|Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 10:08 am: |
MD/DC/VA (plus any interested in Philadelphia/southern NJ): the 5/18 Big Orange Tarp (BOT) gig is part of an all-day block party, with GrooveLily fans invited by the organizers.
I haven't heard back from the organizers on their promotion plans, but the general plan is set. The street (Southern Ave.) will be blocked off, and GrooveLily will most likely set up on the front lawn of 2801 Southern Ave. The band is scheduled to start playing at 4:00, and there will be a song circle (a staple of folk-type events) that evening. I haven't heard anything about food/drink, but since it's a block party, I don't think that will be a problem . At worst, there are food places within a couple of blocks.
2801 Southern Ave. is in northeast Baltimore, extending west of Harford Rd (MD141). I suggest using MapQuest or the like for directions. You can also contact the organizers (see the Gigs page) for information, directions, and parking suggestions.
Hope to see you there,
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 12:50 pm: |
Yeah, this is definitely within commuting distance for any and all GL fans from NJ and points south. Here's the schedule, as provided by one the organizers, Carl Pelton. Looks like our favorite band hits the stage ca. 4pm.
1st Annual SOUTHERN AVENUE Block Party
Saturday, May 18, 2002
12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.
“Building Community: One block at a time”
• 12:00 – 3:45 -- Nurture your inner artist! Collaborate with HERAN and your neighbors to create a giant street-chalk mural.
• 2:00 – 3:30 Make music! Kids of all ages are encouraged to create homeade or bring favorite musical instruments
• 3:30 Block Parade. Wonder why we were making instruments? Join your neighbors and parade up and down the street.
• 3:45 Neighborly potluck dinner – bring a dishto pass and your own table ware, lawn chairs . . . Picnic set up in the 2800 block. Picnic by our street mural
• 4:00 Peltonian Embassy House Concerts and Folkmusic.org present “Groovelily” under the “Big Orange Tarp” on the front lawn of 2801 Southern Avenue. Enjoy your picnic and groove with your neighbors to the sounds of this fabulous band (www.groovelily.com) Donations to help “pay the band” are appreciated.
I'm still waiting for driving directions from Carl, but Jim's suggestion to use MapQuest http://www.mapquest.com makes sense. And NE Balt. means that it's just that much closer for folks coming from the northern reaches of the GL empire. -CL
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 1:32 pm: |
The approach from the north is pretty straightforward: I-95 to I-695 west to exit 31 south, which is Harford Rd (MD147, not MD 141). Coming from DC and the surrounding area is a bit more squirrelly, involving driving through Baltimore. I definitely suggest using MapQuest for that.
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 4:15 pm: |
What happens once you're on MD147? Thanks. -CL
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 8:06 pm: |
I've only been through there on the way up to the SMAF, but (heading south from 695) you go about 4 miles, into the Lauraville section. After you pass Echodale Rd, Southern is about the 7th street on the right. Southern is a one-way eastbound, however, so you should turn right (west) onto Halcyon, then left onto either Elsrode or Morello, and park there. Greg (the organizer contact) should be able to give more precise parking instructions. If I recall correctly, 2801 (where the band will be based) is on the corner of Southern and Elsrode.
If you're coming from the south, I still suggest checking with MapQuest. The best route looks to be 95 to Moravia road West (exit 60), which becomes Cold Spring Rd, then right onto Harford, then the third left onto Halcyon. I ended up wandering through some *real* interesting neighborhoods when I scouted the site last weekend.
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 8:19 pm: |
Thanks, Jim. Perhaps we could caravan behind the GL van, as I suspect they know to get there. If/when I hear from Carl, I'll pass the driving info along. -CL
|Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 9:37 am: |
Just as a note to anyone coming Saturday: The Preakness (thorobred horse race) is also Saturday. Pimlico Race Course is about 5 miles west of the gig site, but traffic may still be an issue. If you're coming from the north, you should be okay by taking I-95 to I-695 west to MD147 south (Exit 31). Coming from the west and south may be more problematic. I think DC/northern VA people should probably ignore MapQuest (which takes you through downtown Baltimore. Instead, a better bet might be to take I-95 north to I-895 (Harbor Tunnel), then exit 14 west onto Moravia Rd, which takes you to Harford Rd (MD147).
