Soundbytes, a la Gigs


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A couple weeks ago some friends and I went to a gig. It was really fun and a little bit unpredictable. We had planned to see a friend of a friend of the friends with whom I went. The venue had a lot of interesting posters with trannies on them and announcements for the gay community. Some of the other audience members were clearly men dressed as women, but they were beautiful, but not entirely convincing. My friends looked a little nervous, but a gig is a gig is a gig. I figured it’d be music. The kind of music, I couldn’t even guess, but the friend of a friend of my friends was performing, and we knew she was a singer/songwriter. The friend of a friend of my friends was only a part of the show, and I learned that the main performer threw a birthday party and invited the public to hear him and his friends sing for his birthday. The music was quite entertaining. The personalities were cool; the songs were catchy; the talent was phenomenal. Even though the first act came out wearing a straight jacket, I knew we, with our pure minds and untainted sensibilities, had nothing to worry about.

The opportunities for live music in New York City are virtually endless. If I could afford to go every night, I would go somewhere different every night. Or maybe the same place for every night of the week. I’d probably save Thursday or Saturday for The Living Room. I’ve been to the Bowery Ballroom and Arlene’s Grocery and Piano’s and CBGB’s and The Bitter End and Madison Square Garden and the Knitting Factory and the Alphabet Lounge and Caffe Vivaldi and Town Hall and the Beacon Theatre. I’ve been to the Albatross in Queens and Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn and some place I don’t remember the name of deep in Williamsburg. Then they have Central Park and Bryant Park and The River to River Festival and the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island.

And for classical music? Bryant Park and the bandshell in Central Park and Juilliard and the Metropolitan Opera House and Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall and the corner by the escalators to the 4-5-6 line in Grand Central Station, not to mention the Metropolitan Museum of Art and all the churches that host free concerts.

That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

And I’m not about to hyperlink all the places I mentioned.

Over the past five years, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open. I scoured the free city newspapers. I researched online. I listened to what my friends like and noticed who those bands listened to, and then I made informed decisions according to my tastes. I’ve seen a few bands I didn’t really care for, but for the most part, I cannot get enough or over the incredible talent. I heart music, especially here because I’ve put so much effort into finding what I heart. I heart New York. I heart the life it gave me. Will I have to give it back?

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