The First Day

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 01:13:43 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: AVAM: the first day Here are some scattered thoughts on the first day of All Virgos Are Mad.

Lisa Germano on KCRW. She was very outspoken and interesting, talking about the irony of {\em Happiness} and {\em Geek The Girl}. She played three songs and they all sounded great. The new album was recorded at her home solely by her.

Air Miami on KXLU. The DJ does not know how to interview a band (not that {\em we're} all that great either). They play two songs which sounded very much like Unrest (lots of patented Mark Robinson jangle/strum) and Mark answers some questions about various TeenBeat bands. We find out very little about Air Maimi and the name Unrest is never even uttered.

Ian Masters and Warren Defever at Aron's Records. What a wonderful performance! They start with (I think it was) {\em Stolen Clothes}, the Spoonfed Hybrid song. Then a few more that were as twee and pleasantly melodic as you'd expect from the two best song writers on the label. They have recorded enough material for an album, so keep your fingers crossed. Warren periodically takes pictures of the audience.

Air Miami at Aron's Records. More Unrest-y kinds of songs, three or four only, all of them ending very abruptly.

Air Miami at the Troubadour. Here is where they sounded really great. Loud jangle strumming on a bunch of songs, and a few with Bridget singing. No Unrest songs were played. Overall, if you liked Unrest, you'll like Air Miami and it's probably going to be a great album. Single comes out in a few weeks on Teen Beat.

Red House Painters at the Troubadour. A few old favorites. {\em Medicine Bottle}, {\em English to Japanese}, {\em Uncle Joe}, {\em Evil}, {\em 3-Legged Cat}, plus a cover of {\em Silly Love Songs}. Mark stops in the middle of a song to shout at a heckler, sending him away, then the band resumes. Someone give that man some seratonin. Best quote: ``we have 40-minutes which will be what, two of our songs, so we'll just do {\em Katy Song} and {\em Mother}''. Mark's voice as remarkably strong and penetrating as usual.

The Wolfgang Press at the Troubadour. Special guest Tom Jones. Old favorites: {\em Kansas}, {\em Sucker}, {\em Louis XIV}, {\em Fakes and Lies}, {\em Girl Like You}, {\em Question Of Time}. A few new ones. {\em Eleven Years} was especially good. Very funky with lots of energy. Tom Jones sang one song by himself which was written for him, and they finished up with them both singing {\em A Girl Like You}. It had to be at least 90-degrees in there and both Mick Allen and Tom Jones were dressed formally. I don't know how they kept from passing out. Mick is fun to watch as he gets really into singing, with deep bends forward and left arm flung out in back. Kinda scary in {\em Sucker}!

Tuesday's Schedule (there's some new stuff here):

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 01:31:06 -0700 From: Kelli-Jeanne <kelli@NETCOM.COM> Subject: * day one * ...all virgos are mad, starring: The koolest person in the universe, warren defever... the koolest guy on 4ad, micheal ``the rico suave' of 4ad'' allen... the moody musician who didn't like my camera light, mark ``he may be skinny, but he'll kick the shit out of you'' kozelek... and a host of others (can you say, tom jones?)

whew..what a day. got to aron's at about 3pm (and got a parking space, too!) and looked over the entire stock of music that they had there..waiting for 4pm to hit and the music to commence. saw an regular concert goer and wound up talking to him most of the night because i don't like not having anyone to talk to at shows, and saw brant, too. hm. bad sentence structure. anyhoo, ian and warren did their li'l collaboration first...beautiful, beautiful stuff to my's my eyes that are still recovering from the sight of them. i forgot what they called themselves today, but i still think they should go under Two Really White Skinny Guys Playing Guitars. it suits them much better. the first song was a spoonfed song..i don't have the record, so i can't say which one. the rest was nice li'l tunes...the last one being a sort of jazzy number that i was, and still am, quite fond of. had i not been hot, bloated, and uncomfortably carrying some things..i would have bopped around the store to their li'l songette. i took off, after much scrutiny with acquaintance-from-concerts-cuy, to the troubadour. i passed on air miami's store set.

...godspeed the troubadour gig...

well, warren's that's surprise. air miami were really nice, considering. i expected a lot worse after reading reviews of shows they've been doing prior to tonight's. but the songs and the band were tight. unresty but a li'l better, in my opinion. more mellow. extra ultracoolio tweeness to bridget...who's haircut is very spiff and suits her well.

warren then came out to intro RHP..passed out cookies (famous amos chocolate chip, an ideal cookie choice. it was good)...mark did a couple of tunes by himself, then band played with him, then he freaked out and asked me to put my camera away because it was distracting him (i forgot to turn it off, so the li'l red light was shining happily up at him)....then he todl me he didn't mean to be a ``dick'', which i had no probs with anyway..i understood. later, during `medicine bottle', some megalo huge jerk shouted the ol' Eff You after mark sang a line...mark stopped the song and had the guy. in getting him out of the place, mark said something like, ``i may be skinny but i'll kick the shit out of you''. i think the best song in their set was `evil', otherwise their set was off and marked up by either a guitar cutting out or the Eff You guy...

no intro from warren for the band that needeth no intro anyway, the (legendary) wolfgang press. these guys behind me pointed out the fact that a guitarist/keyboard played looked like hugh grant's older and uglier brother (hugh grant is the cute english actor who was in movies such as {\em Sirens} and {\em Four Weddings And A Funeral}). i spotted a freaky silver haired peter murphy lookalike in the crowd.. seems all the strange ones come out for TWP. micheal allen is so slick and debonaire (and loks pretty good nowadays, too). i think he definately has more class than anyone else on the label..or in the music business. their performance was amazing..i'd never seen TWP live, though i had wanted to many times, and i'm still really happy about the way they came across live. great band. ultragreat. in fact, mondogreat. oh yeah..the ``special guest'' for tonight was the one and only aged crooner that, thankfully, no one in my family likes... tom jones. he's tan, he does a lot of cover songs, and he sang the last two TWP songs. these girls in back of me seemingly were there only for tom jones, screaming (into my po' ears) and wanting to hug him and using my shoulders to push them up into a quasi-pogo.

ick. one seems to have gone off rather well. day two should be even better, that is if i can still hear when i wake up and hnia don't suffer some serious trauma that renders them anable to play...

