Text by Jonathan Vincent, photos by Richard Bergeron
This was the third, I think, of Sean Ali’s curated evenings. He has brought so much beautiful music to Papacookie. You could too! Please ask about curating an event here. Sean improvises, composes, and writes words. His busy playing schedule places him in the center of the edge of the side of all things happening in the world of bowing tin cans, squeaking bass bridges, etc. Though, as you will later see, he has an even larger scope of expertise than just this.
The first act of the night was Jonathan Wood Vincent. I’m Jonathan Wood Vincent and it would be odd for me to talk about my own performance, so I will. I played wonderfully. The warm songs that I brushed gently over the keys brought me to tears. My effortless voice floated into the aural chasms of each audience member in equal measure, befriending the souls of each person without discrimination, loving their bodies and minds just as tenderly. When I struck the first note, the distant din of cars, trucks and buses faded from consciousness. Perhaps they, too, stopped to listen. The funny game I played while improvising a song based off of the audience’s suggestions was pure genius.
Next, Jason Ajemian played upright bass and sang. Go see his website:http://jasonajemian.com/ Sean Ali’s intention for this evening was to present songs made by three people who are active in both improvisation and songwriting. Though Ajemian is highly regarded for his work as an improvising bass player, videographer, and sound designer, he often plays arrangements of traditional songs on both bass and guitar. On this occasion, he created an underbrush of intermingling strummed and bowed bass lines for his gently strained tenor voice to peek through. The sound smelled of a different place than the Upper West Side. It rolled out like logs on a river or squirrels scrambling through the trees.
Finally, in Household Tales, Sean Ali played agile bass lines and performed suave expressions beneath a band that calls themselves “a Rock N’ Roll band for the Postlapsarian Age”. They write “songs about truck drivers on the open road, woodsmoke, digging your own grave, escaped lions, Philadelphia, baleful drunks, and pregnant women.” Other than Sean, Household Tales are the brothers David Redbranch and Will Lea, who write the songs and play guitars, Amos Fisher on clarinet, foot bells, and backing vocals, Lathan Hardy on sax and inspiration, and Tim Shortle on drums. To me they sound like two bands in one, depending on who is singing. David sings the heroic ballads and Will sings the crazed incantations. They’re a band that I could imagine making songs at any odd hour in any place. Imagine you’re at a steamy desert militia retreat, or a mountain top clown monastery, or a creepy underground bunker, you turn a corner and there they are, “one step closer to victory”. Listen: Here’s their website: http://www.myspace.com/householdtales/
- Jonathan Wood Vincent
Household Tales Below :
And our esteemed audience :