pameladean: (Libellula julia)
Because something went amiss with the audio recording of the Cats Laughing reunion concert at Minicon earlier this year, they decided to have another concert, record it excellently, and use that for the CD portion of the Kickstarter rewards. The concert happened last night, at the Phoenix Theater, which I had never heard of but turned out to be the old Dudley Riggs location, and had vegan brownies for sale along with a lot of things more tasty to people who are not me.

The Minicon concert was unique, the first live concert from the Cats in decades, with an audience full of Cats fans who had been coming to Minicon all along and more who had not attended in ten years or fifteen or twenty but came back for this, and one of Richard Tatge's signature light shows. It was entirely magical and it kept making me cry.

This was a shorter concert with a slightly different set list. Sister Tree opened with three songs, including, to my profound delight, "The Witch of the Westmerlands." There was a minor confusion over the lyrics, but it was resolved, and it's a long song. I've seen professional musicians at major European tours mess up songs with two verses and some spiraling choruses, getting into the wrong spiral and having a heck of a time getting out again, so I don't think this was really an issue. If you were there for sound check, you got to hear Sister Tree do an additional song, so that was all very lovely and a grand introduction.

The band were in great spirits, which meant they had to make a lot of bad jokes and Emma had to roll her eyes at them a lot. I suspect there were some bad musical jokes later on, but I'm not skilled enough to be sure. The music was insanely good. They did a profoundly satisfying "Black Knight's Work" and they did songs I'm not really all that fond of like "Big Boss Man" with such verve and style that I liked them. They did a somehow particularly irony-laden "Tellers of Tales," Adam being very good at layering irony. My favorite piece was a long, long stretch that started with an exceptionally sharp and snarky take on Emma's "Wear My Face," diverted into a song sung splendidly by Lojo that I know and like and loved then, but cannot at the moment remember; and then returned to Emma with "Signal to Noise" and "For It All" with so much verve and energy and poetry that they could have stopped there and left me happy. But they didn't. They did a haunting "Gloomy Sunday" and then they did "Elijah," and Lojo put her bass away and made story-telling gestures, building and taking down the wall and exhorting the people and shaping bread and flesh. You could see ravens in the shadows by the end. As an encore they played a teasing version of "Not Fade Away" (NOT MY FAVORITE SONG) that kept you thinking it was going to be another song that I knew at the time but have also forgotten. It's a good thing I'm not a music reviewer. When [livejournal.com profile] skzbrust saw me afterwards he said, "I didn't know you were here! I'd have told them not to do 'Not Fade Away.'" They'd have done it anyway, of course, and it was actually fine. Nostalgia has its place.

I'm glad I didn't have to choose between the Minicon concert and this one. But this one just sparked and shone and shot off fireworks and did cartwheels.

I sat with [livejournal.com profile] arkuat and[livejournal.com profile] lydy ([livejournal.com profile] dd_b was taking photographs (1500, he said, by the end), and got to briefly greet [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K and Fred and Susan and Alis who are not effectively on LJ, and my goddaughter Toni and Jen and [livejournal.com profile] fgherman. I saw many, many more people in the audience whom I knew, and that was part of the huge charm and excitement as well.

Pamela
pameladean: (Libellula julia)
There are fifteen days to go on the Cats Laughing Reunion Kickstarter. They've put up another video with remarks by Jane Yolen, a few new ones by Neil Gaiman, and some by the band as they reminisce and start to put things together again -- not to mention a startling new goal with a very startling reward.

The video is great fun, and if you happen to be in a better position to donate now than you were last time I pestered you about this, there's still plenty of time.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/214684691/create-a-cats-laughing-twenty-year-reunion-event-a

Pamela

Ten Songs

Aug. 30th, 2014 05:18 pm
pameladean: (Libellula julia)

I'm having trouble making regular posts even though I write them in my head all the time, but I thought this might be fun.

I don't have an iPod or an MP3 player other than the computer, which is connected to a vast labyrinthine music server containing things of interest to the entire household; so what I am actually going to do is to list is ten songs I have hunted down on YouTube recently because I had an earworm.

Dar Williams, "Iowa"
Placebo, "Every You, Every Me"
Kat Flint, "Go Faster Stripes"
Kat Flint, "Anticlimax" (not on YouTube, had to use Spotify)
Suzanne Vega, "Gypsy"
Adrienne Pierce, "Lost and Found"
Richard Thompson, "Wall of Death"
R.E.M., "Wall of Death"
Rumpke Mountain Boys, "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts"
Meg Hutchinson, "Let's Go"

Some of these are on the music server, but a severe earworm may require playing through seven or eight muddy videos of live performances, where available.

Pamela

pameladean: (Libellula julia)
If you are friends or fans of Becca Leathers and Graham Leathers: they could use a bit of help right now. Their PayPal address is knitnax@gmail.com. Every little bit will help at the moment.

That's all I know.

Pamela
pameladean: (Libellula julia)
In the piecemeal, inexpert, largely intuitive country that has been my lifelong experience of music, Pete Seeger is like William Shakespeare.  He's everywhere.  If you come at things from a strange angle, as I did and do, a common thread over the years is thinking, every once in a while, variations on,  "Oh, he wrote that.  And that.  Oh, that's a line from Pete Seeger.  He wrote THAT?  Really, wow."  When I listened to Bruce Springsteen's album of Pete Seeger's songs, I felt quite a lot like the person seeing Hamlet for the first time who exclaimed, "But it's full of cliches!" Only that possibly-fictional person was disappointed, while, to my great good fortune, I was delighted.

His testimony before HUAC, which you can read here -- http://www.peteseeger.net/HUAC.htm -- if you haven't already, takes place against a horrible background and has sinister overtones.  In this it is not unlike certain strands of Shakespearean comedy, where the actual practices of torture and the myriad imperfections of Elizabethan and Jacobean justice are lurking.  Reading the increased exasperation of the committee, I was uneasily aware of the horrors in the background, not to mention their offspring sliming around this country and the world to this day; but mostly I was laughing far too hard to attend to them for more than a moment at a time.

I hope the two of them are collaborating on a musical, that's all.

Pamela

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