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 02:30:25 -0700 From: Kelli-Jeanne <kelli@NETCOM.COM> Subject: oh, ignore if you aren't a stickler for proper english... i have to apologize for all booboo's in that big ol' avam note of mine. i forgot words and such, and i'm usually not THAT bad at typing..but my brain is sort of overtired.... anyhoo, i always feel like i have to makeup for such dumb typing mistakes...i was going to be an english major once upon a time, so that's where this all stems from...

2 things i would like to say regarding merchandise. one is that i'm bummer about the video...just about half of it was on the 13yi video. hmpf. number two is the cd, which starts off with the most spiritually beautiful group...dcd, and has some really good tunes on it (even this weirded out hnia song). but 15 dollars...i dunno...a li'l much. i was hoping it would be a bit cheaper...but nooOOooo...i guess they want to make up all the money they spent on this festival. the avam poster is kinda icky, too. the free v23 poster kicks the 5 dollars avam poster's sorry butt...

enough of my complaining...sowwy for doing it in the 1st place.

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 14:16:15 -0700 From: Ernest Lopez <elopez@SCF.USC.EDU> Subject: Wolfgang Press Show Having artfully missed Air Miami and RHP, I must say agree that the Press did a great show. The only problem was with their keyboards. The damn things were turned up way too loud and I think they were not in sync with a few of their songs, especially ``Time''. ``Time'' by the way, was really drawn out tediously, but it made a good translation live. ``Going South'' sounded splendid, and like the Cocteau Twins in ``Blubeard'', you could detect a distinct slide-guitar country/folksy sound. Mick Allen meets Vince Gill...not quite.

{\em Kansas} was deliciously rough and punchy, with Mick really getting into it. He really does have good stage presence, and this song showed it. ``Louis XIV'' sounded great and the Tom Jones thing was a riot, only I wish Mick would have sang more on it and not let Tom get so bombastic.

HNIA and the Saints beckon...

Day two

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 01:56:43 -0700 From: Kelli-Jeanne <kelli@NETCOM.COM> Subject: * day two * ... :) i skipped the germano in-store, and forgot about vaughan on he radio this morning...and then i left for tonight's show later than expected AND some dork in an old rusted chevy just about killed me on the freeway..but i made it to tonight's happy li'l troubadour show. so how was it, you might not be asking?....

warren comes out munching grapes (hmm..i ate grapes in the car.... coincidence or what? {\em YOU DECIDE}) and he intro'd yet another musician from michigan (warren's running joke). then out comes an absolutely wonderful man...the koolest guy in, uh...the planet. brendan perry. :) only 5 minutes prior to this did i find out brendan was coming on (go early and listen to the sound checks if you want to be unsurprised)...and he played a very good set of songs. tim buckley covers galore. brendan definately has the best male voice that 4ad has ever known. mere words can't describe just how good he was.. or just how happy i was to see him play. he's a clean shaven brendan these days..and from my POV, he looked like robin williams...

now here's where things get a li'l crazy. hnia play next. depending on who you talk to, it was either 1) ``a decent performance, but too short'' 2) ``the worst display of guitar playing i've ever seen..that guy should be takes more talent to rub the guitar against the amp than what he did'' or 3) ``yay! ... loud was the intended effect..'' i'm pretty sure warren wanted to go for a NOISE performance. either that, or he was ticked off. karin had these big ol' green Docs on... 20 holes, i think. but i'll bicker about that with the fashion police. oh, speaking of fashion, someone buy warren some clothes! holes all over his shorts and his shirt...tsk tsk tsk. what a mess. but he was wearing flannel boxers, so that makes up for everything. :) i can't remember what they started with...``e-nicolle''? i think that's it. they ended up doing a mega noise jam that was seriously good ear candy to me, and fuel for the fire that had the guy to my right steaming mad and almost demanding a refund. warren broke his guitar strings....i dunno... me thinks that was planned. all of the guitar strings..not just one. bits and pieces everywhere. karin did a lovely a capella song that they ``didn't write''..anyone know what song that was? it was really lovely. then, with a lot of nonstop clapping (my hands are still purple), they come out for the encore..`baby fish mouth' and a nuddah noise jamboree. the only spoiler of this show, and the previous night's show, are the rude people who attend. these girls laughed during karin's solo..and i heard a lot of talking through the song, as well. dead silence is not attainable, but why do people have to strike up long conversations during quiet moments? it's so rude...

when it was all done, i picked up the bits of guitar string that broke off (the guy to my right suggested i make earrings out of them. nice idea, but i'm not THAT big of a fan) and then i spotted the prize... the Wonka Golden Ticket of koolio things....warren's guitar pick. 8) but i couldn't reach it. having worn a dress, i couldn't stretch over the stage for i pouted..guy to my right offers to grab it for me..then tells guy to my left, aka concert-acquaintance-guy, to be a ``man'' and get me the pick. and he does. and the troubadour bully/door guy/bouncer/whatever snaps ``hey!''..then motions for guy to my right to smack guy to my left's hand for taking the pick. so we smack his hand, and he gives me the pick. and now i can safely say that this AVAM money was well spent...

graeme naysmith might just be responsible for stealing my hearing. whatever anyone does, don't stand near his amp! loud isn't even the right adjective..more like, deep hurting. i had my reservations about the new and yet-to-be-determined-an-improved pale saints. i think everyone should skip the new lp and single, but definately see 'em play that material live. if nothing else, go to see meriel with nice blonde hair..she's a girl again! i forgot what the set list was, but they played `featherframe' (my fave `in ribbons' song) and `sight of you' and a buzzcocks song and `henry' (i thought it dragged a bit). it was a decent performance..nothing like when ian was in the band, though. :pout:

i also spoke with the photographer that 4ad hired....and i might be able to get me some of those photos. i also have my trusty camera shots..even though the big bad bouncer guy is all ticked off that i bring it. but it's their fault..they don't take it away and they don't check for it going into the phhffbbt! to the big bad bouncer guys....

i've got tinnitus...

i've got guitar string bits...

i've got grapes all over the floor of my car...

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 09:37:58 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: Karin's solo song {\em k-j} asks what that song was that Karin Oliver sang by herself near the end. About a minute into it it hit me like a ton of bricks what it was: The Taxi Ride by Jane Siberry!!!!!!!!! This was one of the best moments, the other being Brendan singing American Dreaming. Pure bliss, I tell you!

The worst was Pale Saints playing Henry. Even Song Of Solomon was pretty good and improved my opinion of that song, but Henry is just too long, and too death-march-heavy-metal. It was way cool that Colleen sang Ian's part in Sight Of You. Very odd that they didn't play Fine Friend.

