August 2007

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feist

I resisted joining the Feist bandwagon. I just didn’t think what she was doing was that great. I listened to the records, and was just left kind of…eh.

This changed my opinion:

It’s really not the massive (and, to my ears, bombastic) choir — comprised of people from such bands as Grizzly Bear, Mates of State, National, New Pornographers, and likely random Brooklynites she bumped into — that made me re-evaluate my feelings on Feist.

Rather, there’s something about the way she phrases the emphatic moments of the song that I find very compelling. It’s the whisper being more powerful than a roar approach, and I like it very much.

I shall now take another shot at the records. Certainly not the first time my initial impression of something has been wrong.

hilly kristal

HILLY KRISTAL

The Good Shepherd

Hilly Kristal opened the doors
of CBGB’s to us all in 1974.
All who passed through the portals
experienced, as Arthur Rimbaud would
say, “new scenes, new noise”.

He offered us artistic freedom and his
gruff yet unconditional love. We evolved,
we left and went out into the world like
prodigal children. When we returned
he always accepted us with open arms.

Once back in 1974, leaving the club after a
loud, raucous night, I noticed that Hilly had fallen
asleep on a cot. He was covered with a faded blanket
and his feet were sticking out. His mismatched socks
were also holy. Having holes that is. But perhaps holy
as well. I remember thinking he’s just one of us.

I never really knew him outside of CBGB’S. But
he was always there. His door was always open. And
when he fell asleep we never had to be quiet.
Hilly Kristal was the good shepherd of a flock
of black sheep. We are forever grateful.

From Patti Smith’s website.

NYT has an obit.

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