Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Evening at South Street Seaport: Seaport Music Festival presents Slow Club

Early this evening we found ourselves in front of the stage at South Street Seaport to see the deliriously enchanting folk-pop duo from Sheffield, England: Slow Club, which put on a really cool show for the appreciative crowd.

Although we were never were that big a fan of the Rouse Company's festival marketplaces like Pier 17 (see our 1987 rant about Miami's Bayside in one of our 1987 Hollywood Sun-Tattler columns), it's grown on us (and others) over time.

But we liked South Street Seaport back in the 1970s and can remember sitting in bleachers by the water before the stores were built, enjoying a really good folk concert on a cool September night, giving our friend Marilyn Citron - who still looks as good as ever and now can run a 5K race in San Francisco faster than anyone her age) the plaid flannel shirt boys wore over T-shirts then so she could be warmer).

Anyway, we were intrigued by The L Magazine's listing for this evening's Seaport Music Festival event, a tenth anniversary tribute to one of the UK’s best independent labels, Moshi Moshi Records:

With their cutesy, spacey dance-pop in tow, Casiokids may have the biggest name recognition, but they're not necessarily the ones you need to see. That's because the Wave Pictures have a song called "Now You Are Pregnant," and it's a bittersweet ballad towing the line between twee and folk and namedrops Johnny Cash multiple times. And then there's Slow Club, a girl-boy duo whose sing-along songs are so endearing and infectious, they could dress up like Care Bears and you probably wouldn't even find it nauseating.

So we were interested in seeing Slow Club. Afraid we'd gotten there late, we rushed from the Fulton Street subway station and made it just as they were being introduced.

Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson made some small talk ("Everyone enjoying the shade?") and they actually were as endearing and infectious as the magazine said.

"Has anyone here ever heard of us before?" Rebecca asked. She got a lot of shouts and love back. "That's cool," she said. "It's usually just my mum going 'Wooooo!'"

It was their second time in New York City, they said. Last time it was so cold and this week it's been hot. "How do you cope?" Rebecca said. She's sooo cute, we wished we were a teenage boy again, or a teenage lesbian. Charles is cute, too. Did we say cute is what we live for?

Our only disappointment was that their set contained just seven songs. All were good, but our favorties were "Wild Blue Milk" and "Trophy Room." Rebecca said after we applauded one song that South Street Seaport was "the coolest place we ever played a gig."

For their finale, they sang "Christmas TV" acoustically, going offstage and into the audience.

On Monday evening, after our fun reading at McNally Jackson with Donal Mosher for Life As We Show It (thanks to everyone who came and to the bookstore's Dustin Kurtz for everything!), we sat in the cafe drinking iced tea with our dear old friend, the brilliant and multitalented Richard Kostelanetz. We told him the best advice he ever gave us back in the 1970s when we were starting out was that if there's anyone who can ever do something better than you can, defer to them and do something else. So in that spirit. . .

if you want a really intelligent review of the whole concert, you should check out the blog my so-called life, where Claire has some bright and funny things to say and also posted a video (she was to our left) of "Christmas TV" on YouTube:

We would have liked to stay to see what Rebecca called (she's not only cute but politic) her "two favorite bands in the world, at the moment," The Wave Pictures and CasioKids, but we had to get to the Lower East Side, to the bandshell at East River Park, for some theater.

1 comment:

Claire said...

I just discovered your blog; I love it! Thanks for the kind shout-out. :)
Audio from Slow Club is posted at my blog now if you want to listen to it.