Missing Throwing Muses and Lisa Germano tonight (she put on a great show at Tower yesterday) so we can see the DCD movie. It shouldn't be too hard to guess who the special guest will be. Members have been spotted around and it should be a good deal.

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 11:23:22 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: KH show on KCRW KCRW just finished talking to Kristin Hersh, but the real delight was the three tracks they played from University, the new Throwing Muses album which will be out in January. They played ``University'' a beautiful instrumental with her two sons fooling around with reverb effects, then ``Snake Face'', and ``Flood''. These are the best Muses tracks I've heard in years, and you all know I'm not even much of a fan. Each one of them completely blew away the sum total of songs on Red Heaven.

Kristin plays at the Tower Sunset store today at 4:30pm.

Pale Saints is on KXLU 88.9 at the same time.

There are still tickets for all shows of the Dead Can Dance video.

There are also still tickets for the Brendan Perry / Lisa Gerrard show at the Wilshire Ebell theater.

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 12:29:37 -0700 From: Ernest Lopez <elopez@SCF.USC.EDU> Subject: AVAM night #2 random notes... Brendan PerryHis vocals have really started to develop. For a while I thought Lisa was the only one progressing in style, but last night Brendan dispelled this. There was this one song that he sang the chorus in falsetto which kinda reminded me of Jimmy Somerville (of, um, Bronski Beat) that was, well... ..different. Other than that, his 12-string guitar work was delicate and even ethereal? Almost reminded me of Robin Guthrie's work on Victorialand.

HNIA LOUD is right! I always find it amazing how HNIA manages to combine Karin's innocence and purity with Warren's load chaos and come out with some delicious songs. ``Baby Fish Mouth'' was superb, ``Can't Go Wrong Without You'' was set to a cool beat. And that guitar, um, solo? Let's just say Warren kept the guitar techs plenty busy...I found his little asides occasionally funny but a lot of people in the audience seemed a bit annoyed...after all he claims to be everyone's damn cousin...

Pale Saints Meriel looked bee-yoo-tee-full! She really looks like a young Annie Lennox now. Anyways, no ``Kinky Love'' and no ``Fine Friend'', but ``Sight of You'' sung by Colleen Brown?! It was suprisingly good. I happened to be standing by Ian Masters who was talking to his guy about Spoonfed and stuff like that. Seems like he's serious about the whole Warren collaboration. It was weird seeing him while his old bandmates played....

Miscellany All of the Wolfgang Press were in attendance, and Mick was very sociable, even when this totally drunk guy kept breathing down his neck saying how ``fucking incredible Tom Jones was''...Chris Bigg was there, I tried to get his autograph, but he kept running around with this little goth gal...and Karin really needs to do something about those legs. I don't know if it were her JC Pennny Doc Marten's or her size...(ouch!)

The mirrors would do well to reflect themselves,

Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 01:21:02 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: DCD video Skipped the KH / LG / HB show tonite (I was sure the special guest was going to be the Breeders!) to go see the Dead Can Dance film. It is just fantastic! It brought all sorts of memories flooding back about how monumentally stunning the Aion and Labyrinth tours were, and all I can think of doing right now is listening to Dead Can Dance albums over and over. The best line ever, which woj said after seeing an Aion show, was ``seeing Dead Can Dance makes me want to toss my entire record collection into a dumpster except for their catalogue and listen to it over and over and over again forever. Seriously.'' The film shows you why someone would say this, and if you didn't get a chance to see them live, then I'd doubly recommend that you see the film. In some ways it's better than being there because you can be right on stage with the band and see exactly what they're doing. If Pat and I had thought about it earlier we could have planned a viewing at our place since Pat picked up a promo copy that had landed in the junk pile at Billboard. Too bad. A post AVAM party at Dewdrops would have been fun.

Day Three

Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 01:29:14 -0700 From: Kelli-Jeanne <kelli@NETCOM.COM> Subject: * day three * ...too many damn dewdrops leaflet things... missed another in-store. i'm starting to wear down. my concert going incentive is hitting Empty. in any event, i crawled out of bed and spent 4 hours waking up to see tonight's troubadour goodies...

heidi berry came out, sans intro from warren, and played a lovely set of music (as she always seems to do). the set list reads as follows, from top to bottom: Laurence (bass player..i took his set list), californian, mountain, holy grail, ariel, rose, washington, gloria, cradle, time, firefly. firefly was played instead of time, and for an encore heidi did time (she said she was nervous about doing it before.) i don't know what to say about heidi..if you want to hear a very beautiful set of live music, and see a talented and professional group of musicians lay, go to a heidi berry show. i've grown to love her, strictly from having seen her live...

warren enters the picture, in what appears to be touristy garb (at least, that's how it looks to me). his ``i love new york'' bag and camera in tow, he jokes around for a few and then lisa germano hits the stage. i quite liked her set..not too rollicking and not too mellow. tight and strong. uh..that's it for lisa....

danced around to stereolab's new disc 'til throwing muses go on. i've seen them a few times, and they always seem to put out a certain vibrant energy. the new songs sound quite good and i expect the album to be equally entertaining. i didn't stick around to see if anything happened after they ended w/ 'mania', but i doubt it.

ok..that was disinteresting, but i'm in deep sleep deprivation mode..

Day Four

Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 13:19:11 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: avam day 4 Now begins the first of the McCabe's shows.

Michael Brook the one man show. He was pretty amazing. His guitar can do anything and it can practically play itself. He did lots from Cobalt Blue with a backing recording of percussion. Sometimes it was hard to tell exactly what he was doing, what with all the overdubs his equipment was providing, taken live from him and looped repeatedly. The most amazing thing was a song he called ``Err'' which was an acronym for something and was the percussion part of ``ultramarine''. All he did was beat out a rhythm below the strings and he got these incredible notes and beats. Also great were the times he just had his right hand on the strings without playing anything and you still heard chords and things he was making with his left hand. I guess this is the ``infinite guitar'' thing.

Heidi Berry was on several counts stunning. She had a violin player and a guy on bass. I thought I was going to levitate out of my seat during ``Washington Square'' and ``Gloria'' and ``Cradle''. I was counting on her doing ``Little Fox'' but she wasn't on very long, I think 'cause Brook was on a while. Beautiful voice. I want to see more! Guess I'll have to be satisfied with the {\em Love} album.

Masters and Defever was just as described earlier. Great!

I'm sure Kristin Hersh was stunning, but I can't comment on that. Actually it was nice because Martin McCarrick played cello on several songs.

