Music @ The Biltmore

The other night I opened my apartment door, walked a dozen paces to the elevator and pushed a button that took me down to the lobby. I then walked another dozen paces to the front of the building where I met up with old friend Conrad. Together we walked another hundred paces. No we were not following a sunken treasure map, we were heading out to see music at The Biltmore Cabaret. Did I tell you we live close to there?

Having a popular bar nearby can get a little loud at closing time, but I think it brings a lot of vitality to the block. Especially a live music venue that brings in a lot of great music.

I had heard about the show a few days earlier when I bumped into a musician friend at the neighbourhood play gym. (The children were playing, not us.) First up was his band Maria In The Shower. They were very entertaining, and demonstrated a mastery of their instruments along with some great vocalizing.

On second was a duo who were celebrating the release of their new CD. I can’t remember their name and right now don’t feel like looking for it. Both children are under my care and are currently sleeping but may awaken at any time…

They sounded good but after such a high energy opener things felt a little too subdued. They did have some talented guests on auxiliary instruments but perhaps they should have gone first. Earlier crowds are normally more comfortable with the “sit down and be quiet” thing. Sure it’s their CD release party but does anyone really care about a new CD anymore? I think it all comes down to what makes for the best evening out for a patron that has a lot of other options as to where to spend their time and entertainment dollar. Perhaps you will recognize them from the picture and look online to purchase their new recording.

To close the show was the always charming and entertaining Carolyn Mark! She was playing with a full band and had local luminaries Paul Rigby and Ford Pier sitting in. Paul’s link is him playing with Neko Case on Letterman. Ford’s is his website. A beautiful homepage for sure, but it’s one of those pages where you need to randomly click on an image to get the information to pop up.  Yes, it looks artistic but it takes time for people to find the info they are looking for: Bio, Gigs, Photos…etc..

In todays world it seems the online masses are likely to click away if it takes longer than 5 seconds to find something or a page is slow to load. But I guess only a fan or interested music buff would actually take the time to type in the domain or follow the link, so they might be willing to wait or wallow through it. I’m not saying the new online paradigm is my cup of tea, but we are living in a WordPress world where web design is simple and easy to navigate.

Getting back to the music, the overall sound was a little loose but in a good way. Carolyn sang a song about playing a show or having a party where no one came and unfortunately it was appropriate. Most people had left by the time they got on to play. Believe me, after playing a couple of thousand shows all over North America with my band, I know what that feels like. Somewhat deflating. But they kept the energy level high and I really enjoyed the set.

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