Top Ten Concerts

Yes, I admit this is both anal and childish, but I like to remember the places where my thoughts worked best – even if I didn’t remember much of it at show’s end.

10. Ravi Shankar, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto (1983) Beautiful hall, incredible music. Ravi Shankar performs at Paleo festival, Switzerland in 2005

9. Emmylou Harris, The Boot Saloon, Toronto (1992) A honky-tonk night.Musician Emmylou Harris performs during a concert celebrating musician Pete Seeger's 90th birthday in New York8. Tragically Hip, Cleveland Flats, Cleveland (1995) Canada’s greats, straight & full-on.20140504_2316477. Guided by Voices, Fillmore West, San Francisco (2002) The club is open.GBV Philly 6. Jane’s Addiction, Key Arena, Seattle (1995) Farrell and Navarro in summer dresses. perry-farrell-of-jane-s-addiction 5. Low, The Aquarium, Fargo (2012) Three full sets.Phone 061 4. My Bloody Valentine, Roseland Ballroom, New York (2008) Ears are still ringing. IMAG3757

3. Noel Hill & Tony MacMahon, Mother Red Cap’s, Dublin (1994) The pure drop in a tavern.

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2. Sufjan Stevens, Bowery Ballroom, New York (2013) The end of the world – December 21, 2112 – with a few hundred others. IMAG2066 1. Grateful Dead, Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma (1985) Full moon, at a zoo.Grateful_Dead-Greek_85-1 (walstib)

Reading Camus

They beat it out of you, and by they I mean we. 20140227_230937It’s us, just us, with our wisdom and cruelty, our dreams of being whole and true, yeah, lying about that. We’re good at that, pretending to be on the subway, losing the call, sitting on our friend’s lap and saying we are laughing when that isn’t inside at all.20140119_165443It’s our demise, our degrading bodies, our trip into the nothing, not loving, not dreaming, not slimming down our skirts as we sit, but just standing there, thinking we might be something and then remembering we’re not.20140214_074153

Laurie Anderson on my plane

Laurie Anderson was on my flight to Los Angeles. 20140313_082016I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know what. She looked so sweet and vulnerable. I mean, she was sitting in coach, just like us. I thought about what I would say, and considered offering her my condolences for Lou Reed’s death. But that was just stupid, an excuse to be a sycophant. So I said nothing. I didn’t even smile. 20140313_123728 - CopyStill…I really did want to tell her how much I admire her, her work, her voice, her wit. “I’m a big fan.” Yeah, I would probably say something like that. Our flight was delayed and while we sat waiting for a part, it occurred to me that I could give her my book.

Screenshot (1014)Yes, she might like it. After all, it has a strong female voice and some good cerebral bits on life and loss. But I didn’t have it with me…and it was a stupid idea anyway, another one.

The truth was it was a good thing Laurie Anderson didn’t have to deal with me pitching ideas at her while she was just trying to read, maybe sleep a little before we landed.

And yet…if I told her all of this. What then? Wouldn’t she laugh? Wouldn’t she say, “Oh, okay. Let’s see this book of yours. my bad side. It’s a good title. I like it. I like it a lot.” 20140313_130321 - CopyAnd even since I didn’t do any of this and just watched her walk away at LAX, there is still the chance she will read this blog. I mean, she would only have to search her name and scroll down a few dozens pages or so. And here it is!

And then I know she would smile to herself, look for my contact icon and write something like, “Hello. Let’s talk.”

Tibet House Benefit 2014

The 2014 Tibet House Benefit, at Carnegie Hall last night, continues to be a musical highlight of the year.Nico+Muhly+2014+Tibet+House+Benefit+Concert+CBs62C81Ez4lHighlights included the enchanting music of Phillip Glass (accompanied by Nico Muhly & Tim Fain), surprise guest Sufjan Stevens offering two of his Planetarium songs, and New Order front-manned by the raw, seemingly ageless Iggy Pop. Tom Chapman, Iggy Pop, Bernard SumnerNot even Patti Smith could ruin the night with her ego and histrionics, grabbing poor Mr. Glass at the end, dragging him into her spotlight.478016707The good news is that, this time, she didn’t spit on the floor. M_TibetHouseBenefit2014

It is a privilege to attend this event. Thank you, Mr. Glass.

The Myth of Absinthe

Absinthe has the reputation all bad boys and girls dream of. 

absinthe fairy-glassFawned over by the elite and artistic, banned a hundred years ago, potent and delicious. Have you tried!? Have you? It is the stuff of legends, hallucinogenic, hyper-potent and most dangerous, all because a few poets and artists indulged excessively in Paris back in the day.

MuseVertMaignanBut how is it any different than other alcohol? Or is it? Don’t they say the same about tequila? Or the mixture of Guinness & cider known as a Snakebite? SnakebiteI do admit to being coerced into doing an Aguirre, Wrath of God rap after a Snakebite or two in my ill-gotten days, but I expect that spell could have been induced by many things.
aguirre3I did try Absinthe recently, and it was fine. But there was nothing remarkable about it. And there were certainly no green fairies.cropped-20140112_105237.jpg