When vocalist Gretchen Parlato performs a song, she doesn’t so much inhabit it as become inhabited by it, living and breathing a musical and emotional life that is inseparable from the artist. Her singing is personal, and therefore it’s immediate and resonant—and because of that, apparently artless.
When I first heard Zoe Boekbinder’s beautiful Artichoke Perfume, I thought it sounded like the musical child of Jolie Holland and Joanna Newsom had joined the circus and made an album. Not only do other people compare her to Holland, Boekbinder (pronounced “Bookbinder”) lists the musician as an influence, too. But the Oakland-based Canadian is hesitant to label her sound.
Jazz, Deconstructed, a new four-concert series, features local artists with visionary projects that stretch from New Orleans’ Congo Square to an electrocoustic jazz/hip-hop detente.
She beckons with her ... eyes. Also, her tetas. One of the best things about Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) is that there’s continuously been local art on the punk rock bar’s walls since it opened in May 2003. (Do we smell a birthday coming on?) Atomic’s not afraid to hang pop art, risqué or abstract, along with other beautiful and weird works by 505 faves. This month, drop by to see paintings by Christina Aristmuño, David Gatt, Megan Cronin, John Henry Hansen, Amanda Banker, Heather Cronin, Sunita Aristmuño, George Evans, Rodney Ibarra, Jay Smithline and Melinda Casey; photography by Crystal Sims, John Salazar and Nathan Paolinelli; ink work by Jeff Hayes; and mixed media by Kevin Hopper and Sharon Chang. (Marisa Demarco)
Despite the stereotypically cheesy cover art that will probably shoo away non-Deadheads (as usual), Crimson, White & Indigo (or “7/7/89”) includes a whole lot more than the mindless hippie drool suggested by the horrible ponytails worn by Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia at the time. Just one year before his fatal drug overdose, keyboardist Brent Mydland delivered an improvised monologue that was both uplifting and jarring during “Blow Away” and was really the MVP of this charged evening in Philly. The band also covered Willie Dixon, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford and Bob Dylan, and mesmerized the huge audience with its often-peaking space-folk, highlighted by poet Robert Hunter’s powerful lyrics in “Box of Rain” and “Wharf Rat.” Proof that the Dead were an impressively diverse and effectual band well after the ’60s.