mucca Pazza...

The violinist pre-pyramid

Rhinoceros guy playing with a little kid

Here's a good example of some animal dancing by the guy in the brown...

My friends dancing crazy near the animal dancing guys

Go Sarah!

The Slip-n-Slide, which I sadly did not try because I was wearing a skirt (next time though...)

Dodge Ball (I think? I never actually got close enough for long enough to tell exactly what they were playing, but that's what it looked like and it gathered quite the crowd.)

share this post on / facebook

No comments: