Macaulay Culkin & His Anti-Folk Friends played a ten minute set on Friday night as The Pizza Underground; a Velvet Underground cover band who instead of straight covering iconic tracks, insert pizza-esque lyrics to the amusement of all around.
Looking back on the (brief) evening, I was reminded of long gone North Six, 2003, and watching The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. "…Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now…"
My friend, Betsy, called it correctly: Macaulay Culkin + pizza + The Velvet Underground = A Hipster Trifecta. They played at Baby's All Right, a brand-new bar-restaurant-music-venue a stone's throw from Peter Luger in Williamsburg. Incompetent coat check? Check. More than one bar? Yes. Vintage cigarette machine? Indeed. Excellent design/LED light fixtures? Yep. Multiple partners/a Googleable chef, hardly been open a minute? It's all there. Throw in the chick from "Girls" who wore headdresses and made artisanal mustard and the two from "Portlandia" and you've got it. As I said to my friends, "This is the most Brooklyn moment I've had in awhile, and I belong to an organic farm share." I can't wait to go back.
Brief. Ten minutes. More like a line here, a line there. A mash-up live concert, if you will, with Kevin McCallister, grown up, playing the kazoo.
Group wore sunglasses.
YOU. COULD. NOT. GET. NEAR. THE. MUSIC. ASPECT. OF. THE. SPACE. So we sat like old ladies in the lounge and listened with our ears rather than our eyes. (Sorry for the no stage photos) (Turns out the lounge was the happenin' place post-set. We'll get there.)
All in good fun. They were competent at their instruments, but not life-altering. Obviously.
How much pizza can you eat? At all the pizza parties
Here she comes/you'd better hide your slice
Everybody knows she's a pizza gal
Sausages and cheese
Things she likes to eat
Better lock your door/or just order more
Hey pizza! Take a bite of the wild slice!
But wait, if it was ten minutes long, what else happened?
Well, if you were lucky to walk in the door prior to 7:45, you got free pizza! Williamsburg Pizza boxes littered throughout the nice new space. Two-liter bottles of orange, grape and strawberry soda lined the railings of banquets and the bar, and rolls of paper towels accompanied for your makeshift paper-plate. (Made me think back on LES days of yore at Welcome to the Johnson's and how they should have played that card regularly…nothing says rec room like grape soda.)
Oh, and after the set, Brooklyn's Most Awkward Dutch Ex-Pat In A Bad Warhol Wig sang, in earnest, by the DJ booth, by the bar, schmaltzy covers of "Run Run Run" and "I'll Be Your Mirror" with a karaoke backing track. Except the karaoke backing tracks were first generation karaoke-made, likely on a keyboard from K-Mart. So bad, there was no actual irony, and at one point, the house lights came on, which was our cue to make a graceful exit.
KEEP THE CHANGE, YOU FILTHY ANIMAL.