Wish You Were Here

SOMAsala logo

Kerry Getz just finished a wonderful concert at SOMAsala an hour ago or so. It was heartbreakingly beautiful, and heartbreakingly poorly attended.

Kerry Getz at SOMAsala

When you read reviews of Kerry’s music, the critics invariably say the same thing: she’s just about the best singer/songwriter you’ve never heard of. And it’s probably true. Her compositions are smart, lyrical, and seductive; voice is true, rich, and emotive; and her guitar accents crisp, clean, and well-balanced. Her 80 minute set was an absolute delight — lovely, moving, and deeply satisfying.

I’m sorry you missed it. For Kerry’s sake, not yours.

When we started SOMAsala, the concept was to provide a forum for world-class artists who might not have sufficient appeal within the mainstream of popular culture to, let say, pack the Oakland Coliseum. Our objective was to bring talented musicians (and filmmakers, poets, artists, and intellectuals) together with an engaged and curious audience, thereby enriching both. It hasn’t really worked out that way. The artists, however, have more than held up their end of the bargain.

Before Yoo-Mi and I moved into the one-room apartment we call SOMAsala, we lived in a sumptuous, expansive house on Telegraph Hill. For several years, until we moved, we had a party on the first Sunday of every month. And guess what: it was a vast success. The idea was to cross-pollinate the most interesting people we knew from the various circles in which we traveled: professionals, artists, academics, athletes. Our interesting people brought their interesting people, and before we knew it we were getting 80 to 90 guests, and a different crowd each month. On a Sunday, the ultimate “school night.” People will turn out for a good party, it seems.

More than 200 people had signed our e-mail list from the Sunday parties. What a perfect group for which to create a community-space, we thought. Surely our friends would be interested in supporting the artists who work so diligently, with such pitiful remuneration and scant acknowledgement, to make our world a more beautiful place. After all, their support would cost so little: a miniscule door fee for the musicians, a few hours of their time. We would supply all the essentials: an intimate performance, a comfortable venue, a professional sound system, the set-up, and the clean-up. They need only show up.

This turns out to have been a greater commitment to art and culture than most of our friends are willing to make. (I should note that some of our friends have been extremely supportive of both the artists and of our efforts to put them on stage, coming to shows in which they had little or no prior interest, foregoing other things they might rather have been doing and, for some of them, even staying up past their bedtimes.)

I am disappointed for the musicians who deserve more support than they have received, and yet played their hearts out at SOMAsala anyway. And I am grateful to them for all they have done to light our stage and to light the world.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Wish You Were Here”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

.

Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

.

Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

.

America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

.

Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

.

Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

.

Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

.

India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

.

Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

Join the Banter!

At its most fun, memestream is a dialogue -- or, better, a cacophony -- rather than a library of overwrought essays reflecting a single point of view. For that, we need your two cents!

If you read anything on memestream that provokes an interesting thought, an emotion, a laugh, violent disagreement, passionate agreement, an anecdote, an uncontrollable non sequitur... be sure to leave a comment.

It will be no surprise to anyone who follows this blog that "all the best stuff" resides in the readers' comments. So don't stop reading when you hit the end of the essays. And add your voice to the discussion!

Enter your email address to follow memestream and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 363,056 hits

%d bloggers like this: