July 23, 2009

Brian Kenney Fresno @ Dante's

Sunday night, Awmercy, Mona, and I decided to check out Dantes Sinferno, a burlesque/cabaret show at a local music venue. We arrived a little early and were lucky enough to catch the full (albeit truncated) act by Brian Kenney Fresno. The first thing I noticed while he was setting up on stage was a hand-written cardboard sign, "Volunteers needed, Ask Me How." First volunteer? Someone to switch the plastic transparencies stacked neatly next to an overhead projector at the corner of the stage. Second volunteer? Someone to pass a bowl of fresh, natural raisins from Fresno -- Mona graciously volunteered to be the Raisin Lady.

As someone who appreciates a good spectacle, I watched his act and wondered whether BKF
's pageantry was the work of pure genius, or a man a couple of buds short of a lid. His style is elusive, but if I ventured a guess, I'd say it's an unwashed Flight of the Concords meets They Might Be Giants, with a dash of Rafi on crack. His performance on the Warr Guitar was manic and hilarious; I was sad that it ended after only about 25 minutes. Really though, my words can't do his performance justice:

Sunday evening's set list included: "Balloon", "Generator" (Awmercy's favorite), "Incandescent" (aka. dangers of compact fluorescent lights), "No Flies in China", "Porno Dan" (which was skipped after the opening verse), and "Chateau de Fresno" (the place you dump dead hookers if you're a psycho on the run).


Mona said...

Yes! E-proof for this fantastic night to live on forever ;)

I too did some BKF research and came across a few hysterical tidbits:
-he has a brother named Ryan Kenney Poughkeepsie (he plays drums)
-"In 93 he received a fellowship grant from the Fresno Arts Council for performance and composition, and was the 1st musician to perform as an artist in residence at the Fresno Art Museum in January 94."
-"In 98 Brian Kenney Fresno was banned from performing in Fresno, and began touring nationally in 99."
-"In Dec 06, Fresno magazine chose Kenney Fresno as among 150 people in 150 years that have put Fresno on the map."

Can we say ahead of his time???

Mona said...

I think all of Dante's can vouch for Awmercy's love of "Generator," since he insisted on singing back-up vocals during the chorus :)

I was partial to "Chateau de Fresno" since I'm fascinated with the apparent cultural revolution going on in Fresno.

Best lyrical moment: "Don't kill time, just hookers. Whatever, they aren't real people anyway."

I seriously have no idea how/why I didn't throw myself at him post-show!