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Isaac Gillespie is a cool dude. I met the cool guy earlier this year. He sang a song about cool things and it was cool. He knows cool. His cool band, The Due Diligence, has shows next week throughout New York City. It’ll be cool. -ed.

Alaina Stamatis

Last week I lost my car which feels about as stupid as it sounds. I just parked it somewhere and I couldn’t remember where (and no I wasn’t drunk, I don’t need to drink to make poor decisions). I had biked home from where I parked (the bike was in the car) and neglected to jot down the cross streets. Then I worked all day for the next five days straight, each day kind of thinking I’d see the car somewhere on my bike commute.

I parked the car on a Thursday and finally on the following Wednesday I had the day off so I was able to really scientifically criss cross the streets of Bushwick looking for this stupid car. It was a beautiful overcast morning with just a slight chill and as I went up and down the blocks I saw scene after scene of human drama playing out on the streets. It made me think of Alaina Stamatis who, among the many wonderful things she does, instagrams under the name fad_albert and she’s amazing. She captures these wonderful pregnant little moments (more more more) on the street in an affectionate and completely unpretentious light. It’s the kind of stuff I see sometimes but I’m just not fast or bold to try and catch. Or a lot of times that I just don’t see at all.Her insta feed always brings a little joy to my day and I highly recommend it.

But what I really want to talk about was the time Alaina was hosting a Valentine’s Day Fiona Apple Karaoke party. I swung by because you know I love Fiona and it was a pretty trippy sight. I don’t know what I was expecting but the room was probably about 86% Strong Independent Women and the Fiona tracks were streaming from YouTube. The YouTube video was projected against a white wall providing the only light in the room and often it was just a picture of Fiona’s face. So it’s kind of a weird scene, Strong Independent Women belting torch songs and basking in the superhuman glow of Fiona’s oversized radiant head.

I didn’t know Alaina very well and when I asked how to sign up somebody pointed at her. I waited for the karaoke singer to finish her song and went over.

“Hi, how do I sign up?” I asked.

“What’s your name?” Alaina asked, reaching both arms out.

“Uh, Isaac.” I responded. Was she going for a hug? It looked like she wanted me to hug her.

“Isaac what?” she said, reaching her arms out wider and taking a step toward me.

“Isaac Gillespie” I said, leaning in and giving her a hug. The hug back was lukewarm at best and as I leaned back I saw that actually there was somebody right behind me trying to hand her two microphones. What are the odds.

Alaina was cool, though. She just gave me the hug and said “You’re all set” before proceeding to slay “O’ Sailor” (She also sings in a band called the Jazz Massagers. I think the time I saw them on a roof they passed around a tray of joints on a silver platter before playing but I might be getting them mixed up with someone else).

Dances’ “Doc Youth” Video

My band the Due Diligence just put out a new album (“Are You Down“) and it’s our first on a label (Black Bell Records). Dances is also on that label, making us “label mates”. I’ve never had label mates before but I gotta say these guys are like the ideal.

They are so cool. Just a great live rock and roll trio everybody can play and they play well together. Their songs are well-constructed they’ve got great energy. Also really nice dudes.

But then there’s this video and it’s just out of this world. It captures the wacked-out playfulness of their music but it’s also just a weird wonderful fascinating watch. Honestly it reminds me most of the Godard film Weekend where surreal encounters keep degrading society more and more till everyone’s just living a feral existence out in the woods (spoiler alert).

Intergenerational Friendships

Hey, this is no joke. I know a lot of you people in your 20s and 30s and 40s feel like you’re going through some stuff and you are! Like for real meaning-of-life stuff. It’s all very confusing!

Well here’s one sure cure for the blues and it’s no joke. Just follow this one step: find somebody who was born in a year really really far away from the year you were born in; talk to them. I guess that’s kind of two steps but it’s worth it. It doesn’t even matter what direction the age difference is, as long as it’s sizeable. Older people will teach you that the shit you are going through passes and to remember to enjoy the good things cause they are passing, too. Very young (and go like very young) people will teach you that it’s normal that life is hard and you should be proud of all the things you’ve accomplished. They are learning to do all these things like (depending on age) reading, controlling basic impulses and being able to hold your head upright. All of that stuff is very very challenging to learn and if you’re an at least marginally employed adult you had to master all of it.

It’s pretty easy to find yourself in an age-bubble where people at similar stages of development amplify each others existential qualms, especially in a big city. Get outside, have a sweet convo with a baby or an old.

Mr. Twin Sister

Oops, I should have mentioned in last week’s column that Mr. Twin Sister was giving a two-day release party at Baby’s All Right for their eponymous new LP. Lots of sweet bands played and now you missed it but that’s ok cause it was pretty sold out anyway.

Thankfully you can still hear the album! Listen on Spotify and help them rack up those fractions of pennies. Or just buy the darn thing, it’s very very very good.

Some Updates from Last Week

Ticket Brother Responds

Last week I reported on my misadventures with Ticket Brother of Ticket Brother’s Secondhand Ticket Market. Really I was trying to address two issues:

1) Why, when a really sweet band like Mr. Twin Sister spends three years putting together an amazing album and live show are they selling tickets to sold out concerts for $15 (and then splitting those fifteen dollars with the venue, the promoter, their management, their booking agent and the cost of transporting gear and putting on a show) only to have a third party buy that ticket and then sell it again for $45. So the math goes:

Cool band + everybody who’s done any work on this event = sharing $15

Guy who bought a bunch of tickets and then emailed me one = pockets $30

2) I just think it’s funny that I kept being invited to like the Ticket Brother’s facebook page. Really truly, I mean this totally sincerely and I’m not trying to spread hate but I don’t like Ticket Brother’s. If it’s a service at all (and I’m not really convinced that it is) then it’s a service I begrudgingly put up with. I mean I think it’s a funny little quirk but to me this is endemic of a weird cultural place that we’re in where we’re unable admit that someone’s ripping us off, right? I mean not to get too “occupy” but what value does this entity create? None that I see. But people are liking the page! And posting pictures! And saying “thanks ticket brothers”! How did we get here as a society?

Anyway, when I posted last week’s Cool Report, I cheekily tagged Ticket Brother’s in my post. So I guess TB read the piece and responded:

Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 8.52.47 AM

To be fair! Ticket Brother’s did have the lowest price, which is why I bought from them. The service gets a C+ at best, it was a little frustrating but that’s another issue.

Really, I want to be clear, Ticket Brother. My thing is about hating the game, not the player. I don’t really have anything against Ticket Brother’s aside from shoddy grammar. I just don’t understand this facet of the music industry! Can anybody help? Seriously I want to know, why do we have a system where artists leave so much so obviously on the table?

Cop Car Varities

Last week I talked about how many different kinds of police cars I see in New York. Well here are two I saw this week:

Homeland Security


NY State Courts:

Does anybody else see these? Maybe we need a sweet hashtag, like #copcarvarities

Ok, folks that’s it for me! Due Diligence has a wily weekend 10/1617 &18 (Isaac solo) with back to back shows. Also planning something special for Halloween.

And don’t forget I’m doing a solo banjo performance at the Scott’s Rite Banquet Hall in Fort Lee, NJ this thursday in support of Glam legends HOT SHIT! Should be a good one!