Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What a week (The Sequel)

Monday: Barnes & Noble

Monday was an extremely brisk and chilly day in New York, but somehow those days are ok when you have the day off. We still had to wake up early to make sure we arrived in the city in plenty of time to support Rachel Fuller's appearance at a Barnes & Noble (Lincoln Center) event meant to raise awareness about down syndrome. The event's MC was none other than Bob McGrath. You know - Bob from Sesame Street!!



Bob started things off by making sure we were happy and we knew it, so we clapped our hands. He really knew how to work the room between the singing, storytelling, and interaction with the crowd. Chris Burke, known for his role as Corky on Life Goes On, made a brief appearance as well. The event closed with a special segment on Melissa Riggio, a high-school senior with down syndrome, who has written some beautiful poetry that Rachel Fuller had put to music. After a rather nervous conversation with Bob, Melissa joined Rachel at the piano and helped perform her material. The atmosphere was very supportive and we had a wonderful time. Note: If you would like to see some great photos from the event, please visit Jason Hare's gallery.



Once things calmed down in the event area, we had a chance to have a nice chat with Pete Townshend, who accompanied Rachel to the event. Specifically, we spoke for a little while about blogging and how particularly wonderful it is that a platform like this exists for free. Of course, the freedom has its price, as I informed him that Blogger has been known to crash about once a month, leaving bloggers and readers alike twiddling their thumbs until the servers come back up. Pete was very warm with us, and it was especially nice to have a grounded conversation in a non-gig environment.

Check below the fold for details about last night's In The Attic concert at Joe's Pub in NYC.


Tuesday: In The Attic - Joe's Pub

The pics from this event have been posted to my photo site.

Things were off to a good start when the temperature increased nicely. This made for a more tolerable queue when waiting outside the venue to be let in. This time around, Joe's Pub had a much better system for letting people in. In fact, it was quite similar to airline boarding with everyone being admitted in manageable groups. Once in, we made our way to the mid-section of the bar. This vantage point was just fine since we were between the two large poles that could've made for really lame obstruction.

Rachel came onto the stage a little after 9:30 (9:41 by a certain somebody's notes) and started things off with her set. "I Can Fly" was a new addition to her setlist, and it sounded quite nice. Jimmy Fallon, returning as Attic co-host, played a couple of numbers. He even treated us to another Car Wash For Peace. In between acts, Jimmy and Rachel did something of an impromptu skit that involved piano sales. Note to Rachel: You did some great stuff during this segment; please consider composing some instrumentals that would show off your mad piano skillz. Amos Lee was next on the roster. I wasn't familiar with his material at all, so it was nice to hear some brand new music, from my perspective. His songs had a nice mellow feel to them. Pete and Rachel accompanied him for one or two songs as well. After Amos came Rachael Yamagata. She really proved to be quite a character, with the right vibe for the evening. A guitarist and drummer (hi-hat and snare) backed her up on a couple of songs, after which Rachel and Pete came out to add their support to her sound. I would definitely recommend checking out some of her material.

I was curious to see how J. Mascis would do. While I knew of his band, Dinosaur Jr., I only knew of one of their songs, Feel The Pain (which I really like). J played a couple of nice tunes, and then invited Pete to join him. Little did we know that J wanted to perform See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You. Everyone went apeshit when that got underway. I was especially psyched when Pete shouted "More! More!" in response to J's soloing. Truly, a great moment.

Next up, Mr. Townshend. His inspired set was on fire from the moment he started. Acid Queen, The Real Me, Drowned, Won't Get Fooled Again. I'll just leave it at that, because any attempt at putting Pete's set to words would be foolish. The icing on the cake came when Lou Reed joined Pete at the end of the show to play some Velvet Underground material. Both Pete and Lou were really into the moment, and it was clear that by the end they were both quite moved by the unique experience.

I do hope that Rachel and Pete consider continuing the live Attic shows, as they're such a unique and wonderful experience.

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5 Comments:

At 4:37 PM, Blogger MargieCM said...

Lucky you! By all accounts this was a gig not to be missed. So, naturally, being over the other side of the world, I missed it. Nice photos, too - thanks!

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger SpaceCowboy said...

You're quite welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger Cathy with a C said...

Jon

It was great seeing you and Lisa at both B&N and Joe's. Awesome shows, both of them! Really enjoyed getting to know you both better and your pictures were great!

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Lin-no-da said...

I still say he looks like he's on a cell hone in this photo but it was ingenious to take a photo of your chat. Was it Bryan shooting, I was just in the back of the room saying 'buh... buh...' - Lin

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger SpaceCowboy said...

Our friend Kay (Kazuko) took the picture of us after I had taken one of her and Pete just a few minutes before this one.

 

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