Saturday, March 29, 2008

Late night with Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles at Cafe Nine...

Stephen Curry was finished, polishing off yet another Goliath (a.k.a. U of Wisconsin Badgers) with a dazzling display of quick-release jumpers, entertaining the sellout crowd including invited Davidson guest, LeBron James. Stretching, yawning, flopped comfortably on the couch, I contemplated - Villanova v Kansas or some well-deserved shuteye in anticipation of my morning appointments. Let's give the game a quick look to see if the 'Cats can hang with the 'Hawks, then hit the hay. The telephone rings. It's Keith asking The Reet if Johnnyk has left yet. Seems Keith 'N Sharie have just exited the Bushnell after taking in Twelve Angry Men and Keith wants me to wait for him to go hear Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles at Cafe Nine in New Haven. Oh. I had told Keith that I was going. He was to accompany me, but found out that he and Sharie had theatre tickets. So, while I tried to muster the energy to go it alone, it just wasn't going to happen. Sure, Buddy, I'll pick you up in a half-hour. It's ten o'clock.

Keith is disappointed that I did not bring Diamonds in the Dark for the ride to New Haven; we listen to The Pipettes instead. Arriving at the tiny brick bar at the corner of State/Crown, and being unsure of the constantly changing parking lots policy, we look for a street space. Up Crown and around several blocks, we finally do a deft U-turn and cozy into a spot about two blocks away. Fourteen dollar cover for two. Keith graciously pays. Jesus, the opening act, Jim Aveni and his band, is still playing. We'll be here until dawn (go away, I'm no good for you)! It's good to see the place packed on this early Spring night. We push to the rear of the narrow, elogated room, then ease over close to the bar and order up two Pabst Blue Ribbons. Yeah, you heard it, buddy, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Opening acts get no love when it's after 11 o'clock and you have to get up early in the morning. I'm reminded of an impatient Johnny Gumbo yelling out to a tardy and listless opening act upon completion of their first number, "ONE MORE SONG!" But Jim finishes up his set in short time and SBBS start to set up on the tiny stage at the front of the bar. A quick howdy to bass player Binky as he makes his way to the head for pre-game relief. We make our way forward along the bar until we settle in about halfway. Keith even gets a barstool.

Sarah and the boys seem energized tonight, much more so than when we last saw them at the Iron Horse in Northampton, where the audience sits at tables. Sorry, no song listing out of this tired cowboy, but the set is a nice mix, with some tunes for a soon-to-be-started new album. Old songs are given some new twists. The tightly packed crowd loves it. Great atmosphere. For Open Up Your Back Door, Sarah leads a sing along from atop the bar, pitting (and mimicking) the boys vs girls. Mike Castellana's demeanor is understated, but his solos are sharp and tasty. Rob Delany is smiling and banging, while Binky is busy being Mr. Bassman and foil for Sarah's 'tween song quips. Everyone seems to be having a great time. Sarah gives some love to The Nine, relating that this is the sixth time she's played the Musician's Living Room.

Encore over. Very good show, guys. Loved the energy. Only complaint: omission of Tom Waits' Blind Love. Oh well, I'll just have to buy Scarlett Johansson's new album for my Tom Waits' fix. A quick hey on the way out and then into the chilly, early morning air. Keith, thanks for the call.

I always screw up when trying to video in concert and this time was no different, but here is the ending of one song on Friday night at Cafe Nine:

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