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NYC Report 8 – The Fab Faux

:: Last night I saw The Fab Faux at a free concert at the World Financial Center near Battery Park City. I was with friends who invited me to attend. As a lifelong Beatles fan, I was looking forward to seeing them perform, given the preconcert info I’d received from said friends: the Faux reproduce the Beatles’ tunes as you hear them on their records, as close to a note-for-note reproduction as possible, and delivered by some of the best musicians around, including Will Lee (The Late Show with David Letterman) and Jimmy Vivino (Late Night With Conan O’Brien).

To put it bluntly, if you’ve seen any Beatles’ tribute bands, no matter HOW good you thought they were, put them to bed, now. None of them can hold a candle to The Fab Faux. For one thing, all Beatles tribute bands always feature four musicians only only – they cannot play any of the Beatles’ tunes which feature horns, strings, keyboards, special effects, etc. To wit: according to my friends, who have seen TFF a number of times, TFF shows are all different, and at some shows, they devote a performance to playing every song on a particular Beatles album, including – wait for it – The White Album. Uh huh. Yes, that means Revolution No 9, too. They’ve performed, in their entirety, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Revolver, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Magical Mystery Tour, to name a few. They are often joined by a four-piece horn section (which includes Lew Soloff from Blood, Sweat and Tears), and a cello/violin group called Cream Tangerine.

Last night was a mixed-bag special (Note: H – Horns, S – Strings):

1. Any Time at All.
2. Revolution
3. Martha, My Dear (HS)
4. I Am The Walrus (HS)
5. Nowhere Man
6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (note-for-note guitar solo by Vivino resulting is a standing ovation)
7. Tomorrow Never Knows
8. Penny Lane (H)
9. Got To Get You Into My Life (H)
10. Good Morning, Good Morning (H)
11. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise (HS)
12. A Day in the Life (HS)
13. Paperback Writer
14. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide (Except For Me and My Monkey)
15. Helter Skelter

Those of you familiar with these tunes can only imagine how some of these tunes sounded. Tomorrow Never Knows pretty much knocked me down – I was stunned at the accuracy of the sound, and Rich Pagano’s drumming was brilliant. Like I said, forget all you know about Beatles tribute bands…

:: One thing of note that I keep forgetting to report is how wonderful it is to go into any bar, club or restaurant in NYC and not worry about smoking. It was a treat to watch Darrell Hammond on Saturday night in a club with 200+ people, and not have to breathe second hand smoke. I can’t wait for Edmonton to reach this status. And to those who doubt that people will attend restaurants or shows or go to clubs – forget it. Nearly every place I’ve been has been packed, and not suffering for customers.

:: Celebrity spotting update: Previously I mentioned seeing Molly Shannon walk across 23rd Street a few days ago. Ditto a 23rd Street siting of BD Wong (requires download). Two days ago, I saw the movie Blue Car, and quite enjoyed it. The movie stars Agnes Bruckner in a breakout performance, and David Strathairn, one of my favorite actors. So it was weird that a day later, I saw Strathairn on a subway platform, and we entered the same subway car. I was so tempted to speak to him, but kept thinking that celebrities on the streets of NYC most likely want to keep to themselves.

:: Speaking of movies, I’ve seen four while in NYC: Blue Car, The Heart of Me, Irreversible, and Sweet Sixteen. Irreversible has two of the most difficult scenes to watch in any movie I’ve ever seen, and is most likely the most disturbing film I have ever seen. James Berardinelli notes in his review:

“Since one of the duties of a film critic is to provide readers with enough ammunition for them to make an informed decision about whether a movie is likely to match their tastes, I must begin with a stern warning. Irreversible is the kind of film that will offend, outrage, and possibly even sicken about 90% of the mainstream viewing audience. Its brutal, unflinching depiction of violence and sexual violation is of a kind that I have never previously encountered in a movie. Those who feel they cannot stand up to the worst director Gaspar No has to offer will be wasting time and money on Irreversible. Walk-outs are the most common byproduct of shock and outrage”

As mentioned, people have walked out either near the beginning of the movie (a bloody, mind-numbing, violent murder) or in the middle (a 9-minute rape scene in which the camera never moves). Please read the remainder of Berardinelli’s review, a review in which he gives 3.5 stars out of 4. I may write more about this later.

:: This is my last day in NYC. I’m out of money, and somewhat exhausted. I’ll be happy to get home tomorrow. Later this afternoon I’m meeting with my friend Sekeena for coffee. The evening will most likely be quiet. See you soon.

One Response to “NYC Report 8 – The Fab Faux”

  1. Anne Teak Says:

    The Faux are the best indeed.

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