Hope to see Petal Pushers there,
|Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 10:59 am: |
Here are the directions I just rec'd from Carl Pelton to the BOT gig (these are for those coming from I-95) and expand on what JimG recently posted:
From I-95 take 695 west toward Towson. Take Rte. 147 south (Harford Rd., Exit 31?). Go about 3.5 miles (you will pass Southern Ave. one way on your right) make next right on to List Ave start looking for parking. Our house 2801 Southern is one block over to your right. Phone 410 -319-9865.
Hope to see folks there! -CL
|Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 12:02 pm: |
Thanks, Charlie. We're tag-teaming again on messages.
If you're coming from the south, List is one block north of Monrovia/Cold Spring on your left.
|Posted on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 9:19 pm: |
Well, I've either given away (set list to Charlie), or lost during cleanup my various notes, but impressions from today's show:
-The sight of Brendan noodling around with a mini-keyboard on a children's book (think of an battery-cell version of a kiddy piano). Brendan emceeing the pre-concert parade of neighborhood kids. Val kneeling in the street to play the solo in Phantom Lover for one of the kids. Val sitting on the walkway steps and bending over backwards to play during Odometer Song, bringing to mind the shots of the Cyndi Lauper tour. Gene scatting through Day of Reckoning. Having someone tell me that she'd passed copies of all the CDs to the dean of the Baltimore folk music scene, and that he was going to start playing GrooveLily music on his radio show. Listening to the reaction of the audience, most of whom were seeing and hearing GrooveLily for the first (but not last) time.
-The weatherman lied when he predicted highs in the mid-60s. The rain ended around noon, but it didn't get above the mid-50s. This resulted in cold fingers (Val) and toes (Brendan, who ditched both shoes and socks because of the damp ground). It could have been worse: I understand they had snow in Albany NY.
-The band played two long sets (7 songs each), including songs new (Day of Reckoning, The Man is Gone, plus one unrecorded song in the second set that Charlie will have to discuss in his detailed report) and old (Goodbye Virginia, Cup Overflowing).
-The live CD is in mixing; the songs are primarily from the Jammin' Java show this spring. The songs included on the CD will be posted by the band in the near future.
-The band is also in final preparation with a new CD sampler. The songs are a mixture of live, off existing CDs, and not found anywhere else. Unfortunately, I think the list Brendan gave me got tossed by the clean-up crew while I was away from my knapsack (still think you can trust me, Gene? ), but that also will probably be posted in the near future.
Probably the best outcome from the show (besides getting another chance to hear some of the best music out there performed by people who truly enjoy what they're doing) is the doors that may have been opened. Representatives from Baltimore government and the Baltimore folk scene attended and wanted to know (a lot) more about the band.
This was the first City-sanctioned block party in years, and the positive results and impressions will help the neighborhood, and the band's contributions to the success will not go unnoticed. Carl Pelton, who organized the party and gig, and Alan Rowarth, who came down from Syracuse to provide the Big Orange Tarp and run sound, both deserve thanks and congratulations.
All in all, a most rewarding show. Keep an eye out for Charlie's review; it'll be worth it.
Up the Revolution,
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 12:25 am: |
So, we roll up on the scene on Saturday, or very near it, at about 2:45pm. It's cold, a big storm recently dumping rain on the area; it's windy with a slanting sun providing little relief from what you know is gonna be a rough afternoon, meteorologically speaking.
