Hangin' out: No shame makes for good sounds
at Twisted Branch
at Tokyo Rose
The dancing man pleasantly convulsed to the sounds wafting to the street from the balcony of the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. He danced as if he were the only person in the world. He danced like no one was watching. I wasn't envious of his moves, but I wished that I could find it in me to let loose, to be so free of all inhibition and shame that I'd be as oblivious to my surroundings as he was. He was liberated.
The music to which he danced– Vulgar Bulgar– was a different sort than I'm used to hearing on the mall– klezmer. I was amused. Instead of going inside and upstairs, I pulled a chair up to one of the many patio tables just below the balcony– I could still see the band through the Bazaar's open windows, and the music was just as audible as anywhere in the venue. Not to mention, I didn't want to lose sight of the dancing man.
Vulgar Bulgar was good for two reasons. One, they were playing a style that no one else around here (at least that I've seen) plays. That makes them fresh. Two, they seemed to be working the crowd. The sound of people clapping to the beat along with occasional whoops and hollers floated down to street level where I soaked it all in while the dancing man danced.
Now, I'm not the biggest authority on klezmer music, but it seemed to me that Vulgar Bulgar's musicianship was average. I wanted to hear the fiddler's fingers dance more enthusiastically across the strings. Her uninspired solos lacked confidence. Distracted, the dancing man began heckling some well-to-do passersby about the shortcomings of our current President. It was then I realized my dancing man was actually drunken man. It was time to move on
I skated over to Tokyo Rose– mainly to see one of my favorite local bands, Folkskunde. Honestly, what attracts me to these guys I really can't say. In the live setting they make a lot of freshman mistakes (which I don't hold against them because they're young). I guess it's the potential that each one holds as an individual and they have together as a group.
Maybe it's because, like the dancing man, they seem to be without inhibition. Because of it, something really pure shines through. I hope they stay together because I'll enjoy watching them grow. I just hope they bring the blow-up doll to the next show. By then maybe I'll have overcome my own inhibitions enough to talk to her
Photo by Damani Harrison