Posts Tagged ‘music’


I love the Mercury Lounge, it’s probably my favorite small venue that I’ve been to here. I saw Katy Perry, of all people, there over a year ago before she hit it big. And Thursday I got to see the band Fun, made up of some former members of The Format. I loved the Format and now I’m loving Fun. Nate (the singer) just has this voice that sticks out to me and it’s really fun to sing (Yep, Fun = fun). I’m so glad I got to see them, it was a great show.

Take your time coming home.
Hear the wheels as they roll.
Let your lungs fill up with smoke.
Forgive everyone.


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Yesterday was a fabulous Saturday in Brooklyn. Woke up at 8 a.m. (yes, on a Saturday) and went running for the first time in WEEKS with a brand new playlist, followed by a trip to the Brooklyn Public Library and the farmer’s market. Now I have endless amounts of peaches, plums, raspberries and blueberries as well as subway reading material for the week. Per-fect.

Later in the day I met up with my friend Lucy, who always knows what’s going on in the city when it comes to music. We went to the Park Slope Bluegrass and Oldtime Jamboree at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. WTF is a Society for Ethical Culture? I have no idea. But we went there. There were a lot of older people, at least 75% of the hair in the room was white or missing completely. We felt like we had been momentarily transported to Vermont or somewhere, we definitely did not feel like we were still in New York. Some of these people had Southern accents and most of them lacked any sense of style. BUT they played some amazing Bluegrass. I am always awed by any musical abilities and some of these people with their instruments (not to mention voices) really impressed me. This one lady looked like she was 70 years old, played bluegrass bass and sang it out. If only my grandma could do that! (For the record my grandma owns an accordion, so maybe that means something.)

When we first got there, they had sold out of food so we walked two blocks to Sweet Melissa, a bakery on 7th avenue that I’ve heard of and walked by many times but never actually gotten anything from.

Well. I ordered their chicken potpie and it did NOT disappoint. I have no idea the last time when I actually had chicken pot pie was, but it’s been so blah and rainy outside, so a nice, warm, crisp chicken potpie is just what the doctor ordered.


Will you just look at that pot pie? The color is off because the lighting in the restaurant was not conducive to my photography skills, as is so often the case. But look! It is basically one giant crust that sits on top of a bowl of chicken stew. And the crust was so flaky and easy to break off into pieces, I really don’t think I have ever had better pot pie. It was comparable to the chicken stew they served at the Michigan State University cafeteria. I’m not even kidding, that was some good stuff! But it did not, of course, have that fancy crust.

Anyway, after my pot pie (and Lucy’s salad – she always gets salad!) we ordered a dessert. We got the warm flourless molten chocolate cake instead, basically, my five favorite words right there.


It was pretty good. My only complaints would be the wrapping was annoying to get around and I think I needed a glass of milk or a spoonful of vanilla ice cream to top it off. And perhaps a little more molten wouldn’t hurt. The next time I’m there I may try one of these cupcakes:


ANYWAY. This was supposed to be a post about Bluegrass. I like it. I also like that there are things called Pickin’ Tents where everyone brings their instrument, comes and goes as they please and jam along with whoever. Throughout the night we would go outside and check out the impromtu bluegrass band under the tent. My favorite is when everyone was singing along, people’s voices always surprise me.


A lot of the songs were about West Virginia. One of them I even knew from when I was like ten and would play this Carmen San Diego computer game all the time. Now that was a good game.

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I have loved Kasey Chambers since my freshman year of college, when I discovered her song, “Am I Not Pretty Enough” which spoke to me for whatever reason. Not everyone gets it. Andrea, my friend from college, she gets it. We’d sing Kasey ballads in the car as we drove all over East Lansing and went through different boys (or they went through us).

