Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Open Mic, Monday, February 16, 2009

Lots of folks were promoting their festival gigs.

Crabs on Banjo kicked things off with the COB theme. Ben announced that they would be performing their farewell show at the upcoming Antifolk Festival and that they'd be releasing a three-cd recording. For their second song COB took suggestions from the audience, members of which yelled out "Flunkies" and "ugly green sweater," so the fine folks from COB took it, improvisationally from there.

I had to step out for a second, but when I returned, Ariel was singing "Within range of the ruby." He'd gotten to the point of an audience sing-a-long on that line and the song built up to a dramatic ending.

Mr. Patrick told a compelling story about a friend of his, an older woman he helped out recently as she became ill and eventually died. Sounds as if the woman was quite a beloved character and among the accomplishments of her life, according to Rick, was inspiring Charles Addams's character of Morticia. 

Frank Hoeir played a song he said was influenced by music of the 1950s, "When You're With the One You Love," and another one "Black Dress Blues," that he explained was inspired by his girlfriend and by Hound Dog Taylor.

Jon Berger-performed some poems for you. The Show, Toboggan, and Pigs were among them.

Creaky Boards--It was nice to see Andrew back in town after a tour of Europe. I don't know the title of the first song he played, but it started of with the line "Beth and Oliver are doomed." He also played "The Songs I Didn't Write," which, I've got to admit, is about the catchiest song I've heard coming out of our scene in a while. Check out the whole YouTube deal on that song if you don't already know about it (but you probably do). Andrew played both songs at the piano. Nice stuff.

Aaron Invisible played a couple of songs. One of them was about "The Discoverers." Aaron is a young guy with some interesting songs and an unusual voice. It will be interesting to see where he goes with all that. Oh, and he was playing the bouzouki or mandolin or something like that. With accompaniment from Isaac G.

Joe Crow Ryan talked about getting kissed by a woman he met while playing in the subway. He played Dancing in the Dark for her (and for us) and also "After all how little we know." Good going Joe (with the kissing, as well as the music).

I played "Tower Records is Gone," and "Do the Berger," the latter of which was performed with accompanying dance moves by Jon Berger. I'm always facing away from the stage playing the piano when Jon and I do this little act together. Some time I'd love to see what he's actually doing. I think he's stealing the show. 

The Relatives. A charming threesome. They played "and it dawned on me today all we know will fade," a song about eventually fading away, and they also played a song that incited soldiers to "desert before you get hurt." The Relatives remind me of an old school folk group. Acoustic guitar, harmony singing, etc. It's nice laid back material and works well in contrast to the harder tone of a lot of the other material we hear on a Monday night.

The Zombie Nationalists played, mentioning that they'd recently been married. One of their songs had the line about a house on fire "As the house caved in we thought everyone around us was so content. What a surprise." By the way, there were at least three strong boy-girl duos last night, the Zombie Nationalists being one of them.

Debe Dalton did Camptown Races and a new song, "Thanks."

Josh Fox played his black Stratocaster. "Soon enough I'll eat your bluff and then I'll eat your heart." Another song about True Love asked "What is True? Everything is just the way it is."

Isaac kicked off the one song wonder round. He explained that he had conflicted feelings about a conversation with his Mom in which she said that she'd been crying after listening to one of his songs. Isaac explained that he was glad the song caused an emotional reaction but not glad to make his mother cry. I think the song he played last night, The Undertaker, was the one his mom reacted to.

Touching You was next. He did his thing of calling a woman on stage to participate in his act only to then embarrass her by singing a silly song about parts of her body. Touching You is obnoxious and way less clever than he thinks.

The Telethons. I always like Jon's stuff a lot. I don't think I'd heard this song before but it might have been called "A Temporary Lapse." It was in his trademarked rapid-paced guitar chord, new wave-ish, punkish, rock style. He wasn't wearing his glasses last night so there were none to absent-mindedly fling off onto the floor.

Brian Speaker sang a lovely duet with Julie Hill. I've heard him play this song a couple times lately "If you really want to taste wine, you got to taste it off someone's lips. " The two of them should do more singing together. Sounded great. (The evening's second boy-girl group).

Mike B. did Kerosene Park, with Ariel on guitar and Waylon on bass. Nice rock energy from Mike, with one or two high jumps included.

I'm afraid I didn't catch the name of their group, but the third male/female duet came from two first-timers on a song called Hymn and Him.

Julie Hill used her loop machine and performed a really nice version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." As she sang the song she let pieces of it build up in layers so that she created an accompaniment from her own singing that got thicker and thicker as she went on. It was quite effective. It's interesting that Julie said she's obsessed with Judy Garland. She's the second person in our little community I've heard say they are huge fans of hers in the last few weeks. Judy Garland was big in my family and I've always loved her soulfullness, particularly on tunes by Harold Arlen (which includes the Wizard of Oz songs) but it's interesting to see that younger folks are finding her even today.

Deborah T. sang "A man I used to love walks into a bar. No this isn't a joke." And she sang again the song that has the line "All the people that I love are bad people" which eventually gets to the point of saying "I want to be a singer." A couple new tunes from Deboarah, it seems.

I think it was then that I hit the road.

Oh, Ben is organizing a photo display in which various photographers are contributing pictures of people who are performing during the festival. Although the full exhibit wasn't up last night, we did display a stunning pinup shot of Jon Berger that I took several months ago. I'm looking forward to the rest of the show which will also have photos by Ben Krieger, Isaac Gillespie, Chloe Philip, and Peter Dizozza and possibly others.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for your kind words. see you at the folk festival!

    -the relatives