Pouring on the Love Juice: Live in NYC / by Sam Abelow

Here I am, it's late August, somewhere in downtown Manhattan attempting to have a chance to communicate a lifetime of work in songwriting, composing, playing music. The sound guy at Parkside Lounge urged us to get started. The room was sprinkled with my aunt and uncle, cousins, a couple of friends and a man sitting with an acoustic guitar waiting to go next.

With one half of me reluctant and the other half compelled to get “into it,” I began to start the set. Some more friends seemed to saunter in. There were some familiar faces, back for more, as well as first-timers soon to be initiated.

My Music is Purple, My Name is Green

As the band and I moved through our steadily inclining list of songs, I became more elevated, moving in and out of different realities. I experienced the music as colors in my mental sphere and when songs closed the clapping of the audience pumped pressures of intoxicating water through my abdominal cavity and heart.

Suddenly it seemed, I looked up and the room was beginning to fill. I recall being in such a transcendental state of exaltation that coming down to communicate with these swells of people resulted in giggling, eccentric behavior. I think there were several instances where I waved my hands around and, like a child, let out non-cohesive sounds like “woo-hoo.”

Pouring Love Juice

I’ve designed the current set to build from R&B, enigmatic love songs, towards Rock ’n Roll jams. The finale of the set includes some all out “pouring love juice, and lighting it on fire” guitar solos (e.g. Jimi Hendrix) and gravel-n-marlboro vocals. It seems to me that people began to wander in from the bar (we were playing in a backroom) to see more closely what was going on.

By the end of my last guitar solo there was a full room of people yelling “encore!” The sound guy and I locked eyes and he said I could do one more song. Laughing to myself, my band exiting the stage, I played a mellow version of “Blood Sacrifice,” portraying the disillusionment and irony of a spiritual man in a modern, material world.