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Widespread Panic Erupted In Washington Heights, and I Felt Like a Spreadneck Again

Written by David Callicott on . Posted in Music, Posts



When I emerged from the rabbit hole of the A train on Friday night, I found myself in an unwonted Wonderland. On the sidewalks of Washington Heights, the locals were all but invisible. They had been seemingly bodysnatched and replaced by swarms of good-humored white kids, none of whom I had met before, but all looking eerily familiar. Spreadnecks, I call them, lovingly—the confederacy of devotees of the Georgian rock band, Widespread Panic.

Although I had attended more than a few Widespread Panic concerts during my extended twenties (it took me at least five extra years to get through them), it had been nearly five years since my “retirement” show in Colorado. Despite the time and distance that had accumulated, as I stood on the corner of 175th and Broadway—which is uncharted territory to me—I felt surprisingly at home. I’m not sure if it was the stealthy commerce of homemade t-shirts and handshake drugs, or the whiskey-and-nitrous-fueled atmosphere of high-fives and bear hugs, but I couldn’t help but think, “These are my people.”

I crossed the street and made my way past shockingly non-frisking security guards into the historic United Palace Theatre. There the throng of Spreadnecks choked the lobby, gawking skyward at the baroque décor, where the ceiling and balustrades dripped with golden molding reminiscent of the Fabulous Fox, the ornamental Atlanta theater that formerly hosted Widespread Panic’s infamous annual New Year’s Eve parties.

When I found my seat, I again felt as if I were at a family reunion...

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Jukebox Heroine: Cat Power at Terminal 5

Written by David Callicott on . Posted in Music, Posts


There was plenty to bitch about at Cat Power's Wednesday show, and it begins, of course, with the venue. Terminal 5 remains an awful place to see a show. Only half of the 3,000-capacity crowd can find a spot that affords them both unobstructed views and good sound—the other half either can't see the stage or are stuck under low ceilings ruin the sonic quality.

That's if there is such a thing as sonic quality. Whoever was behind the soundboard on Wednesday had either skipped soundcheck or was asleep at the knobs, or was just plain incompetent. For almost the entire show, the backing Dirty Delta Blues Band's music took front-and-center, drowning out the vocals that had attracted the sold-out crowd; and feedback was so incessant that Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall, could not get through a single song without an ear-busting squelch interrupting her...

Read full "Cat Power" here.


Photo by Ryan Dombal
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Music To Wave Your Lighter To: The Drive-By Truckers Roll Though New York

Written by David Callicott on . Posted in Music, Posts

You know those TV commercials for monster truck rallies that scream, “POWER! POWER… POWER… THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, NIGHT… NIGHT…” Well, that was what I kept hearing in my ringing ears in-between songs this last Friday night at the Bowery Ballroom. This weekend the unapologetically southern Drive-By Truckers rolled through Manhattan for one of the last [&hellip
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