By November 2, 2022 Read More →

Turkey Talk

Unplugged View Turkey Talk
by Aaron Rowan

As the holidays approach, and I appreciate the autumn colors, I’m reminded of a mildly amusing thing that happened on a brisk November afternoon five years ago. We were setting up for a concert at my former listening-room space, Moon & Sixpence when a wild turkey appeared out of nowhere and began wandering around the courtyard outside the venue. This was a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. I hope that the bird was able to enjoy some of the music before it got slow-roasted.
I miss Moon & Sixpence. I miss many of the listening-room venues I’ve hosted with over the years, many of which are now lost to us. This sad shortage was even reflected in this year’s MAMA Awards, where the ‘Best Venue’ category was absent, leaving only the Bar/Cafe/Restaurant category – which more often than not means cover bands and/or background music. Modesto is currently without an independent venue dedicated to live music. Until somebody comes along and establishes a Freight & Salvage-type venue (and hires me as talent booker, naturally) I’ll be here doing what I can to help stave off cochlear winter by hosting intimate concerts with eclectic talent worthy of such a venue…..and hosting them in whatever out-of-the-way spaces will have me. Quality original songwriting and unique sounds are the goals. If such things are your jam, Modesto Unplugged is the series for you.
In addition to my frequent songwriter nights at the Dragonfly art gallery, I’ve begun a bimonthly series at the 25-seat ‘Jewel side room at the State Theatre. It turns out to be a pretty decent space for the sort of listening experience I like to curate. Concert #2 taking place this month will take on a very unique flavor. It’s a Steampunk Cello Cabaret experience featuring UNWOMAN, who’s been high on my list to feature for some time. Unwoman (Erica Mulkey) is a cellist & songwriter from San Francisco, whose music is a darkly futuristic homage to her classical training. It’s an atmospheric sound layered with skilful cello, rich vocals and beats. Have a listen to some of her YouTube clips: there are music videos of original songs, and more offbeat offerings, such as the one where she plays cello while a pop singer covers Pat Benatar’s ‘Love Is A Battlefield… Klingon. Damn, man, my concert series is plenty eclectic but that particular collaboration kind of puts me to shame.
Unwoman will appear at the Jewel on Wednesday, November 9. Doors open at 7 pm and music begins at 7:30. General admission is $25 cash only at the door, and about half the seats are open as of now. RSVP for this cool cello cabaret at or 209-543-5306. Intimate performances. Infinite playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED.

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