Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heart of Darkness

"I hope you have a very dark Black Valentine's Day!"
~Peter (smiling, but practically a stranger)

Thanks to Cous Cous for their sixth annual Black Valentine's show, performing everyone's favorite songs of love gone bad. You know, on those rare occasions that it goes bad.

I got there around 10, ordered several V-Day Don Julios over the course of the evening, enjoyed the company of a few good friends, all musicians, and heard some inspired performances. What more could a single hope for on Valentine's night (hold that thought)?

Well, according to the end-of-evening announcement, "Hope you fond someone to go home with." I wasn't quite that lucky, but maybe I was too into the music. It's been known to happen with me.

Josh Small played first and unfortunately, the crowd acted as if he were mute, talking loudly throughout his set. Too bad, because the guy is really talented. Introducing his first song, he said, "This is a love song. It's an angry song." Well, sometimes love is angry, from what I've been told.

The Diamond Center played next, but not their usual reverb-drenched set. Instead, the crowd was treated to a selection of songs by the Zombies, including classics like "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No."

Background vocals were courtesy of the very talented Lindsey Spurrier and Allison Apperson, both impossibly cool in sunglasses. They even slipped in a Cramps cover, much to the delight of certain members of the audience. Their set was later referred to as epic, an apt description.

Baby Help Me Forget was the final act, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with their high-energy set. Front man Jamie Lay is a whirling dervish of dancing, singing, tambourine playing and in general awesome showmanship. You know as soon as he takes his glasses off that he will be jumping off of things (chairs and room dividers tonight). Steer clear.

Although several people wished me a happy Valentine's Day tonight (and today; thank you, Danny), it was a guy I was randomly introduced to tonight, Peter, who provided the unexpected and inexplicable wish for darkness.

All things considered, I had a most delightful black Valentine's Day. Looking forward to a very different sort next year, but no less enjoyable.

Thoughts of romance die hard.

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