Friday, June 7, 2013

Another Summer Of Discontent-Richard Thompson Live

Continuing the misery that is Summer 2013.  In terms of theory to make it as a weatherman of this area, all you go to say is chance of showers and thunderstorms everyday till October and change it over to snow after October 15th.    Ever since March, weather weary people around here freak out when the ditz at KCRG or KGAN say rain with an inch or more and you think we all going be swimming in water soon afterwards.  Thing is ever since 2008 when you get the report you plan into action and sandbag everything up around New Bo which people did two weeks ago before the river crested at 18.23 feet.  But once again the doom and gloom is that another system will stall out and once again we'll be bitching about any and every little thing that comes out of the skies.  Basically I can't wait in two weeks I may finally go to some place where we don't have to hear the four lettered r word.  Hopefully the monsoon season won't start there either.

Richard Ramirez, the self proclaimed Night Stalker finally got his just reward and departed back to hell after contracting hepatitis C and maybe he died a horrible death beforehand.  One of the most evil men that ever walked the world, the POS murdered people and then raped the women of the guys he killed in the mid 80s. Best known for saying "hail satan" when he was in court, perhaps a rusty needle or infected dick finally did justice whereas justice law failed.  Richie Beanerboy gets to meet his daddy now.  May he forever burn.

Basically The Rolling Stones dueting with Taylor Swift on As Tears Go by in Chicago got a monkey reaction from the purists but basically it's a moot point for me to even talk about it.  You think in Chicago, home of the blues, that The Stones would pick somebody like Shemekia Copeland or hell even B B King to do a number but this is not the same Rolling Stones of the 60s who hanged around Chess Studios and got to pal with the likes of Howling Wolf, or Fred McDowell but since these guys have been gone for so long they decided to go with street cred like Taylor Swift or future country star Sheryl Crow who never turns down anything that deals with 60s rock and rollers.  It makes great ridicule on TMZ or Dangerous Minds but we really have no time to deal with insubordinate and meaningless modern age crap like Taylor Swift hanging with Gramps Jagger.  Nobody gonna remember it anyway unless you You Tube it and see it for yourself.

I'm still not feeling the love of the new Like Clockwork, the Queens Of The Stone Age new album which has sold more copies than their last album being it on a independent label like Matador and basically the mainstream media complains the lack of real rock and roll (Guess they never heard of Wicked Cool Records and Steve Van Zandt eh) but the record just mopes along like a drunken dinosaur.  I tend to think QOTSA to be somewhat overrated whereas Josh Homme's ex bandmates in Kyuss was a bit more melodic when he was playing on guitar.  I guess kids today are so hungry for their own classic rock of bands that they missed out four decades ago that anything with guitars and attempted melody they tout as the next new thing.   But as for us old Grand dads' we'll be awaiting the new Black Sabbath album when it hits the streets next week. I'm sure I will have something to say about that one too.

Too bad that Bill Ward priced himself out of the 13 sessions but I'm beginning to think along with Geezer or Tony or Ozzy that Bill simply wasn't capable of keeping the beat if he did was in the band.  I remember the two Sabbath add on's to their Live album years ago and even sounded like he was having trouble keeping up back then.  Bill had a perfect style to counter Iommi on the classic Sabbath albums up to Never Say Die. But you don't hear much from Bill anymore outside of a 1990 album Ward One Along The Way which Ozzy and Jack Bruce made cameos but his albums have been way few and far between and haven't heard any of his since Along The Way. 

But I still can't picture Ginger Baker playing drums for Sabbath or Rick Rubin making the comment about Baker being on the short list.  That would be a clash of music styles for sure.

Richard Thompson returned to Iowa City for the first time since either 2004 or 2005 when he did a acoustic show but this time he brought his rhythm section to boot and it proves to me that Richard Thompson is the best live guitarist I have ever witness in my lifetime.  Playing to a sizable crowd, his band featuring the great Taras Podaniuk on bass (used to play in Dwight Yoakam's band of long ago) and the animated Michael Jerome on drums, they tore through a hour and fifty minute set starting with three new songs of his new album to which I have yet to see around here before diving into the oldies with For Shame Of Doing Wrong. I always thought Dave Mattacks was a perfect drummer to Thompson's music but Mike Jerome may have succeeded the fact that the new Electric Trio was the perfect foil to Richard's mad guitar player to which came out full fury on Can't Win to which Thompson got plenty of different sounds from his guitar of angerish and torture and for a full ten minutes Richard let the band through curves and bumps of mad guitar.

I found it interesting though that Thompson chose to do three tracks off Shoot Off The Lights, the title track he always does anyway but Wall Of Death also got harmonies from the rhythm section and the surprise was Richard singing Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed, one that is more attributed to Linda. The bass and drum solo came during Al Bowley's In Heaven one of two acoustic pieces Richard did before going electric again.

There were two encores, one which Richard did two solo numbers and two most known since he did them by himself last time he was in Iowa City,  1952 Vincent Black Lightning  and of course the most beautiful love song he ever did, Dimming Of The Day to which dammit it Richard, almost bought tears to my eyes, he has a way of finding my soft side when he does that song.

And then Taras and Mike return for the third and final encore, to which they do a cover of Cream's White Room, almost note for note with the original, I'm thinking the second song was Back Street Slide, and then Tear Stained Letter to which the crowd knew the words.  And then it was over and done with.  Richard Thompson again put on another excellent show.

It was 11 and I had a craving for a chocolate malt at Whitey's but the damn thing was so thick I had to eat it with a spoon but managed to see Taras come off the stage, so I went up and shook his hand and told him they put a great show and come back and see us real soon.  He smiled and said thanks.

I went home happy.  


TAD said...

Great RT review Crabby -- you coulda gone pro! "And now, Rolling Stone's correspondent in Iowa...."

R S Crabb said...

Thanks Tad
I do get a kick out of meeting the musicians after a show although i don't go up and badger them for autographs. Usually a smile and handshake does wonders for me. ;)