Hello, music lovers. It’s been some time since I’ve posted. Where have I been? A year of distraction, work and not committing to keeping up this blog is the public answer. But the truth is I call 2018 the lost year because I was a lost boy. Perhaps a mid-life crisis sans the Corvette. Isolated. Irritated. Insecure about my future. In June, I was diagnosed with dysthymia, or chronic depression. It took the back-to-back suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to wake me up. Even though I didn’t have suicidal thoughts, I knew I was on a slippery slope. I knew I had to face my truth, overcome my shame and ask for help.
With the support of my therapist, my doctor, my parents and my close friends, I got on the right track. I started taking Effexor, I started talking about issues with my therapist more deeply and more seriously, and about my condition more openly with friends and family. Recently, I stopped drinking and started dealing with my addiction issues. This weekend marks five weeks of sobriety, and I have one more week to go to achieve my six week goal. From there, we’ll see. No public proclamations (ok, outside of this blog post). I know it’s #odat and a lifelong journey to be my best mentally, emotionally and physically.
With so many events in my life, it comes back to music. Music provides perspective, clarity and a sense that I’m not alone. Music has always been there for me. I have a playlist of songs that I’ve curated that get me through, and I’m keeping that private. But I’ll share one wonderfully schlocky song with you that’s top of the playlist — a Gloria Estefan song that marked her comeback after a near-fatal bus crash in 1990, ‘Coming Out of the Dark.’ Somewhere in my twisted mind, I figuratively imagine myself taking center stage in that blue dress like she did at the 1991 American Music Awards. Today I’m still standing in the wings, but I’ll be out there soon.
Given all that, I did get out and about in 2018, and early 2019, and saw some pretty incredible shows. Here’s a recap of the gigs I saw since I last posted, followed by a playlist of the songs by those artists who kept me singing, dancing, going…
- 03.14.2018 — Beth Ditto at Brooklyn Steel
- 03.18.2018 — The Midnight at Bowery Ballroom
- 03.25.2018 — k.d. lang at Beacon Theater (Ingenue 25th Anniversary Tour)
- 04.14.2019 — P!nk at Prudential Center in Newark (Beautiful Trauma Tour)
- 04.20-22.2018 — Coachella (likely my last) with highlights: LÉON, St. Vincent (best of the fest), SZA, Sigrid, MØ, Haim, Beyoncé, Vance Joy, Cardi B, Miguel
- 06.06.2018 — Gin Wigmore at Bowery Ballroom
- 07.18.2018 — Janelle Monáe at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
- 09.29.2018 — Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn at Central Park with Janelle Monáe, Shawn Mendes, and Cardi B. Note: a terrifying stampede triggered by a collapsed barrier mistaken for an active shooter (!!) forced us to leave so we missed The Weeknd and headliner Janet Jackson. dammit, janet
- 10.06.2018 — Florence & The Machine, with Beth Ditto opening at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
- 10.31.2018 — Christine & The Queens at Brooklyn Steel
- 12.03.2018 — Roosevelt at Music Hall of Williamburg
- 02.27.2019 — Cyrille Aimee at Birdland