ones and zeroes

Better living through modern chemistry.


i woke up and it's yesterday

i am a scavenger

Blast! Foiled again! I was due to leave work yesterday at 4 P.M. but pre-sale tickets for NIN at the Hammerstein Ballroom in May were going on sale through, my newest nemesis. I shut down all my other applications so my computer would focus all its power on the imprtant task at hand. Much to my chagrin, starting at 4 P.M., I spent 25 minutes hitting refresh and screaming at my computer as was slowed to a crawl by hordes of fishnetted goths hoping to grab Trent Reznor's nuts from their spot crushed against the front gate of the pit. I came as close as "We're sorry, the configuration of tickets you have requested is not available, however this does not mean that tickets are sold out." Well, that had me pretty fed up.

I threw the mix I made for Larry into my headphones and headed uptown via the 2/3 to the fortress of wealth that is the Upper West Side. Usually I manage to catch the train earlier than this on Tuesdays but now I found myself packt like all too many sardines with the suits and ties, the short hair and the tired eyes. Balancing myself with just one in dex finger on a handrail, I went on reading Lucky Jim, chuckling beneath my breath and glad to find some British humor that didn't lose my interest too quickly. I caught the 1/9 and exited at 86th st., taking the routine weekly walk half a block past Greenberg's to the benches overlooking the Hudson. I breathed in the waves and then turned back and headed upstairs to Greenberg's study.

Yesterday I couldn't stop thinking that he looked like Fu Manchu, his facial hair having grown out a bit, and we talked about writing, marijuana, and love. That is the pyramid that forms our conversations lately, with movies floating inbetween all three. We had a good session, with a couple of those important moments that see me passionately and clearly stating my innate desire, and we talked about that primal urge to make things, to leave one's stamp upon the earth, no matter how small. Remember that awesome moment in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the ape picks up the bone and realizes, sans dialogue, that it's more than just a bone? That he can push the limit of his self out beyond the confines of his meager body and submit the material world around him to his will? Wow. Although, his first instinct is to beat the shit out of rival apes, but we don't all have to follow his example.

I headed back downtown where Lucy and I were to reconnoitre in order to fetch Gracefully sandwiches, but not before a brief stop at my neighbor's apartment. We hadn't talked in a while and he, Jason, told me about how he had just been laid off. We caught up and then, as if I didn't already have drugs on my mind enough, he told me that he had something I might like to see. Reaching into his little cubby of vicodin and pot, he pulled out a small baggy containing three small pink crystals. He asked me if I knew what it was, and I didn't quite know, at which point he told me it was DMT. DMT is a powerful psychedelic that actually already exists in every human being's brain! Our brain just doesn't use it the way it gets used if you synthesize it. Smoked, it induces a 30-minute trip that is apparently thousands of times more intense than LSD, and users often have similar experiences of encountering beings from other dimensions who guide them on journeys through fantastic landscapes. Jason asked me if I wanted to try it, and he'd videotape it. I told him to get back to me in a couple of months, grabbed Major Tom, and headed out to meet Lucy.

We got the sandwiches and after swallowing down my cheddar/pepperjack/tomato/cucumber/pesto hero I braced myself and packed Major Tom's eager-seeming bowl and took a solid binger right to the dome. And another. And another, passing it in a circle betwen me and Eileen and Lucy. Everything went bonzo.


We scurried to the 2nd Ave. station in a timeless continuum, and I was walking three steps back behind my body, trying to keep up with everything around me. Luckily, the train was waiting when we got there; god knows what madness could have ensued in those dirty depths. Lucy and Ei sat side by side and I took my seat perpendicular to them, unsure whether I should look straight or left or close my eyes. The two of them were talking about Lucy's fresh haircut and I turned to watch them watch each other, watching as the textures of their skin shifted underneath the subway car's fluorescent lights, reacting also to the bars of light behind the windows as we went careening through subterranea in a quiet scream of metal grinding metal. They were telling me about the woman cutting hair; I thought, "My god, I'm tripping on cannabis," and nodded, trying dearly hard to turn the sounds from their mouths into facts and shapes within my mind. The space between stations stretched as long as all hell, shortening as we got closer to Rockefeller Center where we stepped out to a midtown never so magical to my eyes.

