Hopelessly Devoted

Polly Jean Harvey, you're my star; Volume gets a visit from the city

It happens every single time. For whatever reason, PJ HARVEY always makes me cry. Something about powerful women turns me into a blubbering baby, so there I stood on Wednesday night at the Knitting Factory, crying my little eyes out. It only lasted for one song, and came without warning, like a faucet suddenly bursting. Just like the last time I saw Polly Jean. And the time before that and the time before that. (Friend to me before show: "Are you gonna cry again?" Me: "Probably.")

Other people in the audience were not crying, but they clearly felt the same way. At one point between songs, some guy yelled, deliriously, "I'm soooooo happy!" Another guy was even more excited. Between encores, he banged the stage like a drum. It turned out he was on E. I'll have what he's having.

During the show, GINA of the LUNACHICKS kept checking her watch—she only had a half-hour of PJ time to squeeze in before heading to her moonlighting gig at the Lakeside Lounge, where she pours drinks. I told her nobody needed to start drinking this early anyway (9 p.m.), and took a gulp of my greyhound. PJ devotee and recent Off-Broadway star JUSTIN BOND loves Polly Jean so much he flew back early from London (where he was touring in Kiki & Herb: Where Are We Now?) upon learning that he had a ticket to the show. And East Village fixture G SPOT stood in the front row like a Number One Stalker, I mean, Fan. There were many East Village gay boys in the crowd, which for some reason surprised me, but Mr. Bond explained, "Oh God, every time I do a PJ song they go craaaazy."

Really, what's not to love? Miss Harvey wore a bright yellow dress with a vision of her former, less glamorous self from the Rid of Me era imprinted on it, and hot pink stilettos. She alternated between songs from her raw new record, Uh Huh Her, and little morsels of her older stuff, including "To Bring You My Love," "Catherine," and "Dress." (Although one can complain that more Rid of Me, less of the "love" record, Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, was in order. PJ Harvey is here to feel my pain, dammit.) Yes, we love you, PJ, we really love you. Enough to warrant two encores.

I don't love Volume as much as I love PJ, but it makes me sad that the Brooklyn venue got a visit from the authorities two Fridays ago. Owner SERGE BECKERwrote and said that the violations were a peculiar set of circumstances—something to do with a gas generator powering the emergency systems (which is not kosher). The club was due to be open for RICHIE HAWTIN this week, and for the June 16 WALKMEN show.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, to when the authorities busted a real illegal loft in Williamsburg (as opposed to a legit space masquerading as an underground warehouse like Volume). Remember that crazy party featuring JAMES MURPHY and other cool DJs that was supposed to be a hush-hush affair, but every person on the planet got an invite? And then the whole thing was busted before it even started and people were directed to Luxx, where W.I.T. was playing? No? OK.

Anyways, the silly rumor was that Murphy was dating W.I.T.'s MANDY COON, and the loft party was a ploy to redirect the trucker-hat masses to the less cool Luxx party. We said the rumor was funny (Kiss and Tell, May 28–June 3 2003), but guess what, real love has sprung from that situation. Murphy and Coon are due to get married at the end of the month. They are doing a real normal-style wedding for the 'rents, but like proper downtown royalty, they are having an after-party thrown by Mr. Fabulous himself, TOMMY SALEH of the Tribeca Grand, who booked 2 MANY DJS. No word on whether or not trucker hats are allowed, but there will be no crying allowed at the wedding or the reception, as real hipsters don't cry, dammit.


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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