In their first review of the new year, MT's own "Wonder Twins" -- Laura and D'Anne Witkowski -- comment on Vic Chesnutt's show at the Pike Room last night, Wednesday, January 28th:
D'Anne: Let me start off by saying I think openers Elf Power have the best band name ever.
Laura: It is a great band name! But I will admit that I had them confused with the Tall Dwarves. Who are from New Zealand - not Athens, GA.
D: An elf and a dwarf is not the same thing, Laura. That is very insensitive of you.
L: It's the same category.
D: No, it is not. Elves are not real. Dwarfism is a real thing. I hope you get hate mail.
L: Fine! I hope so too! That would be a great way to kick off our first Wonder Twins review of the year.
D: I'd rather not start off the year with your size-ism. Or height-ism. Or whatever.
L: I don't think it's either of those things! Rather, we are starting off the year with my inability to tell fantasy from reality.
D: Well, we really were at the Elf Power/Vic Chesnutt show at the Pike Room Wednesday night. So "back to life, back to reality," to quote En Vogue.
L: Oh, no, you didn’t!! That, my friend, is Soul II Soul, not En Vogue!! You are so’ 90s served!!
D: My bad. But at least I don't hate dwarves.
L: Fine. We're even. I thought that Elf Power played a good set -- the bass player and drummer were really solid.
D: And really loud! I was standing right up against the speaker and I swear the vibrations exfoliated my legs and shook out my fillings.
L: I didn't exactly feel that kind of amp power, but you were standing like, three feet closer than me.
D: I realize I am making it sound as if we were at a drum and bass booty show or something, which is definitely overstating the case.
L: You were close enough to the stage that you could've easily reached over and grabbed the Elf Power lady's clarinet. I so wanted that to happen!
D: That would be a violation of her personal musician space. And since I could have only fumbled through an elementary-school level rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In," not at all gratifying for anyone involved.
L: I have actually had "When the Saints Go Marching In" in my head since the show! This is your fault! Although I think the guy who busted into a drunken jig by himself near the end of Elf Power’s set would've loved your clarinet skills. After all, he was your boyfriend.
D: He was not my boyfriend, though I did find him kind of adorable. I usually am not amused by drunken antics, but he seemed really sincere and even knew some of the words to the songs.
L: Well, I have seen much worse "dancing by myself” drunks than that
D: Yes. You, for one. Anyway, I liked the Elf Power songs that used the clarinet the best. They're a band I have always known about in the back of my head but had never checked out. And now I have.
L: The stuff they did with Vic Chesnutt was really good.
D: Yeah, that was definitely the best. I liked how those songs were arranged a lot. I really liked how those songs were arranged.
L: Me too... But don’t repeat yourself twice for emphasis. That’s creepy. Also Vic Chesnutt was really funny.
D: He's quite a character. He's got a great sense of melody and humor.
L: I liked when he called out that lone drunken clapper with, "Hold your horses, white boy!" Ha! It's funny because it’s true!
D: What's true? The fact that the drunk guy was clapping? I think Mr. Chesnutt thought he was clapping because he thought the song was over, but he was really just doing his own percussion. I know because I was watching him, giving him the "knock it off" stare.
L: Oohhh... Apparently he didn't see you - because your "knock it off" stare means bizness!
D: Indeed. I loved how Vic Chesnutt was rocking out on his $30 acoustic guitar.
L: With what looked like a shoelace for a strap.
D: A series of shoelaces tied together. So many of his songs were about animals.
D: Teddy bears (dirty!), dogs (bilocating!), horses (stopped!).
L: Though a teddy bear is not really an animal. It's a toy.
D: Close enough.
L: They are pretend. Like dwarves.
D: There you go again. The Build-A-Bear dwarf constituency is so going to come after your ass.
L: So be it. Well this was fun! 2009 is going to be a great concert year. I think I'll drag you out to another show soon.
D: I'll see what my lawyer says.
Laura and D’Anne Witkowski are both freelance writers who sometimes go to shows and then converse about them. They are neither elves nor dwarves.
Elf Power: Taller than one might imagine...
Elf Power: Taller than one might imagine...