Summer MixTape Week 10: Jerk Ribs

Standing on the High Line tracks

Lately my life has been a bizarre mixture of ups and downs with almost nothing in the middle. I crave that middle ground right now – but while I wait for it to finally get here, I’ll be enjoying this random, but very tasty, mix of jams.

Summer MixTape Week 7: Wasting My Young Years

marshall playing chess

This hot weather is making it hard to get out of bed but somehow I’ve managed to check a bunch of things off of my to-do list this week. I finally made my way to the DMV to get a New York driver’s license, which for some reason they aren’t able to give you on the spot like they do in Illinois – so I have no idea what my picture looks like and the only photo ID in my possession is the passport from the time I was at my heaviest and I have a shaved head. If I get carded I need to get my sidewinder ready.

I also signed the lease for my new apartment in Brooklyn, which I will be sharing with a woman who is also short and works in TV and a tall 25-year-old, very sweet, Italian who is here working for an architecture firm. I’m nervous, excited and sweating.

Enjoy your weekend folks – here is your weekly mixtape:

Rachael Yamagata at Bowery Ballroom

I was lucky enough to be one of the people in the audience for Rachael Yamagata’s sold out performance at the Bowery Ballroom last Saturday night and, as per usual, she didn’t let us down. The crowd on the other hand…The crowd was overrun with annoying couples showing their PDA off like they were waving flags in the love parade. Didn’t they know who they were there to hear? She is the queen of lost love, failed relationships and the perfect words to describe the shiv to the heart that is a breakup. Whoever was running the sound that night understood my dismay and right on cue, Beck’s “Lost Cause” started playing over the speakers like my personal anthem as I started drowning in a sea of loud lip smacking.

Her opener, Sanders Bohlke, was a perfect compliment to the somber tones of Happenstance and has the skinny white emo boy thing down. It’s a good thing he’s probably had a lot of practice being ignored sitting in the corner of a coffee shop because the crowd didn’t dull their conversation and I left that night knowing more about the woman behind me’s tango lessons than I did about the lyrics to the songs he sang (beautifully at that).

Sanders Bohlke

His sound would pair well with Fleet Foxes (more Robin Pecknold than Father John Misty) but his voice also has hints of soul & blues without the grit of Johnny Lang. By the end of his set, I think he made a good amount of new fans. That being said, the crowd was anxious for Rachael to take the stage. Somehow the woman behind me thought she’d be the only one singing along to Rachael’s songs. She obviously hadn’t been to a concert with a large lesbian fan base before.

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When Rachael took the stage, her voice was as incredible, smooth, clear and packed with emotion as ever. One of my favorite things about her as a performer, is her ability to engage the audience in the stories she tells between songs. The most memorable story from this show was about how she was listening to one of her songs for the first time while sitting in the sand on Venice Beach. The song was so beautiful and heartbreaking she started crying as she looked out into the water and saw a large mass floating towards her. At the crescendo of the song, the dead body of a baby whale washed up to her feet and she was like, “Are you kidding me? Did anybody else see what just happened?”.

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Long story short: When you have the chance to catch Rachael Yamagata live – don’t hesitate, even if you find yourself picking pieces of your bruised heart up off the floor on your way out of the concert venue.

Summer MixTape Week 4: Walking on the Moon

fry-stacheMy time spent at home came and went too quickly but I was ready to get back to NYC because, as I’m sure most of you know, there’s a certain amount of time spent with large groups of family in hectic settings that makes it impossible to want to spend any more time in that same setting.

I’m back and feel twenty pounds heavier – but this too shall pass and this weekend I’ll be celebrating my first Pride in New York. So, let’s do it to it everybody. Here’s your Summer MixTape: Walking on the Moon

Beth Ditto at XL Bar

Last night, Beth Ditto brought her ferocious soul-punk voice to XL Bar in Hell’s Kitchen and while the set was a short one, she worked her thang and made the crowd move. As is usually the case, I stayed out too late (and honestly for no good reason – which I need to stop doing) and am paying for it today. That being said, it was great to see Beth again, particularly as up close and personal as I was able to get thanks to a friend’s press pass plus one I was able to get in on.

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 I love this picture because of the look of complete joy on the guy’s face:

Beth Ditto at XL Bar NYC