Jesse Jarnow

wetlands/borat karma & “you enjoy myself” – phish

“You Enjoy Myself” – Phish (download here)
recorded 26 October 1989
Wetlands Preserve, NYC (soundboard)

Man, y’know, I hate to be negative & shit, but sometimes life requires it and this story is too good to pass up. Carole De Saram is the President of the Tribeca Community Association. As I found out when I saw the final cut of Wetlands Preserved, a documentary I worked on a few years ago, she was one of the prime movers in forcing the Wetlands Preserve out of Tribeca in September 2001. Call it gentrification or something else, but she displaced a very real community in the name of making her own newer, richer community a little blander. That it happened during a month when communities in Manhattan were needed more than ever only made it shittier.

But then there’s karma. Or, more accurately, there’s Borat.

Carole De Saram, as it turns out, is also a member of the Veteran Feminists of America, a group Sacha Baron Cohen interviews in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. When I saw the film, it was one of the few times where I groaned and thought, “gee, does he really have to fuck with these people?” And the answer, as the universe has pointed out to me, is: hell yes. My new theory is that anybody in Borat who appears innocent is actually atoning for some bad juju he or she previously unleashed on the world.

Anyway, there’s something positive to go along with it: a nicely mixed soundboard of Phish playing “You Enjoy Myself” at the Wetlands in October 1989. For non-Phishies open-eared enough to try, this is as good a place to start as any. If you don’t enjoy “You Enjoy Myself,” you probably won’t enjoy Phish. They’re not the story here, anyway, Wetlands is: a club that allowed this bizarre music to happen in New York.

Here’s a 12-story feature I edited, and partially wrote, about Wetlands on the occasion of its closing.

2 Comments

  1. Velvet Sea says: - reply

    tribeca is sooooo much better off with a scandinavian furniture store anyway than some rinky dink club with no air conditioning and a stage placed in the total wrong spot. i can’t furnish my loft with live music!

  2. Randy Ray says: - reply

    Borat, Karma, Wetlands, Phish and YEM in one post? What more can one ask for? Great linkage to the current karma being laid upon the heads of real estate poachers–the real villians, here and the ones who forced my great grandfather to flip a coin between America and Australia after his British landlords swiped his farm out of spite. It’s a pathetic historic cliche but it tragically happened to my family. Thanks for keeping it REAL, as always, Big J. When Mike Greenhaus showed me the furniture store last year that had replaced the legendary Wetlands it was like a very wrong moment of epiphany out of an unwritten HST tome.