Wednesday, July 2, 2008

the phenomenal Alice Russell and the fiddler who brought down the house

I've said before that I think Alice Russell is fantastic. Well, I just caught her act at the Hotel Cafe, and I take it back. Alice Russell is beyond fantastic, beyond off the hook, just beyond. It was the single best music performance I've ever seen (and I've seen Green Day and Ben Lee and Matchbox Twenty and Third Eye Blind and so on). And it wasn't just her. Her fiddler, Mike Simmonds, was the kind of good that makes you believe in things that aren't real. He just plays so brilliantly--I thought music like that was synthetic or something. Tonight was their last gig in the US, as far as I know, and I'm not sure they're coming back anytime soon, but if you live in Brighton, stalk these people. Or better yet, pay anything to go see them play. The Hotel Cafe was brilliant because it's so small and intimate, but I'd have given my right arm to see them from across a lake. I want to get married to someone rich just so I can hire them to play at my wedding. People would dance compulsively.
I tried to take video, but it didn't work too well. So go buy her music on iTunes. K?

Also, saw In the Valley of Elah. Before I saw Alice Russell, I would have probably expounded on its finer points. But compared to Alice Russell? Please. So Tommy Lee Jones is excellent, and Paul Haggis, as we all know, can make a hell of a movie. That's all I have to say about that.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen