By Bobby Black

Thanks to Bobby Black’s birthday blowout, New York’s Lower East Side has never been higher.

For as long as I can remember, my best friend Paul and I have thrown a joint party to celebrate our birthdays, which are a mere two days apart. But over the past few years, I’ve totally commandeered the event, and each year I’ve tried to kick things up a notch. This year I held it at the Delancey—an elegant tri-level club on Manhattan’s Lower East Side—and invited just about everyone I know, including family, old friends, co-workers from both HIGH TIMES and Sirius, and a number of attractive single ladies (of course). Before long we’d amassed a huge crowd and the debauchery was underway.

On the main floor, I cranked out a killer mix of metal, classic and stoner rock, but the real excitement was downstairs, where I’d invited four of my favorite local bands to perform. First up was Crimson Sweet—a punk/garage rock band fronted by HIGH TIMES copy editor Polly Watson. They’d just gotten back that day from the SXSW convention in Austin, where they played the 10th-anniversary HIGH TIMES party, but they still had plenty of energy to kick the party into full gear right off the bat.

Next on was Dirty Rig, with my buddy Steve on bass and, on vocals, Kory Clarke—the former singer of ’90s hard rockers Warrior Soul, one of my and Paul’s favorite bands. Back in college, we’d spend many a night screaming lyrics and thrashing hair together at their shows, so having Kory sing at our party was a gift in itself. He and the Rig proceeded to kick our asses with some of the raunchiest, rowdiest riffage this side of CBGB. After their set, we snuck up to the rooftop garden, where I sparked up a fatty and introduced Paul to Kory. We smoked out and chatted about the heyday of metal in New York City, how the scene had changed and what Warrior Soul had meant to us.