Sitting 'round a fake fire at Molly Malone's in Los Angeles on Tuesday, singer-songwriter and longtime activist Michelle Shocked and a group of like-minded artists served s'mores and marshmallows alongside antiwar cliches and real food for thought during the second installment of her weekly Campfire Series.
The program, benefiting controversial antiwar group the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, was titled "Civil Liberties Are Like Marshmallows." Despite an extremely loose presentation, the evening stayed mostly on topic.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday March 15, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 25 words Type of Material: Correction
Vessy Mink -- A pop music review of Michelle Shocked in Thursday's Calendar Weekend misspelled the name of local singer-songwriter Vessy Mink as Vessie Minx.
Motels frontwoman Martha Davis underscored the human toll of war with a song about the dead, while young singer-songwriter Vessie Minx sang of heartbreak and millennium mania. The striking duo of Kat Maslich and Peter Adams, from the band East Mountain South, crooned haunting harmonies with an Appalachian-folk feel.
The two-hour show also featured comedy by Mary Edith Burrell, sobering history from KPFK-FM (90.7) host Bill Mitchell, and self-esteem-boosting projects from visual artists Kathy Krabbe and Julie Bini Quinn. Most delightfully, the red-and-black-clad Radical Teen Cheerleaders revved up the crowd.
Still, all the talking became tedious. Shocked performed only a few numbers, including her own whimsical "When I Grow Up," as well as an aching, angry take on late folk artist Steve Goodman's anti-Vietnam War "Ballad of Penny Evans." But her mostly naked voice exuded such intense emotion that you wanted to hear more.
Campfire Series: Michelle Shocked
Where: Molly Malone's, 575 S. Fairfax Ave., L.A.
When: Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Ends: April 1
Info: (323) 935-1577