Last night, my friend Ania invited me to my second concert in as many days, as another early birthday present.  The lineup was of two bands I’d never heard before, Damon & Naomi and A Hawk And A Hacksaw.  I checked them out on MySpace and got very excited by what I heard and saw.  AH&AH’s main instruments are accordion and violin, and I would describe them as an instrumental gypsy klezmer band.  I had no idea what I was in for.


Their sound was fantastic, and you don’t normally hear a lineup like that.  When’s the last time you saw a band with a tuba player?   Add a trumpeter and a clarinetist who also plays the bouzouki, and you know you’re in for a treat.

Occasionally the violinist would play a Stroh violin (we asked her about it after the show) instead, which had a loud, thin, metallic sound.  I commented to Ania that it sounded like a recording from the 1930’s, and just now when I looked up the Stroh, the article said that they were in very common usage on early recordings, up until about the 1920’s or 30’s when microphone technology changed.


They ended their set, and walked offstage to thunderous applause and shouts of “Bravo!” They came out for an encore, but they told the sound person to turn off the PA.  The band walked down the steps to the back of the room, right next to where we were standing.  They launched into a few faster songs in crazy time signatures, and that’s when the dancing and clapping began in earnest.


One girl was whirling particularly fervently (and beautifully), and everyone cleared a space for her to dance.  There were a couple of guys who joined her at various times, and she even grabbed me to join her for a few whirls, which was quite a nice surprise for shy but irrepressible me.  I was more than happy to oblige.


What an excellent and surprising show.  Many, many thanks to Ania, without whom I would have missed out on a completely wonderful evening.  This is turning out to be quite a week.  Saturday I had a fantastic gig at Mississippi Studios, Sunday was the Pogues, last night was this incredible show, tonight is another gig of mine, and on Thursday a few friends are going to the dress rehearsal for a circus in which our friend is performing, and after that I’m heading to the Woods for Classical Revolution and inviting people to celebrate my birthday.

Definitely a great week, all around.

In other news, today I made my very first omelette!  No idea why it took me so long to learn, or why I thought it would be so difficult, but it came out really great.  Roasted bell peppers, tomatoes and cheese on the inside, with spicy guacamole (which I made yesterday!) on the top.   I recommend that combination highly, but I might use green peppers instead, just for the sake of a more interesting color.  Sliced black olives would be nice too.


Time to take a shower and get ready for tonight’s gig.