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Friday, May 24, 2013

Youngblood Hawke, Santos Party House 5.13.13

The Strobe @ Santos Party House
As a father of an active 10 year old let me state the obvious, it can difficult to get a night out.  Without family nearby we often employ "sitters" to watch her for a few hours.  As a parent of a higher maintenance, 18 month old Whippet, the "sitter" often spends more time with him, than my child.  It is a juggling act to get coverage on a Friday or Saturday night.  Weeknights are an ever greater challenge.  We are fortunate to have good friends and neighbors who let us act like children more often than your average suburbanite.  There are folks in town who NEVER get to NYC for a night out.  Why on Earth would you live in the footsteps of America's greatest city if you refuse to enjoy its cultural, intellectual and spiritual rewards?  That's a different story.  Point is, it can be a challenge living here.  Even the "fun" times are burdensome.  For instance, when you add the babysitting costs to dinner, tolls, parking, and concert tickets a night out costs some serious coin.  That is all a very complicated way of saying you tend to have high expectations when you step out on the town.

A few Mondays I drove into NYC for work, back out to make school pick up, feed dinner, set up for practice, meet up with partners in crime, then back into NYC, meet with other partners...  then away we go.  No violin necessary, but the whole thing can be a bit taxing for someone at my advanced age.  Your damn right it's easier to couch and watch bad tv until you fall asleep around 9.   Sometimes that is a lot more satisfying believe me.  Which brought us to Santos Party House in Lower Manhattan.

Or, likely, will never get us back to Santos Party House.

It started with a phone call earlier in the day to the venue itself.  "What time will Youngblood Hawke come on?" I asked.

"Um, 9pm they are on." the daffy teenage girl informed me.

Seemed about right.  The doors opened at 7:30.  Figure an opening act could play a half hour set at 8 and YBH would be up and running on schedule.

We rolled back into town around 7 which gave us a nice 2 hours to otherwise have a drink and attempt to be merry.  Santos Party House is in an awful part of town.  It is a few blocks north of City Hall.  After 5pm the place is deserted.  Law and Order MUST film all their crime scenes here.  It is a mix of scaffold, trash, closed storefronts and empty promises.  1970s Times Square is embarrassed of this place.

Dinner ended up several blocks away near Bowery, Mercury Lounge, Little Italy.  Right, why not just go a show up there then?

Brinkley's Pub hosted our dinner the week before when we saw The Neighbourhood @ Bowery.  They have an impressive beer list with several local offerings on draft.  After two visits though it is hard to imagine ever eating there again.  The first time there was a tragic mis-order that involved a burger that tasted nothing like beef.  Worse, the texture totally fooled me.  Imagine taking a sip of what you believe to be iced cold lemonade and getting a thick, chocolate milkshake.

830 or so we were in line to get into Santos.  The place is small.  Capacity is 570, so they say.  They allow about 4 or 5 people in at a time.  But wait, you show ID outside, then go in to scan ticket, then wait back in line to get stamped and allowed in by another bouncer.  Some of this process can, and should be done outside.  After all the inside lobby is smaller than most studio apartments closets.  It was one of those weird, windy May evenings too.  Maybe it was 50 degrees once the sun went down.  The ladies had coats.  We were directed to a downstairs area that promised restrooms and coat check.

There were restrooms.  Coat check did not exist.

OK, maybe we will just get one drink and calm down a bit from the added frustrations.  Santos has two bars on opposite sides of the adorable little dance floor and tiny stage.  The beer choices are limited and the liquor even more odd.  No drinks for us!  Only Dos Equus on their 8 taps!!???  Odd choice to say the least.

Fine, it's 8:59.  The music will be on soon.

And it was!  But it wasn't Youngblood Hawke.

Some nice kids called The Colourist came on stage.  They did fine and had a girl drummer who was spunky, talented and easy to watch.  Drummers who sing continue to amaze and impress me.  The sound and feel for the club were ok during their set.  There were moments I felt the place could be special.

Then, at 10pm, and jam freaking packed, Youngblood Hawke came to stage.  With coats in hand
we all felt the temperature rise.  We may have already been too hot (under the collar.)  A few happy, feel good songs later, including the sugary sweet "Stars, the couch came calling.  Sometimes you have to cut your losses.

We never made it to "We Come Running," the massive hit that put these guys on the map.  Maybe it's too much girl and guy singer- Grouplove, Givers, Naked and The Famous come to mind.  Maybe it's too many drums on stage- Foster the People, White Rabbits, Gotye for example.

I love the 80s, believe me.  I also believe bucking trends, showing originality, standing apart...

It all felt too familiar, except in a dumpy part of town in a club we weren't really digging.

Mondays can be bad, but we don't need to pile on.

When we left the venue for some fresh air we were greeted with this scene.
Seemed fitting.  I see toy dogs smaller than these things.  Rats I tell ya!  We will get em next time.

NY clubs you should know says NYU Local. Amazingly Andrew WK's Santos Party House is on it. Apparently I am too old

The Colourist

Youngblood Hawke, 5.13.13

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