A collection of posts from my original weblog...or the inscrutable rantings of a madman...could be both...

Friday, November 30, 2001

A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE HARRISON (1943-2001)

Hello fellow music geeks--well I'm sure you've heard the news by now. Beatle George passed on the the next realm yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles from cancer. My other favorite member of the Beatles to split this rock...wow...it's hard to believe it's true. I knew the man was very ill the past few months but all the reports said "He is recovering", etc. I suppose that was the nature of Sir Harrison, reclusive and not wanting to let the spotlight's glare intrude on his private suffering. It's odd that both John Lennon and George died in, or near December--the start of the winter season, the season of death. I'm in New England and it was a cool gray day with plenty of drizzle--no sunshine for the man who wrote Here Comes The Sun, one of the best tunes on one of the best Beatles albums, Abbey Road.

I first heard The Beatles at the age of three or four, when my parents had the "Red" and "Blue" greatest hits records on 8-track tapes (!). They would play them over and over and though I never knew what song was what, or even if there were or weren't little people inside of the speakers singing, I liked the sounds coming from the speakers. I forgot about The Beatles for a while after that--my parents became more "serious" and stopped playing their 8-tracks almost completely. In middle school, a Catholic middle school no less, I met some like-minded freeks..namely M.A.D., Chris "Mad Dog" Haley and Mike Fusco (who, unfortuneately, has passed on also). They were into The Beatles, and re-introduced me to the Fabs through the Beatles Club they formed one year. I really hit my stride in high school, when I started listening to the local "classic rock" radio station and started hearing all those great Beatles tunes again and started to really understand what it was all about. After that, I was a devotee and lucked out, becuase right around that time--Capitol began to re-issue the Beatles records on compact disc. The 20th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was in June 1987 and I bought the CD right away--I remember being at my neighbor's house (he had a state-of-the-art stereo system at the time), putting the disc into the player, lying down between the speakers and letting the Fabs take me on their magic psychedelic carpet ride--it was glorious--and I wasn't even ON anything!

George and John were my favorites because they seemed so cool. John sang songs like Revolution and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and with the jesuschrist hair and the English workingman's specs, to me was the essence of late 60s hippie cool. Actually, my favorite Lennon phase is the '67 Lennon--specs, Fu-Manchu 'stache and mid-length hair--for that six months (June '67 to Dec. '67), he was the coolest man on earth. George seemed reserved but very intelligent and also sang great tunes like Taxman and Within You Without You and then guided the spiritual aspirations of the band.

Early on in the band's history...Harrison brought his love of Carl Perkins and rockabilly into the mix (Ringo did too, but to a lesser extent) and for me, it was my first real exposure to country guitar licks. Ironic, really, considering I had to listen to an English band playing an American form of music to appreciate it. Songs like Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby and Honey Don't showcase George and Ringo's attempts to copy that sound. They don't quite pull it off, but hey, it was good enough for me. Of course, he dug the original rock and roll tunes as well and George sang lead on a passable cover of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven. Then the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team started to steamroll the charts and album sales and George was pushed into the "Lead Guitar/One-Song-Per-Record" role--which he didn't fancy well but he soldiered on for the good of the group. He did contribute some greats, like Don't Bother Me and he has the best scene in "A Hard Day's Night", apart from John "sniffing" Coke from the Coke can and John talking to the woman in the hallway of the theatre. George's scene involves him getting lost in the TV studio and wandering in to a room where a smarmy TV producer tries to get him to wear shirts that George describes as "grotty" (...you know, grotesque..) and then George takes the piss out of the station's flagship "young people's show" with some "posh bird" named Susan. When he leaves, the producer checks his calendar and announces "He's just a trouble-maker, the change isn't due for three weeks.." I think the leggy secretary at the beginning of the scene is Patti Boyd (whom George later married) or her sister--I can't remember. George did contribute a slight ballad to the soundtrack, I'm Happy Just To Dance With You.

