Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not Pear-Shaped at All

One of the many things I really love about the Cedar is that the room can rock with the loudest stuff Hoven Droven or Zebulon Pike can throw at it, or be as silent and respectful as an intimate country church. We had the church thing going Monday night at Rachael Unthank and the Winterset and it was SO WONDERFUL. Their music has lots of "white space" in it, and you really could've heard that proverbial pin drop in the silences between notes. No talking, no coughing, just less than a hundred lucky folks hanging onto every note. Racheal has a great lower vocal range, and sister Becky is possessed of an unusual, almost "fuzzy" voice, fuzzy in the sense that it sounds like she's singing two notes at once sometimes. And the harmonies, ah, the harmonies. Especially when their fiddler added her voice...I'm sure I wasn't the only one in minor key vocal harmony heaven Monday evening.

Becasuse their piano palyer messed up on her visa and their road manager was filling in, their set was not quite what was planned. We were lucky enough to hear several public debuts of material for their next album and lots of acappela stuff. Becky warned us before one the new tunes "It might come off all pear shaped." Then they had to translate that from Geordie-speak. It means messed up, wrong. The tune was so NOT pear-shaped.
Don't just go to Newcastle for the brown ale.
More Geordie-speak:
Yem = home
Hinny = loved one
Bairn = child
Geordie - someone from Newcastle

The Unthank sisters were quite funny and charming after the show when some of us asked them if there are any happy songs about mining. Racheal sang a bit of "My Lad's a Canny Lad" then decided it really wasn't happy either, so no, there are not. They also loved that Cedar green room. Quote: "You could go on holiday for a week in there."

Thanks Winterset for making my Monday and hope to get you a bigger (lucky, quiet) crowd next time!

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Talking Tamil

You gotta just love M.I.A. Not only is she the queen of the multinational monosyllabic hook, not only does she sample the best ethnic percussion out there, not only is she respected by pretty much every artist whose work I admire, she's taking time from being with that new baby to send out information on the Tamil perspective of what's going on in Sri Lanka to about a million of her "friends" on MySpace.

Two days in the news of "Tamils are wading across a lagoon to reach the safe zone" and that's all we hear about the latest between the Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka. Here's what the daughter of a Tamil "rebel" has to say about it, as of last week.

And here's how some folks at home reacted.

Who decided the Tamils are the terrorists? I think that was the Sinhalese.

There are two sides to every conflict.

The girl has always spoken truth to power. Keep it up.

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