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Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Which I Spend A Musical Evening In The Company Of A Norwegian Elf

Okay, so my friends and fellow steel pan playas, Sheila and Tim and I (boy that's an obnoxious lot of "ands") spent the ever-popular Thanksgiving Eve at our favorite watering hole/music venue, Club Cafe to hear the elfish Norwegian, Sondre Lerche.

Lerche is one of those talents who has been honing his musical chops since he was 16. He's only 29, but it seems like he's been around forever, which in musician years, it turns out, he has. He's one of my favorites.

Anywho, he's is so tiny... little hands, little legs, GIANT head. Seriously. he has the biggest triangular face on the planet for such a wee man. His forehead alone is billboard ready. If he was a bug, he'd totally be a Praying Mantis, but with, you know, freakishly dwarf-sized pegs.

"space for rent" on this adorable singers cranium
C'mon! That thing is ginormous! Or I just have a pea-sized head.

But I digress...

Oh, one quick aside: while I was waiting for Sheila and Tim outside the venue in the freezing cold, I started reading Tina Fey's book, "Bossypants" on my phone. (Have I mentioned how much I love my iPhone? In.Total.LOVE!) This tome is hilarious! In the part I was reading, she was talking about how she always received praise from her parents for everything she did no matter how menial. When she was five, she was drawing next to a boy, Alex while waiting for her Mother to finish talking to her perspective kindergarten teacher. When she held it up to show Alex and collect the praise she was used to receiving, he ripped it in half.

"I didn't have the language to express my feelings then, but my thoughts were something like 'Oh, it's like that, motherfucker? Got it.' Mrs. Fey's change-of-life baby had entered the real world."

Love her! Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the concert, but it made me laugh out loud, by myself, in a line of strangers who were now giving me a wide berth. So there's that.

Back to the show. We had a terrific evening except for the unfortunate placement of the WORST opening act I have seen in years, nay decades. The abomination was named Peter Wolf Crier and it was the most horrid, atonal noise. They hurt my soul. Seriously. So bad I had to tweet about it.

"Maybe it's the vodka, but it's all yowling alley cats up in here." (it wasn't the vodka)

"Oh and now the extra bonus of feedback. yaaaaay." (the only thing on key)

"A band's talent is directly proportionate to the number of women taking the opportunity to pee. FYI:There's a long line for the restroom." (and it didn't sound any better through thick bathroom walls)

and finally

"'Good God! Make it stop!!' - me to this wretched opening act." (which finally happened after a lifetime)

That's 40 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

They seemed like very nice young men and they actually played backed up for Sondre extremely well on a couple of songs, but on their own... YOWZA! Knitting needles in the ears awful.

Fortunately, Lerche came out and washed the bad away. He shook his long mop of hair, danced around the stage and sang his heart out while his grinding guitar riffs Febreezed the opening act stank.

Proof that the openers can actually make music

Almost every singer has a closer, a go-to song that wraps up the evening in a nice little package. Something that leaves the audience wanting more. Sondre's closer is an unplugged version of Modern Nature from his first exemplary CD, Faces Down. On the disc, it's sung as a duet. Performed live, the lasses in the crowd do the honors.


It's been a really amazing year for music in the Burgh. I've been really blessed to attend so many great events. But wait! The year's not over yet. Tonight my SXSW buds and I are hitting the Cafe for a little Tex-Mex Christmas cheer with Raul Malo of the Mavericks. Ole!

As a very wise fortune cookie once told me, the world is nothing without music.

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