****** Musician's Meanderings******
Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches – 08-03-2003:
A weekend of profound cultural disconnect. Lemme 'splain...
Saturday night I played a casino in Osceola, Iowa, with The Chicago Rat Pack
Show, which is Tony Ocean, Jack D'Amico and Lonny Parlor playing and singing
the roles of, respectively, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. So
to begin with we have several levels of disconnect -- trying to recreate the
ambience of the "Tee Many Martoonis" culture of the '50s and early '60's with
guys raised on the rock 'n roll culture, meaning that the entire style of the
gig, entourage and trip was a weird mix of Las Vegas show and Led Zeppelin/Who
behavior. We traveled by plane and limo, our rooms and meals were comp'ed, and
we absolutely invaded and cleared out any public space we encountered (I'm
absolutely amazed that we're all not in a secret Federal facility somewhere
having our kidneys beaten with rubber hoses by the Homeland Security Agency). We
had a mini-entourage of pals of Tony Ocean's, and watching them interact with
the cowboys and farmers in Iowa (cause that's basically what Osceola,
evidently, consists of) was like watching some bizarre science experiment that could at
any moment turn extremely volatile.
So that's where the final levels of disconnect come in, trying to inject this
little bubble of Elmwood Park into the bloodstream of redneck America, trying
to mix gold chains and pinkie rings with cowboy hats and chewin' tobacco. Add
a soupçon of weird musician vibe from the band (me, Joe Valentino, Jamie
Pastman, Frankie Catalano, Harry Kozlowski and Dave Moorhead) and you have a
veritable bouillabaisse surreal.
Evidently we were just too out there, with the result that most folks were
either confused or amused, and if there was any anger or hatred we were too
disorienting for any action to be taken. I swear to God, though, that at one point
we saw two young women praying at a nearby table in the casino's restaurant
(Frank Catalano was regaling us with some truly scandalous stories), and it was
even odds whether they were praying for our deliverance or for God to smite
us down with boils. Anyway, I think we're all still alive, and it was fun, and
we were working, you know?
This week Steven Hashimoto will confuse and amuse at:
SUN. 8/3: at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 8-10pm, with poet Marc Smith
and The Pong Unit (Mike Smith, guitar and dulcimer; Dave Flippo, the master of
cultural disconnect, keyboards; and Ted Sirota, drums) for The Uptown Poetry
WEDS. 8/6: at THE CULTURAL CENTER, 78 E. Washington, noon-1pm, with Marc
Smith, The Pong Unit and various poets, as part of the National Poetry Slam Week.
Then later on, at the RIVER FOREST GAZEBO, on Grand Ave. between River Rd. and
Cumberland, 7:30-9pm, with Souled Out, the ever-mutating r&b band.
FRI. 8/8: at 4TH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Michigan Ave. between Chestnut and
Delaware, noon-1pm, with The Mothra Quartet (Kathy Kelly, vibes; Neal Alger,
guitar; Heath Chappell, drums); then, later on, at THE DOWNTOWN AURORA FESTIVAL in
Aurora, 8:15-10:15pm, with The Chicago Rat Pack Show; then even later on, as
usual, at THE GREEN MILL, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green Mill Quartet (Barely
Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick Shandling, drums) for The After-Hours
SAT. 8/9: at WHOLE FOODS, 30 W. Huron, 1-3pm, with Sueños Latin-Jazz Quartet
(Mike Levin, sax; Neal Alger, guitar; Steve Magnone, drums); then later on an
honest-to-God jobbing date with the High Society Orchestra.
SUN. 8/10: at RAVENSWOOD MANOR, 4700 N. Manor, 2-3pm, with The Lil' Cow Band
(Fred and Teddi Koch and whoever else they've lassoed). Bring the kids!
I could use to fill Sat. Aug. 23. Call me at 708-222-6520. The dental
industry's well-being depends on it!
Early gig warning: Sueños Latin-Jazz Sextet returns to The Green Mill, Fri.