Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Time is Now?

A quick clarification on the last entry...

The way Blogger works, the date and time of a posting is set when you/I/whoever starts writing. And so, the previous entry is dated Friday even though I mentioned watching Saturday Night Live (and it was live; I don't have a time machine. If I did, a lot of things would be different!)

I thought of going back to delete the post and redo it, but then I would have a date after the correct one. So, as I hope we've all learned in the recent political past, don't believe everything you read.

I'll admit, I have let the blog go. But I have a good reason - I have bigger fish to fry. There are five days left to go before the election and when I'm not working, I'm trying to do my small part by volunteering at the local Obama office.

There will be plenty of time to blog next week, and I hope to do so with a happy heart, under a new administration of hope, change and unity. (I shudder to consider my mood if things go the other way.)


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Friday, October 17, 2008

Not Much.

Just some links.

Is it me, or is Chris Martin's voice shot? I'm watching Saturday Night Live while I prepare this post and he seems to be having trouble projecting much at all, let alone hitting the high notes. Coldplay is set to play DC on Halloween night, but these performances don't bode well for that show.

So, to bizniz - I'm gonna be lame and simply toss up some recent Washington Post links to prove that I'm still alive. And, where applicable (fun word, that), add the accompanying CDs to the Tally.
BTW, those Mushroom and Swiss commercials are such a blatant rip-off of Flight of the
Conchords; When will our delightful New Zealand folkies return?

David Davis and the Warrior River Boys at Holy Cross Church

Lucy Kaplansky, Allegheny Uprising at Church of the Resurrection
1.LUCY KAPLANSKY - Over The Hills (Red House)

Amy Rigby & Wreckless Eric at Jammin’ Java
2.AMY RIGBY & WRECKLESS ERIC - self-titled (Stiff)

Alternate Routes at IOTA Club and Cafe
3.The ALTERNATE ROUTES - The Watershed EP (Vanguard)

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit at the Birchmere

In thinking ahead to the show, I picked up
4.LAURA MARLING – S/T (Astralwerks)
and, at the show, I bought Post College Girl the beautifully designed
5., 6.JOHNNY FLYNN – A Larum (Lost Highway)
12" vinyl LP version, presented in cool deluxe gatefold style ($17).
I'm counting this title twice, as I also received a CD of the commercially released CD. Add in the advance CD and a few 7" vinyl singles that PCG ordered from overseas, and we've got a freakin' lot of Flynn! (And I still haven't figured out if anyone wlll reimburse me for the $100+ phone call to England to do the interview with him for the story.)

Hmmmm...Chris Martin must have heard me talking about him...Coldplay's third (!) song on SNL was a pretty strong version of "Yellow."

Music Builds: Jars of Clay, Switchfoot et al. at Nissan Pavilion
The Motels at The State Theatre

O/CD Tally Year-to-Date: 166

Friday, October 03, 2008

Let Me Tell You ‘Bout the Bird and the Bee

Greetings from Philadelphia! In “1776,” the singing John Adams decried, “foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia!” Maybe it was back in the day when the founding fathers were hammering out the Declaration of Independence, but I’m certainly enjoying my visit here, having only had one brief day trip here some years ago.

And I must now tell the citizens of this city to cherish its superb venue, World CafĂ© Live, where I spent a most lovely first night in town. Located in a beautiful building that also houses the offices and studios of WXPN radio, there are actually two venues – a smaller upstairs space that had a jazz band playing (what I heard wandering the halls was pretty good), and the bigger, two level downstairs theatre that hosted The Bird and The Bee, the act I came to see.

As befits a venue created and served by a radio station, the sound was impeccable. And it was worth hearing every note played by this band which, I confess, I had little prior knowledge of (yes, I’m ending a sentence with a preposition. Sue me.) I just bought the iTunes version of the duo’s debut CD the night before leaving Virginia (see O/CD Tally, below) and what I heard on the drive was impressive – bright electropop with an artsy/indie spirit, marked by distinctive female vocals. Frankly, I was worried that the act would have trouble replicating the sophisticated sound live.

And yet, with just the two players on stage, the sound was rich, supplemented by careful use of tapes. But the real highlight was watching vocalist and (frequently) bassist Inara George, daughter of the late Little Feat leader, Lowell George. Dressed in a simple white dress that flared dramatically, George was, in a word, adorable. Her voice was clear and unaffected, her banter charming and her charisma undeniable. She reminded me of the great Jane Siberry in her earlier, poppier years, with a touch of Bjork (without the sometimes off-putting insistence on always being avant-garde).

I missed the opening set by Willoughby, but the trio came out to help on a few mid-set songs. I chatted with the band afterward and wound up buying a limited edition copy of the self-titled CD, party out of curiosity and party because I didn’t feel I could walk away from the merch booth without contributing.)

The Bird and The Bee is (are?) releasing a new CD early next year, and played a few of the new songs in this show, including a poptastic Japanese-tinged number that I think could be a huge hit in a Gwen Stefani mode. There were also two covers that took cheesy oldies and breathed fresh air into them – a playful take on Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” and a wistful, affecting “How Deep Is Your Love” (used in the “Sex and the City” movie) which reminds me that the BeeGees deserve their props.

The Bird and The Bee, plus Willoughby, will be playing at Jammin’ Java in Vienna (VA) on Friday night. Highly, highly recommended, If I were going to be home, I’d be sorely tempted to go right back again for more.

So, let’s add:
1. The BIRD and The BEE – S/T (Blue Note)
2. WILLOUGHBY – I Know What You're Up To (self-released)

Year to Date O/CD Tally: 160