This just in from Ezra Weiss!
My trio wants you to feel super kick-ass about voting. So we're making a concert for that. And it will work. You will vote. And you will feel kick-ass about it.
The kick-ass band is
Ezra Weiss, piano
Jon Shaw, bass
Christopher Brown, drums
plus kick-ass guests
Marilyn Keller, voice
Maxine Nuesa, voice
Farnell Newton, trumpet
playing kick-ass music by the likes of
Please join us. It will kick ass.
Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 7pm.
Stream for free, donations encouraged.
And a bit more...
So my manager, Kim Gumbel – who is an awesome person – wanted me to write more stuff to promote our Kick-Ass Voting concert. And I of course didn’t want to do that. I said I thought that kind of self-promotion would be off-brand for me, that my audience would appreciate me not taking up space in their inboxes and news feeds. And I was feeling pretty self-satisfied about that for a moment, feeling some pride that I hadn’t compromised my artistic integrity. Until Kim said something pretty smart back to me: “You know, Ez, you put a lot of thought into all the elements that are going into this concert. Your audience might actually get more out of it if you share some of your process with them.”
Damn it. She’s right.
So against all of my introverted instincts, here are some thoughts about our concert Sunday. They will take up space in your inbox. Sorry.
Okay, a year ago at this time, I was in the middle of music directing a production of Matilda the Musical at Northwest Children's Theater in Portland. I’ve been doing this long enough that I come at most shows – especially anything written after 1992 – with a fair amount of skepticism. This actually can be good, as it gives me a lot of objectivity about the craft. But I never get that feeling anymore where I fall in love with a show.
So I was particularly shocked to find myself sitting through a tech rehearsal of Matilda, and out of nowhere, this little girl’s song hits me like a ton of bricks, like a hot pepper, like a bolt of lightning, like a punch in the face. That same feeling like my first time hearing Ethel Merman sing Gypsy.
I went home and listened to that song over and over again. I needed to relive that feeling, to understand it. And I came to realize that feeling was the only art I wanted to make at this moment, the only music I wanted to write.
The song is called “Naughty,” and here is the spot in the lyrics:
“In the slip of a bolt, there's a tiny revolt.
The seeds of a war in the creak of a floorboard.
A storm can begin with the flap of a wing.
The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting.
Every day starts with the tick of a clock.
All escapes start with the click of a lock.
If you're stuck in your story and want to get out,
You don't have to cry; you don't have to shout.
'Cause if you're little, you can do a lot,
You mustn't let a little thing like 'little' stop you.
If you sit around and let them get on top,
You won't change a thing.
Just because you find that life's not fair,
It doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it,
You might as well be saying you think that it's OK.
And that's not right.
And if it's not right, you have to put it right.”
So yeah, we’re making a whole concert that’s like that. Please, please join us. Let’s all share that feeling – what’s the word for it? Oh yeah: KICK-ASS. Let’s all feel that.
And take up space.