Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sidewalk Cafe, Saturday, November 7

It was a fun night all around last night. Maybe I am just projecting the good time I had with our set onto everyone else, but it seemed as if all the performers were really enjoying themselves.

Hard for me to believe, but I think this is the first show I've performed since August. This is the type of show I've been wanting to do for a long time. Susan and I played a mix of standards like All of Me and Honeysuckle Rose with relatively more recent songs like Darling Nikki by Prince and Don't Forget Me, a song I love by Harry Nilsson. Aside from the song selection there was also a kind of throwback to variety shows and male/female duos like Sonny and Cher and Steve and Edye. We also worked out this goofy magic trick which we performed in the middle of the show. I got to play the piano a lot, which was great for me, but I definitely was moving into some new territory there so it left me a bit wobbly occasionally. However that will get better with time, and in general I was very happy with the way The Susan and Herb Show turned out.

I was really glad to see Dave Cuomo who performs with his (I think) girlfriend Emma Berkey as Chicken Little. I didn't realize they'd moved to Nashville a year ago or something like that. They're on tour now and made a triumphal homecoming to Sidewalk. Dave plays acoustic and Emma plays accordion and they both sing. Their songs have a rootsy/folky/old timey feel and in particular they are very solid on the harmonizing. I liked the set a lot.

Jon Berger performed with his guitarist Sanjay. He mostly sang his material, and while I wouldn't call Jon's voice exactly mellifluous, he is unrestrained and commmitted and I enjoyed his set. Jon did some of his classics like "27 times I asked you to go out with me" and the one about "Wendy" or is it about Wendys? Sanjay sang some too.

Betsy Cohen kept asking the audience for input on a script she's writing in which a woman is invited to join a couple that makes their own videos of a certain explicit nature. So throughout the set people were throwing out various ideas of activities in which the three could participate. Betsy looked lovely in an outfit which I think featured a long red cape, or something to that effect.

Phoebe Kreutz was looking to delve into some of her less frequently played material because so many of the folks there were friends who had heard her play frequently. Anyway, I was reminded how much I like that song of hers about the Carnival Man. She had Casey on stage for a cover of a song by Chris Maher, and other special guests joined her as well, including Susan Hwang on accordion and Matt, playing trumpet on a couple songs, including the one about Gary the new guy at Taco Bell.

Old Hat finished off the night. I walked back into the room as they had just got underway with the set and they were leading some strange calisthenics in which almost everyone in the audience participated. They played songs like "Spoiler Alert" and "I didn't hear anything after the fucking morphine." Also they had a new one about Running Man or something like that. Old Hat is one of the more interesting and original groups on the scene and I would like to hear them more often. Preston Spurlock, Dibs, Deenah Vollmer, and a drummer I didn't know, made up the group last night.

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