Saturday, October 15, 2005

Went to see Joanna Newsom tonight. And Smog. I saw them both, but what I mean is, I didn't go to see Smog. Smog was just going to be there. Because I had no idea what Smog was. I was like, "What is Smog?" Oh. Okay then, "Who is Smog?"... Hmmm, you don't say. Thinks he's good enough for Joanna Newsom, does he? Boyfriend-wise. Well, we shall see... So I guess it eventually turned out that I did in fact end up partially going in order to see Smog. So this whole bit has been pointless. Anyways, before Smog came on, Sympathetic Dave warned me about the Smog charisma. And man, he had it. Largely in his legs. He was all handsome sexy cool with his handsome sexy cool comedic legs. Yes, he was also funny. But not in any wanky way. In a really dry yummy way. So, to conclude, WORTHY.

And then Joanna Newsom. We were at the very back of the top level of the Athaneum, which meant that a bit before she came on stage, we were treated to an exchange between Woody the Wunderkind Promoter and the Lights Guy which went-

Woody: "Sorry, I just wanted to come up here and let you know that Joanna doesn't want any red lights."

Lights guy: "..." [inaudible. Probably something like, "Okay, sure."]

And I had a moment of doubt, thinking, "What's wrong with red lights? What decent person has a problem with red? And to such an extent as to have it banned from sharing the stage?" I thought it was a weird request, but didn't think any further on it*, because Joanna came on stage and sang Yarn and Glue without any accompaniment, her hands clasped in front of her like a choir girl. Which was, obviously, fantastic. And then she got behind the harp, and moved the mics around a bit, and then started playing the harp in an intricate fashion while singing at the same time. I know I should have expected this, but it was still damn cool. And she played epic songs too [Dave timed one that went for 15 minutes], which had diverse sections and lyrics and vocal tones. Fantastic. I couldn't believe she could remember it all. Which made it all sweet and aw shucks that she had managed to get through these long complex epics without concern but later blanked in the middle of Sadie [which is not about her dead dog, by the way. It's that high-falutin metaphor stuff], endearing herself to all, obviously. So, yeah. Excellent gig.

* Bec figured out that red lights are a no-no because some of the harp strings are red, which we think is done to differentiate between areas of the harp. So, having red lights on stage would pretty much mess that up. KNOWLEDGE. [Well, we're pretty sure, anyway. We haven't looked it up or anything.]

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