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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disco-Skiffle this Saturday at the Eagle Rock Music Festival--Pehriscope Collaborative

Although the Monolators are not playing this year's Eagle Rock Music Festival as such, Mary and I are involved in a little collaborative project for the night: Pehrspace has a stage at Swork Coffee (called the "Pehriscope Collaborative") and we were asked to put together a one-off ensemble for the night with members of other bands from the community. Our concept for the occasion: Disco-Skiffle.

Disco, well, you know what disco is. Skiffle, if you haven't heard, was the big pop music style in the UK circa the 1950's--prior to the arrival of the Beatles. The main skiffle hero was Lonnie Donegan and he took American folk songs (Woodie Guthrie, Leadbelly etc.) and did rock and roll versions of them with (mostly) acoustic instruments.

I don't think we have a name for this band--the Los Angeles Disco-Skiffle Ensemble? Kinda literal, but I can't think of anything better yet. Anyway--the idea is that we're playing disco songs and skiffle songs with instruments and arrangement styles from both genres smooshed together. Mary plays sax; I play banjo; Adam and Johnny from Seasons play standup bass and synth drums respectively; Pauline from Divisadero/Cobra Lilies plays violin; and Matthew Teardrop from Manhattan Murder Mystery plays guitar. So far we're doing "Cumberland Gap," "Jack Of Diamonds" (both skiffle standards) and, on the disco side, "Yes Sir I Can Boogie," which I gather was the highest-selling single of the entire 1970's in Europe. It is indeed a gem. If you're going to be at the ERMF please stop by Swork at around 8:30 to witness our concoction!




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