On Tuesday a collection of some of Seattle's top singer-songwriters gathered at the Triple Door to celebrate the season at the Round's Holiday Show. The evening was filled with moments of true beauty and brilliance, as well as a good amount of Jesus -- from Mark Pickerel's stirring rendition of Washington Phillips' "You Got to Have Jesus" to an eerie retelling of a traditional Christmas journey from Damien Jurado.
At the end of the night, all of the musicians -- as well as the painters and poets who also performed during the show -- took the stage for what was likely the clumsiest rendition of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" ever performed. The lackluster, unfocused performance might have been due to the holiday spirits flowing backstage; or the performers' and audience's belief in peace might just have been dampened by the fact that mere hours before the show our president committed 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
Nonetheless, those in attendence were privy to some unique performances, the greatest of which was this duet between the Lonely Forest's John Van Deusen and singer-songwriter Noah Gunderson on "We Sing In Time" from the Lonely Forest's album We Sing the Body Electric. It is a tremendous song, one also made unsettling by a plea for peace that some may have hoped would not have aged well. It still resonates; not just because it seems troops will forever be fighting overseas, but because Van Deusen always sings it with such passion and even a little desperation. Listen to that scream. It's almost ungodly.