Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jason Webley @ The Parkside Lounge

It's relatively rare that I see a show on a Monday, but last night I headed down to The Parkside Lounge to see Amanda Palmer's friend and collaborator Jason Webley. I was not disappointed.

The Parkside Lounge is a nice, dark, intimate space - great for a performer like Webley who probably spent more time telling us hilarious stories than he did playing music. I have to say, despite my lack of familiarity with his music, this definitely goes on my list of favorite shows. He was hysterical, congenial and the show was just so entertaining. His songs themselves are pretty fun (most of them anyway) - while he plays with a range of styles, I would say he has relatively consistent folky and vaudevillian influences. And he improvised his set quite a bit - playing songs from other collaborations (like Evelyn and Evelyn) that weren't quite worked out yet or an impromptu gum jingle medley on the accordion. I love that he's not afraid to be little silly and he's a great entertainer.

He utilized audience participation well, having us sing instrumental parts that were unaccounted for during his solo performance. He also had us point at the ceiling, look at our finger and then spin around to simulate drunkenness when he finished his set with a drinking song. Then we all put our arms around each other and swayed as we sang along "Drink up, drink up [...] this may be the last time you'll see this cup. If God wanted us sober he'd knock the glass over [...] Ya da dee. Ya da da" etc. (I admit I'm a little unfamiliar with the song and didn't catch all the lyrics. Sorry. Though Jason did inform us that the "Ya da dee, ya da da" section was in Russian, haha). I was also glad that I got to see him perform in completion the song that he performed with Amanda but was cut off by the cops.

All in all it was an incredibly pleasant Monday night. If you have the chance to see Jason live, I definitely recommend you take it. Right now he's touring with Amanda Palmer in Europe. He also just finished recording an album with Sxip Shirey of the Luminescent Orchestrii, which is due out probably early next year.

No comments: