Sunday, August 21, 2005

worn-out wood and familiar songs

Although I should be up to my eyeballs in work right now, for whatever reason, I've been able to get away from the office at a decent time. I just hope my luck holds out until next Wednesday for the New Pornographers in-store at Amoeba. But at least I made it to the Jay Farrar gig, and the report follows.

Jay Farrar, Borders, August 19, 2005: For whatever reason, Jay did only three cities on his little acoustic tour, and San Francisco was one of them. The timing was perfect: it was after work, and Border's is a short stroll from the office, so I had no excuse.

Jim and I found seats, and his wife joined us not long after. She had brought some homemade chevre for Jay, along with some other stuff. As I had tried the same chevre the day before, I could testify that it was quite a treat.

Jay Farrar, Borders, August 19, 2005By the time Jay took the small stage, a good crowd had turned out--I would say maybe 100 people or so? Maybe less but it was a proud showing just the same. With two acoustic guitars and a few harmonicas, he did six songs, I believe, including two oldies, but most of them were from the new album. He was much more talkative than usual, and the love certainly flowed from the audience, who laughed at his jokes and applauded following the big hits. He told us to be safe, in reference to another appearance he had made at a bookstore when a whole shelf had fallen during his performance. The only bummer was that the sound kept dropping in and out. From where we were sitting, he sounded great, and I'd venture to say that he didn't need any amplification at all, but I guess maybe it wouldn't have been so fun for the people standing in the back.

I have to admit that this was the first time I've ever seen Jay in any live setting. It took me a while to get into his voice, but I love it now, and I dig his songs too. Of course, it doesn't compare to my thing for that other guy's band, but that's beside the point; they share a history, but they are their own creatures. And on that count, Jay has his own muse, and he delivers beautifully. I'm still not sure if we're going to make it to the Son Volt show next month, but I'll try my hardest to check out the full band.

Oh, we got a cool lithograph with purchase of the album. I already own the new Son Volt, but I bought another one anyway so that I could give Trish the signed litho. I hope she likes it!


Tualla said...

Sounds like fun Uyen!

I do so hope that Jay starts talking a bit more during shows. My only time seeing him, he was sullen and mumbled just a few works between something like the 6th and 7th songs. And then - that was it - nothing more for an hour and the end of show.

- Tualla

pneyu said...

Thanks, Tualla! Yeah, even my friend (a longtime Uncle Tupelo fan) was amazed that Jay seemed so outgoing. There's hope yet for his stand-up routine. :)