Friday, December 11, 2009
An Extra Special Shattered Wig Night of Extreme Grandeur & Warmth - Friday, Jan. 29th
With very special guest floating about in the crowd brandishing a cocktail: Courtney McCullough
Could it be nearly the end of whatever this last decade was called? The Oughts? The Naughts? How it flew by, taking with it most of my head hair and a lot of what was left of my belief in the goodness of humanity or faith that we can beat all the weird new viruses and microbes and booger bears and religious extremist wack jobs.
But then again the Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music just get reissued on vinyl as did Roscoe Holcomb's "High Lonesome Sound" and The i.e. Series Reader has been published after much anticipation, so I guess there's still some spin left on the over-heated gumball of Earth, even if the polar bears are already being slated to go out next after the art of civilized debate.
How did I get on this, dear reader or two. Maybe it's because I just came from visiting an old friend in the ICU, a wonderfully strange old friend who just happened to be the guy who introduced me to my beloved, where I saw him without consciousness or words stuck to more tubes than I've ever seen in one place. The fact that we had to put on astronaut gear before we could even see him lent an extra otherworldly helplessness and removal from what we know as life. This after hearing the gifted guitarist Jack Rose died at 38 from a heart attack last week. We wish our friend well and all of us each one struggling with this sometimes cold and eery world.
The good and gooder news is the lineup for the next Shattered Wig Night that just happens to also be a bit of a birthday party for former Baltimore bon vivant, musician and Normal's employee, Courtney McCullough. He has just hit the half century mark and his wife Sabra and mother, Sri Rebecca the Desert Vixen, bought him a plane ticket back to Harm City from New Mexico so he could catch this show. I will take this moment to brag that I got lucky and was able to get Brett Sparks of the transcendent Handsome Family to play at Courtney's true birthday party at the Press Club in Albuquerque. There is a small, tiny chance I may be able to land the Family here when they come through Baltimore in the Spring.
As luck would have it, two days before finding out Courtney would be here, I had gotten a call from Amanda Pollock, another Baltimore legend who ran back in the '90s, looking for a booking. Amanda is an incredible vocalist, kind of in the soul folk category, who has done time with The Barnyard Playboys, The Velvet Mafia, Cloaca and many others, but also has always been mainly a solo vocalist with her own guitar accompaniment. She has a new duo in New York called Redbird and I'm excited to hear what she's been up to the last year besides writing twisted memoirs for her writing class.
Also performing is another great duo, this one local - Sea Couch, consisting of Dan Dorsey on banjo ukulele and regular uke and his fiance Amanda Copeland (she of the brightest smile) on banjo. Both warble pleasingly. Dan has the most clean picking style I've heard lately. He also plays in The Same Damn Thing and was in the Pasadena supergroup The Jumping Off Point and Other Moments of Grace. He also did this show's flyer, pictured above, saving me from another one of my tacky '80s School cut and pastes.
Knowing that Courtney would be in town for this special event, I had to muscle his favorite musician, John Dierker, into playing. Solo. Naked soul up against the wall of Oblivian demanding answers.
Our visiting reader this show is a novelist I've been wanting to book for a while, Goodloe Byron, author of The Abstract and Revisions Of. The Abstract truly reminds me at times of Flann O'Brien and Phil Dick, which is some fine company. Plus Goodloe is an interesting 21st Century Lamont Cranston kind of presence so I'm curious to hear him hold forth.
And of course it wouldn't truly count as Shattered Wig Night without Blaster Al. He's been on a particularly good roll of late, despite his recent mugging right on the front porch where he and I live with the reclusive millionaire Shuggie Berndt. The streets of this town are starting to really feel sinsiter again. Times are beyond hard. Rigor mortis stiff to the point of twisting.
At the 14 Karat Cabaret. Doors open at 9pm and the cover charge is a whopping $6 since we're top heavy with performers, aged ones, ones that have various monkeys to keep in silk smoking jackets.