Feb 24, 2010

Floppy ol' Jalopy

(imagine it's night time - slippery steep slanty stairs above roaring traffic, clinging to an umbrella that threatens to hurl me in the way of said traffic)
Last night I braved the rain and one perilous BQE footbridge to find myself in one of Brooklyn's many musical havens, JALOPY. Feeling more like a speak-easy or some one's eclectic basement - the floors and walls were covered with all kinds of instruments, odds, and ends. I even noticed a painting of a Leafy-sea-maid...it blew my mind.

First to take the stage (actually the only one to really take the "stage", but we will get to that...) was Becca Stevens. Her presence was folksy, but her vocal approach reminded me more of Frou Frou. Ms. Stevens did an invigorating (although not unlike the original) cover of Joni Mitchell's song Help Me. The performance was very entertaining and relaxing. As the rain was coming down on the sky light above the "pit" even that sound was incorporated into her set. A delightfully refreshing performance.

Next up was Cuddle Magic. Holly cow! ...They didn't use the stage but rather all twelve performers huddled together in an orchestra pit-type of arrangement. I was in the front row, trying to keep my feet from getting tangled in their cords. Don't get me wrong, now - I was glad to be right up in there for this set! There was so much going on - to entertain and refresh your thinking about everything from the writing of lyrics to band hierarchy. With multiple writers and vocalists and percussionists it had the feeling of a true collaborative. That being said - I am an instant fan of this group and in particular Kristin Slipp, whose vocal style was very alto, and her presence and expression to die for.

ENJOY their links, and I hope you can catch either group at a venue near you!

I haven't listened to the album yet, but here is a review of Joanna Newsom's new one "Have one on me" where she is said to... "not only demonstrate even stronger vocal abilities and songwriting techniques, but also making a logical next-step in terms of style and sound." - Ben Wissenborn, CM Life

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