Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reminder: Saturday, March 24, 2012, Performing at First Acoustics, Sloan Wainwright With Sharon Goldman

How is your appetite for a wonderful folk music concert in an intimate setting this weekend? This is to remind everyone that this Saturday, March 24, 2012, is the next First Acoustics concert when Sloan Wainwright and Sharon Goldman will be performing.

For a complete schedule of upcoming First Acoustics performances scheduled for this season, plus information about how easy and recommended it is that you catch an evening with Vince ("Boardwalk Empire") Giordano and the Nighthawks see: Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Getting Near to Holly Near: Performing This Saturday at First Acoustics (with John Bucchino and special guest Linda Tillery)- Plus Notes on Empire.

That prior post includes links that will tell you what these music topics and musicians like Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé may have to do with the concerns and preoccupations of Noticing New York.
(Sloan Wainwright, above)

I have never seen Sloan Wainwright and I bought my ticket intrigued to see her in this up-close and personal setting. Ms. Wainwright is part of an incredible musical family whose talents I can't help but appreciate partly because, as I noted in an earlier post, they have often overlapped with Vince Giordano, another musician whose work I avidly follow. Vince Giordano's new "Boardwalk Empire" CD has songs by two members of the Wainwright family: Loudon (Wainwright III) and Martha. Previously, Vince and the Nighthawks (and Randall Poster, the music director on "Boardwalk Empire") worked with Rufus Wainwright on the soundtrack for “The Aviator” when Rufus performed “Stairway to Paradise.” I love “Stairway to Paradise” and this is a great orchestration. Michael Feinstein also sang along as the Giordano Nighthawks Orchestra played it in Feinstein's American Songbook series on PBS in the first season episode titled “A New Step Every Day,” a line taken straight from the song. (Family tree-wise, Sloan is the sister of Loudon Wainwright III. Rufus and his sister Martha Wainwright are the children of that Loudon and Kate McGarrigle. Kate and her sister Anna were musically famous together as the McGarrigle Sisters. Sloan is also related to Suzzy Roche one of the three sisters who sang as the Roches with Loudon and Suzzy being the parents of Lucy Wainwright Roche, another musical performer. Sloan's son Sam McTavey also performs.)

Things to know about this coming Saturday night: The performance at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation is at 8:00 PM, box office opens at 7:00 PM, doors open for seating at 7:30. One note about planning ahead: Tickets are usually a little cheaper if bought in advance. Depending on the performance you are seeing and whether or not you get your tickets at the door tickets range from $25.00 to $30.00.

After Saturday's Sloan Wainwright and Sharon Kennedy performances, the next performance will be Seth Glier with The Antivillains on April 21, 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day As A Special Day For New York City

I think of St. Patrick's Day as a special day for New York City. Not for the usual reasons you might think and not because of the history of the Irish with their involvement in the governance and politics of this city. It is not for those reasons, notwithstanding a fair quantity of Irish blood that flows in my veins. . . .

It's because I think of St. Patrick's Day as being New York's first day of spring. To say that spring has already started with St. Patrick’s Day is not a reference to global warming nor spring arriving earlier especially given the particularly warm winter we've had this year that seems to evidence a warming trend. I know that officially spring will arrive only with the equinox which comes this year at 1:14 AM (EDT) on March 20. That’s admittedly a few days off.

The reason I pick this earlier day of the year as the first day of spring in New York is because in New York City St. Patrick’s Day is the day that you can expect the lengthening days to become equal with the shortening nights. In other latitudes it happens on other days, but in New York City you can mark St. Patrick’s Day on your calendar for this event.

In the weather section of today’s paper, the New York Times has the sun rising at 7:04 AM and setting at 7:05 PM. These things do shift around slightly (it has to do with that leap year stuff and the times are averaged to the nearest minute) but other years you will find the Times reporting the St. Patrick’s Day sun rises at 7:06 AM and sets at 7:06 PM. Yesterday, the Times reported that the sun rose at 7:06 AM and set at 7:04 PM. Nominally, with whatever averaging is in play, that’s a three minute difference: This is the time of year when New York’s days lengthen at their most furious rate.

You might think that the equinox would be the day for this day-and-night-are-equal event: After all, isn’t that what the equinox is supposed be about, when the earth is half way through its rotation around the sun and we catch that fleeting moment it is neither summer with its longer days nor winter with its longer nights? Indeed, the equinox is the day when day and night are approximately equal everywhere around the world. But there is something about the way that atmosphere of the earth bends the sun’s rays in a day-lengthening way that means that in New York City the equalizing of day and night occurs on St. Patrick’s Day, a good few days ahead of the equinox. After that, for all the rest of the summer, our days will be longer than our nights.

So, on St. Patrick’s Day when others may be thinking of the green of Ireland I am thinking of the green of an arriving spring and how the date of St. Patrick’s Day is special to New York City in this respect.