Sunday, July 5, 2009

Brooklyn Tea Party, July 4, 2009

It was a full day of performances at Brooklyn Tea Party on the Fourth of July. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you were there. The blowout marked the departure of Dan Costello, Rachel Devlin, and Michael David Campbell and the start of a new era under Brook Pridemore’s continuing stewardship with the addition of Brian Speaker.

The vibe of the event was really nice, with shows going on in the apartment on the third floor and on the roof where a sound system was set up. Lots of folks were just hanging out on the roof chatting and catching up and enjoying the nice weather. The sunset that eventually fell over the city skyline was quite dramatic. With the skyline practically like a painted backdrop and the rooftops of the buildings stretching out in all directions, I felt like I could have been in the set of a musical and almost expected a corps of dancing chimney sweeps to appear at any second. Sometime after it got dark the big fireworks show on the Hudson stated, which we could see across the other side of Manhattan.

A couple sets stood out. Old Hat. I really like these guys. They sang a song about how it had been a weird week that I really liked. Although I later found that they hadn’t written it specifically for this weird week (which was capped by the bizarre resignation from office of Sarah Palin) it still encapsulated the oddity of the last week or so which started with Michael Jackson’s death and ended with the Palin situation. Ching Chong Song did a piece that had a long instrumental section with piano, saw, and bass that was gorgeous and captivating. People were having tons of fun hopping and bopping to Schwervon and to Urban Barnyard. With everyone jumping up and down I was a little worried as to whether the floor would hold. I could feel the boards bending...but I was right in there dancing along to two of my favorite bands.

I had to leave before the very, very end, but I’m sure the rest of the night was as fun as the parts I enjoyed. A significant part of what has made Brooklyn Tea Party so much fun is the hospitality of its hosts. In particular Rachel Devlin was working very hard yesterday to serve food, spread cheer (and collect tips). She also had great Fourth of July style. I hope someone got a good picture of her in her vintage dress and apron. The other BTP hosts were keeping busy too with a wide range of duties. Thanks guys for the nice day yesterday, the many fun shows before that and the always welcoming atmosphere.

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