(Note: this news is being broadcast by home correspondent kristin, as relayed by VVB, who is live at large on the streets of our fair apple city. It's kind of weird to hear these events on the radio and know she is right there, a few feet from the microphone, and to later read about what I couldn't see.)
it's been a mere twenty four hours in the city so far, and already there's just... so much. so many things are different, better, different, wonderful... knowing my way around a little bit more than I did last time has made it that much more fun to be here, there's no constant worry if I'm heading the right way or going to be late, like when you're home and you know just how long it takes to get from place to place. last time I was so anxious, and this time I am so present. there's almost a complete absence of fear and anxiety, except for the good kind, the holy crap luke temple is two feet away from me kind. but you know what I mean.
the train trip in was pretty uneventful, being that I was coming in on sept. 11th and all, and to be honest new york city felt like the perfect place to be. as I've started to fall in love with being here, with the city itself being this living breathing part of everything, I almost felt what people had lived here must have felt - to be accurate I should say that I caught a glimpse of what it may have been like, because I can't assume to know. but that love and devotion to a place, the place that the passerby proclaim is "the greatest place on earth! what did you expect? you're in new york!" - that tangible thing that's sort of totally intangible at the same time - it grazed me in all kinds of beauty. the kind of beauty you can only find here, I think. beauty in the sidewalks and the doorways and the businessmen and the junkies, in all of it, every moment.
so I stroll into the museum this morning, sweating from the walk, loving it anyways, iced starbucks in hand. lovingly kept by michael (and marzipan, who spooned me to sleep after some fitful tossing from strange sleep in a strange place). I woke up to other people waking up, strangers with alarm clocks taking showers and banging spoons against cereal bowls - and that feeling of all those other people being alive, it just made me want to do something and go and be and yes. the same guard greeted me, remembering. the same elevator, the same cartoon cutouts in the hallways - I stumbled into eiffel tower already setting up, friendly and welcoming, with a few kexp interns to round it out. they wound up playing such a great set, and as the third song rolled out (she's a girl) I went, "oh! it's this band!" and andrew (intern) grinned and laughed. it made it that much more fun and fabulous, and all of a sudden we were one band down for the day with loading and coffees and hellos and such in full swing.
the highlight of my morning was when john said hello, introduced me to cheryl, who said, "oh, victoria! john's said so many great things about you - it's nice to finally meet you!" and she meant it. and he meant it. and I know it was me last time that was all uncomfortable and full of just general angst about myself, that it didnt' have anything to do with john talking or not talking to me - all of it dissolved in that moment, and it was okay to be a little bit of a dork sending email requests and "I LOVE this song!" over the great american internet, to be okay with it, and then to have that further confirmed by john richards having great things to say about me. to cheryl. about me. and on top of that kevin and bill and everyone just being so into everything, talking about the national, getting excited for luke temple and devin davis and the week ahead.
adam franklin from swervedriver and more teas and lattes followed suit, there was much handing out of stickers and further introductions and endless bathroom direction givings and bottles of water fetchings and little family type spats from time to time between djs and interns and interns and interns and so forth - followed immediately by makings up and favorite songs. before I knew it, luke temple was having a conversation with me about the logistics of telling someone to "break a leg" because when it was said to him, I offhandedly went "isn't that bad luck, to actually say break a leg?" and all of a sudden four people were discussing it with me and I was like, "I might be totally wrong but I swore I heard that before, that you shouldn't say that on opening night - " and we determined it might be for people that need to walk to perform but because they were sitting that it must be okay. so on with the show.
so much is flooding back to me in pieces, a furiously written sign on the door of blockbuster proclaiming "WE ARE OUT OF BAGS" with this scrawled sense of urgency, meeting schedules the size of small phonebooks (not kidding), the people of new york buzzing around the west side at 11:00 on a sunday night, the line for the dave letterman show today on the way back to michael's, perfect well-priced sushi rolls, hundred degree subways, and the mtv thing - I'll get to that in a minute. so back to luke temple, who goes on, and apparently has (a) just broken up with his girlfriend and (b) as a result has moved back to new york city which (c) hurts enough but then gets topped off by a friend's wedding, just to twist the knife and (d) has had all of this happen in two days and is now talking to cheryl waters and doing an instudio. not breaking a leg. hearing all of this just made it all that much more heartbreaking, his songs move me completely regardless of segways ! and setups but just watching him play, the faraway stares, the momentary indifference followed by a line in a song about her that he hadn't sang since everything changed - it was incredible. I hope some of the shots came out.
more coffee, more postcards, more meandering, more coffee again, trail mix, bathroom directions, and then hopewell. hopewell is the loudest band ever that still achieves a total melodic cinematic effect that is undeniable and takes you over from the first four clicks of the drumsticks counting off. I mean, they were loud, but it was such a great loud, my first cd purchase of the day and right up there with luke's set, only on another part of the spectrum. as it turned out their van got towed from a five minute meter discrepancy and we wound up talking to them for about and hour, after everything was already cleared out and made ready for tomorrow's broadcast. we joked and talked politics and authors and current rotations and dredged up old relationships. they really are such a great group of guys, one more level of these bands that blow you away but are so totally tangible at the same time - once the van was confirmed on return, we came down in the elevators (here's the mtv part) and stumbled into a lobby of elbow rubbing important folk eating crabcakes and posing for publicity shots. turns out angelina jolie did some documentary with a bunch of people about africa and children in africa and mtv had booked out the museum to screen it. so here we are, shot, amps in tow, and the tuxedo-clad waiter comes by with a silver platter and announces the fillet mignon appetizer. rich (bass player, hopewell) says, "why, thank you" and I almost explode with laughter as I politely decline. the museum warden woman from last time is moments behind us and apologetically shushes us right out the door. it was absolutely perfect.
I've managed a meeting both nights and have felt equally welcomed and as at home as at michael's and in the seats of the studio. I'm doing the things I always talked about but never made an effort to before this past year. I'm not alone with my brand of crazy. sidewalk vendors and shiny apples and sore feet and healthy self esteem abound, and it's still just the first day.
over and out, live from the museum of television and radio in new york city, this is kexp.