photo: weekly dig
Last Friday, the Black Sheep was the setting for the most unusual onstage endorsement I’ve ever seen, as the much-buzzed New York City twee-pop band Frankie Cosmos regaled a packed venue full of largely teenage fans on the virtues of local Jamaican restaurant Spice Island Grill.
It started out normally enough. Toward the end of the group’s set, the band’s drummer went up to the mic and raved about their pre-performance dinner, assuring the crowd that they are "lucky to live in the same town where Spice Island Grill lives." Frontwoman Greta Kline — who happens to be the 24-year-old daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates — then chimed in with her own endorsement, saying that even though she was a vegetarian she couldn’t resist the temptation to try the jerk chicken.
Then came the strange part, as the group proceeded to lead the enraptured crowd in an enthusiastic chant of "Spice! Island! Grill!," which went on for a good two to three minutes. Later, after the musicians had finished their set and left the stage, the crowd resumed the chant until the band returned for its encore.
The following afternoon, I stopped by Spice Island Grill
for lunch, and was not entirely surprised to find the parking lot completely full, for the first time in the ten years I’ve been going there. The tables were also full, several of them with high school and college students. Later, as I drove away, I passed another dozen people filing down the sidewalk and into the tiny restaurant.
All of which is further proof that, during these troubled times, music can be a force for good.