Squeeze the Day for 12/16

Chakras, Marbin and Greasmas VII, plus This Day in Music with Big Country and Beethoven Disco

Dec 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
click to enlarge Marbin (Photo: www.moonjune.com)
Marbin (Photo: www.moonjune.com)

Music Tonight: Just four short years ago, Marbinperforming tonight at The Greenwich in Walnut Hills — came together in Israel when two musicians met just when both were in coming-of-age “crossroads” periods in their lives. Israeli saxophonist Danny Markovitz had just completed his military service (he was an infantry sergeant) when he met Israeli-American guitarist Dani Rabin, who had also just been through a rigorous experience, graduating with a degree from The Berklee College of Music. In 2008, the Marbin duo re-situated themselves in the U.S., landing in Chicago. Since then, the work hasn’t stopped, as Marbin spends around 250 days a year performing (in the Windy City region and across the States). —-

The twosome has also become noted in the Jazz/Fusion community for a trio of albums — 2009’s widely acclaimed Impressions of a City (under the banner “Paul Wertico’s Mideast-Midwest Alliance,” to reflect the hybrid nature of combining Marbin with drummer Wertico’s group), a self-titled duo album and this year’s Breaking the Cycle, an eclectic release (and the group’s debut for Moonjune Records) that found the duo joined by Wertico and bassist Steve Rodby (both noted for their work with the Pat Matheny Group, which has scored them several Grammys), as well as Cleveland native and Jazz/World percussionist Jamey Haddad, who has collaborated and performed with Paul Simon, Joe Lovano and numerous others from a variety of genres. (Marbin is being supported by bassist Ian Stewart and drummer Justyn Lawrence on its current tour dates.) Jazz writers have praised Marbin for its unique, magical creative chemistry, which has resulted in a unique sound that defies easy genre-classification. But, while touching on Prog, Folk, Pop and Ambient music, in spirit alone, the music is Jazz at its essence.

Tonight's show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $5 and, as is often the case at The Greenwich, free appetizers will be available. Check out Marbin's Electronic Press Kit video below for an overview of the group.

• The third-to-last weekend of the Southgate House era begins tonight. In the Southgate Ballroom, local rockers Chakras join like-minded locals Tower of Silence, Atlantis Becoming and Second Chance at Eden, plus Indy's The Canal, for its likely last-ever Toys For Tots benefit (an annual tradition of the band's) at the old House. You know the drill — bring an unopened toy, check out some great, creative Rock music and let that holiday spirit surge through you like a Taser blast. (Show starts at 9 p.m. and cover charge is 45-$7).

Up in the Southgate's Parlour, another holiday tradition — this one hosted by local Rockabilly-flavored rockers Rumble Club — goes down. RC's seventh annual "Greasemas" show (always a blast, with not only great ’billy-styled bands from around the region, but also lots of cool, fitting vendors) kicks off an 9:30 p.m. The show feature Rumble Club, Lords of the Highway and Akillis Green. Admission is $7-$10. Check out Cleveland's Lords of the Highway (self-described "Psychosurfpunkrockabilly" band) below in a raw but rocking live clip.

Momentous Happenings in Music History for December 16
On this day in 2001, Stuart Adamson, lead singer for ’80s U.K.-based one-hit-wonder (though they had many other solid songs) Big Country, committed suicide at the age of 42. Born in Manchester to Scottish parents (he moved to Scotland when he was 4 and grew up there), Adamson got his start in 1977 with the band The Skids, which had some minor successes. In 1982, he founded Big Country, an "AltRock" band with Scottish influences — particularly noticeable in the band's bagpipes-replicating guitars.

Though they fell off the charts, Big Country continued through the ’90s, recording and touring until 1999 (they never did break up). Adamson was found dead in a motel in Hawaii; he hanged himself in his room's closet and was found on the closet floor. The Edge (from U2) delivered a eulogy at Adamson's funeral, during which he said Adamson had written songs U2 wished they had written.

Check out the below clips (including footage from a 1984 episode of Solid Gold!) and remember Stuart on the tenth anniversary of his way-too-soon death.

Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a Dec. 16 birthday include: influential Blue Rock singer/harmonica-ist Paul Butterfield (1942); one of the "Bs" in ABBA, keyboard/synth player Benny Anderson (1946); bearded rocker (ZZTop) Billy Gibbons (1949); German Electronic/Dance music superstar Paul Van Dyk (1971); and some funny-looking dude named Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770).

Perhaps the most famous musician/composer of all time, Beethoven left us some groovy tunes and continues to inspire countless musicians, as well as, enduringly, popular culture. Without Beethoven, those Beethoven movies with the giant St. Bernard dogs might have been called Bach, we would have been robbed of hours of bowled-over laughter from the old "Nobody's home/Nobody's home" answering machine messages set to his 5th Symphony and we would never have had the pleasure of hearing this little Disco ditty, "A Fifth of Beethoven," by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band.

Thanks LVB! And happy 241st birthday!

UPDATE: I have no idea how, but I forgot about another great modern Beethoven reimaginer — The Great Kat! The Metal guitarist is one of the fastest on the planet (ask Guitar World magazine, which ranked her No. 21 on their list of the 50 fastest players ever). As you can see by her website (and its many mentions of Ludwig's birthday today), Kat is a LVB superfan known for her takes on the musical genius' greatest composition. It's pretty much exactly what you would think a wild-eyed Thrash Metal guitar shredder playing Classical music would sound like, but impressive nonetheless.