Friday, June 21, 2002

Rock Shows of Note XXV
Yay! Another fun Anchormen show. Lots of friends in attendance. Lots of cute girls in the crowd -- including the cutest girl. And scads of good bands. It was ostensibly Singles Night at TT the Bear's because the Fightin Dogs and Choo Choo la Rouge were celebrating the release of their split CD single -- by giving it away!

We played first, after some confusion with the sound guy. He came up to us at five to 9 saying we had three minutes to get on stage. The lineup posted by the door said we went on at 9:10. There weren't many people in the bar yet, so we dawdled a little. Then he came back to tell us that we were cutting into our set time. We asked about the schedule by the door and he said it was wrong. So we got on stage. In about 25 minutes, we played 11 songs, including a request for "Lysander Spooner." The girls in front seemed to smile when I tried to get people to sing along, and there was guy over on the side who was dancing around while we played. That was cool. Thank you, Dancing Man! People responded well to the new songs, and folks seemed to appreciate our usual lack of organization and caustic stage banter. Even though we haven't practiced since our last show, we were pretty tight. I didn't forget any words, and my voice didn't crack until the very last song. Anchormen, aweigh!

Next up, the Fightin Dogs. I like Dan and Dave a lot, and I like the Fightin Dogs, even though I've never heard them on record and have only caught them live a couple of times -- they're more friends of friends than a band I know well. Dave tells me that their songwriting is inspired by the Fall and REM, but I didn't really catch that. Also, I learned that the songs that Dan sings, he wrote, and the songs that Dave sings, Dave wrote. I'm not sure what this means, but I really only remember Dave singing. I'll have to pay more attention next time. Dan wore a goofy cowboy hat and dangling earrings, so maybe I was trying to ignore him. Their set was pretty solid. I need to see them again because I picture them as more of an overall sound band than a band with discrete songs that I recognize and can hum along to later. Looking forward to listening to the single so I can start recalling some of their songs!

Choo Choo la Rouge I've seen before, and Choo Choo la Rouge I'll see again. This was basically their standard set -- they don't seem to do too much new or different show to show -- and lacking an identifiable stage presence or schtick, you're pretty much left with the songs. Which are good! But I look forward to some new material -- hopefully the single is the start of that.

Last up, Tracy Husky. I missed their set when they played with us at O'Brien's the night of the explosion, so I was super psyched to see them last night. I guess they (He? The lead singer/guitarist?) performed as a solo act that night, because a friend commented that they were much better as a band. They were OK. Not much struck me, and I don't remember any of the songs I heard. My one remark -- without intending to be chauvinistic -- would be that the woman in the band is absolutely beautiful. And the fact that she only sung one song during the portion of the set I saw is criminal. I don't understand bands that involve women as eye candy -- even if that wasn't the band's intention, she was wearing a slinky red dress, so there you go -- but don't draw on the wonderful sound of men and women singing together. I'm a sucker for male/female harmony parts. I think I heard her launch into a song as I went back into the setup room to snag my backpack before heading home -- and it was a good thing. She should sing more.

A good show. Thanks to everyone who came, and special thanks to Choo Choo la Rouge and the Fightin Dogs for inviting us to join the fun.


Oh! The show was also Webcast last night on RadioBoston. Media Dietician Jacob Wolfsheimer might have even listened to it. Perhaps he'll weigh in with his own report. (Hint, hint.) If you tune in at 9 p.m. ET tonight, you'll be able to catch 71 Sunbeam's CD release party. I'll be in the crowd and will try to find the camera so I can wave.

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