Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Crime Against My Car and the Radio

It was late Monday night when the train I was on pulled into my train station in Long Island. My bags were heavy, and I was weary from a long day at work, and even more weary from a long weekend guest starring as "booth babe" at the Comic Convention in support of My Dear Man, Dave Fox.

My car, a 99 Red Volkwagon I've lovingly nicknamed Lucy, was sitting in the lot over the long weekend, just waiting for her owner to take her home. I was wary of leaving her there all weekend, but I chalked it up to paranoia. As I descended the staircase and began my brief journey to the car, I slowly began to feel a strange overturning in my stomach. I began to shake a little, and again, chalked it up to paranoia. I kept my keys out, the point sticking out between my balled up fingers like a little switch blade (a technique my also-paranoid mother taught me) and began to approach my lonely
little wagon. The closer I got, the more apparent it became...

Fragments of broken glass was scattered all around the passenger side of the car, a damp and dirty towel had been stuck into the door, there was a gaping hole where my passenger side window should've been. As I slowly began to piece together what had happened, I realized, my Sirius XM Radio had been stolen. My car was violated and I had been robbed!

I began tearing up on the spot, and repeated "Oh MAN" (and several various profanities) several THOUSAND times as I attempted to let the reality of the occurrence sink in. As I walked over to the driver's side, I saw a note by a police officer had been written to me, saying that they had taken a report. It gave me a little comfort. I opened the door first checking for broken
shards of glass and collapsed in a miserable heap inside my car. (I know this is dramatic, but, I'd never had anything this shitty happen to me before!)

It was then that I noticed all the broken bits of glass commingled with the emptied contents of my glove compartment, all my silly little chachkies strewn about, my dashboard Ganesha ripped off it's shrine and discarded, and all the wires attached to my Sirius Radio ripped and sticking out at odd angles throughout my car. The bastards.

There is literally only ONE thing of any remote value in my pathetic ride, and that was my radio. I received it as a VERY considerate gift less than a year ago for my birthday AND Christmas. I am in my car everyday for short spurts, but whenever I am, I'm sure to have my Sirius on and blasting, noting any new awesome tunes on the XMU indie channel, getting nostalgic on
the all 90's station Lithium, or rocking out to the 80's new wave station First Wave. What those sons of bitches have stolen from me, is the one little luxury I could actually afford (after, of course receiving the initial unit it as a gift).

I felt violated, betrayed, and let down. My own little home town has idiotic criminals running about! On top of everything else, my poor car Lucy has been put through A LOT this year- with over 125,000 miles on her, she's been falling apart both cosmetically AND internally. SHE didn't deserve this! WE DIDN'T deserve this!! And, honestly, what did this idiots think they'd FIND in a busted up 99 Volks? I want to know! She's got TWO missing hubcaps, a huge scratch up the drivers side door, missing cup holders, and TOYS inside!

You know what you WON'T find in there? ANYTHING OF ANY REAL VALUE! Even the Sirius radio- or at least the parts they took- won't function properly because they didn't take the whole thing! MORONS!

There is a happy ending for my little red lady bug and your humble narrator, however. I called Sirius to cancel my subscription, since, obviously I couldn't listen anymore. When they got around to asking me WHY I was canceling the service, I told them, "well my car got broken into and it was stolen". The customer service rep gasped and apologized for my misfortune, then offered me a brand new unit plus installation and 2 months free service if I would keep my subscription. Uhhh... YES PLEASE. The new unit came within 2 days! It's not as fancy as my original unit, but, I appreciate it none the less (and this one is BLACK!). Even better, it turns out my insurance has full glass coverage. Thank you Geico.

So, in the very end, this cost me nothing but momentary heartache, and a little bit of inconvenience... But it brought up an interesting point for me. I never realized how much I really care about the ambient noise playing on in the background of my car, or how much I really DO love Car Kareoke! Or how I revel at the thrill and rush of excitement when one of my favorite songs, whether new or old comes on the radio. My car is a quintessential part of my music experience, and to have it taken away from me, albeit momentary, made me realize the true value of it.

