Charles Lagana (Charles)
Post Number: 61
|Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 12:17 pm: |
Back in the day, I might have tagged this show as part of GL's "Days of Future Passed" tour. Held in the time-warp of a still-being-restored, pre-WWII movie house, ghosts abounded indeed, some known, some yet to be named, some musical, some otherwise, but there nonetheless.
It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to see GL play, a "Striking 12" show, December, 2006, in Reading, PA, I think. A lot of water, for me and for them, has passed under the bridge. New children in new families, new ideas and new music forged in a "new" band, and new and exciting directions taken. Some explored, some yet to be realized. The tick-tock of life. The personal and professional ebb and flow have carved new designs in the sand, allowing a brief time to reflect before the next wave comes and washes away what was and dares you to write something new. GL long ago accepted that dare.
"Looking Forward, Looking Back" was not on the set list last night, but its words certainly hung in the air. For the record, this isn't the GL of 10 years ago, staring into the mist of their own future, divining next steps, striving, yearning, being, writing their perfect equations, their songs of life and of the road. Listening to their old songs, one can see the pattern of talent and determination growing and transforming them and touching us in ways we hadn't been touched in a long time. This was their gift to us, their magic potion, and our reward when we drank, listened and rocked along with them. Finally, Kool-Aid that was cool and we took deep draughts didn't we?
The best intelligence, the best art is created in the crucible of the unknown and GL showed us that they were never going to back down when challenged. And if we take that 10 year time frame, for example, we see challenge after challenge met and overcome. Met in their music, met in their lives and beaten back, wave after wave. And we were there to see it. And that was the GL way. Leave it all out there, on stage, in your face. The sharing of those moments is what made them so dear to all of us who watched them. "Live Through This," indeed.
What I read last night was another page in the copious GL canon, and while it scribbled new and exciting lines in the book, and while it was a joy to see their joy in performing their new work, still I found myself "looking back." How could one not? Doors close for a reason, just as new ones open; it's part of what is supposed to be, but it's very tempting to want to jiggle those old locks anyway.
Of the 13 songs they presented, 4 were from their power pop trio days, 1 hit up S12, and the remainder , like the newborn blinking in their first sunlight, were rolled out for everyone to admire and fuss over. It was fun to watch the reception they received. At turns, raucous and hellzapoppin', at times invested with the sheer joy of creation, often smartly/sweetly delivered the way only GL can, both the band and the audience were well-compensated for their work and their time. If the cheers and whoops were any indication, GL added a few converts to the fold. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
For you historians who follow such things, here's the set list:
No Room In Your Bag
Screwed Up People Make Great Art
Can You Cure Me?
Only A King
It's a Girl!
Bring It On
Wheel Goes Round
You Make Me Feel Awake
I Dare Say I'm In Love
Apocalyptic Love Song
The Odometer Song
So, that's it, but that's never it, is it? A few more observations and discoveries. Brendan playing in a KISS t-shirt, stockinged feet, rockin' a red Nord Stage EX . Val with a shiny red Viper and a smile shinier still. Grace in motion.
And, Gene, well, what do you say about the Zen master of percussion? Plays like a Great White eats; eyes roll back in his lolling head, way loose, biting off huge chunks of rhythm and soul and digesting it for our wonderment. Skills so subsumed as to seem easy. Go ahead, try to do what he does. You'll walk away simply shaking your head. This cat could play trash cans and still make you weep.
Re the PP's in attendance, only saw two sets: merch table/nu-roadie stalwarts, Dancin' Pete and the lovely Beverly and the Karin Dunlevy-George Seeds continuum. Stars burning in the night time sky. If other PP's were there, I didn't recognize them, but, as mentioned it's been a while, so, please forgive me for any oversight.
Hard to know what to make of it all in the end; things are moving rapidly in this new GL universe. New doors being opened, new adventures to assess, new fears to overcome, new victories to be pondered. Great music to be tasted and enjoyed. All good stuff for we are GrooveLily.
Charles Lagana (Charles)
Post Number: 62
|Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 5:55 pm: |
Here's the "Sleeping Beauty Wakes" CD track listing, from the Best Buy site:
1. Can You Cure Me?
2. Dream With Me
3. Only A King
4. It's A Girl
6. I Think You Understand
7. Out Of Harm's Way
10. Bring It On
11. The Wheel Goes Round
12. Everything Changes But You
13. Eyes Wide Open
14. Still Small Hours
15. You Make Me Feel Awake
16. I Dare Say I'm In Love
17. Medley: I Think You Understand/The Wheel Goes Round
It appears the album, from PS Classics/Image Entertainment, is available at Best Buy, CD Universe, Amazon, Looney Tunes, and Tower Records with CD Universe offering the best price [$12.64] currently. CD ships "officially" on 4.21.09, but should be available at GL shows from now on. They had copies for sale last night at The Colonial. Note that Brendan mentioned last night that the CD was going up on iTunes as well, in an "exclusive" download sale. No mention of price for the iTunes version.
The PS classics site: http://www.psclassics.com/new.html had this to say of the new album and it's release:
"As reported yesterday at Playbill.com, were proud to be releasing the premiere recording of SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES, from the pop trio GrooveLily. Reuniting the creators of the acclaimed off-Broadway musical STRIKING 12 Tony Award-winning librettist Rachel Sheinkin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and GrooveLily's own Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES received its world premiere in Los Angeles on March 31, 2007, in a co-production between Deaf West Theatre and Center Theatre Group, and received the 2007 Theatre LA Ovation Award for Best Musical. (The multi-talented Brendan also won for Best Musical Direction.)
Deaf West described the original production as follows: "After her centuries long snooze, Beauty wakes to finds herself far from her fairy tale kingdom in a contemporary sleep-disorder center, where all the princes seem to have disappeared. The result is a wild theatrical journey entwined in these two parallel worlds, as Beauty discovers the real costs of flirting with danger, the joy of living and the meaning of true love." The Deaf West production featured a company of both deaf and hearing actors, including Milburn and Vigoda, who sang, acted, signed and played instruments onstage. The new studio recording in the tradition of the group's popular STRIKING 12 features Milburn and Vigoda, along with third GrooveLily band member Gene Lewin, playing and singing all the roles.
WE'RE LOOKING TO HAVE THE CD IN STORES ON APRIL 21ST, BUT WILL BE OFFERING AN EXCLUSIVE PRE-RELEASE AT OUR WEBSITE AND AT iTUNES ON MARCH 31st. SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES is as inventive and funny and hypnotic as anything GrooveLily's done, and Rachel's wit is everywhere apparent. It's a true tour-de-force."
So, if you can't wait until 4.21, hit up iTunes or the PS Classics site on 3.31, this Tuesday, and scoop your friends with the newest GL offering.