Thursday, March 31, 2005

Regina Spektor, Sean Lennon; Bowery Ballroom

Thank god for friends with parents in high places. This is the joy of a private education. Anna's dad listed us for the sold-out Regina Spektor Bowery show last night.

Sighting: There are three people in the world that get me starstruck: Bjork, Jude Law, and Yoko Ono. Guess who was there supporting her son? Yoko was rushed upstairs--wait! wait! don't forget her sunglasses! Or her flashy beret!--by two hulking bodyguards. It's too bad she only brought half a Lennon...

Poor Sean, as we all know well, is done courtesy with such a high fraction of Lennonism. I mean, he is a really sweet man. After coming on late, he riddled his show with witticisms and endearing glances at the audience. Whatever star power he got from his parents, it's in the form of warmth. Certainly not in songwriting. Lennon managed to go as far out (maybe once or twice) as to rhyme "aim" with "game." The last song was a pretty piano ditty, although somewhat marred by Sean's lazy (read: juvenile) lyrics. Yuka Honda is in his band though, which kind of redeems him.

And on the seventh day (no one needs that much rest), God made Regina Spektor. With piercing blue eyes you can see from halfway through Bowery, I don't know if she's fairy or devil. I think she'd choose fairy, and the sprightly Bjork talk and pouty glances is a bit of a shtick.

Regina's voice, however, is no mere shtick. She went for two hours, later excusing herself for her "time-warp." It's all the more impressive, given that her belting suffered only minimally through to the end.

In the year since my high school education ended, I forgot what it was like to hope for a show to end. Poor Regina just doesn't have enough consistent material to justify her on-stage hunger strike. Stuff from the "new" album sounded great where it sounds great recorded, as did Regina's standards (she played everything), but the show was highlighted by interspersed a cappella numbers. Cut her awkward, up-tight bassist and an hour from the show, and Regina Spektor is perfection.


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