Posts tagged ‘Fleetwood Mac’

4/30/09: Ghost & Six Organs of Admittance @ Doug Fir, Portland (98/100)

May 1st, 2009

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I’m in Portland. How bizarre. I certainly wasn’t planning on this last minute twist in the run up to day 100, but here I am. Yet, almost not. Check this shit out.

After a full day of traveling from NYC to Denver, then Denver to PDX, the pilot of the tiny express airplane I was on tried to land it, only to pull the nose up at the last minute and floor it – taking off again. I guess another plane hadn’t cleared the runway in time and…Jesus fucking Christ! This is how this is all going to end? Really? “Just get this fucking bird on the ground! I’ve got a project to complete!” is all I’m thinking.

He finally does, and my co-worker Matt and I grab a cab to the hotel, check in, and head out to meet up with our other co-worker Jerome. We meet him and some people who work out of the Portland office, and grab some drinks. Then, hit dinner at an amazing little French restaurant named Le Pigeon, right across the street from the venue. How amazing? Well, how’s pork belly and fois gras as a starter, and halibut with gnocchi and spring vegetables as a main sound? Delicious.

So, all day traveling, delicious dinner and now it’s time for music, just after 9:30pm. I’m hitting a bit of a wall at this point, having been up at 7am NY time, and it’s now about 12:30am NY time – but I have to power through. Before heading west for this impromptu meeting, my boss sent around an email to everyone in the Portland and NY offices. He said how my 100 Bands journey was nearing the end, and if anyone out here wanted to join me for a show to come along. So a writer named named Jimmy met up with Matt, Jerome and me for the show tonight at Doug Fir.

Below the venue is a restaurant and attached is a hotel, I think. The restaurant looks nice. The hotel looks like a motel. And the venue is fashioned to look like a fake log cabin – sort of. Which is totally cool, and made for great sound. When we walked downstairs to the venue, Six Organs of Admittance was already on. Six Organs is essentially one guy, Ben Chasny, with his acoustic guitar, at least that’s how it was tonight.

The records have more instrumentation, but tonight was super chill. Some songs are simple, interesting instrumentals in alternate tunings, while others have whispery vocals and later on in the show, musical accompaniment. It was mostly the first one though

The Japanese experimental/avant garde/psych-rock band Ghost was up after Six Organs, and they brought considerably more equipment. I didn’t know what was about to happen, considering there was everything from drums, keys, guitars and pedals galore to a flute, clarinet, saxophone, electro cello, and who knows what else – tons of weird gadgets and instruments I’d never seen in my life.

What happened was a sonic boom of noise/music with some Zep, Floyd, Mac, more noise, free jazz, free noise and whatever the fuck else mixed in. It was a hell of a trip that started out with a wall of noise, where they kept adding brick after brick after brick. Until it was just one huge, controlled mess.

Thing settled down after that and the majority of the set was 70s-sounding psych-rock. The guy on the left hand side of the stage was doing some of the more interesting things on stage. Maybe that’s because I’m a gadget freak, but he had the coolest toys. A sax, flute, clarinet, tons of effects pedals, a tambourine, and this weird oscillating remote control, with a huge antenna on it. I couldn’t quite figure it out, but it seemed like he could manually manipulate different instruments on stage with it. Pretty much making him the coolest guy in the band.

The set started to drag a bit for me, probably because my body was three hours ahead. Jerome and Matt had split about halfway through the show, totally exhausted. I was too, but had to stay. Jimmy was fine, but he lives here. Ghost finally wrapped up the set close to midnight. I called a cab immediately aftewards, not waiting for the encore, then thanked Jimmy for coming out and hanging, hopped in the cab minutes later (man, Radio Cab is fast) and was back at the hotel, in bed before 4am NY time.

2/16/09: Anne Hampton Callaway @ Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Triangle (25/100)

February 17th, 2009

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Tonight is the first truly significant night of this project: It’s my 25th day of consecutive live music. That’s right: 25 of 100, a quarter of the way there, 75% to go.

How do I feel? About the same. But that’s because I took it easy on myself tonight, and last night, really. Although, it is strange to think that Titus/Los Camp show was last night. It feels like 2 or 3 days ago. And that’s one more thing that scares me about this project – how a lot of the shows/bands/days are starting to just blend together. I can hardly remember who I saw last Monday, Tuesday, or Friday for that matter, unless I check the blog.

But I can remember tonight because it was a weird one. Weird, quick and free – mind you. How weird? Well, I went above 14th street, for starters. Took the D train Uptown to…wait for it…Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Triangle!

That’s right. I got fucking crazy tonight and went and saw music where books are sold. Forget the super hipster LES crowd. I spent this Monday night kicking it old school…literally…I was hanging with the Early Bird Special crowd. One 90-year old guy in front of me slept through the whole set, obviously dragged there by his lovely wife of 50+ years. He didn’t even wake up when the homeless guy behind me kept winding a disposable camera for whatever reason, causing the lady with fake orange-sprayed hair on my right to repeatedly shush him. Which only worked for about a minute, when he moved on to digging through a plastic bag, making even more noise. Ah, the joys of free entertainment with old people on the UWS. 

For those of you who don’t know (and I’m assuming that’s most, if not all, of you who read this blog), Anne Hampton Callaway is recognized as the only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter, when she set her music to his posthumously discovered lyric, “I Gaze in Your Eyes”. Listen, I didn’t know that shit either until I saw her Wikipedia page. I wanted to know a little something about who I was seeing tonight. And she was pretty entertaining.

Callaway had more than a great voice. She was also funny. Like when she asked if there was any Callaway virgins in the audience, “You know, people who haven’t seen me, or slept with me…” She even threw in a Facebook joke at one point – which shot right over 98% of the crowd’s heads.  

Callaway was at B&N tonight to sing tracks off her new record At Last. Surprisingly that included the Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide,” which she sang alongside standards like “Over the Rainbow,” and the Etta James, title track “At Last.” Accompanying her was Ted Rosenthal on piano and Jay Leonhart. They were pretty solid. Especially Ted.

All in all, it was good to change it up, and it was a good show, for what it was. Maybe it was a bit of a weak way to hit a milestone 25th show. But, it did remind me that I wanted to buy Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.  Not that I bought it, but I wrote it down, and one day I will.  But, perhaps the best part of the show though was how it started at 6:10pm, was over with by 6:40pm, and I was back downtown, in my apartment, cooking dinner by 8pm.

Lovely.