I recently attended a show for a band that was being sponsored by a well known studio/distribution company. They were well practiced, had a decent but formulaic pop radio sound, and that grey-toned American Apparel blousey cardigan look. They were so groomed and trend conscious that, far from standing out they were actually completely forgettable. The crowd was an odd mix of kids, old guys in suits, and those thick-necked striped shirt wearing club guys that certain Manhattanites describe as Bridge and Tunnel but everyone knows you only see those guys in the city so Manhattan owns them as far as I’m concerned.
(Rebecca Schiffman. photo by Johnny Gembitsky)
After the overly polished performance, a lone girl walked on stage in what struck me as a gown patterned off a medieval French Pikeman’s tunic. I was about to leave but, being both a Francophile and connoisseur of weird girls I thought I’d stay for a minute. Then she said something like, “This is a song I wrote about playing D&D with my friends.” I immediately pushed my way past a throng of loud mouthed sorority girls and heavily cologned douche bags to witness Rebecca Schiffman’s greatly endearing folk balladry, which managed to stand out and persevere even over the blathering din.
I meant to say something about her earlier but things keep coming up, or someone dies. It’s given me time to correspond with her, find that NY Mag beat me to the punch, and discover that she’s a writer and has a website devoted to documenting the “lesser-explored aspects” of the Upper East Side.
She’s got a video (by Jack Bryan who directed “Life After Dark: The Story of Siberia Bar” a well received doc on the legendary Manhattan dive bar) for her song, The Rabbit Habit, a charming confessional about masturbation and prescription pill popping. It’s off her newish 2nd album, To Be Good For a Day. Check it out and a lot of OCD more at:
So many cool aptitudes in one person’s repertoire is almost too much to absorb. She probably makes handmade chainmail jewelry “inspired by the art of medieval armour as well as art deco artifacts and post-apocalyptic science-fiction” too. Yep. I’ve always wanted to wear adornments that enhance my “Excalibur” on the outside, “Mad Max” on the inside look, so I’ll be buying something as soon as I can scrape up the funds.
Here’s the D&D song. “Orcies” huh? Cute.
She performs a free set (i think) at Cake Shop in NY Jul 15.