I went to two shows Thursday night. First, I saw that Josh Rouse was playing at Joe's Pub. I learned about Josh's music just last year through my friend John Whitaker. I missed the opener because I was having one of those exhilarating monthly budget discussions over drinks with Brooke (the company was wonderful as usual; the topic was not - although I've learned that alcohol helps). Anyway, I arrived around 7:35 and found a place to stand near the bar. Josh came on stage around 7:45 and played for about an hour. He's an outstanding songwriter. I would really like to see him again sometime. And Joe's Pub is a great venue. It's part of the Public Theatre complex on Lafayette Street. Most of the main floor is taken up by tables where one can order dinner before the show begins. There is also a stylish bar at the back of the hall with a few more tables nearby. The whole place looks and sounds fabulous.

After the show at Joe's, I walked over to a club near Washington Square called Sullivan Hall. It's a medium sized venue that would probably hold about 350 people. Unlike the smaller venues that I visited on Tuesday (all of which had a separate bar area), Sullivan Hall is simply one big room with a bar along the left-hand side. I had a beer as I watched the opener, a funk band from Brooklyn called The Pimps of Joytime. The percussion section was especially tight, as were the bass playing and the intermittent guitar solos. They also incorporated some samples from a laptop in a few of their songs. The headliner was a band from New Orleans called Dumpstaphunk, led by Ivan Neville of the Neville Brothers. I stood near the right side of the stage and watched the main bass player for a couple songs (there are actually two bass players; one alternates between bass and guitar). Then I moved to the rear of the bass rig to watch the drummer. Most of the time, when I go to shows, I spend the majority of my time watching the drummer. And it's unbelievably exciting when I see a drummer as amazing as Raymond Weber. The man is simply in charge. The whole band is outstanding though. They were extra special super funky.

All in all, it was great night of music...