You Are Invited

Where: Brooklyn, SoHo, West and East village.
How: in good company, great energy, warm breezes, gentle sun.
When: the first day of my 46th year.
Why: why not?


400 blows, 50 years

It’s in my top 10 fave films and 50 years ago this week, Truffaut’s THE 400 BLOWS was released onto the world and changed cinema forever. Celebrate this milestone! Get the movie! Drink French wine!  Eat French pastry!  French KISS somebody!

Last Night, I Lost My Fab Faux Virginity

Imagine a night of Beatles music inside a DC landmark that once staged Vaudeville shows and silent movies! So it was for me, at my first ever Fab Faux show at the Warner Theatre.Escorted down to our orchestra seats, the breathtaking interior removed me completely from the reason I was even there. I have walked/biked/bused/driven by this theatre at 13th & E many times, but I have NEVER been inside. Wow. I was immediately rendered awestruck by the huge ripples of flowing maroon velvet cinched by gold tassels draping the majestic historic stage which was framed in guilded gold detail.Right away, I realized just how special this night was going to be. So I did the only thing possible: sat down and opened myself up for the energy to come.

set 1:

And so the lights went down and the Fab Faux sparked up launching right into the haunting first chords of I Am the Walrus. Wow. They opened with I Am the Walrus! A collective gasp from every seat was audible by the second note and a thrilling vibe took over the room. And man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allen Poe! I breathed it in and sang every word. From there was woven a well-crafted sampling of Beatles chronology from pop to psychedelia. Lady Madonna and Drive My Car with pitch-perfect harmonies had hundreds of heads bobbing and twice as many feet tapping. No sooner did Day Tripper ended than a cry from Will Lee (lead vocalist) came: “OK let’s have some harmony!” And with that, four other voices unleashed Nowhere Man. After Nowhere Man made all his plans for nobody, intruments were adjusted and exchanged, and that innocently sprite opening of Here Comes the Sun brought sweet sighs across the aisles. And how could that NOT be followed by Rain? Another perfect recipe blended to vocal perfection. I Dig a Pony and Tell Me Why kept the wonder and the buzz of the night alive, but no one was prepared for While My Guitar Gently Weeps: out of nowhere, came those timeless, bittersweet opening chords. And Jimmy Vivino’s guitar summoned us all to a journey where gently weeping and fiercely rocking become one, and creshendoed with the entire theater standing and offering thunderous, loving applause. Revolution closed the set with EB home boy Jack Petruzelli sneaking in some “shoop do be do wops” (Revolution number 9 anyone?) in all the right places. Wow, and we were only halfway there.During the break, I went up to the stage to see if i could take a pic of the set list, but the very sweet stage dude asked me if i wanted it! YES! I WANT IT! I tried to be so cool when i thanked him for it but inside I was screaming like a groupie. You could just SEE the envy on people’s faces when i strutted back to my seat with that set list, my peacock feathers. 🙂

After the break: the featured set, Revolver! Revolver was the first Beatles record I ever owned. And, to be hearing it performed at my first Fab Faux experience AND my first time inside the Warner Theatre (!!) — does it get better that that? Oh…it DID!

set 2:

Lead-off batter is the Taxman, yeeaaaah I’m the tax maaaaan. Next up? Eleanor Rigby, carried brilliantly by the amazing 2-woman Creme Tangerine Strings (bass cello and violin). Moving through to Yellow Submarine — the audience “happy favorite” — nudged playfully by Will Lee to sing along and sing along is what we did! From little kids to people my parents’ age — everyone sailed on to the sun as the Fab Faux navigated an etherial musical sound effect experience. It really was clear at that moment that every one of us (every one of us) has all we need (all we need).

Here There and Everywhere really brought the older folks in the audience alive, many of those couples snuggling closer maybe it was at one time “their song”? One thing is for sure: it was their song in that moment. She Said She Said showed us drummer Rich Pagano like we hadn’t seen him yet that night WHOAH! It also made me remember how much I’d forgotten (and loved!) that song.

At this point, the jolly-adorable Frank Agnello asked us to “turn the record over” and then Vivino said something about separating seeds — to much laughter, and some confusion (I laughed). And side 2 began with Good Day Sunshine’s winsome percussion giving way to For No One’s bittersweet beauty. Got to Get You Into My Life (carried by the bold brass of the Hogshead Horns) took me and every other east coast “kid” in the house “down the shore” — for some reason, that song reminds us all of that trek to the freedom of the atlantic ocean — you guys know who you are. And sadly, I realized the last song (and my Revolver favorite) of the album had arrived, and so with a deep sigh I inhaled the soul-searing trippy-psychelic Tomorrow Never Knows, featuring the sitar stylings of Jimmy Vivino.

the encore:

A 5-song balls out serenade that began with Will Lee screaming “After Revolver, we wanna ROCK!” That sparked the unmistakable riff of Paperback Writer, followed by Penny Lane, where the Hogshead Horns stole the show. My eyes and ears took in every second of that song because it’s so rich with “extras” and the Fab Faux missed nothing. I Want the Money brought the old folks back into sing-a-long mode (is it ok to say that i prefer the Flying Lizards’ cover of this song?) And the night ended with All You Need Is Love. Right down to “she loves you, yeah yeah yeah”, it was the perfect end to a perfect evening. My cheeks were sore from the 2 1/2 hour perma-grin on my face.

As I made my way out of the venue, I could overhear tidbits of lively conversations, but my favorite was from a boy, no more than 10 years old, holding his dad’s hand, looking up and declaring: “Dad, that was awesome!” And so onto another generation is passed the Beatles’ seminal and timeless gift that helps us all make our way across the universe.

If the Fab Faux come to your city, go.