Suzanne Vega performing at Housing Works bookstore & cafe

Suzanne Vega at housing works bookstore and cafe

Suzanne Vega played at the Housing Works bookstore and cafe in NYC on Sunday, November 14! It’s always a treat to watch her perform live especially in such an intimate setting like Housing Works! Suzanne has been contemporarily folking out in NYC since the 1980’s. She grew up in spanish harlem so lots of her inspiration for songwriting delve into the urban landscapes & the relationships that would ensue from the best freeform concrete jungles known to man called new york city. Most of you folks might know her from her chart buster hits like LUKA & TOM’s DINER which rose to the Billboards in 1987. TOM’s DINER then got remade in 1990 into a dance tune that most of you would recognize. After that she had a few hits here and there like Caramel & 99.9 degrees but, basically dropped into obscurity from the US billboards & mainstream. She continued with her music & I continued to follow her multifaceted lyrics based on her observations & experiences of city life. She is still very popular in europe and thus, tours there quite often, moreso than in the US. So, when Ms. Vega makes an appearance in her hometown of NYC, you best believe a planet chocko martian will be there with antennas propped up scanning the airwaves! Some of my favorite songs besides the obvious include QUEEN and the SOLDIER (sad), GYPSY (her 1st romance), IRONBOUND (which is about the ironbound portugese section of Newark,NJ), BLOOD MAKES NOISE (great rendition of this at the show with crazy distortions from the guitar!), TOMBSTONE (about the funeral procession of her cat which her mom set afloat on a raft in the east river, then incinerated). She also performed a new song called THE BAND WHO PLAYED GOD (a Sparklehorse composed song with Suzanne’s lyrics influenced by Pablo Picasso’s imagination & creativity. The other new song she performed was INSTANT OF THE HOUR AFTER which was based on Carson Mcculler’s short story of the same title. The story was about a husband confronting his wife after a night of heavy boozing. It was great to see Suzanne Vega perform in such a small venue at Housing Works! I think she is one of the most underrated singer/songwriters of our time! If you get a chance & she is playing at a performance space near you, go check it out! Suzanne Vega is definitely one of NYC’s contemporary folk music treasures!

Suzanne Vega set list
marlene on a wall
when heroes go down
caramel
small blue thing
bonnie & clyde
gypsy
ironbound
tombstone
blood makes noise
The band who played god
queen and the soldier
rock in this pocket
some journey
instant of the hour after
rosemary
luka
tom’s diner

Suzanne Vega at Housing Works

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