April 6 Freebies

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.

source:yoshis.comNow, “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

Hoots and Roots — “Life and Death” (Ayler, 2009)

source:ayler.comMan, 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.