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Concerts à emporter

Adam Arcuragi

Each Saturday, two levels of a standard, dingy parking garage turns into a full-blown Chelsea flea market.

When Adam Arcuragi and band rolled in with instruments, wary vendors objected, reasoning – apparently – that the delightful, stompy sing-along “Bottom of the River” might distract customers from spending their cash on a stack of vintage post cards or a maybe-working Tupac Shakur clock. But Arcuragi and company charmed ‘em and a woman with an infectious smile actually emptied a trash tub to provide the band a bass drum. Oh, and by the way: she went to Juilliard.

Arcuragi has a thing for long song titles [see “1981 (Or Waving at You as We Part at Light Speed Will Look Like I’m Standing Still” from his eponymous 2006 album]. One Take New York requested this performance at the last minute – after we’d used the word “wrap” – and the band was actually loading up the van to drive to Boston for that night’s gig. “How ’bout just one more?,” we nagged. It was snowing. “Hell, we’ll shoot you in the van.” Done. A beautiful, intimate song in a cramped and oh so un-rock-and-roll minivan.

I think Adam and friends would probably be doing something like this on any given Saturday in Philly even if there were no cameras around. They’re all accomplished musicians, they’re all in each others’ bands, and they’ll add whatever, whenever, as long as the song needs them. This one needs vocals, lots of harmony, kickin rhythm and guitar, a dulcimer, a photographer and a combat helmet, of course.

Ben Cramer, One Take New York