Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Helen was busting her buttons...

Sunday night. Rock and Roll. Burgers and fries. Forty eight people. Four encores.

This joint was jumpin.

We held another muziekavond on Sunday. As ever, the night began with a grand feed and wine offering, with friends coming through the door in scores. The bell would ring and I'd open the door to another six or eight people. It was incredible. New friends and old showed up for our fourth muziekavond, themed "A Concise History of Rock and Roll."

Mysteriously-linked-come-dear-friend Carole Dahlem brought us eight amazing original prints of rock and roll photographs from the Rock Archive gallery, where she works as a sales consultant. The moment they darkened our doors, our living room became a sanctuary for great lyrics and tough choruses and the crazy magic that still happens when you hear anything from The Joshua Tree. These artists, these desperados who shape souls with their battle cries for love and equality, sex, drugs, and everything in between were here on our walls. They were altar boys ushering in the gods of Illumination and Impulse. And we welcomed them with open arms.

These prints are truly amazing. First hand accounts of these artists as real and passionate beings. For any of you reading this in Amsterdam, take the time to go visit the gallery on Prinsengracht. Bike against the wind up hill both ways, if you have to. Trust me, you won't be sorry. Click here to get to their website.

Rindert Meijer, professor of history at the Conservatory, began the evening with an introduction to rock music...from its roots in African traditions of communal music through the blues and R&B to rockabilly and Elvis. He played a BBC documentary as well, emphasizing the history with amazing video footage from 50-60 years ago of Leadbelly and Hank Williams and countless others.

Rindert is an accomplished historian with a great knack for telling stories and connecting dots. It was such a pleasure to have him be a part of this. He set the tone perfectly.

To close the night, I sang and played a set of tunes familiar to most - (dedicated to Janae and Ansel) NY State of Mind (Billy Joel), Purple Rain (Minnesota native Prince), Here Comes the Sun (the Beatles), King of Pain (the Police), and Landslide (Fleetwood Mac). But beyond the usual piano/mic combo, Dave helped me rig our acoustic piano (which also has MIDI - digital - output/input) up to his computer. So we were able to run all sorts of various sounds and effects through both the mic AND the piano. It was so dang cool. A whole new realm of possibilities. Stay tuned for recordings in the near future.

And the music didn't stop there...It seemed that our music gods weren't content with the offering until we had gone through another four tunes as an added encore. Brown Eyed Girl had everyone singing at the top of their lungs.

Thanks to Asif, we have some great photos from the night. I've included a few here...Carole and Rindert speaking, me singing and playing, and Dave being the sound engineer (on our first date, he told me point blank that he would someday love to be my sound engineer-slash-roadie...dreams really do come true, honey! Be careful what you wish for!). If you want to see a bigger selection of pix, click here.

Thank you to all who joined us on Sunday. It was an amazing night and Dave and I had such a blast entertaining. We'll see you on March 9th for a totally different musical selection - an evening of new music for string quartet.

Keep on rockin in the free world.


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