Wednesday, November 5, 2008

[The Record Crate] Stevie Wonder is appearing at the Manship Theatre (maybe)

Editor’s note: As of Wednesday morning, tickets are not available through the Manship Theatre’s Web site. 225 will keep you posted on any updates to the show.

From the Manship Theatre Web site: J2 Youth & Family Center presents 1st Annual Fundraiser- An Intimate Evening w/ Stevie Wonder & special guest. Fundraiser for Family Social Service Organization, silent auction & concert. Tickets: $350 performance & pre reception in Brunner Gallery at 4:00 p.m. $100 & $200 tickets available for performance only at 6:30 p.m.

This article was written as people were dragging out to the polls early Tuesday morning, but by the time you read this, we should be at a peak of community spirit fueled by joy/outrage at the results of the national and state elections, but like any other “big day” like a birth or a marriage or landing a job, it is but the beginning—the real important part comes with what you do with that momentum down the line, and how you keep cynicism and entropy at bay.

I saw community spirit in action this week at the Carlotta Street party, where the event had the perfect balance of unhinged DIY fun and cooperation among the neighborhood residents, partygoers and city officials. Spring Break Shark Attack! proved once again to be one of the most consistently exciting live acts in the city, and I got a chance to see newcomers An Empire at Sea, an ambitious guitar and drums duo that with a minimum of effects and personnel effectively cover the orchestrated-instrumental-rock spectrum. Costumed revelers, DJ Otto, a beer truck even—The Carlotta Street Party has grown into a real event. Kudos to the organizers and participants for making things happen.

So successful was the party that only a handful made it out to see Vic Chesnutt, in my opinion one of our finest contemporary songwriters, play a sweet, intimate set with Elf Power, who serve as his backing band on his latest album, Dark Developments. Vic was in excellent spirits and the playful charm that embodies much of his material came through with his parlor-sized nylon guitar and his earthy croon. Probably not the best night for business, but having a near private audience with one of my all-time favorite performers worked out just fine for me.

I suspect there will be more of a crowd for Regina Carter’s two shows at the Manship Theatre this week. In the music pantheon, Regina Carter sticks out as a female jazz violinist, but her deep knowledge of classical and jazz as well as musical acumen transcends any novelty her choice of instrumentation might imply. Her albums Motor City Moments (reimagining R&B and jazz tunes from her home town of Detroit) and Paganini: After a Dream (combining classical, jazz, and Latin strategies in idiosyncratic homage to the master of the violin) offer a glimpse of what this sparkling talent will have to offer at the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. performances at the Manship Theatre this Thursday.

Brightblack Morning Light is a group that takes a communal approach to creating an atmospheric groove that is so laid back, it nearly falls over. Their latest record, Motion to Rejoin, finds the group mining the psychedelic folky throb as on their earlier records, but with more finesse, more command of their muse. This band may not be exactly driving the spirit train, but they have finally gotten a hold of the reins. Soak it all in at their Spanish Moon performance on Friday.

And maybe I’m stretching things to view participation in a music scene as a microcosm of the larger culture, but if I may make that analogy - we are living in interesting times. The establishments that have long been condemned to sapping the life out of things are tumbling down, and the responsibility for building it, guiding it and supporting it is now in all of our hands. Cultural assets are like any other: if we take what they give is, we are stuck with what we get, but when we guide these things with our support, the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, Nov. 5
Mike Foster Project at Chelsea’s

Thursday, Nov. 6
Regina Carter at Manship Theatre
Pat Green at The Varsity
Andrew Duhon and Kelcy Mae Band at North Gate Tavern
Livin’ the Music Singer/Songwriter Fundraiser at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s
John Gray & Existential Audio at The M Bar

Friday, Nov. 7
Brightblack Morning Light at Spanish Moon
Eric Lindell at Chelsea’s
Chee-Weez at The Varsity
The Tomatoes and Horseshoes & Handgrenades at North Gate Tavern
Hughes & Rae and Blaine Roy & Second Wind at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s

Saturday, Nov. 8
sBACH, Panthalassa, and You & Me Got Faces at Spanish Moon
The Ryan Moock Band at North Gate Tavern
The Circuitbreakers at Teddy’s Juke Joint

Sunday, Nov. 9
Stevie Wonder and india.arie at the Manship Theatre
Big Al & The Heavyweights at Teddy’s Juke Joint

Monday, Nov. 10
Dirty Dozen Brass Band at The Varsity

Tuesday, Nov. 11
Perpetual Groove at The Varsity

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