Thursday, December 17, 2009
"Blank Face Goblins" was featured in Episode # 29 - http://epilepticgibbon.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/episode-29-hot-snow/
"Devil's Guitar" was featured in Episode # 36 - "http://epilepticgibbon.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/episode-36-nightmare/
The Epileptic Gibbon Blog & Podcast is the brainchild of Ian Fairholm, and here is more about him, as stated in the "About Me" section of his MySpace profile:
"...Check out my music podcast show, devoted to the best mixture of independent and small label prog rock, art rock, post rock, prog metal, jazz rock, folk rock, downtempo, chill-out, ambient electronica, IDM, chamber pop, and experimental/avant garde music. If you're an artist/band and would like your music to be featured on the show then let me know via the usual routes. If I like your music then I'd love to play it and help promote you. If you like my show then spread the word.
Reviewing policy: I'm a freelance music reviewer in my spare time and I write for the Progressive Ears website (http://www.progressiveears.com), and I've previously written for Organ music magazine (http://www.organart.demon.co.uk/neworgan.htm) and for www.the13th.org/, plus many of my reviews have ended up on artists' websites too. At the end of each year I send out a countdown of the best albums of the year (IMHO) to assorted friends, radio DJs, websites and musicians. If you'd like me to review your CD please drop me a message via any of the usual routes. To get an idea of the sort of things I like and I'm likely to review please look at my friends list and my list of favourite artists. I tend to review 'new' albums, i.e. those from the current year, but I will consider reviewing older albums."
Eppy Gibbon on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/62231831
Eppy Gibbon Group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9610769087
Eppy Gibbon Official Blog & Podcast Site: http://epilepticgibbon.wordpress.com/
Monday, December 7, 2009
This lovely image of Seth, moi & Miss Gertrude The Accordion, was taken by Jerry A. @ Club Chrononaut in San Diego in September 2009.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Subject: iFunny Radio Demented and Comedy Music Poll 2009.
Time for all funny music fans to vote for their favorite funny stuff of 2009.
There are well over 600 entries, enough for anybody.
Please limit your votes to 25 songs or sketches per ballot per day.
Vote once per day from the same computer.
Please include The Beer Hall In Hell by Veronique Chevalier every time you vote, once a day, every day til Dec. 24th!!!
The top 100 songs of the year will air on dfsxradio.com at a day and feed to be determined.
Thank you. Here's the link to the ballot. :-)
Deadline is Dec 24!!!
Monday, November 23, 2009
We made it! It was quite a trip... here's some thoughts on the last day of the first ever Seattle International Cabaret Festival.
The day started early at the Can Can with the Peculiar Pretzelmen playing live accompaniment for the short film "Widow's Walk" (and related other pieces).
After that Seth Bedford & Veronique Chevalier got in one last performance before the end of the Festival. The setting fit the duo like a glove.
The Castaways' performance was moved from the Can Can to the final blowout at the Moore so...
The Festival Finale Spectacular!
Not suprisingly the event was like the rest of the Festival... not so much writ small (this was the biggest stage after all) as writ compact.
Almost too many to recall...
The Bad Things, The Castaways, Circus Contraption, The Heavenly Spies, Miss Mamie Lavona, Orkestar Zirkonium, The Peculiar Pretzelmen, Robert Rial's Bakelite 78, Scarlet Room, Toybox Trio, Vinsantos, Iva Handfull, Queen Shmooquan, Stella Rose, Waxie Moon... (I'm Sure I missed somebody...)
And a special appearance by Vince Mira!
The show ended with Orkestar Zirkonium leading a parade of performers & audience down to the Can Can for the closing party.
It's still a lot for me to take in.
But I have to consider any event that destroys lucidity a a success!
With a bit of luck I'll have my brain back on line by next year's festival.
Seattle International Cabaret Festival~
The Can Can~
The Peculiar Pretzelmen~
Original URL: http://sepiachord.livejournal.com/557410.html
* * *
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Veronique Chevalier (Painting of Waxie Moon © Xavier Ortega)
(photo © E. Joyce Glasgow)
Seattle Cabaret festival overflowing with talent
by E. Joyce Glasgow -
SGN A&E Writer
The First Annual Seattle International Cabaret Festival
Can Can, Triple Door, Pensione Nichols, ACT, Moore Theatre
The ambitious Seattle International Cabaret Festival, organized by Can Can owner Chris Snell, showcased avant-garde cabaret acts from local artists and invited performers from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and New York City. I found myself going to many more of these enjoyable performances than I had planned to as I discovered new talents. The festival had an energetic atmosphere that combined elements of Victorian Gothic, vaudeville, burlesque, acrobatics, visual arts, poetry, film, music and dance parties with a community-oriented feel and enthusiasm.
