Friday, September 25, 2009
Town Hall, NYC
A great few days in NYC, always good for the soul, if not the pocketbook. In town for a reprise of the Marianne Faithfull show we saw at the City Winery in the spring. She's touring a little more extensively this fall but wasn't going to reach Toronto.
Caught an off-Broadway show the first night, The Marvelous Wonderettes. Could have seen 39 Steps or Gods of Carnage but we're down here for a concert and we should stay on course. A great little time-waster, tons of 50's tunes and smiles all night long, great choice.
Next day we stopped in at the Rock N Roll Annex, to take a look at the Lennon exhibit that is curated by Yoko Ono. Nice movie to start the tour, some great shots of seminal rock performers in their youth. Besides the obvious we had a young Muddy Waters, Ray Charles and James Brown. Great shots of The Beatles and Stones. Their displays are NY centric...lots of material on local punk bands from the VU to the Talking Heads and everything in between.
The Lennon exhibit was nice. The bag of John's clothes is not as sad as it may seem when reading about the exhibit. It's sealed. Touching. There's a phone on the wall that Yoko calls in on, it has a sign telling you to answer if it rings, she'll be on the other end.
Caught up with my son and his girlfriend for lunch in Times Square. Total coincedence that we landed in the city at the same time. It's his first visit, so I wasn't going to take up too much of his day.
We're here for Marianne. It's a fitting wrap to the year. Marianne has an inspirational story about her battle with breast cancer. My wife was starting her treatment in the spring and just completed the most difficult part of a 6 month regimen a couple weeks ago. Her story is pretty inspirational too; this is our celebration.
Pretty well the same show we got in the spring as she's touring her recent Easy Come, Easy Go album. We get Morrissey's Dear God, Please Help Me and Tom Waits' Strange Weather in place of The Espers' Children of Stone and The Chieftains Love Is Teasing.
Many highlights; Sister Morphine was killer, it was Marianne's idea to add the snippet of Mack the Knife to the beginning of Randy Newman's In Germany Before the War. Her chat was, at once, self-deprecating as she makes no effort to minimize the tribulations of ageing and life-affirming as it was tough to miss the joy she feels in just being here, doing this, as unlikely as that might have seemed 45 years ago.
The band is superb and Marianne is a wonderful host. The audience shows a lot of love; she returns it in spades. A couple changes in the band as guitarist Doug Pettibone and multi-instrumentalist Rob DeBellis replace Ryan Scott and Lenny Pippets. We also get the added pleasure of Jenni Muldaur helping out on some backing vocals. Lots of New York artists in this band. Fitting and first class all the way.
Go buy the record, go see the tour.
Here's the set list and some sound samples.
New York City
guitar Marc Ribot
guitar Doug Pettibone
bass musical director Greg Cohen
drums Joey Baron
keyboards & accordian Rob Burns
woodwinds Marty Allen
more winds/horns Rob DeBellis
violin Christina Courtin
cello Christopher Hoffman
b/vox Jenni Muldaur
Track 01 Times Square (M.Faithfull)
Track 02 Down From Dover (D.Parton)
Track 03 The Crane Wife 3 (Decemberists/C. Meloy)
Track 04 Solitude (D.Ellington)
Track 05 Hold On, Hold On(Neko Case)
Track 06 Easy Come, Easy Go (Bessie Smith/W. Jackson & E. Brown)
Track 07 Broken English (M. Faithfull)
Track 08 Mack the Knife/In Germany Before the War (R. Newman)
Track 09 Crazy Love(M.Faithfull/N Cave)
Track 10 Kimbie (J.C.Frank)
Track 11 Salvation (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club,Hayes, Turner & Jago)
Track 01 Ballad of Lucy Jordan (S. Silverstein)
Track 02 Band Intro
Track 03 Sister Morphine (Jagger/Faithfull)
Track 04 As Tears Go By (Jagger/Richards)
Track 05 Why'd Ya Do It? (H. Williams)
Track 06 Dear God, Please Help My (Morrissey)
Track 06 Sing Me Back Home (M.Haggard)
Track 07 audience/encore break/talk
Track 08 Strange Weather (Tom Waits)
Great review from an npr.org blog here with links to some youtube videos