Today I interviewed Grahame and Colleen from Pale Saints. Sitting by the hotel pool, we chatted and I probably picked up their cold which the whole band has. About Ian leaving: it was a mutual decision. Ian wanted to leave and the rest of the band wanted him out, and they were all happier when that happened.

Since the requests have started coming in for tapes, I'd like to add mine:

and I can trade for some of the other radio shows. I can't go making copies for everybody though. Red House Painters did not do a radio appearance., but all the others did go on as planned.

Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 18:40:48 -0700 From: Heretic-Toc the Eastre Clock <payn@SCF.USC.EDU> Subject: Oliver Goes Mad, day Friday (I can't count) Sorry for typing her name three times in a row; I guess I was hoping that by the mere act of typing her name I could recover some of the ecstatic feeling of last night's concert. But I'm getting ahead of myself; let me start my story at the beginning of the night.

First, Ivo Lorelei and I went to the Palace to see Frente!, since we were on the guest list (oh, what cool people we are--or what a cool person he is; call me Plus One), and they were very very cute on stage (well, the singer and guitar player were--the other two were just there), and in the 15 minutes we were able to stay there after they started they got seven songs in (including Dangerous). But nobody wants to hear about Frente!, so let's skip them.

So anyway, a quick drive across the city to McCabe's, and into line. I talked to a few 4ad-l'ers and friends of 4ad-l'ers, but no Kelli-Jeanne in sight (or maybe she was in sight, but we didn't know her and therefore didn't notice). Brant was there, running around into and out of the line and even continuing to run away and back after we got in.

Anyway, Masters and DeFever came on, and they started off terrible. The first song was this ridiculously stupid piece with pointless repetitive guitar stuff and Ian singing horribly off-key wordless sounds over the top of it. Ivo and I turned to each other at the same time and said ``We left Frente! for this?'' But they got better. About half-way through the set, they played a great song called ``My Moon/No June.'' There were a few other pretty good ones, and they did a decent, if minimalist, job working the crowd (``This one's the first hit single off the new album'').

So anyway, Ian and Warren left, and I ran out to my car to grab all my Kristin and Muses stuff that I wanted autographed (I forgot my Pale Saints stuff; oh well) and returned to find a lot of empty seats, quite surprisingly. So just as I was sitting down, I had this sudden thought that All Virgos Are Mad sounds an awful lots like Oliver Goes Mad, and I wondered if it was an intentional pun, so I had to go up and accost Vaughn Oliver and ask him. He chuckled a bit, said he'd never thought of that, and didn't even know the name of the festival until pretty recently, and told me ``You have a very creative imagination,'' which I suspect may be a nice way of saying ``You're most likely schizophrenic and should see a psychiatrist,'' but I chose to take it as a compliment instead, coming as it did from someone with such a creative imagination.

Now I must pause for breath before getting into Kristin Hersh herself. I'll save that for the next message.

Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 19:07:56 -0700 From: Heretic-Toc the Eastre Clock <payn@SCF.USC.EDU> Subject: Kristin Kristin Kristin Hersh OK, we last left off with me scrambling back into my seat in the now-empty (except for Ivo Lorelei, of course) row as the lights dimmed for Kristin.

I'm not sure how to capture the overall feel of Kristin's set. Just calling it one of the most beautiful experiences of my life seems somehow insufficient. To what can such an experience be compared? Perhaps the first time you wake up in the arms of the one you love, or maybe the first time you taste really good chocolate. Or maybe I should just say Wow and leave it at that. But I can't.

Kristin sang a bunch of her solo songs, with a few Muses songs sprinkled throughout. The cellist added quite a bit to the songs. Her voice was stronger than I'd ever heard (despite her complaining afterwards that she was a bit afraid because she hadn't had to shout out any lyrics for quite some time). When she sang ``Pearl'' I forgot to breathe through the whole song. During ``Teeth,'' when her voice cracked, I nearly swooned and slipped right out of my seat onto the floor. During ``Delicate Cutters,'' when she sang the words ``innocent children,'' I think I must have passed out (fortunately I recovered, shivering and grinning like an idiot on ecstasy, in time for the next words).

Now everyone who reads my posts knows that I've always loved Tanya, and every time I've had a chance to meet the Muses I brushed past Kristin with nothing more than a ``Good show--can you sign this?'' on my way to her half-sister. But after tonight, the gradual transformation that began the first time I heard ``Your Ghost'' is complete. I firmly believe that if there is a God, Her name is Kristin Hersh.

Should I mention her cute little stories between the songs? She started off telling us about being mistaken for Shannon Dougherty (``Figures, the only famous person I resemble is univerally hated''). She had a beautiful story about baby Ryder and the video for A Loon (it ends with Ryder having to go back to American from Hasterdam and Kristin missing him terribly and calling him and telling him how sad she is, to which he replies ``Big fat dog butt,'' the punchline to his favorite joke [and the only part of it he remembers], which cracks her up, to which he says, ``See, Mommy? You laugh then you cry; you cry then you laugh,'' and which point Kristin says ``I didn't even know that. Zen baby!'').

Anyway, when the lights came on after the encore, Ivo and I headed out to the front to wait around for Kristin and buy some stuff. We ran into the Muses' new bass player, and David Narcizo, and Martin the cellist, and got them all to sign the appropriate records and CDs, and after I talked to David briefly he ran upstairs to get Kristin to sign stuff for a bunch of us. We stayed around waiting for Kristin. Brendan Perry ran by at one point. Warren Defever apparently snuck by at some point. Ian came by and signed Ivo's ``In Ribbons'' CD in a big hurry.

Finally, Kristin arrived. Ivo and I proceeded to flatter her with our honesty, after which she commented ``You two should come over to my house so I can have you around whenever I feel down.'' She chatted a bit about the press package from the first album that I asked her to sign, telling me that the manager who wrote that up was a real asshole and it doesn't represent them all that well, and that she was so totally insane at that time that in one of the pictures you can see her about to casually step off the roof of a building. I asked her ``Who wrote `Raise the Roses?' Was that Tanya or--'' and she cut me off, somewhat curtly, as if she were pissed at Tanya--or just afraid that I was going to say ``because it's my favorite song'' or something, and told me that it was indeed Tanya. Which leaves ``Sinkhole'' as the only pre-4AD song that they've never released that was written by Kristin.