So, dear friends, show some love and care for your car. Always remember that your car, no matter how low-end or first class it is- that it brings you to new exciting places, takes you home, it makes important runs to the 7-11 all while keeping you thoroughly entertained with the gift of music. Your car is an extension of your home, of your own personality, not just simply a giant radio on wheels (as I had previously treated it).

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fever Ray at Webster Hall

With all the players of the group masked, enrobed in black cloaks, shrouded in darkness with pulsating antique lamps reflecting the rhythm of the music, Fever Ray is somber, other worldly, and pleasantly strange. Sporadic laser beams gave off an eerie green light that cut through the blackness, which only created more of a strange dark chaos rather than providing light. The sound made your sternum shake, your eyes water, and your breath slow down into a thick molasses. I noticed that most of the crowd fell into sort of a hypnotic trance. Normally I wouldn't condone such "zombified" behavior but, it seemed far too fitting to the environment of the show to argue it. This music's maker and her sound will leave your breath taken, and your soul haunted.

Performance Art and Concerts are becoming more cohesive. The craft of Performance Art has been interlocked with Music for years and years now... but it usually seems haphazardly slapped together or too gimmicky, PLUS it costs you too much money. What Fever Ray did to its audience was cryptic, futuristic, intriguing, and affordable. Karin Dreijer Andersson and her songs are a modern mystery of the music industry, an enigma that transcends gender, perhaps even humanity.

My camera does LITTLE justice to what I witnessed and what I witnessed does the show even LESS justice then what people up front must have seen. However, what I missed in vision, I made up for in experience. Having climbed 10 Feet onto the massive speakers to the left of the stage in Webster Hall, we had a strange elevated and unmolested view of the theater and its inhabitants. I felt as if we were stowaways to some high holy Nordic ceremony, where we could be potentially skinned alive and served as a sacrifice to the Gods if we were caught watching. Luckily, we were never discovered, and we were fortunate enough to have heard and witnessed the rants of the high priestess and her minions- shrunken heads, dervishes, laser beams, devil sticks, and all.

As mysteriously as Fever Ray has appeared, they shall cease to exist after this tour. All I can say to this is I am glad I went. If they cease to create music we will be robbed of something truly interesting. On the upside- maybe the Knife or something just as equally progressive from Karin will emerge and tour soon.

The Set List:
If I Had a Heart
Triangle Walks
Concrete Walls
I'm Not Done
Now's the Only Time I Know
Keep The Streets Empty
Dry and Dusty
Stranger Than Kindness (Nick Cave Cover)
When I Grow Up
Here Before (Vashti Bunyan Cover)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Rant.

For me, pre-game adventures are an intrinsic part of the concert going experience. I don't mention them much, but I feel inclined to briefly discuss the events preceding the Fever Ray concert I attended this past Tuesday night. To start, I walked from my office in the Flatiron District, all the way down the brink of the Lower East side to justify the food and drink I was about to consume. I arrived at my destination, Prune, to meet my two concert cohorts and a friend for the evening. Prune has been recently made famous by toting the honor of "The Best Bloody Mary in all of NYC". I dually noted that there was a burger and Bloody Mary special for the "affordable" price of $15. So, I ordered it, and... YEAH it was a joke. Go there to drink a Bloody Mary and go somewhere else to eat! The "Burger" was a SLIDER, one singular slider, with a small serving of McDonald-esque fries! Although it was a tasty little ping-pong sized ball of meat- I couldn't BELIEVE I spent more than a few bucks on it! I mean, HONESTLY Prune, do you think you will stay in business with absurdly pretentious food, mediocre drinks, and a LOUSY wait staff?! Eh, you probably will. NYC is dumb that way...

OK. Rant over. Now, onward to discuss the evening spent in the serpentine labyrinth that is Webster Hall.