july's been packed with music like a sausage with intestines. err. let's move on. friendly recommendations, free music festivals, spontaneous nights of soft rock, and dueling piano bars have filled my ears and my time. the highlights:
the avett brothers put on a great show at cityfest. responsive, playful, passionate, and downright good-looking, they shouldn't have been surprised by the warm response they received from the audience. yet they were, leaving with disarming laughter and a jovial: "thank you, detroit! see you next time!"
i'm embarrassed/proud that i found out about le fanfare du belgistan via tweet. i wasn't sure what to expect, but i figured anything described as "a belgian gypsy brass band" was worth a try. they played in the garden dining patio resting percussive instruments on the raised beds used to grow fresh greens and tomatoes for le petit zinc. tom manoury projected his voice through a megaphone to explain that belgistan is wherever you find happiness, peace, and music. "it is here," he said before picking up soprano and alto saxophones, which he played simultaneously. and indeed it was.
"a few years ago, my mom was really worried about me so i wrote this song to let her know that i was fine. which i wasn't. at all. so...this song is a bold-faced lie." and with that greg laswell launched into do what i can. this sort of light-hearted humor about life, fans, and his music marked the entire peformance. on tour with elizabeth & the catapult, his show at the blind pig was a bit of bliss in a very unconventional year for me.
Farewell Yuba, I Hardly Knew Ye. - Good morning! First things first, I've got a new Outside column on Outside's website: It's all about my experiences riding the Yuba Supermarché and the s...