Artist/dollmaker/filmmaker Miss Oblivious curated the acts at the cozy Pensione Nichols, a bed and breakfast on First Ave. She created an arts "salon" called Poe's Peculiar Parlor (after Edgar Allen Poe) in the public gathering room, which had a grand piano and a lovely, picturesque views of Elliott Bay. Low lamplights and candles created an intimate atmosphere where tarot card and palm readings took place, and tea was served with cucumber sandwiches and ginger snaps. Handmade dolls and paintings were on display and the acts here combined programs featuring filmmakers, writers and cabaret musical acts.
Of particular note was Veronique Chevalier, a wonderfully eccentric and comedic singer/songwriter from Los Angeles who looks like she just dove out of a painting by French Post-Impressionist artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. She also reminds one of a favorite, slightly crazy and extravagantly whimsical aunt, who lives in her own somewhat fantastical and a bit saucy universe. If Charles Dickens had written a Ghost of Mirth into his Christmas Carol, Veronique Chevalier would be she.
Chevalier loves to entertain and bring laughter and good cheer to her audiences, and isn't afraid of making fun of herself in the process. Accompanying her in her performances is her silent partner Napoleon, le corbeau (the raven), who, in true kooky Chevalier style, sits regularly upon her head.
Seth Bedford accompanied Chevalier on accordion. Bedford, from New York City and originally trained as a classical cellist, also played original material, as well as a few old standards from the Great American Songbook with his band, Huxley Vertical. The band was arranged for violin, viola, piano, bass and accordion in a chamber-like setting.
(Photo © by E. Joyce Glasgow)
Vinsantos, a self-described "glam-cabaret" performer from San Francisco, entertained with an expressively painted white face and facial glitter and a hat cocked mysteriously over one eye. Under the soft light of a candelabra, Vinsantos sang original, darkly emotional songs at the piano and was joined intermittently by the otherworldly blues singer Agness Twin, who was also up from San Francisco.
A short film of particular note shown at the Parlor was California artist Christy Kane's moral tale of the importance of having patience and not letting your temper get the best of you. Called Callalily, it was an animated film, starring one of her many unique handmade dolls named Callalily.
Singer/songwriter and guitarist Zoe Boekbinder, who has an unusual, rich voice with a country twang, performed original material at the Parlor and Triple Door, deftly using multiple electronic loops to round out her sound with layered rhythms and harmonies.
Vagabond Opera, a wonderful group from Portland which combines opera, original songs and music from different countries in their native languages, performed a lively show at the Triple Door on November 11. The late, great Circus Contraption celebrated their new CD The Show to End All Shows with two entertaining shows of music and circus arts on November 12 at the Triple Door.
The Can Can Castaways, a modern dance/burlesque dance troupe who are all graduates of the Cornish College dance department, brought a lot of energy and their distinctive, funky choreography to the Can Can and in performances with raucous band The Bad Things at ACT and at the Moore Theatre for the big finale on Sunday, November 15.
Baby Gramps was as wonderfully funny and entertaining as always in his ACT performance, and was joined by the fabulous acrobatic duo of Dr. Calamari and Acrophelia, formerly of Circus Contraption, as part of the "Cabaret Macabre" on lucky Friday the 13th. On November 11, Arnaldo! the Drag Chanteuse performed his tribute to Eartha Kitt at ACT.
The finale at the Moore on November 15 also featured aerialist Michelle Francis; The Circus Contraption Band; a steamy performance by "boylesque" burlesque artist (and documentary star) Waxie Moon; wild, wacky, non-sequitorial, creative performance artist Queen Shmooquan; Betty Boop-like singer Stella Rose; and the grand finale with Orkestar Zirkonium, playing energizing Klezmer music and leading a parade from the Moore Theatre to the Can Can for a big, festive closing dance party with visuals and music by Global Ruckus with Steve Kamke.
It was a rich festival with lots of great and unusual talent, and was impressive for a first outing as it gave a lot of local and visiting artists a forum for their artistry.
For more information, visit www.thecancan.com/cabaretfestival.
