Peasant; Awesomeness at WOXY

Peasant Damien DeRose presents a moody mix

The acoustic session began with my favorite Peasant song "Icy Deep" from an earlier release Fear Not Distant Lover. Its haunting lyrics are like a memory bank of images and feelings / Something sharp has cut my blood out, there's my blood now, there’s my blood now /. Special treat is "Tough" an unreleased song. Tough? This song is so tender it melts your heart away. / So many love songs unheard /

Session Playlist: Icy Deep, Joanna, Hard Times, Tough.

WOXY mp3 download


Welcome Mr. President

Official Inaugural Poster by Shepard Fairy

Welcome Mr. President

I take pride in America. Yes with all its faults it is still an exciting and vital experiment.
The inauguration of Barack Obama our first black president is proof. At last African Americans can see a reflection of themselves in our president and his family. For others it represents the welcome evolution of our experiment.

I am a white female who lived through the sixties and still harbors that enduring spirit of change. Idealism and hope were the longings of my youth. They were shattered with the realization that the powerful prevail and corruption is embedded within the system. Cynicism took hold and frustration ensued. Slowly I saw change move forward only to be set back.

Our youthful ideals can bring to fruition the changes in our thinking that will affect our society and culture. Collectively each one of us volunteers through our deeds making a conscious decision to get involved in some way. With the unison of spirit we the people can take on the challenges that await us.

This inauguration is about the spirit of hope and change. It is a spirit that can capture the imagination of the possible. Together we can activate the tides of hope and change with a common purpose and vision for our country and the world.


The Lisps; Futurity Triumphant Debut

On Saturday night The Lisps concluded their two-night stint of Futurity the Musical at The Zipper Factory. Presented was the music, lyrics and book by César Alvarez lead singer and in collaboration Sammy Tunis lead female vocalist, Jeremy Hoevenaar bass guitarist and Eric Farber percussion, all members of The Lisps.

The Lisps are a vaudevillian art/rock folk group. They maintained the essence of their music within the context of a musical. The sophisticated lyrics, Old Timey songs mixed with artfully inventive instrumentals were highlighted throughout the evening, making this night of theater unique and never cheesy. Only The Lisps could perform smart intellectually ver
bose lyrics, acrobatic wordplay and sound so light, airy and entertaining.

The vocals combined the talk sing approach that The Lisps are so good at. He sings, she sings and basically they have a conversation through song. César's penchant for the fast word rant is remarkable. He played his guitar throughout the production and in the upper loft of the theater were the remaining members of the band Jeremy Hoevenaar and Eric Farber and guest player on organ Kyle Forester. Farber fashioned an incredible drum kit assemblage of found objects. The twelve-member chorus of actors and musicians included the general Sam Kulik playing trombone and sergeant Elias Orling on banjo, rounding out the robust sound.

Play Backround:
The seventeen-year-old mathematician Ada Byron Lovelace's life changed when she met the 42-year-old scientist inventor. His plans for an analytical engine inspired an exchange of ideas and a fruitful collaboration. In a series of letters between 1842 and 1843, the pair collaborated on seven notes. Her notes detailed how the machine could be programmed to compute a complex sequence of numbers. She is known as the first computer programmer.

Composer and now playwright César Alvarez churns history upside-down with lyrical inventiveness.

César Alvarez's music, lyrics and book takes creative license with historical facts. He wove the correspondence of Ada Lovelace a mathematician (played by Sammy Tunis) and Julian Munro a fictitious Union soldier in the Civil War, and an aspiring science fiction writer (played by
César Alvarez) into song.

His inventive play spars between the asymmetrical romantic notions of a writer and the symmetrical logistic concepts of a mathematician. Inventively he explores the juxtaposition of the envisioned possibilities of the all-powerful machine with the inevitable tides of war. Their altruistic visions are crushed along with the hopes of a promising future. Alvarez creates a black comedy with much room for contemplation.

“Oh the Spoils”

Oh the spoils the increasing mind can sketch Feel like de-fragmented points of turning back. Oh the toil that the body will forget Through the callusing industrial design.

The Director Melissa Firlit does a fine job seamlessly staging the fifteen member cast. The chorus of soldiers with muddied boots and war torn uniforms are both men and women adding a more diverse flavor to the vocals. Like a hat trick they change into white coats remove their caps, don some glasses to become zany caricature scientists. They respond with over the top comedic dialogue to the scientific notes of Ada and grandiose visions of Jules displaying a geeky academic elitism.

The unveiling of the "all-powerful machine" a combustible contraption looking like a marvel of futuristic assemblage was the essence of the finale. The machine explodes and bursts into flames while simultaneously the soldiers die on the field. This cemented the moral of the story told.

Gravestones don’t know They mark the fallen teenagers Stolen from Earth in a moment of flames.

Futurity marks a passage between the past and present. As we witness the revolution in technology we are always aware of cataclysmic events and impending wars that threaten our future. Yet we still hope and marvel at the visionaries who forge ahead and envision the impossible.

The young and talented cast only brings to light how valuable the arts can be in mirroring and invoking thoughtful opportunities to understand where we are and where we are heading. I hope Futurity The Musical finds a home, so that others can appreciate all it has to offer.

Kudos to The Two Man Gentleman Band for doing of fine job performing as the crowd was being seated. Kicking off their five month tour of the US Andy Bean and Fuller Condon played lively old time music interspersed with kazoos and witty dialogue. Their gentlemanly ways are a throwback to another time.

Flickr Set!


Great David Dondero Video Session

David Dondero Visits Tiny Desk Concert on NPR. This great video session features David Dondero playing some old and awesome new material.

“There are four songs in this Tiny Desk Concert — listen to them all. Then tell anyone in love with true wordsmiths.” Bob Boilen NPR

“Dondero’s songs compel me to cry, smile, laugh, and snicker, concurrently. I often feel like he’s one of my family members as I affectionately appreciate the self-deprecating and sarcastic nuance of his humor and tender sweet nature of his being”. OCM 8/07

Set List:
"We're All Just Babies in Our Mama's Eyes", "Rothko Chapel", "It's Peaceful Here" "In Love With the Living and the Dead".

Listen and See


The Lisps Musical; The Zipper Factory

The Lisps debut of their musical Futurity will be at The Zipper Factory this weekend on Friday and Saturday night. I am sure this ain't no typical musical. After seeing them perform at CMJ I was blown away. They are smart, edgy and entertaining.

"The foursome creates quirky cabaret folk-art-rock whose vaudevillian staging, augment their stellar sound. They combine great vocal arrangements with off center instrumentation. The guitar, bass and drums are combined with snippets of
melodica and spiced with eccentric percussion accents like the banging a soft mallet on a metal cabinet or hammer on a drum kit."
OCM 10/08

It is about a Civil War soldier corresponding with a mathematician and writing a science fiction novel about an inventor who is creating a steam-powered artificial intelligence that he believes is the hope for humanity.

Luke Winslow King opens the show on 1/9
Two Man Gentleman Band opens the show on 1/10

I am not a Broadway kind of gal but off off is my kind of thing!
See you Saturday! tickets

Viking Moses; Daytrotter Sessions

Viking Moses

This summer I had the pleasure of seeing Viking Moses with Golden Ghost at a garage show. His travels took him to the Midwest to record Daytrotter Sessions. Accompanied by Laura Goetz (Golden Ghost) are sweet four tracks offered free to download. You can hear the voice and lyrics that got to me that cool summer night. Daytrotter Session

“His low voice can be soft emphasizing his story telling but he brings songs to life with dynamic hard-core vocals that project a Missouri drawl of soulful fervor”. OCM 8/08
Garage show review