Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2)

Heading to Rockwood Music Hall late Thursday night, I worried that The Hipstones did not qualify to be featured here.  Their jazz credentials are rather questionable, with a sonic description that cites “Marvin Gaye and a whole lot [of] modern day.”  But this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want.  And who’s to say what qualifies as jazz?  That is, unless you are one of a couple prominent and outspoken trumpeters.  If this makes the purist in you uneasy, don’t worry; The Hipstones, I hear, can be traced back to the acid jazz tradition.

Having given myself that pep talk and congratulating myself on being the maverick that I am, I walked into the room and cringed at the volume level.  Thinking to myself, “What is this, some kind of rock concert? It’s too loud in here!”—my natural instinct was to plug my ears.  It turns out I’m more of a jazz snob than I thought.

Standing by the entrance, as far away from the band as possible, I enjoyed the harmonizing of voice (Anthea White), trumpet (Josh Deutsch), tenor sax (Dylan Heaney) and baritone sax (Tim Stocker), as the drummer (Jordan Perlson) laid the groove.  Theirs was a true dance music, what jazz used to be, encouraging a brave couple to get down on the floor as a guest dancer shimmied in a flapper dress onstage.

The frontwoman wore black plastic onion ring earrings as big as her face, a red dress with cap sleeves, black tights and metallic pumps covered with sparkly studs.   Why was each piece of her outfit noteworthy when the supporting vocalist/ pianist (Mark Palmer) looked to be yet another bearded hipster with square rimmed plastic glasses in a newsboy cap?  Perhaps the objectification of woman is so prevalent in our culture, from ads at the bus stop to comments made in jest in sermons, that I automatically sum up a woman by her physical attributes.

But the lead vocalist, Anthea, certainly had more going for her than just her outfit. With her bubbly energy and announcements made in her girlish voice, she reminded me of Minnie Mouse.  I glanced over and was pleased to see Mickey peeking out from the tee under the bassist’s (Chris Tarry) plaid button-down.  Speaking of which, our men’s room correspondent, KMac, will be working for the big cheese this summer.  After my last mention of him eating tubs of ice cream with a plastic fork, he began to think that he’s “the star of [my] blog,” so I have been giving his ego time to deflate.  Though he has fallen out of favor, he may be able to redeem himself if he gets me a ticket to Disneyland.  And anyway, KMac would have disliked the sole restroom at Stage 2, since he hates trendy bathrooms.

The equipment scattered around the restroom confused me at first, and I almost thought I had stepped into the gear room.  Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw that there was both toilet and sink, so indeed, I was in the bathroom.  Right across from the bathroom was a ladder with a danger sign, in addition to curious little doors and a general air-conditioned, staged tavern-esque feel that made me feel as though I was inside an amusement park.

Though the head mouse may reign supreme in most regions of our McWorld, a different creature rules in Australia, where The Hipstones are from.  No, I’m not referring to kangaroos or koalas, but the ubiquitous dunny budgies of Australian outhouses.  A dunny budgie is an affectionate term for a fly that dwells in a toilet (aka dunny), named after a little English bird.  What a nice way to pay tribute to your former colonizer.  Frontwoman Anthea tells us how to say, “Where’s the restroom?” like an Aussie –

Where’s the dunny?