Original article URL: http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews37_47/page25.cfm
Monday, November 16, 2009
The Seattle International Cabaret Festival spans language, gender, genres and venues
Seattle Times arts writer
Seattle International Cabaret Festival
Varying times today-Sunday at Seattle venues: ACT Theatre, 700 Union St.; Can Can, 94 Pike St.; Pensione Nichols, 1923 First Ave.; and the Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave.; event prices vary (206-652-0832 or cabaretfestival.com).
Performance review |
You might not have known it if you were wandering the streets of downtown Seattle on Wednesday night, but the inaugural edition of the Seattle International Cabaret Festival was going on all around you.
In the Dorothy Bullitt Cabaret space of ACT Theatre, drag chanteuse Arnaldo! — in a slinky red dress with spaghetti straps — paid tribute to Eartha Kitt, lovingly nailing Kitt's eccentric phrasing and intonation, albeit with a voice a bit more robust than hers.
Familiar Kitt classics — "C'est si Bon," "I Wanna Be Evil" — were on the set list. But the finest moments came with tunes less familiar. "Waray Waray" — in Tagalog, Arnaldo!'s first language — was a special treat, prompting a fond reminiscence of the sense of connection he felt with the language-hopping Kitt upon his first encounter with her work.
At Can Can, the hub of the festival, the Castaways did energetic lip-sync in "The Bolly Horror Picture Show": "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" given a Bollywood twist. (Think: "Time Warp" to a tabla-driven beat.) Continually switching roles — at one point there were three Dr. Frank-N-Furters onstage — they bent gender to the max while filling the cramped stage with silly dance routines. The show culminated in a frenzied tribute to elephant god Ganesh. The troupe plays different items from their repertoire tonight, Saturday and Sunday.
Over at Pensione Nichols, where I stopped in briefly, performers big on persona and smaller on genuine talent haunted the piano room. The most winningly eccentric: Veronique Chevalier, supposedly fresh in from Paris on the Concorde. In her feathered headdress sat a stuffed bird named Napoleon who all but accompanied her as she sang a twitchy, off-color song about birthdays. Activities continue at the Pensione Nichols through Sunday, including a Kurt Weill evening at 7 tonight.
At the Triple Door, Vagabond Opera ("from faraway exotic sunny Portland") was the indisputable crowning glory of the night. This sextet has fine voices, unbelievable musical chops and a huge and humorous stage presence. They know how to dress, how to make an entrance and how to craft an instantly hummable tune. Their ravishing closing number, "Goodnight Moon," was, they said, "born in Seattle" after gigs they'd played here at Northwest Folklife Festival and the Blue Moon Tavern.
The festival continues for three more days. At 8 p.m. Sunday, it shifts over to the Moore Theatre, where a Subterranean Cabaret Collective will perform. A Grand Finale March from the Moore to Can Can, featuring Orkestar Zirkonium, follows at 10 p.m.
For a full schedule, see www.cabaretfestival.com.
Michael Upchurch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Original URL: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/entertainment/2010263538_cabaret13.html?prmid=obnetwork
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Can Can Presents: The First Annual Seattle Cabaret Festival
The First Annual Seattle Cabaret Festival, which at the kicks off on November 6th, with honored UK Dark Cabaret icons, The Tiger Lillies at the Moore.
The Festival then picks up again on November 11th - 15th and features numerous other acclaimed cabaret, drag and physical performance artists and ensembles over the course of its five-day run. Participating venues include The Moore Theatre, ACT Theatre, The Triple Door, The Can Can and Pensione Nichols.
