by Paula Romanow Etzel –
This year, Irvington was trick-or-treated to a double dose of musical festivities when the forecast for Halloween looked foreboding. Performances staged on front porches around the village have become an Irvington Halloween tradition. But weather not only risks raining on parades; it can damage instruments and amplifiers as well. While several bands forged (and played) on to delighted audiences (Evil Eckar and the Dirty Irv Horns outside on North Eckar Street and Wild Thyme indoors in Barney Park), the “Double Dutch Productions” block party (which has “presented” The Ramones, The Cars, Devo, David Bowie, Talking Heads, and The Cure in past years) was postponed regretfully to November 1st.
It was worth the wait.
The night began with a bonus pre-show from Orb Mellon (featuring Mike Malone), followed by a breathtaking performance by Irvington High School senior Margot Gordinier — whose mostly original set of mesmerizing songs captivated (and even silenced) the hundreds of visitors packed along the block. Fronted by Doug McClure as Michael Stipe, the North Dutcher Street All-Stars then covered to perfection songs from each phase of R.E.M’s career (welcoming special guests, The Breeders, as well as a robust strings section comprising Irvington student musicians) – along with an ongoing video backdrop and whimsical dance accompaniments on neighboring porches that Double Dutch fans have come to expect.
Rumor has it that The North Dutcher Street All-Stars are now branching out to other holidays – and will grace the Irvington Theater stage on Thursday, December 19th, as part of the “cavalcade of special guests” slated to appear at The Electric Stories Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas Party. (Visit www.irvingtontheater.com for tickets and more information.)
The North Dutcher Street All-Stars as R.E.M. and The Breeders (clockwise, from left): Richard Ackerman, Hudson Svigals, Anika Manchanda, Matt Svigalis, Miyuki Furtado, Patrick Harmon, Eric Kaye, John Malone, Cynthia Svigalis, Stacey Seltzer, Michael Roth, Douglas McClure, Mara Ast, Mary Cuff. (Missing: Breeder Marcie Cuff.) Photo by Lena Svigals.