Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009 Scrap Book

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. Do you have any more photos or videos or memories?

January 8 - Exile On Center Street, a Tribute to the Rolling Stones - The Iron Horse, Northampton, MA
Every year the Iron Horse has a tribute concert in which several musicians perform the songs of a chosen artist. This year was the Rolling Stones. I played Ruby Tuesday on my own and then Waiting On A Friend with the Fawns. Special guest Dave Trenholm joined us and thrilled the audience with the sax solo.
(with: The Amity Front, Chris Pureka, Rusty Belle, Jose Ayerve, The Novels, Ray Mason, Jim Armenti, The Grownup Noise, Frank Manzi, Sitting Next To Brian, Swill Merchants, Thane Thomsen, Matthew Hebert, Dave Houghton, The Dingle)
Video: Henning "Ruby Tuesday"

March 27 - The Jason Bourgeois Band - The Rendezvous, Turner's Falls, MA
Why do I remember this show so well? Because I was playing drums. I feel like this was my first time playing a full planned and rehearsed show on the drums. I clearly remember having fun playing but also feeling a bit like an impostor. Also, Brian was right there in the audience and he knew all the songs and could very easily have jumped up and done a much better job than I was doing. Especially since my back was in agony the whole time.
(with: World's Greatest Dad and Oweihops)
jason bourgeois rendezvous poster

March 28 - School for the Dead - The WRSI Meltdown - JFK School, Northampton, MA
We pulled up for this strange daytime kid-friendly show and discovered that there was not a single parking spot available in all of the school lots, along the driveways, or in the axillary parking. My back was completely thrown out and I stood around stupidly while everyone else carried my gear. We played on a stage in a cafeteria that was full of families and tables with, I don't even know what, information booths and crafts maybe? I sat on a gray folding chair in the center of the stage and we played our songs. I clearly recall seeing the smiling faces of many local acquaintances popping up here and there from the crowd.
(with: The Nields, Deedle Deedle Dees, Uncle Rock, Aric Bieganek, Laura Cayer, Ratboy Jr., Marcy Gregoire, Dennis Caraher…and many more! Readings From: Jane Yolen, Anna Alter, Jarrett Krosoczka, Timothy Basil Ering...and more.)
Crazy video: School for the Dead and Hula Myspace Video

May 1 - Multiple Bands - Wes Anderson Birthday Party - The Elevens, Northampton, MA
Jason Bourgeois had the brilliant idea of doing a show in which people would play music featured in the films of Wes Anderson. It was great, so many good songs to chose from. I did Stephanie Says by the Velvet Underground and Me and Julio Down by the School Yard by Paul Simon. The Fawns did Concrete and Clay by Unit 4+2. Sitting Next To Brian did Rock and Roll Suicide by David Bowie and I Am Waitingby the Stones. The Jason Bourgeios band did Oh Yoko by John Lennon. Jason also had a TV set up on stage that was playing movies.
(with: Jason Bourgeois, Los Hijos Unicos, Ella Longpre, George Hakkila, The Little Black Eggs, Jesse Smith, Teacher, Trials and Tribulations, The True Jacqueline.)
Video: Jos Hijos Unicos "A Quick One"
Video: Henning - "Stephanie Says"
Video: Thane Thomsen - "Billy"
Photos: Wes Anderson Birthday Bash Album
wes anderson night poster

May 9, 2009 - Henning Solo - Eastworks, Easthampton, MA
This was a quiet, totally unplugged show in a small room to a small number of people. Once and a while friend Jose Ayerve throws together these intimate evenings. There are usually snacks and drinks and the nights are invitation only. I love it.
(with: Jose Ayerve and Adam Greenberg)
Video: Henning "Planes Trains and Automobiles"

May 22, 2009 - Henning Solo - Mocha Maya's - Shelburne Falls, MA
I had no idea what to expect at this show. I've always liked the little center of Shelburne Falls and how it wraps around the crazy glacial potholes and bridge of flowers. It's quaint. That's the perfect word. I was set to play a long solo set and luckily a real supportive group of friends and fans came out to take part. Throughout the evening, I had two gags. Between each song, I asked audience members for words for a big Mad Lib that I had written especially for the evening. I also had a small box of fortune cookie fortune sized slips of paper. Each one had one of my songs on it. The box was passed from person to person so we randomly created the set list together. I think it was a very successful night. I was grateful.
Henning Solo at Mocha Maya's 5/22/2009