* Agness Twin * AKAK * An Magi Tarot of the Pomegranate * Armitage Shanks * Arnaldo * Baby Gramps * The Bad Things * The Castaways * Christy Kane * Circus Contraption Band * Crystal Fosnaugh * Danbert Nobacon * Dame Darcy * Darek Mazzone * Diva Le Deviant * DJ Global Ruckus * Dr. Calamari and Acrophelia * Emerald City Soul Club * Funi Daniels * God's Favorite Beefcake * Gypsy Sound System * The Heavenly Spies * Huxley Vertical * I (heart) Shiva * Iva Handfull * Jennybird * jONNI R Synic * Javier Ortega * Lonesome Shack * Luna Nocturna * Maureen O'Donnell * Michele Frances * Miss Oblivious * Miss Mamie Lavona * Orkestar Zirkonium * The Peculiar Pretzelmen * Queen Shmooquan * Robert Rial's Bakelite 78 * Ronald McFondle * Scarlet Foundry * Scarlet Room * Shmootzie the Clod * Seth Bedford * Spirit Board (Gargoyles) * Stella Rose * The Tiger Lillies * Throbosho * Toybox Trio * Vagabond Opera * Veronique Chevalier * Victor Janusz * Vinsantos * Waxie Moon * Zoe Boekbinder
Official Website for dates, times, venues and ticket information: http://cabaretfestival.com
* What: Poe's Peculiar Parlour
* Dates: Wed., Nov. 11th - Sun., Nov. 15th
* Start time: 7pm
* Location- Pensione Nichols
* Street- 1923 First Avenue
* City/Town- Seattle, WA 98101
* Phone: 206.441.7125
* Event Type: all ages, public entertainment, film, literature, music
* Website(s)- http://www.pensionenichols.com & http://www.thecancan.com/cabaretfestival/
Seattle International Cabaret Festival Presents
Join Seattle Art Maven Miss Oblivious who has curated a Series of Fortunate Events at the elegant & cozy landmark Pensione Nichols Bed & Breakfast for five consecutive evenings, each commencing with Tarot and tea- followed by film, literature and live musical performances! Victorian Parlour style... dress-up recommended but not necessary.
Programmes are as follows:
* Wednesday Nov 11th - Hosted by Miss Oblivious
- Huxley Verical Kabarett Nouveau (NYC)
- Schmootzi The Clod (music + murder ballads)
- Plus short films by Miss Oblivious
* Thursday Nov 12th - Hosted by Miss Oblivious
- Veronique Chevalier (Paris + LA) & Seth Bedford (NYC)
- Agness Twin (LA + SF)
- Jonni R Synic
- Short animated film of Huxley Verical Kabarett Nouveau
- Meet the visual artists with work on display in The Parlour:
Sara Devout,AKAK,Javier Ortega,Crystal Fosnaugh
* Friday Nov 13th - Armitage Shanks hosts Kurt Weill Night
- Stella Rose Saint Clair (Helen Kanesque)
- Book reading and films by Christy Kane (New Orleans)
* Saturday Nov 14th - Hosted by: Diva Le Deviant
- 7 pm Palm Readings by Dame Darcy
- Vinsantos (SF)
- Dame Darcy Films & Book Signing
- Funi Book reading
- Short film by Miss Oblivious
* Sunday Nov 15th - Hosted by Miss Oblivious
- Lonesome Shack (Seattle)
- Death BY Doll (LA + NY)
- Maureen O'Donnell (Author of "Scar Flowers")
- Short surprise film screenings
Just Added: Veronique Chevalier & Seth Bedford will also be performing at The Can Can on Sunday, November 15th, as part of the concluding festivities of the Cabaret Festival!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Can Can
Street: 94 Pike Street
City/Town: Seattle, WA
Join in the spirit of Weimar era Berlin at Seattle's Can Can cabaret.
All Ages Welcome!
* Veronique Chevalier & Seth Bedford, Musical Vaudevillians
* Stella Rose, Burlesque
* Esmerelda Strange, Lady Squeezeboxer
* Short films by Miss Oblivious!
Do not miss this extraordinary night for an alarmingly affordable admittance fee of only $5!
Can Can Reservations: 206-652-0832
Flier Designed by Seth Bedford
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
- Captain Wong Wei -
Read the Captain's entire bLog here: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=484502923&blogId=511783237
Photo by: Jerry
Photo by: Jerry
Photo by: Jerry
Monday, October 5, 2009
Music Monday: Polka Haunt Us
I was alerted to a highly unique take on Halloween music: the songs of Veronique Chevalier. According to her website, WeirdVal.com, "Veronique is known as The "Weird Val" of Dark Cabaret, for her hilarious parodies and side-splitting covers. (Imagine if Jim Morrison and Elvira had a twisted, Edith Piaf-like love child.)"
Below is the video for her song "Vampire Surprise" from her Halloween compilation album, Polka Haunt Us.
Journey below the video, and you can preview other Polka Haunt Us songs on an MP3 sampler.
Posted by Catherine Karp at
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Two words: Gothic. Polka.
Gothic, spooky-old, polka. You might not have known it even existed. Today, I am ashamed I didn’t know. Polka occasionally makes its way to our consciences around this time of year, mostly diluted by distractions at Oktoberfests, but Veronique Chevalier…aka the “Weird Val” of Dark Cabaret…is changing how we think of the accordion with her compilation, “Polka Haunt Us: A Spook-tacular Compilation.”