We're met by Val, Brendan, and Carl Pelton (the show's host), with hugs, hanshakes, hello's and smiles as they walk towards the GL van. Seeing Brendan today there's a mix of Elrond from Tolkien's LOTR and Gary Cooper in "High Noon" in his walk and mein. He'll need the strength and integrity of both to get thru today's gig. Val, radiant as always, has a translucence about her that's calming and anticipative at the same time.
The Jersey Devil, aka Gene Lewin, waits up at the corner, smiling like the Sphinx, as if to say: "Yeah, it's weird today, but we can work with weird." Greeting Gene always feels like you're coming home. By now, the GL van passes us, and, soon, it's load in time.
By now, it's genuinely raw out, and Brendan needs headphones to hear the mix, Gene's got a walkie-talkie setup going to link to the sound guy, Alan, and Val looks like she could use a hat and gloves.
I'd say 40 people from the 'hood were there, and as Ace PP, JimG, has already pointed out, some people from various official/semi-official orgs were there too. Moms, Dads, children of all sizes, food (including real-time Cotton Candy), face-painting, bubbles (more about those in a bit), cyclists, street chalkers, kittens for sale (not kidding!), and various dogs, mixed with the warmth of people being people, and you have what, to me, approximated the 1st GrooveLily Family Circus, complete with tent and side-show.
At ca. 4:30, the Pied Piano Player of Manhattan, Brendan Milburn, called the Children's Parade to order with a few bars of "Hot Cross Buns", played on a 12-key, tone and picture book keyboard. The Parade, with Brendan's piano march assisting, was brief, but enthusiastic. At 4:35p, under a lowering sky, our intrepid trio, suited up for a long winter's nap, leaned into the wind, and began the BOT show in earnest.
Set list (courtesy of JimG and my notes):
1) "Balancing Act" (despite conditions, a high spirited performance with Val working out the frozen finger kinks, and Brendan looking concerned for her). Gene is oblivious to the climate. NOTE: Mr. Milburn started the show, and this is a first for me, played 3 tunes WITH HIS SOCKS AND SHOES ON!!!
2) "Breathe In, Breathe Out", accompanied by a determined, bubble-blowing, young girl in front of Val, who provided just the right touch for this song.
3) "Love is the Perfect Crime", which brought out the sun temporarily.
4) With a newly unshod/unsocked Brendan, they did: "Apocalyptic Love Song." The 3-part harmonies were dead-on.
5)"No Room In Your Bag"
6) "Looking Foward/Looking Back", which has to be the most sardonic love song ever written that still manages to be tender and sweet.
7) the companion song to "LF/LB", "Coming Home." Again I want to know why this song was not nominated for, and did not win, a major song writing and performance award. Val's vocals and Brendan's and Gene's support were stellar on this one.
8) "Day of Reckoning", the performance of which Gene now easily purloins with his way cool scat solo in the middle.
9) "Gotham City Breakdown", that saw the word "vicissitudes" and its variant, "vicissitudinal" mentioned by both Val and Brendan in the intro to the song, and had the grammarians in the audience reaching for their pocket Webster's.
SET BREAK (way overdue, as Val's digits were perilously close to snapping off in the cold, and Brendan's bare feet had to be near the frostbite level. Gene remained oblivious to the climate).
10) from "Jungle and Sky", "Cup Overflowing"
11) "Velvet Prison", which I heard for the first time @ the Temenos show last Tuesday, and, now, again, but without Brendan's introduction of the song that it was more than 10 years old and pre-dated GrooveLily by quite a bit. Assume this is the song JimG referred to in his post further up this page. Don't know much more than that, and, again, it slipped my mind to ask Brendan more about it. Hey, B., if you're reading this, what's the 411 on this tune??).
12) reaching back to 'J+S" again, Val spun a fine version of "Goodbye Virginia" which she dedicated to her cousin from VA who was in the audience. I had never heard this song live before, so it was a nice surprise, and very well done with a sweet piano solo by Brendan and a strong, steady vocal by Val.
13) boppin' in via a slammin' drum solo care of Mr. Lewin..."Sitting on the Fence." Always a crowd pleaser, and this time was no different.
