they played promised land
doug speaks!

s-k again

Still in a hurry ... this is a v.busy week, I get to find out if it's possible to have fun and a fulltime job simultaneously (going out four of the five days of the work week, one concert, two baseball games, and one soccer match). So here's a very brief quickie about last night.

Doug had never been to the Fillmore, so we talked about the history of the place. Found the poster for the first rock and roll concert I ever attended (Chuck Berry, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the Steve Miller Blues Band) during the Summer of Love. Realized at some point that I have been going to the Fillmore for 35 years ... oh shit, I'm old.

I said somewhere on this blog that my fave S-K member changes a lot ... this happens in concert as well, where each of the women takes their place in turn at the top of my Fave List. Carrie remains the focal point for coolness and charisma; Corin actually showed some dance moves last night, next thing you know she'll be Joan Osborne :-) ... I know that Carrie is Jillian's fave, and she's really most people's fave, I bet. But me, I could hardly take my eyes off of Janet the entire night. They played my two favorite Janet Drums songs ("Get Up" and "Youth Decay") ... she played a little drum solo (!) ... and of course, she strapped on a harmonica for "The Promised Land," and anyone who can play harp and drums simultaneously rules in my book. Basic musicianship isn't really what this band is about, and at that level it's the idiosyncracies that stand out more than classic "command of instrument" ... Corin's voice is almost other-worldly, without it I don't know that we'd have even heard of this band, but it's also odd and quirky, and Carrie's guitar lines are fascinating and unlike anything anyone else plays. But if you want to think about whatever the hell "basic musicianship" is, Janet rules this band. She's just a terrific drummer, and in concert, where lyrics are pretty much lost in the din, her magnificent beats are truly the foundation of all that is great about their shows. Charisma? She doesn't have it unless you're one of her fans (sigh). But without her drums, S-K shows would be much, much worse.

Final note: when Corin and Carrie did their usual jam session ... I forget what tune it was this time, but they usually crank up a little Sonic Youth-style raveup late in the show ... they stood with their backs to the audience, facing Janet, as if they were lost in their music and the audience, for a moment, didn't matter. Which is why those raveups aren't my fave part of the show.

Overall? They just keep getting better as a live band. It was mostly the older songs that made the biggest impact, for me at least, but having said that, once Corin belted out "Sympathy," I remembered why she was my first S-K love. My lord, she is the greatest. As is Carrie. As is Janet. What a great band.

P.S. For the first time in the eight shows I've seen them play, they did not do "The End of You."