Monday, 16 June 2008

Week 5 - No good every came of an accordian.

Blimey, this is the start of my fifth week here. Where on earth does the time go?

It always makes me feel incredibly old when I comment on time flying by- because that's what old people (i.e. adults and parents) would say when you were a wee bairn. Do you remember summer holidays, that would stretch on for ever? Good times.

So this week will be all about the music. I'm into my music, although I have neglected it for many years. I plan to see a fair amount of live music here, and really should see more when I get back to London. I don't like massive massive shows (saw the Rolling Stones at Twickenham a few years ago - I was stewarding, and it was so big everything seems to get distorted. In that case, I'd rather be at home with a cup of tea listening to it...I really am old at heart!).

Last night however, we saw a fab show, quite by chance. We went along to a venue in Park Slope, Brooklyn - not far from our modest summer abode - planning on seeing a comedy show that was well rated in the Time Out. It had obviously been wrongly listed, as it was actually a music show. In a basement bar, we heard the incredibly talented Theresa Andersson play. She's from New Orleans, by way of Sweden. Well, that was the way she put it but surely it's the other way round as she moved to New Orleans when she was 18. Either way, the influence on her style of music was clear - she had a fantastic, soulful singing voice, in the higher registers there was a Jeff Buckley esque-ness (I'm not music writer), and had some great songs. (Although I had a listen to stuff online and it was deff better live).

What was absolutely mental about the show, and elevated it beyond your average talented singer with a guitar was that she did all this looping stuff, with drums, guitar, violin, and backing vocals so that she started a song, built it up by putting in the bass line, rhythm, background singing, harmonies etc seamlessly, with the result that it sounded like you had a full band of 5/6 people on stage. Her final song was a cappella ; sounding very much like a spiritual. She had so much energy on stage it was great.

As someone who studied music all the way up to the lofty intellectual heights of the GCSE I was amazed at how she kept all these different rhythms and things going on. Everything (to me anyway) seemed to be in excellent time and pitch, and it was all controlled with her feet, with knobs and dials whilst she was singing her heart out!

Didn't have any cash on me (not enough for a CD anyway, I'm too used to sticking everything on card) but I'll definitely be going to her website to get a copy.

She was the headline act and was then followed by an all girl group. They were called the...walking Hellos or something. Now, as much as I try to not judge people on appearances, their look didn't really match the sound*. I think 'The Librarians' might have been a better name, they had floral chintzy style dresses on, unkempt hair (not the bedhead, toni & guy look, more a family of sparrows live here). And definitely look like they looked after cats. The lead vocalist wasn't too bad, but was drowned out by the accordian player, who stood centre stage, bow-legged and looking like she was on a different planet. She was certainly working to outerworldly musical scale, that's for sure.

If there's one thing I know it's that, indeed no good ever comes of an accordion. Hopefully we won't be seeing any Friday night - which is when I shall be attending an Opera in the Park event - that's Prospect Park, not Central Park. It was designed by the same people as Central Park, a few years ago (so once they'd ironed the kinks out :P) and is located in Brooklyn, about 4 blocks from me. The Opera will be in the North of the Park, and I've managed to get some tickets - looking forward to it, should be great!

* Boy said the sound was of 26 chickens being strangled in a bathtub by a bad guitarist. I thought that a tad unkind.


Anonymous said...

There is nothing like a spot of live music - good for ones mood and ones soul, unless, of course the hapless turn does in fact turn out, as Boy so aptly puts it sounding not entirely dissimilar to 26 chickens bieng strangled in a bathtub by a guitarist. Ahhh what memories such an invocation brings of a Pogues Concert in Cardiff 10 years ago.......

Mel said...

Heh - love the Pogues but I can so imagine that!

Anonymous said...

I dont think I have ever been to a concert where every SINGLE Individual on the premises was absolutely plastered- and that includes security!!!
( well, I say ONLY concert - the Stereophonics at Morfa Stadium came a VERY close second......!)