It’s Been a While Since I’ve Seen You Smile
All those faces of friends that are family and strangers who are friends appeared once again this past Saturday for the first Ellis Ashbrook show since August, and the first New York area show since July, and there was excitement in the air… some might call it electric.
Almost 100 people paid their cover for EA at the door of The Bowery Electric, on the world famous right-of-way of the same name, three doors down from the gone-but-not-forgotten birthplace of the New York punk and new wave scene in the 70s and 80s; when the Bowery was truly ELECTRIC. I write of CBGB’s, of course, the little club that birthed a worldwide scene of cool-defiance sticking it to the status-quo. It’s hard not to think of those times in our times, as the status-quo has ushered a new world order in the form of fascism Trumping freedom on another famous right-of-way about three miles uptown: These are frenetic times.
In addition to all of that, there have been some local developments of a frenetic nature. The 4th, still untitled, Ellis Ashbrook album is… drum roll Alex… FINISHED. That’s right mein froinds, DONE with a capital D.—Mixed, mastered, ready for the lathe and laser! If you’ve been anticipating this day, your wait will soon be over. If you’ve been patiently awaiting a return on your generous Kickstarter donation, that’s also coming soon… will anyone be eating a lucky charms bagel at The Space Palace this spring? We shall see.
Also, there will be more shows, and dare I say it… Parties?! Yes yes, y’all, while nothing is official yet, I would expect in the not too distant future the old Space Palace machine might get cranking and wheezing and gearing up for some kind of celebration. Stay tuned here or at ellisashbrook.com for up-to-the-minute information, musings, and romance advice; like this little nugget: ment is not a word, but cement, augment, and foment are. You can thank me later.
Also, there is a new arrival to the stage and scene in the form of guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Dan Keller. A native of Long Island, Dan rounds out the band’s north-eastern sensibilities with a double shot of pure strength and fire… seriously though, check out the gun show on this guy, it makes all of us feel a little uneasy quite frankly. If he decides that anyone deserves noogies or a headlock, we’re basically finished, and let’s be honest, all of us deserve at least that—some of us (ahem) perhaps a bit more.
Dan has been brought in to fill out the guitar lines by providing another layer of rhythm and harmony as a counterpoint to John Barber. Additionally, he will be filling in the gaps on keys, covering many of Natalie Lowe’s parts, while adding another layer of vocal harmony and taking leads when necessary. His voice is like the fine hair that grows from the chin of a mountain goat… silky. And like a mountain goat, I am certain Dan has sure footing on the cliffs of Dover. But can he play the Cliffs of Dover? That’s the question.
Regarding the disappearance of a certain Natalie Lowe, expect her to appear on milk cartons and the wall of a post office near you any day now. Due to extensive mid-western flooding, the boat she was on cast adrift into the great sea of Iowa. I heard she struck dry land and can be found under a Light Bulb with Shoulders on her mind, but that’s just hearsay. Should you pass through those parts on Two Wheels (or four) and need to complete an affidavit, she might be able to help—as she has Two Jobs. As far as her return is concerned, I am not sure about that, no one really is, I doubt she even knows. If I were you, I’d call her directly and ask her Why High I? to get the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say. Giddyup!
Oh right, the show! THE SHOW! The show was fucking HUGE. The room was packed to the back wall, Czech Steve was rocking the liquid lights, the gin drinks were flowing from the bar straight into my belly, and the rock and roll show was in full effect. You know I love a good rock and roll show, I mean hey, who doesn’t?! The bottle of rocket sauce was extra full after the six-month hiatus; John, Alex, Jon, and Dan were clearly ready to deliver that saucy treat right onto your melted face, Mr. Walrus… no time for epiphanies, or celibate stints in the ministry, this is serious shit that requires you to put your pants on two legs at a time. That’s right, you heard me, both legs at once. Stop complaining; play like a champion.
If you missed this show (you know who you are) there is nothing to worry about! Ellis returns triumphantly to the familiar environs of Arlene’s Grocery in the LES for another rock and roll slaughter fest on Tuesday, February 7th. Don’t miss it, Cholo.
Saturday, January 28, 2017: THE BOWERY ELECTRIC, New York, NY
Set: Therefore However and So Forth, Accelerator, Slide, When Will This End?, On, Climax, Absolute Value
Encore: Savior Self
 Happy Birthday shout out to Elena Carey
 Shout out to the Robert P. Teten III family in the front row
 With John on keys