I’ve been a bit jumpy about returning to the sizzling nightclub scene I frequented before Covid-19 hit (by sizzling, I mean I drove by nightclubs at a high speed at 4 p.m. in order to get home in time for my 6 p.m bedtime). After over a year, the first time returning to one seemed positively fraught with meaning.
But I lucked out! An old friend (I flatter myself—I say “friend,” she’d say “acquaintance”) was in town this week from San Francisco and popped up with a 6 p.m show at a local boîte (seriously, a boîte: there’s a piano bar inside!) and since it’s about ten feet from my house, it seemed like the perfect way to re-wet my show feet (show feet are fancier than regular feet—get with it) without making a five-act opera out of it. Just get in the car and go, DG.
Dawn Oberg sings wry, modern protest and love songs (sometimes those are one thing) in what can only be called “power piano pop” style; they’re short and sharp and sweet(ish) but just when you might think that’s all they are, each reveals a knife’s edge of wit right before she plunges it in. She introduced one song as the “best love song I ever wrote” and it opens:
Your big brown eyes have seen me throw up in your car;
Your luscious lips have not said “grow up, girl” so far
And if that doesn’t provoke love at first hear for you, well, I got nothin’ for you this week.
She’s got a couple of easily streamable records—you can’t go wrong with any of them, so just throw any of them on the hi-fi (if you insist on guidance, go with the Horticulture Wars album) and ignore the cuss words (there are cuss words!). Or … maybe embrace them if you’ve had a helluva week.
Anyway, Dawn’s was a great show and it was a great night to feel like I was out in the world again. The world stopped spinning for a bit, but you know what? Artists like Dawn kept making art during that time and I almost wept with relief at the thought of it.