"A folk-pop trio from Seattle, performs funny original songs whoseexquisite musical detail and subtle needling wit attain a level of craftnot often seen in pop" -- NY Times
Uncle Bonsai returns to Santa Cruz for a Book/CD Release Concert at Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
The Seattle trio Uncle Bonsai performs original, contemporary folk/pop music. With their soaring and intricate 3-part vocal harmonies and biting humor, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, Arni Adler, Patrice O'Neill, and Andrew Ratshin deliver poignantly unflinching portrayals of life, love, and a guy named Doug. The trio's influences range from the Beatles to Stephen Sondheim. Some say Zappa cross-bred with Peter, Paul and Mary. Loudon Wainwright III, the Roches. Three tightly tiered and adhered voices, acoustic guitar. That's it. Nearly naked folk-pop for everyone.
Now entering its 31st year, Uncle Bonsai continues to write and perform new material and tonight the group celebrates the release its first ever book, "The Monster in the Closet/Go To Sleep."
In 2011, Uncle Bonsai released "The Grim Parade," a collection of new songs that featured a number of "children's" songs. While these songs were originally conceived with only the best of intentions, they ended up veering off the path a bit. This brand new book follows the group as it continues down this less-traveled road.
"The Monster in the Closet/Go To Sleep" features two of the group's most popular songs, presented as a reversible "children's" book, with artwork by members Arni Adler and Patrice O'Neill. Arni Adler illustrates the song "The Monster in the Closet" with her cut out graphics and charming monstrous characters; flip the book over and you have the quirky watercolors of Patrice O'Neill coupled with the song "Go To Sleep." And, when you're done reading the stories, you can listen to the enclosed compact disc, featuring the group performing the two songs.
The song "The Monster in the Closet" is the continuation of a theme the group first started exploring almost 30 years ago, the things your parents say to you. Way back then, however, the group was making fun of the cliches with a song called "Don't Put It In Your Mouth." Thirty years later, now that they're all parents, all of those things they once made fun of seem perfectly reasonable. Taking it one step further, which is sort of the Bonsai way, they started exploring the things parent say to keep their kids in bed at night. The result? "The Monster in the Closet", a parental warning about the various monsters that actually DO live in the house! ("Stay in bed . . . don't go downstairs!")
In mid-2007, Uncle Bonsai member Patrice O'Neill was working on a collection of international night songs and lullabies (Siente: Night Songs from Around the World) with classical guitarist Hilary Field. Bonsai member Andrew Ratshin felt so inspired by the beautiful music he was hearing that he wrote his own lullaby, "Go To Sleep," a simple waltz sung from the point of view of an exasperated parent. ("When will the Benedryl start kicking in?")
Tonight, join us as we celebrate with songs from over 30 years of performing and recording, songs that focus on the passing of time, the passing of genes, and the passing of pets -- the truth of everything seemingly buried somewhere under the family tree.
320 Cedar St # 2
Santa Cruz, CA, CA 95060