Coincidentally, as we were driving down Pico, a white van full of people pulled up alongside us, and it was packed full of Muses, and we happened to be blasting ``Sinkhole'' out the window at top volume (thus confirming any question in anyone's head that we were indeed psychofans of the first order). David waved at us, then he pointed and they all laughed, and a few more of the people in the van waved, and the bassist opened the window and pounded and shouted something inaudible to us. We ended up driving alongside them all the way down to La Cienaga and up to Fountain (not entirely accidentally--I was planning to take Pico all the way to Highland, but La Cienaga worked just as well), at which point we began to think that we should see where they were going, and if it was some all-night diner follow them there, but wen they turned down Fountain we decided to let them escape.

I doubt anyone read this far. Oh well.

This has another ending, full of innocent children....

Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 20:53:14 -0700 From: Kelli-Jeanne <kelli@NETCOM.COM> Subject: his glasses are more nerdy than mine... warren's glasses, that is.

hnia in-store at Aron's was okie dokie pokie. met with the one and only ``lord purge'' which was very kool. snapped off black and white photos of hnia, which will be nifty. passed up the opportunity to get stuff signed, because i didn't bring any stuff and i think it's kind of dumb. i've had things signed last year..there's no point in doing it twice. they're just people, anyway. ian masters was there for a bit..his legs are more bruised and mucked up than mine, so i didn't feel so bad for wearing shorts after i saw him. :) i took note of bev chin, who always seems to look like she's got a bone to pick with people... i could've sworn i spotted martin mccarrick (who, by the way, also played cello with throwing muses on thursday). he's an amazing cellist... i could watch him play all day. he's probably gay, huh? :( he's another cute one...

anyhoo, i don't remember the order of the songs played at the store. i paid more attention to how goofy everyone looked when playing them, instead. trey looks like he's about to sneeze..or lapse into deep thought.. or kill someone. karin smiles a lot after she ends a song. warren's just goofy looking all the time anyway..nothing new there. as much as i love ``can't go wrong without you'', i think karin should lay off the song...or sing it in a lower range. her voice is too sweet for it. i wanted to laugh when she sang ``chi-eeeeem chi-eeeeems 3 times''....

don't even ask me about her nostrils....

Day five

Date: Sun, 2 Oct 1994 11:48:21 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: avam day 5 To add to k-j's HNIA in store report:

Typical Defeverisms were when a guy at the registers announced that there was a brown car blocking someone in the parking lot and could they please move it, and Warren said ``our next song is called 'there's a brown car blocking someone and could they please move it', from the album {\em there's a brown car...}''. Another one: ``this next song I wrote about a tornado, but it has too many syllables, so I shortened it to `The Torso' ''. Then they're about to play a song with Ian Masters, only they can't find him and Warren announces ``Ian, please come to the front of the store, your car is blocking someone.''

Great show, by the way. They played longer than their show at the Troubadour. I love what they've done to ``Can't Go Wrong Without You''. The chorus is vocals only, then the guitars and drums come back really hard and loud.

The AVAM shows proper at McCabe's again were all a delight. Mark Kozelek kept talking to the audience saying how nervous he was, and at one point he cut a song short saying ``sorry'' because his voice broke or something. Apparently we had a ``bad air day'' yesterday --- dry and polluted --- which Michael Brook noted too. Mark mentioned the guy who shouted at him during the RHP show, saying it made the news ``yeah, the shows were good, but Mark was great when he handled that heckler...'' He asked us if we thought he shouted ``fuck you'', because the band thought maybe he was just saying ``fuck yeah!''. ``But they're a bunch of butt-kissers,'' said Mark. ``Maybe I should have just given him a high five...'' He made us sing the ending of ``Mistress'' which was fun.

Lisa Gerrard was up next, and it was as stunning as you would expect. All new material except for two from the last DCD tour. Four others on stage playing keyboard, bazouki, percussion and violin. Most of the pieces were very orchestral and quite ponderous in a good way like {\em Within The Realm of a Dying Sun}, but more sparse. It's been said before, but with her flowing white dress and heavenly vocalizations, Lisa was an angel come to bless us.

After a short wait outside, people file in again and are treated to Michael Brook. How does he do it? Seeing him a second time and enjoying it even more, I still haven't a clue. Warren introduced him as ``when I was a kid growing up in Canada, we used to play hockey together,'' which was a much better introduction than the pretentious one from some guy Michael used to play with from the night before.

Warren comes out to announce Lisa Gerrard again. ``When I was a kid growing up in Australia (audience laughs) I used to play stickball with this next artist. It's the same thing as the American version but you play it on the other side of the road.'' And it looked like Warren really cracked himself up with that one; the audience too. ``You know her as Dead Can Dance. Ladies and gentlemen, Lisa Gerrard''. This time the crowd was even more enthusiastic, as the band played the same set as before. An encore brought a standing ovation. By this time it was 2:00AM (that's A M) and it was getting more and more difficult keeping the brainfuzz from dragging you to sleep, even with Lisa's angelic visitation. A quick stop at the 24-hour Taco Bell just down the street brought me somewhat back to life (and down to earth) and the next eight hours brought me dreams of guitars that play themselves with banks of flashing lights and a beautiful white goddess speaking in tongues while hammering on a dulcimer.

Don't forget that The Wolfgang Press plays at the Virgin Megastore at 4pm. Sunset and Crescent Heights. Free parking garage.

Date: Sun, 2 Oct 1994 15:53:15 -0700 From: Heretic-Toc the Eastre Clock <payn@SCF.USC.EDU> Subject: Oliver Goes Mad, day Lisa If Lisa Gerrard wasn't quite the religious experience Kristin was last night, she did put on an incredibly powerful performance. But once again, let me take things in order.

I arrived with Ophelia at around 10:25, and noticed that the crowd was quite a bit different --- more of the gothic/industrial contingent tonight. There was a much longer line tonight, as well. I didn't meet any new 4ad-l'ers tonight, either.

Anyway, we went in and watched Michael Brook, who I'd never heard before. He's definitely a nice (and very Canadian) guy, and he's a hell of an electric guitarist (not that he's an incredible guitarist--although he's good; what he's best at is getting interesting sounds out of a guitar and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment). The music was nice and pretty, more new-agey than I expected. He worked the crowd pretty well, played some good songs, and then left.

Oh, Warren was a fun host. He introduced Michael Brook by saying ``When I was growing up back in Canada, I used to play hockey with this guy,'' and then later introduced Lisa by saying ``When I was growing up back in Australia [pause for laughter, as much from Warren as from the crowd], I used to play stickball with this lady. Well, it was Australian stickball. Pretty much like what you play over here, but you play it on the other side of the road.''

