My review of Harvey Pekar’s final book, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, is here.
My ct.com review of the three shows in the Yale Summer Cabaret’s 50 Nights: A Festival of Stories season is here.
My review of Douglas Brinkley’s biography of Walter Cronkite is here.
My New Haven Advocate preview of the Replacements tribute night (a screening of Gorman Bechard’s documentary Color Me Obsessed and a cover set by The Replacements Stink and So Do We!!!) July 27 at Café Nine is here.
I’m one of a large, odd group of local musicians who’ve been tapped to play Replacements songs tonight (July 27) at from 10 p.m. to closing time at Café Nine (250 State St., New Haven). My axe is the ukulele, and I’ll be attempting to play a variation of the tune “Androgynous” off of the Replacements record Let It Be.
The occasion is the second local screening of Color Me Obsessed, Gorman Bechard’s Replacements documentary which notoriously eschews using any music or interviews with the actual band members.
Following the screening is a set of cover tunes. My old friend Dean Falcone—of the bands One Hundred Faces, The Excerpts, Dean and the Dragsters, The Manchurians and the Shellye Valauskas Experience—is the bandleader, and such exceptional talents as Ed Valauskas and Jim Balga will be wailing along with him.
As for “Androgynous,” it’s a rare Replacements song in that it was originally performed on piano. My ukulele rendition will doubtless put it on the same level as the sublimely sloppy guitar which distinguishes all otherReplacements tunes.
Trees in the Forest is so quiet that you can’t hear the band play even if you want to. Club noise is the concept. The five members play, and rather well, but they play without benefit of microphones or electricity, and they deliberately choose very quiet instruments like the zither and the lute.
Truly, if you are at the foot of the stage and listen up close, then you can hear some stirring, subtle, gentle strains. But it’s you doing most of the straining.
As a conceptual performance exercise (do we really have to inform you that this band hails from the college on the hill?), TithF partly just wants to see what happens when audiences realize they can’t hear them.
Bandleader K. Johns prefers not to discuss the act’s artistic thesis, but is happy to report on the response to the shows themselves. (There’ve been three.) “Mostly, we’re just ignored,” he says. “People who are just there to drink at the bar don’t pay attention to the bands. We’re the ultimate proof of that.
“Some people have told us they thought we were rehearsing or doing a sound check, but that’s in their minds. We always make sure we’re properly announced. We go on, on time. We do our full set. And, if I say so myself, we look good doing it.”
And with Trees in the Forest, looks can be everything.
Dude Ranch o’ Death and The Missing Mitt at the Bullfinch. Call out for “Abracadeath”—both bands can play it… Trouble at the Arcade and Hyde & Shriek (featuring Sammy Shriek) at Hamilton’s, for pre-orientation week… Kidnapped at the Casino (rescheduled show) and prog-rock legends The Ocean of Osyria (do you know they’ve never actually broken up, just not released an album in 38 years?) at D’ollaire’s, a post-post-post-orientation show for mellow old men…
The plot thickens—Gar invested months of rent money on concert tix he hoped to scalp, but the show got postponed.
Backs of heads noticed at the Ephesians reunion concert Friday at D’ollaire’s:
7 bald spots.
2 male ponytails (one with bald spot).
1 female ponytail (on the only female in the crowd)
2 pairs of skull earrings.
2 “Eph U” ball caps.
2 sexually suggestive neck tattoos.
The band played all their old non-hits, and in some pretentious between-song patter laid down the logic that they weren’t superstars because they swore too much. Which might have been a more potent argument if the 15 people mentioned above weren’t the only ones there to see them.
D.A.N.G.E.R. Spells the Hangman and Deadly Strategy at the Bullfinch… Live Free, Die Hardy! and Haley’s Top Eight at Hamilton’s all covers all the time… Shhhhhh! (the one with six “h”s) at D’ollaire’s, still refusing to change their name. The Deadliest Stunt opens…
Gar hasn’t been paying the rent.
I continue to write thrice weekly for the Daily Nutmeg, the circulation of which has grown by leaps and bounds since it launched six months ago. To subscribe, go here.
My story on the Book Trader Cafe (as seen on TV!) is here.
My pedestrian travelogue Whalley Avenue is here.
My return to The Grove co-working space is here.
My preview of the 2012 International Festival of Arts & Ideas is here, with coverage of the first week’s events is here.
My story on the new Healthy Kids initiative at the Whalley Avenue Stop & Shop is here.
My musings on New Haven’s Union Railroad Station are here.
My scribblings on public art in the city (city-approved and otherwise) are here.
My celebration of the Fourth of July is here.
My collection of stores named “Haven” is here.
My tips on how to beat the summer heat in New Haven are here.
My list of where Yale goes in the summertime is here.
My experience at the first Yale Summer Cabaret “50 Nights” marathon are here.
My feature on the Group W Bench boutique is here.
My list of ten movies featuring New Haven is here.
My listening to the Yale Carillon concert series is here.
… and my Week in New Haven calendar highlights columns for the last two months are all here.
I have two pieces in the current (Spring/Summer 2012) issue of Hoffman Decades magazine. One is the cover story:”Rocking the Center,” a history of Hartford’s XL/Civic Center. It includes quotes from a lot of local music scenesters, not to mention big-time promoter Jim Koplik.
My other contribution is “Star & Tykes Forever,” described in the table of contents thus “Our heartwarming story introduces you to some of the people who want to improve the lives of the children of servicemen and women deployed overseas.”
Hoffman Decades is published by the Hoffman auto dealerships in Connecticut. I assume you can find copies in their auto showrooms, but I’m not sure where else.
Italian restaurants which host live bands on weekends really shouldn’t leave the candles on the tables when those bands turn out to be boring.
A lot of folks who otherwise wouldn’t consider Consigliare’s Cusine as a club destination went there anyway Friday night because Joe Knox of the Hard Knoxes was drumming. Joe made clear that this was a whole other side of him, and so it was—a laid-back jazz standards revue.
Which would have been OK if the guitarist hadn’t bagged last-minute and been replaced with a guy who knew nothing beyond the first chapters of volume one of the American Songbook.
A couple of numbers had to be done twice to fill out the night.
The food was yummy, the House Red fruity, and when everyone was done with those things we started to play with the candles. There were a few separate tables of fans o’ Joe, so after we’d held a wax sculpture contest, we got into a covert wax-spitball skirmish.
Nobody was asked to leave—Consigliare’s isn’t quite as highbrow as it looks from outside—but we probably set a house record for raised eyebrows, as Joe & Co. jammed interminably through another round of “Spoon in June.”
Mystery Mix and Up and Adem at the Bullfinch, with Verveine of Flower T “hosting.” Huh?… R&B/funk fun with Spicy Black and Brain Fog Vanish at Hamilton’s; $1 off all large cans… but you know where the curious will be: at The Verbenas and The Smell Goods “friends again” tour at D’ollaire’s. Local Chamomile Clover got the opening slot, after they agreed to go acoustic…