Monday, October 20, 2008

Girls girls girls

It has been a faboo week for awesome babes.

First, Karita Mattila as the titular sex-crazed vamp and would-be exotic dancer in Richard Strauss's Salome at the Met. Hottt! I was lucky to be close enough to see the work that goes into a performance like this one (the opera starts at a fever pitch and unrelentingly stays there for all of its 100 minutes, and Salome is in every single scene, even when not actually singing). When she took her curtain call, Mattila was visibly drained, heavily breathing as she was trying to come back down to 2008 New York.

The next day I saw Paula West and the George Mesterhazy Quartet at the Oak Room. West is my favorite interpreter of jazz, pop and Great American Songbook standards right now: Nobody gets even close. It's that simple. The set cannily mixed obscure selections and well-known chestnuts, but she breathed new life even in songs I've heard a gazillion times and thought I could do without at this point (Mersterhazy's slinky arrangement of Rodgers & Hart's "I Wish I Were in Love Again" was particularly inspired). West finished her set with a glorious version of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." It was lump-in-throat time.

Then I belatedly caught up with the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, which throws some of my fave actresses (all seen on the New York stage too, thank you very much) into a hot mess of medically flavored soap-opera shenanigans: What other show on TV has Sandra Oh, Chandra Wilson, Sara Ramirez and Brooke Smith? I can even deal with Katherine Heigl and Ellen "meh" Pompeo doesn't overly bug me. Plus Ramirez and Smith's characters are becoming entangled in a lesbionic relationship, so it's all gravy. That is, until Shonda Rhimes messes with them, ’cause that's just the way things roll on Grey. All in due time ladies, all in due time.

Even more belatedly I discovered Little Jackie's debut album, The Stoop, which is my default music for pretty much everything right now: at the gym, on the way to the office in the morning, back from the office at night, walking hideous Tenth Avenue to get coffee. Imani Coppola completely gets living in New York—particularly Brooklyn—in 2008 in a way that reminds me of how Lily Allen gets living in London.

Little Jackie "LOL" (from The Stoop, 2008)

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