New York City, Monday, October 29th 3:45pm: Here in New York City and other parts of the Northeast Coast including New Jersey and Rhode Island we are already feeling the strong winds and rain but are still awaiting the brunt of Hurricane Sandy to hit sometime later today. The massive storm with such a friendly name is expected to wreak havoc here on the Northeast over the next day or more with the worst of it hitting later tonight/early tomorrow morning, according the National Weather Service. Already winds are up near 100 MPH on the Jersey Shore and here in Queens, where I am, some trees have been blown down. Hurricane Sandy, which is arriving in conjunction with a separate severe cold weather system a couple of days shy of Halloween, has been dubbed "Frankenstorm" by the media who are always, it appears, delighted to have some potential apocalyptic disaster to report upon. Most folks here in New York and New Jersey that I know are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. NYC buses and subways have been out of service since last (Sunday) evening and both JFK and La Guardia airports are shut down with flights cancelled through tomorrow (Tuesday) evening. For up to the minute news on the storm YouTube is live streaming The Weather Channel, while Weather.Com is doing live updates online that you can get on your mobile devices.
When you work at Amoeba Music there’s certain questions you answer over and over again:
“Where’s the restroom?”
“Why’s this one this price and this one this price?”
“Where can I find Edith Piaf?”
That last question is occasionally (to my endless amusement) pronounced as, “Where can I find Edith Pilaf?” to which I always want (but never) answer:
“We file her in-between Condoleezza Rice and Tim Curry. They all go great together.”
My internalized snarkiness aside, I’m all for Edith Piaf. Who could hate La Môme Piaf (her French nickname, literally translated as “That short woman in the black dress with the amazing voice but tragic make-up which someone should seriously having a talking-to-her about”)?
But I think too many people stop with Piaf and don’t investigate the chanson française of her peers, which is a shame because there’s so much to love. Below I offer some performers I think are à l'opposé de terrible.