Then came Lisa Gerrard and her special guests. No Brendan in sight (he was hiding backstage, I believe); the special guests were her band.

Lisa walked in, a tiny head sticking out of a huge, flowing white dress. She's a beautiful angelic princess and a scary witch at the same time, which fits her music perfectly. Without any prologue, the music begins and she opens her mouth and the world changes.

I never believed that that voice could come out of a human body, especially her body, but there it was --- if anything, more intense live than on the albums. The music was darker than the last few Dead Can Dance albums. In fact, at times she was quite frightening. Even the faster songs, the pagan dancy stuff, didn't have the Dionysian gleefulness that DCD usually exudes; it was more like grim ritual dance threatening to break out into murderous chaos until, at the last second, the slower dark overtones returned to the forefront.

However, all that being said, there was also an overwhelming sweetness that came across at times, amplified by Lisa's innocent smile that occasionally appeared during the breaks in singing.

To put it simply, I must buy her solo album as soon as it's out.

The band consisted of a keyboardist, a percussionist/second keyboardist, and a string player (violin, viola, a mandolin-like instrument, and a few other things), and a tamborine player, all of whom functioned as a chorus during some of the songs. Lisa played a few percussive instruments as well.

The only thing to break the mood were Lisa's facial gestures to the sound techs, who happened to be directly behind me, which made it look as if she were smiling, grimacing, mouthing words, etc. directly at me (actually, at one point, when she made a very strange face at the sound booth, I smiled up at her and she looked down at me with a ``What?'' look on her face). She didn't talk to the audience at all between songs, just a quick good night on the way out at the end.

After the show, we waited around a while for Lisa to come down, but then I overheard some people from backstage talking about their plans for the night, and they were saying that Lisa and Brendan were going to sneak out the back into a car and head right for the hotel (the Radisson in Hollywood, in case anyone's wondering --- and if that's where Kristin was going the previous night, that explains the route they took), and some people, probably not Lisa (because she was dead tired), were going out for an hour or so afterward. Anyway, no signing tonight. I'll have to make her signing at Tower (by the way, is the ``Sunday, October 3'' supposed to be ``Sunday, October 2'' or ``Monday, October 3''? I'll call Tower tomorrow).

I actually can't imagine what it would be like to meet Lisa after that show; probably it's better to let her remain a mythical figure in my head for now.

If Lisa Germano is anywhere near as good as Kristin and Lisa have been the past two nights, this will be a weekend that I'll never forget.... or recover from.

Last day

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 03:48:07 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: avam: last day The Wolfgang Press was even better for their in-store show today. For some reason I was in the mood for funky-dancy around 4pm today, and they provided. ``11 Years'' I've decided is the best song they've done since ``Kansas'', but that slow crooning number they ended with --- I don't know. And it wasn't until much later (see a later post about what went on post-midnight) that I found out David Curtis (Dif Juz guitarist) had been on keyboards! Plus it wasn't Richard Thomas on drums.

Anyway... fast forward to 9:30 and the start of the second Kendra Smith / Lisa Germano show. Lisa Germano who came on second was exceptional. Geek The Girl, now that I've heard several of the songs two or three times live, is going to be a wonderful album. She has some really beautiful songs done on piano, and she did a few from Happiness (Bad Attitude, Happiness, Puppet, Everyone's Victim, Darkest Night).

Now, I'm pretty open-minded about what Ivo decides to release, and I haven't really disliked much of anything except maybe {\em Queer} and {\em Rev}, but Kendra Smith is where I draw the line. That Guild 10" was pretty good if unremarkable, but her performance tonight made several of us cringe. I think ``abysmal'' was the word Thad (mr textural event) used. Banal is another one I'd like to throw out. I thought about walking out while Thad, embarrassed for her, hid his head in his hands. Someone in front of me whispered loudly to her friend ``this sucks!''. Anyone else on here see this show? Was it universally disliked? It's such a shame because I was expecting something really special. And god that pump organ was annoying!

I'll save the rest for another post.

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 19:14:32 -0700 From: Heretic-Toc the Eastre Clock <payn@SCF.USC.EDU> Subject: AVAM Day Lisa G. #2 LISA GERMANO AND KENDRA SMITH Sorry, no ecstatic outbursts and quasi-poetic meanderings tonight; it's not that this wasn't a great concert, but I'm too sick at the moment to convey anything so extremely.

Ivo Lorelei and I arrived to find a much shorter line than on the two previous nights, despite coming closer to showtime. We were, therefore, able to sit in the second row, just right of center. Nifty.

Warren did a quick introduction for Kendra Smith in his usual style, and down she and her percussionist/bassist partner came. Expecting a sort of stripped-down Heidi Berry, I was astonished when the first song reminded me more of early Modern English, based as it was around a beautifully gloomy but slightly repetitive synth riff. I liked this song quite a bit. The next two songs were played on the pump organ; these two were folk music in the sense of traditional music on traditional instruments, rather than folk in the sense of simple guitar tunes and whiny voices. Then she switched to guitar (acoustic for one song, then electric for the rest of the night, with her partner on electric bass) for folk music of the other variety. While her songs were all competent folk songs and her lyrics and voice were both interesting, every one of the songs got a bit monotonous--there's very little variation in any of them. The lyrics and the stories in between the songs were the dry-witted sardonic comments on society that a radical intellectual uses when preaching to the converted. I found them clever most of the time, but a few people commented to me ``Can you say self-righteous?''

Overall, if Kendra could work a little bit more variation into her tunes, and stray from the guitar-folk format a little more often, she could be pretty interesting; as it is, she's not.

Well, after a while, Kendra left, intermission came, and I went outside to smoke and almost missed Warren introducing Lisa Germano. I re-entered the room as Warren was taking the stage, and as I dashed toward the second row, he pointed at me and said ``That's my brother.'' Some people clapped and waved, I turned and smiled, but then Warren, in order to protect me from the mobs of screaming fans, lied and said ``Well, he's not exactly my brother so much as someone I've never met before.''

Then came Lisa. Cute is the first word that comes to mind, and the second and the third. Even as she sang about being everybody's victim, and having cancer of everything because it's the only way she can get attention, it was hard not to feel the desire to take care of her. Of course she knows this and plays it to full effect (essentially echoing the mindset that she tried to fight by bringing out to the light in Cancer of Everything).

