SuperDee's House

Friday, November 10, 2006

East Meadow in the House!

About 8 months ago I got "found" on myspace by a friend from my hometown whom I haven't from since high school graduation many moons ago. It took me a few minutes to find the 17 year old boy in these grizzly photos on his myspace page, but sure enough, it was East Meadow's only Andrew Friedman (sorry... ANDY... he goes by "Andy" now). This is someone I've known for *gasp* 25 years (is that even possible??) and once the connection was made it was a thrill to see what he'd been doing for the last 13 years (including cartoons for the New Yorker).

Anyway, to make a long story longer, I find out he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and new baby. This came just at the point when I was beginning to make my transition back to New York from San Francisco. I was really excited to catch up with Andrew (er...uh..Andy...I'll get used to it) and once we did get together, it was like no time had passed. Really nice how that happens with old friends.

Fast forward to November 2006 (last night, to be exact), I finally was able to go see Andy's band live. He and his band, The Other Failures, just got off a Southeastern swing where they were touring and promoting Andy's new record, Taken Man. When I walked into the door at Bowery Poetry Club last night, the opening band was still on the stage. What I didn't realize is that it was ANOTHER band with guys from East Meadow! Common Rotation is actually based in L.A. now but features E.M. alum, Adam Busch on vocals and Eric Kufs on guitar (and lovely harmony with Adam) with Jordan Katz (also from E.M.) on trumpet. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans might recognize Adam - he's come a really long way since nailing the role of Pippin back in '92! (Sorry, Adam... had to do it.) Anyway, here they are:

Next up was Andy Friedman & The Other Failures... Andrew always had such amazing artistic talent but I never really thought of him as a musician (although, now that I am thinking back, he did play saxophone in the band with Mr. Bonasera). He was the guy that drew on everything and probably won some superlative like "Best Guy Who Draws Cool Stuff" in the high school yearbook. What I'm finding as I go through life is that true artists have a talent that bridges across mediums as there is a neverending flow of creativity and the outlets are essential.


Andy got on stage and began to snarl and growl and do this rockabilly, Johnny Cash thing and I was thinking, how did this nice boy from Long Island get so surly? Ever since I've known him, he had a sense of humor that was way ahead of his time. This has carried on into his performance as his lyrics are thoughtful and clever and funny and they are delivered with such a scrappy personality. A full on sing-along almost broke out with one chorus that goes a little something like this, "Guys like me don't get grants, writing poems in my underpants." It was awesome to see Andy put himself out there like that! I gotta say, the band kinda rocked, too, with a lap steel for that country twang and his other guitarist dishing out some awesome surf rock sounds.

All in all, a great night for people from East Meadow and live music lovers on the Lower East Side. Check out Andy here: andyfriedman.net and myspace.com/otherfailures. I'm just now getting my first taste of the record, Taken Man, which is available through all sorts of avenues including our faithful Rhapsody.

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