The John Wesley Harding concert last week was every bit as good as I had hoped. It, in fact, was better.
JWH’s music is infectious with lyrics punctuated by his sharp sense of humor and all those unbelievably catchy hooks.
Once again I attended a concert where I stood right in front of the stage, right in front of the singer’s mic. I am forever spoiled after the last few shows I have seen.
I adore JWH (Real name Wesley Stace). I adore The Decemberists. Peter Buck is Fabulous. So, is it any surprise that the 2 1/2 hours at The Bell House in Broooklyn, NY was the highlight of my month?
Wesley Stace was in fine form. He played mostly from the new album ‘The Sound Of His Own Voice’. The album was produced by Wes and Scott McCaughey (The Minus Five, The Baseball Project, R.E.M.) and features the King Charles Trio, (John Moen, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee-Drizos and Nate Query of The Decemberists), Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Mr. McCaughey.
What really made the concert so much fun was that everyone on stage looked like they were having a blast.
Mr. Chris Funk.
John Moen. Amazing back up vocals.
See, I really was close. I wanted to shout out to Wes that I made him a curry. I didn’t want him to think I was a freak, though. I left a note instead and tucked it under his whisky glass on stage.
Chris Funk And Peter Buck.
Robyn Hitchcock played the same venue earlier in the evening. I wanted to see that show, too, but knew that it would do in my long suffering and reluctant concert companion of a husband.
Imagine my utter, utter delight when Mr. Hitchcock came onstage for a few numbers.
Also on hand was Eugene Mirman (remember him from the Sing Your Own Song video in this post?)
Ted Leo was there, too.
Wow. LOVED that show.
So what to make for Wes this time around?
I know that he has two children, so I decided to make these really amazing Orange-Almond Cupcakes and offer up a variety of decorations. I’m sure there is at least one that they would like as they sing their own song.
Orange Almond Cupcakes
Ingredients for almond filling:
1/2 cup almond paste (I used marzipan since I had some open. Fantastic.)
2/3 cup sliced almonds
Ingredients for cupcake batter:
1 box (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
2. Line muffin tins with 26 cupcake liners.
4. Prepare the cupcake batter: Put all batter ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and beat for 30 seconds, scrape down the bowl, then beat for 2 minutes more. Remove 3/4 cup of the batter and mix that into the almond paste mixture in a separate bowl.
6. Bake for about 18-20 minutes.
7. Cool cupcakes on baking rack. Decorate. Or not.
Recipe slightly adapted from Cupcakes From The Cake Mix Doctor
Here are some decorating ideas. Just grab your favorite icing recipe and go.
Chocolate covered mint cookies make good heads to pipe faces on. Swirl icing and sprinkle on dragées or colored sugar. Top with football Oreos. Roll sides in colored sugar. Sprinkle on chocolate or white chocolate jimmies. Non-pareils are an easy topper. So are mini chocolate chips and rainbow chips. Elmo instructions are posted here. Cookie Monster Cupcakes are here.
My favorite song from ‘The Sound Of His Voice’ changes from day to day. Currently, I am obsessed with this one.
Really, who cannot relate?
John Wesley Harding-I Should Have Stopped
I have been a Robyn Hitchcock fan FOREVER. This is my favorite song of his EVER.
“I don’t believe in anything
I don’t believe in anything
I don’t believe in anything
It’s corporation time
Time and the whole world
Is goin’ up in smoke tonight”
Robyn Hitchcock-If You Go Away
Check out John Wesley Harding on his Website. You can buy his books and music there.
You can buy Robyn Hitchcock’s music and learn more about what he is up to on his Website.