March 8: Eleanor Friedberger was great as half of a quirky duo with her brother in Fiery Furnaces, but her songs have just gotten stronger since you went solo in 2011. Her new album New View includes lyrics mixing surreal fragments and intimate detail (" Today I feel frozen, but tomorrow I’ll write about you."). She plays the The Independent Tuesday night.
March 5: We don’t usually mention DJ sets on The Do List, but we're making an exception for a pair of anniversaries. Opel, run by Syd Gris, is celebrating 14 years using the dance community as a positive vehicle of change. And on Saturday, they're throwing a party at Public Works with a DJ set from LA's Crystal Method, celebrating it's 20th anniversary. According to Gris, this maybe the electronic music duo's last performance before a long hiatus.
March 5-17: We’ve often highlighted plays by solo artist Charlie Varon on The Do List. He's smart, he's funny, he works with the great director David Ford; what's not to like. But The Second Time Around is the first show where Varon has a musical accompaniist, the brilliant San Francisco cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, formerly of Kronos Quartet. Their new duet is called Second Time Around, and Varon says it's part of a series he's doing about feisty old Jews. (The last one was Feisty Old Jew). Second Time Around is about a World War Two veteran recalling his time as a bomber pilot. “A lot of the time Ben is in memory land, in his emotions and regrets." Varon told me this week when I asked why he decided to work with Jeanrenaud, "And the cello is the great expresser of the inner life of human beings. " And Jeanrenaud added, “I think the cello is a natural indicator of someone’s inner life. The nature of the instrument, it’s range, much like a human voice.” Details here.