14) "Little Nemesis", with Val belting out a diva-solo, full, strong, and monitor challenging.
15) the not played enough "The Man is Gone"
16) "Live Through This." The "new" one, with lyrics taped, this time, to a pole right in front of Val.
17) "Phantom Lover"
with Carl Pelton yelling "Encore", "Encore", a near cryogenic GL returned to the stage/lawn and finished with:
18) "The Odometer Song." Could there be a more appropriate sendoff?
And, so, another tremendous, albeit challenging, performance. Smiles all around, perhaps in frozen rictus, perhaps not, (:p). The sun was out full by the end of the show, warming the remaining stalwarts in the street, but not GL, who were planted squarely under the BOTall afternoon, except for Val's brief forays into the street.
As JimG mentioned above, I hope this show did some good for GL's PR machine. If it did nothing else, it proved how serious they are about what they do, whatever the weather. It would have been very easy for GL to run through a perfunctory set of 8-9 songs. Most of these folks had never seen them before, and there's only a chance that any of them would be seeing them again (but, hey, there is that Frederick, MD gig on 6/1). It would have been easy for them to slide through this one, but that ain't Groovelily's style.
They put their heart and souls into this performance to be sure that everyone got their full share of GL's magic. There aren't many artists who would enthusiastically perform under these conditions, for so long, with such fervor, with such pride in what they do, and with obvious love in their hearts. Their is no cold that can freeze the fire of the performance I saw today.
If that was all of it, that would be plenty, more than we deserve. But, as a bonus, you have three of the sweetest, nicest, best people one could know, playing some the most fantastic music one could hope to hear, and bustin' their butts to make this world a happier, more inviting place to be in, whether it's for a block party on Southern Avenue in Baltimore or in a posh and swanky club somewhere. GrooveLily deserve every good thing that happens to them, every success, every day.
See you at the shows....
meg numata (Meg)
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 2:41 am: |
cl and jim --
thank you so much for your wonderful, informative and evocative posts. the next best thing to being there...
bud, NOW i know what you've meant about waiting for the review to come out!
sweet dreams, GL. sounds like you've earned them again...
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 6:22 am: |
Thanks once again for your great posts. As Meg says, they really help soften the blows of not being able to see more of the shows.
Jim: I've not sure when "The Man is Gone" (aka, MANGO on the setlist) was born, but its been around for a while (at least a year, maybe more). Can anyone add more information about this song and its origins?
I don't think it has ever been recorded. Perhaps we will hear it on Just the Three of Us? I just noticed that no one ever posted a setlist from the Feb 2002 Jammin Java performance, so no clues about its likelihood on the Live release.
Jim, send me an e-mail note with comments on the Petal Pushers experience (i.e., ways to improve anything). Finally, congratulations on "being trusted"
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 7:48 am: |
Glad to hear you had a good block party. Was the attendance what you expected? And had the temperature dropped even further, or the rain not stopped, was there a contingency plan to move the party and music indoors? (These are the questions that haunt the mind of this outdoor venue organizer.)
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 11:05 am: |
Did anyone take pictures? If so, how about posting them to the GrooveLily Pad photo section, or send them along to Gene for inclusion on this site's photo Gallery?
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 12:29 pm: |
Jim and Charles, wonderful reviews as per usual. As it is pretty frigid here in Charleston (50s), your posts didn't do much to warm me up; in fact, I think I may just put on some gloves myself. Charles, how do you write like an exploding thesaurus yet remain understandable?
I am anxiously waiting for my next opportunity to see the band in action!
...and Megs, do you ever sleep?
