There’s no amount of money (or self-depreciating humor) that can make a mind-blowingly self-indulgent vanity project disguised as a legit musical endeavor any less insufferable or the frontman in question more appealing to an audience that would just as soon see him pelted with rocks and garbage (assuming they know who he is). But enough about these guys, James Dolan’s J.D. & The Straight Shot — a trad rock combo that would be very comfortable sharing a stage with a Dennis Quaid/Blues Hammer collaboration — played Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl last night, and while the setting was no more or less incongruous than the band’s previous appearances on the 5th or 6th stages of the Bonnaroo or Austin City Limits festivals, the New York Times’ Jake Appelman turned up to sneer at the
genetic lottery winner vocalist/guitarist. Let The Semi-Annual Cheap Shots At An Aspiring Indie Musician Continue Unabated!
A woman seated on a green couch knew next to nothing about the Straight Shot and had no idea Dolan was in the band. Knicks paraphernalia was nowhere to be seen, and the people plopped on couches in the waiting area were there to bowl.
There were no half-drunk, early-arriving hecklers still mad that the Knicks might have been able to sign Carmelo Anthony without sacrificing a large chunk of the roster.
The Straight Shot’s cover of “Stay Up Late” by the Talking Heads drew noticeable applause from the crowd of about 50 to 70 nonbowling patrons.
That Dolan, who was animated throughout the performance, would choose to play in a hipster bowling alley might have been as head-scratching to some as a five-year, $30 million contract for Jerome James.
Dolan was catering to an in crowd that is accustomed to seeing under-the-radar acts mixed in with fashionable indie bands, Questlove of the Roots spinning records, and Kanye West rhyming up a storm.
“Yes, we are getting them fixed,” Dolan said after the song, “Fix The Knicks”. He then paused, and finished the thought, “I think.” It was an interesting statement, especially because one of his band mates made an awkward noise into the microphone when Dolan mentioned Isiah Thomas in the song. The lyric: “Doing my best, yes, that’s my promise. I check with my friends, call Isiah Thomas.”
As for the song, its rhythm and sound are more suited to the ’62 Mets than anything current in New York sports. And short of rhyming “what my mission be” with “offensive efficiency,” Dolan will probably not be winning over many savvy fans with his lyrical prowess.