The Hotel Café Tour (11/1/2008)
The Hotel Café began as a tiny coffee shop in Hollywood, California. Since then, it has developed into a twenty-one-and-older venue. In its initial cozy environs, the performers created a warm, collaborative environment, sharing the stage and watching each other perform. Four years ago, the Hotel Café began to tour with some of its most promising acts. The particular show that I attended in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was an eclectic collection of indie-folk festivities. The night started off with a penis made of tin foil being tossed around the stage by the performers. Meiko explained that she'd given it to the guitarist on the tour bus the night before for "the biggest cock" award. Rachel Yamagata later clarified that it was actually “the biggest dick" award.
For the person looking to see a show with various and odd instruments, the show had some highlights. During one of her songs, Thao whipped out a toothbrush, and strummed along with it. This allowed the notes to ring out a little longer, and the beginnings of each chord to sound more compelling. Another featured artist who plays instruments beyond the guitar was Emily Wells. Emily has her own collection of toy pianos that she uses when she performs.
The inside jokes shared between the artists and audience contributed in making the night entertaining on multiple levels. Lacking a steady line-up, the artists provided a more spontaneous feel for the night. Taking turns playing about three songs, the girls of The Hotel Café Tour are grounded in the Hotel Café’s roots. They remained on stage while each artist played their songs in order to give each other support while joking along with the audience and sharing stories about what led to the creation of the songs. Diverse as all of the acts were, they shared the common bond of being strong women.