>Willy Porter

>Sean and I had the pleasure of hearing Willy Porter play at Joe’s Pub last night. We got there early enough to get a prime spot in the cushy loungey area, and the place was full without being crowded. The audience was sort of rowdy and calm at the same time–a much more “adult” audience than you find at, say, your standard Ani Difranco or Indigo Girls show. That is to say loud but appreciative. The setlist was, I thought, mostly the greatest hits (that’s not a criticism,) although a high point came when his piano player, David Adler, in what seemed a jokey appeal to New Yorker’s urban and ecclectic sensibilities half-assed played the intro to the Gorillaz’ hit “Feel Good Inc” and after some goading from the audience, they finished the tune with the kind of improv-bravura that only musicians who play together a lot can do.

Willy is now recording each night’s shows in 24-bit audio, and then selling freshly burned CDs to the audience immediately after, as a kind of souvenier meets ‘let’s compete with piracy’ marketing idea. It works. There were lots of people in line to purchase the show–myself included–and Willy goes home with a pocketfull of cash. Other artists are getting into the idea including Bauhaus, the Black Crowes, Peter Gabriel, and notably Prince, who was doing this several years ago when the technology first appeared.

I’ve also been spinning a trio of new records on my iPod: Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dancefloor,” Imogen Heap’s “Speak for Yourself,” and Floetry’s “Flo’Ology.”



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