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New York Cool - Music

TAB the Band and Some Other Band
(Be sure to read the entire review)
Webster Hall's Studio
December 6th, 2008
Written and Photographed by John Hashop

Tony Perry of Tab the Band

The following review is taken verbatim from my Moleskin pocket tablet.

Hemingway used a Moleskin.

12:00 - I roll in at midnight even though it said TAB was going on at 11:30. They are just warming up on stage. I am getting good at timing these things.

12:05 – It's an indie film premiere party and the young crowd is dressed up in, what else, indie chic. Actually, this may be the skinniest, youngest, palest audience I've been part of in a while.

12:06 – I mean, everyone is really young. Verging on Jonas Brothers young. Note to self: do not buy a drink for any girl who can't produce two government-issued IDs.

12:14 – A few warmup chords from TAB and the girls rush the stage screaming. Guitarist plunks out the theme from “Green Acres” and there is more screaming. I think that pretty much defines a homer crowd.

12:20 – OK, seriously someone in the band's 9th grade sister has invited all her friends. More screaming and the show hasn't even started.

12:23 – Film director thanks everyone for coming out. Urges everyone to tell their friends about the movie and to “get wasted”.

12:27 – Set starts nearly thirty minutes after I show up. Maybe I'm not as good as I think about timing these things. Bass immediately drowns out the frontman and all the other instruments, including, believe or not, the drums. This is a first for me. Have no idea if this is a good song or not. Vocals absolutely nonexistent. Seems fun though.

12:29 – Plastic airplane in lead singer's hand. Not sure why. He starts zooming it around, and the song devolves into mush.

12:31 – I realize I've left all three pairs of earplugs at home. Again. I'm going to have all of Pete Townshend's hearing problems and not quite the body of work.

12:36 – I've tried unsuccessfully for three songs to get a decent shot of the band, but the stage is a dim, uneven red wash, lit like a church basement production of No Exit. I realize I ought to write a few notes about the, you know, music.

12:40 – Can't decide if I like these guys or not. They are a lot of fun to watch, and anyone bored with his or her cardio routine might ask if they can sit in with the band one night. Lot of jumping going on. Gotta be honest – hard to make a judgment call on this. Vocals have been overpowered all night. Can't understand a single word. Solid musicians all around and they play well together, though. Songs fairly quirky and disjointed on the whole so not everyone's glass of absinthe.

12:45 – Everyone nearby staring at me writing & shooting. If anyone asks, I've decided to say I'm doing a feature for the Russian edition of Rolling Stone. If they ask why I'm taking notes in English? Google Translate.

12:52 – Lead singer wearing space helmet now. Not sure why. Going to try to get some more shots.

1:02 – No joy. Waited for guitarist to bend down by his pedals – the only decently lit part of the stage. Last song of the night is their best one. Forty-five seconds of reggae shift into a driving pop beat with lots of piano.

1:06 – Show over. I have acquired maybe a single usable shot and a rather poor grasp of what this band is all about. I'll need to check out their studio stuff at home. TAB seems to know what they are doing even if I, I confess, can't see it. All in all, a blown night in New York.

1:19 – Dear God. Another band is setting up. I think they are TAB. I was all packed up and on my way out the door. I really don't know what to say. I've just spent the last hour trying to review a fairly unreviewable performance and get some clean photos. “Idiotic” is, I believe, the mot juste.

1:21 – I am finding it fairly ironic right now that I write for New York “Cool”. How awesome would it have been to have given a blah review about the wrong band? I guess I need to find out who those guys were. I guess I also need a drink.

A Helmeted Bryan Scary

1:24 -- They're called Bryan Scary and the Tear Shredders ( Congratulations to them on winning a free non-review.

Adrian Perry of Tab the Band

1:35 – TAB is on. They rock.

1:48 – There is nothing whimsical or hard-to-classify about TAB. Straight up rock and roll, jagged guitars with maybe just a hint of country-rock twang. Always nice to see a frontman playing bass, by the way. I see a lot of “alternative” acts, niche bands, acoustic sets galore, and I have to say it's very comforting to go see an unpretentious, flat-out rock band. TAB throws down tightly-structured songs with, if you can believe this, actual verses, prechoruses, refrains, bridges and then a 16-bar solo two-thirds through. Shocking.

I highly recommend checking them out. Their website ( is as good a place as any to start.

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