Thursday, November 06, 2008

Two Out Of Three...So Far.

I'm two-thirds of the way through a unique trifecta that's timing itself out well on my calendar.

In late August, I got to see Counting Crows down in Milwaukee. In late September at a little dive bar in Cudahy, I saw Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers among a crowd of no more than three hundred. And a couple weeks from now I'm going to a Matt Nathanson show in Madison, again in a tiny venue where I'll be twenty feet from the stage...or closer, if I choose to be.

So in three short months, I get live shows from Adam Duritz, Roger Clyne and Matt Nathanson...three singer/songwriters who are firmly planted in my top...three. Not a bad 90-day span. Take into consideration that I saw Matchbox Twenty back in February, and all I'd need is a Will Hoge show sprinkled in there somewhere to round out my top five, all in the same year.

Unfortunately, Will Hoge was recently involved in a pretty serious car accident, so his recovery and rehab are his highest priorities right now.

I've thought about this on occasion...who's in my top five, or my top three, or if I even need to bother with a ranking, when instead I should just keep my eyes peeled for shows and go to everything that interests me. (which I do, anyway.) But I can't think of anyone else who might wedge themselves into my top five, and force one of the names I mentioned into a lower slot.

These concert announcements seemed to crop up one after the other, and I grinned bigger with each one I'd come across, staring at my screen and almost saying out loud, "You mean I get to see them this year, too??" It's been a very musical year.

It'd been a few years since I'd seen Roger Clyne, so I was stoked when I saw they were coming through the cheesehead state. I drove the hour and a half to the bar on a Wednesday night, and there were about zero people in the place when I met my buddy. By the time the opening act had completely lowered the bar for any future opening acts I might see in my concert-going career, the smallish bar was mostly full and ready to rock out to Roger Clyne.

I've talked about Clyne's former band, The Refreshments, in past blog entries, and my near obsession with the music on the two CDs they made before disbanding...and early in the night I told Adam I wasn't expecting to hear too many Refreshments songs, because The Peacemakers have a pretty good discography of their own already. I said, "Two Refreshments songs, max. They'll play Mekong, cuz they always play Mekong. And one other." (Mekong is as high on my list of favorite songs, by the way, as those five artists above are on my list of favorite artists.)

Well...before the night was over, they'd run through six Refreshments songs. I don't know if I've ever been giddy before, but that just might be what giddy feels like. Cuz I was it.

The topper was the first encore they played, a Refreshments song called "Una Soda." Never thought I'd hear that live, so when the first couple words came out, I knew the trip was worth it.

How can you not like a song that asks, "¿Dondé el baño, señor? Please point me to the door. And if you'd be so kind I swear that I won't puke on your floor." (I never said he was Shakespeare...but the Arizona boy's got style to burn.)

A Nathanson review will be sure to follow the show in a couple weeks, because it'll still be NaBlahBlah, and I'll be digging for topics.

But for now, I'll leave you with quite possibly the worst YouTube video of "Una Soda" ever posted...because it is, in fact, the only video of the song I can find. I thought about not sharing it, should it tarnish the song's image. But I promise you, it's much much better live. Wanna go see 'em?

"Flip a coin, what shall we talk about?
Heads I tell the truth, and tails I lie."
—The Refreshments, Mekong


  1. First let me preface this by saying I spent 11 hours at the desk today, i don't have to work tomorrow, i'm giddy that Brady Quinn lost and....i'm pretty plowed right now (for those of you in the know i'll just say BW's, Big (Mike), NFL (Network), Dawn (not the time of day), Christine (not the car) and 23 (ounce Miller Lites...followed by one Bud American Ale).

    That being said......You're a good kid Vach.

    THAT being said...OUCH. I think you're forgetting an act in your trifecta (Did you get permission by the way from Dickie V to use that?) that actually comes after Clyne and before Nathanson (was it me that turned you on to him...if so i deserve a lot more credit...and by a lot more i mean you own me not one, but TWO, TWO trips to the Valley for football, beer and wings)....a little band from the Bay Area called Y&T (or for long, Yesterday and Today).

    I know you're probably a little skeptical about going (not to mention the fact that I will be in my BW's Sunday 11/16 for Eagles-Bengals by noon...don't worry, give me a Monster, iPass and you and Smooth can sleep).

    I know I probably preyed on that bone in your body (settle down) that wills you to musical events (even more so when small venues are in play) the same way my bone (not that one) tingles with Spidy sense whenever a minor league baseball game is involved.

    But i make no appologies, in fact i make a pledge. Y&T will rock your world. I know you know who they are, but you will be inspired by the depth and passion in which they play even their most obscure songs even though they've been playing them since the mid 70's (not a type-o).

    These guys don't need to play, they play because they still feel it.

    So, while i am one of the few defenders of the Crows within our crowd...and i believe (at least in my own mind) it was me that turned you to Nathanson...and...well i don't know anything about Roger Clyne short of my mind can't stop thinking Patsie Kline....You will be a believer in 80's Metal come one brisk night in November.

    (Is there some sort of award for two posts in two days way........and I mean way........freak'n longer than they should be?)

  2. Not to pick nits, TheKid, but...Y&T doesn't get a slot in my trifecta, seeing as how this particular trifecta contains my top three singer/songwriters, and not just the next three concerts on my agenda.


    I'm actually quite looking forward to the trip, though, and just as I never thought I'd hear "Una Soda" live...I certainly never thought I'd hear "Summertime Girls" live. That'll get its own blog post this month, too.

    While I don't know how much world-rocking will occur that night, I know it'll be a fun road trip. And yes, I know you'll be eager to get the hell out of Dodge (read: Chicago) as soon as possible on that Sunday. (but dude, it's the freakin' Bengals. you could miss three quarters of that game, and still not miss anything.)


    And the Nathanson thing...I believe it was a Champsgiving several years ago, when somebody played "Laid," and I asked Adam who sang it. A few days later, he sent me the song. And the Nathanson history. You get mad props, though, for being an avid listener, and for aiding me in building my Nathanson library. Muchas gracias.

  3. Damn it...I like my minds version anyway...

    I also neglected to tell you that I did do the 'ole web-based-print of the Nathanson ticket about a month ago.

    Is it just us two or has Adam or anybody else signed on?

  4. Gentlemen,

    I will be there with the person who introduced me to Nathanson, my old roommate, Holly Murphy. At least that's the plan. If she bails out then it will just be me.

    Mr. Vach........Sister Hazel and Pat McGee are in Milwaukee Dec 17th. You interested?

  5. ....and for you The Kid.....Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Jan 30.

  6. I make a regular habit of checking my bands websites every other week or so and for the longest time BHTM only had some Carribian Cruise business up there, Not Nice...Milwaukee...Friday Night...NICE!!!

    Nathanson, Three Guys a Girl and Pizza Place.....

    As it approaches Vach we can coordinate getting down there after work and plans and such.

    Makes no difference to me if we come back or stay. I took Thursday off regardless cuz Julie and I are flying out Friday morning early to spend the week with my Dad in Nashville. So whatever works.

    You're both good kids!!!