Last night I went to see Opa Cupa, a group from Italy, play in conjunction with some local San Franciscan musicians at the Freight and Salvage in North Berkeley. It was so fucking phenomenal. The trumpet player, keyboardist & drummer were the Italians, and the bassist, violin player, singers and doumbek/etc percussionist were from here. The musicians were all such characters--I just sat and stared at them, laughing out loud at their awesomeness and muppet-like qualities. The trumpeter looks like Hugh Grant, with foppish hair and hit beats with his hips as he manically whizzed his fingers over the buttons on his instrument, sometimes taking one hand to slap the side of the trumpet while he played. The drummer looked like SideShowBob with bright orange curly hair bobbing in the air as he played. The keyboardist screwed up his face as he attacked the keys, gesturing wildly with one hand while playing with the other. The bassist is regarded as the best slap-bassist in the world, and I could hardly see his hands, he moved them so quickly on his all-but-falling-apart 7ft tall bass. He had it on his knee at one point, rocking out like it was a guitar, and at the end, he threw the enormous instrument up into the air and played it upside down, defying gravity and bringing the house into even wilder ruckus. One of the singers had an absolutely operatic voice with highs and lows like you wouldn't believe. It was all pretty incredible.
And Then, we went to the after party, where most of the musicians (plus several more) showed up and we got to hear a up-close and personal house-party jam session version of the crazy Balkanesque music. In all, the instruments played at one time:
other percussion thing
It was crazy and so so awesome. Yeah!!!!
For your viewing/listening pleasure-- some of my night: