|Mom And Dad: shoes, end of songs optional.|
Day Forty-One. Yes, we're falling behind, but our spirits have not flagged.
So, we happened to be at the Barley House, and lo and behold our fifteenth show was delivered unto us --- a lounge duo called Mom And Dad. No, seriously, that's what they're called. No, that's not creepy at all. Apparently they play the Inwood Lounge with some frequency.
There was no cover. About sixteen to twenty people were present, though only about twelve or so seemed to be actually giving any attention to the music.
So M&D --- Marc Rebillet on the world's biggest keyboard, the shapely-legged Rachel Zebrosky on vox --- played covers during two sets.
We heard loungified versions of "Space Oddity" and a soulful, slow "Brick in the Wall" first. Rachel has a great voice, and while their laid-back, languid readings of the classic weren't something we would normally seek out, they weren't an offense to our delicate ears, either.
"My Sweet Lord" was next, ultra-slow and cut off abruptly by Rachel, dismissing it (rightly, alas) as "boring." Then M&D switched gears with an attempt at the newer song "Fuck You," but that too was stopped after just a few lines, as Rachel (who apparently looked up the lyrics on her smartphone as she sang it) said, "That's all I know."
The Bee Gees, requested by R, fared much better in the pair's hands, with some nice falsetto harmonies on "Staying Alive." Despite reaching an almost interesting level of energy with that number, it too was stopped abruptly, as Rachel snapped, "Next song."
"Take the Money and Run" worked very well as a lounge song; it made us want to have cocktails and talk to Hip People in John Lennon Glasses. "Billie Jean," "I Put a Spell On You," and "Spoonful," less interesting choices all, came next. Then suddenly they left the stage, without a word. Apparently the cluster of friends who had come to see them were leaving, so M&D walked off stage to follow them out.
In sum: The musical chops are there. Keyboard is decent and Rachel's voice is good. She can't hit the high notes but plays to her vocal strengths. The problem is an almost total lack of showmanship; this is very clearly two friends taking the stage for temporary kicks, not practicing a craft. The constant song stopping goes a long way to turning off the potential listener, who isn't there to hear the music but might otherwise be drawn in. And the two are both hidden, almost, Marc by his enormous keyboard, his songbook propped up in front of his face, and Rachel almost always sitting behind a music stand.
The thing is, the two of them were so desultory and flighty the whole evening that R came away saying he enjoyed it, because he was convinced that the entire thing was an ironic put-on, from the giant keyboard to the aborted songs to the flight from the stage. N, and our friend A, did not agree, and tried to argue that, in fact, what we saw was actually what was being offered: a couple of young dilettante Theater People having fun fooling around, basically entertaining themselves and their friends. R said, "well, if that's true, it's not very good at all!"