I met Alana Sveta late one night on the Brooklyn-bound side of the G Train Metropolitan Avenue Station. She and a friend were singing in harmony as Alana played guitar. They sounded pretty good and from the looks of Alana’s guitar case, which had a pretty good haul of one dollar bills, many people agreed with my assessment.
Alana came to New York City on vacation about two years ago and played her first show here at Goodbye, Blue Monday in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Soon after, Alana moved here from San Francisco. She first played the subway in July, 2008 and that has been the way she’s been financing herself since. Yes, she’s also playing clubs and had a date at Webster Hall this past week as well (and if anyone from The Rockwood Music Hall is out there, she’d love to play there). Multitalented, Alana is also a graphics artist and has just completed a screen play.
Alana’s solo work over the past few years has been introspective. But she is in the process of forming a band, whose name at this point is Beaux. She said that the music of that band is going to be “joyful.”
After I finished my interview with Alana, I came home to find that Patti Smith had recently said this: “New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling. But there are other cities. Detroit. Poughkeepsie… New York City has been taken away from you… So my advice is: Find a new city.” Yes, the New York City of the late 60s and early 70s has gone away. But maybe Patti should meet Alana and reconsider that quote.