Anniversary Date Night – 2 sets of Grandparents watching Ryla. Laurence and Brandie Concert NYC and romantic dinner.
I surprised Laurence with tickets to Mike Doughty (previous band Soul Coughing) for our anniversary. With much anticipation and ounces of nerves soaking my new blouse we left our baby for one of the first times for an entire evening. We headed out from Long Beach to NYC for a night on the town.
The concert was at the Rubin Museum of Art. This was the first concert Laurence and I attended at this venue so we were excited for the new music atmosphere. Mike Doughty was playing as part of the Naked Soul Collection which “features performances from some of the country’s top singer/songwriters without microphones or amplifiers, as if the music was, acoustically speaking, naked. The musicians in the series draw upon the universal themes inherent in Himalayan art—spirituality, peace, tolerance, wisdom, and compassion on select Friday evenings.”
When we arrived the vibe of the place was very relaxed and zen. Art is displayed from the onset and you are transported to a land like Tibet. The concert series is in the basement and at first when seated I felt as if I were in college waiting for a lecture to begin.
That is until Doughty arrived on stage. Laurence and I are familiar with a fair amount of his music but certainly not his full collection. So when he surfaced on stage; the venue felt so intimate as if he were playing in your home, immediately we settled in. First of all he was hilarious. The museum asks all artists to review the art collection and select pieces of work which complement the set list. It was an amazingly enriching experience auditory and visually. He was very relaxed and spoke to the audience as if we had been friends forever. He explained he would be performing 14 new songs from an album yet to be produced. So we were hearing pieces for the first time and he explained might evolve once actually recorded and not sound the same. Laurence and I love this type of thing so we were interested right from the start. Doughty is confident, funny, candid and very intelligent. A natural performer. After each one of the 14 songs he would crumble the notes sitting on his music stand and throw it into the audience. The energy was crazy as people stretched and hurled to catch the words yet to be recorded. When the 14 song setlist, with incredible art pieces lit up on a projector behind him, ended he went on to play the audience favorites by request.
We felt as if we were at a “Doughty campfire.” Hanging out with 120 of our closest friends singing along, requesting songs and shouting our Q’s waiting for his candid A’s during a period when his string on his guitar broke and he had to restring. He was so comfortable with the entire mishap it was almost as if it was planned. We got to know the artist a bit better . He was very proper and wore a suit for his performance but was sweating under the multitude of spot lights beaming down on him. At one point he discussed the topic and made a joke about the sweating and no tissues at the museum. A woman from the audience threw a pack of puffs on stage. At which point Doughty used them and let the woman have her choice of next song. A very kind thank you.
I think what endeared us to Mike Doughty the most is (as we were following up with our parents to make sure Ryla was ok after the concert standing in front of the Rubin) Doughty walked out with his guitar on his back. He talked with a few fans in front of the museum, turned right and headed down the street towards his subway home. Quintessential NYC moment.
See more details about the artist and the museum below.
Mike Doughty – http://www.mikedoughty.com/
Check out 27 Jennifers, Busting up a Starbux, I Keep on Rising Up
The Rubin Musuem – http://www.rmanyc.org
Founded in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit trust, the Rubin Museum of Art (RMA), the premier museum of Himalayan art in the Western world, opened to the public in October 2004. RMA is governed by an independent Board of Directors, which, with its professional staff, has led the museum to become universally recognized by newcomers and connoisseurs alike for showcasing the art of the Himalayan region. Through its collections and extensive public programming, the museum is a resource to the diverse communities that live in or travel to the New York region.