Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Highlights of the open mic:

[update: link fixed]

1. An elderly man singing a medley of “‘Deed I Do” and “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and comping himself with the thickest jazz guitar chords, stretching his vamping several extra beats between singing phrases when he was feeling it.

2. A man playing and singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” We sang that song at our wedding, so it was great to hear it. Tonight’s singer kept switching between 4/4 and 6/8, seemingly spontaneously. If the spontaneity was an act, it was effective.

3. The man at our table played the famous Prelude to Bach’s Suite No. 1, in G major, on his guitar, and then he played it backwards. (Yo Yo Ma played the tune on a West Wing episode -- and here he is playing it! [With a weird and absurd political speech following.) Bach backwards still sounded like Bach, except, you know, backwards. Some passages sounded completely plausible. It was really cool to hear.

Last time we went to this open mic we heard a bunch of excellent semi-pro folk singers, including someone who had sung back-up on famous people's recordings. This crop of musicians was less polished and more ear-grabbing.

My son sang 3 verses of
This Land Is Your Land, loud and clear and on pitch. I sang a brief, through-composed setting of some prose by the late, wonderful feminist activist and hugely influential rock critic Ellen Willis. Once again, my son was the hit!


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