Musical adventures continue…
Wednesday night was a rough one. Daniela called me voicing concern about the mini tornado blowing through her neighborhood. I had the contents of my balcony rearranged by a gust or two but I never even thought of cancelling the show. When I looked outside I realized that the constant hissing I had been tolerating was not in fact our usual cranky radiator, but a torrential downpour. Several people cancelled but some folks had bought tickets online and no one refunded. The venue confirmed they were still open, the show must go on. Daniela opted to stay with her daughter who was ill as it was looking like a light show anyhow. The gig would be a solo performance. Driving to the lower east side in the rain I had a growing sense of dread, would people even turn up? We had been playing to large audiences all this year and I wanted to end on a well attended show.
When I arrived the band before us was playing to five people. I had one person waiting for my set. Thankfully more people turned up as 9pm grew closer. Just before I walked on stage the owner asked me if I wanted to make it a free show. Why not? He opened the doors and some more people made their way inside from the bar. By the time I finished a few songs I had a respectable group of people in attendance. Relief.
I love the rain, particularly when in the village at night. There is something about the light reflecting up from the street that makes the city an other worldly place. It can play havoc on shows though. I was lucky, hopefully our album release on January 20th wont be during a blizzard.
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Reeve Jolliffe
The light turned red and I stopped at the intersection of 69th street and 55th Drive/Queens Midtown Expy in Maspeth, Queens. A Bus turned off the expressway and got stuck on 69th street in an impossible angle forcing me to reverse the car a few feet. When the lights turned green we would now easily pass in opposite directions. It completely obscured my view to the left, the direction of traffic. To my right I could see the house I rented a room in when I first moved here on April 3rd, 2003. I could see that my old room had the light on, seems so long ago now. Caught in a moment of nostalgia I failed to see the light go green, a second later a car horn rang out behind me and I slowly hit the gas. A very large SUV broke the light and shot past my car from left to right only inches away on the expressway doing well over fifty. I would never have seen it because of the bus still obscuring my view. It’s not the first time I’ve felt that I cheated death, or at least come close. I have played this event over an over in my head a thousand times and each time I die instantly as its bull-bars tear through the driver’s side door and make spaghetti from my head and upper body.
I’d have never of known what hit me and I would have ended where I started, literally.
I haven’t been complaining about much since.
I went to all three days of The Governors Island Music Festival recently with Marisa and my mate Sean. I wanted to see Neko Case again but also Broken Bells, Interpol and The Strokes which I had never seen play live. Some bands such as Spoon, The Head and The Heart and Jenny Lewis were a pleasant surprise as I knew little or nothing of them (I know, I know). Listening to Spoon play to a small but devoted crowd as the sun set was one of the highlights of the festival for me. I plan to hit more outdoor music events this summer. Below are some random pics I took over the three days.
NYC’s Best Damn Comedy/Variety show encourages its performers to play, invites its audience to hang out afterwards to share feedback & shoot the breeze, and concludes each show with a Cheap Door Prize giveaway.
Storytelling, Comedy & Music Show hosted by Eric Vetter
When? Friday, July 19th, 8pm.
Where? Otto’s Shrunken Head
Tickets? Free Admission