Monday, April 30, 2012


This is a new video from Hazmat Modine.

The first time I heard this band play, I think, was at some kind of Valentine’s Day party type thing in the Cast Hall at the New York Academy of Art, where I went to grad school. This would have been February 2003, just after the start of my second semester.

There had been chances to see them before. There were always flyers posted in the elevator advertising upcoming gigs they were having at Terra Blues a nice little venue on Bleecker, but I never really intended to go. Wade Schuman, the group’s front man, was an instructor at the school. I wasn’t in any of his classes that first semester, so these flyers were how I formed my first impression of the guy. And there was something I didn’t like about him even before I learned that he played the harmonica.

A lot of my stories set in that period could start that way, with me finding some (usually poor) reason to be suspicious of somebody whom I didn’t really know. It’s how some of my more meaningful friendships from that period began.

I did finally have a class with Wade that spring. I won’t gush. I found him to be a remarkably good guy. And he can do this, which I’d say makes up for the fact that he's kind of a weirdo who keeps a bunch of dead animals stored in a freezer at home.

And Hazmat Modine, a band that defies easy categorization, is a really good band full of an inordinant amount of wind instruments. They put on a pretty great show. Sometimes I hear a few bars of one of their songs before a segment on All Things Considered, and I feel immediately homesick.

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