New Gig Thread

This is for all non-EC or peripheral-EC topics. We all know how much we love talking about 'The Man' but sometimes we have other interests.
alexv
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Postby alexv » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:52 pm

I'm going to the Bowery manana to see Ron. Sixteen bucks!! Let's see, EC at BAM was something like 50. Nice value for the money.

alexv
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Postby alexv » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:54 pm

I'm going to the Bowery manana to see Ron. Sixteen bucks!! Let's see, EC at BAM was something like 50. Nice value for the money.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:25 pm

Heaven with knobs on!
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johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:40 pm

I'm going to see Joanna Newsom in Newcastle, England next Tuesday. Performing with the Northern Sinfonia , hopefully this show will be as good as her excellent Ys album.

As usual it's a cluster of gigs as I fly back to Dublin the next day to see Ray LaMontagne on Wednesday. Yet again he's promoting a scarily good album.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:12 pm

Nice one! I was hoping we'd have a live report on JN from someone. Should be fantastic, with brilliant acoustics. I'd love to have seen her at the Barbican. I'm hoping something will be on BBC4 or Dime. Feel free to write up a hugely detailed account!
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alexv
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Postby alexv » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:08 am

Just back from Ron's show at the Bowery Ballroom. Lovely. Standing close to the stage, it was as if he were playing in my living room. Great sound too. Only bad thing is the standing: as I near the big 50, standing for a couple of hours (particularly after I walked to the show from my office in the East 50s) is not so much fun. I'm also reeking of beer (other people's beer). Haven't stood for a show like this since EC and Van at the Supper Club back in the mid-90s. But enough kvetching, it was a treat to see Ron. As MG noted, he's having voice problems these days, and had trouble reaching many high notes, but his voice, even when off, is still terrific, fitting his melodies to a tee. He played a few songs from the new album, sprinkled gems from the back catalogue. The crowd would yell out requests, and Ron would play them all. One time, he had tuned his guitar for the upcoming song, someone from the crowd yelled out a request, and Ron immediately retuned the guitar and played the requested song. I thought that was marvelous: a performer really in tune with his audience and aiming to please. Off to bed now (it's 3 am in sleepy Ct.), and in 5 hours suburban dad must take 6 year old to bball practice.

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:37 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:I find him reassuringly honest and on the occasions I've met him, what you see is what you get.

What is "reassuringly honest" supposed to mean? I mean, if you have to be assured of his honesty... All I would say (since this comes up) is beware of folks who claim they "tell it like it is", "what you see is what you get" etc. It might be a case of it all sounding very reasonable but could in reality be expedience. I may even agree basically with his stance about something, like that England needs a new flag, but then his method of making something of it in a song (eg. oversimplifies issue and is probably quite ineffective overall, but hey it's a good attention grabber) and the reasoning he gives for it I'll probably find to be rather self-serving and therefore disingenuous. It's that sort of self-justification that bothers me, where he can sort of play dumb (by oversimplifying etc) about it and it pays off for him, where he reduces things to lowest common denominator appeal while pretending he's got no idea he's doing it; he's "just being honest" etc.

Mechanical Grace wrote:You will let us know, won't you, oh arbiter of all that is genuine and real and un-phony, when there's someone whom we can trust to be really REALLY real? Aside from yourself, of course?

Let "us" know? Whom "we" can trust? Speak for yourself! Just the sort of thoughtless conformity Honest Billy relies on. Just go along with Honest Billy telling you how it is. He's not a political songwriter, he's an honest songwriter, you know :roll: . And when you see him in concert after drinking too much chardonnay and he compulsorily mentions the fasheeests don't forget to go wild thinking how cute it is.


I'll let the following nugget of Bragg wisdom speak for itself, from 'The Marriage' (Billy Bragg): "Love is just a moment of giving, and marriage is when we admit our parents were right." Say. No. More....
Last edited by bambooneedle on Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Mechanical Grace » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:26 pm

bambooneedle wrote:Let "us" know? Whom "we" can trust? Speak for yourself! Just the sort of thoughtless conformity Honest Billy relies on.


That was something we call sarcasm, see. The way it works is, you say something rather opposite to what you really think; which is to say, in this case, I would never wait to hear what you thought was genuine and un-phony, because your opinions are so silly. However I was speaking for myself, and yes, for the four or five people here who've said, in ways I find neither thoughtless nor conformist, that, after years of attentive listening, they think Billy's on the up-and-up.

For the record, I don't drink chardonnay when I go to hear a band. More importantly, songwriters, like novelists, don't always embody the exact sympathies of their characters (see: um, how 'bout Elvis Costello) nor do they maintain static beliefs about things like marriage over the course of 21 years (The Marriage was written in 1986). It's funny you chose that song, about a young man not wanting to conform, to mark BB as a fake-non-conformist-- and anyway, what about the line you cite is so damning of Billy's sincerity? To my mind being a non-conformist is not a terribly worthwhile goal in and of itself, and I suspect BB feels the same. Being honest is harder and more important, and yes, I think he's an honest songwriter. Why you "think" artists would waste "time" spouting "supposed" "beliefs" that are "not" "genuine" is "indeed" "baffling" and "amusing".

