You might wonder what I’m doing up at 7am, and why I’m sitting at my computer and not safe in bed sleeping off that last whiskey after The Funk Machine’s triumphant Bar4 set last night. I wondered the same thing when I saw the time. But I realized that tonight will be my last show at Bar4, and that demanded more than a tweet or status update.
Bar4 is not simply a place, and that’s why it’s so hard to let go. We traveled from small towns, cities, and even across oceans to a room on the corner of 7th Ave and 15th St. And somehow, because of this bar, we found one another. My dear friends, my family.
I’ve heard from a lot of people this week, memories of their first gigs. For so many of us, Bar4 was the first place in NYC that was willing to take a chance and let us play our music. For me, it’s the place where I found myself as a writer and musician, the place where I went from a shy girl to a confident woman. For me, it’s hallowed ground.
When I first moved to Brooklyn in January 2003, I came with a head full of dreams. Throughout history there have been cities where the creative energies just explode, where artists are drawn together and inspire one another. As I wandered around the city, I kept dreaming of finding the musical equivalent of the NYC beat poetry movement. I wanted to find my Kerouacs and Ginsbergs, the people who would make me want to be a better artist.
I had a lot of silly dreams, but the best one, and the most unlikely one came true. I found a community of songwriters that inspired instead of competed. I found friends with character that I respect and talent that I’m blown away by. I found a place where my usual drink is poured for me almost before I sit down at the bar. Basically, a real life version of Cheers, if Cheers was about a group of musicians, comedians, photographers, painters, dancers, actors, and DJs.
All these memories have been flooding back, Tanya singing Homeward Bound, Greg’s incredibly infectious laugh, Larry’s frenetic energy, Paul’s Further North, the whole bar becoming a percussion section for Matt Singer, and Isaac’s “FUUUUUUCK YOOOOOU, that was so good!”
Today my heart is full, and tonight it will be running over. It’s not our last goodbye yet, not until we’re sitting in front of the bar on August 15th, playing songs on the street in protest. Until then, I’m going to make as many new memories as I can.