Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rainy Nights and Wednesdays

To quote a bad '80s song, I love a rainy night (or day for that matter). You just have to have a plan, a blueprint, if you will.

Trusty sidekick suggested udon at Akida and I suggested free jazz at Balliceaux. Next thing you know, we had a plan.

Clearly we weren't the only people craving Japanese because when we walked in, there was only one open table.

The chatter around us was noisy; next to us it was low-key and all in Chinese and behind us, it was girl talk ("So after a couple of drinks, he asked me to go to Puerto Rico with him and, like, that would have been so cool, but I just met him, so how could I?").

Sidekick had been correct; the damp weather was perfect for soup. He went with the seafood variety and I did yard bird, slurping noodles shamelessly.

Once the place began to clear out, we realized it was probably getting close to show time and headed over to Ballcieaux.

We needn't have concerned ourselves. As I've learned, jazz musicians work on jazz time, which has no relevance to actual time.

Our timely arrival did garner us the couch and with a couple of glasses of Monferrato "Bricco del Conte" we got comfortable with our liquid Italian and did some people watching.

Glows in the Dark was a new experience for him, although he'd heard me rave about their Mondo Italia Dance Party nights.

Tonight's set wasn't drawn from Italian crime movies, but, as always with this band, movie music reared its head with some arrangements from John Carpenter movies.

Our plush seat turned out to be a liability when Reggie Pace was doing the percussion thing since he had his back to us.

That may not seem like a big deal, but seeing that guy play triangle is a treat.

For most ear-catching tonight, I'd have to go with Scott Burton's guitar on "Manhunt," which you'd have had to have heard since my musical vocabulary is insufficient to describe why I liked it so much.

Full disclosure: during the break, I inadvertently scrambled Sidekick's brain with a little nothing of a statement.

Headlining was HighLife, a band that described itself as "coming from New York or Ohio," except that then someone yelled out "Or Waynesboro!" which was apparently where the lead singer was from.

What was most interesting was that before they began playing, they rolled out "blueprints" which supposedly provide the flow of the music and the band takes it from there, improvising along.

HighLife did a full-on audio assault, playing without stopping for a good 45 minutes making discordant sounds, beautiful music and everything in between with non-stop drumming, trumpet, sax, bass and guitar.

After an introductory part full of noise (no other way to put it), they moved into a groove, best signified by the bobbing heads of the Glows musicians watching them.

It wasn't hard to tell that they liked the direction the band was going in.

When the audio onslaught ended all at once, I had t assume that they'd finished every stage of the blueprint.

Once again, Sidekick admitted to some brain scrambling, this time from the music.

Udon, funky free jazz and scrambled brains. If that's not a recipe for a rainy night, I don't know what is.


  1. Full disclosure: during the break, I inadvertently scrambled Sidekick's brain with a little nothing of a statement.

    I bet that I'm not the only one who wants to know what that is all about!

    you sound happy. Yes?