october 2, compay segundo
Clearly, being a card-carrying member of the Communist party won't stop Compay Segundo from making a bit of cash on the side playing private gigs.
The 94-year-old Cuban music legend slipped into the York Event Theatre last week to play at an invite-only launch for a new brand of cigars. Considering that the sonero credits cigars - and a regular shot of rum - for his long life, the gig wasn't much of a stretch. Sadly, precious few stogie-smoking suits in the crowd seemed interested in the stately old gentleman crooning onstage.
Those who paid attention and weren't gassed out by the cigars saw Segundo roll through two sets of music, mixing up his usual son vibe by bringing in three clarinets - virtually unheard of in Cuban music. Even at 94 our man still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
upcoming: space elevator cd release
When local Weezer-meets-Matthew Sweet trio Space Elevator launch their debut self-titled disc at the Rivoli tonight (October 10), you can expect a rougher, thrashier sound than the perfectly polished pop on the album.
"When Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was in town during North By Northeast, so many people told me it was a great show, but they sounded exactly like the record, which was kind of disappointing," explains frontman Scotty Karate (aka Scott Kaija).
"My philosophy is that when you do a show, sure, people are there to listen to your songs and your musicianship, but there's definitely a live charge that's not there on record. Records and live performances are two completely separate things for me."
The local trio came together about two years ago, when long-time pals Jesse Myles (aka Jesse 2X) and Kaija decided to flesh out their drum-and-guitar sound with a killer chick bassist. They called up guitarist Julia Madill (aka Maddog), who borrowed a huge bass from one of the dudes in Flashlight Brown. Her Ramones-lovin' pop sensibilities complemented Kaija's Jesus & Mary Chain appreciation to a T.
Space Elevator's been making sunny three-minute power-pop bursts of fizzy guitars and chirpy melodies ever since - both live and on their disc, produced by local pop mastermind Joao Carvalho, the man behind By Divine Right's gorgeous Good Morning Beautiful record