22 May 2007

Monday Night At The Cake Shop

I'd heard about the Cake Shop before, quite a few times in fact, but I'd never gotten a firm grasp on exactly what it was or did. And now, having finally been there, I must admit that I still don't know; being so late for last night's show, I rushed through so quickly on my way to the downstairs venue that I failed to take proper notice of what was going on around me.

On my way out, I did observe that they had some actual cakes - cupcakes, anyway - for sale. Hallie Unlovable even bought one and transported it back to Brooklyn, and I must admit to looking a bit longingly at it as it lurked atop her suitcase of unsold merch. But what else? Apparently the Cake Shop is also a bar, and if its website is to be believed, a record shop. The upstairs is nicely lit, comfortable, and remarkably quiet considering the punk rock mayhem taking place one floor beneath. People seemed to be just sort of lounging about as it it were an extension of their living room, which is a nice quality in a city where most people can't afford living rooms of their own.

Downstairs nearly the entire PPMB crew was there to witness appearances by Defect Defect, For Science, hometown heroes the Unlovables, and touring bands the Copyrights and the Methadones. I missed the first two (people were raving about Defect Defect, but to be fair, they're always raving about something), and got there just in time for the Unlovables (or the Steinlovables, or Unloveaways, as Carla Monoxide put it, since they consisted of two Unlovables and two Steinways, Chris Grivet on drums and Grath McGrath on guitar). It was a good combination in any event, as the band has seldom sounded tighter.

The Copyrights, one of America's most exciting (relatively) new pop-punk bands, didn't disappoint, though if one wished to quibble, they could have done a few more songs from their classic Mutiny Pop album rather than concentrate on mostly new material. And the Methadones, fronted by the legendary Dan Vapid, were hampered by a sound mix that seemed to emphasize the bass guitar (which was outstandingly played, true, but still...) over the guitars and vocals. Great band nonetheless. Another odd thing: I'm so used to hearing the Methadones on my iPod "at the gym" mix that through most of their set I felt as though I should be lifting weights or rocking the cross trainers.

Apparently whoever's in charge of the Cake Shop had been reluctant to host this show or any like it because he's "not into pop-punk," but hopefully last night's crowd will change his mind, because it really was a sweet bunch of people, not an iota of trouble, and barely a smidgen of drunkenness even. Of course for an establishment that makes its money selling booze, an absence of drunkenness might not be the most favorable augury, but this bunch were putting the beer away at the sort of measured pace you might expect on a Monday night. There was no sign of the falling about antics that characterized the Friday night show, which made things all the more enjoyable for me. Plus you could talk to each other in between sets, unlike the Lit Lounge, where they seem to think everybody wants to have their brains rattled out of their sockets nonstop for five hours.

Near-universal verdict: the Cake Shop is a bit of all right, and would be an excellent venue to host future shows. All credit and honor to Frank Unlovable for setting this deal up and making it run smooth as silk all through the evening. Five bands, and we were still out the door in plenty of time for the working people to get home and get a decent night's sleep. Even the L train cooperated; we "only" had to wait about 15 minutes for a train, and though it was packed pretty tight, we still had a reasonably pleasant ride back to Brooklyn, we being myself, Hallie, her friend Samantha, and the aforementioned cupcake.


Joe Evans III said...

I hype up Defect Defect, but that's because they're actually good.

Also, I saw the sleeveless blog; I'm not offended by the skinny comment as much everyone insisting on calling me "JoeIII" - I mean, I have a REAL name too!

Larry Livermore said...

Yes, but JoeIII is UNIQUE.

Psmith said...

Writing Joe (3 I) in this font looks like you're yelling for a guy named Joel. Joellllll!

Larry Livermore said...

Yes, Psmith, but I didn't write it in that font. Perhaps you need to change the font you are viewing it in!

Or would you suggest that I change it to Joe3i?