Thursday, January 08, 2009

2008 Concert Recap

Welcome everybody to 2009. At the beginning of each year I like to go through the shows that I can recall from the previous year. I made a little list here of ones that stuck out in my head for one reason or another. This isn't to say that these were the best shows I played or anything, they are just the ones that popped into my head. This year, I've included some photos and videos.
January 1: Sitting Next To Brian - Scribblethon - Elevens, Northampton, MA - Scott Alden's crazy 24-hour non-stop drawing event was capped-off with a free concert. Sitting Next To Brian was thrilled to be a part of the show and to see Scott complete his final drawing of the marathon. Learn more about Scribblethon and Parrellelaverse
(with: Abeja, Ella Longpre, File of the Storm, The John Bobbit Experience, DON'T)

January 10: Henning Solo - Bruce Springsteen Tribute Night - Iron Horse, Northampton, MA - This was the debut of my brand new ukulele. I performed Dancing In The Dark with it and the crowd ate it up with much greater enthusiasm than I ever imagined.
(with: Thane Thomsen (The Figments), Steve Sanderson (Drunk Stuntmen), Matthew Loiacono (Kamikaze Hearts), Rusty Belle, Kevin O'Rourke, Chris Pureka, Philip Price, Mark Mulcahy, Frank Manzi Band, Dave Houghton (Fancy Trash), Matthew Hebert (Haunt), Jeffrey Foucault, Dennis Crommett, Jose Ayerve, Jim Armenti (Lonesome Brothers), Erik Alan (The Amity Front))

March 8: Spouse - The Annex, NYC - I'm a third tier member of the touring Spouse machine. Once in a blue moon I sit in on bass. More than the actual gig, I have very fond memories of a quiet last-minute practice in a lovely New York apartment. As I played along and listened to the sweet three-part harmonies of Jose, J.J. and Naomi, I stared out the window over the buildings and watched the clouds whipping across the sky.

March 20: Versus - Sierra Grille, Northampton, MA - This was my first (and so far, only) foray into the mad world of Scott Alden's Versus. It's a free-form improvisational challenge in which two teams are given song titles and must instantly create music. I most enjoyed playing the drums and ad-libbing lyrics. It was terrifying and splendid.

April 6: School for the Dead - Raise the Roof - The Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA - The Calvin is a beautiful old theater and this would be my third time on its stage. Our band was given the final spot on this fund raiser variety show. We introduced "Waiting For A Ride" and got the large audience in the booming room to play along as our balloons streamed high, high above our heads. Then we closed with a rendition of "Yellow Submarine" in which all the day's performers came out and joined us. It was a feel-good-moment that I'll remember always. Maybe. Photo
(with: First Churches Children's Chorus, Primate Fiasco, Bill Ross, Keith Kunslow, Dicey Riley, School for the Dead, Leah Kunkel, Zoe Darrow, Spirit of the Hills Chorus, Maria Sangiolo)

May 14: The Rosenbach Company - Kanbar Hall, JCCSF, San Francisco, CA - It's always an unforgettable adventure playing this show. Doing it on the west coast only made it more exciting. We hit San Francisco in the height of an unprecedented heat wave, but the theater was dark and cool and we met a great response.

May 15: School for the Dead - The Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA - I can't believe it actual finally worked out that we were able to play a show with our friends, The Invisible Cities. Since only Brian and I were out in California we adopted Han from that band and he played bass with us, as well as let us sleep at his apartment. It was a beautiful relaxing hot vacation full of music. I felt totally at home with the people I met. Photo
(with: The Invisible Cities)

June 28: The Aloha Steamtrain - Wedding - Easthampton, MA - We were set up outside under a tent on a warm June night. That's a good start right there isn't it? The food was excellent, there were people dancing, but also it rained and I dropped both of my amplifiers in the parking lot. One of them broke.

