Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yippie Yi Yo

Cowboys and Indians. Them'll get you started.

Belle Voix was the name of tonight's Happy Hour at VCU's Anderson Gallery and how belle it was!

It just happened to feature the Bird and Her Consort, otherwise known as  Antonia and Jonathan Vasser doing a seductive mix of cowboy songs and French cafe tunes.

Could there be a lovelier way to start a Wednesday evening?

We arrived during the second song (I'd only missed one song, but what a song!), got seats and soon heard "Street of Laredo" in Antonia's beautiful classical voice.

When she finished singing it, she admitted,"Okay, I got through that song without crying."

It would have been a shame if she had cried (although the melancholy way she sang it warranted a tear or two) because of how adorable she looked.

A pale blue dress had a white apron detail on the front and a snappy red belt to pull it all together.

She looked like a songbird from the '40s.

Coincidentally, she later sang a lyric, "I wore my apron low" and "I wore my apron high" and I think we can all agree what that means.

They did the song "Ghost," which they'd also done at last year's Anderson event.

From a handful of cowboy tunes to "Plaisir d'Amour," a song I wouldn't have thought I'd recognize, even when Antonia mentioned Elvis.

Sure enough, the melody was instantly recognizable as the King's "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."

Explaining the song's French lyrics about heartbreak, Antonia recommended, "It's not a good first date song."

Duly noted.

Also noted was Antonia's different expressions; she was wide-eyed and gosh-golly sweet looking for the cowboy material and coquettish and alluring for the French songs.

I also loved watching Jonathan accompany her on guitar since I usually see him playing his own material and singing.

Here he is just the Bird's talented and handsome guitarist. Not a bad consort if you can get one.

After happy hour came comedy at my neighborhood record store, Steady Sounds.

A co-worker from another lifetime, Jeph Kelly, went first and read tales of fireman envy and tongue-in-cheek Oklahoma City pride.

The Checkout Girl, Jennifer Lemons, got points right off for doing Radiohead's "Creep" on ukulele before reading of spelling bee urination and masturbating uncles.

Kenny Wingle began with a jingle (and ended with a tingle) but did his stand-up with uncle-like humor.

Except I don't think uncle humor includes baby mama jokes and balls.

But his explanation  of his Indian heritage ("Feathers, not dots") was hysterical.

That should have been it for the night, but comedian and former Richmonder Sara Schaefer, who's doing a big show at Gallery 5 tomorrow night, dropped by.

Her impromptu discourse on dildos, vibrators and Judy Tenuta left her uncomfortable and some of us laughing too loud.

She said she wanted to get that joke out of her system because her father was coming to the show tomorrow night with his new wife and she wasn't ready for her Dad to know certain things.

At this point, I'm sure whatever my dad doesn't know, he presumes.

A two-block walk put the other loud laugher and I at Bistro 27 for dinner.

The meal began swimmingly with 27's new small batch sangria, a wild cherry, almond and bitters mixture that had none of sangria's usual cloying sweetness.

Easily the best sangria I've ever had and the soaked cherries at the bottom were an unexpected bonus.

It was a simple supper of spot-on flavors: a Caprese with housemade Mozzarella, grilled eggplant with goat cheese stuffing and bacon-wrapped scallops over perfectly cooked lentils.

We had more sangria with a dessert of chocolate excess: hazelnut tart and chocolate mousse.

Never let it be said that I couldn't die happy after a satisfying evening like that.

And, please, bury me not on the lone prairie.

But could I have a pitcher of that sangria to go with me?

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