Zoro, Joy Williams, Ben Glover, And The Brothers Feng

With a random reunion at the Marshall St. Starbucks, I've found myself the guest of fellow JD Class of '94 alum and olde buddy Mike Feng at two concerts as part of CNY Crossroads. There's a certain logic to expecting professionalism and excellent performances from the Christian folk/rock community, as lip-sync'ing is, somehow, a smote-worthy offense. I'm reminded of an Amy Grant performance at some Billboard Music Awards show way back when during her "Heart in Motion" phase and watching the drummer ACT like he was hitting his left crash cymbal while clearly MISSING the target despite audio to the contrary. Let's face it. If the drummer's fakin', the band's plugged into ground and that's about it.

And I've got two words for Ashlee Simpson. Skid Row.

Click for a larger version.

Click for the video.

I went to the most recent show (April 28, 2007) specifically to see Zoro, easily one of the funkiest groove drummers around (I refer you to the list of accolades on his own site. Baby, it'd bad). While backstage, I also met Joy Williams and Ben Glover, the "other" performers for the evening of which I'd known nothing prior. Completely laid back and casual, genuinely happy to be in Syracuse performing from Nashville. After Zoro's first (of two short) drumset spots, Joy and Ben came out and completely leveled the place (that's music jargon if you're not a member of the discourse community). Ben is the consummate guitar accompanist and background vocalist, and we killed a good hour after the show engrossed in nanotech (when people ask what else I do besides drumming, well, you can imagine where the conversation goes). As for Joy, words do little justice to the quality of the singing voice she carries around (that's my musical AND professional opinion, BTW). I took the opportunity of a false start to record one of the two cover tunes of the night (In Your Eyes, by Peter Gabriel), the video for which I provide above.


Mrs. Joanne Constas Allis, December 19, 1923 – April 11, 2007

Still a bit surreal, so am, for now, erring on the side of reference and organization. Safe to say that everyone that knows me knows my yia yia, family matriarch, always the classiest person in the room. Her published obituary is below, the hardest-fastest thing I've ever written. I've also pdf'ed the Syracuse.com guest book, which closes May 12th.

Before my thesis dinner, May 14, 2005

Razbari Sumthing gig, June 2, 2006

Joanne C. Allis, 83, of Syracuse, beloved sister, mother, and "yia yia" to her grandsons and many who knew her, passed away on Wednesday. A life-long resident of Syracuse, she retired after 30 years as an administrative assistant from the Department of Social Services, was a volunteer for Meals-On-Wheels, and worked at Taylor Copy Services up to the beginning of this month.

A life-long member of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, she was a Sunday School Teacher, member and former president of The Philoptochos Society, a member of The Daughters of Penelope, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Syracuse Ahepa House.

She is survived by are her brothers and sisters-in-law Olympia (DeWitt), Robert (Syracuse), Gus and Claudia (Jamesville), and George and Elaine (North Syracuse) Constas and their families; her sons and daughters-in-law John and Maria of Jamesville and Christopher and Cynthia of Liverpool; four grandsons, Christopher of Los Angeles, Dr. Damian and Gregory of Syracuse, and Nicholas of Liverpool, and many, many cousins, godchildren, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband George Allis in 1970, sister-in-law Jean in 2003 and brother Nicholas Constas in 1991.

Funeral Services will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 14, at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. Burial will be at Oakwood Morningside Cemetery in Syracuse. Calling hours are Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Greenleaf Funeral Home Inc. 503 W. Onondaga St. Syracuse.

Contributions to be made to St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church.

Syracuse obituary (pdf), Message Board 1 (pdf), Message Board 2 (pdf)