Ray Davies jammed with the Black Keys, Nellie McKay harmonized with Trey Anastasio and Philip Glass tickled the ivories behind Lou Reed last night (Feb. 9) at the 15th annual Tibet House Benefit conce
Ray Davies jammed with the Black Keys, Nellie McKay harmonized with Trey Anastasio and Philip Glass tickled the ivories behind Lou Reed last night (Feb. 9) at the 15th annual Tibet House Benefit concert at New York's Carnegie Hall. The event aims to raise awareness of Tibet's occupation by China and to celebrate the country's unique cultural and spiritual heritage.
Davies played piano and sang harmony vocals on the Keys' cover of the Kinks' "Act Nice and Gentle," which appeared on their 2004 Fat Possum album, "Rubber Factory." "When I wrote this song, I don't think these guys were on the planet," Davies joked beforehand.
"Most people come to this hall and play their big hits, but I'm going to play some of my flops for you," Davies said before his own set, but the Kinks mastermind brought down the house with a five-song medley from the maligned 1968 concept album "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society": "The Village Green," "Picture Book," "Animal Farm," "Do You Remember Walter?" and "Johnny Thunder."
The artist drafted the crowd for loud sing-a-long versions of "Sunny Afternoon" and "Lola," backed by Patti Smith Band members Lenny Kaye (guitar), Tony Shanahan (bass) and Jay Dee Daugherty (drums). Davies is at work on his first proper solo studio album, which could see the light of day by the end of 2005.
McKay sang with Anastasio on the latter's "Flock of Words," from his 2002 self-titled solo debut. The former Phish guitarist's set also featured the subdued new songs "Bar 17" and "Love Is Freedom," both of which boasted accompaniment from the Scorchio string quintet. The cuts are expected to appear on Anastasio's next album, due later this year.
Longtime Tibet House artistic director Glass joined in on piano for Reed's "Perfect Day," his lone solo song of the evening. Earlier, Anastasio cranked out guitar solos during Chocolate Genius' Marc Anthony Thompson's three-song set, which featured string arrangements by Van Dyke Parks.
Smith closed the evening with a set that featured the poem "Perfect World" set to Glass' piano accompaniment, "Ghost Dance" and "Peaceable Kingdom." The annual finale of "People Have the Power" found the entire evening's cast on stage, highlighted by Anastasio, Reed and Davies sharing a microphone for the anthemic chorus.