The StonePosted: August 28, 2012
They say time flies. I blinked and ended up back at The Stone, the first music venue I checked out after moving here a year ago. I told myself last time to not return in the summer, as it gets unbearably stuffy in the small rectangular room when the noisy air conditioner is turned off during the performance. But I forgot about that. Thankfully, the weather this past Tuesday was relatively cool and the A/C was kept on for the second piece.
With my glasses sliding over the bridge of my nose from perspiration, my mind began to wander as I listened to the interaction between Pauline Oliveros (digital accordion), Susie Ibarra (drums) and Thollem McDonas (piano). I remembered the time I participated in Pauline’s workshop some years ago and the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, where I heard her play duo with laptop, wishing I had earplugs to deflect the shimmery, metallic vibrations. I remembered the electric energy of spontaneous music making with strong improvisers committed not to a specific musical idiom, but to the moment. I remembered a little piece of myself that I had forgotten.
Along with the Village Vanguard’s ladies stalls, The Stone’s unisex restroom provided the impetus for this blog. Located immediately behind the performance area, there is no way that you or anyone else watching the show can miss the entrance to the restroom. And with just a flimsy button lock on the doorknob, you feel as though someone might accidentally fling the door open on you, making your private potty time a part of the performance. If you obey the sign discouraging bathroom use during the performance however, you won’t have to worry about having to improvise in the hypothetical situation. Just remember to use the bathroom during the break.
I went equipped with hand sanitizer and was pleased to see that they had soap this time, $2.99 plus tax from Adinah’s Farm market across the street. Maintaining restrooms, from purchasing the hand soap and toilet paper to calling the plumber costs money and I wondered how The Stone runs. This is the only club I know of in the city that does not sell drinks and has select musicians curate shows, with all cover revenue going directly to the performers.
As I continue to publish posts, I’m starting to exhaust the more commonly found languages for the concluding audio clip. I had counted on getting Tagalog for this issue but the person eventually and politely declined. You can tell quite a bit about one’s personality just by asking if you could record him/her saying “Where’s the restroom?” Some people don’t think twice, maybe laugh then say it, while others are much more cautious. It probably doesn’t put the careful personalities any more at ease when I say it’s for a blog on toilets. Please do warn friends that play or attend jazz clubs about JAZZ TOILET so that they are not taken aback when I pop the question.
A Spanish friend told me that there are some 6000 languages in the world and that there are 4 in his nation alone. I’m not sure how many are spoken in NYC but there are certainly more than I can cover in the lifetime of this blog. Cătălin from Romania tells us how to say, “Where’s the restroom?” in Romanian —