Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tom and Jerry Saved Me

In terms of music, last week was an epic fail.

For the first time in I don't know how long, I went nine days without seeing a show.

Nine. Days. I may have lost my music cred entirely.

So it wasn't difficult to decide what to do today. Music times four.

Tom and Jerry got me started. Brain Jones et al were doing a live score of jazz, classical and pop music to old "Tom and Jerry" cartoons at the Camel.

The beauty of those cartoons is that there was no dialogue, so instruments stand in for voice and sound effects.

When a bra is used as a parachute in "Yankee Doodle Mouse," the simulated wolf whistle came from a  trombone.

And the last time I'd heard that trombone, which was courtesy of the inimitable Reggie Pace, was at the Bon Iver show at the National last month.

As cool as it had been seeing Reggie play in Bon Iver, and it was very cool, I was a whole lot closer to him tonight when he was playing his formidable trombone and triangle.

It's true; "Tom and Jerry" cartoons are incredibly  violent (although bloodless), which is exactly why you need all that percussion.

How else could you hear Tom bite into a clam shell sandwich in "Salt Water Tabby"?

Enter the uber-talented Brian Jones, a man who always salutes me when he sees me.

As hard as it was going to be to top vintage cartoon music, I knew it wouldn't be enough of a music fix after my recent drought, so I headed to Sprout afterwards.

It was tall people night there, so I didn't have a prayer of seeing more than an occasional head or leg of a musician, but I heard plenty.

First, Old Swampy played a short, swampy set for an enthusiastic crowd.

As a friend told me, "These guys are trouble makers." Or maybe that was treble-makers.

As an unexpected bonus, some friends rolled in toward the end of their set, so now I had amusing (and smiling) company for the duration.

Next San Francisco's Electric Shepherd came out of nowhere and totally engaged the crowd.

After the first couple of songs, a friend gave them the thumbs up with a big Cheshire grin.

I asked if that meant that he was enjoying revisiting 60s-era druggie music and he positively beamed. I took that for a yes.

If that sounds in any way negative, it's not.

The trio of Electric Shepherd was psychedelic, extremely dynamic and very into what they were doing (which almost came across like a soundtrack  or storytelling).

If not for the vocals, I would label it post-rock for how expressive and dynamic it was. I saw more than a few people buying their vinyl after their set, always a good sign.

There were a fair number of musicians at the show to check out a new local band, Peace Beast, with two members from The Diamond Center.

Their sound was very different than that band, and while I didn't stay for the entire set, they had an appealing sound with jangley guitars and girly vocals.

I will need to see them again soon to enjoy a full set.

Standing outside saying my goodbyes, I had a moment unlike any I've had in months.

No, not the self-satisfied pleasure of finally hearing live music again.

Chill bumps when I was outside.

It was a little cool standing outside Sprout after midnight.

I know everyone else  (besides the dress-loving Antonia and me) is happy that Fall is coming, but I wasn't ready for it tonight.

But I was definitely ready for music.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen - I enjoy your blogs! I am a graduate student of social work studying Jackson Ward for an assignment analyzing communities and how they function to meet the needs of their residents. I would love to get your perspective by answering a few questions. If you are open to it, please e-mail me. Thanks and have a great day!