Ratty Scurvics is the most talented and original artist/musician in New Orleans. For true. In his one-man-band, Singularity, Ratty pounds two keyboards perched atop a bass drum positioned beside a snare on the floor both drums equipped with foot pedals, allowing Ratty to simultaneously play drum-kit and keyboards while singing. Regardless of this spectacle of dexterity, however, Rattys songs hold the main focus. Comparisons to more famous one-man-band Quintron are inevitable, but while Qs musical point is mostly Party! Party! Party! Rattys music stirs up dance frenzies while remaining pathos-driven and deeply personal. Dont worry though, New Orleans, youd hardly notice unless you paid close attention, which you wont, cause you just wanna drink and dance and party, party, party. Doesnt that get old for you? Nevermind, I wont criticize
On rhythm guitar, Ratty also leads his band The Invisible Gambling Jews, which features trombonist Rickshaw from Morning 40 Federation, old-timey accordionist Merry-Go-Round, and Miss May on cello, rounded out by a revolving rhythm section. In The Jews, Rattys voice is given center stage a raspy-yet-powerful voice generally buried beneath all Singularitys other loud elements is, in The Jews, shown to be Rattys ace in the hole. His attention-grabbing voice belongs on the radio, though as of this writing, not many people outside of Bywater even get him. Maybe fans of more traditional and already-famous New Orleans music would be more impressed if I told you Ratty is also the son of local legend Vince Vance? Tis also for true.
Lately though, the colorful Mr. Scurvics has been writing a book, an adult fairy tale entitled, What the Fat Little Man Told Me -- from which he will read, one last time, this coming Wednesday night at Dominics, 219 Corondolet. Turns out Rattys an amazing writer as well (he also attended the prestigious Chicago Art Institute, for painting. Im telling ya!). Fat Little Man is Rattys, true tale of growing up in New Orleans across from Armstrong Park, where at four years old, in the course of running away from an impending punishment, Ratty supposedly met a tiny man, a croquet ball in a tailored suit, per Rattys description. This fat little man let Ratty in on some rather adult secrets. The story goes on to involve a City of Forgotten Dolls, a butcher selling mysterious meat on the blackmarket, plus other twisted characters and dark events. Like the fairy tails were told when were children, Ratty explains, all the imagination and wonder, except with murder, sex, strife. In a similar vein to the real Brothers Grimm.
Rattys read publicly from his book which is in the process of being illustrated by local painter Myrtle Red -- every Wednesday this month. But don't fret: this last installment will include a re-cap of previous installments. Somewhere in this heady mix, Ratty will accompany the aforementioned Merry-Go-Round on some of her original accordion songs, plus some old standards. This last installment also happens to fall on the birthday of singer Edith Piaf, and thus will feature young-but-old-timey band Loose Marbles doing Edith Piafs covers.
Again, thats this Wednesday night, 9:30p.m., in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express, a.k.a. Dominics, 219 Corondolet. The event is free of charge. For links to chapters from What the Fat Little Man Told Me, and samples of Rattys great music, visit myspace.com/rattyscurvicssingularity