According to their lead guitarist, Don Alexander, The Black Cats NYC are like a hotrod: stripped down and built for speed. Not a bad metaphor for tonight's DNO...
We've missed the last few months of DNO due to one thing or another. October, November, December (as usual) and even January. So to mix things up a bit, I invited the guys out for some Rock and Roll. Kevin said he was in and David said "Hell, yeah!"
We met at the Parkside Lounge, the "hotrod" of neighborhood bars. No frills. No decor. No hip crowd. Then again, no cover and no minimums. You either come here to drink or to hear a band play—and drink.
Even the drinking is no frills. The draft beer selection was only okay and it leant heavily toward the hoppy brew. There were about 12 taps and maybe six were IPAs. Kevin went for the Wrought Iron IPA (6.9% ABV) from Louisiana's Abita Brewing Company. I suppose I coulda had a ShockTop (ho-hum), but nothing really grabbed me. In desperation, I opted for Sixpoint Brewery's The Crisp (5.4% ABV). It's far hoppier than I usually go for, but at least I knew what I was getting into. Not bad, just not my thing.
David soon arrived and we headed off to the back room to catch the opening band, The Black Cats. These guys were all right. Were they musically sophisiticated? Not unless you think four chords is innovative. Just yer typical two-guitars-bass-and-drums outfit rocking out like a modern-day Johnny Thunders, the musical equivalent of a Jeep Wrangler: no frills, a bumpy ride, a bit dangerous, but you're sure as hell not going to get stuck in the mud driving that thing. And it was as fun as hell.
At this point, we discovered there was table service and I had a momentous decision to make. Faced with exactly the same choices I had at the start of the night I decided to go for... another Crisp. At least I am consistent.
Next up was my friend Bill Harvey's band, The Lord Calverts. Tight 60s-style Garage Rock. Frontman Kevin Lydon is a fantastic showman, an American Eric Burdon: gritty, authentic and riveting. This video should give you a little taste. The songs are well crafted and catchy as hell. Lead guitarist Askold Buk amazed us with tasty riffs and blistering solos. David, Kevin and I were impressed.
At this point, a couple of guys fom my band, The Beeps, showed up and joined us. Sami brought copies of our new CD for us to ogle. Sexy! Our waitressed returned and it was time to do the unthinkable once again, but at the last minute, I opted for a Guinness Stout (4.2% ABV). At least I knew what I was getting into. (I guess I am consistent.)
After hanging out with Pablo, Sami and Bill, the three of us headed down to this literal hole in the wall Chinese Dumpling place David knew about on Clinton Street. Perhaps it was the beer (unlikely), but these were quite possibly the best dumplings I have ever had. And at $1.25 for a set of four you can feast like a king here...
Definitely a low-key DNO, but put it in the books anyway. It was a good one!
317 E. Houston St.,
New York, NY 10002