Le Poisson Rouge

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.

Sorry to cut you out of the photo, Ken®LPR Women's sinkThough 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.

LPR women's toiletLPR member cardA 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 —

Gde je wc?