Santa Cruz, Stones Place, November 21
Overheard at Tyler Clark Burke 's Santa Cruz night: "They fucking got the indie kids to dance!" Credit the organizer's creativity. Each of the almost 400 hipsters, wallflowers and vague rock stars who passed through the jammed Stones Place (not to mention the lineups round the corner) got a chance to pick three slow jams in the hopes that they'd be spun by DJs Hannah Sung , Rob Benvie and Ian McGettigan . Purple Rain closed the night as couples got freaky on the dance floor, dry-humping and licking each other in an orgy of repressed scenester STD-passing. Hopefully Santa Cruz will continue, as dancing provides exercise during our upcoming bleak winter, which promises to be fattening due to depression-based eating.
Jenny Gear and the Whiskey Kittens at the Horseshoe, November 23
Twenty-two-year-old Newfoundlander and Canadian Idol almost-was Jenny Gear hit the 'Shoe to play a couple of sets in a bid to parlay her television exposure into a music career, bringing the fiddler Colin Kerrigan and Duane Andrews on guitar from her band the Whiskey Kittens with her. A bashful Gear admitted to onstage nervousness, but the mostly seated audience received her warmly. She jumped between various styles, performing everything from traditional English songs to child-friendly cute tales of bicycles and love, but she delivered best when singing in a jazzy confident style on Summerfly. It's only fitting that American Idol would produce generic white soul artists, while Canadian Idol has the market cornered on lite-rock male crooners and quaint folk-jazz hybrids.
Local rockers Tangiers have been through some big changes the past few months. First, founding member Yuri Didrichsons quit, and now drummer Marco Moniz has also left. Currently in the studio working on their second album, Josh Reichmann and James Sayce have pulled in ex-Guided by Voices drummer Jon McCann , and are once again using keyboardist Shelton Deverell , a one-time member of Tangiers still called on for studio work.