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 3:21 pm: |
In response to the (unexpected) flurry of comments to the reviews posted by CL and myself:
- If I recall correctly, "The Man Is Gone" will be on the live CD. I left Val's handwritten list of songs (along with the list of songs on the sampler) on the merch table as I helped move stuff back to the van, and it was scrupulously picked up by the residents policing the area of trash after the block party (*two* SAT words in one sentence!). Brendan promised that the song lists for both will be posted in the near future. I just hope he wasn't assuming that I would do it . Rob, the Jammin' Java show was only the second I'd been to (and before I joined the Revolution), so I didn't write down the set list. I do recall Phantom Lover, Fence, Odometer Song, Raindance, Cup Overflowing, Weight of the World, and Little Nemesis. I think those are all on "Just The Three Of Us". There's a total of 13 songs on the CD so, if my memory was correct, I've listed about half of them.
- The backup plan was for the hosts to finish knocking down the walls in their basement and hosting the gig there. Carl Pelton is planning to set up his basement as a mini concert stage for house concerts; he just hasn't gotten there yet. Fortunately, the rain had stopped, and we were spared frost warnings.
- Charles Lagana took a bunch of pictures, and will post them when he gets the chance. Alan Rowarth (who provided the BOT) took digitals, and also looked like he had a camcorder going.
- The merch table worked fine, thanks to pieces of brick I found in the bins and used to weight down the papers. I did find providing copies of flyers for the 6/1 Frederick gig useful, as people could see when the band would next be in the (general-50 miles away) area. I would suggest printing out the gig list and bringing it to the show (as with the Petal Pusher ad form). Although I could refer people to the Website, and had a rough recollection of upcoming GrooveLily shows in MD, having the schedule at hand would give people more information immediately.
- Attendance was better than I'd feared, but less than I'd hoped. I recognized a couple of people from the 5/5 SMAF show, the Newtons came up, Val's cousin was there, and at least one person who saw them at Temenos. However, I don't think my flyers pulled anyone in. Part of that may have been reluctance to go to what was obviously a private house. I know the fact it was a block party, rather than a controlled-access venue, influenced my decision on what media to contact. In addition, I'd based hopes on a CD/record store opening about 4 blocks away, but their schedule was set back, so they couldn't hand out flyers. At least one store manager I approached the week before asked for a sample of the band's music. If I'd had (V/B/G skip this sentence) my boot of the Sampler/Folk Appetizer, I'd have either handed it over or at least given him a chance to listen to it.
On the good side, we sold another half-dozen or so pre-orders for the live CD, about the same number of Little Light, plus an assortment of other stuff.
One last observation/image from the show: Gene drumming so hard (or hands so cold) that the sticks flew out of his hands over his shoulder, but grabbing another pair in rhythm and not missing a beat.
Weather aside, I wouldn't have missed this show for anything. I'm just bummed that I'll be out of town for the 6/1 show, and so won't be able to see them again for at least a month. Sorry Dave, didn't mean to rub it in; "ah feeyul yoah payn."
|Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 6:42 pm: |
Hey, all. Re pix, I've got nearly 45 shots into Snapfish that are all GrooveLily from the Temenos and BOT-Balt. shows. Should have the Temenos gig shots to Gene, via email, by end of this week. The BOT shots probably soon after that. It all depends on how quickly Snapfish can process. For better or worse, I still prefer analog photography. Thanks for being patient.
Another tip of the GL hat to JimG for the yeoman work he performed at the merch table in tough conditions. That's what Petal Pushers are made of. Yay, Jim!
|Posted on Monday, May 20, 2002 - 8:15 am: |
Never underestimate the drawing power of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I told Carl (the host) they were the Petal Pusher contribution to the food, and split the batch between the food and merch tables.
A couple of other notes from talking with the band after the show (don't you hate it when things keep surfacing from the unconciousness *after* the email's been posted?):
- Due to scheduling problems with the mixing, release of "The Three of Us" may be closer to July than June.
- Look for an NYC concert announcement (not yet on the gigs page) in the near future. It may be enough to merit my first foray to Manhattan in about 15 years
Enough stealing company time; work beckons.
Up the Revolution (and hoping this time I've thought of everything),