OK, we’ll bite: How is it that an evening at Brooklyn’s Southpaw featuring Patti Smith—yes, that Patti Smith, the punk poet, of Horses and Just Kids fame, whose New Year’s Eve three-show run at Bowery Ballroom sold out in about 12 minutes—still has tickets available?
No matter. The good news is, you can still get into the show, which will feature Smith and her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye--who’s been with her since her earliest days at Max’s Kansas City—plus Shilpa Ray, who’s been called “something like a vulgar Ella Fitzgerald,” which is one of the best compliments we can think of. The genre-bending Ray will be joined by her band the Happy Hookers, and, we fervently hope, her trademark harmonium.
It’s hardly surprising that Patti Smith would join forces with a woman who rocks a blend of punk and jazz on an instrument that hasn’t been used much of anywhere since churches in the late 1800s. They’re also both from New Jersey, and the first song Ray taught herself to play on the accordion-like instrument is I’ll Be Your Mirror by the Velvet Underground, one of the bands Smith was soaking up live as she teetered on the edge of a music career.
Smith and Ray head up an evening of acoustic performances at the Park Slope venue to benefit Fortnight, the just-launched online multimedia journal which calls itself “a multimedia archive of a generation in the midst of their life and work,” and pairs up young creative types “in critical & creative dialogue with luminary mentors.”
An Acoustic Benefit Night in Support of Fortnight Journal. 125 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-0236. Thursday, November 11, 8PM. $20. Tickets via TicketWeb.
What I'm listening to: Emiliana Torrini – Birds