the Ego and the Oracle

The Ego and the Oracle and the Burren

Remember seeing Elvis Costello and the Attractions play "The Incredible Spinning Songbook" back in the '80s? In Chicago then, I got to hear Elvis sing "Ferry Across the Mersey," so I'm pretty fond of the gimmick. And now it's back, sort of, thanks to Boston band Jim's Big Ego. Of all the audience participation/art/music events around town, the one I'm most looking forward to checking out is The Ego and The Oracle, a residency on Thursday nights in October in the back room at the Burren in Davis Square, Somerville.

Organized around the band Jim's Big Ego, It's old and new, "Ouija Board meets iPod Shuffle." Members of the audience ask questions - silly or deeply personal - of the oracle, then spin the giant wheel of songs, featuring selections from the Jim's Big Ego catalog. The band plays the chosen title, then the answer to the question is divined via the song by the audience member and interpreter Shawn Peters.

Says Jim Infantino (center), "There are a lot of times when a song comes up and I don't see the connection right away. But by the time we've actually talked about and examined the question, there's always a connection. It's sometimes not what the asker wanted it to be. But it invariably has some kind of profound connection."

I suspect you don't have to buy into the supernatural aspect to enjoy the synchronicity and the theater. Not to mention the music.

by Joel Brown, HubArts.com

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