in General

Dust In Their Hearts

Sunday afternoon my silly disciple, Wanda, invited me to go to a concert with her. Danny Michel was playing at the Velvet Olive, and Wanda had spoken highly about him, so I decided to go with her and her friend Dan to see him perform. I hadn’t heard his music before that day, so I took a listen at his website. I was quite impressed by the two songs shared there.

I met with Wanda and Dan on Barrington St., where we stopped in the Tim’s for a spell. We soon made our way to the Velvet Olive, which was not quite what I had expected. It was a but too upper class for my tastes. It had a nice atmosphere, being part dining area, part art gallery and part performance space, with minimal lighting. However, it was one of those places where the menus don’t include prices and where just water to drink costs a handful of quarters. Obviously not the sort of place a t-shirt and jeans wearing socialist like myself fits in.

The three of us sat off to the right of the stage and talked over (non-alcoholic) drinks (water and lemon for myself) for a while. During this, Danny Michel came up to us and mistook Wanda for the opening act, Jill Barber. It was a rather odd mistake, but it lead to Wanda being able to give him the stuffed animal frog she had bought for him. (There’s a fuzzy explaination for the frog, and I really must share it. Wanda told us that since the concert was on a “leap day”, the extra day added to every fourth year, a “leap frog” was appropriate. She received only blank stares initionally.) We talked to him for a short while and Wanda had the albums she brought signed by him with my always ready sharpie.

Jill Barber soon took to the stage for a too-short opening accoustic stint. She put on a really impressive show that demonstrated vocal prowess and deft musicianship. The songs were solid and her stage presence demonstrated experience and confidence. Jill is definitely an artist to watch for, and someone I hope to be able to see live again. She has a new album, Oh Heart, that will be released on March 16, so be sure to hunt it down.

After a short intermission, Danny Michel brought his electric quitar to the stage. He graced us with an excellent solo performace. His stage presence was very relaxed but was also very strong and certainly impressed the audience. Danny’s guitar and pedal work were superb, and gave the show a sense of dynamic that a one person show usually can’t attain. The highlight songs for me were “Fireworks”, “Perfect”, “The Invisable Man”, “Toledo”, and “Newton’s Apple”, each of which had a distinctly unique sound. It was certainly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

After Danny’s performance, he was selling his CD’s, so Wanda went over to get a new one, have some things signed, and so that I could take a photo of the two of them. Danny was very nice throughout both times we (mostly Wanda) talked with him, and seemed quite flattered by being recognized. After such a limited exposure to his music, he’s already climbed into the ranks of my favourite artists.

Live‘s cover of Psychedelic Furs’s “Love My Way” is a very enjoyable song. It and two other great songs, “Smoke” by Stuart Davis and Ed Kowalczyk and “Run Away” by Live and featuring Shelby Lynne, can be found at Fans of Live. All three are superb and highly recommended by this soul.

Tonight on Zed, CBC’s nightly independent showcase, there will be performances by Lederhosen Lucil. Lucil is fantastic. Musical brilliance and a great sense of humour mixed with all things Deutsch make for an interesting experience, but I greatly appreciate it. Tune in to CBC between 11:25 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. local time to check out the show.

Two weeks remain for me to be able to find a job. After that time I will have to return to my parents’ home for an undetermined amount of time. I know failure will be very painful, so I’ll continue to do all I can. I am thankful my parents have been supportive of me as much as they have been.

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