About a week ago I attended the Big City Rebels 4 concert over at The Studio at Webster Hall and this kick ass Rock Show featured Vains Of Jenna as a headliner with Naked from Finland as direct support. The gig also found the local talents of Natasha Komis and The Deafening added for good measure. My main reason for attending was to catch Naked in action and after the show the bands lead singer Muff and I decided to do a little NYC wandering and networking while he was still in town. The rest of the band had returned to Finland after their several show invasion and while he remained for the duration the time was ripe to book more shows and meet the people that can move the band in the proper direction. Up. After meeting publicity peeps we wandered around one of the area parks and snapped some images for posterity. I recanted my doing something slightly similar when Jyrki 69 was last in town with The 69 Eyes and decided to do something similar yet different featuring Muff. Take this blog posting as an invitation to join us on the wandering and to enjoy some of the NYC scenery that was captured along the way. After the lunch, Muff and I wandered through Washington Square Park. To bypass a chance of a photograph in front of their amazing arch would be criminal.
We headed uptown to meet some more publicity folks and you might be wondering what building Muff is looking up at.
The building is 10 East 23rd Street which music historians know as one of the earliest places where NYC’s own KISS kept a loft. It was in this building that many of the ideas came to fruition and hence remains of supreme importance to folks like Muff and I.
Since we were close we walked over to Duke’s Bar. A roadhouse bar made a little more known by my Concert adventures with The Ambassador. You are probably wondering if we went inside for a beer, well of course we did, it was hot outside and Muff is Finnish but sorry you don’t get to enjoy the pint with us.
We then headed back down to the park we were at not that long ago as Muff had an interview with one of the numerous websites of the city. While the interviewer prepared their gear I snapped Muff just chilling out.
Interview over, it was time for a few more cold beers and some additional touristy shots.
A different angle of the same shot.
It was a very hot day today but that didn’t stop Muff from wearing all black and boots as well. He decided to stand precariously on the fountain and I said you realize you are not going to be happy if you tumble in. He replied at least it would be refreshing. Silly musicians. No, he did not fall in.
We walked out of the park and met some Japanese tourists who posed for a photo that I took with their camera. It made their day so why not. We then headed down St. Mark’s Place to grab some beers at the Bull McCabe’s Pub. I’ve been here a few times before with The Ambassador and while its a strictly drinks only place, I love its darkness and the tunes that they play. They also have a sizable patio where you can sit but this evening I discovered an issue with that particular part of the bar….yep, the patio was closed due to the “dangerous” propped up plane that had been there for years and never caused an issue. Leave it to the Dept. Of Buildings to pay attention to something like this instead of something that is clearly more dangerous. I once wrote a wry blog on my personal site about my getting new headquarters for PM.com, you can dig that HERE and tell me that the space being used in the tale is not a hell of a lot more dangerous than what you see in the photo below.
The Cessna plane that you can see in the photo has been in that back patio area for twenty five years before someone recently decided to complain about it and get the area closed off. What can you do when the city offices are often run by idiots that don’t really focus on real problems and instead take aim at something like this. Moving along with the adventures, leave it to me to walk into a bar and meet other Finnish visitors. This is Mikko and his missus. He was also in a Metal band called Cardinal’s Folly if I remembered correctly. Muff just had to be different. Singers.
Muff had plans for late dinner so we parted ways after this and we still had some things to do the next day so we mapped out our time and place and began the journey anew down around Park Row. Here is Muff in front of the ever-progressing New World Trade Center. The sunlight was not in my favor, and this was the best I could get.
We were downtown to see what The Gild Hall was all about for possible shows. The space is clearly not your conventional Rock Band kind of thing and looks more like my living room. Still it might make for a cool, intimate acoustic gig don’t you think?
Now back to the wandering and photo tourism after our fun lunch. Here is Muff in front of one of the cool sculptures on William Street off Maiden Lane. I am letting you know the exact location should you visit and want to see them in living color for yourself.
Since we were so close to it, I suggested that Muff take a photo in front of the long standing sculpture on the Chase Manhattan Plaza property. I remember this from when I worked down here during the summers in High School. Of course I never bothered to learn what it was called until writing this piece, so I present to you “Group Of Four Trees” by Jean Debuffet,
He wanted a closer look. Then it was back to the wandering.
