Oh My God, Is She Still Talking About That?

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Sunday, May 01, 2005
FINAL, so help me god, Livewire post

I am still going to talk about the rest of wordstock, though. Tonight I heard it on the radio! So now I have, a couple of corrections and addenda to the previous posts:
1. Marc Acito was funnier than I remembered, and also did a very funny musical bit at the end about Inspriation. I don't know if they'll be playing this on the radio again, but it was filmed for television and you should check it out if you can.
2. Libretto - from where I was sitting in the audience (which was very much in the center) I could barely hear his backing track or whatever the hell you call the sounds coming from that thing the other guy was standing behind and waving his hands over. It was much clearer on the radio, and I liked the songs THAT much more. Even though I liked them already. Anyway.
3. The Michael Allan Harrison/ Courtenay Hameister thing was really fricking funny.

NOW for the parts that have yet to write about. Colin Meloy of the Decemberists was there, as wasJohn Wesley Harding/Wesley Stace.

Now that I've saved it for last, I feel kind of stupid because I don't know what to say. I'll start with the fact that I thought they both were brilliant, and they both wore green shirts. Wesley Stace was there because he's written a book Misfortune, and I think Colin Meloy was there because each of his songs is like a novel. Everyone says it, but for once what everyone says is true. CM sang two songs - the first being The Engine Driver, and the second (after they did some other stuff) some song about Constantinople. Possibly about a marriage gone wrong plus an illicit affair in Constantinople, or a walled garden, or all of the above. It wasn't a song I knew. From skulking around the internet I have discovered that it is one that may be released on a Picaresque EP, perhaps in May. So that will be great - all Constantinople/Decemberists-related mysteries may be solved soon. I have never seen the Decemberists or Colin Meloy perform before, although I am very familiar with their three released albums- (Castaways and Cutouts; Her Magesty, the Decemberists; Picaresque) - all excellent. The performance was fantastic. I am always amazed when one person with just a guitar and a microphone can do that much. Anyway, he was excellent, and I will certainly be making a more concerted effort to see the band if they ever make it back home to pdx from their Advance of the Picaroons tour.

Wesley Stace was accompanied to the stage by Oregonian music critic Marty Hughley. I would guess they are pals from body language, the fact that I saw MH waiting for WS after his reading on Sat. and that I think the hostess of the show said they were. MH is a really good interviewer. They talked about his music, his novel, and if he plans to continue making pop records now that he is a big-deal novel dude (paraphrase). (the answer, thankfully, is yes). WS sang the first couple of verses from the song Misfortune that was the inspiration from the novel, read a bit from the novel, and then sang Goth Girl. (so fun!). Wesley Stace was charming, funny, self-depricating yet self-promoting (try that one without being a complete asshole! not easy!), and of course he sings and reads really well. sigh.

The best and most unexpected part of the show was at the very end when one of the producers came out and said that there were technical difficulties during Colin Meloy's songs, and he was going to come out and sing them again - if we wanted to stay, we were more than welcome. And that after that, he and JWH had cooked up a number for us! Hooray! I should say it was the best part for me. I imagine it was rather tiresome to have to re-do the songs. But, because he is thoughtful and awesome, CM did two *different* songs than he performed earlier in the show. He did Leslie Ann Levine, and Of Angels and Angles. Then JWH came out and they performed a song I later learned (thanks again to skulking and the internet) was called Wild Mountain Thyme. M. pointed me to an awesome recap by JWH about the show - you can find it here. All and all, it was a great show. I enjoyed it tremendously and I am so glad that Bec just went down and got the damn tickets and I got off my lazy ass and went!
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