Triviana


Dan Hicks
Dan Hicks

Christmas letter from Hicksville


The event: Dan Hicks' Third Annual Holidaze in Hicksville
When: Dec. 4, 2004
Where: The Fillmore, San Francisco

Dan Hicks is, of course, one of the greats of music, an amazing songwriter and performer who has melded swing music and ... lots of other types of music ... with his hip sensibility ("I'm the only hip person there is," he has said) to create unique and fabulous performances.

Triviana sent photographer Sarah Orr and a friend of hers, Scott Dussault, to this show. Her report -- a letter from Hicksville -- follows. Click on the images to see larger versions.

Photographs and letter by Sarah Orr

At first the night was kinda slow. Funny thing, though -- Dan Hicks was the first person to walk on the stage. HE casually came up to the mike, very softly. I bet hardly anyone noticed that it was him until he spoke into the mike. I turned and was surprised to see that it was Dan Hicks and not some manager or promoter. The whole evening he kinda acted like the master of ceremonies instead of the lead singer of the headliner band.

Linda Groves, Susan Rabin
Linda Groves, Susan Rabin

Richard Chon
Richard Chon

Dan Hicks
Dan Hicks

Richard Chon, Dave Bell
Richard Chon, Dave Bell

Susan Rabin
Susan Rabin
So, he announced to us that we were now in "Hicksville" and that the music of the night would follow the theme of the holidays or as he pronounced it, "Holidaaazzzeee."

First he brought out the Christmas Island Brass Band. They were all decked out in holiday paraphernalia -- Santa hats, red ribbons, etc. The tuba player was the best.

They didn't just come out on the stage, they started playing music from the back and made a conga line through the crowd before they reached the stage. It was quite festive and entertaining, I must say. So the tuba player lead the conga line. He had garland wrapped around it and a red light coming from inside of it. So once on stage they played for a while, it was good, but they played a little too long. One rude man yelled "Where's Hicks?" I thought it was mean, the band was good, they just played one song too many.

So they left and Hicks came out again. Made a few funny remarks about "Holidaaaazzzeee" again. He commented that the audience might want to get their tombstones ready cause the evening was going to kill them. To the disappointment of many fans in the audience, Hicks did not start playing, but brought out more musical guests -- two beautiful women from Japan. They wore traditional outfits but had Christmas garlands around their necks like feather boas.

(NOTE: I just now looked at the flyer and I guess the name for the evening was "Holidaze in Hicksville.)

The name of the two-girl group is Petty Booka. They had very beautiful voices and both played ukuleles. It had a Japanese-Hawaiian sound. They played a few songs in Japanese, but also performed American songs such as Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

After that Hicks FINALLY came on -- I think around 9:30. The show had started at 8 p.m.

Dan Hicks
Dan Hicks

Hicks was pretty much awesome. Not much more to say, except that the band sounded great, he sounded great and his personality throughout the show was delightful. He is a slow talker from the south, that is for sure.

One of the funniest things was his dance moves. Props to his choreographer. Damn, it was hilarious. He and the two female singers danced in tandem. He kept kicking his legs up, higher than the women I think. He couldn't beat Brittany Spears in a dancing competition, but the show wouldn't have been as good without it. The funny dancing matches his quirky behavior. It was a nice touch.

He mainly played songs from his latest album (I only know this cause he mentioned it). The only song I recognized the whole night was "I Scare Myself," so it makes me think that it was in fact mostly new stuff. but what do I know? I've only heard one album and Scott hasn't heard any.

 

Selected Dan Hicks albums

Selected Shorts
"Selected Shorts"
Dr Gone loves the tune "I Lost My Marbles" on this album. This is the latest album, about which Hicks spoke during Holidaze in Hicksville.Buy it.

"Striking It Rich"
From 1972, with some of the earliest member of the Hot Licks, and a totally great album, says Dr Gone, who's listened to it lebenty-seven-million times. Buy it.

Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks "Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks"
This is a concert DVD and CD. Buy one, get the other. It's cheaper if you buy it as a DVD and get the free CD. Same package either way. It's terrific, a must for Hicks fans.
Buy the DVD at Amazon.com.


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