Passing by Pace University we passed a statue of Benjamin Franklin and Muff pondered. This was the best I could do as any further back I would have been in the street as cars accessed the Brooklyn Bridge. Sorry folks. You can see the full statue of Ben in one of my upcoming “Statues Of NYC” blog postings on PiercingKen.com – This is a side project for my side project.
Muff realized his next meeting was going to find him returning to this same area and we still had to go to the Lower East Side for some venue exploration. Luckily he contacted the party he was supposed to meet and they moved the appointment to earlier. Now what to do for an hour, let’s be tourists. We find Muff at the Washington Statue at Federal Hall.
I was really happy that the other photographer woman wouldn’t get out of my shot. Thanks. Really, I mean that. Mortals……
Since we had time we decided to go inside and look around. It was free so why not. There are so many cool historical places to enjoy in the city and sights to see down in this part of it that you almost need a full day just for down here. Inside we went.
The shot above shows Muff checking out the now long empty safes. These used to be loaded with money and apparently this building was instrumental to arriving commerce from the harbors and had a constant influx of merchants and their money. Below is Muff standing near the exact concrete spot on which George Washington took the oath to be America’s first President.
We actually even got a short tour by one of the Parks Dept. staff while we were there and that was quite interesting. Apparently this building had been reconstructed a few times before it was what we were in now, but it is still very historic in nature.
Very stately our young singer friend is in the above shot.
As we made our exit from the Federal Hall a group of young tourists from down South all came up to us and started taking photos galore. It was a blast and not only made the day of the ladies who posed but also that of the Finnish singer. My guess is that these got posted to Facebook within minutes. I hope they look into the band for Muff’s sake. The more support the merrier after all.
Here are two “money shots” as Muff poses near Trump’s building on Wall Street and in close proximity to the Federal Reserve. Too bad we had no time to go inside there. I would love to see that again as its been years. Maybe next time.
Finally on the Lower East Side, we passed by Nice Guy Eddie’s because they have that amazing KISS mural painted on the wall. Before we got here we stopped into Slainthe for a pint and also the Bowery Poetry club but I neglected to take any photos of that.
There are two murals actually, and here is the best one. Sadly we did not opt to go inside for a pint during their Happy Hour. We had some other missions to accomplish while down here. I do recommend you dropping into NGE’s if you have a chance. The food is good and the beverages refreshing on super hot days like this.
Our next stop was Rivington Music Studios which is owned and operated by the family of a great supporter of the PiercingMetal.com efforts. The guys in Naked will be returning in July for some more shows and they would need to rehearse and tighten up the show for their audiences.
Joe set us up with a couple of cold beers which we eliminated in minutes based on the heat outside and then it was time for a little fun that I even got in the moment for. The studio is located on Stanton Street not far off Essex so if you are looking for a good space to play and get your stuff together be sure to tell them we sent you.
If you are a musician the other great thing about this part of the Lower East Side is the proximity of a number of cool venues to perform at. You might have heard us reviewing shows at Arlene’s Grocery and Mercury Lounge and each of these places are a stones throw from places like The Cake Shop, The Living Room and Piano’s. There are plenty more but these three were our focus on this mission. Here is Muff in front of the Cake Shop. Sadly he was not allowed to see the actual venue space when we popped in.
Next up was The Living Room and this place has probably the larger venue space in terms of the people it can hold. It didn’t seem to be the kind of place for a Rock band like Naked, but it was good to see.
Here is Muff in front of Piano’s NYC which he liked and felt might be a good room for the bands show. This space let us check out the actual stage and talk to the booking people. Always good things to have happen. Yes Muff is pretending to play the piano in the photo I snapped.
We then walked over to Arlene’s Grocery but I didn’t take a photo. We did go in and close out our missions for the day as accomplished and enjoyed a few more pints of Blue Moon ale. All of these venues are around Stanton Street and Ludlow if you are a performer who also wants to look into them. The band Naked returns in July for some more East Coast US Touring and if you want to get into their sound you can order their album on MP3 via the Amazon.com link below. Give it a shot, its perfect for fans of bands like old KISS, Cheap Trick and others like that.
Official Website: http://www.nakedonline.net
PS: At the beginning of the narrative I mentioned my doing something like this with a couple of the guys in The 69 Eyes and should you want to check out that particular piece you can just click THIS LINK.