This Week’s Compass

Beyond – Worth driving out of town

What: Slam Free or Die with feature poet Diane Haas

Where: Bridge Café, corner of Bridge and Elm Streets, Manchester

When: Friday, Feb 5, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $3


Distance: 70 Miles

There’s a growing poetry scene in New Hampshire, and not the kind that one time resident Robert Frost could have comprehended.  Every other week in downtown Manchester, poets gather to read, or rather perform, their work.  It’s slam poetry, where words and attitude receive equal emphasis.  This is also competitive verse – each month, poets vie for a chance to attend the national slam poetry event, to be held this August in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This week features a Valentine-themed erotic poetry open microphone, capped by a feature reading by Diane Haas, whose appearances are equal parts poetry, burlesque and rock show.  Haas is building a big regional buzz for her often-provocative work – double entendre laced poems like “Honey,” “Not the Girl Next Door” and “Jessica Rabbit.”  The Derry poet is a Lady Gaga of verse, too – wearing outfits to match her R-rated words. The Bridge Café is an intimate venue, so patrons are encouraged to arrive early – it fills up fast.

Players – Local Music Spotlight

Who:  Last Kid Picked

What:  Covers, with an emphasis on modern rock

Sounds Like: Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls


You have to love a band that owes its existence to a Warren Zevon song.  On Halloween night 1996, they played first show, performing as the Werewolves of London. The following year, the band became Last Kid Picked, building a steady following with a set list of classic and modern rock songs. In late summer 1997 they had a big night opening for Mountain and Blue Oyster Cult.

The band has had a few lineup changes over the years; original members Mark & Deb Bond met and married while in the band; Carey Lee Rush was also a founding member.  Last Kid Picked front man John DeGange is a LKP constant, bespectacled and given to occasional rubber chicken stunts.  Their set list ranges from Aerosmith to Buckcherry, with an odd Neil Diamond or Dixie Chicks song tossed in to mix things up.

The band’s crowd-pleasing antics make their annual hometown Halloween party at the Newport Opera House a certain sellout, and they have been the feature band at Winter Carnival for several years running.  Current band members include DeGange on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica, Kyle Flewelling playing drums, Jason Ricci on guitar and vocals and bass player Mike Sherman.

Upcoming gigs are:

Friday, Feb. 5 at Electra Nightclub in West Lebanon

Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Derryfield in Manchester

Saturday, Feb. 13 at Newport Winter Carnival

Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Rusty Nail in Stowe, VT

Horizon – Mark your calendar

What: Mike Gordon

Where: Lebanon Opera House, 51 North Park St. in Lebanon

When: Sunday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $35/$25

More: 448-0400 or go to

After a concluding a massive reunion tour, Phish bass player Mike Gordon embarks on a brief 8-date swing through the Northeast that includes a rare Lebanon appearance.  Gordon’s solo projects have been quite eclectic – a pair of duet albums with acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke, and a tour with the jazz-fusion Benevento/Russo Duo which yielded a 2-disc live set containing a few significantly rearranged Phish songs.

He also played for a while with the Dead spin-off Rhythm Devils; typically, when Gordon strikes out on his own, it’s a left turn into uncharted territory.

But Gordon’s Lebanon show will likely draw from his most recent release, The Green Sparrow.  The 2008 album is a more straightforward affair, with funk, groove and jam elements, along with guest help from Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones), Ivan Neville and fellow Phish member Trey Anastasio.

Gordon’s band includes Max Creek guitarist Scott Murawski, jazz drummer Todd Isler, UVM teacher and pianist Tom Cleary and percussionist Craig Myers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s