Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Rock Shows of Note LXXV

After work yesterday, I went to the Million Year Picnic for the signing featuring Jason, creator of such wonderful books as Ssssshh and Hey Wait. I hung out with Stacie, Jef, Dan, and Tony for awhile, and then Greg Cook showed up. Four of us mosied over to Charlie's Kitchen to "edit" this year's edition of the Somerville Comics Collaborative's project. While last year's edition was pretty easy to organize, this year, it was quite a challenge. Because the table was crowded almost all day, we ended up with several plotlines and recurring characters making appearances in each story thread. But with a couple of transition pages -- one contributed by Greg -- inserted, I think it'll make sense in the end. But, boy, was this year's comic confusing!

Around 9 or so, after eating dinner, Tony, Jason, Ben, and Stacie made their way to Charlie's as well, so we all hung out until they were about to start karaoke. Then Jef and I walked down Mass. Ave. to TT the Bear's for the Scout Niblett show. We arrived a little ways into the second band's set, having missed all of Joy's performance. Joy comprises former members of 71 Sunbeam and the Jack McCoys, which are in the process of breaking up. "Aren't Joy and the Jack McCoys basically the same band?" I asked Matt Savage. "All you did was take some letters out and smash the words together!" He replied, "Pretty much." I was sad to miss their set.

That said, last night's show was the loudest show I've ever gone to at TT's in terms of conversation on the bar side. It seems that all of the second band's friends came out and then stuck around to socialize after the set. Usually, I don't notice this -- or get irritated -- but it was frustrating given Niblett's solo, scaled-down approach to songwriting. A guitarist and drummer, Niblett sings scarring songs of anger, loss, and frustration, reminding me slightly of Cat Power, Bjork, and perhaps Sinead O'Connor and Lois. Her voice is extremely intense, and her guitar playing just as harsh. My favorite songs were the ones she sang while playing drums. Niblett is an argument for simplicity. No drum machine. No tape. Just a too-pure voice and a single instrument. The drum songs got some cheers from the carousing conversationalists, and I especially appreciated the pieces about Linus from Peanuts, the song about how we're all going to die, and a couple of others I don't recall.

The show wrapped up around 11:30, which made it a welcome early evening given Monday night's late Labor Day cookout. Jill and Jef headed home, and I walked back to Church Corner to read Jason's new "Meow Baby" mini and hit the hay. A fun and productive night.

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