The READIN Family Album
(March 2005)


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If you take away from our reality the symbolic fictions which regulate it, you lose reality itself.

Slavoj Žižek

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Sunday, May 8th, 2011

🦋 Saturday Groovers

Ellen and I went out to a club last night, for the first time in a while, to see a band we had never heard of... What a great time! What a great find! I'm a fan now.

Ellen heard from Shelley on Wednesday that their old friend John was playing guitar with The Shirts on Stanton St. on Saturday, and did we want to meet her. So we did! The opening band was Suzanne Real, backed up by John on guitar and the bassist and drummer from The Shirts. A hot set but not very many people were there yet...

The club really filled up for The Shirts' set though. Ellen and I were surprised to find ourselves dancing, starting early in the set when Artie Lamonica (the guitarist on the left above) sang his new song "Mochaccino" -- an addictive beat and a fun lyric. I was dancing my trademark, spastic I-can't-dance step (which I have not had occasion to use for a long time now), Ellen a more reserved swaying to the beat, but it got us together in the rhythm. And it was all right.

The Shirts played an hour set and I could have listened to them for another couple of hours. I'm listening to their record now (the new one, the one that was on sale at the merch table, the one that John is playing on) and having a blast. Recommend it.

Oh: John was not in the spotlight much during The Shirts' set -- he played some stellar solos, but the lighting guy was not on the ball -- but I got a nicely impressionistic photo of him during the opening set:

posted afternoon of May 8th, 2011: Respond
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Sunday, August 14th, 2011

🦋 Coney Island at night

I met up with Miriam and Jon last night to go see The Shirts. This time they were playing Cha Cha's, on the Coney Island boardwalk, and they were completely in their element. A very different experience from watching them at Arlene's Grocery on the Lower East Side -- the crowd was a Brooklyn crowd, probably half of the audience was made up of a big extended family whose yearly reunion at Cha Cha's coincided with The Shirts' date... Listening to the crowd sing along on the chorus of "Only the Dead Know Brooklyn" warmed the cockles of my heart.

It's been a long time since I've been at Coney Island at night. That is the best time there. The crowds of tourists thin out, the gray dusk of evening and the darkness of night settle over the beach and the water -- the few people still out walking on the sand are black silhouettes against the dark water. Then you turn your gaze back inland and get a fever of brightly colored neon shapes and hawkers yelling, rides sliding past and spinning around, smells of fried food and sunburnt bodies...

Miriam and Jon and I had dinner at Tatiana's in Brighton Beach and walked down the boardwalk in the gloaming. When we got to Cha Cha's, we were happy to find Bill and Brian of Shanghai Love Motel and their S.O.'s, Lisa and Maia rocking out to The Shirts' pop beat. A great way to spend a Saturday evening.

posted morning of August 14th, 2011: Respond
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