In 1965, The Beatles were fast out-growing their "lovable mop-top" image foisted on them by the press and their management and they wanted OUT. They started smoking cannabis (that's "pot" to you, Mister) and writing more introspective material, influenced by the weed and Bob Dylan and world events. They fulfilled two-thirds of their film contract with Help! and released the soundtrack as their next record. I don't even remember if George added a song to it or not. In November 1965, they released Rubber Soul, which for many, is the first true Beatles masterpiece..or, as Nicholas Schaffner puts it--"like that part in 'The Wizard Of Oz' when everything changes from black-and-white to color.." Harrison threw If I Needed Someone in there and it's got such a great melody and I love the line "...carve your number on my wall/and maybe you will get a call from me.." It also features the jangly Rickenbacker 12-string electric sound popularized by The Byrds, but first played by George on "A Hard Day's Night"--and a sound that would influence a lot of bands to come. George also had purchased a sitar during the making of "Help!" and was noodling around with it when he brought it by the studio one day while John was recording his new song, Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). George improvised a sitar riff on the spot and they added it to the track...and, as they say...a biggidy-biggidy-boom. Some don't like the grafting of the sitar on the track, but I can't hear that song without it. To bring things full circle, in 1997, Cornershop recorded a cover version in which Tjinder Singh sings the vocal in Punjabi--making the tune a bit more Eastern than Western and it's one of the best Beatles covers I've heard.

George was soon obsessed with Indian culture and began taking sitar lessons with the master himself, Ravi Shankar and devoting a lot of his time to learning about the various ragas and trying to master the instrument. George also began experimenting with lysergic acid diethylemide 25 (or "acid", to you, Chief) along with John and Ringo (Paul had begged off at this point..finally tripping in early '67) and it became the focus of their next few records and also a whole wave of music in the U.K. and the U.S. and a counter-culture to append it. Revolver has been called the best U.K. psychedelic record ever and it's not tough to understand that--it's brilliant and probably the best Beatles album also. Harrison was actually allowed two tracks on it, the aforementioned "Taxman", with one of the all-time guitar riffs and one of the first anti-government screeds by a major pop group and Love You To, another sitar exercise and one of my personal faves, though the Indian tabla players easily tap out circles around novice George. I like the way the sitar lines sort-of chase George's vocal throughout the tune. Of course, "Sgt. Pepper's..." was next in '67 and the whole "Summer Of Love" (which George described in the 'Anthology' TV special as "a lot of that was bulls**t, that's what the press were saying but there was a vibe in the air..") and All You Need Is Love and his trip (literally) to the Haight-Ashbury hippie nieghborhood in San Francisco. He was high on acid and it gave him an up-close look at the disintegrating counter-culture. He said it "..was like the Bowery, like alcoholism..instead of people having all these spiritual awakenings...it's all these spotty dropout kids on drugs.." He returned to England and vowed to stop taking LSD, which is the moment he discovered Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and TM (that's "transcendental meditation" to you, Pardner).

After the death of longtime manager, Brian Epstein, in August '67, George convinced the others to attend a lecture by the Maharishi and they were soon interested in taking a course. The Magical Mystery Tour film bombed when shown on the BBC...though it does contain some excellent psychedelic Beatles tunes, especially John's I Am The Walrus and George's Blue Jay Way, with it's creepy phased vocals and ominous vibe, it evokes a bad trip and quite different from the sunny pysch sheen of the other tunes. The Beatles were off to Rishikesh, in India, to take a full TM course. This proved fruitful for song-writing and The Beatles had enough to make the White Album when they returned to England. John, Paul and Ringo had thought the Maharishi to be a cosmic rip-off artist but George stayed the longest and though he agreed with the others, stayed with his spiritual quest to the end. One of his best songs, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, appeared on the White Album..but I also love Piggies, with it's snide attack on the status quo and upper class and is at odds with George's peace/love demeanor. Savoy Truffle is a standard rocker with some guitar work by Eric Clapton, who's also on "While My..". Long, Long, Long is a pretty acoustic tune that ends with a strange cacophony of strummed guitars and something that sounds like a huge door opening. He also contributes excellent guitar work to the others songs..a jazzy solo to McCartney's Honey Pie and rocks out on Back In The U.S.S.R..

