Ravi Shankar with Beatle George Harrison Circa 1968 (Image Source)
Ravi Shankar, Indian Sitarist and father of singer Nora Jones passed away Tuesday December 11th, 2012 at the age of 92. The London Daily News has an excellent obituary and informative bio on Shankar at This Link. Rest in Peace.
My friend Marc “The Slut” Slutksky is a pretty darn good drummer. He played drums on Pink’s most recent record and, you know, the kid stays busy. Marc’s current gig involves playing drums in the backing band of singer Alexa Ray Joel. And unless you’ve been living your entire life under a pile of rocks, in a cave, beneath the ocean you know that Alexa is the daughter of Billy Joel and Christy Brinkley. For some reason, Marc values my opinion about music and such things and he has been begging me to come see him play drums with Alexa for months. So last night he got me on the list for her show at Joe’s Pub here in the City. I like seeing shows at Joe’s Pub because it’s very dark and you can sit down for the show, which is an important selling point for me since I’ve been suffering from “Gig Back” for the past few years. Sitting down rocks.
I didn’t know what to expect from Alexa because I’d never heard any of her music and my nature as a Rock ‘N” Roll Curmudgeon is to hate all new music immediately unless it sounds like The Beatles or Led Zeppelin. Just because. But since Marc is in her band I figured that Alexa had to at least be okay/not horrifying because he isn’t one of those mercenary drummer whores who will just take any gig for a paycheck. So I was pretty happy just to be sitting in Joe’s Pub at a mirrored table that you could do blow off of if it were the ‘70s, in the dark, eating a plate of pasta and meatballs and waiting for the show to start. At moments like that I am happy with my life and all it entails. Anyway, Alexa came on the stage at like 7:30 – early shows rule – and blew my fucking mind the second she opened her mouth, because, man, this kid can sing her ass off. Not only that, she has the stage presence of a 20-year industry veteran, charisma for days and, honestly the girl is fucking gorgeous. I know that gossip blogger Perez Hilton posted some kind of offensive rant a few weeks back calling Alexa “ugly,” but he’s out of his mind. Geezus, if I was as smokin’ as Alexa Ray Joel I would be down on my hands and knees 24-7 thanking god. She reminds me of cross between Sarah Silverman and Penelope Cruz. That’s right: Hot.
Alexa also writers her own songs and while she’s got a way to go before she catches up with her Dad, her tunes are better than most of the mind-numbing drivel you hear on the radio. I mean, compared to someone like Avril Lavigne, the girl is positively Bob Dylan. Musically I’d compare her to Nora Jones and Bonnie Raitt; very accessible but versatile. I enjoyed her show very much. After the set I hauled Marc aside and told him “Marc, whatever happens, stay in this band.” Because Alexa Ray Joel is, deservedly, going to be huge. You read it here first.