Monday, October 18, 2004

Regina Spektor / Tonic / Oct. 16, 2004

As you can probably tell, I spent the last day of CMJ cramming as much in as possible. This had nothing to do with wanting to make up for previous laziness and everything to do with the fact that these were all artists I really, really wanted to see. Like Regina Spektor, a local treasure I discovered a couple of years ago when she opened for Kimya Dawson at the Knitting Factory’s Old Office. All messy orange hair, big red lips and space cadet attitude, she’s out to lunch at the same place Tori Amos eats at, or rather, used to eat at before she discovered the Adult Alternative restaurant down the block. The first time I saw Spektor, it was just her, a small keyboard and a drumstick to keep time with, but now she’s got a bass player and a cellist, and she played Tonic’s grand piano, which she decorated with two small pumpkins (one had “John Kerry The Pumpkin” written in black magic marker on it).

Regina Spektor is one of the most endearing performers I have ever seen in my life. All she has to do is smile and I melt. She smiled a lot on Saturday night, and giggled, and sang incredibly sweet and witty songs about love and stuff. I only knew a couple of them, and my friend Liz told me that pretty much all of them haven’t been recorded yet. Her album, Soviet Kitsch, is slated to be released by Sire in February 2005, but she’s definitely got a complete record’s worth of new material already. I hope major label life treats her well, and she becomes as big as Tori. Somebody this special deserves not to be swallowed up by the machine.

A boy standing in front of me was carrying a sign that said something like “I’m as crazy as you are, Regina!” I wish I had made it.