July 16, Santa Barbara -- Toe's Tavern


From: <LORDOUCH@aol.com>

Subject: GF: Like rabbits...

Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 17:05:36 -0600

.... those nels cline/thurston moore releases are multiplying.

Yesterday I went to the new release bin to pick up nels/thurston's 'instore' CD on father yod and next to it was another one by the same duo on the little brother label. Both were recorded on the same day... one live, one in the studio. I picked up the father yod version because those go out of print very quickly. A bit indulgent as it's one long 45 minute improv/song but the first and last ten minutes are beautiful in a rather accessible way. Considering this is just a guitar duo these guys do an effective job of coming up with enough variations to keep it interesting.

At the fibber shows in CA Carla and Nels did some guitar duo improvs of varying lengths. At the Santa Barbara show they did a few minutes during the middle of the set but the bits they stuck on at the end of 'outside of town' were usually the best. At the el rey show they were playing some murky/feedbacky noise that nels gradually turned into a twostep and if the rest of the band had been on the stage this could have easily sequed into one of their more traditional country songs. The potential for this to actually happen is mindblowing.

I was impressed with the way Nels interacted with the rest of the band. At one point at the SB show he was scratching away while standing about 2 feet away from Jessica, who was sawing away on her violin. Nels looked up at her, caught her eye, gave her an encouraging nod... and both started wailing with even more intensity. He did this with each member of the band at least once during the set which made it obvious that the band was really listening/reacting to each other. Just imagine what this band will sound like after a couple of months on the road.

A few other random thoughts re the SB show...

I was surprised to see the set start with a song like Cuckoo. There's no turning back in that song and by the time that Nels realised his guitar wasn't working at all it was too late for Carla to stop the song. When it became obvious that he wasn't going to be able to play his spazztic solo Jessica caught his eye.. Nels nodded... and Jessica played his solo on her violin!

 Butch (the song) is even more effective live then it is on record. During the SB set Carla sang the majority of the song while she was sitting on the floor. As the song wound down proceeded she gradually pulled herself off the floor and by the time she finished it off with the words 'you look puffy' and a shy smile she was on her feet again. Very dramatic.

Watching Nels's long legs pivot back and forth between his string of effects and his amp (where he kept his utensils) reminded me of the NBA... but tall guys get pissed if you ask them if they ever played basketball. The stage in this club was small enough that nels could reach from front to back without drawing a travelling call. (and i noticed... the lower the ceiling the higher bill and nels will pogo)

Possibly my most lasting impression of the SB show occurred during the instrumental break of one of the songs from LSBTEAMH (I think lillybelle). Each band member seemed like they were off in their own little trance. Carla had her chin tucked into her right shoulder as she was strumming in unison with the rest of the band. I saw her bite her lower lip and squint her eyes just a little. Then something happened... I can't put my finger on what ... but the rhythm shifted slightly and it felt like the band was going to levitate. As this happened carla flashed the tiniest of grins, to noone in particular, and even tho I had my finger on the trigger of my camera I just couldn't bring myself to disrespect the gods of music and create a graven image of this blissful moment.



randall asked (last week) re the SB show

<<They came back for a 1-song encore, but I don't remember what it was. Can anyone who was there help me out?

I'm sure you remember this now.... but just for the record it was 'outside of town'.

<<I'm not even sure if it was during "Folks," but in Santa Barbara the board. Carla asked someone to hold looked like it had musical notation on it. There may have been lyrics too, but to a non-musical person like myself it just appeared to be a lot of A's and C's and stuff.

At the top it said 'put capo on 4th fret'. Each line had the first word of a lyric and the rest were the chords. (yes... alot of a's and c's) Why can't the eyecharts that doctors use be this interesting?