All I can say is Thank you Red Sox! Not just for winning the World Series, but for being such decent, and frankly, adorable, guys. How easy was it to cheer for this team, and the equally-lovable Alex Cora? Those games were a daily balm on my frayed nerves. And as if we didn’t love Mookie Betts enough already, he’s been secretly delivering food to the homeless, and earlier this month he gave new bicycles to a group of kids at the Nashville YMCA, saying “You always remember your first bike.” Yes, I think those kids are going to remember their first bike.
More thanks are owed to the management of the Avon Cinema. On two occasions, owner Richard Dulgarian had to remove rows of seats to accommodate the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra as they performed original scores to newly-restored silent films. The January show of Battleship Potemkin was enough of a success that the BSFO returned in June with the zany The Man Who Laughs. Utterly amazing events on every level. The Avon celebrated its 80th birthday this year.
One utterly unique event was the Grand Panorama of the Whaling Voyage staged by the New Bedford Whaling Museum. America’s longest painting does not disappoint. I am not sure we will ever get that opportunity again, but make time to visit the Whaling Museum — it’s a gem.
And then there was Stormy Daniels. In June she performed at the Cadillac Lounge and after quite a bit of going back-and-forth on the weirdness of attending, my friend and I decided we would be more likely to regret not going. We ended up having a great time. And while she doesn’t do all the pole gymnastics of the younger ladies, Stormy is still an amazing dancer. More importantly, my friend and I were not the only people in attendance hoping to thank Stormy for . . . you know, trying to save American democracy. There were other female fans in attendance one of whom had made her husband drive her up from Connecticut. She threw a thank-you note (!) up onto the stage where it got swept up with the blizzard of paper money being tossed at Ms. Daniels. Feeling like some sort of cultural anthropologist, I started chatting with the dancers and observing the scene, but then I found myself having a helluva time yelling and cheering like everyone else. (One more reason to like Stormy? Her choice of music . . . Def Leppard etc.) Thank god there were no cameras allowed.
As to live music this year, I would like to thank the Flaming Lips for throwing a party on my birthday at the Strand. I understand that they are always like that, so if you ever need cheering up . . .
Perhaps my favorite nights were spent with the local talent. The fabulous Arc Iris played a free show outdoors at the RISD Museum which was a perfect sort of summer setting. And I saw the Quahogs for the first time at the new downtown venue, Askew. They are both great.
In the past few years, the Downtown Boys have broken through nationally, getting notices in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Spin, and the New Yorker. Their album, Cost of Living, totally kicks ass but nothing beats their live show. They played upstairs at the Columbus last month and had everyone dancing and jumping around in the aisles. I love them.
One last band to mention is the Silks. They performed downtown this summer at the PVD Festival and what a blast. Good News! The Silks are playing tonight, New Year’s Eve, at the Met. Perfect party band — you will dance like a fool and forget all your cares!
(The sign in this image has been up on Mineral Spring Avenue for quite a while now.)