New Maximum Donkey @ The Knitting Factory, 1/17/2008

Words by Ryan

New Maximum Donkey is on stage, front room, Knitting Factory. They are rocking refreshingly, foolishly and WGA-solidarity-strike-beardedly in lieu of alt-country-ironically in the halfway-filled hall. If it matters, their press kit offers the following tidbits:

  • House band for the comedy sketch show For the Kids for the past 3 years, leading to a WB Development Deal
  • House band for Late Night with Drew Carey for Lee/Moffitt productions and HBO at the Aspen Comedy/Arts Festival
  • Told by Sally Struthers that they had “nice asses” and would be welcome to play her “next wedding”

Lead guitarist and singer Benjamin “Benny” Chadwick evokes the horrors of substance abuse thusly in “Other Side of Yellow”:

“Hey Ma, Johnnie’s doin’ drugs again
He didn’t want to tell ya ’cause you’ll take his stash
…And all his cash.

Hey Dad, Johnnie wants to apologize:
He knew you would see it in his eyes:
He’s fuckin’ high!
Johnnie’s fuckin’ high!

…He’s super-duper high!”

The crowd eats it up. Witness:
The Donkey has been opening for a band called Get Set Go, the viola player for which is now on stage as well. With his assistance they close their all-too-brief set with a triumphant sing-along of “Purple Rain” by Prince, largely devoid of irony. They are nailing most of the notes and, much as you want to hate them for closing with this damn song, you have laughed a few times too many not to forgive them the indulgence.