Retribution Gospel Choir @ Lit Lounge

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Wow. I had such a great time last night! I went to see RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR, which is a project headed by LOW‘s Alan Sparhawk and RED HOUSE PAINTERS‘ Mark Kozelek. Both amazing artists with REAL male singing voices! It’s hard to find a male who can sing, let alone sing well, but these guys are tops! Amazing and emotional and melodic…

Winding our way down into the dungeon-ish pit of LIT in the East Village, Nick and I parked ourselves on a cozy bench seat about 2 feet from the “stage” (a small platform stage). I didn’t know what to expect, as Retribution Gospel Choir have never released a recording, but I figured it would be great. It was.

Washing through walls of sound reverberating throughout the dungeon, Alan Sparhawk’s voice swam through every song like a purpose. I wish I knew all of the songs well enough to include the set list, but two songs stood out: HATCHET and another one about “those damn kids.” Both reached crescendos and harmonies that are a trademark of Alan’s, so this was so inspiring live! Mark Kozelek was not part of this show, for some reason, but that did not diminish the quality by any means. Alan held his own! I also loved one of the songs about “I could have been a sailor;” a very dark song about resentment, loss, and If Only’s…


Oh, I know the one song is called Hatchet because it is on the LIMITED EDITION self-burned discs Alan sold after the show! YAY! I got #461 of 500! YAY!

Now the nicest part of the night was after the show, I was able to talk to Alan as he sold his discs, thanking him for his art! But later, as he was cleaning up in front of our bench, he asked Nick and me if we had seen his bag, found it, but stood talking with us for several minutes! Nothing life-changing or profound, but it was really invigorating to actually talk to someone who sings to me nearly every day.

Love that.

Nick and I then sauntered over to NOWHERE bar and hung out for quite a while before he retired to the subway to take himself home. I went on to meet JohnC and Phil and Roy at G & Barracuda for a meaningless, lingering night of silliness and flirtations.

Next concert is METRIC! I cannot WAIT! I hope I have a date by then; that would be fun! So far, Nick, Cyprus, Johnny, and I are going, but I have an extra ticket for my yet-to-be-determined-date!

See,… I continue to think positively!

AND… I’m thinking ahead!

Our friend, Matt, will arrive from San Francisco the day of METRIC. I can’t wait to see him! It’s strange how comforting some people can be just by being alive. Matt and Myke, my pals from California, are very much like that.

It’s good to have that in one’s life.

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