Almost too Awesome

Suzanne and I met at a bar in the East Village to witness ‘Another Night of Awesome’ – an amazing caberet evening. Four hours of fun and frolics for free.

Our host kicked off the show with a song entitled ‘Dinosaur Cowboys in Space’ – one of the few songs I’ve seen arranged for acoustic guitar and light sabre. He went on to introduce a wide variety of acts.

The first was one of the best: Michael Wagner. He performed beautifully written songs with great heart and style. Suzanne and I immediately bought CDs off him. Old-fashioned, I know, but we’re looking forward to playing his music to many people. He had star quality. Visit his myspace page. He can make a single tiny ukulele sound like a wide variety of instruments.

I recommend ‘Spooky Uke.’

Michael Wagner of New American Folk
Michael Wagner in some Gordon Willis-style lighting.

Then we had the first incarnation of Dave Burdick. He played the part of a laconic stand-up comedian. His material didn’t seem fully formed, but it didn’t seem to matter. He had the audience in the palm of his hand.

Then we had a virtuouso classical acoustic guitarist, sketches from Better than the Machine, and a debut ukulele performance featuring Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls…

Waiting for the ukulele tech
Waiting for the ukulele tech

A debut performance
A patriotic debut

Better Than the Machine did a song called “Give a Shit” that featured the following lyrics “Fuck You! Children’s laughter! Fuck You! New Orleans! Fuck You! Starving Nations!” – follow the link to their video to see more.

I also got a lovely kiss on the mouth from a very nice lady – whose act Suzanne described as ‘unsettling.’

After two hours of on-stage marvels, there was a short break. Then the Awesome short film show began. To give you an idea of what the many films were like, check out one of my favourites at the site run by the organisers of the evening: The Big Things. They showed a couple of other films shown on that website, including one where the only dialogue allowed was titles of Woody Allen films. Dave Burdick turned up again in very different form in some of the sketches on video.

The whole evening was almost too much to take. I hope that Gio and the others decide to have half as much material shown twice as often. If you are in New York, you owe it to yourselves to witness all future Nights of Awesome.

I also liked the double-wipe film and the story featuring the fairy penguin.


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