Saturday, February 2, 2008

"In New York, I found a friend to drown out the other voices": Response to Ellen

Ellen makes some excellent points on U23D. I wanted to pick up on a few.

  • I wish that the 3-D effects had worked with my eyes so that I could have appreciated the sense of being in the crowd a bit more. I definitely thought that the movie was representative of my U2 concert experiences--including the song selection--and so the movie does capture the current period of U2's career. Even the multi-layered effects were kind of like being at a U2 concert given the way that they do multi-media effects on the projection screens and lighting displays (something that I thought the movie picked up nicely.

  • I agree (and said) that Rattle and Hum really wasn't a fair comparison. But I think that Live from Sydney is, and I would have to watch that concert again to really judge it, but I think I would lean toward seeing that one. Another interesting comparison is the 2002 U2 go HOME (filmed in 2001). I haven't actually seen the film, but I've heard the CD recording. U2 go HOME has the advantage of being signifcantly longer than U23D, and therefore can include, in addition to "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Pride," "Bullet the Blue Sky," "With or Without You" and "One" (the last five of which all appear in a row), "Wake Up Dead Man," "Staring at the Sun" and "Desire." Which of the songs would have made the final cut if it had been compressed down to U23D's length? I don't know. But I'd hope that "Wake Up Dead Man" might sneak in there.

  • I totally agree with the power of Bono taking over the stand-alone drum at the end of "Love and Peace or Else." And that image and that song have stood out strongly in my mind since seeing the movie. I have found myself singing that song unexpectedly. It clearly had a marked impact. And it, of course, was one of the perhaps less expected song selections in the movie.

Something about folk music: a band to watch

I saw some good music last night. The first was a rather fun set by a jazz trio called Elizabeth!. My friend Dan and I had met Elizabeth at a party and committed to going to see her show. She played with pianist Jason Domnarski and bassist Rob Jost; Elizabeth sang and played trombone. Rob Jost was notably excellent on bass and also notably familiar. A quick series of questions after the gig revealed that he used to play from time-to-time with the great Jack Hardy, the legendary downtown don of New York City folk music. A glance at Rob's MySpace page reveals that he also plays with New York composer and Alarm Will Sound member Caleb Burhans, who I know. Small city.

After that show and some dinner at an overpriced but pretty damn good pizza restaurant with Dan and his wife Rebecca--we had the acetaia pizza, made with pumpkin puree and sprinkled with 40-year-old balsamic vinegar--I met up with Allan at the Living Room to see Red Molly.

Red Molly formed as a band at the 2004 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (and the photo here is from one of their 2007 appearances at the festival). Laurie MacAllister was a singer-songwriter who had had Cliff Eberhardt produce her second album. Carolann Solebello was an actress and a member of the folk quartet CC Railroad. And Abbie Gardner did not yet know how to play the dobro. Well, Abbie has learned to play that dobro mightly finely now and plays some guitar, too. Laurie plays banjo and guitar. And Carolann usually plays an acoustic bass guitar, although last night, she played guitar, and Mike Weatherly sat in on upright bass. They have been playing throughout the Northeast and beyond, too, and have really, really grown since I saw one of their earliest gigs at the Postcrypt. These days, they are selling out venues like the Turning Point in Piermont, New York, and they pretty well packed the Living Room last night.

They put on a terrific show, playing mostly tunes from their as-of-yet-untitled new CD. The harmonies were tight. The playing was on (save for one tuning issue involving--you might have guessed--a banjo). The crowd was appreciative, right down to an uncomfortable exclamation of "Brilliant!" just as a song ended. And the band made much of having a rare "hometown" show.

Allan is eagerly anticipating their major label debut and puts his money on "Long Island Cowboy" (take a listen here) being the breakthrough hit. I'm just looking forward to seeing the band continue to grow and take on new fans.


Ellen Stanley said...

I enjoyed Red Molly's first CD, although the production was a little rough. I'd really like to hear some of this new stuff...and see them live.

But don't think this comment went unnoticed: "The playing was on (save for one tuning issue involving--you might have guessed--a banjo)." Remind me to tell you the banjo joke about the proctologist...

Matt Winters said...

Yeah, that was for you, MoJo. ;-)