Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Collection connection


The Collection at the Rockwood Music Hall

Deacon James looking for Danielle. She’s not in yet. She’s going to help him  sort through some legal  issues, some family issues. He’ll come back later.

Pat O, Marsha and then Jamie gather to  meet with our candidate for Construction Manager. who has come with his associate. He’s cool. Collected. Level headed. We go through the whole building, yet again. He sees things we don’t see. Sees solutions. practical. Pragmatic. We can do all this work within the grandfather provisions. He has made a good impression. People ready to move. Need to see some licenses. Some insurance. Some references. But we all  believe we can start work soon. I can almost see construction work beginning. 

Leila and Berik are in. Going to clear out all art stored in the old ,medical room so that it can become a green room for regroup and their Texas Trilogy production. 

Late afternoon, the van arrives. With its trailer. We are hosting the Collection Family Band from Greensboro, North Carolina. They are on tour. With their first CD. Connections. Friends with Kristen
Leigh Southworth, who has been in several shows at West-Park including her own Songs in  the Key of Redemption last year while I was in Berlin. She met their leader David Wimbish singing with him at the Wild Goose festival in North Carolina. An annual festival defined as  a community gathered at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music and art. ( Our friend Russ J from our Palestinian work is the stage manager there every year. Connections.

Short story: their New York City housing connection fell through. Can I help? I offer them space on the floor, our showers not currently working. They’re overjoyed. I’ve got to run. David S will host them until they’ve got to head downtown for their concert at the Rockwood Music Hall, that lower east side emporium of fine music. I’ll head down there in time  for the show. It’s a big band. 13 members. Seeing them come out of the van reminds me of Bread & Puppet.  Or that old clowns out of the VW circus routine. They just keep coming. And they are so young…

From the balcony at the Rockwood, I look down in the show. A little loose at first, but turns solid, tight. Wimbish’s lyrics tackle questions of faith and doubt, somehow with both cynical distance, not wanting to get hurt, and desire, he takes this all very seriously. The Rockwood crowd taken aback by a 13 piece band. Guitars. Keyboards.Violins. Autoharps. Clarinet. Baritone horn. Trumpet. Drums. Mini glockenspiel. And well, there’s the didgeridoo, I knew there  was one in there somewhere. 

A touch of Sufjan. A touch of Arcade Fire. And maybe Mumford. But it all revolves around David and his lyrics. What I could do with a 13 piece band. (To sample their music go to

I leave to make sure I can  be back at the church before they arrive. It’s after 1:30 AM when they get there. I tell them, they make me feel parental, waiting up for them. Welcome back home, kids.  They’ve got to try and find a place to park the van and trailer overnight. I’ll see them in the morning. 

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