By 1969, the "dream was over", as they say. George went off to Woodstock, N.Y. to hang out and jam with Bob Dylan and The Band..that's where he and Dylan wrote If Not For You, one of my fave George solo tunes. He returned to England and took part in the Let It Be sessions, Paul McCartney's brain-storm to keep the group together and get them "back-to-basics". They were pulling in different directions and the end was clear to everyone except McCartney, who gets into a fight with George over the way to play a certain chord sequence (George said "...Paul and I were having a row, and they're filming the whole thing..."). Everyone left the experience feeling bitter and wanted to break up the group. They did pull together one last time on "Abbey Road"..and George finally got the spotlight with "Here Comes the Sun" and Something, which even Lennon and McCartney agreed were the best songs on the album. The Beatles finally split in late '69..with the "Let it Be" album appearing in May 1970. George went solo with All Things Must Pass, a triple record set (!) of material he had been writing since the mid-sixties. He enjoyed success but it was with a cost, when he was sued by the writers of The Chiffons 1964 hit, "He's So Fine", which had the same chord sequence and melody of George's 1970 single, My Sweet Lord. Let's face it, the melodies are extremely similar, but I doubt it was a direct plagarization. No matter, The Chiffons won and there was a hefty settlement involved. George continued on but his albums sold less and less as the 70s progressed and his 1974 tour turned out to be a financial disaster. He turned to the film business when Monty Python needed some backing for their 1979 flick, The Life Of Brian, a scathing satire of Christianity and Judaism--well, organized religion in general. He founded Handmade Films and had more success with The Long Good Friday, Withnail & I and Mona Lisa.
He stopped making records in 1982, after Gone Troppo sold two copies (I think my brother bought one of them)--though it did have A Dream Away, from "Time Bandits", on it and one of my fave obscure George songs. He also had a minor hit with All Those Years Ago, released after the assassination of John Lennon and a bit of a tribute to John. He re-surfaced in 1987 with Cloud Nine and had a massive hit with Got My Mind Set On You, a re-make of an obscure Rudy Clark tune He also had another minor hit with the follow-up single, When We Was Fab, a quasi-psychedelic tribute to The Beatles. After that, he was quiet again, popping up with The Traveling Wilburys, a "super-group" comprised of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and himself. He did a mini-tour of Japan and released a double-disc live album in 1991. He joined in on the Anthology project in '94/'95..helping with the "new" Beatles singles, Free As A Bird and Real Love. He also appeared in the 10-hour documentary (reduced to 6 hours in the States) for "Anthology" and helped go through the vast amount of tape in the vaults.

He was nearly assassinated himself in 1999, when a crazed man broke into his house at Henley-On-Thames and attacked him, succeeding in stabbing him before being knocked unconcious by George's second wife, Olivia. I thought he was dead for sure, but he pulled through, only to be taken by cancer that's been plauging him for a while now. He re-released "All Things.." just this past year with a new (though un-necessary) version of "My Sweet Lord" and there are plans to re-issue the Concert For Bangladesh, the 1971 triple-record set of the concert George organized and one of the first rock/charity shows. We'll miss you, George...thanks for all of the music and thoughts...it's much appreciated--tell John the same when you see him...Peace!

Monday, November 26, 2001

RE-ISSUE MANIA! (2001)

Another edition of "year-end-a-mania" (if you follow the Gregorian calendar--if you don't, this is just another post for you...if you want info on alternate calendars, check out Robert Anton Wilson's site here.)

Record labels are notorious for re-packaging their back catalog and adding bonus tracks and "restored artwork" to get you to fork over more of your hard-earned cash to stuff their CEO's greedy pockets. Most people scoff at this and give the labels a rightly deserved two-fingered salute. Me, being the humble record-geek that I am, constantly shell out more cash for the updated versions of discs by bands I like and give the older versions to needy passersby--it's karmic record-collecting in my estimation. Here's some of the re-issues from the past year that I felt were exemplary. I felt the labels almost went out of the way to give the fans a little sumpin'-sumpin' extra before gouging their pockets and wallets and purses of all the money they could grub:

1) The Grateful Dead/The Golden Road (boxed set); Warner Bros./Rhino Records--I never thought I'd see it--they finally got around to re-mastering The Dead's first five or six records. I mean, if anyone could benefit from a little tape clean-up process, it's their early catalog. I'm not a Deadhead per se..but I do enjoy some Anthem Of The Sun and Aoxomoxoa and a bit of Workingman's Dead from time to time. I've had to contend with cruddy Warners CD releases with shoddy booklets and not-barely-better disc sound. Rhino oversaw the process on this set and it's quality. Rhino usually handles their re-releases with flair and they went all-out on "The Golden Road"--12 discs of The Dead in their psychedelic/country folk heyday. All of the Warners albums (up to "Bear's Choice" in '73), plus 2 bonus discs of 1965 pre-Warners studio sessions. The set is very pricey, but I've seen it on eBay--and if you find the auction at the right time--you could get it for almost half the retail price. Jerry would like that.

