Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Down Home Listening Room Reunion

It was like the old Brownies song, "Make new friends and keep the old."

After a two-month hiatus, the Listening Room returned tonight in fine form.

Walking in, the Romanian gypsy music chanteuse stamped my hand, the independent woman gave me a hug and the tweeting monster showed off her adorable thrift store skirt.

When I got into the theater to claim my seats, I found the dimpled M.C. on a ladder doing something official.

He hugged from on high.

My favorite J-Ward couple had already established a beachhead in the row behind me.

Life was good.

With everyone's Listening Room behavior a tad rusty after the break, the M.C. got laughs when thanking Apropos Roasters and their coffee "house call" service.

After an hilarious correction, he made that "home delivery."

The L.R. had an encore performance with Philly's Chris Kasper, whom I've seen a few times, including a command performance for just me, here.

Tonight he brought a different sound when he played electric guitar and utilized a pedal board, making for denser sound.

Starting one song, he abruptly stopped, saying, "I'm gonna change chords. Forget what you just heard."

Musical and funny? Irresistible.

Favorite lyric: "Find me when I'm older, My tongue a bit bolder."

During the break, I scored some King cake in honor of Mardi Gras before moving over to say hello to the scientist, who immediately offered me peanut M & Ms.

He has offered me chocolate at any number of shows and yet it was still unexpected. He even apologized for the lesser chocolate (it's usually some exotic dark chocolate).

You have to appreciate a friend who is never without the important things in life.

Moonbees played next and I thought their meditative psychedelia was a stellar direction for a Listening Room show to take.

Bassist Nate explained how he came to be in the band (by asking basically) and Clifton, long a personal favorite since Ilad, cracked wise about ignoring bass players,

Coincidentally, I'd seen both musicians play not long ago when I'd gone out for Romanian gypsy music.

Drummer Brian was poster-worthy and Gabe wooed ears with slide guitar.

The audience couldn't have asked for a better return show after a long two months without.

I'd hoped to get some girltalk in with the two cutest girls at the show, but they ditched me for their beds, so I headed to Secco solo.

There were only two couples there when I arrived, so I wasn't expecting much. Eventually another came in.

The music was set to She and Him on Pandora, although the pastry chef and I noted that it wasn't playing much besides She and Him.

Finally, City and Color came on and the music took off.

Atta girl, Pandora, you can do it.

Midway through my Domaine Brazilier Côteaux du Vendomois Rose, I overheard the latest arrivals mention "August: Osage County," which I'd just seen.

Now that I'm older and my tongue a bit bolder, I jumped right into that conversation. They'd seen it in NYC in 2008 and wanted to see it again here.

But of course. Turns out he's an actor in "The Lion King."

A hyena at that.

He and his mate had been at Secco last night drinking flights and had come back particularly for the Vina Sastre Flavus Blanco, a minerally white.

"Want to try some jaen?" the bartender asked when my rose was gone, offering up the Flavus and a grape I'd never even heard of.

And why not now that I had  this charming couple to talk to?

Since they're in town for the run of the play, they were eager for ideas on what to do and where to go.

As it happens, that's a subject with which I have some familiarity.

I recommended restaurants, venues, even events (Blood Brothers dj-ing 60s music, hello?) and they enthusiastically made notes on his phone for future reference.

We talked about his brother the playwright; we discussed the Elvis photograph he had seen in the back hallway of the Landmark.

I couldn't have asked for better company.

"You're a resource!" I was told after over sharing my opinion on the Jefferson, 3rd Street Diner and Amuse.

Yes, that's what they're calling me these days. A resource.

Or someone who can't keep her opinion to herself.

The way I figure, someone's got to help the hyenas who come to Richmond.

I like to think I'm qualified. After all, what are new friends for?

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