Anyway, down to specifics. It was just Lisa and her guitar and piano. She explained almost all of the songs before playing them (for which she apologized repeatedly, but I was quite happy for it). She also described the difference in tone between her two albums --- Happiness was an exploration of how fucked up she is, and all of us are; Geek the Girl is about realizing that you know how fucked up you are and you can laugh at it and maybe you even have a better perspective on it or attitude about it, but you still haven't really changed anything substantive.

Lisa changed a few of her lyrics --- in some cases making them a bit more personal, by making it explicit that the other people in the songs are speaking to her (``It's never too late to start again, Lisa''). She also got a lot of effect out of using the mocking tone of a little girl mimicking people she's angry at (like the ``adult'' voices in Destroy the Flower, or the people who are trying to help her in Everyone's Victim). And she used her too-cutesy helpless little girl voice (listen to the end of Puppet) much more live than on the album. Overall, I think the basic theme of her music --- the trap of allowing yourself to be helpless --- came across more clearly live than on Happiness.

Lisa had a bit of fun with the idea of the encore, leaving stage and coming back almost immediately and saying ``Oh! An encore!'' She asked what people wanted to hear, and lamented (for about the tenth time) that she didn't have enough happy or upbeat songs to play (she does have them, she just didn't play them --- for example, Energy or Sycophant). Nearly the entire crowd, in unison, shouted out ``Dresses!'' I requested ``These Boots Are Made For Walking,'' and she giggled and said ``I haven't played that one in a while.... But no, I think I'll do Puppet instead.'' We forgot to request ``Paper and Fire'' or ``Pink Houses,'' but then she didn't bring her fiddle anyway....

Basically, if you like her recorded material, Lisa is great live--not because she's a great musician (she screwed up a few notes in at least half the piano songs and at least once on the guitar, actually), but because she knows how to use her voice to express as much as possible within in each song.

Once again I didn't get to stay around and wait for autographs (I did overhear where they were headed for food, but after being chastised for mentioning the hotel where Lisa Gerrard was staying I won't tell you) because Ivo Lorelei had to get back to work and I had to pick someone else up anyway, so I was off to watch Dead Poets Society again and get sick off Dennys food and so forth.

I did get Vaughn Oliver to sign a few posters for me during the intermission (he even signed ``Oliver Goes Mad'' for me on one), but no Kendra or Lisa autographs. Oh well.

So after these three amazing concerts, I'm even more hooked on 4AD than before. Now I'm stuck with another addiction... ha ha ha.

Date: Wed, 5 Oct 1994 14:24:08 -0700 From: Brant Nelson <nelson@EGGNEB.ASTRO.UCLA.EDU> Subject: avam private party Having heard there was going to be a party at the hotel after the final AVAM show on Sunday, we decided to go there (I found out which hotel it was when I interviewed the Pale Saints by the hotel pool). We were wondering if there was still going to be anybody there since it was past midnight. When we walked into the lobby we saw a room marked `private party' and as soon as I saw Chris Bigg through the door I knew we were in the right place. Now, we hadn't officially been invited, and we soon found out from the person checking people going in that the fact that we were from Dewdrops and had talked to Marc Brown recently carried no weight. (``Marc doesn't work at 4AD anymore'') Colleen from Pale Saints recognized me, but wasn't willing to say ``yes, let them in.'' So I did what I should have done right off. ``Warren knows us and he'll let us in.'' And he did. And while this was going on, Kelly Deal was making some weird comments about the shirt I was wearing.

So we got in, thanked Warren and gave him copies of number 12. It was a small dimly lit room with a bar and lots of tables that made it hard to walk around. 70's disco music was being played loudly, and it was such a perfect contrast to the music from the past week. Amused, I thought ``why the hell are they listening to {\em this}?'' There was a bar serving free drinks, and a bit of food. Lots of people. All the Pale Saints, Ian Masters, Warren's bass player, Heidi Berry, Lisa Germano, Vaughan Oliver, Chris Bigg, Michael Allen, Martin McCarrick, Kendra Smith's drummer, Marc Brown, a couple people from the UK office, Robin Hurley, Robb Moore, etc...

I asked Michael Allen if that had been Richard Thomas on drums and he said no, it was someone else. Then I mentioned that we were fans of Dif Juz and Michael says ``oh, I need to introduce you to someone. David Curtis was playing keyboards for us.'' So he finds Dif Juz's guitarist and introduces us. Thinking back on it later, he {\em did} look just like the guy in the ``No Motion'' video. We chat for a short time, Pat saying that Scott Rodger has been sending messages on AOL (apparently he was part of Dif Juz for a while) and that Dif Juz still have a devoted following. David brings up the Bruce Licher connection before I can mention it (Bruce was making plans for including some unreleased Dif Juz matarial in the Independent Project Archive Series). He says he and Bruce talked about this idea again right before David came to Los Angeles, so there is still some hope.

We also chat breifly with Chris and Vaughan (V: which show did you like the most? Me: Brendan Perry. V: I'm there with you on that one.) Vaughan says it's great hearing his solo material at the v23 office. I ask him ``hasn't that album been delayed for a year now'', and he says yes and that Brendan keeps delaying it by making several steps backward for each step forward. Someone grabs Chris away before we can say much, but not before we give him issue number 12. Some of you know this already, but not only are we a zine and a record label, but we brew our own beer, and we brought a couple with us. Warren declined our offer saying he didn't drink beer, so we gave one to Vaughan. No doubt he'll remember us for that, even if he didn't like it!

We found Marc Brown alone and since he used to work at 4AD we talked about what sort of image we have there. What does 4AD think of us? Are we doing them a service or are we geeks trying to get free stuff? He assured us it was the former and gave us some good ideas.

At one point we notice Meriel Barham and Heidi Berry disco dancing together on the small stage. Half an hour later there was a big group of people up there grooving to the tunes in a large mosh pit. Pat and I were too shy to join them, but I did shock Pat by singing a few lines from ``Theme From Shaft'' when it came on. Finally we left after 3AM (that's A.M.) when we really had nothing else to do or any more schmoozing than we deserved to do. And as we walked out the door, KC and the Sunshine Band's ``That's The Way I Like It'' had lots of regocnizable people bouncing on the dancefloor.

Three days of AVAM in one fell swooop, listserv getting log-jammed?

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 22:38:14 -0700 From: fretting a smashed pear <NMARSHALL@POMONA.CLAREMONT.EDU> Subject: Three days of AVAM in one fell swooop, listserv getting log-jammed? Wednesday at the Troubador: My friend and I were expecting to see Brendan Perry as the special guest on Saturday, but seeing his name in lights outside was fine with us. Yes, I though he resembled Robin Williams when he came out, clean shaven. i'm really looking forward to his album, whenever it comes out. It was much better to see him play about 20 feet away as opposed to way off in the distance at Royce Hall. ``American Dreaming'' was the high point for me, all of the songs with that beautiful 12-string.