What really makes me laugh, though, is that you seem to think your delusion (that anyone with a point of view and any degree of popular acceptance is a scam artist, and that the rest of us are naive not to see through the ruse) marks you as an iconoclast of discriminating vision, rather than an eejit spouting redundant, adolescent-level gobbledegook.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:37 pm

Returning to the theme of Alexv's post: nice one! sounds like a great gig. I much prefer standing gigs, myself, though I did have one night when my legs were exhausted and it just hurt, so can sympathise. Was this a solo show? I love his instant reponse too, very typical, especially for solo shows. I have a fantastic bootleg of a 2003 solo show from Cologne (very good sound too) and he starts each song with 'let's see now' as if deciding where to take things in that very moment, or by responding to requests, as you say. Does it less with full band, but still does it. There was a lovely moment at the Queen Elizabeth Hall when he sat at the piano and someone called out Foolproof, and he jusst said 'OK' and was off, and it was faultless (what a song!).
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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:45 am

Wow... several cards short of a full deck. Do get help before they come with the white coats and straightjacket.

Mechanical Grace
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Postby Mechanical Grace » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 am

Now, now. Just cause Otis likes a standing gig now and again, it doesn't make him crazy.

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 am

Otis - there are a few artists that I've seen that will respond to requests without the need of having to resort to exactly what is written on the setlist - Elvis, Billy Bragg and Glenn Tilbrook to name but three.

I used to love to go to see BigCcountry and then I saw them twice on the same tour. They did the same jokes, same dances, same song order and same "emotion" at what a wonderful crowd we were. Once you can fake sincerity you've got it made.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

alexv
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Postby alexv » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:05 am

What happened at this show was different. There were a number of times, somewhere between five and ten, where folks in the crowd shouted out requests between songs, and Ron would just play the song, clearly (I was very close to the stage) gesturing to his band that a different song would be played. He was, I think, trying to make a gesture towards his fans, and maybe pleasing the record company that is releasing his new record in the US. He mentioned that reps were at the show.

I'm not going to get into whether the "gesture" was genuine. I could care less, and I'm sure the fans pleading for songs that had a special meaning to them also did not give a damn. Is Ron's folksy personna, just that, an act? Maybe, but that would matter only if his value as a performer hinged on it. It doesn't. The guy is a professional songwriter who has written some terrific songs, some with "messages" and lots of them with nothing but hooks. I certainly don't view him as coming from what I think EC once said was the "[blank] me I'm sensitive" school of songwriting.

On the comparison to EC, I've been to many EC shows in my life and he never did anything like that. It has seemed to me, for many years now, that EC is not amused by the shouting out of requests. He may play one here and there, I suspect because they happen to fit in with what he would be playing anyway, but there has never been an EC show that I've attended where he did what Ron did the other night. In fact, I'm certain that if that kind of spontaneous reaction happened EC would have stopped it pretty quickly with some appropritate put down directed at an unlucky requester.

Not that the fact that EC has a different approach and personality on stage should matter much in any case. Every artist is different, but the informality of Ron's show was very welcome, in the same way as EC's professionalism.

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:45 am

Fair enough - I've seen EC do spontaneous requests, just as he doesn't stick to the set list at each gig. Glenn Tilbrook is another fine example of what you saw at Ron's gig. You just shout 'em out and he'll play 'em.

Glad you enjoyed the show.
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Mechanical Grace
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Postby Mechanical Grace » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:26 am

Agree about Ron and the requests. Totally spontaneous, and so, so nice for that. Also agree about Elvis-- he's not a seat-of-the-pants guy, and that's fine-- and that he seems annoyed by requests shouted out, as if the audience didn't know how carefully each rendition had been wrought for that particular tour.

I don't care if an artist has a practiced bunch of patter he's worked up over the course of the tour-- Lord knows Elvis repeats the same jokes each night-- it's the music that counts. Some artists, e.g., Aimee Mann, are just too stage-frightened to do it at all, or simply don't like it. Though perhaps that's more of this so-called fake genuineness? :roll: Aimee once had comedian David Cross on stage between each song to do the patter, while she and Michael Penn got tuned up, etc. Oddly cynical (you want witty banter? Fine, here's a comedian...) and it added to that classic quandary one tends to have around quiet people--is she stuck up? Does she hate us? Or is she just terrifically shy?-- but it worked.