Kasey is an Australian folk artist and I had the chance to see her last year at the Highline with my friend Lucy. And last week she called me up to tell me Kasey was gonna be back here this Tuesday! I couldn’t believe I had missed that somehow, because she really is one of my top 5 female artists. Make that top 3.

shane, kasey, bill

She tours with her father, Bill, and her husband, Shane Nicholson, both of whom she has albums with. And she’s amazing. Something about her voice, it is like none other. Totally original.

Lucy thinks some of her old songs are “too sad” but I love them which may be kind of strange because really, I haven’t been hurt too bad in my life. Yeah, there’s been jerks and assholes here and there and I’ve been really disappointed by some people (friends and otherwise) but I’ve never really been hurt. Still, I don’t mind being miserable every once in a while. I think it’s good for you. Do I sound crazy? I don’t think I am. :)

She played Joe’s Pub which is really not a Pub at all. When Lucy told me it was there I was imagining tin pails with peanuts in them on all the tables. Seriously. But it was nothing of the sort. It was nice and intimate and we were probably some of the youngest people in the room. Kasey told really funny stories about growing up with her dad and about life now with her husband and their kids. We had a great table too, right in the center of it all. Of course there was a minimum so we got some wine and chocolate cake and for the record; Highline has good chocolate cake, Joe’s Pub does not. Anyway, she was great and her husband compliments her very well, both musically and personally (well, from what you can gather in two one and half hour concerts and the lyrics in their songs). I wish they played all night and I really wish she would have played more of my favorites like “Nullarbor Song” and “Million Tears.”

But it was still fantastique.

After the show, we went to find the restrooms and lo and behold, Miss Kasey Chambers was standing right there talking to a fan or two. So I made the photo op happen. She was so nice and she talked to me for a few minutes. I told her how we had saw her last year at the Highline. I didn’t tell her how in college (and let’s be honest, even now) I felt like people could maybe understand a whole other side of me if they just listened to her songs.


I love Kasey. She’s got a great spirit, amazing music and a wicked accent.

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Two very adorable people in one very adorable video for Zooey Deschanel’s She & Him. Not only do I want to sit here and replay it over and over to myself just because it’s so fun, but I’m also a fan of the lyrics. I can relate. And I want to sing this, to a boy, as we dance in the middle of a bank.

Also reminds me how much I need to see 500 Days of Summer. People are saying it’s “not a love story” and sometimes that’s exactly what I need.

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Nights like tonight exist to show me that I could never live anywhere else.

SummerStage is a brilliant creation: free performances in Central Park all summer long. Last summer I saw Santigold (by myself, btw cause my friends were so late they couldn’t get in) and it was an experience I’ll never forget. This year my friend Lucy invited me to go with her and a few people to see Bela Fleck, a famous banjo player. I’m not a huge bluegrass fan but I’m glad I went because I was completely blown away.


Now, one of the other great things about SummerStage is the people watching. Allow me to illustrate:


This gentleman here, on the right, it what I would refer to as my “ideal type.” Look at those broad shoulders and built upper body. He is dressed casual but not preppy. And in one hand (that you cannot see) he holds a beer and in the other he holds not one, no, but TWO books! Hello, boyfriend!

Unfortunately I never got too good of a look at his face but he looked so nice from afar I just had to snap a shot.



Please witness the only man actually in focus in this photograph. He was happy, carefree and spent most of the time dancing back in forth, twirling and putting his arms above his head. Ryan pointed out he was surprised there weren’t more like him. This show was pretty light on the crazies, if that’s what you want to call him. I actually thought he was kind of cool, I appreciate it when people don’t really give a feck.


Here’s Luce and Ryan pointing out the Summer Stage program. Ryan looks young. He is. But I like him.

And finally, the documentary:


There’s something about watching a movie (or documentary, whatever) outside and sharing that experience with so many people that makes it that much more moving. It was called “Throw Your Heart Down” which is also the title of his new album. He went to Africa, where the banjo originated, to play with the local musicians, learn from them and see where this American version of the bango could fit in. The people were great and hearing the stories as well as their music sent chills down my spine at some points. It was amazing.

Central Park, thank you for this lovely evening.

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