We are starting a family band! It’s called Team Man Repeller and the Community. We’re part a cappella, part karaoke, part improv and typically off-key but no one’s complained yet so baby we are touring worldwide!
Our first gig took place last night at Sid Gold’s Request Room — this sort of old-school-vibe-y place that really makes you feel like you’re in New York City but the way your parents used to describe it, with a cast of characters at the front bar and in the back, where we were, a giant piano and mini stage. (Sid Gold’s Request Room can also come to you, which is fun. They’ll go to your house, your event, wherever. Like the whole bar does not move but the experience is portable, you know? Highly recommend it for the next surprise party you plan.)
Our pianist was named Mark but his stage name is Rivers Cuomo, which I assigned to Mark and he loved because we had a special little thing I think.
We kicked the evening off with a rather unfortunate although some will say creative version of “You Don’t Own Me,” which, as it turns out, is one of those songs that you think you know the words to but only know the chorus. From there, brave souls from the community began getting up to belt it out and bear their souls onstage. House favorites were “Monster Mash,” where community member Stela Xhiku did a duet with Rivers, “Killing Me Softly,” “I Want It That Way” and “I Will Survive.” (Patty made a Spotify playlist of the songs everyone sang but we can’t remember them all, so if you were there and see some missing please comment and we’ll add!)
How did we gather the courage to harmonize terribly in 4/4 before a crowd? Liquid confidence, baby. Sid Gold’s made us specialty MR cocktails which was very nice, the main ingredient was alcohol, and Winc supplied so much wine that it was like the drinking scene out of Fantasia with all the little centaurs running around getting drunk. Then Bag-all bagged all of the unopened Winc bottles up for the cool commune to take home.
We were wary going to into last night’s event. Spirits were low. The reality of the election results were setting in and sitting heavy, not to mention the weather was being very dramatic with its blustery rain. No one felt like singing. But when the community members started arriving, one by one, the mood began to shift. Genuine nice-to-meet-you’s were exchanged in solidarity. Strangers hugged. People shared stories. A lot of us were sad, scared and felt defeated. But when there’s a plywood stage, two open mics and a quasi-Rivers Cuomo lookalike on the piano waiting to take song requests and a room full of people who understand exactly how you feel, you sing.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out last night, and for everyone who is a part of this community. You make us feel proud to do what we do.