Friday, October 26, 2007

The Zippers

Imagine you fell at the bottom of a glass filled with your favorite cocktail. And you can taste 2-3-4-5-10 different amazing liquids and you can’t even name them all, but you love the whole mixture and you just forget where you are, who you are, what you’re witnessing. You’re high, and happy.
That’s what The Squirrel Nut Zippers “feel” like. Because, yes, they “feel” like, and not just “sound like”.
You hear rock’n’roll and old Louisiana blues, and bluegrass, and you hear French chansonnettes singers, maybe even Edith Piaf’s trembling voice?!, and Italian canzonets, and Spanish accords, and you wind with the rhythm and you’re not sure where you’re taken next? Broadway? (it’s a vaudeville, you know?!), New Orleans?, Vegas?, Italy?, Mountains of North Carolina?, France?, the Mississippi delta?, or maybe Spain, too? … You hear every instrument invented for an orchestra, violin and trumpet, a sax, and even a tuba, a mandolin, drums, piano, and all sorts of “noise” makers, including little baby cow bells!
It’s all a harmony of sounds; they all dialogue with each other, and they have this amazing, kaleidoscopic conversation that seems never ending and peaceful.
Although they’re all dressed up in suits and she’s wearing a classy 50’s “puffy” dress, their shoes are a mixture of everything as well: from cowboy boots to tennis shoes (Jimbo, of course), to stilettos and moccasins, you name it, they’re wearing it. Then you have hugely metro-sexual-looking fellows, mixed with raggedy looking heartthrobs, and clean cut piano players, see a cowboy hat and freshly done salon hair!
Again: take a sip and enjoy the mix!!
What Katherine (Whalen) does with her legs and shoulders would hypnotize the coldest of souls (or bodies?!) and is only surpassed by her so “eclectic” voice, climbing up and down and allures all the guys on the stage around her. Such a heartbreaker! You can’t help but thinking that what seems so easy and sexy and “easy” (the other meaning of “easy”) is oh so calculated and precise, to fit the role! Having done this for a million years, she knows the tricks! And they all work. She’s such a star.
The guitar and sax players (of course) were the handsomest to me, but the violin player was amazingly talented!!! And my favorite of course was Jimbo! He will always look to me like a little kid wearing his big brother’s pajamas and loving life! Every pore in that man’s body breathes music! The wide-open-eye look of his face, always curious, his dance, his incredibly powerful voice for such a feeble body, his guitar playing which is so mighty fine, as he would himself say, are all the pure expression of his love, his un-denied passion for what he does. He brings it all on stage. Leaves nothing at home. Watching him, you have the feeling that all he owns, all he will ever own, is right there on his stage. He’s quite naked otherwise! That’s the sign of a true artist, I think. He is one with the art. You can’t picture his digs, his car?!, God, no! As long as that man has that guitar, he will have a grin on his face and his feet will be moving! And he will be alive. Everything else is … accidental… He plays with the simple and sincere joy of a kid that just got the toy he has been saving for for a year! His innocence and honesty about what he does are transparent and so refreshing! He is hypnotic, too, for different reasons that Katherine…
Yes, I was drunk without even drinking anything at this one. Drunk with happiness and purity… One regret: they should not have this show in an auditorium. It attracts way too many tight ass people and no one dances. This fantastic music is made for people to FEEL it. Next time, by God, I will make the show at Ziggy’s, so I won’t have to do the Scarlett dance all night, you know: sitting on the chair and allowing only your feet to move! Not again! My hips are jealous of my feet now …

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