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Vienna Teng! Live in Brooklyn!!

So every once in a while I traipse over to the websites of a few musicians I love to see if they are playing anywhere near me. A couple of weekends ago I was thrilled to discover that Vienna Teng was playing in Brooklyn. Tickets: $15. That was a win for sure.

So ... out into the New York cold Paul and I trudged, with cab and train and subway trips galore. It took forever to get into Brooklyn (apparently y'cain't get theyah from heeyah). Finally, deposited by the R train in a sketchy-ass neighborhood, we carefully crept toward the venue, keeping our eyes peeled for Vicious Muggers and other Purveyors of Fine Malfeasance. When a guy biked past us, I was SURE he was going to yoink my super-sweet Questionable Content totebag ("She blinded me with library science!"). I didn't care about the money inside the bag. Anyone looking at it would know; THE BAG is the prize!

Walking down a lonely, industrial-looking 7th street, I was having doubts that the Good Mr. Paul had gotten proper directions. I was gearing up for Massive Castigation Mode, when suddenly at the end of the street, I was faced with an unusual situation. Before my brain had fully engaged to register what was up, words shot out of my mouth in a manner that I could only describe as a "snap-action meander" (a reference for those of you who played the awesome Middle Earth tabletop Iron Crown put out years ago).

"Imagine, bumping into Vienna Teng in the middle of the street!" I said, sounding lazily amused. Her head shot up from her position, bent over her keyboard case. The tiny little musician was manhandling that thing like WHOA. She beamed at me. She'd been *recognized* . In *public*.

I didn't hassle her any further, mostly because I was so embarrassed that I'd said that. Paul and I walked around the block, etc., and eventually we went into the venue.

Guys... the concert was breathtaking. She blows me away with her absurd amount of talent. She did this fucking *SWEET* new song from her album that's coming out next year, totally a capella. It was bluesy and sexy and strong, and she owned it. Her piano was, to lift from "Almost Famous", incendiary. I almost mean that literally. If keys had lit on fire, I would not have been shocked. Paul and I had seats front frow center. There were, like, ten feet separating me from all that Vienna amazingness. Her rendition of Gravity combined the lake and river versions. It built into this thunderous ode to romantic luck. My  Medea gave me goosebumps and was probably the best version I've ever heard her do of it, and I have about 20 of her live shows archived. So, yeah. I've heard her play it a bunch. I think the biggest surprise for me was how she did Homecoming, which never was a song that really spoke to me. I dunno... the difference this time made it very poignant. She also did a cover of Patti Griffin's "Mary". Dude. It's so disgusting that Vienna covers stuff and does it better than the original incredibly talented artist. Her version of  "Fields of Gold" made me want to point and laugh at Sting. And the way she folded "Golddigger" and "Nine to Five" into her original work "One Bedroom One Bath"? Geeeenius.

For those of you who know and love Vienna's music, I've got to say this was just an affirmation of what we already know; she is one of the most talented musicians out there. If the glimpse of her new material is any indication at all, her new album will have a new style, with lots of blues influence, instead of that weird Phillip Glass crap she did on the last album (like Pontchartrain, which I hated). It was just a breathtaking show.

I wish you guys had been there.


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