Monday, April 8, 2013

Bex not Beck...also an update on my son's quest for stardom

My review of the sporadically excellent House of Mercy by Bex Marshall runs in today's (newly virus and malware free) Blurt. 

I said, " Move over fashion plates, front-women, one-chord wonders and just-learned-the-bass-for-my-boyfriend’s-band chicks. Bex Marshall is a real woman of rock, a scorching hot guitar player with a cat’s-tongue of a voice that caresses even as it scrapes a layer of skin away. A Brit with a serious fixation on American roots, gospel, blues and R&B, she’s on fire in this third full-length, picking and sliding and bending the guitar notes until they wreathe around her like a heat mirage.

 Her “House of Mercy” kicks things off in a whine of organ, a hip-jutting chink of tambourine. “Let the service begin,” Marshall insinuates, in a dirty whisper, as her tamped down guitar vamps against a bass-y cadence. A choir of gospel belters is on hand, too, ready to throw their hands and voices up at the chorus. Like all blues-people, Marshall talks in metaphors, using a vampire story (“Bite Me”), a fishing tale (“Gone Fishin’”) and a rattlesnake (“Rattlesnake”) as platforms for sexual innuendo. The heat is there anyway, pulsing through the lyrics, permeating Marshall’s playing and singing with a smoky sensuality. Her band is top-notch, too, with Barry Payne (quite possibly the love interest in “Barry’s Song”) bumping a groove on stand-up bass, Crispin Taylor on drum kit and Danny Bran on sizzling auxiliary percussion.

The rest

In personal news, my rock star son has gotten himself waitlisted for the BFA acting program at Syracuse, one of the nation's very top drama schools, and he did it without his best stuff, because they had a "no Shakespeare" rule at Unifieds.  So we're leaning towards CCPA/Roosevelt, even though I have NO idea how we can pay for four years of it at $40,000 after loans and scholarships (pathetic scholarships, but still) to start and probably more as years go by.  He might have to go for a couple of years, see what he can learn and who he can meet and then just start trying out for shows...Or maybe I'll make some more money.  Or maybe Bill will sell a script.  Or maybe Sean will get another scholarship or two.  Or maybe, this weird, hard-to-believe offer of a free apartment near U Chicago will come through, via one of my library trustee friends, who has a friend in Chicago who needs a dog sitter. Also Syracuse considers financial need, of which we have a bunch, so if he gets in there, he might get more aid.  We live in hope and sleep (or fail to) in fear. 

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