It was Thursday, September 27th, one of those early fall days where the cold still surprises you, and the entire world came together in New York City. Diplomats, Princes and Queens dictated traffic patterns across the island from their meeting places at the United Nations during the 73rd General Assembly, and out of the gridlock at the intersection of Bowery and Delancey in lower Manhattan, a bus slid cooly into the space reserved for touring artists in front of the Bowery Ballroom.
A caravan of black, government issued SUV's was parked in traffic across the street, carrying royalty uptown. And right here in front of us at the Bowery Ballroom, Ben Ruttner and James Patterson splashed out onto the sidewalk in a wave of technicolored lights and chest compressing baselines and the entire crowd came to life.
They hugged everyone and grabbed late lunches from an anonymous delivery man in a teal colored minivan. White styrofoam containers in plastic bags. And then suddenly we were all back on the bus together bathed in neon skylights and the first golden rays of sunset shining in through the windows.
That's where I heard the new Knocks album, New York Narcotic, for the first time, DJ'd live for us on a party bus bumping across Manhattan, against the slow crawl of traffic heading uptown. James and Ben stood at a booth at the front of the bus smiling and adjusting levels. Ben stopped the music for a second to tell a joke, and then hit play again. JPatt smiled, wearing a Simpsons tank-top and rocking back and forth, and from behind his sunglasses you could tell his eyes were closed.
We slipped across Bowery from the ballroom, through the parks and the old diagonal streets of the Lower East Side, and back up and around through Alphabet City, listening to the album all the way through.
Listen to the Album Here: