February 14, 2007

I'd heard of "the ABC No Rio",
but I did not understand.

I had to consult the wikipedia
article to get it: this is a
good old-fashioned 80s kind of
place, which went from squat
to non-profit, and at long last
won a long political fight
with the Manhattan bureaucracy.

I mentioned to smurph that I'd
been there, and he immediately     SMURPH
commented "Yeah! That place has
survived even though CBGBs has           And the tiny "Other
gone under."                             Music" has *outlasted*
                                         the fall of the gigantic
                                         "Tower Records" across
   The "ABC No Rio" is                   the street.
   located far out east on
   Rivington Street, once                  Which makes the
   isolated, now in the                    name "Other Music"
   overlapping zone of the                 problematic.
   edges of two (or three?)
   relatively "hip"                           Something like
   neighborhoods.                             "Indie" Rock
                                              capturing the
   The place has an entryway of               mainstream,
   industrial steel, the ceiling              which it
   a forest of inverted metal                 clearly has...
   tulips, all lit in a green
   flourescent light.                                (Well... it's
                                                     better than
   We trot up and down the stairs                    Musak. I guess).
   before finding the performance
   space, a crowded room with
   plaster falling from the ceiling...

The occasion was the Blaise Siwula
event "C.O.M.A. - citizens
ontological music agenda" where we
gathered for a New Years Eve of
improv music.

And we were feeling right at
home: it was the Usual                  BEANBENDERS
Suspects, east-coast variety...

Getting the names straight was hard...
it was hard to convince them that
there really were two actual audience        You know you've found
members, and we really didn't know who       some *real* music when
*everyone* was.                              the band outnumbers
                                             the audience.

   Bonnie Kane      (sax)
   Jamie McLaughlin (vox, spoons, and mic)
   Ed Chang         (bowed guitar)                  Back at the KZSU reunion,
   Motoko           (vox & party horns)         I pulled a "Spin-17" disk
   Scott May        (violin)                        out of the library --
   Chris Welcome    (cello)                         a crowd of DJs were
   Robyn Siwula     (viola/violin)                  stunned and intrigued.
   Diana Wayburn    (piano, flute, etc)
   Ken Silverman    (guitar)
   Shayna Dulberger (contrabass)

   And I think I heard these names

   Scott Prato
   Scott Rosenberg                                   But that could not have
   Karen ___                                         been the west coast/
   Will Ourzo (sp?)                                  Chicago Scott Rosenberg,
   Lazlo (sp?)       (violin)                        or we would've
                     (french horn)                   recognized him.
                     (sax, visiting from LA)

   And there may have been folks there named:

   Jeffrey Shudut
   Ernest Anderson
   Cal Red
   Cyrus Pireh

   But mysteries remain.

       (who *was* that guy on
       piano in the russian hat
       and scarf?).