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Kikujiro

Gigs

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Last week, Norah Jones at the Hammersmith Apollo. I know, I know, and I was not sure why I'd booked even before it started. I mean, I've never bought the new album. But as I'm sure I bored everyone with already, I first saw her before the first album came out at PizzaExpress in Dean St, and she was fabulous -- smoky, intimate settings are what she needs, and moderate expectations rather than global fame help too. The Apollo was far too loud and amplified for her (some lyrics actually hard to make out), and the recent focus on country is not to be encouraged. Disappointing.

 

Tonight, serendipitously (I was only asked yesterday), Sonny Rollins at the Barbican. Absolutely magnificent. At 74 the guy can hardly walk, but he can dance, and his lungs, energy and all-round brilliance were extraordinary. Amazing extended solos that produced in me alternating dropped jaw and grin for the entire evening, elaborated from a range of material from standards and own compositions through old Italian folk songs and calypso. Several standing ovations. Most extraordinary musicianship I've seen since Jarrett about a year ago. Still feel profoundly cheered by it.

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I don't go out to see bands much. Last week I went to see the Violent Femmes and it convinced me to go and see more live music. Their live sound was brilliant and they were very entertaining and engaging while still remaining completely professional. The recording and production quality of the songs on their early albums pale against the live performance. Or maybe they've just grown up and don't sound like whiny teenagers any more. :)

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Saturday night I saw Lucero here in town. This band out of Memphis is very good. Southern roots rock with plenty of country, blues, and hill country music influences. They also put on an a fine show.

 

Also, this Saturday night my next-door neighbor will be playing at CBGB's with his band the Muckrakers. If you liked Toad the Wet Sprocket, you will like the Muckrakers.

 

Another Louisville band, VHS or BETA, has reloacted to NYC and I understand they are playing live quite a bit up there. These guys are really good. I highly recommend checking them out.

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If you liked Toad the Wet Sprocket...

That's the biggest "if" I've come across this year. :D

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I don't go out to see bands much. Last week I went to see the Violent Femmes and it convinced me to go and see more live music. Their live sound was brilliant and they were very entertaining and engaging while still remaining completely professional. The recording and production quality of the songs on their early albums pale against the live performance. Or maybe they've just grown up and don't sound like whiny teenagers any more.   :)

That's odd you say that. I thought sounding like whiny teenagers was what they were all about.

 

It's interesting, generally, which band you can stomach "today". For instance, I am really bothered by the Who. I used to consider them my favorite band, but for a variety of reasons, I have no respect for them anymore. On the other hand, I have NOT lost respect for the Rolling Stones, somehow for me, they seem not to be geezers. I know it is hypocritical, and I cannot necessarily point to deciding factors, but that's the way it is. For me.

 

I've seen many of the great bluesmen in the twilights of their careers: Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Jr. Wells, etc., and I never felt gyped or that I got something lacking. These shows were all great. Actually, the only geezer that failed me was Bo Diddley, but that was more the exception than the rule. So, I think there is a path for rockers to take, if Muddy could do it why not Mick and Keith, it just seems that most cannot actually do it.

 

Rob

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Rufus Wainwright at the Festival Hall. With his mother, Kate McGarrigle. And her sister, Anna. And his sister, Martha. And Anna's daughter, Lily Lanken. Singing songs by Kate and Anna and Martha and Rufus and Rufus's dad Loudon. And songs by Rufus about his mother, Kate, and about his dad, Loudon. And a song by Kate presumably about her ex-husband, Loudon. And songs they were taught by their grandmother. And. :blink:

 

More folk (in every sense) than I'd expected, but enjoyable. Rufus seems to believe that he can get away with his 'oops, I just fucked that up but aren't I charming' schtick in the RFH as much as he can solo in a small venue. Judging by the response, he can. For now.

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Oh, I had no idea he was an offspring of a McGarrigle Sister. I remember dem.

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Anyone have an opinion on the Marian McPartland Trio? Surely a few people here have caught her live. I have a few CDs but have never seen her in person, though I've considered it a few times. Looks like she's playing this weekend.

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Go see her if for no reason other than to always know that you saw her once.

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God is Wes still around, I remember when he used to go out with the lovely Ursulsa until she dumped him.

 

Am not a regular 'gig' goer but pleased to note a blistering set from Billy Jenkins at Olivier's last week, and dropping in to the Morden Arms a beautifully mournful accordion/lute set from lo polidoro. At the 12 bar on Tuesday & I might just about go. Serge Gainsbourg meets Orlando Gibbons.

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