Athens, Georgia – Tonight is the last of three nights of live music performances by your fave-rave local male musicians covering their fave-rave female musicians. Girls Rock Athens presents: Boys Who Rock For Girls at Hi-Lo lounge [Normaltown]. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Make it an early night. Bring a friend. Grab a cold brew. Snatch up some sweet s’wag. Be back at home before 1. By showing your support to Girls Rock Athens, you help our musical youth. A good thing. You can bank on it. 10-4.
Charlotte, North Carolina – MWF and I got our calendars in sync to check out legendary blues artist, Taj Mahal (an artist on MFW’s bucket list). Although I enjoyed Mahal’s show, I must admit that I had never heard his work before. It turns out Mahal is a wonderful storyteller and amazing musician. Even if it’s not my style, I appreciate what he does.
The show took place at the McGlohon Theater [Uptown]. Inside of the venue are several panels of stunning stain glass [See photo above]. Naturally, the bar was pricey but my pour of Makers Mark was on point. Due to my ambulatory issues, the seats originally booked for us upstairs were switched to seating downstairs in the orchestra pit. [side note: The upstairs ushers were sweet as pie. Many thanks.]
Lang Van’s [Eastland] – Coming from California, I’ve had a fair amount of Vietnamese food. Pluses: The service at Lang Van’s is fast. Their peanut sauce was killer. Minuses: The Pho I ordered was too sweet. I’ve never had sweet Pho. Fine if that is a way it can also be prepared but I was not expecting it. All of the potions were at our table to knock it into shape, kick up the spicyness.
Aloft hotel [Charlotte, N.C. – Uptown] – Check it: This hotel is built into a weird maze of an open air mall. Pluses: The room was clean. The bed was comfortable. The wifi and cable worked without issue. Minuses: There are no microwave ovens in any of the rooms. To re-heat food and/or drink, you must go down to their lobby. The Aloft chain has a low key party vibe while housed in a faux boutique hotel setting. Ask for a room above the twelfth floor, on “the quiet side”. You will not regret it.
We weren’t able to check out any of Charlotte’s local record shops but did get to check out Tamales La Pasadita. I urge you to check this place out if you are into authentic Mexican cuisine. I ordered one of every tamale combination they had available. Each offering was on point. Highly recommended.
Athens, Georgia – Last night was a self-date night. I took myself out for cocktails at The Manhattan and then sauntered up the street to catch Los Angeles based jazz phenom, Kamasi Washington at the Georgia Theatre.
Washington and his band performed several cuts of his 2015 album, The Epic. The set was gentle and ferocious. He and his band are fire. Not merely “on fire”, just straight up “fire”. [Shout out to the female vocalist. I was near the front and wanted to psychically converse with you to see if you would get all Linda Sharrock on the mic but sadly I do not have those abilities.] Vocalist: Fire. The duel drummers: Fire. That keyboard chemist: Fire. The horn section and bassist: Fire.
Last night’s outfit consisted of dressing for warmth as well as style. I call it: Run D.M.C. meets Grey Gardens. What made the cut: A boldly printed 3/4 length sack dress, burnt orange velvet embroidered jacket, a wide forest green belt and a late 1950s vintage black wool oversized coat with mink collar. Footwear worn was simple as I relied on walking [with the aid of a cane]. No car or Lyft. No feral cats.
By chance I saw Washington and his cohorts were coming to town. This was months ago, online. I locked the details into my mind. I am a fan of straight ahead and experimental jazz. Applause to whoever booked this show.
jet black oversized cat-eye sunglasses
gold metal oversized triangle shaped hair barrette
black vegan leather choker with gold metal hardware
silver metal square brooch
Eric Dolphy at the Five Spot [Volume I] [Prestige Records/ 1961] – Eric Dolphy
Asheville, North Carolina – Two powerhouse artists, shredding in amazing ways [Leigh on pedal steel guitar, Brotzmann on reeds] with fantastic results. Filled with a solid experimental music listening crowd, The Mothlight [quite the comfortable venue] certainly impressed. The Brötzmann + Leigh‘s set lasted roughly two hours, taking us through peaks and valleys of mercurial sound.
Many thanks to my host for having the foresight to choose this show and well in advance. Aside from the intense altitude sickness I experienced, my company and Asheville — The San Francisco of the South – was an action packed time.
I look forward to many returns in the future.