Archive for January 16, 2014
The subway train conductor breaked like my dad. Herky jerky from a paranoia that somehow never makes you feel safe as much as irritated. At the mercy of paranoid breaking and the congestion patterns of the morning rush hour commute, I was getting fur in my mouth. Fur from the hood of a girl’s brand new, serious winter coat. I looked at the label on the shoulder of the coat–“Canada Goose.” That’s a serious coat. In Canada, they know about serious winter and therefore, serious winter coats, but they have more personal space there, so they don’t know about eating a stranger’s fur in a crowded subway car first thing in the morning.
Koreans, on the other hand, know something about completely surrendering personal space. They know how to pack a subway. It’s not just that we’re smaller physically. It’s that we’re efficient. And we surrender individuality for the good of the whole. The whole commute that is. I remember morning rush hours where the car was packed so tightly you could lift your feet off the floor and still be upright. Nobody really complained. I don’t even remember anyone complaining that much when the businessman who was still drunk from the night before vomited on himself–kimchi vomit no less.
Well, as much as I complain about crowded trains, it does make me feel closer to people. I guess because I’m closer to people. And we’re all there together–gross human beings, all breathing and sweating and enduring together; we’re berated together by the other human being who lashes out at us over the loudspeaker. He’s really had enough, and he lets us have it. For Christ’s sake why can’t we use all available doors and move to the center of the train? People….
I will not be taking the train tonight to play at Chris Rael’s Birthday Bash at The Bell House. I will bring myself and my accordion via my ’94 Corolla, gifted to me by my parents in 1994. They believed in providing their kids with an American education and a means of transportation. They didn’t realize they were facilitating my accordion playing and singing in public. They regretted it later, but they still let me keep the car. And yes, it’s the one that now has a big dent on the passenger side back bumper with the tail light now hanging out at a… jaunty angle. Look, I’m trying to be positive; it’s not natural for me. My tail light is now… a tongue sticking out, uh playfully. Whimsically. Something like that.
I’m excited for the show! I get to play and sing a little on Chris Rael’s great songs and beautiful arrangements. I’m telling you, no one writes a good run like Chris Rael. I get to play all kinds of fast and intricate sections in fun time signatures. I try not to gush too much, because it might make him feel weird, but I listened and listened to that CD of “The Hand” that Bruce burned and gave to me in 1999. I listened to it so much that by 2001, it wouldn’t play anymore. And I don’t even like rock music.
Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be playing tonight. Happy Birthday, Chris!
The Frontier Room
Chris Rael’s Birthday Bash
Church Of Betty, Johnny Society, Low Cut Connie, Blueberry
Thu, January 16, 2014
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
The Bell House
149 7th St,
Brooklyn, New York
ph: (718) 643-6510