Wakey! Wakey!

September 21st, 2007

Just after midnight. Back of a cab. Houston & West Broadway.

Years and years ago I walked this same cross street with an ex. I remember it well. It was deep winter. The sky was grey like concrete. It was bitter cold. See your breath, break your bones, bitter cold. I don’t think was the cold, or the scenery, but we broke up shrtly thereafter.

I’m on Sixth and 8th Street now. And I’m burying the lede.

I just saw one of the most exciting show of the last ten years of late-night, beer-soaked, New York City small-stage shows: Wakey! Wakey!

Holy shit!!! As I wrote for MTV News’ citizen journalism site You R Here:

I love this guy! He claps to the beat of his own songs! Who (un-ironically) claps anymore!?!

Floppy hair? Check.

High cheek bones? Check.

Dress shirt under t-shirt? Check.

Ironic tie? Check.

Esoteric, multi-ethnic band? Check.

Witty, self-depricating banter with adorable bassist? Check.

AND the dude plays piano! And hits the money notes! With grace and style and theatrical flair! Who’s the last guy you can think of who nails that criteria? And who sings — convincingly AND melodically — lyrics like “What will your legacy be?”

Wakey! Wakey! (otherwise known as Mike Grubs), Ladies and Gentlemen.

In a word: Wow. Ear to ear smiles. Seriously good stuff. And good dude. Get thee to his next show (next Thursday at Rockwood Music Hall). Trust me.

Everyone was there: Ken Rockwood (The Owner), Tommy (The Booker), Casey, Wes and Andy from Sundown (who are on their way to London for ten days, though Casey’ll be back to rock Abbi and my wedding), my pals Tony and Ryan (fast becoming the most sought after rhythm section in New York), plus a who’s who of local singer/songwriters: Wynn Walent, Kyle Irvin, Paula Vallstein. Wow. Talented room.

Still, for me, it was all about Wakey! Wakey!