I felt like such a tourist, and a stoner, a stonerist, walking out on to 6th Ave with my neck craned back and my bloodshot eyes unable to do anything but take in the awesome scope of all these structures stretching up to scrape the sky, surrounded on all sides by the Moloch Megalopolis. Making our way down the block to the neon Radio City lights I found myself in love with NYC, that certain kind of love it's easy to forget in the middle of a surly snowy winter month.

Entering via the side door, Radio City looked nothing short of classy. We settled into our orchestra seats, the mezzanine overhanging us. It took me a minute to soak in the fact that there was a band on stage playing music. Blonde Redhead firmly reinstated and multiplied my sentiment that I was having more than your everyday cannabinoid experience Their music was so interesting - operatic, dark and synthy, very Sigur Ros-y, and I felt completely bathed in sound and light, sinking deep into my comfy chair as it was shaken at its very base by the deep percussive synth bass that pervaded all of their songs. To try and make out the physical features of the band members seemed a ludicrous feat to attempt, but the silhouette of her dress along with the rich tones of her voice (not to mention all the male hoots and hollers coming from near the stage) had me convinced that the keyboardist/singer was gorgeous.

Sitting between Lucy and Ei, serenaded from the stage, I slowly looked around feeling strangely locked within my senses yet aware that they were my only connection to the outer world. I let my eyes roam the innards of Radio City's architecture and felt as if I was seated deep inside some great and visionary bloodshot eye. The bands and performances that passed upon the stage over the years were like glimpses of some outer reality while the audience served as the collective mind behind the eye. With the building vibrating and the walls and ceiling stretched before me like this great ocular node, I now felt doubly locked within a world within a world. The lights came up and I was just too stunned to move. Lucy went to the bathroom for what felt like half an hour and then finally Interpol took the stage.

They kicked things off with Next Exit, the church-like keyboard filling every acoustic inch of the room, and Paul Banks' voice, the drums, guitars and bass fell in line soon afterwards in perfect time. They sounded beautiful. Strangely, the crowd stayed seated and though I wanted to stand I didn't want to be the lone wolf. Besides, I was comfortable and heavy as a rock. They moved on through the beginning of the set and eventually every body rose to their feet. The set was oddly paced and most of the first half, aside from Slow Hands, was comprised largely of the mellower side of their repertoire, and mostly of songs off of Antics. At a perfect opportunity to kick it into high gear they played Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down which was great but seemed a bit misplaced in the order.

The order of the rest of the songs is a bit hazy but the highlights remain crystal clear. They delivered a sick performance of Evil which Mr. Banks ended by saying, "Thank you, that was Evil," which I thought must be fun to get to say on stage. But it was then the touring keyboardist started playing this psychedelic, spacey wind-like noise that I knew I was about t witness the most rocking moment of the show. The sound, like some tempest from a digital underworld, made me feel like I was swaying though I was sure that I was still. Then Not Even Jail kick started with a huge bang of strobe light and music. The wall behind the band, which looked like crumpled parchment, had a huge grid of lights on it including none-too-painful strobe lights and they served the song just fine as it got me dancing between the seats again.

Interpol had 6 discoballs on stage and it seemed that they would never use them but finally the crowning moment of the evening came during a stellar performance of NYC. When, "It's up to me now, turn on the bright lights," was sung the mirror balls were shone upon and they flung little flecks of starry light across the hall as if the high-frequency picking of the guitars was the source of it all. They encored with some jams off of their first record, including a seriously bitching Roland. I love Interpol. All in all it was a great show but not the greatest I've seen from them. There were a bunch of points when Paul Banks really reminded of Lou Reed, and that had never occurred to me before somehow. Still though my favorite part of Interpol at all has to be Carlos D's bass, which can be described no more aptly then "cool." They also played an unrecorded (as yet?) track, Put Your Little Hand In Mine, which was really really good.

After that Ei treated me to a chocolate peanut butter milkshake at Johnny Rocket's. After some more bingers, and some Iron Chef and puppies on TV, it was time for bed. Today I woke up happy with my night but realized I don't care too much to smoke on weekdays for a long while. I got up good and groggy, got into the shower awful slowly, and headed to class antsy to write all this down, which was the greatest feeling of the entire experience.


  • At 4:35 AM, Blogger Laurence O'Neal Suarez said…

    This post was a wonderful read from start to finish. I don't know if it was the subject matter, or your enthusiasm to relate it or a combination of the two but that was damn fun Izzy. Especially your descriptions of familiar experiences through the eyes of one ever so briefly separated from THC suddenly reunited. GAWD I miss the splendor of aloof NY.


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