Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tori Tori Tori!

Sometimes it's hard being an activist, especially if you don't have a natural temperament for it.

Case in point: On Monday I was in the subway on my way to Poly Cocktails and it was a crowded rush-hour train. I was already running late because of a brush fire in the Meadowlands delayed trains by an hour. As we passed it by, a plume of flame about 30 feet high was burning right beside the track. Crazy.

Anyway, a woman was talking with a group of friends and leaning up against the pole in the subway car and holding onto it with her arm bent behind her back. Even a transplanted New Yorker like me knows this is a big no-no in NYC subway etiquette - it hogs the pole and keeps other people from grasping it comfortably. When one woman had to fully extend her arm above her head to hold the pole, I decided to take out my earbuds and say something.

Me: Excuse me, you might not be aware of this, but by leaning against the pole, you're causing this woman behind you to have to reach way up to hold the pole.

Her: (glances behind at the arm above her head) Oh, I'm holding the pole with my hand here, behind my back.

Me: Yes, but you're leaning against the pole and keeping other people from using it.

Her: Oh. It was more comfortable.

She continued to hold the pole the same way, but put about an inch between her hair and body and the pole, so it didn't make much difference. They got off at the next stop. I can't believe how inconsiderate and self-centered some people can be. But I'm glad that I said something, even though I wasn't the one directly affected.

Tuesday night I met up with Lori for dinner and the Tori Amos concert at the Beacon - it's the first concert I've seen since The Gloaming in June, and my first time back to the Beacon since that awesome Pet Shop Boys concert last year.

I'm not a huge fan of Tori's, but what I realized is that my favorite of her albums (The Beekeeper) is not a favorite among her core fans like Lori. And that's because The Beekeeper is the album I grew up with five or six years ago. I've heard her other albums (American Doll Posse, Scarlet's Walk, From the Choirgirl Hotel, and Under the Pink) and there are some songs that have stuck with me, but taken as a whole, I'm still a fan of The Beekeeper the most. I did buy a vinyl copy of her newest, Unrepentant Geraldines, along with a set of buttons from the merch stand. The women sitting next to us couldn't believe they still made vinyl records - they were amazed to see a real record, and impressed that I (still) owned a turntable!

As for the performance, I greatly admired her artistry as a seasoned performer, and the crowd was over-the-top in love with her. I thought it was kind of distracting, all the hollering over the music. Her music isn't heavy metal - it deserves to be listened to without interruptions. I'm afraid the highlight for me were her covers of George Michael's "Faith" and Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" (mashed up with "Blue Jeans" by Lana Del Ray) that she performed in the "Lizard Lounge" portion of the setlist. Still, I had a nice time with my dear friend, and we're going to try and plan something for the week I'm off work at the end of the month.