2) Electric Light Orchestra/Eldorado; Columbia/Legacy/Jet Records--ELO's masterpiece (in my opinion) from 1974 has been given the official re-issue treatment because of the brand-new (reformed) ELO record, Zoom, released earlier this year. In a very puzzling move, Columbia/Legacy have decided to issue the late 70's/early 80s ELO output, instead of starting with the Jeff Lynne/Roy Wood collaboration that is ELO's first album from 1972. Personally, I would rather hear "ELO II" or "On The Third Day" than over-produced, slick (even for ELO) filler-ridden dreck like "Time" (from 1981) or "Discovery" (from 1979). I'm hoping the label has some method to their madness, we'll see. They did manage one great move and that is "Eldorado", the only early-to-mid 70s album re-released so far and it's their best. Jeff Lynne was always a fan of The Beatles' baroque psychedelia and he and Roy Wood both came up with the idea of a classical rock band based on The Fabs' pioneering use of cellos and violins in pop music. Wood left after the first ELO album, leaving Lynne the reins. Slowly they honed their sound until everything was perfected for this album. It's got it all, great string arrangements ("Boy Blue"), Chuck Berry-esque guitar licks ("Illusions In G Major"), pop ballads ("Can't Get It Out Of my Head") and of course, the almighty CONCEPT to suck in the prog-sters. I'm not quite sure what that concept is--something about a dream-world and having to leave it behind, I think. It dosen't really matter because the whole thing goes down like some Bushmills mixed with cola and some water-cooled kind smoke--actually, it's a great record when you've...ah, opened your mind, so to speak. The disc does have a superior sound to the original CD version and the booklet describes ELO's state of mind at that time and includes a line or two about each tune from Jeff Lynne. That's actually the weakest thing about the disc--it's like Lynne couldn't be bothered to write a bit more about his finest hour. Oh well, it's still worth picking up.

3) The Soft Boys/Underwater Moonlight; Matador Records--Remember how cool it was when Rykodisc issued the Soft Boys catalog on CD for the first time in 1992? Then remember how lame it was when you couldn't find any of them any more after, say, 1996? If you were one of the lucky ones (like my man M.A.D.)--you snagged 'em right away and held on to them. I wasn't one of the lucky ones, though I did get the 2-CD set "1976-1981" that Ryko released in 1993..or 1994? I also bought C-Dog's Ryko "Underwater..." in a trip out to Madison, Wis. in 1997. Matador, home to a lot of cool indie bands (such as Yo La Tengo), were hip enough to know that last year was the 20th anniversary of The Soft Boys best record and re-issued a 2 disc set of the original album, plus a few B-sides and unreleased tracks. Most of which were on the Ryko release but some were not. The real treasure trove is a whole disc of rehearsal tapes from The Cambridge Boat House in late 1979. The Soft Boys at their most raw, but never losing the catchy melodies that would make it to the studio sessions. Then Robyn and the lads undertook a small anniversary tour this past year to promote it, and that alone could be a reason this is one of my fave re-releases of the year...Vegetable Man, where are you?

4) Caravan/If I Could Do It All Over... to Cunning Stunts; Deram/London Records (England)--The original CD issues from Deram in 1991 were decent and had some amusing veddy English liner notes by John Tracy, a London Records historian. These discs are greatly improved in sound and band history. I especially noticed the improvement with In The Land Of Grey And Pink, their third album, from 1971. It's my favorite and it sounds amazing! Of course, now there are Japanese imports which are mini-LP discs--with scaled artwork and everything. They've got the very same Caravan albums that Deram just re-issued in England. Uh Oh, I hear that vacuum sound of money being ripped from my pocket....

5) King Crimson/In The Court... to Three Of A Perfect Pair (mini-LP discs); Global Discipline Records--Speaking of mini-LP discs..The Fripper decided to re-issue the entire King Crimson catalog as mini-LP CDs, only in Europe. That's O.K., 'cause a number of them made their way here and since all of my Crimson was stolen..hey, what better way to start buying them over. The artwork is superb and each disc has an extra little booklet with a tiny Fripp scrapbook of record and concert reviews from that era of the band (i.e.-- 1969-era reviews for "In The Court..", etc). If that's not enough for ya--the music has never sounded more clear and Fripp has painstakingly gone over every note (being the staunch perfectionist that he is). If you're a fan of this band..you'll want..nay, you'll need these discs! Check your local import record dealer. Or check amazon.co.uk or eBay. Beware, the bidding for these gets fierce--and I'm still trying to score the mini-LP disc for Lizard, K.C.'s third album, released in 1970. Oh yeah, all three K.C. 80s albums are available in mini-LP format, too.

