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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Misquote alert. Diane Cluck's lyric is "the washed out splendor of the nest unmade"

Monday, July 30, 2001

SUMMER ANTI-FOLK TOMPKINS SQUARE PARKFEST 2001
I played two songs at the park while just about everyone else played one. Of course, we ended the event with 20 minutes to spare; of course, after my second song I knocked over Drew Blood's keyboard. Then, when Jordan Corbin attempted to use it thereafter (she even asked me, should she, and I, the deluded prayer gambler, said sure), it didn't work. She played, beautifully, her dingbat song on the guitar. Dingbats, by the way, lodge in crevices of only the best and most decorative cathedral ceilings. So basically the only two glitches in an otherwise flawless 48 performer talent cavalcade were my dropping the keyboard and Jordan attempting to play it thereafter, the second glitch, MERELY AN EXTENSION OF THE FIRST. Congratulations everybody! John Gernarn & Lach, with Joie and Amos Elpmis ("Simple" Soma) in the background, engineered great sound with out-of-the-ballpark think-on-your-feet skill.

Another drop on my part -- you probably missed this one but here is it and its consequence. After The Moldy Peaches had completed their well-crafted conceptual pop outrage to a packed room at the Sidewalk Cafe, I pulled my video camera out of its perch by the piano. I pulled it up by the stand -- it was already up pretty high -- so it hit the ceiling and dropped off the stand onto the floor. I picked it up and returned home. The battery had fallen off.

Now Rick Shapiro, occupying the "Sidewalk Sunday at 10" spot, commands attention. He also thinks on his feet, pretty freely, in a way that I can't imagine helps him move forward. In fact the operative words here are wallow and glorify, where I, too, find art. Moving forward is not the way of Til Eulenspiegel. To quote from a nice fellow I met at The Eulenspiegel Society, Til rolls the ball up the mountain and each time, upon reaching the pinnacle, it rolls back down. Repeating the same thing twice and expecting a different result is a good definition of insanity. It also defines ritual and that's what sado-masochism is about.

Where else might we encounter such repetitive movement syndrome?

When I returned at 11:30, Rick was still on, performing to a packed house. He was doing a great Italian goomba routine.

He also does an amazing movie announcer voice when he says "Whitney Houston in a Penny Marshall Film." He repeats it with varied inflections and each is perfect in its portentiousness. There is something ludicrous about names and their associations with people. Matt Damon, Lawrence Larry Fischburn. Betty Bette Davis. Try it.

He also has a "middleclass" routine about redecorating his wife's vagina.

He did an australian aborigine routine while Dina Dean majestically stood before him. The pop song playing during his dance was a good one.
Lach returned to the audience with the tip mandolin, encouraging Mr. Shapiro to continue while he did so.

Rick embarked upon a taxi ride routine based upon an incident he reported repeatedly was really true. Apparently the "taxi driver" wanted to make some point that men would fuck even if it meant certain annihilation by asking Rick a question. Rick would walk out of the cab and the taxi driver would coerce him back in. As Rick relived the taxi driver attempting to keep Rick's attention, Rick was keeping ours, AND THAT'S IT. It's not the question, would you stick a penis with a babyface into a bunny's porcupine vagina, nor what you might answer, but simply, in the wake of this disturbance, Does attention to Mr. Shapiro continue to be paid? Exquisite torture. What kind of free-ride pay-to-get-out masochism are we honing?

Kubrick said the greatest crime is to be boring, then he tested our limits, and it's enlightening to discover in the details what was at first boring to be incredibly interesting...

The audience was relatively quiet during his performance. They certainly faced acknowledgment if, in departing, they should catch his eye.

So in much the same way as Rick did last night in getting into the baby's breath delicacy of this penis tip before returning us to its destination, the cake of nails, I return to my battery, all the way in the far corner of the room by the piano. My eyes were tearing from the smoke. I was sneezing. At last a seat opened up by Jordan Pfister, my dear friend who played bass for our set earlier in the evening. After enjoying the Jeff Lewis and The Moldy Peaches, I left to drive back Hens' drumkit. Jordan remained.

After Rick's set, all Jordan said was that the performance, at 2 hours, went on too long. As I sat by him during it, I remembered another event he helped host back in the WKCR concert fundraising days at the cusp of the repetitive new music breakthroughs of Steve Reich ("Drumming"), and Philip Glass (And Glass was achieving breakthroughs while we sat there listening to him work through his noodlings. Is Shapiro?). I mean, now that I think of it, Philip Glass achieves dizzying musical vistas, and on that day, when Jordan's friends, The Model Citizens were playing with Reich, and John Cale (with Bowie on violin) at Carnagie Hall, Glass ended the evening, people vacating in droves, by playing the organ. Who'd be there when he stopped? I was, with a kvetch like this thereafter.

The tables at Sidewalk cleared. It was 12:30. While I was feeling around the floor, Jordan found the battery on the table. The camera is ready for playback. Let's go to the videotape.

What a day! July 29th, 2001.
Through my usual tunnel vision, the Diane Cluck Wild Line of the Day That I Caught

was

"The washed out splendor of the mess she made."