Huh? Apparently Ab Baars is going to be in town tomorrow, he’s bringing Ken Vandermark with him, and Yoshi’s Oakland is letting you see their show for free.
Now, “free” is relative: There’s a $3 service charge involved, and Yoshi’s has a nominal two-drink minimum per set (although in my experience, the waitstaff rarely enforces the second drink). So, figuring in the price of a single soft drink, you’re looking at about $6, not counting parking if you end up having to pay for it.
That’s still about 1/4 of what it ought to be. At a time when Yoshi’s is putting up $50 John Zorn tickets and $55 Mos Def shows (with a backing jazz band, which sounds intriguing, actually), it’s a nice gesture — or, possibly, a concession to their inability to fill the house these days.
The bad news is that this conflicts with an 8:00-10:00 p.m. jazz show at the Make-Out Room, with a promising lineup:
It, too, is free. The M-OR’s calendar describes this as part of a “First Mondays” series curated by Johnston and Mezzacappa, which sounds like something worth supporting.
Hoots and Roots — “Life and Death” (Ayler, 2009)
Man, one guy on eMusic sure hated this one. The comparison to Yoko Ono has its merit, but you shouldn’t run screaming just because the musicians do.
This is a one-off track available under Ayler’s new online-only series. It’s a duet of drums and vocals, combining avant-garde screeching with some Scottish/Gaelic folk songs — making the name “Hoots and Roots” appropriate and even a bit humorous. Ken Hyder and Maggie Nicols get into the ear-splitting wails very early on, but the 21-minute piece also gets into quieter sections, a soft dialogue of chant-like singing under a steady drum beat.
Hyder spouts a lot of nonsense words at first, but gradually, you hear folky laments poking through from the noise. Monologue snippets start to become clear: “no comfort zone … no comfort zone …” Apparently, Nicols adds some tap-dancing in there, too.
They wrap it up with a drunken folk song, warbly and off-key, the finale being a long held note (“…at the eeeend of the ROOOOOOOOAD”) that turns into a screeeeech from Nicols.
OK, it’s not for everybody. I had fun with it, though, and you can tell the performers did, too.