Party Ben’s Top 10 Stuff & Things, 3/30/07 – NYC Special!

Hello from New York! I’m here for a DJ gig, and so I figure why not make this Party Ben Top 10 a special New York edition. Unfortunately I’ve been here just 18 hours at this point, so it’ll be only slightly New York-y; plus due to limited computer time, I got no pictures and few links. But you’ll get the idea. Start spreading the news:

10. Put the Needle on the Record, WFMU/91.1FM, Fridays 3-6pm
Host Billy Jam has Bay Area roots, and his radio show (on while I’m typing this) has a Cali eclecticism. Right now he’s veering from weird avant-classical to Grandmaster Flash

9. The guy at the Red Flame diner who ordered anchovies on toast (“no butter!”) like it’s not the most insane thing ever in history
Maybe I’ll order, I dunno, monkey toes on tree bark. Actually the best thing was when he asked for decaf, “very hot please,” and the waitress goes, “What, it’s as hot as it is, you want me to put my finger in it?”

8. NY1’s breathless coverage of the chocolate Jesus
Oh, no! Scandalous sculpture! Let’s ask people on the street what they think about this controversial work of art! “Uhh, I dunno, I guess it’s okay;” “Ehh, to each his own,” “Can we eat it afterwards?”

7. AirTrain to LIRR from JFK
Charging $5 to exit the AirTrain is a little awkward, but it takes like 8 minutes, then you hop over onto a Penn Station-bound LIRR train for another $5, and you’re there in 20 minutes, even in rush hour. Total time from the moment of landing til I was happily ensconced in my hotel room on 45th: 53 minutes; total cost: $12

6. Wax Audio – “Maiden Goes to Bollywood” (mp3)
This Australian mashup producer (now living in Greece) is another “rising star” in the world of bastard pop, and this combo of Iron Maiden and Bollywood singer Sunidhi Chauhan is both hilarious and inspiring

5. TV on the Radio, live at the Fillmore, San Francisco, Wednesday 3/28/07
They’re a New York band, does that count? Not quite as transcendent as their stunning performance at the Independent last year, but still great; the encore where openers The Noisettes came on stage to bang various percussion instruments along with them was cathartic and awesome

4. Low – “Murderer” (from Drums and Guns on Sub Pop)
While this brooding and minimal Minnesota trio have been moving towards a more experimental sound for years, this album is still a bit of a leap, with most tracks using strange loops and machine beats. On this song, frontman Alan Sparhawk asks God to use him as a killer, with both personal and political overtones

3. Ed Banger showcase at the Hiro Ballroom, NYC, Thursday 3/29/07
The Paris label is probably putting out the best, and most rockin’, electro in the world right now, and while the event was a complete mob scene, just hearing Justice play records was worth it

2. Blonde Redhead23 (New album on 4AD out Tuesday 4/10)
The New York trio return with their most accessible album to date. Without losing their Sonic Youth-y edge or cinematic strangeness, they’ve made the songs more immediate and hypnotic. Highlights include the shoegazey title track and the more straightforward “Publisher”

1. Drinking after 2am
If you actually live here, maybe you start to think of it as a horrible temptation or a mockery of your workaday lifestyle, but when you’re just hanging out, not having to worry about grabbing your last beer by 1:50 is such a relief. What? It’s 3:47? I’d like another vodka tonic please. No problem! The night, she is young!