Tag Archives: Showtime

Sharon Van Etten’s return to college takes a detour

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

If you thought Sharon Van Etten‘s return to college in February would take her out of the public eye for awhile, think again.

Sharon’s collegiate redux lasted about two weeks before she got an offer she couldn’t refuse, she revealed the other day: an audition for a role on a TV show.

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

She talked about  the detour in her plans for a post-music career in clinical psychology at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan Sunday, during a morning jam session with comedian-musician Fred Armisen.

“Somebody told me they thought I’d be perfect for this part, so I auditioned and got it,” she told the group in response to our question about what the college experience was like for her.

She said she couldn’t talk about the show, but it’s been widely reported that she’s one of a number of rock musicians — along with Eddie Vedder, Trent Reznor, Sky Ferreira — tapped to appear in the Showtime reboot of David Lynch’s cult series “Twin Peaks.”

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten walk through the crowd, chatting, at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten walk through the crowd, chatting, at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

She revealed in her self-effacing way that the experience taught her she’s a terrible actor — though I’ll wait for the onscreen evidence before going along with her assessment.

With her TV work finished , Sharon says she’s going to return to school in August.

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

“They’ve been very nice about it,” she said of the officials at the New York City college where she is enrolled. (After the jam session, she told me the name of the school, but I’m withholding that information out of respect for her privacy.)

The 35–year-old native of Clinton, New Jersey, tried the standard college routine right after high school, enrolling at Middle Tennessee State University to study music production. That didn’t work out.

“I didn’t like it,” she told the Vulture crowd.  So she dropped out, got a job at a music venue in Murfreesboro, and stayed in Tennessee for five years, working on her music.

Now, it seems, she’s ready to take another path and build a backup plan for her life after music. With any luck at all, the talented performer and songwriter will never need to use it.

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

 

 

 

 

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Thanks a lot, Chris Isaak

Bimbo's 365 Club (© 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Bimbo's 365 Club (© 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? made a pilgrimage to the West Coast a couple of weeks ago. And this time, we were determined to hit a San Francisco music club we’d missed previously. It’s the supper club and music venue with the potentially provocative name: Bimbo’s 365 Club.

OK, we admit we weren’t put off by the name — it’s what Tuscan immigrant Agostino Giuntoli’s boss at a San Francisco restaurant called him because he couldn’t pronounce the kid’s name. (“Bimbo,” pronounced beem-bo, is Italian for boy.)  Giuntoli was a smart guy, who apparently didn’t have any problem with the nickname. And it turned out to be a much catchier name for the nightclub he opened with Monk Young, his name-challenged s former boss, now his partner, in 1931.

We really didn’t know much about the place until the advent of singer Chris Isaak‘s Showtime network sitcom, The Chris Isaak Show. If you don’t remember the show, it ran from 2001-2004 and pretty much purported to be a fly-on-the-wall look at Isaak’s life in San Francisco — although the show was actually shot in Vancouver. One of the show’s most endearing and curious features was Isaak’s regular pilgrimage to Bimbo’s basement to visit Mona, who in the show played the club’s mermaid Dolphina, for advice about his love life.

The mermaid — created through projections, not real women in tanks of water — was and still is a feature of the real Bimbo’s. Mona (actress BobbyJo Moore) appeared nude on a turntable in the basement. Her image was projected into a “tank” in the club’s lounge.

We needed to see Bimbo’s and check out the mermaid. And luckily, it turned out that Laura Marling was performing there while we were in town. (Don’t be misled by the “365” in the club’s name. It comes from the club’s former address at 365 Market St. and doesn’t refer to being open every night of the year.)

Laura Marling at Bimbo's 365 Club. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Laura Marling and her band at Bimbo's 365 Club. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

It was great fun. Laura Marling was awesome, delivering a confident, rocking set. And her opener, Alessi’s Ark, a singer-songwriter with one backup player, did a surprisingly lovely performance.

Alessi's Ark at Bimbo's 365 Club. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Alessi's Ark at Bimbo's 365 Club. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

But we couldn’t find any sign of the “real” Dolphina. Sure, there was a statue in the swanky lobby. But we couldn’t even immediately figure out where the mermaid tank was based.

Before the evening was over, we finally — and to our slight disappointment — discovered that Dolphina appears only occasionally at Bimbo’s, projected into a faux aquarium that spends most of its time behind curtains on the back bar. The rest of the time, there’s a small aquarium with some fish in it behind bar in the retro-elegant lounge.

The club has a no-cameras rule that they did try to enforce, so we had to rely on crappy BlackBerry photos inside the place. But here’s the tiny fish tank that had to suffice on Sept. 18:

The resident fishtank at Bimbo's is behind the cash register in the cocktail lounge, providing a point of reference to show how small the tank is. (© 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

The resident fish tank at Bimbo's is behind the cash register in the cocktail lounge, providing a point of reference to show how small the tank is. (© 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

By the way, don’t forget to check out music from Laura Marling, Alessi’s Ark, and Chris Isaak, who has a new album, Beyond the Sun, a tribute to the classic recordings of Sun Records of Memphis, out this month.