Sunday, 28 January 2007

The second post of the evening

Tough clash last night: Howard playing guitar in his rock band, the Rakehells; Paige performing her monologue in Brooklyn. So i just had to do both. I started out by walking to the gig from the bookstore, despite Cecelia telling me again to take the subway - 'Don't you have a Metro card?' [Note to parents: No it's not because of mean streets or death by freezing, just that it's a half-hour walk in the cold.]

My man (far right of pic) turned out to have a whole separate persona. In addition to English gentleman and ironist, he is a straight-up rockin' guitarist with the best of them and very cool onstage. The Rakehells are towards the harder end of the rock spectrum and the basement venue was suitably dungeony and smelled strongly of sulphur. The singer was wearing his girlfriend's tight velvet blouse and chinese jacket because he didn't have time to go home and get his own clothes. It was an excellent look. As for Howie's costume, ex-staff of Employee Benefits magazine will be dismayed to hear that his T-shirt reads 'Health insurance is for pussies'. No, Howard, health insurance is for recruitment and retention. You've been away too long.

From hell, I dashed off on the F train to DUMBO (Down under Manhattan Bridge - possibly) where Salon Saloon was taking place in a loft apartment in a cavernous artists' building, where the scent was less sulphur and more sensi. It was in part a celebration of local label Skirl Records and was organised by Brooke & co at Theatre of a Two-headed Calf.

The evening began (or at least i started paying attention) with Shelley Burgon on harp and Trevor Dunn on cello performing their experimental music to a crowd sitting on the floor with hot toddies - and me on the only sofa. They were mesmerising and were accompanied by a slideshow of Skirl's unusual graphic CD-cover designs. I bought their album, Baltimore.

Then there was a film about a family in which husband, wife and child were all played by men and the child was told never again to say the word honeycomb (actually that's not the right word but i'm darned if i can remember what it was), and someone on the oboe.

In the breaks i talked to Paige, Alex, and a lovely tall chap called Sebastian who's in theatre and comes from Panama. Most people were in the arts and there was a great buzz. Someone asked me if it was different from events in London and i couldn't think of anything similar at all, probably because i have barely been to anything in london for about two years.

I'd only had time for a Snickers for my dinner so was starting to flag, although Brooke was kind enough to point out five pretzels in a bowl. But then we were all uplifted by the climax of the night, the talented Paige Collette in a blonde wig stubbing out ciggies in a cake while performing her funny piece with gusto and a hint of Marilyn. Highlight: 'My mother gave me some tissues for my birthday. I said, "Mama, I don't
cry as much as I used to." She said, "Well, you're really hard to shop for."' Then she squashed the cake with a saw.

I chastised her for destroying the only food in the room, took the subway back to the Waverly diner and ate a deluxe burger at the counter. With pickle, coleslaw, onion rings and fries.

Gotta go to bed now cos I'm going to New Jersey tomorrow to see Mindy and David.


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