Mike met me at my house around 5:00, we picked up Whit around 5:30 and we were on our way to New York City to see Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick at the City Winery for their “One Christmas as a Time” show. Â Jon Coulton lives on the internet and is an engineer turned professional musician and John Roderick is a guitarist in the The Long Winters who has lived more than almost any six people I know. I was excited to see them, but first, we had to make it to NYC.
We had left ourselves two and a half hours to make what is normally a 75 to 90 minute trip, but with the glory of traffic, that doubled. Approaching the Holland Tunnel, we traded positions repeatedly with a jet black Smart Car blasting die Deutsch Techno-Musik. This was the real cost of entering New York City.
We walked in a little late to the two having witty banter after a bit they started playing. I was surprised at the quality of the sound. John Roderick came to me through the Roderick on the Line podcast where he mostly tells stories. I had forgotten that he was a skilled musician.
The first few pieces were simply well done off-beat Christmas tunes that involved changing instruments and at one point a comb.
I was taking pictures this whole time when a women looked at me with my camera and said “follow me”. I did and she positioned me in front of a pillar saying “you take photos here. They will be great. You will love me”. Later, I was taking photos there and she looked me up and down saying “you like my spot. I tell you.”
There was a second musical guest who barely registered to me played a somewhat sad song on an accordion. After her sub-set, John and Jon returned where Roderick announced “our audience largely consists of athiests and non-observant Jews. We have a lot of songs for the first group, but none for the non-observant Jews.” They then performed a song where John Roderick read the Wikipedia article for Hanukkah while Jon Coulton played bits and loops from a sampler. It was a dozen ways amazing.
After the show, I took some pictures of the performers, did a free-form scat duet with Whit, got to lend John Hodgman my Sharpie and learned that Supertrain may be coming to Philadelphia. I asked John Roderick if he still sold hugs for five dollars. He said yes, and in exchange for a 10 spot, I think I gave Mike a unique Christmas gift.
Tonight was pretty bad ass.