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A Dyke About Town: Lots of hot summertime performances
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A Dyke About Town: Lots of hot summertime performances

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Laughing Lady Café Music Festival
Mercy and her friend Jousts went to the opening performance at the inaugural Laughing Lady Music Festival. A. J. Shanti was playing guitar and singing along with keyboardist and vocalist Dora Benc, A. J. has this wonderful high hair that reminded Jousts of Elvis. Jousts also admired the way Shanti moved her hips while she played, and her beautiful butch voice. Bencs keyboards and vocals were well-tempered.

Mercy liked A. J.s sweet rocking song Head and Brandy, with the line She fills my head with cotton candy. And also her rabble-rousing White Picket Fences, with gonna fight for my right to be free/ fight for my right to piss without anyone staring at me/ and before & gonna fight for my right to kiss/ without someone staring at me. 

Mercy and Cuteness went back to the second night of the festival. Cuteness liked how beautiful the venue was, its ambience fed by good art. Alicia Healey warmed up the evening with a rendition of her beautiful song, Youll Be Safe Tonight, which Mercy and Cuteness decided to add to their commitment ceremony play list: Youll be safe tonight/ cause here in my arms nothing bad can harm you/ music down low, candles flame by the open window/ Youll be safe tonight.

Healys voice was rich and guitar playing right on. Her songs Another Round and Fly the Moon were also high points.

Amber Darland then took the stage with her big voice and lively guitar. Alicia Healey backed her up on vocals and various instruments. Darlands song Fall Down, about falling in love on a motorcycle, made Mercy and Cuteness smile. What If and Learn to Bend were pleasing love songs by Amber. Without Blame and Time for Today were good reminders to stay present. Darlands Super Eight made Mercy and Cuteness laugh and shout Yee-haw!

Eric Bibb
Mercy and Cuteness went to see Eric Bibb at the Triple Door and were blown away by his big blues voice and knowing guitar work. He started the set with a rich rendition of Staggerlee. He asked the audience to be quiet, because the room was so resonant every sound was multiplied. Bibb said, I enjoy playing, when I can really get into the details. Cuteness was happy that he had made that request. People did respond and quiet down, allowing Bibb to deepen into his performance.

One of his songs, Pockets, is a new favorite of Mercy and Cuteness. Before I met you baby/ I had a pocket full of cares/ Last time I looked /There wasnt any there.

Other high points were Needed Time, and a combination of I Heard the Angels Sing and Didnt the Lord Deliver Daniel. Bibb had Ralph Doherty join him with his big-voiced harmonica on a new song, New Home.

Another Bibb song that made Mercy and Cuteness smile was Cup and Saucer. She likes her coffee/ I gotta have my tea/ ever since I met her/ things started looking up/ We go together like a saucer and cup. The singer topped the evening off with a rich rendition of Tell Riley.

One drawback to the night was that the service was so uneven. The waitstaff never brought water or a candle, or took the menu away, or the dirty silverware. Dessert was so slow in coming that Mercy and Cuteness thought it had been forgotten. Cuteness thinks the staff is overloaded, and that it is awkward to serve in the dark. She also thinks the system of having different waiters take orders and bring the food contributes to the confusion. The music at the Triple Door is so good, Mercy and Cuteness want them to do well. The difficulties with the waiting make it hard to completely enjoy the place.

Seattle Chamber Music Festival
Mercy took her friend Regalness Laughsalot to the third performance of the Seattle Chamber Music Festival. Next year, the Chamber Music Summer Festival is moving to Benaroya Hall. Mercy was relieved to learn that they will still pipe the music outside as they have done at Lakeside.

The recital offering of Faures Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major by Amy Schwartz Moretti and Andrew Armstrong was delicious. Morettis explanation of the background of the piece was helpful. Her violin work was precise and melded well with Armstrongs expressive piano.

The concert started with Mozarts Quartet for Piano and Strings in G Minor K 478 with Soovin Kim, and Scott St. John on violin, Toby Saks on cello and Andrew Armstrong on piano. It was beautiful music flawlessly performed. Regalness was impressed with Kims posture and the way he sat on the very edge of his seat. Being a person of some age, she does yoga to keep her body in tune. So, she knows how hard it is to sit that straight.

The second piece was Schuberts Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in B-Flat Major, Op 99 D.898. Augustin Hedelich played violin, Robert deMaine cello and Jeremy Denk piano. The ensemble was in synch and superb. The concert closed with Ernest Blochs Quintet for Piano and Strings No. 1. Amy Schwatz Morettis violin, James Ehnes violin, Richard ONeils viola, Bion Tsangs cello and Adam Neimans piano met the requirements of the big, bold piece.

Suzanne Westenhoefer
Mercy talked to Suzanne Westenhoefer about the fact that the comedian is planning to perform on the Sweet Inaugural Caribbean cruise in November. Mercy started by complimenting Westenhoefer on being a trailblazer as an out Lesbian performer in various media. Suzanne said the image of trailblazer reminded her of shoveling snow where she grew up in Pennsylvania. Mercy asked her where she lives now, and Suzanne answered LA. Mercy said, You dont want to be doing any literal trailblazing, where you are now.

Mercy asked Westenhoefer how she felt about preparing to perform on the first Sweet cruise. Suzanne said she has been a supporter of the new Lesbian cruise company since before it started, because her partner is a friend of Sweet CEO Shannon Wentworth. The comic also said she is impressed with how Wentworth brings her politics to the cruises by doing carbon offsets and creating the opportunity for participants to do volunteer work along the way, so it is possible to go on a cruise without leaving a burnt place on the planet. She also likes the fact that Sweet allows people 12 months to pay, breaking the low price into smaller chunks.

Westenhoefer feels everyone on the cruise is going to be goofy with excitement about being on the first one. She says it is like having the opportunity to go back and be at the first Michigan Womens Music Festival. The cruise lines website address is discoversweet.com

Suzanne is also coming to Seattle to the Triple Door, July 31. Their web address is www.tripledoor.com.

Coming Up
Mercy plans to hear more of the Chamber Music Festival, part of the time, sitting on the lawn. Come join her. www.seattlechambermusic.org.

She also looks forward to the Lesbian classic play, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, at Woman Seeking & Theater West. www.womanseeking.org/west.

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