L&A takes *another* bite out of the Big Apple

Life & Art Editor

Last year at this time, a cab driver named Ho Phat was taking us to the Hilton New York to experience whatever awaited us within the confines of the CMJ Music Marathon 2002. It was brinking on Halloween. Things all-around were a little darker, there seemed to be more devils, real and costumed, on the subways, which rattled unfamiliar-like like the school bus in A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2.

Now, we were all a little older, more caught up in the music than ever, brinking on graduation, more social. Dreams and reality seemed closer together, blending in happiness. To icing it off, the Marlins were looking to take the Yankees in the World Series, which made the wind-chill that much more bittersweet.

Not that this four day trip wouldn’t be bananas and filled with endless shots, make out sessions, severe hangovers, pizza pies, hoodies, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, rap, strangers, pitchers, cabs, metro cards, and glorious band encounters.

Upon getting into the first elevator at the hotel is when I think we overheard fellow CMJ-ers saying that Elliot Smith had stabbed himself in the chest until the life had leaked from his body and tormented mind. No, this trip would definitely overtake the last one: we immediately copped 40ozs and blasted the Rapture and the Stills into oblivion to make damn sure of it.

WED: Off to see the Natural History in Brooklyn at SouthPaw, a trio of NYC residents that cooked up a wonderful EP stacked with hot tracks last year on BK label Startime International (pre-Northern State, mind you haters), before buttering it up with an entire LP this summer. It was all rolling stone heartfelt boogie, resonating lyrics and a nice kickoff, even though Brooklyn turned into a neverending abyss of blurred walking and mumbling afterwards. Damn people. Keep a pace. Three more days.

THURS: Walking down a street the next day in SoHo, some bearded passerby wearing a “Fuck Barry Bonds” T-shirt and sunglasses and shorts growls “Real men wear shorts,” with a fist clinched in Kevin’s face like Dick Nixon. What? Everywhere we walk, Kevin’s body is being swallowed by two story Will Ferrells dressed up like Elf. Wheat pasted posters for the release of Echoes are everywhere.

Every kid is reading the latest free copy of VICE. Every other person is reading. There is text all over the sidewalks: The Village Voice, the Post’s World Series coverage (“Do or Die”), infinite ‘zines. Visit Supreme, 274 LaFayette St., cop that new hat(s) with chain print, visit the VICE store, 252 Lafayette St., cop a free mag and a flyer ’cause that shit is expensive, son!

It’s on to the Jason Nocito and Kai Regan photo exhibit at Bronwyn Keenan Gallery, 3 Crosby Street, to chat with the former (see page 12) and chug free Buds. The door is metal and all black. It is freezing. The elevator holds seven people max, like hipster Clue. Cool parents are pushing their babies in cute strollers around cool hipsters and observing the eye-popping prints. The Clash is playing.

It’s on to the addVICE barbeque at the 169 Bar, 169 E Broadway, where the super cool Nadine G