Saturday, May 13, 2006

Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol. 12

Matt Nathanson at The Swedish American Hall

Have you ever been to the Swedish American Hall? It's above Cafe du Nord, and it is the strangest venue in the world. Paul, Denise and I walked in last night to behold what looked like a high school assembly. There were folding chairs set up in front of a small stage, and the snack bar offered homemade sandwiches and soda, but no alcohol. None. We drank in the ambiance, got over the shock of the scene and found a piece of wall by the staircase to lean on (we had arrived too late to secure folding chairs for ourselves).

Then the genius that is Matt Nathanson took the stage. I admit, for all that I like his music, I probably wouldn't sit at home and just listen to a Matt Nathanson cd. In fact, I have one, and I don't sit at home and just listen to it. But he is one amazing performer; I have seen him several times, and he never ceases to impress me. Do yourself a favor and get tickets to his next show. Not only does he pour passion into performing his singer-songwriter gems, but through engaging banter with the audience, he showcases his dead brilliant sense of humor. Is it a concert or a comedy show? I imagine no one... Matt included... knows for sure. {Gentlemen callers take note: funny gets me every time.}

During his hour or so onstage, Matt treated us to his vocal styling via original compositions nicely accented with slices of Psychedelic Furs, Cure and Postal Service tunes. He also did a full cover of Elvis Costello's "What's So Funny ('bout Peace, Love and Understanding)" and a campy rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." And the best part about Matt is that he and his wife live just down the block! Okay, so they may not live down the block, but they do live somewhere in San Francisco. The show last night made me so happy, I didn't know what to do with myself. And Matt tours all the time, so if you don't live in San Francisco, he'll probably stop by your neighborhood soon.

Truly talented musicians make the world a better place.

We'd worn Matt out by about 10:00, so after the show Denise, Paul and I ambled down the block and paid a visit to the Lucky 13 where we discovered what has to be the city's best jukebox... perhaps aside from the one at Casanova. For reasons of luck and timing, we got to put in five free selections, which we chose very carefully. Of course, we never actually heard our songs, but we did enjoy the anticipation while we sipped our drinks. And our own banter easily rivaled that of Matt's. Paul and Denise are super neato people and always fun to hang out with. I adore and cherish all my many friends, but I don't know what I did before these two moved here.

No comments: