Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Verse Void

Style fits when it deserves,
And shouldn’t be confused
To preserve.

I’ll write as a kingfisher
Or a Valkyrie
Or a god.

But only to reflect
the self
Rather than
Prefabricate what
I’m not

originally posted/inspired in repose to a friend of mine's recent introductory post in the Times Union

Chinese New Year at The Egg , Golden Tiger review

On the other side of the spectrum, the Chinese New Year celebration kicked off this Saturday with the Year of the Golden Tiger to a sold-sold show at the Egg. The entire performance was spoken in Chinese, making it a little difficult to understand the comedy sketches and singers. However, the New Year was not what I expected, rather than seasoned professionals; the show was more like an elementary dance recital, most of the performers being under fifteen. The three hour show did have a world class magician, Qi Le, who was remarkable (he took a full size shovel out of a hand bag) but I intrigued enough to stay past intermission. 

The most interesting part of this show centered around a new usher that I met. He had a mutton chops and looked like he was late life, but I started talking to him and didn’t really stop. He’s a dancer from Saratoga (the Flurry happened this weekend), and said he didn’t stop dancing until 4am the night before and was wearing the same clothes he had on when he crashed, “Me too!” We talked about Paris for a little while and he told me how he never thought he’d be so busy after retirement. 
I was really happy to find someone so down to earth, and although he talked a storm, he proved to be a great listener too, profoundly interested in an interview I just had and such. The best part of this show was that conversation, so in line with the year of the Tiger ferrying ambition, power and social upheaval, I’m glad I started it with meeting a (rarely seen) like-minded individual.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Egg review Feb 4th, Gregory Alan Isakov and Brandi Carlile

This week, the show at the Egg was slightly different than the jazz tap performance from last week.  Gregory Alan Isakov kicked off the February 4th show at 7:30. Isakov was like a mix between trailer-trash folk and Bob Dylan. He played about ten tracks and I found myself more interested in the effects pedal he used for his voice rather than the actual words (because I couldn’t understand them).
Towards the end of his set, I started being able to see a little more clearly and began to appreciate Isakov’s presentation as more of a soundscape rather than simply isolating his voice or guitar.

Brandi Carlile was the main act, and straight up, that girl can sing. She reminded me of Joni Mitchell with her range, going from a gumbly low tone to the pitch of a songbird. Her band was great too, with Tim and Phil Hanseroth (guitar and bass), Josh Neumann on cello, Allison Miller on drums and Jon Pagan on the keys. The band had a real rootsy feel to it.

While I was listening, I saw a bunch of kids in the audience, and it warmed my heart to see parents taking them to see a true performer rather  than the atypical mainstream garbage. Overall, I give both performers a B, both have good stage presence and, apparent from their passion, purely about the music.

as seen in the Saint Rose Chronicle