O.K...as 5-a) I'll recommend the two Bevis Frond re-issues that I just reviewed a couple of posts ago, Miasma and Inner Marshland. The sound is as good as can be for a home recording set-up and there are a lot of bonus tracks included with each one. Nick Saloman, the leader of The Frond, writes a portrait of the group and some humorous observations on his start in the quest to lead the perfect psych/punk band (other than Wire, of course). I don't know if you can get these as budget price, but it's a good place to start if you want to sample their sound--as these were the first ever Frond records.

Time to go once again...but I'll leave you with a list of the most over-rated bands and artists of this year:
1) Staind (This is your pride & joy, New England...~sigh~)
2) J-Lo (Bootylicious, sure, but those god-awful pipes and really, can she act her way out of a paper bag?)
3) Aaliyah (yeah..she was gorgeous..yeah, she could act a little..yeah, she died tragically young..but was her stuff THAT good?)
4) Radiohead (I love 'em..but there was a bit too much anticipation for "Amnesaic"..did it deliver the goods? I think on some level it did, but not all..)
5) U2 (Please..make them stop...please...)
6) Kid Rock (enough said...)

Saturday, November 17, 2001

MY GIGS/NON GIGS OF THE YEAR (2001)

Radiohead/Beta Band/Kid Koala--Suffolk Downs, Boston, MA/August, 2001--Radiohead bring their "Amnesiac" extravaganza to the only area appearance. Of course, this means an overwhelming amount of preening hipsters and classic-rockers out to the show for either posing and/or a party. Still, the Betas were far better live than I expected and Kid Koala did an amazing DJ set in between the Beta Band's set and Radiohead. Not the best location for a gig, with the jumbos from Logan constantly flying overhead (of course, who knew a month later they would be silenced for a few weeks...adding a creepy resonance for me). Radiohead put on a solid gig and even played some obscurities from their back catalog along with most of "Kid A" and "Amnesiac". I bought a couple of over-priced T-shirts and my crew and I enjoyed some brew in the make-shift "beer garden". A great night for music, I'm glad I was there.

The Orb/Witchman--Avalon Club, Boston, MA/April 2001--I finally got a chance to see The Orb live when they hit the Avalon supporting the Cydonia record, which was released in Feb. 2001. My friend and I got to the club very early to witness Alex Paterson and Witchman mixing some tunes on their decks, though I didn't realize it was Dr LX Paterson himself until the Orb's set. Witchman opened with some decent electronica but towards the end of his set the tunes started to drag a bit long and I found myself hoping The Orb would make their entrance.

That they did with flashing red strobes and sound-samples from "Apocalypse Now" and then tore right into..I can't remember, I think it was something from "Cydonia. The floor was packed with dancers and I was amused by the guy behind me, who would occasionally blurt out acid-induced remarks like "Whoa...the things on the screen are 3-D..."--been there, my friend. Little Fluffy Clouds was a bit lacklustre and seemed only to be played to get "the BIG hit" out of the way. Great gig, though, and worth the wait for me anyway..of course, on the way out of the club after the show I overheard some grumbling from folks who "...saw 'em in '97 and it was way better than this.." and "...if you had seen the "U.F. Orb" tour, there's no comparison.." Hey, guys. leave me with my illusion that I had seen a pretty good Orb show, O.K.?!!

The only other downer was my friend Scott's passenger side window was smashed in, leaving broken glass on the seat and me huddling in the back under a parka trying to stay warm--it was April but a very chilly night in Beantown. Hey, that's rock n' roll, kids.

