Sunday, June 1, 2014
Oh, I Think So in NYC, Part 2
Behold Malang Jobateh, a kora player who shares his music in the Union Square subway station. Like many musicians in New York's subway system, he is a very talented man. I am sharing only 1 minute and 14 seconds of his talent which is not nearly enough. A lilting voice, a talented kora player, charisma -- Mr. Jobateh is the complete package. People were showing their appreciation with well-deserved money.
In my town, there are subway musicians who are phenomenally talented and others who are so bad that one thinks about fleeing from the station and just taking a bus. There are wonderfully gifted people like the young woman who sings the blues while playing the banjo (don't mock, it works) or the old man/young man combo who played rocks songs on the Jackson Blue line platform and totally killed it. There is the middle ground of what-the-fuckery and the lady who plays the violin, whistles, and does flamenco tapping, all at the same time. There is the young man who beautifully played acoustic guitar but sang so off key that I, at the far end of the platform, struggled to not laugh too hard; I think he must be the guy who one summer's night some years later sat under my apartment window in his car, all the windows down, and loudly sang along with Lite-FM (and he knew every word). In other words, there is good but there is a lot of ?????? and a lot of serious crap.
If I lived in New York, I think I'd need to set up a separate subway musician budget because there are so many really gifted musicians giving their all within steps of the entrance to the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, and R trains, just to name one subway station. When you visit NYC, ride the rails and you'll see what I mean. Make sure you give some monetary love to Malang Jobateh.
Check out more on You Tube. There are several videos that offer his music. Here's another one: