Brain Damaged

Note to bands: If you want a good review, it's probably not a smart idea to drop your mic stand on a writer's head. A.R.E. Weapons, already on my shit list for simply having manager Paul Sevigny as a band member, were just three seconds into their set at the Park two Thursdays ago when hairy lead singer Brain McPeck dropped his heavy, metal wand on my skull. Thud. Nobody moved. Nobody did anything. I shoved the hipsters in attendance aside (really, swatted at the little, annoying fleas) so I could find a seat. And then an ice pack. And then I moaned. I filed an incident report with the nice manager while across from us a table caught fire. Whatta night.

A friend said, "Sue the pants off of Paul Sevigny." I replied, "I'd rather Paul keep his pants on."

It's amazing how well trained I am to spot celebrities I don't give a flying F about. Even in pain I glimpsed Albert Hammond Jr. from the Strokes at the bar, and Chloë, sister of the aforementioned Paul, looking like a trashy ballerina (that's supposed to be a compliment) and watching her bro suck from the side of the stage. Somebody solve this club-kid riddle: Why is Chloë cool and Paul so not?

Anyways, can I tell you how much I loathe A.R.E. Weapons and I haven't even heard a single song? Besides, their cool-est member, Thomas, a/k/a the Mammal (formerly of the Wicked Crew), bailed on them months ago.

Nightclubbing is hazardous to your health, and not for the obvious reasons. Another friend took a spill at Pianos two Saturdays ago for the 21st Century Bodyrockers party and left with a lovely bloody lip. And if her experience there was anything like mine, it was just the icing on the cake.

Upstairs, things were jumping. Erol Alkan of Trash played "Ring My Bell" and people did the unthinkable. They danced! The too-cool-for-school trendies dropped their stoic facades and shook their booties. Being an old lady, I sat down and watched everyone else get sweaty. But one guy wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and spiked wristbands remained unmoved: He took a brief disco nap, perhaps to signal his boredom.

Brits and models mixed it up downstairs, which was a riot of fashionistas forcing their way to the bar, the stage, the bar, the stage, the bar . . . exhausting. Next to us, professional clothes hangers Heidi Klum and Karolina Kurova held court sipping drinks. Amid the sea of Brits (all smoking illegally), you could spot Lisa Marie Presley's manager Scooter and Sheryl Crow. That is if you weren't trapped in the swell of people crushed up against the doors, trying vainly to get in to see 2 Many DJs. Every now and then, a huge man with dreads would inexplicably throw open the doors, shout at the crowd to move back, and then shut the doors. Two minutes later, he'd do it all over again. If I had been a paying customer, I'd have been right pissed. Hell, I wasn't a paying customer, and I was still pissed.

Later, a tall security guy shooed the smokers to the next storefront—and when I started talking with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, he shouted at us once again to move.

I asked Nick, "How is this fun?"

"I dunno," he replied. "But 60 people are staring at a door and nodding their heads."

We talked about more pleasant topics. Like being mobbed in England. "Total Beatlemania," he said. The trip was replete with 15-year-old fans wanting a piece of the Yeahs; a riot of kids waiting outside their tour bus for autographs; Nick signing and signing and signing and signing. The cover of NME, which was supposed to be of all three band members ("We even did two photo shoots," he says), was instead a picture from last year's Bowery Ballroom show. "An up-the-skirt perv shot" of Karen O, says Nick, who admitted to being a little embarrassed by all the fanfare, if only because their record wasn't out yet.

"It was weird." Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I left Nick to his own devices and headed to Max Fish for a quickie. Spotted Sean Lennon (wanted to talk to him about ganging up on Paul Sevigny; decided not to ruin his evening), and then it was off to the last lawbreaking, sleazy bar left in New York City. I will not divulge where it is or what it is called, except to say that it's a real hole.

Danced like a fool, till 4—or was it 5?—a.m. (who's counting?), when Felix Da Housecat (in town to work with Puffy, of course) ran in shouting, "I'm looking for some tequila!" Then "Don't write about this!"

You people suck.

We did shots, and soon the rest of the kids—Rory Phillips of Trash, James Murphy of DFA, Tommy Saleh of Tribeca Grand—showed up. (Note to self: When chiding other publications for name-spelling, one should make sure to spell her own boldface names correctly—or else keep her big, fat mouth shut. Sorry, Rory.)

I nudged a friend: "Break the law—chain smoke!" He did. The previous week he'd been there he asked for a cigarette from a guy in the bathroom, and was offered coke (no, not the soft drink). He demurred, but the next guy in line helped himself. With the door wide open. There is hope for this city after all.


tromano@villagevoice.com

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