POLKA HAUNT US!!! The name alone is enough to kill me, and from the moment I listened to the first track – “The Beer Hall In Hell” – I couldn’t stop smiling. Honestly. Polka Haunt Us. Weird Val may have been gonged off the first season of America’s Got Talent, but all I know is, this is the stuff for me. And I’m not alone. “Polka Haunt Us” was an official selection for Best Polka in the 51st Grammy’s Ballot.
Veronique acted as Executive Producer and lyricist on the compilation, bringing together talent from the polka (and greater) sphere to perform on each track. Really, “Polka Haunt Us” is a concept album, filled with stories from mythology and folklore from across the globe. While it’s definitely the season for gothic polka, these creepy narratives transcend Halloween. There’s an obvious labor of mad love behind Veronique’s research, lyrics, and song titles.
There’s no way to argue this isn’t without its hokiness. (Polka-hokey-ness.) But it’s rooted in cabaret! If we can’t be campy here, where can we? Plus, there’s talent behind the strange. Check out the video for my personal favorite, “Fisher Bird Girl,” based on a Norwegian folktale.
And if that was more seriously surreal than you expected, check out more light-hearted polka fare with “Vampire Surprise,” which tells the tale of an enterprising cook “turning the tables” on bothersome vamps.
Like any concept album, “Polka Haunt Us: A Spook-tacular Compilation” is best heard in full. Experienced is probably the better word than “heard,” because even after a total listen, my brain still can’t quite process the awesome oddity of this album. Stream it at Reverbnation or buy it at PolkaHaunt.Us.
This entry was originally posted by fallon on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 9:20 am and is filed under News.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Original URL: http://scarsmagazine.com/blog/2009/09/29/two-words-gothic-polka/
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Scenes from An Evening of Steampunkery
By Liz Ohanesian in Last Night, Synthful
Photo by Liz Ohanesian
Veronique Chevalier and Seth Bedford
Several years ago, LA-based performer Veronique Chevalier launched Red Velvet Vaudeville Variety Show. During its existence, the performances won acclaim for bringing together an eclectic cross-section of performers linked together through the singer's witty MC stylings. Last night's event A Red Velvet & Sepiachord Evening of Steampunkery, held at Echo Curio, relied primarily on music, but still conveyed traces of vaudevillian presentation.
The evening was divided into halves, with each artist playing two short sets. Mixing together sentimental pop (Eli August), performance art (April Hava Shenkman), accordion-based comedy (Seth Bedford) and Victorian synthpop (Unextraordinary Gentlemen) is tricky, but the night moved quickly and cohesively. Chevalier performed one number with accordionist Seth Bedford in between each set.
Chevalier's character is the rumored "long lost granddaughter" of Maurice Chevalier, a French ballerina whose career was cut short when a crazed cowboy shot out the lights in a theater, causing her to fall into the orchestra pit. She has turned to cabaret as a creative outlet and, like all good cabaret artists, mixes randy tunes with dramatic cover songs sung in a very thick accent. The clip below is a cover of "People Are Strange" that has become a staple of her sets.
Veronique Chevalier "People Are Strange"
Photo by Liz Ohanesian
Malcom Schreek of UXG
Unextraordinary Gentlemen were one of the evening's guests. Their sets reminded us alternately of Nick Cave, Virgin Prunes and Monty Python, the latter of which the band discussed in our interview from last Friday. Below is a clip of the trio performing "Black Iron Road."
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
* Location- Echo Curio
* Street- 1519 Sunset Blvd.
* City/Town- Echo Park, Ca 90026
* Website- http://EchoCurio.com
* Cost- 8 Bux ($8)
* Event Type: all ages, public entertainment & music
* Organized By: Veronique Chevalier
Sepiachord.com & Veronique's Red Velvet Present!
Join MADcap Mistress of Ceremonies MADemoiselle Veronique http://WeirdVal.com as she presents another evening of guerrilla vaudeville at Echo Curio.