June 20, 2009 - The Caravan of Stars - The Black Moon - Belchertown, MA
This was my first ever show in Belchertown, MA. The Rub Wrongways gang had the whole venue to ourselves to do whatever we wanted. We set the stage with all of our equipment and had a show that included, The Jason Bourgeois Band, Ari Vais, Tony Westcott, Sitting Next To Brian, Lo Fine, School for the Dead, and The Fawns. A respectable crowd came out and we all enjoyed the place together. I distinctly remember hearing the crazy frogs chirping from outside the open window.
black moon set up

Rub Wrongways Caravan of Stars (Belchertown, MA)

June 27, 2009 - The Jason Bourgeios Band - Diamond Junction - Palmer, MA
At some gigs, all of the events of the trip make more of an impression on me than the actual show. This was my first ever show in Palmer, MA. We traveled there as a big entourage and began the evening with a hilarious meal at the crazy Steaming Tender Restaurant. We got a giant table and ate in the converted train station like the tourists that we are. It was just a few turns from there to find the venue which turned out to be the most visually nostalgic tiny bowling alley that I've seen. I know we set up and played in a corner of the room and the audience was standing right in front of us, but mostly I remember: It was pouring rain outside. The bartender at the bar upstairs kept turning up the crappy music even though there were only six of us there and we were just talking quietly. The candle pin bowing, which I always considered "real" bowling. And the little plastic dogs from the vending machine.

June 28, 2009 - Henning Solo - The Blueberry House - Northampton, MA
I was invited to play a brief acoustic set during nap-time at an all-day party. I sat on the arm of a comnfy chair and sang four or five of my songs to a few tired and happy people. Then we blew up a guy.

July 2, 2009 - The Fawns and School for the Dead - Florence Center Green - Florence, MA
It was threatening to rain all day and we were scheduled to play outside. The skies were dark gray when we set up beneath the pavilion room but the rain didn't fall for the whole show! People, trusting the weather, came out with their lawn chairs and snacks. Little kids ran around while we played our songs at a volume that wasn't overwhelming but certainly was strong enough to waft down through the center of sleepy Florence center.
Pop on the Grass

July 18, 2009 - Rub Wrongways Caravan of Stars - The EF Chase Tavern - Keene, NH
One of our all time weirdest shows yet. Still, quite a fun day since we all travelled up to Keene early and got a nice dinner together. The gig itself was in a weird breakfast-nook, bar, hotel lobby. There were few people in attendance but we all sort of became pals as the night progressed. Afterward, some of us got a late-night bite and discovered that Keene at night is drunk.
(with: King Falcon)
caravan of starsweb

August 6, 2009 - Winterpills - Pearl Street - Northampton, MA
Two of the regular Winterpills were unable to attend so Brian and I were enlisted for this show. Was so great to play for such an eager audience. They were pressed right up against the front of the stage as my bass boomed out in a way that it only can at Pearl Street.
(with: St. Vincent)
Henning with Winterpills Pearl Street

August 20, 2009 - Goldwater - The Elevens - Northampton, MA
At midnight, I was to turn a year older and this was the debut of Goldwater! Memories of the show include an unexpected chance to play with Mike Flood on a few songs, and staring out and seeing Trace Meek during the Goldwater set. Some of the bass lines I was playing were his from the Figments (Goldwater, headed by Thane Thomsen, played a few songs from his other band, The Figments). I've been on the other side of that coin and I could just hear how Trace could hear me not do his parts justice. Real fun rock show, though. We were received well.
(with: Mike Flood, New Radiant Storm King)

September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 - Various Acts - Wrongways Tuesdays - The Elevens - Northampton, MA
In the month of September, Rub Wrongways Records had a weekly residency called Wrongways Tuesdays. These free shows featured a unique Rub Wrongways duo, followed by a Rub band, followed by a guest band. The shows all started and ended promptly running from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. A pleasant listening volume and a welcoming atmosphere was the goal and we were wildly successful. Friend of Wrongways, Dan Richardson started joining us and running the sound part way through the series which helped a great deal. All of the shows were very enjoyable. The music was musical and the relaxed atmosphere resulted in some very nice hang-out time with friends, both old and new.
(with: Henning and Max, Sitting Next To Brian, Tasha Yar, Brian and Thane, The Salvation Alley String Band, Josh Crane, Jason and Ryan, The Fawns, Goldwater, Rick Murnane, School for the Dead, Nuclear Waste Management Club, Lesa and Henning, Jason Bourgeois Band, Matt Silberstein Band)

