Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Love for the Opening Act

One of my favorite parts of being "backstage" helping to produce a big show is watching the audience react to the opener. There's just something about watching somebody win the crowd over that gets me every time. The way the Dirty Projector's fans gobbled up Tuneyards' set last week reminded me of this. By the second or third song they were right there with Merrill, whooping and yelling along as she hit a big crescendo. I think she sold most of her groovy vinyl by the end of the night, too. Hey, don't forget to mail us one for the Cedar green room, Merrill!

Reminds me of the last time we had Ani DiFranco at the State Theater downtown. The Cedar got Dessa from the Doomtree Collective to open. Ani's fans...well, you know how they are. They just like Ani. So it was quite great to see a couple thousand go from gabbing and playing with their phones to "Wow! She's really cool! What's her name again?" in the space of three tunes of Dessa's quietly fierce rapping. Catch Dessa and others of the Doomtree crew at their Blowout at First Avenue December 5.

Then there's Sunday nights opener, local (she's my neighbor!) gal Chastity Brown. After her set, Chastity confessed to the Angel of Rock and I how honored and thrilled she was to play a show at the Cedar. She also said she could hardly believe she was in the green room with Toshi Reagan, an artist she's admired for years. She was so sincere and genuine. AOR and I just kinda looked at each other and said "Wow. We really take the Cedar for granted, don't we?" Thanks for the reminder of what a special place we have here, Chastity, and hope to see you on the stage again soon. Maybe for that cd release you're doing next spring?

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Cedar faves the Carolina Chocolate Drops are putting the finishing touches on their new record, their first for the Nonesuch label. When I heard it was to be called Genuine Negro Jig, I got pretty excited, because that means I will soon be able to hear the eerie and wonderful "Snowden's Jig" whenever I want to! I wrote a big ol' post about the fascinating and controversial history of this tune. In a nutshell the tune was probably swiped by Daniel Emmett, "author" of "Dixie", from his African American musician neighbors, the Snowden Family. (Even the Wiki entry mentions the Snowden theory now!) Emmitt called it "Genuine Negro Jig." Read the post for the details. It's a sassy political act in a couple of ways to name their new disc as they did, and I wouldn't expect any less from the 'Drops. Reclaim that history! U.S. release date in late February. Touring before and after the release date; not coming to town this round. (Hey now, they were just here in May...We can wait our turn.)

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Lookit the fur fly!! Did you see my fellow bloggers Miss Fever and Mr. Figurehead square off last week on Bill Gates, I Tunes pricing and related topics? Thought provoking points are made on both sides, so be sure to give it a read, but whoa! Meow!