06 April 2008

Jens Lekman @ Webster Hall, NYC & Brooklyn House Party, April 5, 2008

I'm not even supposed to be writing about this show. Before he burst into the evening's first song, Jens said he wanted the night to go undocumented. A show just between us and him. Not the internet. But sometimes secrets are too good not to share and last night was one of them.

Of course the show itself was as adorable as always. My third time seeing him and I still never tire of the witty banter, seamlessly woven samples and his impeccable girly backing band (plus Viktor Sjoberg). But then things got better. At some point during the encore Jens announced he was having a house party in Brooklyn. We were all invited. Now if you were at Jens last NYC show, you'll remember he promised to play an after show gig in Union Square, but got lost in Halloween weekend traffic and thus never made it to the park. He profusely apologized about the incident via personal email correspondence (!!! - just another reason we love Jens, he's a rock star that responds to emails) and a party it seemed would be ample compensation. Nothing would stand in his way. We hung around the venue a bit waiting for a glimpse of Jens and some details of this supposed shindig -until evil Webster Hall security guards kicked us out. Undeterred, we clung to the outside exit, amongst a mob of others until he came out. Excuse my fan-girl gushing, but what a friendly guy, so modest, so unpretentious. So willing to snap photos and autographs and just casually chat. One of my friends inquired about the Brooklyn party. Jens told us to take the Q to Beverly Road. "Uhh, and then where do we go?" I asked. "Someone will pick you up from the stop at midnight," he replied. Uh, ok. This would sound so incredibly sketchy coming from ANY other individual, right? But Jens made the request sound downright innocent, nearly magical, like an invite to a middle school dance from that boy you had a crush on forever, but you swore he never even noticed you existed. For the record my two friends and I have absolutely no sense of Brooklyn geography, but what the hell, we'll venture deep into an unknown borough for the potential awesomeness of a Swedish pop star after party.
We do it. We actually get there. Along with about 30 people. A gaggle of us just waiting outside the station. Every time a car passes by our heads turns. We collectively stop traffic about 17 times. Finally some Swedish speaking people come by. They tell us to follow. We walk down the block and arrive at a house. A bona fide house. There are houses in Brooklyn apparently. And here we are in some dude's living room listening to a highly danceable mix of synthey 80s pop, 70s funk and maybe a dash of old-school hip-hop. About an hour later Jens grabs the mic and sings "Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death" and "Into Eternity". Chanting along to "we're all gonna die, and we don't know how and we don't know when" at 1:30 in the morning is maybe the most liberating feeling in the world. After a downright shitty week, there is comfort in that universal sentiment. We are all gonna die, so we might as well embrace it and we might as well dance. And that's exactly what we did.

P.S. - I found an actual postcard sent by Jens on the bulletin board in the kitchen. To Gary, not Nina. But I found it amusing. Take a look (and also note the Kelly Clarkson ticket stub directly underneath, haha):

Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death - Jens Lekman (Scout Niblett cover)


Catlinbee said...

Arrgh. I'm so jealous! It sounds like it was excellent though. And the postcard made me laugh.

LMS said...

I still haven't recovered from his LA show and now I hear about this? Sigh. Jens, thank you for existing.

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog - totally summed up what I was thinking when I, too, ventured into the unknown territory across the bridge. Jens is awesome - and agreed - if the invitation came from anyone else, I might have ended up in a crystal meth lab. If you were there, then I know you had a good time, so no need to ask that question. :) Cheers!

Andrew said...


Brian said...

I was there, too, and it was great. Met some cool people and thoroughly enjoyed talking with Jens. Do you have more photos of the night, or know where to point? I forgot my camera, like a fool.

Jess said...

hey brian,

wasn't saturday night awesome, i'm still reeling from it. i found this set of photos on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94835996@N00/sets/72157604415633081/

have fun trying to spot yourself (i'm the girl in brown dancing next to jens) .


Kristina said...

Hey! Jess! I love that I'm indirectly blogged about. Wooo!