Guests artists include:
* Seth Bedford (of New York City) - Composer/Accordionist/Vocalist & Veronique's Official Accompanist http://MySpace.com/SethBedford
* Unextraordinary Gentlement (UXG) - Los Angeles-based Purveyors of Otherworldly Sonic Excellence- http://UnextraordinaryGentlemen.com
* Eli August (of Madison, WI) - Droll Outsider Folk Trio featuring Uke, Standup Bass & Percussion http://MySpace.com/EliAugust
* April Hava Shenkan - Presenting the World Premiere of her new performance piece set to "Blank Face Goblins" (a track from Veronique's Polka Haunt Us: A Spook-tacular Compilation CD)- http://AprilHavaShenkman.com
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On August 16th, I attended The First Annual Vamp Con in Hollywood, garbed as HELLga, The Devil's Beermaid, with copies of Polka Haunt Us in hand.
I am pleased to say that I garnered some great press, photo and video coverage along with some of the other characters in attendance.
Here are some highlights:
* The Vampire Convention Fangoria.com article:
* 10 Fangtastic Vampire Con Photos on Mania.com website:
* The Younger Statesmen Comedy Troupe Blog:
* The Younger Statesmen Comedy Troupe Attend Vamp Con Video:
* Renners Hollywood: Bis(s) die Kasse klingelt - Video (in German):
HELLga Photo on Wire Image
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
* Location: Queen Bee's (formerly the 8teen Center)
* Street: 3925 Ohio Street
* City/Town: San Diego, CA 92104
* Website: http://ChrononautClub.com
* Event Type: all ages, public entertainment & music
* Organized By: Professor J. S. Greyshade
Ladies, Gentlemen, Harlots, and Scoundrels,
The Machina Fatalis Steampunk Social Club presents an evening’s entertainment unlike any the fair city of San Diego has seen. Chrononaut: a night for temporal adventurers of all ages.
Your host, Prof. J. S. Greyshade, selects sounds from eclectic destinations throughout the space-time continuum such as steampunk, alternative folk, gypsy punk, dark cabaret, gothic, middle eastern, circus punk, and extremely mutated hip-hop.
There shall also be visions of monochromatic beauty from the amazing cinematagraph and a variety of special guests and entertainments.
Steampunk, neo-Victorian, dark cabaret and anachronistic dress is most warmly welcomed.
Friday, September 18th, 2double-ought9:
* Veronique Chevalier & Seth Bedford
* Eli August
Doors open at 7:00. Club closes at 11:00
(one block east of 30th Street and 1/2 block north of University Avenue)
Here is the write-up from the Chrononaut website (http://www.mindspring.com/~eandic/chrononaut/parties.htm):
Veronique Chevalier accompanied by Seth Bedford: In a class of her own, MADemoiselle Chevalier is a madly eccentric chanteuse known as the "Weird VAL" of Dark Cabaret, and has been described by some as a campy incarnation of Edith Piaf from a parallel universe.
A cross-section of her repertoire reveals such gems as her parody of "La Vie En Rose" re-imagined as "Escargots", bemoaning her challenged relationship with the tiny French mollusks. Her unforgettable cover of Jim Morrison's "People Are Strange" does solemn honor to a man who, "had the good taste to die and be buried in Paris." She has also co-written and performs a number of originals with Seth.
Seth Bedford is a New York-based composer, arranger, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and visual artist Seth blends the musical idioms of Weimar kabarett, American jazz, Tin Pan Alley, French chanson, tango, New Wave and a variety of other musical sources to create a sound that defies categorization. As a composer, he's written music for cabaret, theater, film and the symphonic concert hall, and he is also the artistic director and vocalist for Huxley Vertical Cabaret Nouveau, an 8-piece acoustic cabaret orchestra performing primarily in New York's Greenwich and East Village
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
She's an unparalleled Parodist; Purveyor of Over The Top Lunacy, and Spooky Polkanista, who has been described as a campy incarnation of Edith Piaf from a parallel universe - the one in which her parents are Jim Morrison, and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and her godparents are Lucille Ball and Weird Al.
Monday, July 13, 2009
by Frank DiCostanzo
After listening to Veronique Chevalier's "Polka Haunt Us," one wonders how something so devilish can indeed sound so heavenly. My mortal ears were scintillated in ways I never could have imagined. Supported by the elegant production work of Jann Castor, this single-themed compilation is just oozing with originality and sophistication.
It all works to compliment the creative lyrics and showmanship of the mastermind behind the songs themselves. Chevalier weaves together her imaginative lyrics with thirteen spooky folktales and fables from around the world, giving each song a unique historio-cultural orientation.
