By Artie Capshaw (in case you’d forgotten)
Cover band, but oh, what covers! “Crass Mess” by the Calavolpe Figs! “Blown Over Wells” by the Holland Horns! “Sealskin and Blubber” by Matak & Kiviak!
What, you’re unaware of these seasonal stunners? Well, then, you don’t have Dead Lewis’ record collection. We’ve waxed delirious for DL before, especially the set of British Music Hall songs he disguised as punk classics a few weeks back at the Bullfinch. (We had a little to do with that historic prank happening, so alert the objectivity pixies, but surely we can still print how well it all went over.) Almost all the same bandmates this time. They were hired cut-rate by the club, which has experienced both full and empty houses in past years on this auspicious day. Bullfinch booker Q told Dead Lewis they could play whatever they wanted, as long as they played. And it’s when nobody is challenging him at all that Dead Lewis chooses to rise to a challenge. This is a guy with six albums of material he could pull from. Old news to him. What he can learn new instead, and browbeat his pals into following him along on?
So, complete holiday set, then for the second set a 45-minute jazz jam. Remember we said there was only change in the line-up since last time? Well, it was Cindy Close, who teaches at the college’s music school, on jazz oboe. For the seasonal set she sort of played the bass lines—Dead Lewis, who got his nickname because he never sleeps, had written out charts for her.
Each set was played to small but intent audiences. Strangely, each set was invaded by strangers who wandered into the bar (likely because no place else was open), looked around in hopes that the environment would suit them, then gave up and went home to do their taxes or something. One of these gangs seemed to be farmers out for a night on the town; the others had tuxes on. They wanted to talk, not listen.
For our part, we didn’t want to leave. So didn’t, until the bartenders were all whining to go home. That says as much about our home life and upbringing as it does about how sensational the music was.
After we and Dead Lewis finally egressed, we tooled around in our souped-up sleigh, looking for anywhere, anywhere, open to eat.
Thwarted, we cruised the hospital to see if anyone interesting might have gotten born.
Today, we unpack the coal. Happy to you.