Jesse L. Spicer is a man obsessed. Not with stamp collecting or American naval history or vintage amps with perfect tone, but with The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. He's obsessed with the late, great James Brown.
2007 didn't have the flash of controversy surrounding all-ages shows of previous years. It was more like a slow illness. Blue Dragon shut its doors. The Curio opened and closed. Space Maybe winked in and out of existence. Sol Arts announced its closure just weeks ago.
After 10 years of making music in The Big Spank, singer-guitarist Mike Garcia has seen his band go from an ultra-young, semi-serious ska-punk band to a bilingual pop-rock group that risks sanity and starvation to tour the country 11 months out of the year. One thing hasn't changed, though.
Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW, 243-0878) says “adieu” to 2007 with a masquerade soirée and toast-worthy tracks spun by DJ Losack. Bring a mask and a 21+ ID (with a D.O.B. before 1987, if you’re keeping score). No cover. (LM)
You can’t swing a dented saxophone without hitting a female jazz singer these days. Most have something to offer, but only a handful bring the complete package to the table, as does Gretchen Parlato on her first CD. Superb vocal control and uncanny musicality allow her to dive to the bottom of a song without rippling its surface. Backed by an empathetic combo throughout, she opens with a stunningly ingenuous rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark” over a Latin rhythm and continues to captivate with tunes by Djavan, Björk, Loueke, Jobim and Shorter. Find it on CDBaby.com and iTunes. (MM)