August 2011: Hating NYC’s heat, loving the music

New York City sucks, as anyone who lives in New York City knows, unless you’re savvy to what makes this city great. One big thing is music, which has perked me up a few times in the past two months.

In June, the jazz jam band Medeski, Martin & Wood performed in Central Park. The park’s free concert series often lands big names such as MMW, which also attracts big crowds, but a gentle rain scared away the lesser fans on this Saturday evening, leaving lots of elbow room for me and my buddy Pete. He recorded the following clip on his iPhone during the concert (I’m the guy in the hat who makes a quick appearance to Pete’s right). The drum solo is sick!

This past Friday, Pete again saw MMW perform free, this time with the jazz guitarist John Scofield at the Whitney Museum. Incredibly, Pete failed to invite me. I’m still a little peeved. But I’ll get my chance this Friday, because MMW is performing free at the Whitney every Friday this month to commemorate 20 years as a band.

And in any case, I got my music fix last week in Prospect Park, where I saw Brooklyn native Sufjan Stevens perform a big outdoor concert in the bandshell. Evidently, The New Yorker was also there, because one of their bloggers later described the concert as a “spectacle” of “enormous inflatable creatures, metallic space-suit headdresses, and glow in the dark dancers. ”

Sufjan opened the concert with a rip-roaring version of Seven Swans, which is from the extra-religious “Seven Swans” album that came between “Michigan” and “Illinois.” Someone else in the audience recorded it, here:

And here’s a shorter clip that my sis took with her iPhone:

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