Remi and Chloe in Redwood City

It’s a mixed blessing that Palo Alto dynamic teen duo Remi and Chloe play tonight at Angelica’s Bistro in Redwood City. This is a step up from when I first met them at a Philz Open Mic (and followed them and their parents to watch them busk, above, in front of the former Varsity Theatre), but begs the question: why no music venues in Palo Alto?

I am missing the show so that I can partially answer my own question by attending a public meeting about the future of the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto, where I produced 150 events back in the 1990s.

Getting back to the subject at hand, Remi and Chloe are one of the most promising teen acts I have seen in a while. They pick good covers and are writing their own music. I think their parents have the right mix of being helpful and supportive but not pushy. I saw the girls at Camille Townsend’s kickoff event and understand they also stumped for Melissa Baten — both re-elected for school board.

We will see if as the following grows for Remi and Chloe if somehow there is an urgency and an outcome towards building a scene here. I understand that David Byrne’s new book has a chapter on building your own scene.

There’s another video of Remi and Chloe that I tried to post then deleted in that it would not embed; it says “mash-up of Gotye and Nirvana” but I wonder if its more of a medley than a mash-up. It got me looking around for Jacqui Naylor, who does what she calls “acoustic mashup” in that she will sing the lyric of one song over the melody of a second, for effect. Here you can hear “My Funny Valentine” over “Back in Black”:

I remember running into Jacqui Naylor, with Art Khu and Josh Jones in Philadelphia, a few years ago.

Thinking about Remi and Chloe and the subject of repertoire or style got me looking also for: Lindsay Mac, Patricia Barber, Sharon Jones, Cat Power.

Also, Rene Marie in 2008 doing “Lift Every Voice” do the tune of “Star Spangled Banner” at a civic event and suffering a tremendous amount of backlash although Lara Pellegrinelli of NPR absolves her here.

Good luck to the girls and I hope to catch a show soon enough.

I don’t know if Lindsay Mac has ever played Stanford or Palo Alto but again that’s another case I would like to set right.

Patty Barber doing the same Bill Whithers classic (worth sitting through the 3 minutes bass solo by Michael Arnopal to get there):

Then there’s Stanford grad KFlay doing her own mashup of Gnarls Barkley and Ginsberg “Howl”:

(note to parents of teenagers — f-word alert and maybe she’s more active than you want your teens to be, clearly, and references it)

I paid the Donnas $20 each and had their moms sign a release form in January, 1995 at Cubberley and watched them go from playing to a crowd 80 percent female, everyone their age and younger to, flash forward a mere three or four years, a crowd, at Bottom of the Hill, 60 percent male, everyone their age plus five years older; one of the moms showed me a film made at their 8th grade talent show, at Jordan. In this they are adult:

The question for Remi and Chloe is: how much can you grow this project and your audience such that it is reasonable to alter your college choices? A coffee house venue in Palo Alto like the old St. Michael’s Alley on Emerson would help a lot. The courtyard of 456 would also be fantastic. (behind the chain-link fence in the picture above…)

actually, if you are the mom or dad of a palo alto teen who you hope can use her singing to get into a good college, you will want to send her or them to Allison Miller’s singing workshop at Piedmont Piano on Sunday, November 12.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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