When we have small chunks of days off between tours, we call it shore leave. Between AuZealand and Europe there was a single week in New York City.
“Gentlemen, you know the drill,” Darwin instructed Greg and I as we parted ways at JFK. “Enjoy shore leave. Come down hard, swan dive, etc., and we’ll see you next Wednesday.”
At one point during the week, I saw James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem sitting right in front of me on the L train. I had an interesting psychological dilemma. One half of me was deeply aware of how draining it can be for Darwin to be constantly recognized and ogled and approached. That part of my conscience told me, “Let him be.” But the other half of me was helplessly amused with my celebrity run-in. I couldn’t resist stealing a third glance, a fourth glance, a fifth glance at the musician, who seemed to be nervously, protectively avoiding eye contact with the other passengers.
Darwin and I and our friend Angela did end up meeting during shore leave. We were so fond of our Yakitori dining in New Zealand that we decided to give it another go in New York. After all, at that first NZ restaurant, the band had agreed, “if you didn’t know what country we were in, you’d swear we were eating on St. Marks.” So we actually did find a Yakitori restaurant on St. Mark’s, and, upon investigation, learened that the interior was substantially grittier, unmistakably New York.
After dinner, Darwin and Angela and I went and saw Friends (US tour mates, see January / February blog) open for Dan Deacon at 285 Kent. Friends played their cover of “My Boo”, and in US tour tradition, Darwin jumped in for a rap during the drum break.
“That was the most bona fide hipster audience I’ve ever performed to,” he hollered over the music, hopping off the stage. “Real Williamsburg Dan Deacon style hipsters.”
“How many of the people in this room do you think are the haters from the Brooklyn Vegan comments section?” I speculated.
“Every last one of them,” Darwin smiled.