Rewind: The DewDroppers’ Counterfeit Madison

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
From the February 28, 2013 edition

Counterfeit Madison generously shares her bountiful soul and whimsy with a vast swath of noisemakers including (but not limited to) instrumental whiz kids The Apes, orchestral folk balladeers Audrey & Orwell, indie-rock beatniks Trains Across the Sea, Tin Pan Alley post-punks Andrew Graham and Swarming Branch and early 20th century revivalist shredders The DewDroppers. The latter will release a new demo Saturday at Rumba Cafe; she also has a solo joint on the way.

Best show I ever played: The Trains Across the Sea Independents’ Day show ruled my world. The weather was perfect, and Independents’ Day is, like, my s---. I really love ComFest, but for my contrary introvertedness, sometimes it can get really overwhelming, so Independents’ Day is like the right amount for me. Everything about that day was perfect. It was a really memorable experience with those boys.

Another one was — oh my god, when Audrey & Orwell played the Wex. Woo! I basically felt like I was going to cry the entire time. It was so beautiful. Right after that I was in such a vulnerable place. Lost In the Trees played, and I was sitting right next to The DewDroppers’ current bassist, Michael Kohn, and, like, holding his hand and crying the entire time. That was a really good show.

And then three would be The DewDroppers’ Sweetheart Dance at 400 West Rich. I come from a church background, from a charismatic church background, and if you look at some of those pictures, it looks like there was a Holy Ghost revival happening. Like, some of those pictures look like people have lost their minds. And I also lost my mind.

Worst show I ever played: I won’t talk about my worst experience of all-time because it would offend some people, but I’ll talk about my second worst but won’t use specifics because it would also offend some people.

The Apes were supposed to play a show at a gallery, and we were told that it would be at a certain time, a certain amount of time, like at 8 for maybe, like, two hours. So we were prepared. We got there. It was double-booked, and the other half were two opera singers, one of which played the piano. So we decided to mash the shows together, and so it was double piano with, like, “Les Mis” songs. And I love “Les Mis,” but it was terrible. And the gallery owner kept being, like, “Can we pick up the pace?” And it’s like, no, we can’t because you double-booked opera singers! Like, what are they going to do, go, “Wooo!” to the Apes? The Apes don’t have words. So I was like, “We can’t pick it up because you f---ed up, man!” And it was like that for two hours. I was just, like, I don’t want to see anybody for a while.

And then even more, I don’t know if it was because of the absurdity of it all, but the people browsing the gallery virtually ignored us. They would stand in between both pianos and look at art like we weren’t there. It was the epitome of absurdity. I’ve never felt so invisible.

Best show I ever saw: Bam! I have them. One: The most punk-rock moment that I've ever seen: Joseph Anthony Camerlengo, Independents' Day. It was a great show. It was a wonderful show. But there was a moment where he was switching from his acoustic guitar to his electric. And you know, you're probably supposed to tell the sound guy that you're switching? It made this huge pop noise, and he pulled it out, and he held one hand up and flicked off the crowd, and he just went, like [assorted noises here]. Just, like, did that for about 30 seconds, and then put it into the electric guitar, slung it around and hit this chord, and it was perfect. I was just, like, "This is amazing!" That was during Nobody's Cat, which is my second favorite of his albums. Les Tres is my favorite. But it was really, really great. That's one. That's, like, local. The second, and favorite of all-time: I saw Tune-Yards at the Wex. And she was breathtaking. She said about 45 words the whole show. She said, "Thank you for having us." She said, "Where's the furthest someone has come?" And someone shouted out "Louisiana!" and she said "No way." Like, I literally could say all 45 words. But the rest of it was just incredible musicianship, unpretentiousness, a woman who's, like, mastered — or, she's not that old, so not mastered, but working on mastering her craft. I stood near the front for most of it, but it was so packed that I just worked my way to the back and jumped around and dance with my friend. I couldn't even stand still up front. And it was, like, it wasn't a to-do. Sometimes musicians get so to-do about things. It was just her and some drums and her and this ukulele, and she had a bassist, a bari player and something else. It was just the four of them, and they made all this f---ing noise. It was, yeah, the best musical experience I've ever had. And I've had a lot of them. I mean, it even tops Radiohead. I mean, Radiohead was cool, but I saw them from, like, 8,000 feet away.

Worst show I ever saw: I haven't seen a bad local show for a very long time. I saw Death Cab for Cutie once, and all their s--- had been rained on, so we had to wait a while. But it wasn't terrible. The only one I can think of is watching the opera singers. That was so terrible!