A group of local ragtime and early jazz aficionados will attempt to cure Valentine’s Day hangovers with a mixed musical bag of songs spanning the years from 1910 to the 1950s covering the various ups and downs of love.
“We’ll be dealing with both the hard side and the soft side of love,” says pianist/trumpeter/musical archaeologist Brad Kay, who organized the event.
Kay will be joined by chanteuses Mews Small, Janet Klein, Suzy Williams, Indira, Flo Lawrence, Karin Spritzler, C.J. Hincks, Marea Boylan and Pamla Eisenberg. Bing Crosby-style crooner Aaron Baccera and vaudevillian singer David Barlia are also on the bill.
The cabaret style performance, dubbed “Cupid’s Revenge,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 18th, at the Unurban Coffee House, 3301 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Admission is $15, which will go towards keeping the Unurban open, which Kay calls “one of the last local Bohemian havens for artists, poets, revolutionaries, musicians, bums and commies.”
The backing band will include Kay on piano, Mark Fletcher on guitar and Dan Weinstein on tuba, trombone and violin. The performer Paula & Her Magical Violin will be a featured soloist.
The repertoire will consist of both famous and ultra-rare forgotten tunes. One such musical fossil to be resurrected is “I Want a Mechanical Man,” a song from a long-forgotten 1929 Warner Brothers musical titled, Gold Diggers of Broadway, which was never commercially rereleased after its original theatrical run. Marea Boylan will sing the number.
Other selections are oddly indicative of their period. The song, “Hot Voodoo,” a tune from 1932 that will be sung by Flo Lawrence, is about “a woman so captivated by the African tempo that she’s got to go wild,” says Kay.
Some of the songs will deal directly with love’s dark, dismal and depressing side. Suzy Williams, who often carries an energetic and optimistic tune in her pocket, will change pace and sing “Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon, My Man’s Gone,” a torch song recorded by Mildred Bailey in 1932 about a woman who gave her all only to have her heart broken.
“We’re going to strip away all the sentiments and show that love is not all about See’s candies and flowers,” says Kay. “It’s also about being kicked out, being in a desolate state and having voodoo curses placed on you.”
Venice resident Kay seeks to be an impetus for a “new vaudeville oasis in Southern California” through his performances and events, he explains.
Information, (310) 315-0056