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March 2016

Seduce. Destroy. Heal. The Magic of Carol Lipnik

The other night, my pal Ro treated me and two of our friends to see the wonderfully talented Carol Lipnik at Joe's Pub. I'm not saying anything out of turn when I say that Ro is one of the most adventurous people I've ever met when it comes to seeing performers and shows that he knows little to nothing about except that someone he likes recommended them.

I've been fortunate to be on many of those expeditions over the years and, as you might expect, there have been uhmmm mixed results. Sometimes the show is great, sometimes not -- and we do this to each other... usually about five to ten minutes in, depending on who has invited whom, will turn to the other if it's bad and say "I'm sorry" to which the other shrugs and grits their teeth and orders another drink (Heaven help us if we're at a show without a bar; I generally try to focus on my 'to do' list) LOL . If you live in New York City, you owe it to yourself to get out and at least sample as much of what is out there as possible because you never know when you're going to find a gem.

CarolSo Ro has been trying to get me to see Carol Lipnik for some time and I've kind of resisted as when I've asked "what does she do?" and the answer is "hard to describe", which usually raises a red flag for me.

Happily in this case, this description was true- there is no real way to describe what you'll experience when you see Carol Lipnik - but I'll try.

First off, she's a singer, and a damn fine one at that eschewing traditional 'covers' of other people's songs, and, instead opting to perform numbers that she and her pianist have written. Sure, there were a couple songs that one could describe as "covers" but when you hear "The Twist" done as sort of beat poetry, it doesn't really feel like a cover, it feels like an entirely new piece.  Her final piece was a straightforward rendition of "Moon River" and I've not heard it sung so beautifully since I had the good fortune to be at a book signing a decade ago, where, impromptu, Margaret Whiting gave it a go (and we all joined in, because, geez, how could you not?).

So, secondly, you're not really getting a concert, you're getting an 'experience' that is unique - where else can you hear a song inspired by a William Blake poem? Or where else can you hear a song with the lyrics, "the anesthesia is wearing off" and make it sound at once sound Buddhist and political? You see? Hard to describe. There are howls (hers and yours) and a song about a werewolf and... well, you get the drift. This is not a woman who sings about being "back in style"; nothing that bland.

There are stories (real? imagined? Who knows? It genuinely doesn't matter) that place the audience in the role of meditative listener - and yet we were invited to participate so not once did I feel like a passive audience member simply hearing someone else as in most concerts.

Finally, there's her personal motto: SEDUCE. DESTROY. HEAL. Something in each of us at the concert certainly could relate to all of that.

What's also wondrous about Carol Lipnik is that she (smartly) avoids current topics (Ok there was the obligatory Trump dig which felt sort of out of place but given how much of a lout Trump is and has always been, it's easily forgiven) which gives the show a timeless feel.  Given her Earth Mother vibe, this show could have existed in it's current form 10, 20, 30 years ago without one word, one note changed. How often nowadays do we get to experience that? Usually a lesser talent substitutes topical humor for actual wit.

She has one final show, tomorrow night, Thursday, March 17 at 7pm (doors open at 6). Shockingly there are still tickets available - run, don't walk to get your tickets and enjoy an hour of the mysterious.

(And thanks to Ro for continuing to push me out of my comfort zone by recommending/inviting me to new things!)

Raining AND it's Monday? Watch TOONOCALYPSE for a Start of the Week Pick Me Up

105e21_0167d142a9ba461ba60f843210218062Good morning all - hope you had a great weekend!  This morning, I discovered this animated short that will rock your world - a great call back to the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" with toons invading Earth. The effects are pretty amazing and the story is first rate. It's well worth taking the time to check it out and it's definitely 'safe for work'. I expect that some studio (probably Pixar?) will be picking this up for a feature length movie any day now. Check out the company's website for more of their work.

Toonocalypse from The 2D Workshop on Vimeo.


Jumping for Joy for Incremental Change (and Beck Bennett)

BeckBennettGood morning all - happy March! A word of advice for all of you today - don't get sidelined by the cray cray today during Super Tuesday. The more you participate in the cray cray, the more the cray cray wins. Cray cray is a hungry beast so the more you feed it, the bigger it gets. Stop feeding it and sadly it doesn't die, but it does move on to somewhere it'll get fed. So a word of advice - today, don't take the bait - no matter whose supporters are perpetuating the cray cray, do a Nancy Reagan and just say no!

Today's short is a great little gem called "Hot to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps" and while it's sort of actually about losing weight, it's more about how to move through depression and what changing your life really looks like. It's surprisingly funny and touching.  Most people think that change looks like something huge or that there is a magic pill that will fix everything. Neither is true. Changing your life is just doing small things daily to improve your life. It looks huge when you stop and look back, but it's not huge in the moment. And as for the magic pill, nothing will make those changes last like putting the actual work into making things different for yourself. So, start today and in a year, be amazed.

Plus, as an added benefit, it features one of my favorite SNL performers, Beck Bennett, who wowed me with his "big baby boss" character on the show and for whom I've nursed a small celebrity guy crush over time (and it took me an embarrassingly long time before I realized that he is the same guy in the "it's not complicated" commercials for AT&T where he interviews children). Unfortunately, Bennett is not on my list of 5 Celebrity Guys To Sleep With (although there is a SNL actor on that list) but he's still pretty sexy. :)


HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT IN 4 EASY STEPS from Benjamin Berman on Vimeo.