Spencer Day looks forward & back

  • by Adam Sandel
  • Tuesday August 16, 2016
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Spencer Day, the sexiest gay songwriting crooner we've got, returns to San Francisco with 100 years of hits. His new show Western Standard Time plays at Feinstein's at the Nikko on Fri., Aug. 19 (8 p.m.) and Sat., Aug. 20 (7 p.m.).

"I'm taking a musical look at the songs and artists that inspired me over 100 years of the great American songbook," he says. "It's a brand spanking new show. I'm planning to do songs by Rufus Wainwright, kd lang, Cole Porter, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Peggy Lee, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, plus some of the 1950s and 90s one-hit-wonders that inspired me."

In choosing his repertoire, Day says, "I set out to go back literally 100 years to 1916. I found 'My Buddy,' a great WWI-era song with a homoerotic subtext, and 'After You've Gone,' which is a great old vaudeville song. The hardest part of putting the show together is figuring out which songs to cut." But die-hard Day fans need not worry. "I'll throw in some of my originals that people want to hear. The show is about 50% of what people have heard, and 50% of tunes that I've never performed before."

Day has a philosophical take on why songs from the past continue to inspire us. "Turmoil and uncertainty about the future is pretty universal," he says. "So we're drawn to songs from the Golden Age that never really existed."

Speaking of vintage musical styles, the swinging songster is wrapping up recording tunes for his upcoming CD Angel City at the studio that was once home to Frank Sinatra. "I've got nine songs recorded and six more to do," he says. "I'm recording with an 18-piece orchestra at Capitol Records. It's really up-tempo, with a lot of blaring horns and big drums."

The album was inspired by the former San Franciscan's time living in L.A. pursuing the elusive dream (which may or may not actually exist) that has drawn legions of dreamers to the City of Angels.

After a month of writing and touring at venues throughout Florida and New York, Day is happy to return to the City by the Bay. "San Francisco has always been so supportive of me trying new things," he says. "I always look forward to coming back."


Info: feinsteinsatthenikko.com.