Monday, April 23, 2018

The F Word: Sing, sing, sing

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 4:39 PM

The F Word. An online column for Frank De Blase to pontificate, ruminate, placate, and salivate. We'll have reviews and previews, we'll discuss trends in local and national music scenes, and we'll try to do it as reverently as possible. Yup. Let's get started.

For this week’s F Word, we’re coming up with songs that have numbers in them, kind of like license plate bingo: “9 to 5,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Eight Days a Week,” “One,” “It Takes Two,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Ten Years Gone,” “Take Five,” “99 Problems,” and so on.

And of course, you can’t leave out Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.” A quick ring on the phone from Steve Gadd brought Simon and the song to a gobsmacked, starstruck audience in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre last night.

Let me back up and explain a little. Last night proved to be a Prime Time, funkified, celebratory affair at the seventh induction ceremony for the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. The show was completely sold out and stayed that way for more than four hours; my butt is still asleep. From the opening segment with Alyssa Coco, Bree Draper, and Danielle Ponder to the cacophonous collision at the night’s conclusion that included all inductees and guests jamming on Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” it was a show to remember.
My only complaint was the show’s flow; it dragged a little. All the nominees are each prolific artists in their own right, but they could have trimmed their sections just a bit. However, the Tony Levin and Steve Gadd portion of the evening could have gone on forever. Gadd positively rocked the vibes while Levin redefined the bass before our very ears — all before giving us a lesson in how to leave your lover from the leaver himself, Paul Simon.

Simon, a secret surprise guest, approached the mic and asked if the crowd had any requests. Rabid shouting ensued and continued until Simon said in his classic deadpan “I don’t take requests.” He did however, play “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” — Gadd wrote and recorded the song’s drums — and “Late In The Evening,” which Levin wrote the bassline for.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention John Beck’s solo piece — before going over to the drums to regale us with a jumpin’ version of “Sing, Sing, Sing” — and The Campbell Brothers, who over the years have drained my vocabulary of superlatives and hyperbole. Suffice it to say, they move me to tears … Hey, that’s another one: “99 Tears.”

I Scene It

This past Saturday was Record Store Day, where at the Bop Shop they had guest DJs spinning 7-inch nuggets from their personal stash, like Greg Townson, who spun my request of Bill Haley’s “40 Cups of Coffee” (there are those numbers again).

Over at the Record Archive, Hanna PK played with her group The Blue Hearts and rocked the house. It was the best she’s ever sounded. She sang pretty and played gritty. She rocked and rolled, bopped and strolled, all over the baby grand’s eighty-eights. I’d like to hear her do Connie Allen’s “Rocket 69” or Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88,” considered by some to be the first rock ‘n’ roll record. I just know she’d do a number on them.

Later that evening at Sticky Lips BBQ City Music Hall, I saw Nobody’s Marigold in the dark. It’s not like the lights were down for atmosphere; there were none. They sounded great augmenting themselves around new stuff with a nod to their former Raw Magillys selves. I know it ain’t new, but I like it, like it, yes I do.

Play Along with the F Word

In this week’s cover story, “Parkinson’s, cannabis, and hope,” I threw in a Chuck Berry lyric. If you can find the lyric in there, you’ll win a new local CD. Name the song it’s from and you’ll get two. Email me at the address below.

By the Way

Mary Gauthier plays Tuesday at Lovin’ Cup, for those who dig their happy mixed with some adroit bittersweet. And Friday, April 27, it’s the new and improved Hi-Risers at The Arbor Loft. See you there.

Any questions? Any answers? E-mail me here at frank@rochester-citynews.com. F-out.

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