Monday, July 11, 2016

new york weekend: 4knots 2016

this past weekend, i made my annual sojourn to new york city for the 4knots music festival in order to see one of my favorite bands, guided by voices, live. i have to admit, last year's festival was better for various reasons, but it was still a great time.

random prince mural in brooklyn, because ... prince.


- upon my arrival to the big apple, you best believe i made a b-line for the white castle on 8th ave -- duffel bag on one arm, ten-pound purse on the other -- and stuffed my sweaty little face with sliders. for those blissful 5 minutes, life was perfect.

- that night, we grabbed dinner at little dokebi, a cozy korean spot in greenpoint, where i had my first bibimbap experience (ahi tuna ftw). though i barely made a dent in my huge hot stone pot, the spicy/sweet sauce and the rice and the vegetables were the best. oh, and they brought us all pickled everything before the meal. yaaaasss.

- finally, my sunday brunch plans fell through, so i found this tiny gourmet oatmeal shop in greenwich village, cleverly called oatmeals. i snickered to myself as i ordered the "hot date" (dates, pecans, granola, peanut butter, and honey) from a cute-ass ponytailed dude who was probably way too young for me. oatmeal and iced coffee in hand, i strolled through washington square park and had myself a nice little manhattan sunday morning.


- after dinner on friday, our first stop was a williamsburg speakeasy-style cocktail bar called the richardson. i ordered a "no rocking chair," which had bourbon, honey liqueur, lime juice, aaaand some other stuff i can't remember, including a cinnamon stick garnish. i sipped and gawked at a bar back with the most glorious, intentional mullet i've ever laid eyes on.

- we couldn't maintain that highbrow vibe for too long, so we strolled over to a dirty dive known as the callbox lounge. this place had everything: a broken jukebox, a broken arcade game, chips on sale at the bar for $1/bag, and a ghetto disco ball/accompanying mirrored ceiling that provided the perfect illumination for the disco dance party that ensued. we rocked down to electric avenue, indeed.

- on saturday night, we hit up one of my new york spirit bars, high dive. unfortunately, the jukebox here was ALSO broken, but i dug up an old photo to show you what we're dealing with here.

ya dig? anyways, high dive also offers free popcorn that's smothered in old bay seasoning, and it's the perfect place to have long, drunken conversations with your best friends. plus, it's unpretentious and dark and kind of dirty, but not TOO dirty, and man, i just love it.


since last year's 4knots had twin peaks and mikal cronin and stephen malkmus, it was a hard bill to beat. however, guided by voices has been at the top of my "bands to see live" list forever, so it was a no-brainer that i'd be attending before they broke up for the 20th time.

earlier in the afternoon, diane coffee blew me away with his self-described "psychedelic motown" sounds, incredible stage presence, and adorable costumes. i didn't know much about him going into the set, except that he was the drummer for foxygen, but i came away a fan for sure. just pure fun.

after refueling for the evening with some rose and seafood mac 'n cheese at vbar, it was time for GBV. yeah, we were incredibly far away, and most of us only knew about 3 or 4 songs of their 50ish-song set, but they sounded great! and the other audience members more than made up for our inability to see the actual band.

uncle bob from way far away

there was the solo dude who went nuts for every single song: jumping, clapping, singing, air-guitaring-and-drumming, bonding with the random guys next to him. there were the middle-aged hipster couples (one of which included a bearded ginger man in a loud, floral-print adidas jacket) smoking weed. there was the small child on his dad's shoulders who kept plugging his ears, only to have pops remove his hands every time. "you will learn to love guided by voices, dammit!" we imagined the father whispering. DAD OF THE YEAR.

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