Sunday, March 27, 2005

Anais Mitchell and The Near Misses delight Charlotte crowd

Anais Mitchell

I am reminded of a post I did a week or so ago on good/bad luck.
The night of the Anais Mitchell concert was such a night...

Let me back up.

It was a day like any other. Terry Schiavo was in full omnipresence thank to the paralysis of the American media corporate defenders of whomever has the money, and eve of yet another Bushweather holiday, and yet I had Anais Mitchell and Lea Pritchard to look forward to, a well as the possibility of being joined by some of my favorite hominids...Robert (the Philoblogger), Woody (Jamzoo), Erika (inchoate claymationista) and le petite Jacques (History of Time Travel) . Woody, as expected, never materialized, and we only materialized AFTER Anais had finished her set.

And what was our lame excuse for this bad luck?
3 things.
1. I just HAD to play my new vocal composition for Jack. (Figgering the headliner would play last, and the boy band would be first.)
2. A friend called at around 8, and wanted to listen in, and talk.
3. Robert and Erica were saying they weren't going to go, and I wanted to spend some time with them.

As it turns out, help with the entrance fee smoothed over their apprehension, and so we all piled into Jack's bus and headed over.

What's this? Anais is done? We missed it? And I've already paid entrance fees?

But good luck would have it that I also liked the second band, at least I knew I liked Lea Pritchard, as I had seen her for years, and appreciated the fact that she is the center of the internet musical universe, at least here in Charlotte...from what I have seen. If there are better, we are blessed indeed!

But my luck got even better when I discovered that Shana Blake was now conjoined with Lea. I probably suggested it to her at some point. It's astonishing to have two great talents in one band, and yet the other three Misses are most excellent too.

The highlight of the music had to be Shana's beautiful anthem near the end of the show, whose title slips me, so let me get back on that. Like Anais' "1984", it is one that should become as ubiquitous as Terry Schiavo.

After the concert was over, I went to congratulate the band, and as I was talking to Shana, Anais walked up and Shana complimented her on her performance. Thinking ever at the top of my intelligence, sadly, I was able to ascertain that this elegant woman dressed in black flowing silk velvet was the great Anais. And her name fits her most succinctly. Especially with her new hair, which should have been her hair all along, it fits so well together, and is so reminescent of her namesake.

I had gotten my money's worth, and then some. When, later, she appeared on the sidewalk, and I said to Robert, Erika and Jack, "This is Anais Mitchell", and Robert had one of those John Malkovich moments, you know, in True West, where he snaps up, cigarette stuck to his lower lip, and says, "Maybe it was Fresno!" Well, it looked that way to me.

We chatted about Richmond, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer and then she was swept away by other adoring fans.

A few minutes pass, and we talk about our dinner with Andre, only it wasn't dinner and it wasn't Andre although the first two letters are the same.

When I suggested they meet Shana and Lea, "one star per night, please", was what I heard.
But I did it anyway, and talked Shana into saying hello to "my shy nephew", who, by the way, had ascertained her "coolness" earlier on, and made comment to that effect.

(Ah! How appropriate! William Ackerman just came on the radio! Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit, I believe it is called.)

So after some cordial exchanges, and sensing that it was becoming quite chilly, we parted, and headed home.

If you have the chance, make it a point to go and see these fine artists.
Here is Anais' schedule (She is going to be at Passim's in Cambridge, New York, and other fine places.)
...and website
...and blog.

Here are The Near Misses.