Sunday, December 17, 2006

E. 29th Street, July 2006

I walk past this strange image every day on my way to work. It's drawn on a metal light pole near Fifth Avenue. I've tried to remove that duct tape to see what's going on under there, but I think maybe I don't want to know. (The duct tape has been there so long that it's not going anywhere. Besides, it could be part of the art - the person could be lifting or carrying it...?)

The other day I had an unusual musical experience on the subway. Buskers are common in the New York City transit system - they often get onto subway cars and sing or play an instrument for coins. Well, an older middle-aged guy got on the train and, I suppose in the spirit of Christmas, sang an acapella version of "Ave Maria" in a strained operatic falsetto. He thought he was Kiri Te Kanawa. It was the weirdest thing I've ever heard, and I've heard some pretty wild subway buskers. (Sometimes you get three- or four-man mariachi bands, complete with costumes, guitars and a big string bass. Once a trombonist got on the train, and let me tell you, a trombone within the confined space of a subway car is powerful stuff!)

Speaking of music, last night I went to see Jay Brannan, the young singer-songwriter who played Ceth ("with a C") in the movie "Shortbus." I thought he was adorable in the movie, and he's also a very capable musician and skilled songwriter. His songs are youthful yet substantial - not at all fluffy. Some are a bit too literal at times, but all in all, I really enjoyed the show. I'd have bought a CD if he had them for sale. (His song "Soda Shop," which was used in "Shortbus," is on iTunes.)

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