...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Sunday, May 16, 2010

No Time for Seafood Cuz We are True Margrit of SF

Being Chapter the 18th of the 2010 SXSW Haiku & BBQ Tour..a novella

Sunday, March 28th
I don't know what fare Andrew and Gary throw together for breakfast over at Gary's place, but here we indulge in good old-fashioned Sunday brunch carbs and fat. BACON! EGGS! CHEESE! BUTTER! TOAST! ELIXIRS!

Then I shower & then it's time to go. Just like that. We get to Bottom of the Hill and haul in the usual gear, plus a video projector and screen for the BIG "Syllable" Video Premier. Oooh. A birthday cake is cleverly arranged and acquired for Gary, thanks to heroic efforts by Mike. And...we are ready to go and the big show starts.

Palace Family Steakhouse are up first. This show is their guitarist, Brad's last gig, as he's moving to Boston. The band purveys an hysterically high-concept tribute to a real (although, now defunct) restaurant in the Mission. As it happens, Palace Family Steakhouse's empty shell sits less than a block from my home. It is closed now, and not really missed. It was simply a gross place to eat (and perhaps a wretched hive of scum and villainy)--but it's an epic place to sing about, without a doubt. The band does a medley of mostly Queen tunes with the lyrics adjusted to reflect a more steak-centric universe. At one point dancers dressed in cunning steak costumes appear and dance a pot-pie de deux. VERY entertaining. Fave moment: digging the lyrics in, "We are the Steakhouse"--which was to the tune/riffage of "We are the Champions". Instead of "no time for losers, cuz we are the champions of the world", Palace Family Steakhouse offers up: "no time for seafood cuz we are the steakhouse of the world." Nice. So uplifting.

I would be scared to try to follow such a performance, but Jill Knight is the perfect woman for the job! Joined by her star lineup of Pam Delgado & Jeri Jones and Rob Strom ( of Blame Sally & Pam & Jeri Show fame), Jill smoothly transitions the day from comedy-punk-opera to California folk-rock with that super bad-ass groove in which she specializes. AWESOME!

Next up is the music video premier of our song, "Syllable"! Sarah positions the screen and hits play. Why am I nervous?? No pressure! Just enjoy! I look around and listen to the laughter and applause. The crowd really digs it! YAY! Me too! it looks good big! GREAT JOB, directors Sarah Dunham & Chelsea Walton! You make us look good.

Then we leap up onstage and ROAR through our set. We feel the love flowing in a complete circuit: crowd to stage, stage to crowd, and it sure is great to be back in our hometown. As of late, we have been fond of starting shows with, "Make Them Beg"--so we play that first. BANG--! Other tunes from The Juggler's Progress follow in sound, fury, and blurs of light. Halfway into the tune, "The Juggler's Progress" (our album's title track, natch), I catch a glimpse of Dianne Nola working her way to the front of the room. She's wearing a very cute Heinz 57 sauce-themed outfit in honor of Gary's Heinz 57 Sauce Birthday. We add a few extra bars for her to do some tapdancing (that's her tapping on the album, too!). Her performance is relished by all. Then, all too soon we are done. We close our set with a full-octane version of "Syllable", after which my keyboard is thoroughly abused like a sacrificial lambchop, the stage is cleared, and the crowd sings, "Happy Birthday" to Gary. Cake is served at the merch table.

The final set set of the night comes from Clair and there is much moshing, fist-pumping, hooting and general hollering. The natives are pleased! Maria Stanford's powerhouse vocals rise above every series of terracing rock crescendos that her super-group delivers. Chills and thrills of the rock persuasion are experienced by one and all. They end their set taking a spin through, "Whole Lotta Love"--which perfectly rounds off this whole magical night. I'm not fooling.

Now that was a show, if I say so ourselves.

Many--but not all--participants repair to the True Margrit after-tour-party for libations, pizza, and socializing. Let is be said that it is not a terribly scandalous event, but nonetheless a proper party, with at least one guest adorably passed out on the couch, and two others whose degree of indulgences hampers the hand-eye coordination that would be required to pick up slices of fruit. In the end, all who are still inebriated take cabs home and no animals are harmed in the making of this party.

Margrit shuts the front door
The last guest has departed
"well, I'm back", she says


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