Yesterday, my Twitter friend Bentley scored an invitation to see Mike Doughty perform at Moscot Music. Bentley was kind enough to let me be his +1, so I got see one of my favorite songwriter-musicians ever play at a release party for his new album, “Yes and Also Yes.” Now I can say quite honestly that YaaY is wonderful, and everyone should own it.
According to its website, Moscot is a “New York City eyewear institution renowned for its iconic eyewear” but “remains, at its heart, a neighborhood optical shop” (since 1915). Moscot does indeed offer lovely, classy specs with pedigree, but for some reason the ground floor of the shop doubles as a performance space. I guess* Sol Moscot had two great passions in life: spectacles and rock and roll. As if to illustrate these noble yet oddly twinned obsessions, Moscot’s stage area sports both a “wall of fame” and artsy models of heads displaying eyeglasses. It’s clean and bright and absolutely charming.
*The following scenario is absolutely unsubstantiated by facts looked up by me, but I like to imagine it’s true.
Anyway, the show was awesome! Since the space was small and the audience limited, I actually got to see what was going on. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Doughty perform with Andrew “Scrap” Livingston, who plays something that Wikipedia identifies as a double bass. (In retrospect, a lot of popular music suffers from a distinct lack of double bass.) Both men are obviously true and gifted musicians with all kinds of skill. It’s so refreshing to see artists play real instruments and (in the case of Mike Doughty) sing with real vocal cords.
They performed a lot of songs from the new album (have you listened to it yet?), such as “Na Na Nothing,” “Day By Day By,” “Telegenic Exes, #2 (Astoria),” and others. They also played songs from Doughty’s previous work, including “Lorna Zauberberg,” which is my current favorite. (I vacillate weekly.) The show had a companionable, easygoing but energetic vibe perfectly matched to the mellow Wednesday night.
After the show, Bentley and I got to meet Mike and Scrap! They’re super nice. And so fashionably yet functionally bespectacled in Moscat eyewear. Mike assured me he’s met shorter people than I, and some of them weren’t even children.
This is the first time I’ve ever met any of my Twitter friends in person. Perhaps it is some sort of tipping point, because on Saturday I’ll be meeting another. Bentley set the bar very high for future Twitter friends. Bentley – Thanks so much for the invitation and the ride home!