Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Dec 9th 2009 2:35PM by Laura Ferreiro
The benefit was the brainchild of Francis and his wife, Violet Clark. "When I found out that the baby was born with all these challenges, it blew my mind," Clark told Spinner. "My husband and I were like, 'What can we do? We've got to do something.'" Their idea took shape in the dark Echo Park club, with a sold-out gig that gave 100 percent of the proceeds to Baby Winston and his family. A second event featuring comedy takes place at the Echo tonight.
L.A.'s own the 88 kicked off the evening, delivering a brief and lively set. Francis and Clark then took the stage as Grand Duchy, performing a handful tracks from their recent debut album, 'Petits Fours.' "Thanks for coming out to Winston Calling," Francis told the crowd. Next up was David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, who offered up a cabaret-style performance of his own material as well as a cover of 'Monkey Gone to Heaven,' which saw him dueting with Francis on a spoken-word rendition of the classic Pixies track.
Tenacious D soon kicked things up a few notches with a humorous performance that saw Jack Black furiously hitting the upper registers while Kyle Gass diligently strummed his acoustic guitar. "It looks like there's a hipster convention going on in here," Gass quipped, surveying the audience. The band then invited Francis on stage for the Pixies' 'Oh My Golly,' on which Black took the lead.
"Getting my husband and Jack Black on stage together has been a long time coming," Clark revealed before the two portly singer/guitarists performed. "Tenacious D played at my husband's surprise 40th birthday party and they've got a mutual admiration society going on."
For the next two hours, Francis remained on stage, inviting a colorful cast of rotating guests to join him. OK Go delivered a spot-on rendition of 'Debaser,' with frontman Damian Kulash giving a full-throttled scream that rivalled the alt-rock legend's. She Wants Revenge followed soon after, seemingly in awe to be performing with one of their idols. "I hope we don't do bad things to this song because it means a lot to us," singer Justin Warfield said before launching into the UK surf version of 'Wave of Mutilation.'
Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering then joined Francis for several of their own tracks, including 'Cactus', 'Gouge Away' and 'Nimrod's Son.' The trio invited the Muff's Kim Shattuck to fill in on bass for Kim Deal, who was in England, until Clark took over and they welcomed the evening's highly anticipated special guest, Weird Al. Known for his comical spoofs of hit songs, the curly-haired singer delivered a serious, straightforward rendition of Pixies' 'I Bleed'. "We thought it would be much cooler to play it straight," Weird Al revealed to Spinner. Capping off the night was Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, who played bass on Pixies classics 'Vamos' and 'Where Is My Mind.' "I've never played with so many different people in one night," Francis gushed after the show. "There were a lot of really magical moments!"