On Tuesday eves a few months ago, the West Berry bar was screening decent Hollywood comedies, like Super Troopers and Team America. Then, to my elation, the joint had nothing going on. (I may be old, but I’m still as solitary as any misanthropic alt-rocker born after 1980.) Then, several weeks ago, the bar started hosting live jazz – just like in the old days, a couple of years ago before Moon ownership changed hands. On the plus side: A) Cowtown can always use more straight-ahead live jazz, B) some of the performers (mostly young dudes) are – no shit – exceptional players, and C), since the show draws a crowd, my heart warms at the thought of a small-business owner doing well.
The not so good: Occasionally, the hosts of the show – two young male vocalists, Myles and James – get onstage and croon. I’m partial to Myles, an apparent honors graduate of the Perry Como School for Lounge Singing. His voice is masculine yet airy and smooth yet not too cheesy (but cheesy enough to delight the kitsch-lover in me). James, with his slightly flat, slightly-straggling-a-beat-behind, and slightly emotionless readings, strives to achieve infinity in subtlety as only Mel Torme can – obviously, young James comes up short. He’d probably be better off in the studio or a less-crowded, more adult-friendly bar, some place where delicate, highly stylized singing is afforded the sonic breathing room to resonate more clearly and deeply.
At the Moon, the crowd – mostly TCU students and newbies to jazz who can’t tell their Kenny Burrell from their Kenny G – couldn’t care less. They love the show, and, merely out of the joy that comes with seeing young people and old music sharing the same space, I unreservedly recommend stopping by. Until the new Black Dog Tavern gets up and going in its new spot near the Cultural District, the only place where young Cowtown and jazz will be a-mingling is the Moon.
… Next door at the Aardvark this Fri. is an example of what happens when a youthful musician finally gets out of music theory class. Young Joe Kirkland, the frontkid of the pop-radio-friendly Joe K Experience, is a burgeoning heartthrob. A tousled-hair graduate of the John Mayer School for White Boy Soul, Joe K can excite the ladies by either turning his fresh-face from them and singing angrily toward the heavens or looking deep into their eyes and petting his guitar as if he were polishing a Grammy award.
The guy really shouldn’t be trapped in a classroom chair – he’s got energy and decent pop songs and, so far, one great pop number, “Guilt Trip.” Joe K has five Metroplex shows over the next month and is releasing Climbing Towers, his full-length debut on which he plays every instrument. (He’s been a musician since childhood.) With a backing band, he plays with Committed, Old-School Demi, and Armanda the Beat, at 2905 W Berry St, FW (817-926-7814). Visit www.myspace.com/joekmusic.
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