The Re-Invention Of Monday Night

June 10th, 2008

Lower East Side, NYCIf you asked me to script a better preamble for the release of “The Invention Of Everything Else,” I’d be hard pressed.

I dropped the album art (created, like most things, in that three-hour zone of sleeplessness that strikes me most nights) onto Engine Room Audio’s FTP, dashed off an email (“Leaving Now!”) and raced out the door.

Times Square was sweltering. The JumboTron read 102°. Traffic and pedestrians were moving lugubriously. I had no time to waste, though; Engine Room — some 60 blocks south — closed in just 34 minutes.

The subway platform was overflowing with straight-faced straphangers, all gazing uptown for their train. I hopped the first to arrive, a local, and dialed up “The Invention Of Everything Else” on my iPod. It was just my second listen to the new record, my first with headphones. It sounded great, and made me smile. Though after a few tracks, I opted out. Even if I did shear something I didn’t like, it was too late; I was speeding towards replication.

Engine Room is located on the corner of Canal and Lafayette, there on the edge of Chinatown. The sidewalk was teeming with tourists seeking knocked off purses, watches, and belts. I took to the street, strode towards the corner, raced up four flights, and greeted my friend, Katie, there.

“Six minutes to spare!”

“The Invention Of Everything Else” CDs — jewel case, clear tray, 4/4 two-panel and tray card — will be done Monday night, just in time for next Wednesday’s 9pm Rockwood Music Hall release.

Back onto Canal, I took a deep breath (ill advised on a street crowded with sweaty people and sweatier garbage, but relaxing just the same) and headed uptown to meet Abbi for dinner. En route, I listened to The Damnwells, and took in summer in the city. The sun was setting. The city was pulsing. Everything felt beautiful, alive and real. I walked along Roosevelt Park, there between Chrystie and Forsyth, and watched the sun through the trees. I pulled out my camera to take a photo, and noticed a the detailing in the fence. There, in the center of one of New York’s grittiest, sketchiest neighborhoods, hewn in brick and steel, was a wrought-iron heart.

With a smile on my face, and a half hour to kill before meeting Abbi, I stepped into Marshall Stack (a pub on Allen Street), ordered a pint of Coney Island Lager, and exhaled.

It was done. The recording, overdubbing, mixing, and mastering; the album art, posters, buttons, press pics and releases. It was all done.

I met Abbi at a hip, dark restaurant on the corner of Allen and Delancy called, well, Allen & Delancy. We enjoyed a few drinks (Victory Pilsner for me, rose for the wife), shared an app (sea scallops in carrot puree) and entrees (me: cod, Abbi: risotto). It was our first date in weeks. It was a cool, crisp, mellow finish line.

A few blocks north, Chris Abad was just taking the stage as we stepped into Rockwood Music Hall. With Tony Maceli and Jamie Allegre at his side, and his electric strapped to his chest, he barreled through a blistering set of new tunes (“No Glory”), solo chestnuts (“Dyer Avenue”), and Dough favorites (“Codependent Codefendant”). The guys were on fire. And having a ball.

Best of all, Chris — God bless ’em — shouted me out from the stage, kindly calling me “the most prolific dude” he knows, and hyping next week’s show.

“If you like what you’re hearing tonight,” he said, “Be here next Wednesday. It’ll be like this but, um, with a different guy in front.”

Chris’ show was a veritable who’s who of New York City singer/songwriters: Jeff Jacobson, Jamie Leonhart, Andy Mac, Misty Boyce, and Lara Ewen were all on hand.

With a ringing ears, a dizzy head, and a full heart, we hailed a cab, and sped uptown into the early minutes of tomorrow.

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall

Chris Abad @ Rockwood Music Hall