Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mr. Patrick's House, Friday, March 20, 2009

Mr. Patrick had a show at his place up on 139th Street. It's a great place for a house show, with a good-sized living room featuring a nice upright piano. Julie LaMendola booked the night. Olivia from New Orleans started off with a few songs on piano, including one that she said was about the swamp (or maybe it was the sea). The Fools played, although because there was no amp there things were a little problematic for Uchenna who ended up playing piano on a couple songs but couldn't use her bass. Jen did some songs on her own too, including the one about how much she loves her mother....which was quite touching because her mom was there and seemed very moved by hearing Jen perform it. Dibs played a nice set, including this song I've wanted to hear again for the longest time. It's the one in which he describes a journey with a gal all through the City in which he ends up at Sidewalk among other places. Anyway, it's a totally charming song and I was really glad he included it. Part of the reason it is so memorable to me is that I heard him play it the first time I went to Sidewalk in 2004. It really stood out then and was one of the performances that convinced me Sidewalk was the right place for me to start performing. A Fermata played an extensive suite at the piano....a long connected piece. I really hope I get to hear it again sometime so I can absorb all the lyrics and everything, but it was cool. Prewar Yardsale seemed to get off to a bit of a bumpy start. Mike must have been creating on the spot interpretations of their songs because Dina kept telling him to "play the songs the right way." And Mike was reading lyrics off these long sheets on the floor. They were almost poster-size and at some point someone--I think Dashan--was holding one of them up like a cue card. Beau Johnson was accompanying Prewar Yardsale and Mike kept calling out chords or keys in this very pronounced way. So he'd be singing la la la "A" la la la "E." There was something quite fun about the whole scene. They did get their flow going though. They have an interesting vibe and I liked in particular the song where they're chanting "Some buildings are high, some buildings are low." I learned later via MySpace that it's about the M104 bus. Mike and Dina and I have kind of become taxi partners, since we live near one another. And these have been epic journeys. Last time they rescued me from a bout of misjudgement at Cake Shop and this time there was writhing on the sidewalk. I love Ching Chong Song and they played some of my favorite songs, including Old Man. They've been playing recently with Susan Hwang, but it was Ching Chong classic the other night with just Dan and Julie. 

Until Brooklyn Tea Party appeared I hadn't been to many shows in people's homes, but there's something about mixing music and hospitality that make the experience much better than a show or party would be separately. It was great of Rick to make his place available and he really did make everyone feel welcome. I hope he continues to host shows there. And not just because it takes me half as long to get there as any of the other regular hangouts. Thanks Rick.

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