Monday, December 20, 2010

December Music Review: Diesel

Strum Diesel has a reputation that precedes him and we were not new to his performances before we went to do our review. Mr. Diesel performs nearly every night, so, you won't have trouble finding him! We caught him at the Phoenix Falls live music venue a few days before Thanksgiving. At first, there were challenges with the venue, with the sim crashing early in the show. The crash took Mr. Diesel with him, but the stream survived, and, as the venue slowly filled, we looked at an empty stage for a while, still listening to the performance. Finally, things settled down and we were able to focus on the music. Both of us went into the show a bit down on Strum. We had seen him once before and remembered several songs that focused on left wing political views. We are as liberal as anyone but get annoyed when being preached at. And, so, there was a hurdle for Mr. Diesel to overcome. The venue did not help things even when it was stable after the crash. Trivia questions in local chat were downright annoying and badly distracted from the performance.
However, the performance itself was a pleasant surprise. Mr Diesel performed standing upside down his piano,as is his habit, and on this night the element of indoctrination was missing from the show, which was a positive change from before. The level of musicianship in the show was astounding - the piano and his voice are a potent mix. The material was a mixture of covers and originals. One odd element in the show was Mr. Diesel's many hints to mortality, which made us guess that someone known to him and his group Strum's Strumbolis must have passed shortly before. In this context, at the end of the show, Mr. Diesel read a quote from Marcel Proust which was so beautiful that we would like to repeat it here.

"People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they
continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad."

More information about Mr. Diesel and his music can be found at:


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