Hacienda Brothers and Naim Amor

Vaudeville Cabaret and Plush, Saturday, Jan. 7

Our plan seemed pretty foolproof: Kristine and I would catch the 8 p.m. showing of Casablanca at the Fox Theatre, duck into Grill for a quick burger, then head out to witness some live music.

What could go wrong?

On the walk from the Fox to Grill, we ran into Jeb Schoonover, who urged us to attend the Hacienda Brothers' show at Vaudeville Cabaret. "They're going on in about 15 or 20 minutes," he said. "If you've never seen them live, you gotta check 'em out." We vowed to do so, just as soon as we got some sustenance in our bellies. Which is where everything goes awry.

I know this isn't a restaurant review, but here are a few things that took forever: getting someone to take our order; getting our food; waiting to pay our check. Our "quick burger" became a pipe dream: An hour and forty minutes later, we rushed into Vaudeville Cabaret just in time to hear the final chords of the Hacienda Brothers' last song.

Thankfully, they graced us with an encore: a gorgeous medley of the Intruders' "Cowboys to Girls" and the Temptations' "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" that made their self-declared "Western soul" tag make sense in a flash. A bunch of soulful country boys paying homage to bygone R&B classics was a welcome salve, and these Brothers delivered.

We vowed to not miss a minute of their next local performance, and headed over to Plush, where we were hoping to catch Little Black Cloud--the new indie-rock duo of Cathy Rivers and Jimmy Carr--and newbies Found Dead on the Phone (later described to us by two who had seen them as "amazing"); but seeing Amor and friends--the headliners--on stage, we realized that would have to wait for another time. Still, we were glad we stuck around. Naim was in a rather mellow mood this night, and had a stellar rotating cast of co-conspirators: Amy Rude, Dimitri Manos, Vicki Brown and Jeff "Mr. Tidypaws" Grubic. Danish pop star Marie Frank (when mentioning Marie Frank, you must always preface her name with the words "Danish pop star") joined in for a tune, and even "Woman, Not a Woman," normally a driving two-chord thing that could have appeared on an early Velvet Underground album, became something almost pastoral. It was a night that not even an overcooked burger that took forever could spoil.

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