A musical excursion
Culture Vulture had the privilege last Friday evening of attending and participating in a musical extravaganza at Moxie’s Café that greatly restored and enhanced our appreciation for the infinite potential of musical cross-pollination between generations of players. It would of course be a breach of journalistic ethics for a critic to review a show in which he played an active role, but columnists are, thank goodness, bound by no such pernicious restrictions.
The evening’s first act, Sleepyhead, kicked things off with shimmering crescendos of synthesizer-boosted space rock. As a guy who came of age when drinking and dancing at concerts was de rigueur and who has lived through the period when standing around with your arms folded across your chest, dangling a beer bottle from one hand while staring stonily at the band was the preferred concert posture, it struck me while watching Sleepyhead that we have entered a new era, one in which sitting in a chair observing the musicians is the standard procedure for rock-and-roll-show attendees. Which would seem fine if aforementioned attendees were as old as myself, but given that most of the people at this show were barely entering their 20s if they were beyond their teen years, I found it a bit disconcerting.
But a critique of the evolution of audience customs is not what this little essay started out to be, and I am resolute in my intention to discuss the value and validity of cross-generational, multi-gendered musical creation. Because the second band of the evening, Jason Cassidy’s The Party, exemplified that notion. With a stair-step age range from 50 down to 21 (or lower) and a mixture of men and women both playing and singing highly original tunes, The Party, which entered the venue in waltz time procession from opposite ends of the building to the strains of accordion, trombone, trumpet, guitars, drums, toy xylophone and standup bass, captivated their audience in a way few groups I’ve seen lately do: by engulfing it in a wave of humanity rather than noise. Bonus tip: Keep your eyes and ears open for Willow Sharkey.
Closing out the night, the beautifully named West by Swan swept its audience up in wave after wave of glorious guitar-fueled rock.
Thanks to Daniel for the use of his drums.
The Culture Vulture challenge
A look at the Culture Vulture archives (http://www.newsreview.com/issues/chico/authors/cowsleyrain.asp) reminds me that this is our 53rd column—in other words, the first column of a new year. And, ever eager to please and challenge our and your—our readership’s—multitudinous selves we have decided to embark on a scheme to do both. We invite you to inform us of any public event or activity that you feel could benefit from the tender ministrations and finely nuanced critical insights of the Culture Vulture perspective and publicity generating apparatus. We cannot of course guarantee our attendance of every suggested event or our participation in any suggested activity. But we will do our best, after the application of judicious discrimination and discretion, to participate in and write about as many things as possible given our overstuffed calendar.
Bring it, as has been said elsewhere, on.