Last night, Amy and I walked in off the sweaty streets to some sort of space concert, and finally into... the embodiment of the Kill Bill soundtrack. With the subways cars below, rattling our table at Joe's Pub, I thought about the unexpected places a random Monday night with your friend can take you. And I knew that this was one thing I'd definitely miss about New York.
First, at whatever space odyssey we were at, the guy never once acknowledged the audience (which was sparse, I suppose, in his defense?) He just kept switching guitars (which he seemed more to be sound-checking for brief moments than playing) and drinking from his bottle of water and staring into the screen of his laptop. Amy and I talked about the burden of electronic music and showmanship. "Listen, I said, I get it, but you still have to act like you want to be there. You still have to perform instead of... of..." Amy answered, "looking like you're chillin in your basement." We had a good laugh at that one.
Happily for Gemma Ray, more people had showed up by the time she went on. None of her recordings had given me an accurate perception of her, actually. Speaking of walking in off the street, she seemed to have walked in from the 60s a bit. There was a lot of Nancy Sinatra up on the stage, except that one some point, she pulled a knife from between the two flower-covered mike stands and used it as a slide to play her steel string guitar. Then she'd go back to delicately tapping the pedals of all her electronic contraptions with her sweet little red t-straps.
At one point, she lost her real slide-- it had rolled off stage and I found it for her.
I liked "Bring it to Me," a song she said was "about chivalry, that long dead thing." And we all sighed.