Sunday, September 26, 2004

What a night

Last night Wendell and I went out to the Visulite Theater here in town and saw Dave Alvin. I first became aware of Dave's music after Lenny Federal played a Dave Alvin song "King of California" a few times. I asked who wrote the song and he told me. My old roommate, Chris had one of his CD's and I've been following his output since then.

The opening act last night was the singer/songwriter Amy Farris. She had a delightful voice and a charming stage presence and she wooed the crowd before her set was over. She is also fwiggin' gorgeous.

She finished a little before ten and Dave Alvin and his band called the Guilty Men came on about 20 minutes later. They came out smoking and didn't stop until the last song. It's impossible to put such a fantastic rock and roll show into words but it only could have been better if Dave had set himself on fire. The band could stop and start on a dime in the middle of songs. They had that tight-but-loose thing going on where every song was very elastic, hardly any guitar solo was done note for note as it appears on the album and the whole band was just smiling the whole evening.

I did have a nice short interaction with Dave last night. Since he was with his band he was doing the oughta control rock and roll thing and near the end of the evening there was a portion of one song where the keyboard player had a nice long solo. Dave was kneeling down sipping his Bud Light when a girl who had been dancing all night came up next to me and slipped him a napkin on which she had written "California Snow, Please!" This song is a very slow sad sad sad acoustic song about a border guard finding a family of illegal immigrants frozen in the snow. Not the kind of song that would even remotely fit into the evenings high voltage rock and roll set.

He was polite and said "Sorry, we're doing the electric crazy thing tonight."

I said to him, "Well, it is a good song."

Dave said, "I know, I wrote it" and that got a good laugh out of me.

I sure hope he knew I was joking with him.

So if Dave Alvin comes to your town you got to go out and see him. He writes fantastic songs and his band kicks ass. Rock and roll shows don't get a whole lot better.

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