Hello all you cool cats out there!
I’ve been off doing some adventuring (more so than usual) and found myself in the Big Apple last weekend. It was my first trip to NYC and maybe there is some magnificent pull that city has on all its visitors, or maybe it was just my experiences but something about that city makes me feel different (I’ll clue you in more about my travels later this week). Then coming back to Toronto (which, I do love), things just felt different. I feel like this city (or possibly people in general) have lost the ability to just let go and be free. To get someone to do something out of their narrow comfort zone is impossible! People are so stuck in their mental molasses it’s hella frustrating!! So, on Friday night after saying adieu to my bff (whose life takes him back to Montreal), I had stopped in to my fav local watering hole La Palette This is their second location in Toronto (other being in Kensington Market) and so truly happy they opened in my neighbourhood. Owner Shamez if effing great (& of course the rest of the staff is stellar) and always plays wonderful music. The type of music that just fits for sitting at a bar, enjoying a nice beer or dirty martini, and letting it all wash right over you. I’m taking about the sexy soulful grit of Tom Waits, the upbeat life is a party of Gogol Bordello, the leg tapping ol’ rag time of Sidney Bechet or Louis Armstrong, and a plethora of just supreme stuff. I think every time I’ve been in there I’ve thanked them a thousand times over for opening in my neighbourhood. Anyway, I had found out that they were going to have this local band Rambunctious play on top of the bar and kitchen. They had previously played there but I was unable to make it. Not this time! Unsuccessfully being able to convince a bloke who I usually blow his musical mind when I get him out, I went solo. For those of you who follow me on Twitter know I loath going to shows alone. This was an event I ballz’d out for and man oh man I’m so happy I did! This was exactly the thing I needed to shake me out of my NYC luv coma.
With a glass of Delirium Tremens in hand (seemed appropriate for the raucous event that was about to occur) I heard the clarinet and trumpets wail out from the back of the restaurant/bar. Up on top the bar stood I think 5 people with horns (ranging from trumpets to sax), getting the groove going on the floor was that clarinet and I think a horn or two, and perched on top a makeshift wooden (yet effing sturdy) platform on the kitchen sat awesome chick drummer, bass sax and ring leader trumpeter Michael Louis Johnson (with such spirit and conviction I feel like he was plucked right out from the Mississippi River). As the ringleader announced to the crowd that they are an improvised music group, as in they don’t come in to play set songs, but go off the vibe, the suggested sounds, of the audience, I knew I was in for a blissful treat. They got the crowd warmed up by making them play musical chairs (which totally worked). Playing some of the most spirited Dixieland style jazz (yet they mixed in some different influences in there. Pretty sure there was a bit of a gypsy vibe going for a bit) I’ve seen live since my trip to New Orleans as a child, Rambunctious found a way to break people of their rigid shackles and get them to cut loose.
I so wish I had a better camera than my BB and that the video footage I took actually turned out well (unfortunately not) because I would have loved to be able to document in a better way the amazing experience that was this show. Maybe that’s for the best though because sure, I could go on trying to exude what it felt like to be there with such talent, vibrancy and free spirited energy but ultimately I will fall short of properly expressing it. This sort of show, this type of band, it’s something you MUST go see for yourselves one day. If someone tells you about such an opportunity jump at it! Hopefully it’s some band that is as epically awesome as Rambunctious! Nights like those are what give me fuel to my adventuring random soul.
Till next time, when I share my NYC adventures and don’t worry, some music too!
Check out my new Tumblr called Stall Art It’s for documenting all the awesome & random bathroom graffiti I find on my adventuring.