Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jailbreakers: John Forté & My Jerusalam

I don't live so differently in NY than I do at home, which a friend in SF kindly reminded me. But you know, it's New York, and everything's a cut above. I 'accidently' am here during CMJ while I haven't been building my days around the New York equivalent of SXSW (more than 1000 bands are officially showcasing), it's impossible to ignore (if you are a music type). Amid my own schtick this week, I've caught a couple acts yesterday at the Paste magazine party at The Living Room. Nothing like regaining your freedom for fueling good performances, I walked in to see John Forté playing solo with a guitar and a heap of heartfelt sung/spoken social commentary. I was soon schooled on the fact that the former Fugees producer and rapper had spent 7 years in jail before recieving a pardon for a drug bust from then President Bush (speaking of Presidents, Obama also hit town yesterday). In that time, Forte picked up the guitar and fast-forward to freedom, has a new EP out. He was followed by the New Orleans based My Jerusalam who I loved for immediately. Tight guitar/vox/bass/violin/keys AND trumpet by former members of The Twilight Singers, Great Northern & Polyphonic Spree. Evidently, their drummer had also just been released from jail for a much lesser charge than forte that involved some sort of public indecency. Despite the somewhat jaded day-party audience, they also delivered what they got with conviction.

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