Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Feb 19th 2010 12:30PM by Kenneth Partridge
As the audience laughed and applauded, Gonzales, a Canadian singer, songwriter, rapper and producer perhaps best known for his work with Peaches and Feist, remained deadpan, sweat dripping from his brow.
Earlier in the show, the third of four 'Piano Talk Shows' he's staging this month at Joe's Pub, he'd declared, "Entertainment is war." Indeed, Gonzales was aggressive in his quest for laughs. "I'm here to get something from you," he told fans, explaining that most people who wind up onstage are driven there by a desperate need for something -- usually love or validation.
While Gonzales seemed only half serious, at least as far as he himself is concerned, his was a rapid-fire brand of showmanship. In the span of 60 minutes, he teased out lush piano instrumentals, jammed with ace turntablist and special guest A-Trak, covered Steely Dan's 'Do It Again' and the Eagles' 'Hotel California' and made frantic klezmer music with master clarinetist David Krakauer.
"There's a lot of Jewish virility on stage right now," Gonzales joked as Krakauer took his bows, adding that the 'Piano Talk Shows' series is meant to comprise such "juets," or duets with other Jewish performers.
During the encore, the audience-participation portion of the show, Gonzales scanned the crowd for a Jewish volunteer, a fellow "self-loather," if possible. He selected a similarly rumpled, unshaven guy named James, who tapped out a two-note piano accompaniment to one of Gonzales' many hip-hop excursions.
"Do what you can to fight the blues," Gonzales talk-rapped, perhaps more serious than at any other point in the evening. He may fancy himself a 'King of Pain,' but this is a man who will wear pajamas in public. He's not above playing the joker.