Monday, June 11, 2007

Richard Thompson at the Fitzgerald

I've seen Richard Thompson many times, so I'm both a little biased, but I'm also a little jaded. Every other time I saw him, he was alone. He has toured with others like Bonnie Raitt and her band, but he performed alone. Except when he joined Bonnie and her group on stage. He's a complete showman. He can make a guitar seem like more than one instrument at at time. Yet, it does lack a little. This show was in support of his recent recording Sweet Warrior. Its a good recording, better than some, not his best. It has some great stuff on it as usual.

The show at the Fitz tonight included three other band members. First was the multi-instrument playing Pete Zorn (I think) . He was awesome, playing bass flute which Richard referred to as "wicked piece of plumbing" because it is goofy looking, as well as mandolin, guitar, alto and tenor sax, and backing vocals. Then there was Danny Thompson (no relation) playing an amplified upright bass both with his fingers or a bow. Last was the percussionist a tall lanky fellow by the name of Michael Jerome. His normal playing style was a mere flick of the wrist, but was loud enough. At times he really stretched out his enormous arms (I'm guessing he's a six foot tall kind of guy) and effortlessly got gigantic sound volume. Oh, man and tight. Every song seemed to have tempo changes and prearranged frilly ends to songs. All four guys were just note for note solid. Seeing a bunch of experienced artists work so hard and make it look effortless yet be so on top of their game was just stupendous.

I'm not good at knowing song titles and such, but he played an excellent spectrum of his stuff from Fairport Convention songs, to something from his days with Linda his then wife ("Wall of Death"), to other recordings from the eighties and nineties. Some of the loudest calls of appreciation came for one of my favorites; "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" from Rumor and Sigh. He also played "A Man in Need", "Al Bowly's In Heaven", "Tear Stained Letter", and a lot of songs from the new disc. The ones I recall are:

Needle and Thread
I'll Never Give Up
Stupid Man
Dad's Gonna Kill Me ("a pro anti-war song" where "Dad" is short for Bagdad, like "Nam" was short for Vietnam)
Too Late to Come Fishing
Sunset Song

If there was more, its because I've not listened to the new disc enough. I'm there to enjoy myself not be a scribe for the folks that like set lists. Its not my thing.

There was one song I didn't recognize. One companion noted how "He's on fire" and the other noted "he shredded that sucker." It was the longest solo I've ever seen Richard do. Plus there were solo's for Danny on bass and Pete on one instrument. Michael didn't need solos, you couldn't miss his solid beat. It was always there. The song just left me in awe.

Richard I think was at his best with a band. He didn't have to carry the whole show. He can and make it look effortless without them. But this way he seemed energized, playful (see solos), and even more witty with the audience. Every time I've ever seen RT, the locals yell out their favorites (note I did not yell out "Black Vincent" or "Red Molly" as some might call it) for him to play. In one show they kept yelling out stuff from his early years or the stuff he and Linda had done. I don't think at the time that was in his fondest memory. At one point he got serious stopped tuning and diddling with the strings and inquired, "have you bought any recordings from the recent decade?" This time he was kinder. Telling them, yes, thank you, we aren't going to play them, but if you must go ahead shout titles out. He muttered at one point, I might be the only one on stage that knows that one. He had a set list, and they were sticking to it. This wasn't bad. In fact it was great. A two hour plus show, they started on time, there was no warm up, just the headliner coming out without a dramatic delay. And they got right to it. And it was one hell of a ride and I'm guessing there were few that didn't appreciate it. I know I and my companions really enjoyed RT and his band tonight. I'll see him every time he comes with a band. It was that good.


Trust me, this kind of thing only happens when Dads are doing the changing. You now know there is a phenomenon called, projectile pooping.

HC Ride and Riders

Did the HC off road ride. There are no mountains in Minnesota so we can't call it that. I took my ridiculous overkill double boinger Jamis Dakar. I ride it so little it needed a chance to show off that I own more than the orange QB I usually ride. So, I put air into the tires and arrived on time. See the drag with the Dakar is it was a bargain, but its Al-U-min-eum, so its not taken to well by the HC crowd. Plus its got an ass hatchet for a saddle. Its from the days where I too was a weight wienie. I sought to shave grams instead of examining my form in a mirror and knowing where the real kilos were in plain view. I gotta save up for another of HCs B17, maybe I'll make the Dakar feel better by buying one of the titanium railed jobs in black ors something. For a bike I hardly ride. Duh.

While I was browsing afterward, Jim exclaimed how he found a tick. As in woodtick. There were some comments about post ride stripping and mutual tick check. No one went first so I left. Good thing there were not women riders or I'm afraid Ray would have disrobed in seconds. Maybe less. Just for the shock factor you see.

Today I did my semi annual carpet cleaning. I bought a house with new carpet. Good quality carpet. Horsebleeping white carpet. Sigh. I'm a pig. Lets face it, laundry is harder for me, because I'm always puzzling over how to remove this or that stain from my shirts or pants. Can you imagine what my house is like? Oh, lord I do try. Its a good thing I don't date anyone, or more correctly why I don't date anyone as they come and see my hovel and well, that's the end of that.

So I shoved furniture around yesterday and vacuumed like a banshee. Everything everywhere. This morning I rented a extractor from Homer's Depot. Used their machines before and they work well. Pulled every fan I have out of my storage and got to work and cleaned all the carpeting. Shoved furniture around until it was done. Took seven hours with a stop for lunch. Nice warm day, all the windows open and the carpet dried quickly. Looks much better. Except for the enormous disarray of hte funiture in irrational locations. Maybe they'll get back into place this week.

After returning the machine and paying the big $28 (including a nice pair of ear plugs, the thing is really noisy for 6+ hours) I was a sight. Needed a shower a great deal. I shaved as usual when I shower and cleaned up. No big deal. As I was washing I discovered something unusual. In a very unusual place. Lets put it this way, if I was dating someone, and she got past my inability to keep a clean and neat home, and she ah, saw fit to sleep with me for more than rest, she'd might have found the tick first and in this case: Two strikes and you're out. Or she'd be out of there.

So, not only did I ride. I had a rider.

Best line on housekeeping ever. Zsa Zsa Gabor once said, "I'm a great housekeeper. Every time I get divorced, I keep the house." Ta dumb bump.