Long Island Pulse Singer-Songwriter Series—January 2011

Because the first great snow storm of 2011 blasted the world back a bit, the third installment of The LI Pulse Singer-Songwriter Series at The Cinema Arts Centre – the January show – actually took place on February 9th. The rescheduling, however, did not dissuade many of you, and we got to enjoy another sublime night of word and sound.

What I’m learning about being a curator is this: the pieces of art that exist side by side (so to speak) in a gallery or exhibition space need not be identical or even aesthetically similar in order to function well together. Jay Scott and Rorie Kelly are a good example of this. Jay is a soulful throwback with an emotional delivery via a folksy rootsy Americana thing. He’s a younger Ray LaMontagne with a gruff and warm voice that is as spirited when he’s singing on stage as when he’s talking about his kids afterwards. The attention he gives to the tough blues of modern life and what it means to be a working musician is not unlike Rorie Kelly’s punky ethic. Her acute sensibilities with regard to interpersonal relationships and how gender and sexuality inform who we are and how they bring us closer to and further away from each other remind me of what either the poet Adrienne Rich or the songwriter Ani DiFranco (or both?) said once, how saying the personal always has an element of the political in it. They sound great together. They’re friends too I think.

I love the bliss of juxtapositions. I love our serendipitous minglings of sound and personality on the last Wednesday of every month. And I love that we have two this month because old man winter decided to blow his horn all over the country while we listened to his songs and the songs of our new favorite voices over and over again.



Check out the video here!

alan semerdjian

Alan Semerdjian is a writer, musician, English teacher, and occasional visual artist. Besides LI Pulse, his work has appeared in Newsday, Adbusters, Chain, The Lyric Review and numerous other print and online publications, anthologies, and chapbooks. His first full-length book of poetry is In the Architecture of Bone (Genpop Books 2009). You can visit him digitally at alanarts.com and find out about his music at alansemerdjian.com.