The Insane Luchadors: New Yorks Collective Encore
For the third year in a row, Marc Brownstein anchored a New York jam-session on January 1, serving as a collective encore for many of the musicians who rang in 2005 throughout Manhattan. Dubbed the The Insane Luchadors, the supergroup staged a two-set show at the Knitting Factory, featuring New Deal keyboardist Jamie Shields, Duo Drummer Joe Russo and RANA guitarist Scott Metzger. Nodding to trance, fusion, rock and dub, the quartet offered a fully improvised show, with WEEN bassist Dave Dreiwitz replacing Brownstein for a cover of Led Zeppelins Heartbreaker during The Insane Luchadors encore. Before the show, Metzger and Russo also offered a set of their country-outlaw music as Danjaboots.
As in years past, the intimate gig served as a collective wind down for the high-profile players, who spent the week leading up to New Years Eve gigging throughout the northeast and, in Russos case, beyond. The Disco Biscuits offered two shows a piece in Philadelphia and New York, including a three-set performance on New Years Eve at New Yorks Hammerstein Ballroom. The groups first performances with its new drummer, Allen Aucoin, the Disco Biscuits rang in 2006 with a version of M.E.M.P.H.I.S, which includes the line It’s good to have you in the band. After two-years of side-projects, the group also returned to full-time touring status with shirts that read 2006: The Set Break Is Over and by rearranging a number of JM2 and Conspirator songs for a full-group setting. Meanwhile, the New Deal began its late-night performance well past midnight at BB King Blues Club, playing until nearly 5:30 AM.
Though RANA did not perform on New Years Eve, the Brooklyn quartets December 30 Knitting Factory show stretched into the early hours of December 31. During RANAs two-set performance Sam Champions Noah Chernin, who shares drummer Ryan Thornton with the band, also joined in on guitar and, on Vampire Blues, vocals. Earning the weekends road warrior award, Russo hoped on a plane after his performance with G.R.A.B. at Ft. Lauderdales Culture Room in order to make it to New York in time for Danjaboots opening set. With the exception of an appearance at Januarys Freaks Ball, the Duo has announced that it will take this month off to write and record its next studio album, tentatively titled Play, Pause, Stop.