What We Did On Our Pre-Christmas Vacation
or catching my breath while catching up on old post fodder
Okay, so better late than never, right? That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it, dammit!!
As I've bemoaned for what seems like the entire freaking month of December, things got a little away from me. What with the vacation happenings, social obligations, Christmas Eve party prep ...I barely had enough time to imbibe let alone blog. (Waaa Waaa Waaaa. Don't you feel bad for me?)
Well I'm blogging now, BABY! And I'm not even getting any of it on my new shirt either. SCORE! (the term "blog" always puts me in mind of a colorful side effect of the flu. "Oy! I was so sick last night. I didn't get any sleep because I was blogging, like every half hour. It was nasty.")
Where to begin..
I'll try to make the telling of vacation events as brief as possible, but you know how verbose I am. Like right now. I should just shut up and spin a yarn or two, but no. I have to blather on and on and on...
Bottom line: this will take two posts, because the lovely blue-eye one is involved in not one, but two evenings and everything surrounding him stands alone. Naturally. I mean, come on. Look at him.
Sorry. I'm back now.
Y'all know we had a harrowing travel day back to the Burgh told here. I seriously was doubting we'd arrive home much before April. But that's the end of the tale.
Part One: Our escapades began in earnest on Thursday evening at WYEP, crashing a private shindig meant to thank all the notable, big-money board members of the public station. Thanks to one wonderfully witty and talented Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding, dashing, somewhat prominent pop star in the 90s) and the collective powers of Twitter and MySpace, I was able to procure two tickets to said soiree from the artist himself.
Thank you again, Mr. Stace.
I say that like he's even going to remotely read this. Yeah.
Anywho, as is the case with these events, hardly anyone in the room was familiar with the English lad's music save Geo, me, the DJs and a thin smattering of folk whom I suspect received the other set of tickets provided to Wes. As is our lot in life, we were the designated loud table in the back. I know. Shocking, right? Hey, somebody had to make a fuss so he didn't feel like he was playing to a roomful of crickets.
Wes was fabulous. Sprinkling humorous stories, as well as his utter and complete hatred of Sting, between tunes. He really hates Sting. I mean reallyreallyREALLY hates Sting. Very amusing. Then he treated us to a complete musical telling of the story of Hamlet, which is not recorded anywhere except an old DVD. Geo, being a HUGE fan of Hamlet, LOVED it!!
It was great fun being in the audience and meeting him afterwards. He is highly entertaining with a classic literary, sardonic English wit. Plus we kinda felt like those crazy, Facebook, White House gate crashers or two Jews busting into a restricted Country Club. Deliciously naughty. Just try to keep us out. Bwahahahahahahaha!!
Part Two: We drove across the big-ass state of Pennsylvania...in a snow storm...to Philadelphia and a rare Francis Dunnery concert at The Tin Angel.
We have loved Francis and his music forever. Five years ago, he chucked the club scene and started playing house concerts exclusively.
He plays his songs. In your house. For you.
How cool is that?! These evenings are incredible. Just him and his guitar in a living room. We've had the good fortune to attend four house concerts in complete strangers' homes. Everybody is so cool because it's all about him and his music. Even though Francis swears like a trucker, he emits a strong, positive vibe which envelopes those around him. His fan base is as devout as Rhett's. They're kind of two sides of the same coin.
This was the second time we've seen him at the Tin Angel. He considers the Angel his home (they supported him in the early days) and plays an annual show every December. Over the years we've gotten friendly with him and the incredibly caring, supportive people surrounding him. They could not be any kinder.
This photo's from Kate's house this September. She does all of his bookings. Tony there on the left is his loyal merch guy. The sweet, young thing under Francis' wing is his love, Erica. How about that. Both the guys I'm crazy about are emotionally bound to women named Erica.
Anywho, here are a couple of songs from his Philly show.
Living In New York City
Good Lord, this entry is Baby Huey HUGE. Okay, moving on quickly.
Part Four: (Parts three and five involve my fantasy honey and will occupy the next post) Geo and I dragged my sister, Weezy to Farleigh Dickinson University to partake in John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders...for free. Again, an event stumbled on through the power of the Internet (specifically Twitter) and from the horse's mouth the prior Thursday. Turns out Wes is an artist in residence at FDU, hence the location of the freebie.
The idea behind these Cabinets is to make book and poetry readings more interesting. To that end, he invites comedians, writers, singers and other artistic types to join him on stage to perform. Everybody gets about 10-15 minutes or two-three songs. Singer PT Walkley, comedians Todd Barry and Larry Murphy and two writers whose names I've forgotten participated.
Todd Barry was awesome mainly because he just riffed on the small crowd and the fact it was 2pm--the comedic equivalent to the ubiquitous Early Bird dinner. Larry Murphy was brilliant imitating Christopher Walken as his babysitter and Daniel Day-Lewis from "There Will Be Blood" in a skit Wes wrote about that character calling customer support. It was priceless! I'm such a boob. I should have recorded the skit to share. But, alas, I didn't. So I have to live with my misguided decision. But I did record some songs.
In My Room (sung in German)
There are more videos from both Francis and the Cabinet at FDU on YouTube. Feel free to watch them. Please. Watch them. I'm begging you. No I'm not. Yes, yes I am. No, really. You don't have to unless of course you want to. Please watch them. No. I kid. No pressure. Please do it...