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OK, there's a story to this show. I was the taper, same Aiwa stereo one-point mike & Sony D6 Walkman. "Quiet Life" isn't a real nightclub. It was John Linnel's basement over in Williamsburg, I think 81 [ed. note: 18] Havemeyer Street. This was a very secret show, billed as "Count Drinkalot." Which means acoustic set. The only way I heard about it was 3am the night before, announced on WFMU-FM, as part of a long list detailing New Year's activities. ADMISSION WAS ONLY FIVE BUCKS.
So this is one of those homes that had a basement entrance, it was set up with a few rows of weird old wooden seats, like from a school from turn of last century. The place was otherwise bare. Maybe 50 to 75 people were there. Up front was some grandfather clock looking thing, some prop from the cover of Lincoln LP. It dispensed a blue liqueor at the stroke of twelve, New Year's, which Flansburgh drank from.
You can hear some lady talking thru Train to San Antonioni (a Monkees cover) [ed. note: mistitling for "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?"], then Flansburgh bawled her out after the song ended. She was sitting right in front of me. I don't think the band noticed that I was taping, which would have been weird because I was surrounded by all their personal friends at this secret show in their living room; could have gotten my ass kicked if you think about the situation I was in. But everyone immediately around me assumed that I was supposed to be taping, sort of a taper psych-out trick. This is the sort of stuff one needs to pull off to get THAT kind of rare tape.
I brought two friends with me, one was a room mate from college, the other was a junkie from my home town, who shot up heroin in the bathroom before the show started. After the show was over, john Flansburgh smoked a joint with me. It was my joint, said he hadn't smoked in over a year. I used to always sneak booze and weed into the shows I taped, along with my tape deck.
Brian Dewan did an opening set for this show. He's a zither player from Bar None label I think. Didn't tape that but I have a real cool recording of my subway ride back home to the South Bronx made later that night, on the same master cassette (which is sitting around somewhere here in my kitchen). Fare went up to a buck that night, from 85 cents the night before.

Suzanne Vega was in attendance, mentioning in a 1990 interview:

I had a great Christmas party last year. They Might Be Giants came, and then they gave a New Year's Eve party and I had a lot of fun at that. Stayed until 7 in the morning. I was the last guest to leave.