grey marble

October 28, 2007

Jens Lekman @ Webster Hall

Last night Karen invited me to see Jens Lekman. I met her in front of Webster Hall at nine. We walked in just as he was starting his set.

He stood center stage flanked by women dressed in white. To his left were two string players, to his right two horns. Behind him sat the drummer, a pair of red glasses were embroidered on her lapel. I couldn't tell what was stitched to the shoulders of the other players. A bassist stood off to the side, and an androgynous figure stood behind a laptop. I asked Karen if they were supposed to be dressed as nurses. She shrugged.

We stood in the back and listened as he played. He told the story of arriving in Berlin to see his girlfriend to discover she had told her parents they were engaged. He played "A Postcard To Nina" between his storytelling. Then he told another story which lead into "Black Cab." I danced; Karen laughed. When the song was over, Karen looked at me; he had played our two favorite songs. "O.K. we can go," she joked.

All too soon the concert was over (or rather it was the exact length of time). As he played I had detected influences ranging from R.E.M. circa Green to Jeff Buckley to Motown to 70s soul and had loved every minute of it. I thanked Karen profusely as we slowly shuffled to the exit. She wondered how tall he was. She was hoping to catch a glimpse of him in the crowd. I told her I was half-hoping he'd cover a Prince song.

At one point, he encouraged the audience to talk. He said he liked the New York accent and was hoping to hear people speaking. As he wound down his set, he said he wanted to keep playing. He told us that he'd come out into the audience and if anyone had any suggestions he'd go there and play more. A woman behind us yelled out, "I love you. You can come home with meeeeeeeeeeee," the vowel long and drawn out until it disappeared into the cavernous hall. Posted by eugene at

October 14, 2007

happy birthday, e.e.

This morning I had a strong desire to read e.e. cummings. I took his complete poems with me to the couch and began flipping through the pages. Later, when I told Yw this, she told me it was his birthday. "Today is the 14th, right?" she asked. It is. I hadn't known. I told her I was surprised. I told her I thought it was strange that I would have such an urge on the date of his birth. She said, "What a coincidence!"
Posted by eugene at | Comments (1)

October 12, 2007

No cause for alarm

There's an alarm going off in the building, sounding something like a far-off swarm of cicadas.
Posted by eugene at | Comments (2)

October 10, 2007

In Rainbows

I'm listening to the new Radiohead album. My cousin im'd me and said, "it is weird to be excited to wake up and download something" but it's true. This morning I was up at 6:30 to go to the bathroom. I turned my computer on and started the download, then went back to sleep. I dreamt about the album.

I dreamt that the album was mixed up. The first track I had started listening to was accidentally the second and it was dark and slow. The album art seemed to animate on my computer. I could suddenly touch my screen and move it around. When I realized I was listening to the last song, I requeued the album and started over. The files were a jumble of formats. The songs were jumping around. I looked at the download meter and I still had an hour to go.

One of the more amazing things about this album download is that once again I'm excited for a release. All too often after an album is announced—to be released months from the announcement—it will be leaked long before that date, making the release date somewhat irrelevant. The expectation is gone. For the first time in a long time I feel like i'm listening to an album for the first time along with everyone else. And I only had to wait a week.

I'm only halfway through but now I need to shower and get to work. I'm trying not to read a review or listen to an opinion until I finish listening. And I'm reserving my opinion until more people listen to it. I wish I could just sit and finish listening before doing anything else today. But the day beckons. Posted by eugene at | Comments (3)

October 3, 2007

Meter (wo)man

Yesterday, the ConEd woman (for me, it's always a woman) came to check the meter. It's always the first week of the month and usually around 8:15am; I haven't registered whether it's always the same day. I was barely awake. She knocked, I let her in, she flashed a light at the meter, thanked me, and left.

In Connecticut, the meter man (there, it seemed always to be a man) used to surprise me. I'd hear the car drive up and then see a man circling the house, rooting in the bushes. I don't know when I came to realize what he was doing; at first he scared me.

It's interesting that in New York, checking the meter is so personal. Maybe it's just the age of the building in which I live, but once a month, I see the ConEd woman and she sees me (usually in my pajamas due to the early hour in which she appears). I wonder what she thinks of the various people on her route—the state of their apartments, their states of (un)dress. I wonder what stories she could tell.
Posted by eugene at


Recent Entries