Tonight was a bit weird. I know, I haven’t been up to much to post on this blog. Truth be told I’m broke and busy with other things in life (but not unhappy!) Even so I still needed to get out… so I was more than happy to be a seat filler at the local theater when someone else couldn’t attend a show. What show was I seeing? I had no idea and didn’t bother looking it up. I felt it was more fun this way… ended up at the theater an hour early only to find we had an extra ticket after we got there. So I called the only person I knew in Keene… who turned me down… before looking on the streets to see if there was any soul out there looking like they needed a Pay It Forward moment. Alas, everyone was in couples or groups, no single stragglers about. A missed opportunity.
As it turns out I had shown up to see Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. If you’ve never heard of them don’t feel bad, I was just as lost. I flipped through the theater’s brochure awing at the dinosaur puppets that are apparently coming to town and daydreaming about another gig coming up – Arlo Guthrie. SIGH.
For the past few days I have been blaring obscenely happy music. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and random selections of old favorites like Ducks on the Wall by the Kinks. You know – obnoxiously off-the-wall deliriously joyful or just blatantly bizarre songs. Maybe I was doing this in an unconscious effort to prepare myself for tonight.
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox is apparently a swing (?) band that has a number of singers performing modern songs to the backdrop of… the 1920’s! Yep, can’t say I was expecting that… but you know how I have a soft spot in my heart for anything so totally random.
The thing is I haven’t paid any attention to modern music since about five years before my birth. I will always be a die hard Summer of Love hippie when it comes right down to it. Being such I never listened to modern music as it was coming off the radio, at least not intentionally. Only in the past year have I gotten around to listening to and enjoying a few random tidbits from the 90’s. Suffice to say because of this quirk I didn’t recognize almost any of their renditions. I could figure out the first – Call Me Maybe and the last, All About the Bass only because I hear them at the grocery store when I am shopping. One of the middle songs was Creep, probably the only song I actually knew… and it was sung by a brassy bluesy woman who belted it out in a most unusual fashion. Did it still creep me out? A little less. I must admit.
The ensemble was wildly enthusiastic, accompanied by an assortment of unlikely instruments, (though not enough brass, if I am to offer the smallest of critiques.) The singers were quite good at hitting those sultry depression-era chords and there was even an ecstatic tap dancer doing the Charleston through much of it. This left the entire theater in a positively vibrant glow of joyful energy… and I think I saw Dick Tracy!! He was dressed in a full on zoot suit, feathered hat to match, shuffling about with a cane in the front row. I think he was about 180 years old but absolutely darling. How long was that stunning outfit in his closet?! Was he waiting for this music to come back around?! BLESS. Just fucking bless! I love people like that. Seeing them just be themselves gives me faith in humanity… and since we’re talking about some guy who was clearly pimped out to the max I feel it’s appropriate to mention what I learned tonight from my dictionary. Jukebox originated from a bastardization of Juke House – apparently what a certain French tainted dialect of the deep south called a brothel at the time. And now you know!
Anyway, had a great time. The theater is also currently playing Loving Vincent so don’t miss it if you haven’t already gone! Peace, love, and music, everyone! I’m leaving a video here, though is not the singer who serenaded us tonight, I figured it didn’t matter that much. Enjoy it anyway!