O.K., that wraps up the good shows I caught in the past 10 to 12 months. I think I caught a few local bands, but they're nu-metal clones and not worth mentioning, I just happened to be at the club where my friends were partying and witnessed those musical atrocities. Instead, I'll compile a list of gigs I wanted to see but didn't, for whatever reason:

1) The Soft Boys "Underwater Reunion" tour--Boston, MA/N.Y.C., NY--I know, that's not the "official" name for the tour, but they were sorta promoting the re-release of "Underwater Moonlight" as a 2-CD set on Matador. Yeah, Robyn and the boys live..wow...my man M.A.D. caught 'em in Minneapolis (or was it Chicago?) and enjoyed it and toasted to me as they played "Underwater Moonlight". You can read his review in the Triptych Cryptic archives. Some people said they were "cashing in", but they never made any money the first time around. Phil Sheridan, in "Magnet" magazine, wrote a whole nasty piece on why this tour shouldn't happen..but hey, sometimes, ya gotta give the die-hard fans what they want, and besides, it's not like these guys are f***ing Aerosmith or Chicago--anyway, I'm sorry I missed it.

2) Tool/System Of A Down--Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT/Sept. 2001--I knew this show would sell out quick, but I hesitated and tickets were gone. I didn't want to go through a high-priced ticket agency so I missed the show. A guy I work with at my day gig attended and said it was great and I'm sure it was. Mainstream nu-metal's most intelligent band touring their most oblique album yet. This guy said Maynard didn't talk to the crowd much, but I like the fact that he's a visual showman, using make-up and costumes instead of being like "Haaaartford, are YOU ready TO ROCK?!" The King Crimson-isms were clear on the last couple of records and now they're doing a joint tour with The Fripper & Co. I don't know if they'll be in this area, but hopefully I'll be there if they are.

3) Ozric Tentacles--Webster Theater, Hartford, CT/Nov. 2000--Yeah, yeah, this is actually a late 2000 gig but it was such a rare appearance that I had to include it on the list 'cause I'm still steamed that I missed it. England's oldest continuous "crusty/hippie" group showing up in Hartford, of all places. These guys formed in the early 80s and have been releasing records and gigging since then. The Webster Theater is definitely not known for this type of act--I mean, C-Dog and I caught The Flaming Lips there in April 2000 and the place was half-empty as the Lips took the stage. The crowd there is not outre-friendly and I'm sure the Ozrics didn't go over well, which means they probably won't be back. Damn, another one I shoulda seen!!!

4) The Bevis Frond--somewhere in New London, CT./Sept. or Oct. 2001--sorry I don't have more information on this one..I remember seeing an ad for it in the Hartford Courant in their "Cal" section and I know I posted about it here. I wish they had played more locally, New London is a trek on a school night. Did anyone see this? I'd love to know what the set list was. I'm sure some stuff from "Valedictory Songs" was played and maybe some "Vavonna Burr" tunes, but I'd like to hear that he did some rare things from the late 80s/early 90s. Let me know--there were probably ten people at the gig, if you're one of them, post a comment. Gotta see these guys if they ever make it back here!

5) Yes Symphonic Tour--Mohegan Sun Casino, Montville, CT./August 2001--You can laugh, but it would be nice to see these dinosaurs one last time before they vanish. I was on the way to the show and had to bail at the last minute, so I missed it. Their recorded output of late has been laughable (though I hear the latest one isn't too bad--but you'll find someone who has said that about the last eight or nine they released--even "Talk" ~shudder~) Still, Steve Howe has his guitar-skills intact and Jon Anderson can still hit most of the high notes. With the symphony, all those orchestral-type classics would sound pretty cool...And You And I, Starship Trooper, Close To The Edge. Probably was cool..as long as they didn't try Leave It or Big Generator--that would be the nadir for them.

6) Indian Music/Food Festival--Weslyan Univ., Middletown, CT./Sept. 2001--A friend attended this and couldn't stop going on about how I missed such a great show. Two sitar players, two tamboura and two tabla players--much like the Ravi Shankar shows I saw. Maybe that's a standard set-up for Indian music. Weslyan has an impeccable Indian music staff and they do this sort of thing a few times a year. The music end sounded amazing and also they were serving Indian food..yum yum. Well, I'll be at the next one, don't you worry.

Oh yeah, the best mini-gig I saw also was the very end of Emmylou Harris' set at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in East Hartford, CT. in July 2001. She's currently on that "O Brother, Where Art Thou" tour, but I'd like to catch one of her own shows, as she's still got a killer voice. That about wraps up my "gigs-I'm-sorry-I-missed" list. I'm sure there were a thousand more in NYC and Boston, and don't even get me started on London--I'm mainly saying in my location, these are the ones.

And for a wrap-up...a list of "bands who should not be in existence, but for some inexplicable reason, are":
1) U2
2) R.E.M.
3) Aerosmith
4) Pearl Jam
5) The Moody Blues