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  • Writer's pictureHailo

Hot Literati @ Blake Parker's President's Day Concert

I, Hailo, got on the J with my friend, comedian, and fellow retired beauty queen Victoria Chuah. The conductor announced that the doors were not closing because of the cold and the train doors did, in fact, stay open. Where is our $2.90 going?

We arrived at Hart Bar in Bushwick to listen to our friend, and my bandmate Blake Parker. We pay $10 at the door. Real artists support other artists.

We walk in, Fast Car Slow Car is wailing and thrumming on bass, using creative progressions, one of which evokes Last Christmas.

Blake offers Victoria a blunt. She passes, "This hurts," she says. Gave it up for lent.

Michael Green introduces each act with edgy comedy that I won't print here because his cancellation-fearless commitment to bit is not one that I share.

Next, Lee performs his second ever set in New York, citing their choice to pursue a music career instead of college as inspiration. "FUCK COLLEGE," someone yells. "This is a dance party, don't be shy, I see a lot of wallflowers," Lee says.

I, a pseudo-professional wallflower, commit to the perimeter.

Vera Yvan, originally from Vegas, performs a room-shifting set accompanied by Mo. At one point, he raps over chorale music with a crazy bass mixed in truly, unlike anything I've ever heard. Mo's phone falls to the ground. He steps on it. A laptop reverberates off of a table.

As they cleare the stage, Victoria points out his blunt, which has also fallen to the floor.

Last, but not least, Blake Parker. Blake performs selections from their recent project The Power of Self Belief, along with some new tracks.

"Living in America, I'll never take a cruise," they sing. Someone to my right takes off their ballcap. Its stones, overlaying an American flag, reflect red light into my eyes.

"I'll venmo you $20 to play Frasier Kramer Fez," someone yells. They insist. Blake hunches over their laptop.

"Yeah," the requester encourages, "I like to see the folder open.. the awkward silence." The room laughs. And soon, they're all singing along.

This is where real community, real art happens. In dim spaces like the basement of Hart Bar. Among friends and clouds of smoke. Even in a country with mismanaged funds and forgotten dreams, talented people called to make art will find a way.


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