Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Open Mic, Monday, January 19, 2009

Hmmm. It seems as if it's taking me a while to get back into the flow of all the blog writing and reporting after the holidays and a couple other obligations kept me from fully focusing on all things Sidewalk recently. Even this past Monday I was a bit all over the place...but here is a cross section of impressions from the night.

Well, first off---Monday was the last day of Bush, and of course the transition to President Obama was in the air and on most folks' minds. Ben spent some of his opening monologue ruminating about this.

Ben then kicked things off with two songs from his Sting Ra opera. He also mentioned the "Night at the Opera" evening which is coming up on January 28. A slate of Sidewalk folks are playing selections from various theatrical, operatic, and concept endeavors of their creation. Should be fun (and I plan on being there).

Next up was Torn Curtain. Tom sang a song about Paul Revere and one called Ashes ("let the ashes speckle my work clothes")

Duck was next with Acronymous Fucks--I'm still not entirely sure I have the name of that song right... Duck mentioned that he is performing an upcoming show with his group Dinosaur Feathers.

Next up was Soce, who I haven't seen around at Sidewalk in a while. He was there to promote Borscht, an evening of vaudeville in which he is appearing this Friday. I remember Soce vividly from the first time I ever visited Sidewalk. He announced himself as a gay, Jewish rapper, and there definitely was something interesting and humorous in the tension between his hip-hop style and his good-Jewish-boy vibe. Soce's set on Monday was performed from the piano where he played an intro that seemed as if it was based on classical counterpoint. This meshed nicely with the rap feel of the main part of the tune, but again it presented a unique blend of styles. Soce got the crowd going with a call and response element to his song, which was a lot of fun. His second number was about Milli Vanilli and included Soce's imitation of a skipping record. Unfortunately a heckler decided to chime in.....

Although I'd seen Chloe Philip around quite a bit in Sidewalk's various schmoozing areas, I guess I'd never seen her perform. She did a very solid comedy set. She started off saying she'd just lost her job, so she's averaging about a wheel of Camembert a day...well, maybe this stuff doesn't translate so well in writing, but she was really funny (and the Scottish accent helps). Unfortunately the heckler dude started up again. Chloe handled it extremely well and the guy was ejected, but it was too bad. What's with people?

A group called The Relatives played. Lovely harmonies and arrangements. Very gentle, impressionistic.

Brook played Pocahantas, which he said was his favorite song of all time. (I'm pretty sure that's what the song was...the Neil Young tune).

After a bit of mosying around I came back in to hear Joe Crow Ryan finishing up "How High the Moon." He also played "If I was a Pirate," and although he accompanied himself on Banjo, he used it strictly like a drum.

Sometime soon thereafter I played a couple songs ("Electronic Devices" and "Gwen Stefani").

Lach read some entries from his blog...and also did what he said would be the last ever performance of "Former President Bush."

Don Cameron sang Nothing.

I was involved with a meeting downstairs about photography and visual matters during part of the evening. Ben K will soon announce what's happening with that, although I was glad to be part of the discussion. However I missed several performers during that time. I did rush upstairs when I heard the lovely vocalizing of Chilmark Valley a duo of two gals that I noticed for the first time. I was really impressed by the very precise a cappella harmonizing.  I look forward to hearing them some more soon. 

A bit later I heard Domino singing a song about "Barack Barack Obama" and then her tune Temperamental Cat. That concluded the evening for me.

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