Le Poisson RougePosted: May 21, 2013
As I stood in line to enter Le Poisson Rouge (LPR), I wondered when I’ll be of the age where the bouncer only cards me to be polite. As the proverbial saying goes, time flies and I haven’t really started checking out the contemporary classical/new music scene in the city nearly a year into my resolution. To encourage myself to do so, I signed up for membership at LPR, a venue that presents the best in a range of creative music, including jazz and the avant-garde. A newly minted member, I was able to catch Rudresh Mahanthappa’s ensemble Gamak free of the cover charge and feel official holding my gray membership card with a red fish on it.
Though I hadn’t heard the saxophonist live before, I was already a fan of his incredible intensity and facility from listening on Myspace years ago. This was a high-energy music, complete with fist pounding between Rudresh Mahanthappa and guitarist David Fiuczynski and a lot of sweat from bassist François Moutin. The moppy-haired bassist had to constantly dry his head with a big towel and shook his head so much that I wondered if he felt dizzy or was losing brain cells.
Drummer Dan Weiss followed suit and had a towel around his neck by the last piece, perspiring from the abundant solos where he played the trap set more like a frame drum or tablas. The guitarist switched between two double-neck electrics to play microtonal solos also invoking a world of influences. The monstrous-looking guitars took some getting used to, even for a person easily excited by the sight of mutant strawberries.
A large venue with exposed pipes and vents overhead, Le Poisson Rouge has sizable restrooms to match its performance space. Past the photo booth and the big, cushy, grungy-looking chairs, you’ll find the women’s room to your left and the men’s room straight ahead. The women’s restroom has seven stalls, two hand dryers and a long sink with two faucets. I preferred to use the faucet on the right with trickling water rather than the faucet on the left where I ended up splashing water all over.
The dim lighting proved a bit problematic as I had to take photos on my little video camera. I did chant my mantra, “Zoom, cam, Ken®” as always to remind myself to bring my Zoom to record audio, camera to take photos and Ken® to model by the toilets but grabbed the wrong camera on my way out. I must have been just out of it that day because I also got to LPR an hour early, thinking the show started at a different time than it did .
Jovana from Serbia tells us how to say, “Where’s the restroom?” in Serbian —