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Two pinnacles in a day of highlights

Went to the Brooklyn Book Festival today*. I thought I’d check it out, maybe listen to a reading or two, peruse the wares that vendors were peddling, perchance see if any of the publishers were interested in translations of Nicelandic literature. Had the idea that I might get the odd polite nod and smile, a raised eyebrow or two and then a kind brush-off. I never dreamed of the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response I’d get from virtually everyone. ‘Iceland?? Oh, wow – we’d love to see some stuff from Iceland … Iceland is so big right now.’

But we knew all that – right?

Went to a concert this evening at the Village Vanguard – Paul Motian trio was playing. EPI was really psyched to see them as he’s a big fan of both Paul Motian and Bill Frisell … YT is less of a fan but I was definitely up for the experience. Have to say, though, that I was primarily struck by how apathetic they were towards the audience, i.e. they did not interact with the audience at all. They came on, made no acknowledgment that there was actually a full house of people sitting there watching them, played a set for just over an hour during which they only looked at each other – never into the audience – and never uttered a word of thanks or took a bow or anything of the sort between songs. When the set finished, Motian spoke a few words in which he basically tried to get people to stay for a second set [which cost an additional ten bucks] at which they walked away and did not come back for an encore. Sheesh! I mean, they played well and everything, but to not even acknowledge for a second those people that paid money to see them and were totally enthusiastic and positive, came across as incredibly ungenerous and ungracious. Guess they were just too sexy for their clothes, or something.

Weather here is pretty cold, I’m told … it just turned, three days ago, from being super-hot and humid. And now, if I stay up a moment longer, I’ll need toothpicks to keep my eyes open, so t’rah for now!

*Actually, Sunday. My time settings are all screwed up, as is my biological clock.

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