Thursday, July 29, 2010

Billy Sugarfix's Carousel brings quirky tunes, theremin to Duke Gardens

All photos by Kevin Norris
As the Music in the Gardens outdoor series kicked off their final show of the season Wednesday night, Duke Performances director Aaron Greenwald triumphantly remarked that they made it through an entire season without being hampered by rain. It truly is a miracle considering all the close calls and ominous weather reports of the summer, but it happened and we are grateful.

Billy Sugarfix's Carousel took the stage, immediately launching into their quirky set with "Take a Shower." The set continued with songs from Billy's latest album Summer Tempests as well as some newer songs including "If There's a Secret" from their new split 7" with Birds and Arrows.

After eight songs, the band left and Billy noted that since the band just formed earlier this year, they only have 45 minutes worth of material to play. On that note, he pulled a theremin to the front of the stage and started a seminar on how it functions, followed by a few short versions of "Somewhere Under the Rainbow," "Yellow Submarine," "The Star Spangled Banner" and a duet with an oboe. It was somewhat amusing, but went on a bit too long.

When the band returned, they played a pair of new songs, "Autumn's Envy" and "September's Fools," which will likely be released as a 7" single according to Billy's interview with Frank Stasio on The State of Things on WUNC earlier in the day (stream or download the interview here).

And for the final two songs of the night, the show got a little Wiggles-esque with the songs "Dijiri Du" and "Kitty Kat School," the later of which actually featured meowing. It was certainly not the strongest way to end the set, but maybe next time they'll have a few more songs worked out.

Just because the summer series is ending doesn't mean the music will stop on campus. Check out info on tons of great upcoming Duke Performances shows here.

Billy Sugarfix's Carousel set list
Take a Shower
Out Like a Lamb
All the King's Horses
Gunpowder Green
Bright Was My Sweetheart
If There's a Secret
Humming Your Questions
[theremin section]
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Yellow Submarine
Star Spangled Banner
song w/ oboe
Autumn's Envy
September's Fools
Dijiri Du
Kitty Cat School

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