Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gossip Girl

I feel compelled to rave about The Gossip's concert at Webster Hall last night.

For the first hour or so, the concert was good. No complaints. Here's a clip of "Yr Mangled Heart." But when the band launched into "Standing in the Way of Control," the performance soared to Amazing level. I literally thought Webster was going to implode amidst the energy of a sell-out crowd jumping, singing and rushing the stage during the encore.

Singer Beth Ditto was predictably outspoken, waxing philosophical on politics and media conglomerates' coverage of music and celebrities, and shooing a bouncer away when he tried to prevent a fan from jumping on stage during the show's closer "Listen Up" — which led to about 40 audience members following suit. Ditto eventually jumped (er, tepidly climbed down) into the crowd and it was like Palm Sunday a month too late - with fans clamoring to grab her hand as she led everyone in a self-affirming chant of "You Are Important!" while at the same time probably pondering how the hell she was going to hoist herself back on stage (eventually she just sort of walked back towards the front of the venue and headed backstage). I'm hoping a video of this lands on YouTube. It was really something to behold, and a really uplifting, positive message.

Also, what other concert can you go to where you'll hear both an Aaliyah cover (prefaced by Ditto saying "We're sorry we did this to you") and a rendition of "Careless Whisper" (video to come, I hope)?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

King of the Road

Kaki King's show at the Bowery Ballroom last week was predictably awesome, capped off with a rousing rendition of Bubonix' "Fashion Tattoo." It's nice to see that Kaki is reaching out and exploring different musical genres like, you know, German hardcore.

Check out a clip from the show here.

In other news ...

I received minimal heckling this weekend while I was out and about in Red Sox wear. Probably a lot less than Gino Castignoli.

And finally, for your reading pleasure, here are links to a couple of articles I've come across in the past few days that really held my interest.

First, this depressing piece from New York Magazine about Dr. Ramon Torres, a leading physician in the early fight against AIDS who eventually became a crystal meth addict.

And second, Yvonne Abraham's column in today's Boston Globe — her first after a long maternity leave hiatus — about her personal experience with the naturalization process.

Both really well-written and captivating stories.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Evil Empire in my backyard

Ever since I decided to move to New York, I knew this day would come, and I've been preparing for it with a mixture of excitement and apprehension, joy and fear. And it's finally arrived (almost).

This weekend marks my first Red Sox-Yankees series as a New York resident. Luckily a friend and fellow Sox fan has offered to take me to a Sox bar to watch the games, where I can don my "2007 World Champions" T-shirt and hat and (hopefully) not get a beer thrown in my direction. I'm picturing a Red Sox bar in New York to be a little like the underground warehouse in "Fight Club." Like, maybe the first rule is you don't talk about Eric Gagne, and I'll have to name the starting rotation in order just to gain admittance.

Life has been pretty easy for me as a Sox fan in the Big Apple so far. While I don't wear my Sox pride on my sleeve, I've "outed" myself as a fan on a few occasions - with mixed results. A guy who works at my gym, happy to find an ally in the city, offered me a free sports drink after I paid my membership fee with a Red Sox check. On the other hand, there was also the MTA worker who responded "Not with that card" when, during my second week here, I inquired about purchasing a subway pass and slipped my Sox MasterCard through the window.

But let's face it. I moved here in the December-January time frame. New York sports fans had other things on their minds. Now it's baseball season, and Sox and Yankees fans know that the race for the AL East practically begins in the offseason.

So we'll see what happens this weekend. I'm feeling pretty good about the series, and I hope the good guys give me at least two reasons to wear my World Series shirt with pride next Monday - even if it is stained with beer.