Did Ron play Fallen in NYC, Alexv? That was a request (dedication, even!) he received before the Boston show, and I hadn't heard it before. Beautiful. Another request, which was clearly from the setlist-taking anorak in the very front, was for a song from Sesame Street, which he said his now 19-yr-old daughter taught him a long time ago. It's called 'Hello,' or 'Someone Said Hello,' or something like that. Very sweet.

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:41 pm

Two nights, two countrys , two artists delivering mesmerising, engrossing shows. Joanna Newsom ( Newcastle, England last night) and Ray LaMontagne (Dublin, tonight) have started my concert going year with a double that'll be very difficult to top. I between I had a few stomach churning moments in aircraft in heavy winds and, golly, but northern England is very grim in wintertime.

I'll work up some more substantial comments later - most lilely the weekend considering the stuff I have to catch up on!

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:56 pm

Substantial will be most welcome.

Just seen this on Dime:

http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-deta ... ?id=125186

Sounds like very good quality. Not a huge file for video at al, either, which helps with my over-stuffed hard-drive!

Glad she was worth the trip. Ray LeM I know little about, but what I've heard hasn't thrilled me.

Another nice thing about Ron S is that he tries to play requests posted on the website. That said, he's not delivered mine twice, but then he did have his laptop nicked, etc.
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Mechanical Grace
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Postby Mechanical Grace » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:39 pm

I was just listening to an interview with Ray LaMontagne earlier today, on the Paste Culture Podcast (which is usually worthwhile, if patchy). The track they played before it sounded good, if not in a style that particularly floats my boat these days, but the interview-- oy veh. I must say, I hope never to be stuck on a desert island with the guy; he seems quite the malcontent, so non-chalant as to sound almost petulant. Not that such stuff really matters; it just struck me, is all. I think the interview was from before the holidays, and he mentioned, actually, that he was dying to get JN's new record, so you've obviously got your finger on that particular pulse, Foyle-The-John!

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Who Shot Sam?
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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:19 pm

LaMontagne is painfully shy. He performed on Morning Becomes Eclectic a few months ago and the interview portion was like pulling teeth. You could see Nic Harcourt struggling to get anything out of him. I thought his first record was terrific, but the second a little patchier - some darker stuff that I really liked with a few duds mixed in. He has an amazing voice, no question about that.
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Mechanical Grace
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Postby Mechanical Grace » Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:28 am

Well, I guess the painfully shy part makes sense-- that's just the confusion I was describing in the context of Aimee Mann a few posts up, so I should know better!

Still, there was a weirdly petulant edge to the whole thing, like when my 8-yr-old decides he's going to say 'no' to whatever I suggest to get him out of a bad mood... :? :)

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:02 am

Ray started the evening barely able to say 'good to see' you between songs. However as the evening progressed he realised how appreciative the audience were and got very talky , even joking about the time he was such a 'dork' that he 'froze' when a girl , after throwing a apple followed by a boot followed by a bra, invaded the stage . He didn't go the whole hog and start all that 'your such a lovely audience' crap but he was beaming by the end.

More later.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:40 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:Just seen this on Dime:
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-deta ... ?id=125186
Sounds like very good quality. Not a huge file for video at al, either, which helps with my over-stuffed hard-drive!

It is very good quality! DivX file, New to me. Will it write to a CD? She plays a few non-Ys tracks to start, and then all of Ys. Four musicians join her. image v sharp and sound is perfect. Highly recommended, and nice to hear Ys performed by a smaller ensemble (banjo; backing vocals + glockenspiel; percussion; accordion).
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

goodbyegirl
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Postby goodbyegirl » Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:07 pm

To any fellow EC/Squeeze fans, Chris Difford will be in the U.S. for the next few months. Check out his website for dates if you like. I'm going to try and make the March 3 show at the Towne Crier in NY. I've never been there so if anyone has any comments about the venue, it would be appreciated. Look forward to seeing any of you there!

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oily slick
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Postby oily slick » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:11 pm

went to the sold out st louis fox theatre live radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor yesterday. it was great fun and i'd recommend it to anyone. we'd always wanted to do it. interesting to watch a show and also the process and what goes on on stage when there is no video. keillor is slightly full of himself and overestimates his vocal skills a bit of course, but it was a neat experience and about the fastest 2 hours i've been through. we thought also it would be just us and old people, but the audience was quite varied and had many more young people than i would have ever guessed.
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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:49 pm

johnfoyle wrote:Two nights, two countrys , two artists delivering mesmerising, engrossing shows. Joanna Newsom ( Newcastle, England last night) and Ray LaMontagne (Dublin, tonight) have started my concert going year with a double that'll be very difficult to top. I between I had a few stomach churning moments in aircraft in heavy winds and, golly, but northern England is very grim in wintertime.

I'll work up some more substantial comments later - most lilely the weekend considering the stuff I have to catch up on!

In the meantime, this:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/s ... 35,00.html
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more


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