Monday, April 27, 2009

Our lively party, well sated and buzzed with sangria, headed off to the open mic at The Donkey on Welford Road. Phoebe and B.L. Zeebüb were off to Scotland the next day so we were lucky to catch up with them. I had one of those delightfully convoluted, rabbit-hole conversations with B.L. that only make intangible sense in the sangria and jet lag context. Siggy and Jazz, joined by their 18-year-old daughter who is a dynamite sax player were our nearly constant companions in Leicester. Siggy serves The Mister well as not only a good friend and fellow musician, but is also a super-charged cheerleading manager for him in Leicester.

It’s always a new experience for me, listening to the songs that The Mister and I write and he performs publicly. For most of my life I had been a painter. When a completed canvas was transported outside my studio to a gallery show or eventually hung in another’s home I was often, well, disappointed. Certainly not by the appearance of the painting itself, but rather by a sense of attachment I’d had to it while creating it in the studio, which seemed to have disappeared when it had gone. I could see it and appreciate it but it never evolved once the pigment was dry and I let it go quite easily. Not so with the songs. As long as we work on a new one and as many times as I hear them coming from the back room of our apartment in Manhattan when The Mister is rehearsing it never fails to surprise me when I hear the song played out in public. And it is always a pleasant surprise. It’s as if the song, unlike the painting, has an organic life of its own. I often catch myself humming our tunes. You can’t hum a painting. Hearing the newest songs like “Living In a Mike Leigh World” and “Feral Woman” played out live can’t be beat. Hearing our song, “Greenhill Road” played for the very people who inspired it—Jazz and Siggy—well, it’s just icing on the cake, or rather to the point, the foamy head on a pint of Guinness where a clever bartender scrawls a cloverleaf.

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