August 8: School for the Dead and The Fawns - 080808 - The Elevens, Northampton, MA - Jose Ayerve, Lesa Bezo, and I put together this celebration of numbers. It was in the thick of the Chinese Olympics and the number eight was everywhere in the news, also it was everywhere in the venue in the form of eight-shaped balloons, eight bands, and an Ipod Playlist of music from 1988. Photo
(with: Watcher, The Fawns, Spanish For Hitchhiking, Spouse, School for the Dead, Ken Maiuri, Winterpills, Mark Mulcahy)

August 30: School for the Dead and The Fawns - Squealing Pig, Provincetown, MA - We were back again at our favorite spot on the Cape, the Squealing Pig. We like to head out there at least once a year and this year we once again turned it into a multiple day adventure bringing along some extra friends and everything. Sun, sand etc etc.

September 13: School for the Dead - Wedding - Alford, MA - They found us through MySpace. That sounds like the title of a horror movie but it was, in fact, just the opposite. We were hired to play a wedding out on the far western reaches of the Berkshires. The weather was perfect, the food was divine, and the people were particularly nice.

September 18: Rub Wrongways Records Caravan of Stars - The Rendezvous, Turner's Falls, MA - This was our first Rub Wrongways Records show which featured short performances by Sitting Next To Brian, Jason Bourgeois, The Fawns, School for the Dead, and Tony Westcott. The Rendezvous is just a nice place to be. I recommend it.

October 4: School For The Dead - Forbes Library Lawn - Northampton, MA - There's a YouTube video out there of us playing on a luckily warm October afternoon next to the great old Forbes Library. More people than I expected were strewn out on the grass. I imagined our music sailing out over the town and across the campus of Smith College. Video
(with: The Novels)

October 23: Henning with Lord Russ - Obama Rally - The Sierra Grille, Northampton, MA - In the throws of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, I broke out my trusty melodica and hooted out some change for the country. Or something.

October 31: School For The Dead - Halloween Party - The World War II Club, Northampton, MA - We rented the room and the sound system and School for the Dead, The Novels, and Haunt had a Halloween Party complete with costumes, colored lights, and candy. Hooray. Photo
(with: The Novels, Haunt)

November 7: The Fawns - PopFest New England - The Elevens, Northampton, MA - The Fawns back again at PopFest. These shows are packed with enthusiasm and we learned right off that the opening track of the PopFest CD is our very own "Snow Day". Awesome.
(with: The Up Set, The Lil' Hospital, The Specific Heats, Surefire Broadcast, The Sterns, The Besties)

Novemer 9: Jason Bourgeois - Popfest New England - The Elevens, Northampton, MA - I got a call from Jason at the last minute after his drummer backed out and I sat in on drums. I loved every second of it.
(with: The Inclined Plane, Boy Genius, One Happy Island)

November 14: Rub Wrongways Montage - Melissa Mulcahy Benefit - The Center For The Arts - It was a treasured organizational nightmare that led up to an evening of wonderful music, art, and camaraderie. The Rub Wrongways Records gang came together to form one big group and we did a medley plus an Abba cover. We were also treated to a number of unforgettable musical performances. What a town. Video
(with: Winterpills, Lo Fine, Spouse, National Carpet, Spanish for Hitchhiking, Haunt, The Claudia Malibu, Trallfazz, The Caroline Know, The Humming Field, Zeke Fiddler, Steve Westfield, The Drunk Stuntmen, Mr. Ray, The Mountain Movers, Jeff Greene,and Dinosaur Jr.)

December 31: School for the Dead and The Fawns - First Night Northampton - The Elevens, Northampton, MA - Two of my all time favorite performances at The Elevens. These were early shows and the audience was totally there with us AND the noisy and scary next door crowd was NOT there. It was a perfect way to close out the year. Video
Thank you very much everyone who came out to our shows or picked up some albums this past year or who wrote to us or who just read our nonsense here. It's your ongoing support that keeps us going. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Rick said...

What? No Kinks night?

Henning said...

I don't have strong memories of that night except that your version of "Come Dancing" was one of the highlights.

Rick said...

I seem to remember a really nice set by SNTB at The Basement. One of the first with Thane? I dunno. But good.

And thanks.

ina said...

Whiskey Ina was supposed to play with the Fawns and King Radio at Elevens on 2 Feb, but Frank couldn't make it, so it was Ina solo, a band called Doom Star (or something), the Fawns, and maybe something else...

And the Townes tribute at Elevens was May 11th.

Those were memorable gigs for me :-)