Concert review: Klezwoods, Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, Cirkestra (1/10/13)

My first concert of the year was a big one – three popular local bands, all touching on the klezmer/circus/gypsy music family. We are blessed with a lot of that sort of music here in Boston, although I’ve never really known why. Whatever the reason may be, in my opinion it’s a very good thing!

The show was at Johnny D’s in Somerville, where I hadn’t been in ages. They recently changed their ticketing system for the worse, unfortunately. You used to be able to buy a ticket online, then call to reserve a table, where you could eat and drink as much or as little as you felt like. With the new system, if you want to get a table reserved, you have to pre-pay for $12 or $20 worth of food, which must be ordered from a limited prix fixe menu. This can make things considerably more expensive, especially since you have to pay fees on the food prepayment amount. On the plus side, Johnny D’s is a pretty decent place to see a concert: the sightlines and sound are both good, and the food is better and less expensive than a lot of similar concert venues.

Cirkestra was the first band of the night, and I couldn’t help but notice that their usual saxophone player was not there. I felt a little sad about that, because she’s one of my favorite things about that band. There was another saxophone player in her place, who I knew I had seen in another band recently, but I couldn’t put my finger on it for a while. Finally it hit me: I saw him play with Amanda Palmer at the Paradise in November! (If you’re wondering why that was so memorable, (more…)