After Randi Russo's CD release show at the Cake Shop last Thursday, I've added a link to her on our list of Bands We Like. The thing is, if you do well in the environment of New York City - if you move here and take to it - you meet people and eventually you end up in cool situations like rent stabilized apartments... and, for instance having a friendship with a severely cool rock & roll stylist. So, I got my hair cut on Friday by hands that recently styled one of my favorite rockers of all time, someone else who was a youth near Detroit, Michigan... Mr. Iggy Pop! Saw a gorgeous, classic, Black + White print of him from the shoot, in a suit stalking down one of the curved walking paths in Central park - with the border of benches and Black + White trees - fantastic! In some way now I am a part of that, style, performance, the New York underground I dreamed of from my Bloomfield bedroom, although it's different now than it was, and different of course than I thought it would be. CBGB's is closed now, and moving to Vegas. The photos of Patti Smith my favorite part of this; she's the only one left that seems to me to be clearly illuminated by integrity. I tried to get us a show at CBGB's once. I went to their Web site and read the page about their booking policy. I marked my calendar and tried the phone number at Thursday at 1 or whatever the directions said it was supposed to be. The line was busy. I set the phone to re-dial and hung out at my desk at the day-job I had at the time selling classified advertising, and I tried and tried like I was a teenager calling a radio station to win concert tickets. Two weeks in a row. I knew every Monday was some kind of band audition showcase thing, and I would've been happy just to get us into one of those to start. It happened that just a week or two later I was walking by the club on a Monday night with my lead guitar player, so I went in all peppy and there were two guys sitting at the battered wooden desk covered in band stickers in the entryway, and I said that I wanted to book my band to play the showcase but that the phone was always busy during booking hours, and I don't remember exactly the conversation, but I remember leaving a few moments later feeling like I had to go and purge some major attitude, and that perhaps it wasn't so important to play CB's after all. So I hadn't been there since the time I saw the guitar player of a now defunct punk band throw his electric guitar into the audience (injuring a woman's hand... which caused a fight) but I did look at the Village Voice's photo link, and wouldn't you know about the third person into the slideshow is another piece of magical New York personality, who I also got to meet once in Heart's fabulous basement of transformation. And I thought: that man has been given a copy of our MEET THE ANIMAL record. Friday night we rehearsed for Vladapalooza. Saturday we went back to Wombat and worked on "The Hats." We tracked my rhythm guitar, small pieces of Ian's guitar part (he played such a great track last weekend with a killer solo, that we just wanted to improve one or two things about that original take), added as an overdub a distorted guitar part, and put in my lead vocals, Ian's harmony vocals, and some double tracking. I just listened back and it still sounds great. That was the basic track I was less sure about, although it felt great when we played it, but the additional tracking has brought everything together to create a fun really punchy rock song. We draw a lot of comparisons to Jefferson Airplane, and this song's more MC5. Saturday night we performed as Plastic Beef at Vladapalooza at Freddy's. It was a full evening of entertainment, and we spent many cheerful hours both before and after we played listening to the other bands and getting our glow on. For our set we achieved the main Plastic Beef objective of taking the audience on an enjoyable and wild ride: - We started with me singing "Like a Virgin" - half the room smiled and sang along while the other half shook heads and looked chagrined. - "The Only" a Plastic Beef original that one person later said sounded like a Minor Threat song - "Killing Moon" - Echo & the Bunnymen - "Take Us to the Stars" - one of mine (UNRELEASED) - I'm forgetting something but of mine we also played P-E-T-R-O-L-E-U-M (UNRELEASED) - "Acoustic Kitty" - one of Ian's - The Larch will be performing this tune on Saturday at Laila Lounge, - and the big finish was "Psycho Killer" (Talking Heads) into "Eddie Come Down" (MEET THE ANIMAL) with an in joke nod to 2001 and "I Don't Wanna Die From the West Nile Virus."