from Tuesday, September23rd of the year2008.
This has been a fun week for live music. A few days ago, I went to the second of two consecutive Sigur Rós shows at the United Palace Theater. I’ll talk about the shows in just one second, but I want everybody to click through on this link and then we’re gonna talk about this mysterious website for one minute. All their news & press releases are announcing concerts for Annie Lenox in 2007? Anyway, it’s a beautiful space, with a strange website; check out the gallery of pictures here. So the show. I have seen them a whole bunch of times, and earlier this year, they played a show at the Hammerstein Ballroom with strings, brass, percussionists: a whole dog and pony show. This show, on the other hand, was just four people, and somehow, it felt much much bigger and tighter. There is no moral of the story aside from that it’s good to see that the music works as well on a smaller scale. I’ve already written about their new album, but I will reÃ¯terate that it is great.
Last night I went to the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s season. It was crazy! Before I had even fastened the straps on my cummerbund, I was thrust into this interview with Susan Graham, the mezzo-soprano. She asked me a bunch of questions about my project with the Met/Lincoln Center Theater, which I was, I think, able to answer, and then she stepped to me with, “what’s your favorite Verdi opera?” I didn’t even know where to begin with her. Then, changing the subject, she moved on to which of the three opera fragments being presented that evening (La Traviata, Manon, and Capriccio) was I most excited about. I said, “Manon, because I’ve never seen it.” Now, those words literally came out of my mouth, and what’s insane is that I have not only seen it, but I have seen it four times, once, like, six months ago, at the Met! What was I thinking!? It was the weirdest moment. I had an enormous pang of sympathy for people who are running for president or whatever. The other thing was that Susan Graham was wearing this dazzling Thing on her chest; I’m sort of like Jeremy the Crow in that movie The Secret of NIMH (see illustration), and I was really just mesmerized by her sparkly. I found out after the fact that I was broadcast in “High Definition” all across the land; so, if any of you saw that, call me and reassure me that I didn’t have arugula in my teeth. I cannot believe I lied right to that lady’s face. Or was I just having a senior moment?
Other things. The train station at Columbus Circle has been under renovation for ever. However, yesterday I saw a new sign in just about the worst font. One of the things I like so much about New York is the signage for the subway, which is a great example of 1970’s design. Massimo Vignelli is so genius; he basically said, never use more than one font at a time, and if you have to, the fonts should be Bodoni or Helvetica. Read more about that shit here. So look at this ugly sign! Yikes! Somebody call an engraver!