Friday, 20 February 2009

You Can Make Us Line, But You Cannot Take Our FREEEEEDOM

Having just moved to this relatively expensive city (relative, that is, to the UK where most everything is more expensive....except chips), frugality has been the name of the game as we adjust to life here. Accordingly, paying $30 to see a decent gig has become temporarily unattainable and the mixed bag that is the 'free show!' has regained a certain allure.

Given that the free show possibilities thus far have afforded the opportunity to see anything from thrash legends to one of my artists of 2008, the qua
lity is certainly not an issue. The price to you then, squire? Time. Having turned up late to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (or its hipper, Adam West-Batman influenced abbv. BAM) last Saturday we learned a valuable lesson: don't. The early bird really does catch the worm in the case of NYC free gigs and the later you arrive, at best the longer you'll queue or, at worst, all you'll see is a tantalising escalator to the show, then jumped up security telling you to bugger off home.

It's for this reason that we rocked up to Santogold's free show at the SoHo Apple shop almost 2 hours early to scope things out, then returned to queue with 300 odd other folk a good half hour before the start. Vindicated, as shortly after this they started turning people away.....success!

The show itself was at first a bit bizarre, with electronics gurus turning into bounc
ers for a brief hour or two (and performing a far better job than many 'professional' doormen I've encountered) and various Apple gizmos flashing in one's peripheral vision as the lights dimmed for the performance. With that, Brooklyn's own Santi White took the stage as either Santigold or TAFKA Santogold, as you prefer, to muted but appreciative whoops. Except for the lad next to me, who moaned about his poor view...........really?

The jaggedly remixed version of
'You'll Find A Way' got things off to a decent start, then really kicked into high gear with a vibrant 'LES Artistes'. In fact, much of her self titled 2008 disc was covered in what I counted as a generous 8 song set, including encore. 'Shove It' and a pounding first outro of the advertiser's wet dream 'Creator' provided the other notable highlights in a fun and friendly post-work/pre-weekend session. Perversely, I was turned away from her show in Liverpool last year.....despite offering real money and it was particularly sweet to get this one gratis.

So, lessons learned (1. Show up early, 2. Don't moan like a spoiled little child if your view isn't perfect, 3. Apple employees are better show stewards than no-necked apes in Northern England), we wandered off having the art of a free music show down to a near tee. Now to see if that free comedy and beer night in Brooklyn can possibly NOT be too good to be true.......?!

Santogold MySpace

Buy Buy (UK digi)

MP3: You'll Find A Way (Remix)


UMF Miami (Bicentennial Park, Miami, FL) - 3/27/09

Bonnaroo 2009 (Manchester, TN) - 6/11/09
KCRW's World Festival (Hollywood Bowl, L.A., CA) - 6/21/09

Now playing: Stonerider - Rush Hour
via FoxyTunes

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