Molecules move faster in the summer heat. Thunder rumbles through the late afternoons. Evenings of cold beer become nights of tears and recrimination.
There’s nothing for summer breakups but to celebrate them, with awe at the beauty that once was, laughter at being led so astray, and feisty determination not to let that happen again. (Good luck with that.)
Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers waved a rockabilly wand over heartbreak June 26 at the Allways Lounge on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. It was a fine crowd for a Tuesday night, with a little elbow room available, but only way in back.
Eight musicians crowded the small stage, each getting an opportunity to share the spotlight with frontwoman Aurora “Rory Danger” Nealand.
Sassy, playful numbers such as “Rip It Up,” “Cat Man” and “Cast Iron Arm” were interspersed with readings of poetry and “Dear John”/”Dear Jane” letters submitted by the audience. Spencer Bohren sang “Straight Eight” from his “Born in a Biscayne” album, and Marc Paradis provided the voice of The Man on “Summertime Blues.”
Intermittently, the music took extravagant swings into overwrought sentimentality, poking fun at the drama of Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.” “…Where my love lies waiting silently for me. … Silently because there’s nothing there,” Nealand interjected. “Cold, dark, fucking silence.”
And then there were moments of pure, sweet sorrow, especially when Paradis took the microphone for “Oh, Donna,” “Blue Christmas,” and Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying,” “when you see the one who no longer loves you.”
The show ended with Bobby Vinton’s “Sealed With a Kiss,” with the band members leaving the stage to the sound of a la-la singalong, a communion of lonely souls.