Italy won the Columbia Chorale's Opera Showdown Saturday evening, in spite of the visiting tenor's massive La Traviata flub (he dropped his lines while turning a page and brought the entire production to a halt). My friend and I had never been to a show at the Methodist church on 9th. The pipe organ and structural beams add a certain gravitas to a concert, although it's nearly impossible to see the orchestra from the back of the church. I'd recommend a balcony seat. The whole idea of listening to two operatic selections and then voting and keeping score was gimmicky but fun. Sure, the "Flight of the Valkyries" kind of fell apart at the end ("The wheels are coming off the wagon," my friend muttered), but the mistakes and audience participation helped lighten things up.
We pigged out on pasta post-show at The Rome. The visiting tenor and soprano showed up toward the end of our meal and were treated to a standing ovation. It's always interesting to see and hear where visiting musicians go to eat in Columbia. For instance, I was in my car listening to KCOU the next day, and the dj was saying that she'd eaten next to Surfer Blood at Main Squeeze on Friday. (Surfer Blood just played Mojo's this past weekend.)
(Surfer Blood fuel)
In other weekend news, NPR's Sunday Weekend Edition featured samples from Peter Gabriel's new covers album, Scratch My Back (just released) My partner in musical crime was stoked (yet another reason I love him). Perhaps this sounds lame—akin to declaring one's love for Sting—but there's something to be said for a 60-year-old experimental musician like Gabriel who still sounds amazing and continues to make music of understated beauty. Gabriel covers Bon Iver, Regina Spektor, David Bowie, The Magnetic Fields, Radiohead, and Talking Heads, among others, with his own ethereal frostiness and without guitars or drums. In the coming months, some of the artists will scratch Gabriel's back and release covers of his songs.
(Peter Gabriel channels Rasputin. "Look into my eyes... buy my new album.")
My friend and I topped off our weekend with a music-less Sunday evening at Addison's with friends (unless you count the music of NCAA Tournament news as dinner music).
(Luke Harangody brings his deceding hairline to the NCAA Tournament.)
And today? It's the Ides of March, and Deer Tick is in town for a show at Mojo's. Please snag a picture if you happen to see them eating downtown pre-show.