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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 17, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 51
A Dyke About Town: Béla Fleck show incredible
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Béla Fleck show incredible

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Béla Fleck

Mercy's friend Reality came with her to see Béla Fleck and the Flectones at Jazz Alley on December 12 because Cuteness had child care responsibilities. Reality liked the way Fleck reinterprets old chestnuts and makes them fresh - particularly Christmas music he's tired of hearing the Muzak equivalents of.

Reality also found Victor Wooton, the bass player, amazing. His guitar work wasn't in the background as most bass players are, but up front and deservedly earning more attention than usual.

Mercy felt Béla's virtuoso banjo, Jeff Coffins' delicious horns and woodwinds, and Wooton's guitar exchanged licks at high levels of improvisation. Reality pointed out that that happened more in the live performances than on CDs. Another part of the band, Futureman - playing the synthaxe drumitar, an instrument of his own invention - added to the fun. The band has played together for 22 years. Reality says they clearly enjoy each other. 'And respect each other,' Mercy added.

Their opening number, 'Silent Night,' was a good example of the band taking a song apart and putting it back together again. A solo guitar medley of 'Norwegian Wood,' 'Sugar Plum Fairy,' 'Merry Christmas to You,' and 'Jingle Bells' made Reality whisper 'Sweet.' Mercy agreed.

Fleck introduced their rendition of 'Twelve Days of Christmas' by saying it was the most difficult piece they play - in fact, the most difficult thing ever done in Western music. They play each day in a different key and signature. Mercy was impressed.

Alash, the Siberian Tuvan throat singers, joined in and sang 'Twelve Days of Christmas.' They also did a traditional piece that communicated nicely.

Béla played a beautiful original untitled solo. He got a standing ovation and brought out his band to play 'What Child Is This' while the throat singers played another Siberian piece.

The Long Way Home
Mercy had a lot of fun with Rachel Spangler's new romance The Long Way Home. The story deliberately reverses the classic Gay story about escaping small town mentalities to a big city. Raine St. James, famous Lesbian writer and speaker, returns to her hometown to teach at the local college. Beth Devoroux has stayed there and become the college librarian. Attraction and love develop, along with some well-written sex scenes.

Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Don Carlo
Mercy and her friends enjoyed very much the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of the rarely performed opera Don Carlo. Mercy enjoyed some girl to girl flirtation when Anna Smirnova in the role of Eboli sang to one of her servants, played by a woman in a pants role. Marina Poplavskaya was convincing as Elizabeth. Assonance said her face was as expressive as Betty Davis'. Ferruccio Furlanetto's singing and acting were right on as King Phillip. Roberto Alagna's voice was beautiful in the title role. His acting wasn't up to the level of the rest of the cast. Mercy's friend Kapacity pointed out that it is new to expect opera singers to act. Mercy added that seeing faces close-up in the filmed performances makes the singers' acting more visible.

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BEST OF MUSIC 2010: Hottest artists of the year
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Cris Williamson performs at ChorusCares Concert 2010
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Arnaldo! performs an impeccable holiday cabaret
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A Christmas Story a holiday gift
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A Dyke About Town: Béla Fleck show incredible
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BEST OF MUSIC 2010: Sleigh Bells reveal their year's favorites and holiday plans
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BEST OF MUSIC 2010: Albums and Singles
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The worst music of 2010
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VIDEO - President Obama Signs Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
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Tenderness helps Phillip Morris rise above crass jokes
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Visually stunning TRON a boring retread
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Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
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Lashes pulls off two fundraisers in one night
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BEST OF MUSIC 2010 Live Performances
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Yo-Yo, Schwarz, Shostakovich: An unbeatable combo
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Jean Shepherd's classic A Christmas Story turns into a musical for 5th Avenue
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'PRIDE IN THE CITY' MARKS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL VANCOUVER PRIDE TO DATE.
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Gay singer-songwriter getting national buzz, in Seattle this weekend
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