Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Newest Musical Obsession

I went to a show Sunday night to see a band that I've been wanting to see for years now, Asylum Street Spankers. I am so glad I finally got to see them. I first heard them a few years ago, late to the game I was for a band that's been around since about 1994. I had heard that you couldn't truly appreciate them until you had seen them live. I've heard that said about a lot of bands over the years, but I don't think it as ever as true as it is for this band.

To see an Asylum Street Spankers show is an amazing experience. What an incredible collection of musicians who seem to truly love what they do to scrape out a living. It is an absolute treat to watch people that good at what they do ply their craft.

It's not just that they are great musician. The Spankers have wide ranging influences in the great busker tradition that is at the very roots of this band. To see them play is like seeing the history of American popular music unfold before your ears, running through, in no particular order, jazz, country, folk, Delta blues, pop, New Wave, rock and even a little hip hop. And the it all gets run through a vaudevillian blender. And washed down with PBR.

Brilliant band. If they are playing anywhere near you, do yourself a favor and don't miss the chance to see one of the best bands you've never heard.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Evan Kremin - A Gift That Keeps On Giving

A few years ago, about 3-1/2 in fact, I wrote about a band I saw in New York shortly after I moved there. They were called the Evan Kremin Band. It was one of the most laughable things I've seen on a rock club stage in my life - and I lived in Seattle in the 90s with all the Nirvana-wannabe bands, so that's saying something.

So I went home and wrote a blog post ripping Evan Kremin, his horrible music and his inflated ego. Eventually I got a few comments on it from people that were googling him on the internet and came across my post. I responded to one, somebody who is one of his friends went off on me for bashing his buddy. Turns out that nobody else has ever written anything about the guy before so my pithy opinions about Mr. Kremin are pretty easy to come across on the web.

Since then I have gotten a few more comments on my original Evan Kremin post, due to the fact that my blog comes up third if you search for him on Google, with his Myspace page taking up the first two slots.

At the end of 2008 (more than two years after my post) I got this one (from "Anonymous"):

Mr.Tool "insert man-meat here"

Well, I've met a number of individuals like you in my life - quick to judge and make fun of somebody, but lack the BALLS or any TALENT what-so-ever to even attempt ANYTHING EVER, themselves.

You're a fucking idiot who probably has a 0.5" wonder (is that a pimple?) and cannot play any musical instrument and has had no real long-term relationships.

I'd LOVE to bump into you at an Evan Kremin show (who I've scene many times - he can play his ass off)....I'll stomp your little faggot ass!

This one has to be my favorite. Yes, Mr. Anonymous, the reason I don't like Evan's music is because I'm a "faggot" and have a small penis. You've "scene" right through me.

That was pretty much the last one (so I thought), and I hadn't even thought about Evan Kremin in forever. 'Cause, you know, why would I?

Then a couple of months ago I got three comments on it in two days, which seemed weird. Someone had been Googling his name and found my blog. And then either this someone, presumably a friend of his or even Evan himself, told a couple of his other friends about it or maybe even just posted separate comments and pretended to be other people. In any case, the comments came from (according to the IP addresses) the same area of New York that I basically just think of as North New Jersey. If you gotta take NJ Transit to get there, it's New Jersey.

Here they are. And keep in mind, I wrote this original post three-and-a-half years ago:

First of all, I do know that if those were his parents then I do truly believe in "miracles from above" (excuse the cliche) I guess your parents never taught you to think before you speak.

Now, for the real issue. You're abviously entitled to your opinion as far as his music. What I don't understand is how the heck you can judge a person's personality being you've never even said "hello" to him? I know you're obviously not a psychic based on the fact you thought his parents were there.

I know Evan for many years now. Besides the fact that I LOVE his music; he is a great, smart, and very funny guy. I'm a better person for knowing him, and did I mention that he's funny? He enjoys playing his music and probably couldn't care less about your critique, however I felt obliged to respond. Guess I had too much time on my hands.

As a matter of fact, he's playing on Saturday night (3/6/10) at the "Bar East" on 1st between 89th & 90th. If you have any bit of good in you, you should at least show up and introduce yourself. I bet after meeting him, you'd actually realize you were wrong about him...(I assume you could admit fault being you had the balls enough to write what you did in the first place.)

Go Saturday night, I dare you.
Or...are you just one of those people who's so insecure
about yourself you just hide behind a computer screen??

Ooooh, do you double dog dare me? OK, so if those weren't his parents, they were his wife's parents.

And no I'm not a psychic, due to the fact that psychics aren't real, but when you read his Myspace page (as I pointed out, and quoted) you can see very clearly where my observations about his ego come from. And seeing him perform on stage tels you a lot, too. He thinks he's a rock star. He's not.

And despite the fact that seeing Evan live had me cracking up for days about it, once is enough. I'd much rather be forced to listen to Poison's Every Rose Has It's Thorn a hundred times in a row than see an Evan Kremin concert again, which is saying a lot since I consider that song to be possibly the worst song in the history of American popular music. Though I do encourage everyone else to check him out at least once. It is fascinating to see a Christopher Guest movie in real life.

Later the same day, I got this one:

This blog was just brought to my attention.

Dude, I feel bad for your daughter. I hope your wife is teaching her a better value system and what life is supposed to be like. The last thing we need is another angry person like you in this world.

By the way, I met Evan a couple of years ago. That guy can sing!! He's also probably the most humble person I have ever met.

You've got him totally wrong. I hope you're not a music critic for a living. The industry would really suffer from people like you.

Dude, nobody feels as bad for my daughter having to have me as a dad than me. She'll be lucky to have therapy only once a week when she's an adult. But my crappy blog has nothing to do with that.

Seriously, you think I might be a music critic? I'm flattered, I guess? But really, if I was a music critic wouldn't my little rant have actually appeared in a publication? But it really is a sure sign of just how shitty his music is that my blog is the only thing that comes up on the internet where anybody has written anything about him. Obviously, no real music writer even thinks he's good enough to slam. That's pretty bad. I did it because I thought that night was hilarious and I couldn't believe I'd actually witnessed it. The comments I've gotten off it made me really glad I did. But you shouldn't expect a real music critic to write about him. For that, they would have to actually acknowledge it as "music."

Finally, a couple days after those last two:

I've known of Evan for years as a rocking Bleeker Street performer as well as a musician in other people's bands and even on Broadway. Your blog entry was a little weird to read, knowing Evan's talent. Sad how some people can't find anything positive to do with the amazing tool the internet has become. I do hope you will find a more important calling in life.

You hope that I find a more important calling in life than yammering away on my personal blog? Shit man, so do I. So do I.

Now I've pretty much figured it is even odds that Evan himself has left at least one of these comments. But I guess we'll never know. But I am pretty happy to have the excuse to make fun of him again.