Friday, September 08, 2006
Back in the late 80's, my friends Mitch & Matt would always venture down from the 'burbs to Deep Ellum to catch dark, brooding, clad-in-black local bands like Shallow Reign, Three on a Hill, Course of Empire, etc. Occasionally they'd convince me to take in a show. I remember being impressed with the intensity of a small-venue show. But I was not into the dark, brooding stuff. I guess I didn't identify with it very much - happy, bucolic childhood & all.
Mitch tried to lure me a few times to go and see Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. He would say, "Come out & see this band - I think you'll like them." - knowing very well my reservations about the then dangerous Deep Ellum (yes - I know - it's deja-vu all over again!). I never did get a chance to see them - partly because I was certain that it would be another too loud & too heavy gig. Then the New Bo's had their big "Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars" album & the cat was out of the bag.
Well, I finally saw them - back in late June at Club DaDa - their old late 80's haunt. It was a Saturday night show of a two-night stand. The show started around 10:30 or so - after Dead Thing. The Dead Thing played inside in the cool AC. But the New Bo's played the patio - and it was hot something fierce. It was the kind of hot Texas summer night where the air doesn't flow a bit. But the band was great - very much enjoying the show & the moment. We were just a row back from the stage - so I got to see them up close. Kenny Withrow's a really fun guitarist - very inventive licks - great rhythm. And the band played very well - clearly well-rehearsed. (As you can hear for yourselves on NPR's World Café.)
I didn't want to stare too much at Edie. I know how the band felt about the lasting image most fans kept of them - that of Edie's mug: pretty & quirky. But it started to feel like she was staring at me. She does make eye contact with a lot of the fans - no doubt. But this was weird. I was starting to get embarrassed. My wife later pointed out to me that her kid was right next to me during the show. So much for all the attention!
I really enjoyed the new music they played for us from their then upcoming CD - "Stranger Things". It's really terrific. Grab a copy & enjoy!