chumptastic dot org

10 Jan 06

danny michel minus the fainting goats

i was surprised at how many people showed up at the drake on saturday night for danny michel’s show. it’s not that he doesn’t deserve a crowd – quite the contrary – it’s just that he doesn’t really ever generate any “buzz”, and i never hear much about him, in spite of the fact that he’s been around forever (and was even in starling for a short period).

anyway, it was a fun show (as his shows always are), but the atmosphere was a bit weird. he played a mostly solo show (with the ever-present looper pedal), with occasional accompaniment by kevin fox on cello (who sat on a park bench that somehow made its way onto the stage). he wasn’t as chatty/story-telly/christopher walkeny as he has been in the past, but he was still endearing and fun. he played a few songs from his next album with an undetermined release date (didn’t i hear a story about someone stealing his laptop with a bunch of his new album on it sometime last year?), and several older favourites (perfect, coalmine, fireworks, elgin ave, toledo and the invisible man were standouts), but sadly no bowie covers made it into his set. he also had a piano dragged onto the stage, and included a couple of songs normally played on guitar on piano instead. another highlight was when he asked the crowd mid-song if anyone could play piano, and a girl who apparently hadn’t played in 5 years got up and jammed with them. that was impressive.

the crowd, however, was a bit bizarre. there was a large group of people directly in front of the stage that elected to stay seated throughout the entire show, and the people standing behind them were either extremely rapt or comatose. they all clapped after each song, but it was pretty much silent during the songs, with the exception of the sitting people knocking glasses over quite frequently. contrast this with the people at the back by the bar who seemed completely oblivious to the fact that there was someone on stage, and it was a bizarre juxtaposition. oh, and i can’t forget the superfans: one of them knew every word and seemed to think that every song was directed at her, and another sporadically jumped up and started dancing in the middle of the seated people near the end of the set. danny was smart and tried his best not to make eye contact with these people, but they were mesmerizing to me.

oh yeah, one more thing: first it was kanye, then islands and now danny michel – what’s up with the no encore deal? did i miss a memo?

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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