the only thing to take

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It's good for the soul to take an occasional ludicrously out-of-the-way trip to see a band play, especially when that band is the mighty Mission of Burma. Lisa, Lauren, Aileen and I took the train down to Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, went record shopping (I got the Dee Felice Trio's In Heat, a weird little lounge-jazz trio album nominally produced by James Brown back in the late '60s; Aileen stocked up), and walked over to the Theater of the Living Arts, where we met up with or ran into Jen and friend, Geeta Dayal, Maura and Joe (with whom we stayed--thank you!), Andy Comer and friends, and seemingly most of the rest of New York. The openers were Oxes, who countered Burma's semi-infamous "NO NEW McCARTHY ERA" sign with their own "NO NEW McCARTNEY ERA" and were otherwise eh.

Burma, on the other hand, were incandescent. We were standing very close to the stage, and got the full glorious effect. In the 20 minutes between the first set and the second, Bob Weston looped a couple of lines Clint Conley sang--"I'M NOT JUDGING YOU I'M JUDGING ME / NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT..."--and just left them alternating over and over, while somebody played some Captain Beefheart records over the P.A. Genius. By the second set, Lauren and I were phoning up friends' numbers with our cell phones to leave Burma-grams on their answering machines. And they encored with Brian Eno's "Seven Deadly Finns," with three-part harmonies. I really hope they put out the live album they've been talking about from this extended quasi-tour (this was their eighteenth show of a yearlong reunion)--their live sound, more than the sound of their studio recordings, is really what made them what they were and are, and Horrible Truth good as it is is not enough to sate my hunger.

Bookstore find of the weekend: Joan Wiener's 1970 Victory Through Vegetables, another of those sweet earnest early veggie cookbooks I love so much. This one has "a special selection of macrobiotic dishes by Barbara Thralls," but what made me buy it was her note on a recipe that calls for a teaspoon of MSG: "A lot of people are very down on MSG (monosodium glutamate), saying it can do funny things to your head. Personally, I have never felt any ill effects from consumption of MSG, but I thought it fair to warn you of other people's thing."

Another new limerick, incidentally.


Liz said:

So THAT's what that was. I'm sorry to say that I actually thought it was a Black Flag recorded performance on my answering machine. Sadly, my answering machine isn't very hi-fi.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

James Blount said:

saw Burma last Thursday, nearly wept when they went 'dada' into 'academy', hysterically muttered 'I never thought I'd get to see this' again and again to my friends like the drunked chump I was (am).

Aaron said:

I saw the Oxes open for Wire last year (thanks to Jen, who was on the spot with a free ticket) and they were so bad it was painful. They didn't seem to realize that irony does not change the ontology of what you're actually doing. If you're standing on a stage playing shitty math-rock jams and I SWAER TO GOD picking your nose, it doesn't matter if you don't "mean it".

Ander Fow said:

Oxes were great, Philadelphia were a bunch of ZOMBIES! Even Mission of Burma agreed with that. It was there most unfavorite show.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas published on February 23, 2003 10:33 PM.

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