The Atomic Bitchwax
October 5, 2016
Gold Sounds Bar
This week, from Rock File editor Evil Kel, we get a trench warefare view of catching The Atomic Bitchwax in Brooklyn amid a clusterfuck of MTA problems. Thank god there was bitchin’ music, Turkish beer, and Punjabi food along the way.
We’re out in Bushwick, deep in the heart of old Brooklyn, to see The Atomic Bitchwax play live again, after catching a scorching set at St. Vitus in 2014.
They did not disappoint. The set was short, but we felt every note vibrating through our bodies. Cool new venue Gold Sounds Bar sported a slightly larger crowd and we were all in.
Getting there by train was another story…
Cool Steve arrives from PA and immediately hits the Doaba Deli on Columbus Ave, which serves up the best damn Punjabi food in town. We eat in Central Park before heading over to the watch tower where we down a mixture of green and red shishito peppers with an Efes Pilsen Turkish beer. We depart to the Cathedral Parkway station where we wait endlessly to ride the Gravy Train or the Crazy Clown C train. At Penn Station we’re informed of delays ahead in the form of “Police Investigation at West 4th Street” and the conductor barks orders to leave the local Clown train and take the 8th Avenue Express, which we do and wave goodbye to the Crazy Clown local, only to see it leave without us.
A New York Moment in a New York Minute.
We somehow make it to the 14th street L, it’s rush hour, the train is jammed with angry New Yorkers trying to make their way home after a long day at the slog and grind, and the L is too plagued with delays to go anywhere. Meanwhile, I get a text from Joe Popp telling me which station to get off if the train ever makes it to Brooklyn. Joe’s commuting from another part of Brooklyn, which has a different time zone, its own climate, rainy season, and what not. When he arrived at the Metropolitan station earlier, the L train wasn’t running in either direction. It was like, no dice no way. He gives up on the L at Metropolitan Ave, walks a mile and half to the Lantern Hall, and meets us for beers and some plates of deep fried calamari and sweet potato fries.
We find our way to Gold Sounds Bar at 44 Wilson Avenue, where Popp knows a guy from the opening band; they’re fun live, great energy, having a blast on stage. I’ll definitely support these guys again. The next band is just ok, their bassist isn’t playing anything that’s moving me. The third band was, well, as Steve put it, just a bunch of posers dressed in flashy clothes.
We leave the venue for a change of speed and pace and hit The Little Whiskey for beers and get back to Gold Sounds just in time for The Atomic Bitchwax. They open up with a sick cover of “In the Flesh” that just magically blends into one of their tunes. We wish the bunch of posers dressed in flashy clothes had stayed to watch how a real band plays their instruments, and we’re provided with some much-needed comedy by the members of the Bitchwax. The whole show is tremendous, I take a handful of pictures, but it’s you gotta be here to believe it and the essence of the whole deal is for the lucky ones in the audience. At the end of the set, the band is allowed one more song, but they play two, starting with “Pigs on the Wing (Part One)” and slip perfectly into “Pigs (Three Different Ones).”
A fitting end to a short but vibrant set.
We walk out of Gold Sounds triumphantly, say goodbye to Popp, who’s got a longer way home than we do, and we just hope the L train problems are a thing of the past. Cool Steve and I hop a cab and head back to Gotham, but more precisely to ground zero – the Doaba Deli. We grab a couple of orders of Samosa Chaat to go and some other food goodness for Stella and Scarlett. We hit Bob’s Your Uncle for the all important night cap. Two Coronas go very nicely with the samosa chaats, and some local personality buys the whole bar a round of whiskey shots. That’s not an offer one turns down, so we toast to the Bitchwax and getting to hang with Joe Popp.
Just before the night ends, I realize Oh shit, I think I’ve lost my credit card in Bushwick. I try calling Gold Sounds but the phone just rings and rings and there’s no one home, so I cancel the card right away and I’m assured I’ll have a new card in a few days.
It’s getting late and a good time was had by all, so we decide to call it.
Oh yeah, and thanks Joe Popp for finding the show!