Is This Thing On?

Duplomacy struggle with stage fright and fear of a Willie Nelson fan

As with all of their music projects, Flynn and Egerdahl refuse to give up tonight. Too ashamed to confront the vested Willie Nelson fanatic, Flynn enlists Hildreth to submit his slip. Egerdahl's girlfriend does his dirty deed for him. And then five, ten, fifteen minutes pass. The host does another Willie song, this time with a baseball-capped wannabe-Waylon accompanying him. And then finally, Flynn and Egerdahl are "in the hole."

Flynn performs a subdued indie-rock version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." Egerdahl does a surprisingly accurate Barry Manilow, closing his eyes and unearthing a lounge act from his wiry frame for "I Write the Songs." It's late, and the vibe in the place feels something like stuck-at-a-wedding-reception-in-1978 as directed by David Lynch. People seem unable to unglue their eyes from their laps. But Egerdahl and Flynn nail it. And they clap for one another as if they knew they could.

Someone cue up "Love Will Keep Us Together"
Emily Utne
Someone cue up "Love Will Keep Us Together"

"This happens to us all the time," Egerdahl says. "If it didn't happen this way, it wouldn't be us. Everything we do falls apart. But in the end, it always comes together."

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