Wednesday, July 28, 2010

UNISEX TOUR log III: brave friends, Highline Ballroom, Unisex Salon

(513): we arrived at our motel in the ghettos of New Jersey. there is a half-naked Chinese man in our room. exposed. we go to another room and everything is wet. we are scared.

text from Erica, about 1pm or so, Monday the 19th. apparently our friends who had driven overnight to come see us in NYC booked a brothel. apparently also the half-naked Chinese man was naked on the lower half. i found out later that Erica's dad kindly booked them this motel.

meanwhile, we were still having lunch on the street in Chinatown. after a moment of consideration we returned to our half-eaten pork-buns, tried to finish our lunches and put aside the image of the man in the hotel room. whether it was due to the half-buns or the surrounding multitude of glistening, sweaty Chinese men, we found this challenging.

the night that followed was nothing short of fantastic. the dark staircase up to the venue came to a set of double-doors and opened up into the beautiful Highline Ballroom. Unisex Salon was sound-checking as we walked in and lead singer Kenyon (yes, same as our college.. no, not near Uganda) hopped down to say hello. last time i saw Kenyon he was half-naked (top half), psychedelic tattoos covering his chest, with a headdress perched atop his dreadlocks that looked like a french maid's bonnet dunked in a vat of pirate's booty. today he was wearing a very nice black hat and t-shirt.

soundcheck at HB

the grandfather from Little Miss Sunshine works at the Ballroom. he gave us our passes to the beer-stocked green room upstairs and later announced our show with great relish and conviction. i may have enjoyed his introduction as much as our set. after the show, which felt like somersaults down a hill, the promoter Denise told us we were one of the best young bands she had heard in a long time; i humbly asked if i could quote her on it and she said "yes" =). while Unisex did their crazy thing we had drinks with lovely Anne and mightily-bearded Michael from Wakey! Wakey! who had come out to see our show. i felt mighty blessed to be at a table with old friends from Kenyon and Cincinnati, new friends from New York and the music world, and my bandmates. (and there may be a detail here left out... only those who saw it know what i'm talking at... keyword 'ambush')

and yes! our friends who escaped the brothel in NJ made it safely to the show and even ran merch for us(?!), though not before talking their way out of a speeding ticket (they had to pee really, really bad) and nearly suffocating while a mysterious can of Febreeze gradually sprayed its entire contents from an unknown location in their car. i can attest that they are alive and well, with minimal brain damage.

we after-partied at Beauty Bar (password: "i want to be in Unisex Salon"), hotel-lobbied at Crocodile Lounge (BEER = PIZZA), crashed and burned at Andrea's and set off for OH in the morning.