There was way too much music happening tonight in town. I had to work until 9 so I totally blew off all the music that was happening earlier. It was slow at work and they let me out early, and asked me to come in late tomorrow. Plans changed quickly.
I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to The Skinny Pancake and arrived just as Phil Yates & The Affiliates were about to go on. I said hi to Charlie Messing and watched the band play a killer version of Elvis Costello’s album Blood And Chocolate. Instead of doing the sane thing, staying for their second set of originals, I booked out the door and up the hill.
I headed for Light Club Lamp Shop and walked in the door. I had a vague idea of stopping in at Hotel Vermont for a drink and a couple of songs by The High Breaks, but hoped the timing would be tight. I should have taken that bet.
For every moment that no one went on at the Light Club it made me wish I had changed my mind, but after 15 minutes or so, Maryse Smith took the stage, and I was completely content. Her songs are a bit subtle and very personal, and for whatever reason, the audience listened close and it was one of the most amazing shows I’ve seen her play. Her singing and playing were delicately soft but filled the silent room. The stunning power of the lyrics and music radiated through all lucky enough to hear it. She resisted the urge to play all new unwritten songs, and pulled out several classics like Good Thing, and Liar, and I Forgot, and The Way It Is. I was so glad I was in the room for every note she played.
I knew The Mountain Says No were on at Finnegan’s soon, but was not aware of the exact time and knew the band after Maryse Smith was pretty amazing. I chatted with Joe Adler and Kevin Bloom and Max Tracy, and Mike Luoma, and Alyssa Solomon, and soon enough, Arc Iris hit the stage. It’s hard to quantify their genre, it’s hard to quantify their sound. It’s easy to say it’s Jocie Adams with the guitar and keys and vocals and clarinet and angel wings that runs the show. It’s easy to say the stunning drumming of Ray Belli is really what makes the band great. It’s like he’s a male version of Jane Boxall Percussion, or she’s a female version of him. It’s easy to say that Zach Tenorio Miller’s Rick Wakeman style doubled handed keyboard playing makes the band great. It’s easy to say that Robin Ryczek’s cello that follows the song from mellow to mega-intense and her stunning backing vocals make the band great. In reality, it’s the combination that makes them so amazing. Their set was stunningly beautiful and stunningly powerful I’m not sure if it lasted twenty minutes or two hours, but it was glorious note for note.
After the last note ended, I went back to my supposed first stop, you know, the future, and headed to Finnegan’s. Most of the band were dressed as Doc Brown and I walked into the Flux Capacitor. A killer 1.21 Jigawats followed. The pulled our the cover of Rock Lobster->Mesopotamia. They scared us with the Space Weed Zombies, and kicked the night with a rousing Kiss Your Ass Goodbye. During the set it was cool to say a quick hi to Jedd Kettler, Ben Maddox, Johnnie Day Durand, Kevin Lynam and Matthew Bryan Hagen. After the last note I headed for the door, but had to hug Samara Lark Brown, just ’cause she’s so brave and strong. The walk home was easy and smooth. I know there was a lot of great music that I missed, right Bobby Hackney Jr. and Manhattan Pizza and Pub, but I caught what I could.