Nov. 21, New York City -- Brownies


Set List:  (partial)

Small Song
Trashman in Furs

Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 13:15:41 -0500 (EST)


Subject: re: nyc shows

my final words re: brownies shows will be kinda redundant after reading the reports from madame wallachina, mademoiselle rachel and 'monsuier' anthony but i'm gonna spit 'em out anyways.

When i look back the first brownies show will be one of the ones i remember most. yeah, the show was marred with equipment/logistical snafus and it wasn't one of the most ferocious fibber shows i've seen but it was one of the more dynamic performances i've seen them give. The version of marmalade (the one where carla sarcastically introduced it as being a song about what it's like to be a one-dimensional person whose most important detail of their personality is that they is, were and always will be a prostitute) took my breath away. She sang the song with more conviction than i think i've ever seen her use in a ballad as her voice quivered in all the right places. It was one of those moments that capture the essence of her artistry as she channelled her obvious disgust and frustration into the music and took it to a murky emotional depth where rapture and desperation exist on the same level.

Nels' guitar playing also seemed especially poignant this night. His noisy solos were extra-frenzied but his more delicate contributions to Small Song, Trashman and Butch seemed to flutter and hover with more hangtime than is humanly possible. I think the band was as surprised as anyone when they played heliotrope. It seemed tentative.. like they weren't exactly sure how to play it live (it was the first time) and the addition of leynas violin made it sound even prettier than the recorded version.

Despite his obvious frustration with the way his drums were setup kevin kept the band on a true course and bill? Standing center-stage a few heads above the rest of the band, bill shook his legs and hips like a young elvis. When he stood his stand-up bass completely upright it touched the ceiling so at times he was able to completely let go of his instrument and speak body language with all of his limbs. (let's hear it for low-end thrust!) And as usual his duet with leyna at the end of yoo doo right was exquisite. and to end the set nels and carla took outside of town to places i've never it go before. wow.

(during yoo doo right did anyone else catch carla's nod to the new york dolls 'looking for a kiss' (found on the same album as pills) when she sang 'you best believe I'm in love?')

Sundays show was also wonderful but it seemed like the band was a little tired. (on paper the drive from nyc to boston looks easy but in reality it's rather draining.. especially when the roads are wet). Carla's existential joker seemed to be too sleepy to be aroused and i think the sauna like atmosphere of the small sold-out club wore the band down. Still, their performance as a whole seemed more consistent than friday night. And of course it was great meeting more of the people who contribute to this list.



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