New York is full of surprises. For example, of all the musical genres I expected to be exposed to here, let along won over by, bluegrass was not high on the list. And yet last week the Bowery Ballroom was packed for the Infamous Stringdusters and Trampled By Turtles. Fiddles, mandolins, banjo, upright bass, not a drum kit in sight… A surfeit of facial hair and even the odd pair of ill-advised overalls, and you can amuse yourself by trying to determine which band members are brothers/cousins.
Sure, it’s impossible to dance to without looking stupid, but it’s so fun you can’t help attempting to jiggle in time. And that’s exactly what I did as I tried not to think about the old days in uni when I’d stridently deride my friends’ love of “redneck” music. Though I maintain that both these bluegrass bands were infinitely superior to anything ever recorded by faux “country” singers like Keith Urban or Brad Paisley or (shudder) Big & Rich. Back at the Bowery, the best part of all was when both bands came out together for the encore and carried all their instruments down off the stage into the middle of the crowd, rocking out unplugged and finishing with a huge singalong to “The Weight”. It was a moment of complete cosmic atonement for the Levon Helm Incident.
Other highlights from another great week:
Impromptu dinner parties (and a less spectacular reprise of DPD)… Getting paid to do some work for a change… Perhaps the most hilarious Freudian slip ever – referring to social networking site Foursquare as “foreskin”… My first commission as a photographer (that’s what I’m calling it, anyway!)… Jukebox gold at the Magician… Accidentally discovering “the pit” – the home of bike polo in New York… Bagels… Still with the T-shirt weather Saturdays in November!
Enormous cashmere sweaters from the thriftshop that clearly once belonged to enormous prepsters… Looking up crazy recipes in the lead up to Thanksgiving next week… This dude across the table from me at Second Stop (it’s a freelancer sweatshop in here, you can hardly move for MacBooks and Moleskines), whisper-reading his poetry as he writes… Drunkenly denigrating Paul McCartney… “Band On The Run” vs “Fox On The Run”…