Okay, so the pictures are shite but you get the idea.....
It's been a week of musical contrasts this side of the pond.
Friday saw me trek my way out to Baltimore - currently competing with D.C. for the title of murder capital of the USA with a homicide rate 5.48 times the national average; sadly pipped into second place by Washington which has a murder rate 5.75 times the national average. wahey! we're number 1! - to see Kanye West at the Mariner Arena. This is the man who, in a live Hurricane Katrina telecast, announced to the world: "George Bush hates black people." An amusing, if slightly mis-guided statement I feel. Dubya doesn't discriminate on the grounds of race - he hates poor people.
Unfortunately I'm just not "street" enough to do justice to such a cracking gig. Suffice to say it was off the heezy fo' sheezy. He performed everything I wanted to hear off The College Dropout and, although I don't have Late Registration, his new stuff sounds pretty good. I really don't understand why he had to change clothes quite so frequently but I won't hold that against him.
Late Tuesday evening I ventured out into the pouring rain to Blues Alley, D.C.'s most famous jazz club (nice!) right here in Georgetown. Not quite as dingy as I would have liked and without the smoky atmospherics I've been lead to expect from just places it's nonetheless a charmingly intimate venue and perfect for jazz.
The David Bach Consort were launching their latest CD - David Bach himself is at the keyboard to the right of the picture, bit of a smug SOB to be honest - and although my knowledge of jazz is pretty much limited to bits of Miles, Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong (no, Jamie fucking Cullum DOESN'T count), I know what I like. Sometimes you want music that takes you places; sometimes you need it to go nowhere and just drift around like a a cloud, occasionally seeping through your consciousness.