Thursday, December 02, 2004

Three Times A Sinatra 

Let me get this straight. Nancy Sinatra is playing Maxwell's tonight. On Monday, the Trashcan Sinatras (no relation) play there. And then on Tuesday, Nancy's daughter, AJ Azzarto, plays The Goldhawk. Coincidence, or cosmic convergence?

I caught Nancy live twice in 2003, and she puts on a fun show. She should be even more interesting this time around, in the wake of her first new album in eons, with all that solid new material written by Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker, Jon Spencer, et. al.

The Trashcans show Monday is an acoustic affair. Should be a great way to experience the songs from their new album, Weightlifting. They are one of those bands I have always somehow managed to miss, despite the best of intentions. I hope to be there for this one.

For a real treat, check out AJ Azzarto and The New Hoboken Four on Tuesday at 9 p.m. in The Goldhawk's intimate back room. After having limited success going the indie rock route in bands like Sleepington and Rocket, AJ has found a perfect niche interpreting the popular songs of her grandfather Frank's generation. Her well-chosen sets have evolved since she began performing this material two years ago, but they always prominently feature some of the lesser-known material by the Berlins, Porters, Van Heusens, and other writers of the American popular songbook of the first half of the 20th century.

And I do not exaggerate when I say that every time I have seen her perform--probably six or seven times so far--has been better than the time before. Her charming stage presence is enhanced by the understated but proficient backing of The New Hoboken Four, who set the mood perfectly.

Oh, and I'm not just saying all these nice things about AJ and her band because the I've sung harmonies with her and her husband on Beatles and Band songs around a campfire in Vermont. And certainly not because the Four's drummer employs me as a DJ at his bar on weekends.

That's another whole post, the issue of objectivity in music writing. Soon, soon, along with all these other posts percolating in my brain.

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