Weekend Shows

I got a bunch of work done over the weekend, but I also found time to go out and have some fun. Friday night Nik and I went to the Epoxies show at El Corazon. She wrote a review of that on her blog, so I won’t go through the whole show. I’ll just add that the Epoxies were great fun and the only downer was that the sound man had Roxy’s vocals down too low for the entire show. It wasn’t until the encore that he finally turned her levels up. That made the last two songs (“Toys” and “Robot Man”) sound terrific; too bad he didn’t figure it out earlier.

Saturday night we met up with Ray and went out to the Bookstore, a downtown bar we dig. Later we went to the Can Can, a new place right at Pike’s Place Market that has attracted an eclectic crowd of hipsters, punks, and lipstick lesbians. It’s modeled after classic French cabarets and has a cool atmosphere. The waitresses periodically converge on the stage to do Can Can routines, which is pretty amusing. The house band plays old style jazz with an accordion in full effect and it really works.

That night there was a music event as well. Christine and Bill joined us just in time to catch the first act, Moonpenny Opera. They are apparently a foursome but that night it was just two guys, a bass player with a stand-up and an accordion player/singer. They had a great carnival meets vaudeville thing going on and we really enjoyed them. The song about the guy who kills himself so he can finally be happy with his necrophiliac girlfriend was priceless.

Next up was Baby Gramps, a fixture on the Seattle music scene for over thirty years. He’s a demented old coot with a big white beard who brought the house down with his one of the kind performance. To quote one review: “Baby Gramps finger picks an old steel national guitar and sings in a wild, extemporaneous gravel vocal style with phenomenal vocal rhythmic improves and a guitar technique that borders on early ragtime. He combines early jazz, blues, ragtime, and good-time novelty music.” I’ll also add that he’s a riot. By the end of the first song he had the whole audience clapping along and shouting out “Fuck-a-doodle-doo”. After a few songs, he said he got gotten the feel of the crowd and then launched into a song all about the scrotum, “the hairy scary voodoo bag.” The whole thing was so eccentric it’s hard to describe but we enjoyed the hell out of it.

The headlining act was Reverend Glasseye from my hometown, Boston, MA. Their music has been described as “Delta blues, ’60s burlesque, and the carnival, after dark,” so you’d think they’d fit in perfectly with the openers. That wasn’t really the case though. Moonpenny Opera and Baby Gramps both had warped senses of humor that served them well. Reverend Glasseye were very serious and they seemed put out by the cabaret nature of the venue. The singer admitted that this was their second month on tour and this was their hardest show. Their songs were interesting but so somber that it was a bit of a let down after the fun of the opening bands. Still and all, it was a good show and I’m glad we discovered a new downtown spot for music and nightlife.

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