From Patti, with love: a show review Patti Smith's recent Met concert. This is my first ever writing on Patti, a pretty intimidating task given that so many great writers, and the artist herself, have written so well on her life and work. I am entranced by Lenny Kaye's relationship with her, as you can tell from this piece. I can't recommend that book of O'Keefe/Steiglitz letters highly enough, read it to the lover in your life.
Keep Kate Bush Weird!: an album review for 50 Words for Snow. Since the piece was mid-cycle for the album release, I decided to look more at the influence of Bush on the last 20 years of musicians. It's really not common for me to name drop so many different artists in such a short article, which is why I laughed that someone called me out for it in the comments. I know, "never read the comments." But this was my first piece and I am wondering how the community for Capital is coming along.
"When righteousness withers away and evil rules the land, we come into
being, age after age, and take visible shape, and move, a man among
men, for the protection of good, thrusting back evil and setting virtue
on her seat again."
I arrived at 10:30 to see the barricades already up outside Lincoln Center. A group, maybe 80 deep, stood on the sidewalk on Columbus Ave. "What are we waiting for?" The opera goes until 11pm, a woman said. The Occupied Wall Street paper boy, who had been inside the Lincoln Center campus, was crying out the news somewhere near the library. A man next to me started singing his Occupy Broadway song, using famous tunes with 99 percenter words. He's performing tomorrow, a few sets, one as a clown. He took out a piece of paper and a pen and crossed out some lines that didn't work. People walking their dogs asked what was going on, they hovered, then one of the few who got through before the barricades went up tried to walk down from the plaza to us on the steps, and was detained. "Shame on you, shame on you." Now a familiar phrase, unfortunately. A group of marchers in paper hats appeared from Broadway, "we are the 99 percent." Did they come all the way from downtown? They arrived with cymbals and a livestreaming laptop. The crowd deepened, a buzz began, the police stood firm on the plaza steps over LED words like "fashion" in the steps, and then the opera let out:
As Alex Ross (who took this video) mentioned in his blog post about the Occupy Lincoln Center protest, among the many well-heeled attendees was Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, who came down the steps to join and hear Philip Glass's mic check. They were just on the other side of the barricade, and after a little figeting, we managed to get the barricade open so people could move through one point in the space. A policeman came down to close the gate again, and the crowd helped people pass over, including a man in a gorgeous suit and his date in a full length coat, black stockings, and high heels.
The crowd used the mic to talk about the pay of arts workers, labor policies at CUNY, the story of Gandhi's non-violence that is the center of Glass's opera, to express solidarity, and to speak of the right to make art and to sleep in public places. Reed spoke as a livelong New Yorker to condemne Lincoln Center's barricades; Anderson, always thinking broadly, asked us to speak to our friends and not-friends about these issues, and to "occupy America." And at the end of the night, a man made a declaration of a hunger strike, which was addressed from human mic to Lincoln Center administrators who first turned their backs and then processed into Avery Fisher Hall without acknowledgement. We turned and repeated the seriousness of this statement, then general assembly was over, 2 a.m.