Of course, one can just sit back and listen to this Wonka-esque boat-ride of musical delights, oblivious to any folkloric inspiration. The music's impact alone is enough to keep you at the edge of your coffin.
A quirky yet dynamic concept album, both Halloween- and polka-inspired, "Polka Haunt Us" brings together a talented menagerie of world-renowned musicians, from Lili Haydn (the Jimi Hendrix of violin), to UCLA percussion instructor, Kirk Brundage, to Norwegian soprano, Elisabeth Ekornes.
And the list hardly stops here. Also featured are 2007 Polka Grammy Nominee Alex Meixner; virtuoso accordionist, Gee Rabe, vocalist/actress Marion Ramsey (Sgt. Laverne Hooks of Police Academy film lore), and accomplished "world" guitarist, Goh Kurosawa, to name just a few of the sixteen artists brought together by chaunteuse extraordinaire, Veronique Chevalier.
Even those familiar with Chevalier's penchant for the outrageous will be impressed with the generosity—and grandiosity—of this truly potent witch's brew of a record. Take the Afterwife Polka Tango, a track inspired by Eva Peron's publicly displayed corpse (with music composed by Mike Surratt):
"Evita's husband that Juan Peron Embalmed her in a fancy tomb of her own So he was prepared in the afterlife To have himself a trophy after-wife"
This sets up Eva as the perfect contrast to dead wives who now haunt their cheap, ungrateful husbands from beyond—and at times out of—the grave: "If you hadn't buried me in that cheap casket, I'd still have all of my original skin left."
Then there's Devil's Guitar, based on a purely American myth about a young man called Lazy Billy who discovers a guitar (possibly belonging to legendary bluesman, Robert Johnson). However, the guitar is a snare set by the Devil as Billy ultimately, and comically, plays himself to death: "On and on poor Billy played, his fingers bloody stumps / Then he knew he'd been betrayed, the Devil always trumps."
This sort of pointed satire is typical of Chevalier's vaudevillian style and slapstick candor, but "Polka Haunt Us" moves beyond the boundaries of satirical lyric-based music.
Tracks like Blank Face Goblins and Strange Faces in the Floor launch the listener almost without warning into the realm of the experimental. Yet it is experimental in the traditional sense, artfully combining styles of music seemingly disparate, while calling on themes and soundscapes of more popular music forms.
Add to this subtle, interspersed vocal arrangements (notably Strange Faces and Kalkajaka Polka) along with highly-crafted sampling and noise manipulation (Polka Haunt Us), and the album truly paints Chevalier as a 21st-century iconoclast at her best.
I look forward to whatever future achievements lie in store for the ambitious Chevalier. "Polka Haunt Us" has a robust, if not grotesque charm, making it a true masterpiece of the bizarre. I find it a consummate compilation, worth cherishing for many full moons to come.
Frank DiCostanzo is a writer, musician, and entrepreneur. His company, Messina Editorial Group, specializes in book editing, writer coaching, and multimedia consulting. Visit him at: http://MessinaEditorialGroup.com
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Excitement is afoot. I will keep vous posted about updates pertaining to my appearance at The First Annual Seattle Steam Con, Oct. 23- 25, where I have the honor to perform with Seth Bedford @ Mr. Bodewell's Cabaret.
Chrononaughts, aviators, tinkerers, scientists and steampunk enthusiasts! You are invited to a wondrous event. A weekend of science, fantasy, romance and adventure of the future past. Tea, robots and cabaret await you. The honour of your presence is requested at this humble steamposium.
The organizers are working hard on creating a steampunk symposium of the highest caliber in the resplendent Pacific Northwest October 23-25 2009 at the Seattle Airport Marriott.
Author Guest of Honor: Tim Powers
Artist Guest of Honor: Paul Guinan
Musical Guests of Honor: Abney Park
So, to what can you look forward?
• A Vendor’s Bazaar packed with exotic wares
• An Art Exhibition
• The Perpetual Teatime and Hospitality suite
• The Magic Lantern Theater
• Talks and discussions on all matters steampunk
• Gun modification demonstrations
• Lessons in etiquette
• Steam technology exhibitions
• Games and diversions of a role playing nature
• Cabaret acts presented by the esteemed Mr. Bodewell
• And much more to be announced…
Including several limited capacity events such as High Tea with a Fashion Show, and a special concert!
More details as things are finalized!
