Mo’ Money Mo’ Mosaic

Lord have mercy, the Esplanade has more than compensated for the borefest that was last year’s Mosaic festival (Jason Mrazzzzz and Kingzzzzz of Convenienzzzzz) with this year’s lineup. My bank account’s going all “Bitch, please,” but I’m justifying it as a week of birthday celebrations.

So far, this is what I intend to attend:

12 March: Yo La Tengo (third time!)
13 March: Jaga Jazzist
14 March: DJ Vadim
15 March: Chick Corea and Gary Burton
18 March: Femi Kuti

This is just the trimmed-down list I arrived at after a painful priority-setting exercise resulted in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Terry Callier, Jose Gonzalez, Rickie Lee Jones, Nerina Pallot and Ursula Rucker being relegated to my second “if I can spare the cash” tier. I’m still a little wracked with guilt over the choices given that I’ve seen 2 of the first-tier acts before already (YLT and DJ Vadim), so if you think it’s a travesty that I’m passing up the chance for one of the bands in my second tier (or any others in the lineup) please let me know and I might waver.


  1. Aw, you’re missing out on Duke Ellington?

    I don’t know much about the rest of the line-up, to be perfectly honest. I don’t listen to Yo La Tengo (and I don’t think I want to start now) and haven’t even heard of the rest, so that’s why I only have one event I want to go to.

    I’ll consider the rest now seeing as I’ve got your opinion on them!

  2. Dom: Well I’m not missing out on Duke Ellington himself, just his orchestra. If the man himself rose from the dead to attend then that would obviously be a different matter! Actually, the main reason this gig is on my second tier is that I can’t bear the thought of having to sit there itching to dance and not being able to.

    Not sure what else you’ll be into from the lineup, but definitely check out DJ Vadim. He’s a good though not electrifying hip-hop DJ, but what makes him fun to see live is that he’s really really deadpan and Russian!

  3. Tessa wanted me to go see Yo la Tengo. I’d rather not. She didn’t mention DJ Vadim and Femi Kuti though! I hope Vadim will play tracks from the One Self album. One of my recent favourites.

  4. Jose Gonzalez is GOOD. You have to get really really close to see those amazing hands on the guitar…mmm.

  5. Arthur: So will we see you at Vadim and Femi Kuti then? I haven’t heard One Self yet, must admit I lost interest in Vadim at some point (not really his fault, I oversaturated myself in Ninja Tune and stuff started sounding samey) and stopped keeping track of what he was doing, but will go in search of it now you’ve recommended it.

    YL: The problem for Jose Gonzalez is that I can’t really justify paying $58 to watch a one hour long gig (according to the official site, that’s the estimated length) when I’m already forking out for so many others. Also, I’d much rather watch him in a smaller venue than the Esplanade Concert Hall – where getting really really close to see his hands on the guitar won’t be possible. (OK, and also, I REALLY hate his anaemic cover of Heartbeats and will be grumpy when it inevitably gets the most applause of the night.)

  6. Hey Michelle, I’d love to go… just depends if I’m in the country or off on another visa-renewal trip! I’m not to good at making gigs these days. Right now I’m at home whilst you and my girlfriend are listening to Mr. Lekman.

  7. Guess I’ll be going to see the Duke Ellington Orchestra by myself then. Incidentally, I saw the Count Basie Orchestra a few years back, and yes, while both members of the Royal Family of Swing have long since passed away, their orchestras are still pretty darn good.

    And okay, will go purchase a ticket to Vadim on your recommendation.

    Anyway, wanted to ask if I should bother going to Jaga Jazzist if I haven’t listened to any of their music. They look interesting, and I am kind of curious about them, but it’s hard to tell if it’s my cup of tea just going by the description on the Esplanade web site alone.

  8. Tamara: Yay! Send dates and details to email please, would love to catch up with you and James! Sistic event listing for April looks unpromising, but check back closer to the date.

    Dom: To be honest, my hunch is that you won’t like Jaga Jazzist, but it’s hard to say. I don’t like Tortoise (a similar sounding band) much on CD but suspected they might be different live, and they were phenomenal. I like Jaga Jazzist more than Tortoise so I’m pretty hopeful about this gig but I’m hesitant to stake $60 of your money on it!

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