Of Little Coincidences and Hometown Pride | Regina Spektor

“There are all these big things, but it’s the little things that kind of end up being the meaning of the day.”


It’s the coincidence in something, anything—no matter what’s happening or what’s being talked about—that Regina Spektor will notice. She’ll embrace the peculiarity of the way a shadow strikes a building in a place she’s only been once in her life, that sticks to her like a static-charged scarf for the remainder of a year. Emblazoned in her mind is the way her plane landed in Oslo, the first snow of the year in Stockholm, that dashing freckle on a cheek, the exact wetness of a kiss she had months ago, and the sweetness of the juice in the peaches she bought at a farmer’s market in New Orleans, before the hurricanes tore it up.

“They were the best peaches that I’d ever eaten in my life,” Spektor said of those fuzzy fruits she picked up during some downtime. “I got to go there, for the first time, on the Keane tour. I’d seen so many PBS documentaries and all this stuff about Louis Armstrong; I’d always wanted to go to New Orleans. I had four days off there, somehow. It was because the van we were using had no shock absorption. When we hit some bumps, I would go flying forward and when I would land, all the air would leave my lungs. We were going to fly to the next city. I had all this time and I walked around a lot, really feeling the city. It made a huge impression on me. And then all this horribleness happened. I was so overwhelmed. I could imagine those places. It was really eerie and really sad. I was really grateful that I got to go there before that happened.

“There are all these big things, but it’s the little things that kind of end up being the meaning of the day.”

Spektor, the enchanting, classically trained songbird, wrote one of the most interestingly beautiful records of the year in Soviet Kitsch, an eccentric tapestry of character studies that explores the dark wildernesses of relationships with a mature naïvete—a contradiction of terms that’s amazing and exclusively hers. The Russian-born Bronx native is precious in conversation and fascinating on record. She’s the girl who, while in Copenhagen last month, saw a Grandmaster Flash concert and when he bragged to the audience that hip-hop started in the Bronx, gave a loud, explosive hoot.

“I was the only person from the Bronx who was there,” she said. “I danced so much that night. When I dance, they have to make room.”

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