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Just Plain Folk. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Just Plain Folk.

Once again, a Saturday night show kept me from posting. This one was a lit-tle more intimate than seeing Springsteen, and unlike three Saturdays ago, this time it was the two of us- and we'd both seen her before.

Five winters ago, Antje Duvekot (pronounced Aunt-yuh Doo-va-Kott- she helpfully phoneticizes it on her website) opened, at this same small venue in our neighboring village, for Lucy Kaplansky. We'd been fans of Lucy for years, but it was our first time meeting both of them in person. The night was special in an odd way, because Lucy had sprained her chord-playing wrist right before the show, so Antje came back out after her own opening set and did all of the guitar parts for the rest of the evening (mixed with a few guitar songs done a cappella or on piano).  I've seen Lucy a few times since then in further away venues, but this was Antje's first time back on our radar, and we're thrilled we got to go.

Her opener was a banjo-playing folk artist named Tyler Westcott. From his opening song, we know that he moved here from somewhere along the "mighty Genesee" to find a woman's love- only to find that his Buffalove lasted longer.  He now plays in a number of bands, but he gave us about half an hour of mostly original material. Here he is on the stage:

This venue seems to attract temporary bad things, because the power went out right before the sets began. Fortunately, it didn't stay out long.  After Tyler's set, Antje came out for about an hour before intermission.  We left at the break; long days and sore knees/shoulders make desanctified church pews a bit much for a three-hour night.  As for her remaining songs and stories, I'll open the letter I sent her on the website form- minus the footnotes, which will explain a couple of the references.


We really enjoyed seeing you last night. (Yes, we're the ones you saw leaving at the break. No refection on the performance at all; you may find it hard to find a "Forever 40" store 1, but around here there are plenty of "Forever Almost 60s." They go by names like Walgreens and Buffalo Orthopaedics, and they can't completely fix things so we can sit in a church pew for almost three hours.)

We were also there your last time, opening for Lucy.  You said at one point last night that you're no Springsteen,2 and that may be true- his show three weekends ago was the last one I saw- but then I don't think he ever stood in for Clarence or Jake Clemons on the sax on short notice.)  Your show with Lucy was one of the best shows we've ever seen, and I count the Boss among that.

A couple of things we'd have mentioned if we could have stayed after:

- Your story before "Long Way" about your devout East German road companion3 reminded me of a film from a few years back- called "Goodbye, Lenin" (at least in the subtitles), it tells of a true believer DDR woman who awakens from a coma after the fall of the Wall, and her kids try mightily to protect her from finding out, with videotapes of old news broadcasts and hard-to-find East German foodstuffs.

- You told the "Merry Go Round" story at both shows4, and while it may not be your favorite, it's awfully infectious- enough that it got into my head the day before the show. But then it started mixing and mashing with another song- Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Twist and Shout."  I can now NOT hear the two of them together.

- Finally (and I could never have kept you this long at the merch table): we brought extra for any CDs you had on offer, but I only saw "Near Demise," which you kindly signed for us last time. So we wanted instead to donate to the program you mentioned in the prelude to "Mexico."5 Can you post, or reply, or something with those details? It sounds like an amazing cause.

1She mentioned, with a little embarrassment, that she'd picked out her outfit for the evening from a "Forever 21" store, because it's hard to find any marketing the "Forever 40" brand. The outfit, btw:

2 This reference came from her introducing an unrecorded but very cool song of hers called "Opium." A male fan heard it, and not only asked to use it as his first-dance song as his wedding reception, but he asked Antje to come to the reception and sing it. The bride was so faked out by her sudden appearance, nobody but the groom recognizing her- until she started to sing it. That settled things quickly.

3This song tells of a Kerouacian road trip she took in her post-60s hippie phase, with a genuinely devout East German communist- who, like most formerly devout East Germans, has now gone on to become an even more devout capitalist. The film referenced there plays on these convolutions, as well.

4 She wrote this song, and largely stopped performing it- until an ad agency in her now hometown of Boston called- someone there had heard the song and asked if they could use a snippet of it in a national ad campaign for Bank of America. She sang the song, and told the tale, the first time we saw her, around its use during that year's Super Bowl. She's still not especially fond of it, but it paid for her car, and probably her ability to tour to small venues like this one.

5Antje participated in a nonsectarian mission trip to a Mayan village, building homes for the native women out of earth and concrete. If she answers the wherefore question I asked, I will signal-boost it here.


We then wound down for a few minutes at home with the final moments of The Martian- a film Eleanor hadn't much interest in from the trailers, but which proved in the viewing to be more humorous, and with more about gardening and fixing things, than she'd expected. It has its Science Flaws, but it's a tale well told.
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