Posted: April 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Alright, I’m going to speak fast since Graydon and I have to catch the train to China town for dinner soon. We’re meeting a good friend of mine from Lawrence University who lives and plays in the City. He’s totally brill. Check him out – His name is Doug. He’s amazing.

Anyways — We arrived in NYC off the bus yesterday afternoon. I told you how much I love the bus. After that, it’s hard to even remember what we did since we did so much, but I will give it a shot.

First, we walked to the hotel from the bus station and checked in. Graydon and I immediately left to find some food. We ate pizza. I tacked on a gyro. Good times were had. We were just walking, exploring the city, until all of the sudden we were staring at huge signs and neon lights. I started taking pictures like, “wow man, NYC is crazy!” Graydon then turned to me and said “dude, I think we’re in Times Square” — yeah, we’re a couple ‘a newbies.

It was cool.

Todd, Mark, and Greg all played a game of hopscotch on the sidewalk, opting for a little fun, rather than walking around the city. They’re all children at heart.

Seriously, they all went with Todd to buy a new computer, and then Greg walked around until making it out the gig to be the first guy there.

I ate ice cream.

It wasn’t long before we were at the Local 269 for the gig. We played at 8p, but got there early to check out the first band. It just so happens that John Irabagon was the leader of the first band. yeah. He won the Monk competition a couple years ago, so….he’s gross.

The band played a long composition that spanned the whole hour full of free improvisations among other things. Todd’s friends were a little freaked out. We sometimes have to remember that not everyone in the world listens to freaky weird music. I mean, we do, but…

A Love Electric then took the stage and rocked the roof off. I personally, and I think I speak for most of the dudes in the band, felt a total sense of wonder and amazement that we were actually playing music in NYC. It’s been a long time coming for me (Graydon too) as it’s our first time in this city. Crazy!!

The rest of the night was insane. A friend of mine, Nick Videen — great sax player from the Twin Cities whose been living in NYC for over 4 years now and who sat in with us during our set at the 269, took Graydon and I over to the Jazz Standard to see Ambrose Akinmusire, an incredible trumpet player. The band was sick. We got in free cause Nick knew the guy at the door.

More good times.

All this happened while Greg was meeting up with an old friend, bassist Michael O’Brian, who used to live in the Twin Cities. Mark, Todd, Greg and Michael hung out for a bit at the 269 before heading over to the Zinc Bar, where it was Brazilian night. Meanwhile, aftter the Jazz Standard show, Graydon, Nick and I all went to get some food at The Smith. Then we ALL met up at the Zinc Bar. Then we went to bed.

I told you it was crazy.

This morning, Graydon and I didn’t waste any time. We managed to walk 2 miles towards “the Village” – or Greenwich Village – and catch some lunch before the other dudes even woke up. I had trouble sleeping thinking about being in NYC for the first time and wanting to walk around some more. I have a feeling Graydon felt the same way. We walked by Madison Square Garden, all the way down to the water, by Washington Square Park, got some coffee with another friend of mine, and took the freaking Subway back to the hotel, which is where we sit now, simply waiting to go back to the Subway and over to China Town. All this happened over about 5 miles of walking and about 6 hrs time.


Todd is currently in Brooklyn, Greg is back at the hotel, and Mark is nowhere to be found. I’m pretty sure Mark found a sweet daytime gig playing showtunes in a Downtown restaurant, but of course, that is just speculation.

More stuff to come, but there’s too much to do and so little time. AHHHH!!



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