September 3, 2009 - The Rub Wrongways Caravan - The Lizard Lounge - Cambridge, MA
This show is very dear to me for some reason. Very few people showed up. It was just a few friends and family. The bartender told us that historically this was the very worst night for bringing in an audience in the Boston area. It had all the makings of a dreadful night. A long ride to Boston followed by an almost empty venue. But, the sound guy was most accommodating and since only Rub Wrongways bands were playing, we were able to just spread out and set up all our stuff there on the nice Oriental Rugs. The room became ours for the evening and it was so nice to not have to worry about getting our stuff on and off the stage in a rush and sharing equipment and stowing equipment and all those things that come along with multi-band shows. We were just able to set up and then relax and play some music.
Sitting Next To Brian at the Lizard Lounge

September 20, 2009 - School for the Dead - The Williamsburg Music Hall - Williamsburg, NY
I've written a lot about this show. This was the New York CD Release show for the album Ciao, My Shining Star, A Tribute to Mark Mulcahy. School for the Dead had a two song set and a strange line-up of Brian, Jason Bourgeois, Lesa Bezo, and me. We played Omnivore and I Just Shot Myself In The Foot Again (our contribution to the record) to one of the greatest crowds in one of the nicest rooms that I've encountered yet. We also took the stage later as the band for the all-star grand finale version of Free Fallin'. I couldn't believe all the people I was surrounded by on that stage.
(with: Frank Black, The Autumn Defense, David Berkeley, Chris Harford, Ray Neal, The Butterflies of Love, BP Helium, The Gravel Pit, Winterpills, Spouse, Senator, School for the Dead, Jeff Ginsburg / Biet and Gryphon, Mericans, BP Helium, The Parkway Charlies, The Gravel Pitt)
More details: Living Rockumentary Recap
ciao my shining star

October 31, 2009 - School for the Dead - Halloween Show - Florence Green - Florence, MA
Again, we had an outdoor show scheduled and it was raining all day. We weren't sure until the last minute if we were even going to play. Brian, Max, and I put on some weird costumes and went out to the Florence Green and met Bill Childs who had booked us for this event. The park was empty except for a tiny WRSI tent and a carpet of millions of fallen, slippery, wet, autumn leaves. We set up and played and one by one the park filled up with costumed revelers who watched us play while waiting for the start of the annual Rag Shag Parade. I won't soon forget the pleasure of looking out over that field of monsters and encouraging them all to howl at the sky.
henning in crowd

December 9, 2009 - The Rub Wrongways Caravan of Stars - Calvin Coolidge Museum - Forbes Library - Northampton, MA
A rock show. In a library. In a museum in a library. An open for business library. On a blizzardy night. And we pulled it off some how. I love when impossible things become possible. We had a full room and a cozy night up in this historic room playing our songs quietly. I sang without a microphone. At times we spread out around the room, using its wooden reverberation to create a natural surround sound. There was hot chocolate and peppermint tea afterward.
Video: The Fawns' "Friends"
audience at forbes library

December 11, 2009 - School for the Dead - Toad's Place - New Haven, CT
This was the New Haven CD Release for Ciao My Shining Star. Again it was such a pleasure to be able to bring our music to an eager and enthusiastic crowd of strangers from a nice stage with great sound and cool lights. Lesa joined us again on guitar and vocals on Omnivore and she sang her part on I Just Shot Myself In The Foot Again, in which she also played melodica. I was also nice to have Ken Maiuri playing with us again. We had a crazy slot right after Jounce, which included both Pete's from the great old TV show Pete and Pete. Brian and I also joined Chris Collingwood for his set, so I got to be on stage twice, which is twice as nice. As once.
(with: Elvis Perkins, Chris Harford, Chris Collingwood (of Fountains of Wayne), Jounce (little Pete from Pete and Pete), Butterflies of Love, Gravel Pit, Winterpills, School for The Dead, Dumptruck, Spike Priggen, The Zambonis, Frank Critelli, The Reducers, The Furors)

December 31, 2009 - School for the Dead and The Fawns - The Elevens and Lyman Hall - First Night - Northampton, MA
These are always part of my favorite shows of the year. I really enjoy the energy of the crowd, which is just made up of people who are out and about in Northampton doing nothing but having a good time. We get to play for people who wouldn't ordinarily see us and I always feel proud and renewed that we are able to win them over. Happy New Year.

How about you? Do you have any memories of these shows or photos or videos? How about other shows? Anything stick out in your mind?

1 comment:

sarah g said...

hey henning-
nice wrap-up! i remember the chorus of frogs all too well.

here are a few photos from the rolling stones tribute show!


and some from the show in belchertown!