I went out to TT's last night to see the Dresden Dolls, the Vanity Set, and Thalia Zadek last night. It was a very good show, much of which was due to the fact that I knew a lot of people there.
The main group I was curious about was the Vanity Set. This is a multi-instrumental band that's fronted by James Sclavunos; he's a percussionist for the Bad Seeds, and was one of the people that kick-started the No Wave scene in NYC - he was in 8-Eyed Spy and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and was the drummer for Sonic Youth on the Confusion Is Sex record. The music is a sort of hybrid ethnic/cabaret/oddball style, the rock instruments being augmented by violins, euphoniums, Theremins, or Ud's. Think Nick Cave's "The Carny," some of the weirder Firewater tunes, Motherhead Bug, later Tom Waits, and probably a few others that infest the nooks and crannies of New York (which seems to have a monopoly on this particular stylistic conglomeration). I happen to be a sucker for this type of thing, and they do it extremely well. It was appropriate that the Dresden Dolls opened for them, since they seem to have lifted most of their outlook from Kurt Weill; the violinist for the Vanity Set actually sat in with them on a couple songs. Even Thalia Zadek was far better than I expected - most of her post-Come stuff that I've heard has been acoustic guitar music, which I loathe, but she had a couple people sit in with her that made the whole thing much better.
I actually bought a Vanity Set CD off of James Sclavunos, and we talked for a few minutes. He's really one of the nicest guys you could ever meet - smiles easily, laughs easily, and seems eager to answer dumb-ass fanboy questions about his past (posed by myself, of course). He has less of an attitude than ninety percent of the people in local bands, and the local bands suck around here. The charm is compounded by the fact that he looks like Nick Cave's perverted uncle, as if you'd taken Colin Baker and stretched him out on a rack until he was seven feet tall and rail-thin.
I think I also met Brian from the Dresden Dolls, but I can't really remember for certain, because it was the end of the evening and I'd had about six rum and Cokes. Hope those guys don't find out about my old post where I mention them - I doubt very much that they'd appreciate the comment about killing Amanda in an alley and raping her dead body. Or anything else in that post, for that matter. Still, the guy seemed nice enough.
To change the subject... Al and I got a couple of drinks on Saturday, and he paid for a couple of beers to make up for dragging me into the shit with Jen. Even though he's not the one that dragged me into it. There really wasn't anything going on at the office where he and Jen worked and he's as astounded by this as I am. He doesn't have the job at Jen's office anymore, but apparently the office told his temp agency that he was just being let go for lack of work, so it's doubtful that he'll face any backlash from them. Thankfully.
So all's well that ends well, I suppose.