Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cottage industry

There I was wondering what I would be doing with my Monday evening when I noticed an e-mail in my inbox from Jon Bartlett of Kelp Records pointing out Chris Page was performing that evening at the Mercury Lounge - problem solved! The headliner for this show was Dutch funk musician Steye. What you may ask is a Dutch funk musician doing in Ottawa (what, you may also ask, is a funk musician doing in The Netherlands ...). As it happens, Dutch music producer Maarten Besseling created a musical foreign exchange dubbed In A Cabin With, with sends musicians to the far corners of the globe to collaborate with local musicians in recording an album. In this case Steye, Alvin Ronde, formerly of Zuco103, and producer Jesse Beuker were shipped off to Ottawa to enjoy our -30 C weather, skate on the Rideau Canal, blog a bit and head into the studio with Philippe Lafreniere and Zakari Frantz of The People Project and Souljazz Orchestra and select other folks. They're recording in Le Groupe Dance Lab's space in Arts Court, with everything rapping up today. This show was a chance to strut their stuff before the locals and show off what they've been working on.

First up, Chris Page. Chris previewed a few songs from his upcoming album on Kelp.

Chris Page, The Mercury Lounge, February 9, 2009

Jesse Dangerously looks a bit like a nutty English teacher (alternative job: Midwestern standup comedian) but lays down some amusing rhymes, one of which referenced both romantically troubled comic character Scott Pilgrim and being threated by seniors at a Buffy St. Marie show.

Jesse Dangerous, The Mercury Lounge, February 9, 2009

Before Steye took the stage he showed off some of his videos, which were pretty impressive considering he evidently did them on a shoestring budget. The one below featured someone smoking their own boogers. "I warn you, it's a bit disgusting," before letting it run.

'Bonehead' video, Mercury Lounge, February 9, 2009

He mentioned after taking the stage that he's a bit annoyed at discussing The Netherlands famously easy-going stand toward marijuana prohibition.

Steye, The Mercury Lounge, February 9, 2009

Here's a black and white wide-angle shot. Alvin Ronde, at left, is a hell of a guitarist, and his blistering solos drew some of the loudest audience whoops of the evening.

Alvin Ronde, Steye and Philippe Lafreniere, The Mercury Lounge, February 9, 2009

Kellylee Evans came up to sing some songs, including the People Project's People.

Kellylee Evans, Philippe Lafreniere, The Mercury Lounge, February 9, 2009

Jesse Beuker later kicked in some drumming, and the show finished off with Steye taking over the kit so Jesse Dangerously could rap to some live music. Steye and Jesse switched around for a bit - let's just say Steye's a better drummer than a rapper. It was quite a varied and successful evening, which was also being recorded for Dutch television.


Jesse Dangerously said...

I swear to goodness that an elderly gentleman uttered the phrase "If you weren't bigger than me, I'd put you on the ground," to me at Buffy's show at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2007. Isn't that the most perverse thing you've ever heard? She's on stage singing about world peace, and he wants to knock me out because you can't sit in a patio chair and expect no-one to stand in front of you for fifteen yards in the middle of a grassy field.

Little did he know his little lapse in decorum would be immortalized in HARDCORE RAP FORMAT.

PS what would I have to do to get upgraded to east coast stand-up comedian? Shave and get scruffy? More twigs in my beard? I'll do it.

A.C. said...

Louder tie - or eat a sandwich on stage.

Jesse Dangerously said...

Done and done! I've performed in ties bearing Speed Racer and the US flag (separate ties).

Also, I will eat the hell out of a sandwich on stage. It's your fault if I choke (you can sell this concept to the movie people for zillions after it happens).