How to live through your lawsuit

‘Yes, the dear old Royal London Philharmonia. We’d been doing one of those lightning tours, six capitals in seven days, and we’d all got a bit punch-drunk. Anyway, we were doing Shostakovich Five, and there’s a long, long passage in the third movement when the trumpets aren’t playing. It’s second trumpet’s job to count, so Bob Preston, who was playing first, had sort of drifted off. Not asleep, you understand, but just totally vacant. You get that way on the road. Anyway, suddenly he comes to himself, grabs Brian’s knee – that’s the second trumpet – and hisses, “Where the fuck are we?” So Brian whispers, “It’s all right, Bob, we’ve got fifteen bars to go.” And Bob grips harder and hisses desperately, “Not that, you dork, which town!”’ – Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Gone Tomorrow

Even when you’re as serene as I, there are times during a lawsuit that will render you an obsessive lunatic. I myself have had a relentlessly pock-marked week mucking around with my sundry ligitations. And laundry. Promise I will spill all as soon as I have a moment.

But if, despite all my efforts here on your behalf, you have not yet risen to my level of serenity, here’s an Rx for one potent, easily obtainable, OTC, legit street drug:

Live music. Last night I was at Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society, Beethoven, Bruck and Brahms. Mmm. Didn’t think about suing for several hours. Brahms even got me home on the subway, sans suits.

And tomorrow night, Thursday, February 2, at 7 pm, I will be at the Metropolitan Room, Flatiron District, New York City. Between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue at 34 West 22nd Street, The Metropolitan Room will present singer ….

Ellen Kaye. Who is wonderful. (Here’s a review.)

Thing about Ellen, she immediately becomes your best friend. Warm, laugh-out-loud funny, gorgeous, she’s small but with a big voice that belts or croons, depending on the song. You feel as if you’re hanging in her living room, drinking pop, and she’s telling you all these personal stories, except she’s singing them.

Her current set is as eclectic as her previous one. Springsteen, Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, Rickie Lee Jones. Annie Lennox and Dar Williams, who’s new to me but there’s a song Ellen sings of hers that just kills me every time. Oh and Big Mama Thornton, Cab Calloway, Sting, Ethel Waters, Walter Becker — well, you see what I mean about “eclectic.” Yet, the songs Ellen loves are not the ones you’d expect from this list of writers and performers.

In order to hear what I mean about Ellen (and her great band, full disclosure, my brother Ethan is her musical director and guitarist), make a reservation at 212-206-0440 and come on down (or up, or over) just before 7 pm. There are drinks, there are snacks, there is a rational cover charge, you can pick up Ice Wine, Ellen’s last CD, and there is Ellen Kaye.

And I’ll be there, too, so come say hi if you can find me, but not while Ellen’s singing. Because I’ll be rapt.

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