Algonquin's Oak Room closed earlier this year and here comes news that Feinstein's at the Lowe's Regency is closing on December 31st, having been given the heave ho. Michael is searching for new digs but you better use those fingers for crossing as a generation of Americans raised on the Great American songbook die and nobody much is replacing them.
Bobby Short is dead. So is Frankie, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, they've all gone on. And, not unlike current novelists complete inability to compete with the masters of the 19th and 20th Century, there is nobody capable of taking their place. I have nothing against Michael Buble. But he isn't the same league.
And anyway, even if they were, the market is contracting and contracting and contracting. In 30 years or so, I'll be dead, who will be left to support supper clubs providing sophisticated American popular music, with lovely melodies, clever lyrics, and the one desire: to transport you out of this deeply mundane world we live in to one of cocktails, penthouses, and glamor. We gained so much when rock and roll arrived, but we lost a lot as well. I want both.
So we had three upscale supper clubs and right now we have one. I don't like change (except musical of course) , I've worked for the same company for 25 years, that's how little I like change. And this feels like a tidal wave, a time and a place gone forever. It is sad and it tugs at you, it tugs like those old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, increasingly difficult to find on TV with an almost limitless amount of networks available, a world that thinks "When Harry Met Sally" is a forgotten classic.
The difference between rock nyc and ALL our competitors (I mean besides our having a tiny percentage of their readership) is we see no difference between Bobby Short and Chris Brown: it all works on the same musical plain for us. But rock nyc is an anachronism in itself. Music criticism is a pointless hobby in a world where Spin post 140 word reviews because most music doesn't deserve more. If they don't like music, why write about it?
Damn, damn, damn. I'm gonna cry.