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Junior Mance Trio at Sweet Rythym, May 5,6. Not my fave venue, but Junior (piano), and Jackie Williams (drums) are true blue veteran jazz musicians. A real treat, and these guys aint going to be 'round forever, if you know what I mean.

 

I like Junior Mance's playing. He's a very nice man as well.

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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 wi

Going to see the Finn brothers in Central Park this evening. I assumed it would have sold out, but I got a message pushing half price tickets which I couldn't resist. Think it will piss down?  

Saw the Cowboy Junkies again last night, in an ice cold Beacon Theater. They had to wind up a ninety minute set at 11pm - union rules - which is a pity, as I think the audience would have loved anoth

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Richard Thompson last night at Royce Hall. A class act: tasteful and still fun. He is accompanied by a stylish vocalist, Judith Owen, and a female percussionist whose name escapes. His show is greatest popular music of the last 1,000 years. No, really. Starts in around 1100 or so and moves forward. The point seems to be that there's always been good popular music. We just ignore all but the most recent stuff. Unlike so many players who have to have a brace of different guitars, Thompson used one guitar thru the entire 2 hour performance but managed to get all kinds of sounds from it. Ms. Owen did lovely takes on Night and Day and Cry Me A River. The only downside in the whole concept is that Thompson does very, very few of his own works. Along the way, I learned that the Kinks were originally called The Ravens. RIYL music.

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Project/Object feat. Ike Willis last week. This is the remnants of some of Frank Zappa's bands (and others) playing Zappa tunes from most eras. Don't miss this show if it comes to your town!
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Mogwai at Webster Hall tonight. Those noisy scots were pretty good when I saw them was about 5 years ago in Amsterdam and I thought tonight's was a far better show despite some of their new material not being as exciting. Catch them in a space with good sound near you.

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When I was in Portland OR in mid April I saw the enigmatic JANDEK play with a drummer (Emil Amos from "Grails")and a bassist (Sam Coomes from"Quasi"). During one tune, a couple of young ladies appeared to sing back-up (Liz Harris from "Grouper" and Jessica Dennison from "The Hoofbeats").

 

JANDEK has put out 45 records/CDs since 1978 and only started performing live since 2004. He doesn't do interviews; he claims to have no friends. Officially, Jandek is not a person. The man from the album covers and live appearances is “a representative of Corwood Industries”, and “Jandek” is a musical project in which he is involved. Portland was "his" only West Coast appearance and "his" eleventh show, ever.

 

He writes completely new songs for every release and, apparently, live performance. A sample:

 

"I got the house

I got the car

I got the money

I got the time

but I don't have you"

 

and this line started out the one with the back-up singers (who, curiously, looked almost like twins):

"Quantum physicssss...got me down..."

 

All in all, it was a fascinating show of avant-garde rock. Jandek plays his guitar way out of tune as a rule. The drummer was particularly good. Jandek draws from the local talent pool when he plays out according to the fan website. There appears to be quite a fanbase who revels in his inaccessibility. The yahoogroup describes every move ("He never looks at the audience!") and details the gear he brings with him. Some would say they are a bit obsessive about him.

Compared to "real" pop music, Jandek's songs are terrifyingly ugly; in the context of his decades of persistence, the range and mass of his work, they become intensely beautiful and meaningful. They are absolute, pure self-expression, an unfocused, unlit snapshot of his entire adult life. As he told the Texas Monthly reporter who asked him whether he wanted people to "get" what he was doing, "There's nothing to get."

I went because my colleague at our radio conference filled me in on this bizarre Jandek fellow, concluding with the fact that there were only 20 tickets left. Well, of course I had to go! That night, when we rounded the corner to join the line he whispered "That's him - smoking against the wall!" I turned around and waved at him and he waved back.

:lol: :lol:

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Good old Momus (Nick Currie) gave quite a show at tonic last night, to an audience of about 25 (friends and family included). I think he's the one of the funniest pop performers out there, I probably spent a good 10 minutes trying to stop laughing following his performance of Beowulf, crouching and jumping around the place.

 

imomus.livejournal.com

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Tarentel, Pelican, and Mono, all Post-rock bands. A lot of it sounded like movie soundtrack music.

 

I like Pelican, remember how metal bands would have a ten minute instrumental track on every album? Imagine a group that does only that. They rocked pretty good though. Tarentel played in the dark what sounded like a 30 minute continuous piece with some structuralist experimental film projected behind them. Probably would have been better watching it at home on the couch than live. Mono I didn't get at all. Actually, I think I did get them, but it's just not my aesthetic. I left before it was over. First time I've ever left a show early. Every song had the same structure and was too long and drawn out. To be fair to them, I was beat to shit tired before the show started, but it just got too painful to stay.

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Hey, New Yorkers! I think you should check Toby Lightman at Joe's Pub on 6/5. Maybe it's sold out, but aren't there ways of doing things? I just heard one of the tracks from her newest (due 7/25) on KCRW and some stuff on the MySpace page. Sounds good. At times, like Joss Stone. At times, not.

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Hey, New Yorkers! I think you should check Toby Lightman at Joe's Pub on 6/5. Maybe it's sold out, but aren't there ways of doing things? I just heard one of the tracks from her newest (due 7/25) on KCRW and some stuff on the MySpace page. Sounds good. At times, like Joss Stone. At times, not.

 

 

Lightman Tours

 

The sample clip is impressive.

 

Her tour schedule is aggressive, 4-5 shows a week. One night stands, then pack up and move on. Tough way to earn a buck

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