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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Les is More

No speakers. No mics. No amps ( well--ok there was a mini-bass amp for electric bass). No subwoofer thumping. No spotlights, explosions, confetti, or pitch correction. Just three acts playing their tunes--and it was simply fab and I was ever so proud to be part of it.

What it was was this:

On Tuesday, June 7th Gary & I scooted over to Les Wisner's deceptively modest and increasingly-legendary music spot Bazaar Cafe, for a special rare unplugged show. We were appearing as special guests of Kate Kilbane and the Cellar Doors and their June residency. Stove (a duo extracted from Griddle) was originally booked to play as well, but a last minute family emergency got in the way. Kat Downs of Sit Kitty Sit, at the 11.9th hour, valiantly stepped up to join the lineup.

I started off the night with a few tunes with Gary & then I debuted the (newly revised) version of "You Could be Anything". This is a tune that was originally started as a Writing Exercise Challenge between Kat & me. Somehow we came up with the line we were both to incorporate into a new song--"a straight dude gay for Dave". I did in fact put that line in a song but the tune went off in a different direction and eventually it sloughed off the lyric sheet. These things occur--rewriting. I do a lot of it! That very night I also played two other BRAND new tunes that went back to the drawing board a few times.."Goldstar" (about celestial infatuation) and the very newest, the melancholy waltz, "Apology to a Pigeon". Presumably, the band will be tackling these tunes when we are all together in a few weeks...oh yes.

Kate Kilbane & the Cellar Doors sounded fantastic in unplugged glory. Their songs shine in every setting and I suspect if you heard them coming out of a broken speaker on a Hello Kitty toy telephone they would still sound sublime. That's just how it is--they're scary talented. My favorite song is the chill-inducing, "Chariot Rise" which is from their rock opera, The Medea Cycle. This is what you should do: if they play, go.

Kat Downs played selections from the Sit Kitty Sit repertoire- which also shone bright acoustically. Lest anyone forget, Kat is a TOTAL BADASS piano-player and magnificently risk-taking songwriter with serious vision. Dude. Her drummer, Mike Thompson--an utter rockstar, couldn't ply his mighty crafts in the cafe setting. However, Kate Kilbane conveniently brought along a cajon (a wooden box, big enough to sit upon that sounds remarkably like a quiet kick & snare & highhat) and Mike gamely tried out the instrument for the first time and filled in for the The Cellar Doors absent percussionist--and accompanied Kat on some of their regular tunes.

How can I sum it up to those who weren't there? It was more than the sum of its not-inconsiderable parts--and yet, a night so unpluggy, stripped down, and sleek! The air seem suffused with the glow of a shared secret--on this night, this was the place to be. All the performers thanked Les for hosting us and I couldn't resist the punny epithet: Les is more.

2 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

Very cool - I wish I could have been there. Sounds inspiring. Can't wait to hear the new songs, Margrit!

Fri Jul 01, 07:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Margrit said...

I can't wait for YOU to hear them! xxox

Sat Jul 02, 12:02:00 PM PDT  

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