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rockin’ the ‘boro

best part? There'll be more of these!
© David Addison Small 2007

I’m breaking the blessed silence around here to spread my joy that The Black Cats, The Refrigerators and Fast Passing Revue are back.  They played Westborough last night, and anyone who was anyone (or who, like me, wished they’d been a part of the original scene) was there and rocked OUT.

The kitschy venue was the Knights of Columbus hall, where Dave Small debuted at the tender age of 13.  We arrived about ½ hour late (my bad: needed to pick up a 2-gig card for my camera) and had to elbow our way in, and not because of the throwback-to-the-sixties admission price of 5 bucks.  Westborough natives heard it through the grapevine and made it their business to be there, driving from Boston, Spencer, Rutland and probably further afield.  I think the K of C might need to replace their dance floor after this 4-hour reunion.

Some of it was funny (the number of men wearing baseball caps) and some was bittersweet.  One guy is battling cancer, and another lost his wife over the holidays (yet managed to put together, in one week’s time, an incredible memorial service for her which people are still talking about).  There were delightful children there, starting with the cool character at the admissions desk (who referred me to the bartender for a pair of scissors so I could break into the new camera card’s packaging).  There were teens manning the food table, and they were neither mortified nor sullen; they were, in fact, groovin’ to the music.  Roger’s son Thomas did himself proud onstage for an entire set.  And then there was Dave Kenney’s daughter, who’s a 36-year-old in a young teen’s body – I wish I’d had her gift of weathering (good-natured) sarcasm and immediately returning fire with dead aim.  Plus, she can dance :-)

The reason excuse for the concert was the release (this week!) of Dave Small’s new CD, on the indie label Black Cat Crossing Productions.  We were treated to live performances of a couple of those tracks!  Between sets, the studio exec also shanghaied Jef and me to his SUV so we could hear the CD versions of those songs – clean as a whistle without losing Dave’s raw power.  I can’t wait for our copy.

The good news: Once the bartender performed surgery on my memory card packaging, I captured a few numbers on video.  The bad news: 2 gigs get me a whopping four songs.  AVI format is a hawg, people.  One 3-minute song?  360 meg.  I’ve converted them to MPEG, but they’re still honkin’ huge files (40-60M).  Maybe you could check your email (or write a few) while each song loads :>  Low monitor resolution will help – not with the load time, but with the viewing.  Our screen res is 1200×1600, so the MPEGs are about 2½x3¼”.  I now conclude this whine with the mention of ambient light, or, more accurately, the lack thereof.  It consisted of tungsten sconces and a couple of blue spots, so keyboardists and drummers were not featured in my deathless videos.  I could not see them through the viewfinder, although I swung desperately in those directions a couple of times.

The Black Cats (one current band comprised of some core Westborough-crowd musicians) were up first.  Luckily, although I missed the beginning while Samurai Bartender liberated my card, I got the song Dave Kenney seemed proudest of: “Hideaway“.

Chip Smith (who, as I understand it, was responsible for talking Dave Kenney into doing the Vincent’s gig in November) sang “Too Tired” and then regaled us with a local version of “Gangster of Love.”

The first time my memory card filled up, I deleted 2 songs so I’d have space for Fast Passing’s set.  Donna did an amazing job on “Sporting Life”, but I had chosen the worst vantage point in the room, and the blue lights were doing unspeakable things to her face.  Assuming that she’d be performing for a while, I deleted that video – and she stepped down for the night.  (Donna, I’m sorry – but I think you’d agree that my footage needed to be destroyed.  Immediately.)

There was a general shuffle and, amid cries of “Too many guitars onstage!”, The Refrigerators jockeyed for position and did a set.  I managed to film the song that got air time on ‘BCN.  That’s Dave Small introducing it, with Henry Nigro singing backup.  May I just say that of all the men I’m not married to, Henry is possibly the most charismatic?  I hasten to add that the others in the room are high-scoring runners-up, for sure.  But Hen3ry (and he knows why I’m spelling it that way) is lit from within, and if we could harness that energy we wouldn’t have all this foolishness about petroleum resources.  We could light the world.  On the other hand (and I’m sorry I only got one verse before the memory card choked), Henry would probably say, “Time Won’t Let Me.”

2 Responses to “rockin’ the ‘boro”

  1. guinness girl Says:

    Yay! Yez breaks her unofficial vow of silence! I’ve missed you. The Day of Music sounds fantastic!

  2. Yez Says:

    {{{beam!}}} Glad to be back. I still have limited Internet time (and even more limited stuff to write about), but it’s all getting better.

    Check out David’s poster for the event! I was too tired last night to remember to post it :>

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