Klezmurder and Gov't Majik

d.b.a. and Den

October 09, 2006

I was gonna be pissed if a murder on Frenchmen was gonna cancel the music at d.b.a. Monday night. Does that make me cold or insensitive? Or just a defiant music lover? I like that second choice better.

I walked around the police tape and flashing lights to get to d.b.a., where a small group gathered despite news that the killer was still out and about. Jonathan Freilich's new band, Klezmurder, was about to play for the third time ever. What a horrible band name for a horrible night. I called it before it happened that Freilich would make a tasteless joke about the night and the name of the band at the beginning of the set. Sure enough, he did, but it wasn't malicious or heartless, just like one of those things it's hard to pass up. Keyboardist Brian Coogan, who is one of the most laid-back people you'll meet, spoke up to Freilich and said it was too soon to say anything. So, of course, someone asked when it would be OK to talk about it, and then someone else said, "The second set." Ah, irreverence.

Klezmurder is Freilich on guitar, Pete on bass, Jeff Albert on trombone, Chris Cole on clarinet, Doug Garrison on drums, and Martin Krusche on sax. This set made me angry. I was angry that Freilich doesn't get more recognition from the local press for his wonderful compositions. Besides Jimbo Walsh, he's the best avant jazz composer we have in New Orleans. Klezmurder was Klezmer-y at times, but mostly it was vibrant and, dare I say, rockin'. The reliable hooks made that so. The jazz influence was there, but that didn't stop the music from being danceable and life celebratory. The brass made that so. No one danced, but they could have.

On the way over to the Dragon's Den later, I swear I had to step over pools of fresh blood and strewn about white gloves as a police officer sat in his car across the street. UNACCEPTABLE! That's disgusting and unsanitary and just wrong. Put some towels in the back of your cruiser and clean that shit up. What a messed up thing to do, to just leave the blood there.

I caught Gov't Majik for the second time at The Den. There were about 20 people there to see two guitars battle with two trumpets, a guitar, a sax, a synthesizer, drums, percussion, and bass. Wow. I was thinking it'd be difficult to not have a clusterfuck with all those instruments, but each member of the Afrobeat orchestra knew his place. Only at certain points was everyone in the band playing, and man, those were some fun points. Sick grooves, just sick. I can't explain how they did it. It must be a mix of the brass power and the musicianship. The music can be drawn out, as songs get up to fifteen minutes long, but that's also how you lose track of time, and that can be a good thing when all you care about is dancing. Check them out.

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