His Name Is Alive was on and off. Warren announced something like, ``You know how [that guy in the Who(?)] had his wall of sound.? Well, we're going to be doing a wall of.... ..something else.'' ``Blue Moon'' was great as were a couple others. A few songs started with some free improv stuff before the song kicked in. Warren says ``This next one is the title track off our first album,'' (crowd cheers) after which they play one from HIIYH, of course. The over-all sound was more noise-punk based than their recordings; during one Warren goes crazy, thrashing his guitar with both hands, i think, who in the world is that screaming? until I catch a glimps of Warren's mouth (he's bent over away from the audience) wide open, off mic. The second time he does this, and breaks all the strings, was less exciting. The 4ad guitar tech guy retunes, or restrings, one of the guitars as Warren's playing the other one. In "Can't Go Wrong Without You" there's no guitar solo that I love at the "Can't go..Chime..Devil" part. (Which may be because Warren isn't using any effects except the tone controls on the Marshall and his guitar, switching pickups and such. ) What I missed was the quirkiness of the songs; all the weird bits. I didn't expect them to do ``Cornfield'' or anything, but.. you get the picture.

Pale Saints were just great I thought. Mer was very charismatic --- ``Do that `Woooo!' thing, yes that! They don't do that in England.'' The songs had more energy than on album; may have been from being right in front of Graeme's amp though; I could barely hear Colleen. Graeme was quite the musician; for those who care: he had a small rack with two 1U Roland boxes; the one turned off must have been a back-up, a midi footswitch with about 10 buttons, tuner on that, and a volume pedal. He'd casually tune between licks during and between songs; very slick. I really loved {\em Henry} but then i like the album version too. Incidently, for their songs on the radio, Graeme played acoustic guitar only and he or Colleen played some organ at the end of {\em One Blue Hill}. They did the same Buzzcocks song that they played at the Troub. Go see them live. They mentioned a tour with Lisa Germano from Nov.1 to Nov.23.

Friday, second show @ McCabes: I met Payn and Ivo Lorelei outside in line who were a riot. Ivo with the lunchbox with HOLV postcards in it. Warren+Ian/Two White Guys... etc. were ok, the latter few songs were good. The ones that didn't grab me didn't because: the guitar stuff was fiddly, and sort of repetitious, which is ok, but didn't come across on acoustic guitars that well; Ian's shoegazy voice didn't fit the acoustic sound for these songs either. The Spoonfed song was a good one. The guy next to me confessed to be an Ian worshipper and loved every second, even after I expressed my mild reaction. So, i'll have to hear their album before buying i think. The neatoo-keen part was the box that Warren casually turned on between songs that made this loud, wacked out noise with plenty of distortion/saturation, then reachinig over and turning it off as they were starting the next song. Sorry you missed it k-j.

Kristin was riveting, fabulous, breath-taking, all of that. See would say funny stuff about Martin McCarrick, making fun of him. ``He should play a little trill thing when I introduce him...'' and it looked like he was about to right then until Kristin says, ``But he won't. Because he's {\em English}.'' That ponticello stuff on {\em A Loon} was incredible. Kristin would look to the back of the room with sparkling-psycho eyes; it was amazing. The songs {\em Juno} {\em Pearl} {\em Your Ghost} had me spinning and climbing the walls. The encore with {\em Delicate Cutters} made my mind explode and drip out my ears. After that I didn't mind the 4 hour trip home, drunk people on the bus and all.

Saturday, second show @ McC: Get there only an hour and a half early. Try to study some mechanics but it's a bit hard to concentrate.

Michael Brook comes out; he looks a lot like one of my friend's dad. He was quite a funny guy. ``Ok, are you ready?... Not nervous or anything?'' A lot of his songs started with a sequencer. He had two racks of stuff, just insane. I saw after his set, his three boards that circled him with volume pedals and footswitches on all of them. Every ``song/piece thing'' he would be stepping on a different pedal every two seconds; fading a volume here, starting a sequence there, beginning and ending a sample loop, everything. He used more effects, processors than imaginable. One time as he's changing some levels on a little submixer in his rack, he says, ``Usually this is automated (which I assume he meant he uses a midi mixer), but in the acoustic spirit of the evening....'' (crowd laughs), ``This next one's going to be Michael Brook, unplugged'' (more laughs) He plays a few notes and you can barely hear a little tinny sound, (laughs). He holds a finger to his mouth, ``shhhh!'' I say, ``Play into the mic!'' He holds his guitar up to the mic and plays a bit more and says, ``But then you can tell I can't play...'' (crowd laughs again) funny guy. My favorite piece was the one where he builds up a syncopated rhythm with a delay by hitting the strings near the pickups while picking out harmonics with his left hand. The pieces were a little new-agey, sort of ``ambient'', going to synth-guitar rock.

The Lisa Gerrard set has been described pretty well already. The first songs were good, not breathtakingly but good. The tonic pedal/drone that was in most of them kind of made them a bit samey. Payn, she was looking at Brendan! who was doing the mixing along with the normal McCabes guy. He must know how their pieces are supposed to sound better than a normal sound guy. The later pieces, with more percussion were less static, very moving, other-worldly... all that. Two of them I recognized from the last tour. One piece, during the refrain between singing, she'd play the pitch pipe that she gave the staring note with. Two note played really hard making them go flat. pretty neat i thought. One thing about the guy playing violin. Everything playing on the violin was doubled in the octave below. I thought the guy playing keyboard was doing it until I noticed he wasn't playing all the time. Hmm, pitch-shifted an octave and EQed like mad or pitch-to-midi; most of the notes were long and sustained. The octave doubling sounded kind of weird, but with that little room on stage and only four backing musicians you have to make some compromises. The guy on the left, who was taking cues from Lisa and leading the rest of the group, i'm pretty sure was on the last tour, but then, I was so far away. He was playing one of those Yamaha K88 weighted midi controllers, which is really the best way to go, with subtle dynamics and all. The only thing in his rack I could make out was a K2000.

I would love to be able to hear Lisa's voice, unamplified and unreverbed just to hear that incredible bird cry-tone she does, oh well, we can all dream. That concert was really something else, and even something else than that. McCabes was the perfect place for these shows, very intimate and warm atmosphere (besides the air vent that dried my eyes out.)