I’m sitting at work, and usually when a number I don’t have saved calls me (which, I don’t have ANY numbers saved right now ‘cause I’m fucking with an old phone), I answer with my headphones plugged in, no mic, and just let the caller talk. I hear background chatter, a hang-up, and then a text: “YO man — private Sun Araw show in Manhattan in a few minutes man, totally forgot to invite you earlier. I’m so sorry!!! It will start around 6.” It was 4:30, and I’m out on Long Island. I find a train at Mineola (around the corner) that leaves at 4:53, I duck outta work telling ‘em I forgot about a dental appointment, blast it to the bank, blast it to the train, train is late by 14 minutes, buy two Four Lokos and two Black & Mild wine’s, train comes, I drink an entire can of Four Loko as I’m standing up, and arrive in the city around 5:20.
Around this time in NYC, especially the devil’s asshole that is Penn Station, people are EVERYWHERE. So I did some pushing, which was shitty, so I’m sorry if I pushed you yesterday and you’re reading this Live Blog. Ran around outside looking for the yellow line, couldn’t find it, the line to grab a cab was stretching back INTO Penn, and I see a dude on one of them bike gondolas. I grip a ride from him, his legs are individually both larger than my torso and he tells me something about Obama being in town, and I drink the second Four Loko, am probably smashed, and my buddy calls me and says, “We’ll wait 10 more minutes. It’s on the fifth floor. Ask for Georgia.” I get off the bike around Chinatown, see Fatima Al Qadiri doing yet ANOTHER interview, and the biker charges me $100 for the ride. -_-
SMASHED on booze and JACKED adrenaline, I run up to the door, buzz it and say, “Georgia, it’s Clifford, and I’m here for the show!” Georgia is a dude, which is chill, and hugs me SUPER tite. Alex Gray and Cameron Stallones already have played “Like Wine” and are in the middle of “Right Out of Town.” There’s hardly anyone here, maybe 20 people MAYBE.
I take a spot on the floor inches away from the aura Sun Araw is pulsating. Then they get into this original jam, unrecorded, and zones become deeper than dirt. It feels like Chinatown is going to stop all at once outside and look in. To the left, Stallones is occasionally shredding the most minimal licks while keying some slippery synth sounds. On the right, Gray is fucking around on a sampler and completely going to town on them buttons — maybe it’s a drum machine — flinging out tin bongo sounds, while he also moves his finger on a laptop mouse pad as if it is a Kaossilator, and it sounds like liquid metal, or as if all the programs and software on his computer are melting together. Once they finish flaying music into next-level dimensions, I foolishly forget they are about to do a collaborative tour with Laraaji and are all in New York ‘cause they are leaving that next day for Europe, and thus the legend joins them on stage.
The three played together for about 20 minutes. Honestly, I couldn’t tell who was doing what. The only time I noticed a single person’s sound was when they were either playing a solo-ish part or when Laraaji used the electronics to his left, or chose a different way to play his zither (options: fingernails, a bow, brushes, sticks). And Laraaji was decked OUT in orange, including a fanny-pack and fisherman’s hat, which blended well under the red lights above the stage and philodendron sprouting out from corners. I didn’t even notice it getting darker, but considering it was an early show, I didn’t give a shit. Oh, I also didn’t give a shit about most anything else ‘cause it was Sun Araw with Laraaji, live and intimate.
When they finished, Stallones and Gray came over and hugged everyone still in attendance. Georgia put out a bunch of wine, of which I probably had a bottle, ‘cause after I wished them a safe trip and I left, I gave a homeless lady $10 for walking directions to Penn and she hugged me really hard, and I don’t remember finding Penn or getting on the train. I just remember not being able to get into the other train car for the bathroom and now a train in Long Island smells like cheap wine. A passenger on the train asked if I wanted gum, but I couldn’t because of my braces, and Ken thinks she was picking me up. BOTTOM LINE: Sun Araw brings the adventure, always.