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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 02
A Dyke About Town: Pearl Django consummate performers
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Pearl Django consummate performers

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Pearl Django Pearl Django's performance at Jazz Alley on January 4 made Mercy and Cuteness very happy. Michael Gray's violin was luscious. David Lange's accordion was delicious. Troy Chapman's lead guitar was smart. Ryan Hoffman's rhythm guitar was right on. Rick Leppanen's bass was funky.

Michael Gray's manner as emcee was engaging. They opened with Cole Porter's 'Begin the Beguine,' featuring accordion, violin and guitar. 'Under Paris Skies' followed with violin, guitar, and accordion.

Their guest, guitarist Martin Taylor, joined them. He was an entertaining storyteller and masterful guitarist. The next number, 'Madame Abicot,' was an original of Taylor's and featured him, Gray, and Lange. Taylor wrote the next tune at a cafe Django Rheinhardt liked to go to and he named it after the place: 'Chez Fordache.' It showed up Taylor, Lange, and Gray.

A Django Rheinhardt tune, 'Swing 48,' followed. Gray said, 'Everyone up here is going to solo,' and that was true in spades. Django Rheinhardt's most famous tune, 'Nuage,' was next, featuring Chapman, Taylor, Gray, and Lange.

Taylor, Gray, and Hoffman were the focus of another Taylor original, 'La Touche.' 'Last Train to Hootville,' yet another of Taylor's tunes, showed up Taylor, the violin, and the accordion. 'Ricado Bosa Nova' featured Gray, Lange, Martin, and Chapman. 'Swing 42' focused on Gray, Martin, Lange, and Chapman.

Gray said, 'As usual, we made our set list too long.' An audience member said, 'That's OK.' Michael responded, 'You can live with that.'

The song 'Smile,' by Charlie Chaplin, focused on Martin, Lange, and Gray. Michael announced 'Besa Me Mucho,' featuring the guitar section, with Martin, Chapman, and Hoffman challenging each other to successive heights. 'Minor Swing' with Martin, Chapman, Lange, and Gray, closed on a high.

Spanking New
Mercy had enjoyed Clifford Henderson's novel, Middle of Somewhere, so much she went looking for her new one, Spanking New. That book has a very fresh take on life. It is about a floating soul choosing parents so she can be born again. She has the ability to see into the thoughts of her parents, and their friends and families. The soul has a wry perspective on things like the war in Iraq. She figures out she is going to be a Lesbian, so she has some fears about the homophobia she observes. Spanking New is a very fun read.

Metropolitan Opera Auditions
Mercy has enjoyed the Metropolitan Opera local auditions in the past. Join her for this year's on Sunday, January 16 at 1 p.m. in University of Washington's Meany Hall.

La Fanciulla del West
The Met's HD broadcast of La Fanciulla del West was excellent. Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani sang and acted well in the lead roles and had good energy together. Kapacity said the set was amazing. Cuteness found the scenes with the large chorus wearing boots on a hardwood floor almost drowned out the singing. She felt Voigt met the challenge of going from innocent but tough, to destroyed by the knowledge her lover is a bandit, and then to strong. Assonance said it was nice to see a woman with so much power. She found it implausible that Ramirez would ask the townspeople not to let Minnie know he had been hanged. Wouldn't it break her heart more to think he had left her? Cuteness pointed out there were too many drunks in town to trust a secret like that wouldn't get out. Assonance also thought Ramirez and Minnie escaping was a comedy ending tacked on to a tragedy in an unconvincing way.

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