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More song!

basmati and I attended the Lucinda Williams concert at the Oakland Paramount on Thursday night. The last time I was there was nearly a year ago, for an Elvis Costello/Alain Toussaint concert, and I had forgotten how much walking into the Paramount was like entering an Art-Deco Oz. It's gorgeous. I want to see more concerts there just to spend time in the lobby.

Oakland Paramount

Aside from fantasies of ascending the grand escalier in tails, I was really looking forward to seeing Lucinda in concert. I'd learned of her by word of mouth circa 2002, and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road hooked me. World Without Tears was easily as good. And I have awfully fond memories of a hot summer evening concert at the Oregon Zoo in 2004, featuring Lucinda, John Hiatt, a Pendleton blanket, my grilled salmon and corn salsa, a gorgeous sky, and the magic of friends new and old. Perhaps it was the fond memories of this that inflated my expectations. But after hearing the new album West, I should have known that Lucinda was taking things in a different direction.

It's not as if her music is particularly happy, right? But the material on the previous albums, just seemed, well... more raucously morose than what's rendered on West. I keep trying to come up with a term that nails it... she still defies categorization, but in a new way. Emo-billy? Emo-tonk? Emo & Western?

Kelly Joe Phelps opened, and was awesome, but perhaps a bit low-key after a long week and not enough sleep. Then Lucinda came on, and to her credit, she did perform a number of songs from previous albums. And even some of the songs from the new album were done OK live, I think. But the nadir was what she introduced as a song she'd recently written and had not recorded yet. The lyrics consisted of (I kid you not) variations on:

You're my little honey bee
I'm so glad you stu-ung me
Got your honey in me
Oh my little honey bee

That's really about it. Over and over. And I know she can write stellar lyrics, so I'm not sure where this came from. Perhaps "recently written" meant "in the shower this morning", or "on the tour bus after a few shots of Jack". Oh, and during the bridge, she was dancing. But... well, aren't musicians supposed to have a better sense of rhythm? I later characterized it as the "white middle-school boy dance".

I am probably coming off as being too critical. I like Lucinda and will definitely continue to enjoy Car Wheels and World, I might see her perform again, and I'll keep an ear open for her new work.

Oh, but this is the fun part, especially as it comes on the heels of my previous post: the new song inspired me to spend an entire day coming up with doggerel for my text messages and Twitters. Examples:

YOU'RE MY LITTLE HONEY BEE
WE'RE ALL OUT OF CAW-FEE
GUESS I'LL HAVE A CUP OF TEA
OH MY LITTLE HONEY BEE

YOU'RE MY LITTLE HONEY BEE
OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO PEE
MY NEXT MEETING IS AT THREE
OH MY LITTLE HONEY BEE

Then my friends started doing it. The best! I should thank Lucinda for that; entertainment is entertainment!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
cryomax
Jun. 11th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
You're my little honey bee
You've gotta be fucking kidding me
This is insane, don't you see?
Oh my little honey bee!
karenjournal
Jun. 11th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
I LOVE the Paramount Theatre!!! I am going to see Crowded House there in late August. I wanted to go and see some movies there this summer but they didn't get great attendance last summer and don't have a series planned this year :-(
byronium
Jun. 14th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
Nice! That should be a good concert. Too bad about the movies, especially given the theater's storied past. The Paramount in Portland had a similar history, but Rapp & Rapp had built it in an Italian Rococo style. After the heyday of ornate, studio-owned movie houses, it fell into neglect and was used as a second-rate music venue until its restoration in the mid-1980s. It now serves as home to the Oregon Symphony.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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