Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lucinda Plays it Safe

Lucinda Williams

Went to see Lucinda Williams at Massey Hall last night. It’s still the best place in the city for concerts; the acoustics are phenomenal. This was my 3rd time seeing her and I was totally looking forward to it as the past two shows (one in 1998 and the other in 2002) were awesome. This was another good one – but a certain something was missing.

Lucinda was in fine form – her raspy vocals were perfect and her band was tight (except for a few flubs on ‘Car Wheels’). The show was a good mix of old and new, but my only real complaint was the audience. Way too many people calling out requests (which seemed to throw Lucinda a bit) and even worse the people yelling “Play whatever you want” or “Play What’s in Your Heart”. The latter sounds like the next Mitch Albom book. This was a particular old crowd – made me feel very young for a guy who’s staring down his 33rd birthday. I felt that these were people who couldn’t afford tickets to last week’s Stones tour. I am probably just sounding cynical – but there is a time when an artist has become so popular that you are in danger at running into friends of your parents at the show. Anyhow – it was good, just not as great as the previous shows. It was a fairly sedate set – none of the real gut wrenching rockers like ‘Lost It’ or ‘Changed the Locks’, nor the quieter equally gut wrenching ones like ‘Sundays’ or ‘Side of the Road’. I also would’ve loved a ‘Crescent City’ – but 3 shows down and I haven’t heard it live. Basically, there wasn’t anything from before the ‘Carwheels’ album – that to me says that Lucinda is a little too plugged into her audience. All in all, it was a good night – but just a bit too safe.

Bathroom Destruction

Kat and I are having our main bathroom redone. It will take a few weeks and the first week or so will be the most disastrous in terms of mess to our house (we are also having kitchen ceiling replaced and one bedroom ceiling replaced), so we are living at my parents’ house for the time being. After visiting our house after Day One of tearing out the old walls, I realized that there was no turning back. Hopefully, it will be a heck of a lot better, but it’s hard to see that far down the road. One of the more interesting things about doing any work on our house it to see what’s behind the walls. The house was built in 1888 and some of the old wallpaper back there seems to be original, or at least from the turn of the century. Unfortunately, still no stack of Golden Age books anywhere to be found.


dan bailey said...

i managed to catch ms williams at a free(!!!) show at a liberal arts college near little rock back in the spring or summer of '01, a few months before i moved from there to this miserable excuse for a state capital. pretty ok, but for me the highlight was the opener, one of your countrymen -- ron sexsmith. god almighty, but strawberry blonde is one killer song ...

(the same school, hendrix university [or are they still hendrixs college?], presents a free show with a pretty major act every year. over the years i saw the likes of van dyke parks, t-bone burnett & sam phillips, richard thompson & pere ubu in that setting.)

Scott M said...


You are right about Ron Sexsmith - his music is wonderful.

I have seen him live a few times. He lives here in Toronto and is very plugged into the local music scene. It's a shame he hasn't found more commercial success.