I look out the window from the backseat of the taxi-cab. It smells like old leather and a potpourri of human scent. (Perhaps potpourri isn’t the word. Maybe “jambalaya” or “hodgepodge” would be better suited to that particular musk.) I wonder if the the bus driver in the lane next to me still gets the same drop in his stomach when he sees the skyline as we ascend over the Williamsburg bridge into Manhattan. If so is it enough to keep him driving that bus day after day? And I think ‘that is his life’.
As Zack put it… At any given time, when you look into the city from across the East river, there are thousands of different scenes playing out. It’s true. A placid view yes. But a still beast rumbles with life. All these different lives, stories and moments. As I write this from the back of the taxi I see an older Chinese woman in a raincoat picking plastic out of a garbage can on the corner of Bowery and Delancey. She doesn’t seem to mind the rain. One scene. We make our way around some midday hustle and bustle and drive past the venue we played last night.. The Bowery Electric.
Given, I am pretty stoked right now but I could say without hyperbole that it was our most well received show we have ever had in the Big Apple. It was wild. People danced like crazy and waved our metallic Mylar around themselves in a frenzy. I watched little dreams of mine materialize in front of me.
For the most part this tour has been about a road trip with friends and sharing times with new people. In most cases the shows simply justified the means of getting to those places and sharing those experiences. But last night it was, pardon the cheese, about the music bro.
And for a few reasons it really had to be. Our manager Graham flew from La to have meetings and see the show. Our friend/connector extraordinaire James also came to New York and brought multiple people to the show that are, well the kind of people that make you nervous if you know they are coming to your show. We were also playing for Ben Lovett’s birthday party. He is in a band called Mumford and Sons. Well apparently he thinks we are ok and wanted us to headline his birthday party. Luckily he is one of the nicest guys ever. The show was kind of a blur but I just remember things feeling and sounding right. I didn’t feel like I was trying to convince the NYC crowd that it was ok to let loose. Instead they were pushing me to keep taking it further… That can be rare with an unfamiliar NYC audience and I am filled with gratitude for it.
A polish guy came up to me after the show, hugged me and in a thick accent said “I’ve lived in this city 18 years and that was one of best shows I’ve ever seen here. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t try to make make the money. Don’t sell out. Don’t make money.” I looked at him a little apprehensively and he smiled and said “well ok make a little money.”
Our manager said afterwords. “Well if you aren’t happy after that we may as well quit.” He is a very dry British man so that is equivalent to him jumping up and down and yelping with glee.
Now I sit in a taxi on the way to a meeting; last night still loud in my brain. The sun is no where to be found and the first day of October is a few degrees cooler than yesterday
. Clouds hang low enough to smother the top of the Empire State Building. The other skyscrapers spread their broad shoulders. They are ghoulish caricatures looming over the busy bodies that buzz this way and that. A grey drizzle weaves it’s way in and around the avenues and holds the city in a suspended gloom. Last night my tiny little indie band had one of its brightest shining moments right here in this beast. And today, no one, in all this ever-churning madness could give a shit. Isn’t it wonderful? Indeed. It’s a perfect day in New York City.
From across the River.
From our Brooklyn show
Amidst our little sea of mylar.
It was sunny before October came.
Can you ever have too many skyline pictures?