Saturday, June 19, 2010

Parking Lots and Islands.

I tried.
At the suggestion of a former paramour, who sent me digital files from his musical collection, to like Rufus Wainwright.

Just off a twelve-hour shooting, editing, happy pixel pushing/delivery day walked to the gig with a gratis ticket from Co-OpJoe.
I wandered past the old fags in lawn chairs, kids pushing boxes of candy on revelers, hard luck guys pushing their hard luck into everyone's faces asking for money, and other cheapskates watching the proceedings through the chain link fence atop the parking lot of Albright-Knox Art Gallery, à la that unfortunate parking lot "Woodstock" retooling at that Air Force base.
And then past the surprising loud whirring of generators and the stench of festival food grease.
I knew the guys working the gate who goodnaturedly harangued me a bit for coming so late, and about which wrist my drinking band went around, Yours Truly explaining that I am a righthanded drinker and would prefer the band around my right wrist, merci beaucoup.
They both suggested drinking with two hands.
I told them about the above twelve-hour situ and we all concurred that a two-fister could be in order.
Texting had been happening so I knew from Shewwy that my band of focus, The National, had already played and, quite possibly, as is the wont of rock bands the globe over, were packed into their vehicle and were on to the next gig.
I bought some pink drink tix, I texted pals again, I knew Vinnie working the humming beer and wine dispensary.
Vinnie, with a feathery sort of peak of hair that only a handsome makeup artist could pull off with aplomb, was behind the beer but waltzed over to fetch me a white wine, filling a beer-meaning cup to the brim with vino.
We talked weddings - some recent tales from some recent engagements.
How a bride had requested his services at the highly ungodly 5 a.m. to begin makeup.
That dedication to pageantry boggles the mind.
Co-OpJoe hinted at, but didn't entirely spill, about Rufus Wainwright's rider demands, getting back to who was about to appear onstage.
Upon seeing TomL, laden with gear, he affirmed the demands of the headliner, and went on to mention the lengthy rider of B-52s. Fun-loving revelers sans cares in the world? I think not.
Several pages, according to TomL, were devoted to their hair-do demands, a page to B-52s etiquette.
It is common knowledge that Mick Jagger requests that no one touch him, or attempt to shake his hand.
I imagined that creepy Fred Schneider might think along those lines.
I suggested to TomL that he acquire Rufus Wainwright's rider and scan and submit it to for the edification of the masses.
He stated that he would be afeared of losing his own gig.
So Rufus Wainwright hits the stage to elation.
I listened, and listened, I heard a familiar tune, and another familiar tune.
And then they all just became one singer and piano tune after another - mournful, poetical, lyrical.
But the venue of choice would have been Rose Lounge at Gramercy Park Hotel, not this heat-trapped asphalt lot with ambient generator and traffic noise and occasional bellows from the upper-tiered VIP crowd.
I did find Jabsy, and we walked about for a while, studying both Rufus Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright's crowd.
We suddenly noted a lone cute boy texting whilst sitting on a curb.
We went over and befriended this boy who was separated from his pack, and is a photog student from Rochester.
Rufus Wainwright sang and sang and his sister, Martha, came out to play.
Show over, headed out but not before seeing several others to talk and laugh and comment upon the show, the sky, the summer, the luck of it all.
Today I travel up north to see more music, not in a parking lot, but on an island.
An island off the coast of Toronto.
Band of Horses, Pavement, Broken Social Scene, and Beach House.
A complete sonic triumph.
The only band to round out that perfection would be Arcade Fire ... or 1980s REM.

Lucky Lucky, Love.