Monday, June 22, 2009
He is interested in possibly making a video some of my music! Please stop by his YouTube page and show him some love and encourage him to work with moi.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Join Host & DJ Dave Strauss and co-host Brooke Trout as they delve into the depths of the inner workings of Veronique's psyche, on this episode of Flat Cat Radio LIVE!
Here's the link to the show:
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Alex Meixner, Mike Surratt, Kerry Christensen, Lili Haydn, Jann Castor, Marion Ramsey, Goh Kurosawa, Elisabeth Ekornes, Kai Kurosawa, Gee Rabe, Vinny Golia, Veronique Chevalier, Mica Bando, Gary Shapiro, Kirk Brundage, Jon Asbath, Brian Netzley
Monday, February 9, 2009
Beret & fake cigarette optional!
Greetings mon cher Accordionistas!
I have a new project up my bony, pasty-white arm...It's tentatively entitled "Veronique's 'Squeeze Me' Tour.
Therein I shall collaborate with one local accordionist from an array of cities to create new material with each....
The dealio: Your music, my lyrics on any subject mutually acceptable. Yield: Approximately 15 to 20 minutes worth. We perform it when I am in your neck-of-the woods, most logical would be to incorporate it into one of your shows, and have me be guest artist.
I then drift along to my next stop, do the same concept with the next guy or girl, etc. Eventually the BEST of each of my duets with each different accordionist from each locale would be placed on a compilation album.
My first official victim, er, collaborator on this project is Seth Bedford of Huxley Vertical, in NYC, and I will be his guest the 8th of May @ The Triad, a tiny treasure of a boite Off-Broadway.
So things are off to an auspicious start with VSMT. Have you any interest to do this thing with moi? Can be rehearsed via mp3 exchange and phone.
I could pay a bit of a commission to facilitate your process, since I know bills don't tend to pay themselves. Don't have a huge chest, er, budget, but we would each retain 50/50 copyright, so you could shop the material around however you wish, just like I did with my collaborators on PHU.
And I would do the same with the compilation eventually, so this would GO somewhere. Not just a little cutesy hobby project, but seriously professional (fun) stuff.
I have had interest also from Mark Growden in SF and Rowan Lipkovitz in Vancouver, as well as Edrie Edrie in Boston. I'm thinking of doing a West Coast leg and an East Coast leg. Why then it'd be a two-legged tour. Ha!
Not opposed to going to the Midwest whilst I'm at it, just haven't heard any interest from that sector yet...Although I've had interest from Zap-Pascal in Paris and Wolfgang Meyer, The Riverboat man, in Berlin, so maybe I'll add Europe to the tour in 2010.
Merci beaucoup for your kind consideration. Please contact me as soon as possible so that the games may begin! Please say OUI! Whee! So WE can get started soon!
Lyricist, Chanteuse, & Spookstress
Sunday, February 1, 2009
What They're Saying About Polka Haunt Us:
"A brilliantly clever concept!"
-- Joe Chiccarelli, Grammy-winning Producer
"Artists like Weird Al, Polka Floyd and now Veronique Chevalier are showing us that polkas can not only rock, they can be valid methods of artist personal expression. It takes a lot of talent to pull something like this off, but Chevalier has it aplenty."
-- Lee Widener, Founder - Never Ending Wonder Radio
"Let’s face it: there’s a frightful shortage of good Halloween music. Veronique Chevalier agrees, which is why she’s put together Polka Haunt Us, a “spook-tacular” compilation of [what she] dubs 'World Gothic Polka.'
-- Chris Saccheri, Editor- Let's Polka- All Things Accordion
'"Polka Haunt Us" is a great addition to the radio program...I look forward to receiving future releases from your label."
-- Craig Ebel, Host- It's Polka Time, Nationally-syndicated Radio Program
"A new kind of concept album - a first for Halloween, and a first for polka music: a Halloween polka album. Great new compositions- funny and spooky!! Polka Haunt Us is a great fun album to listen to, and is sure to please polka fans around the world! Well done! Looking forward to their Christmas album!!"
-- Phill N., Host- Polka Radio Melbourne Podcast
Polka Haunt Us recommended by:
* John Gora, 2007 Polka Grammy Nominee
* Lisa Haley, 2007 Zydeco Grammy Nominee
* Brigid Kaelin, Multi-instrumentalist (Elvis Costello)
* Lawrence Wines, Host- Tied To The Tracks, Acoustic Americana Radio Show
Liner Notes Page Two
Liner Notes Page Three
Liner Notes Page Four