Friday, November 08, 2019

It's a Helluva Town

From 1987, please enjoy the irrepressible Peter Wolf as he hops his way into your heart with "Come as You Are."

I bring this up because a certain Shady Dame and I were in Manhattan Wednesday night to see Little Steven and the current incarnation of his Disciples of Soul at the Beacon Theater, and Wolf opened, which was an unexpected and delightful surprise. Let's just say he's as skinny, energetic and funny as ever, and by comparison Little Steven was a a tad pedestrian.

In any case, it was a memorable evening for other reasons. To begin with, during the intermission, the guy sitting across the aisle from us came over to say hello. Turned out he's a long time reader, and he had introduced himself to me at the Sweethearts of the Rodeo/Mcguinn/Hillman/Marty Stuart show earlier this year. Small world, and all that.

Hi, Roger!!!

Anyway, after about five Little Steven songs, the Shady Dame and I decided we'd seen enough, and we went outside and hailed a cab. At which point a wiry guy who looked familiar also hailed the same cab. And it was none other than all around great musician/friend of this here blog Willie Nile, who I've been a fan of since forever. We said hello and, naturally, told him to take the cab.

But the best was yet to come. The cab we finally got took us through Central Park and then turned down Fifth Avenue. We were stopped at a light in front of The Pierre Hotel, and we saw a stooped old man with a shock of white hair, leaning on two canes, being helped into a limo.

Who was this aged little troll?

Henry Fucking Kissinger.

In the immortal words of Cindy Adams -- only in NY, kids, only in NY.

P.S. And speaking of Willie Nile, I would be seriously remiss if I didn't take notice of this milestone.

River House Record is very proud to announce Beautiful Wreck Of The World 20th Anniversary Edition to be released November 22nd. Pre-Order: It will be remastered and include a never before heard demo called "Help Me Say I Love You". The album holds a pivotal place in the Nile canon for a number of reasons. It was the first studio album released on his own label River House Records. It kicked off his second comeback and he has never looked back. Since “going indie” and taking the reigns to release albums to the public on his own terms it has allowed Nile to amass an unparalleled body of work one masterpiece after another and he shows no signs of slowing down. As No Depression said years later “Willie Nile's artistic renaissance continues unabated.” At the end of the day it’s about the songs and Beautiful Wreck has them in spades! You Gotta Be A Buddha (In A Place Like This), Black Magic And White Lies, Bread Alone, Every Time The World Turns Around, History 101, The Man Who Used To Be, Beautiful Wreck Of The World, Brain Damage, The Black Parade, Oatmeal Box, Somewhere It's Raining, On The Road To Calvary (for Jeff Buckley), Tiorunda Surprise. It was chosen as one of the Top Ten Albums of the Year by numerous publications including Billboard Magazine and The Village Voice! Lucinda Williams called "On the Road to Calvary," Nile's song for Jeff Buckley, "One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard." Beautiful Wreck Of The World is back fully in all its remastered sonic glory on November 22nd. Pre-Order Today!

Damn, I love that song (which is the leadoff track, BTW). And yes -- pre-order the album at the link. Like immediately.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


Blue Ash Fan said...

That's the wonderful Andy York on guitar, I believe.

You left after five songs? What made it so pedestrian?

steve simels said...

I thought they were trying a little too hard to be Sly and the Family Stone. I was probably just being cranky.

Billy B said...

The Woofa Goofa!!!!

I loved, loved, loved the J Geils Band. Vastly underrated. Vastly.

"Take out your false teeth Mama,

I wanna suck on yo' gums"

pete said...

And Mr. Van Zandt is getting a little too tubby for those clothes.

Anonymous said...

Two great performers, songs & videos!

Thank you Steve!

Captain Al

cthulhu said...

Not too surprised by your comments on Little Steven. Saw them two years ago on the Soulfire tour, and they were great - but the show was dominated by songs from the first album, plus great LS songs he gave to others (“Ride the Night Away” was particularly good), plus great covers like “Blues Is My Business” and “Down and Out In New York City”. And the band was fantastic. But I don’t care for the new album; it sounds very derivative and clunky to my ears, where the previous record, though clearly influenced by late ‘60s / early ‘70s soul and R&B, had it own center. Given the new material, I can definitely see how the concert experience could morph into self-parody.

Glad Peter Wolf was good though. I saw that he was opening for the Who earlier this year, but by the time they got to SoCal a few weeks ago, the opening act was Liam Gallagher. Although he was much better than I expected; played a tight 30 minute set that cooked pretty solidly. And the Who were pretty goddamn fabulous; Daltrey was singing amazingly well, Pete was on fire, the great Billy Nichols provided the kind of backing and harmony vocals the band hasn’t had since Entwistle’s heyday, and the whole orchestral thing was really well thought out. And there was a middle section without orchestra with wonderful versions of “Substitute”, “I Can See For Miles”, and the highlight of the night for me and my Shady Dame, a stunning Daltrey/Townshend acoustic duet on “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Yeah, it would be great to get in a time machine and pop in at Leeds or Hull in 1970, and Townshend would probably be the first to agree that it’s not really the Who anymore, but “Daltrey and Townshend Play the Songs of The Who!” is still a captivating experience.

Seeing and playing live music is good for the soul...

neal t said...

When Who was in St. Louis we had a bluegrass band The Hillbenders who have a bluegrass version of Tommy. Would of loved to have Peter Wolf. I like his solo releases a bit more than J G B. Sorry you were let down by SVZ. Really enjoyed when I saw him last year. Was a musical journey through the history of R&R. May have been a tad difference if he had Wolf opening. I can't think of a major act that broke up at a less opportune time than JGB. They finally reached the mass audience and then poof.

Mark said...

THAT'S some aftershow!

Alzo said...

I liked your brushes with greatness. In my first visit to NYC, wifey and I were lunching at a sidewalk cafe and who should roll by but Itzak Perlman- and not much longer after that, Richard Lewis. But the best was going up to the Empire State Building observatory: William Hurt escorting a pair of French schoolgirls. A bona fide movie star at a tourist attraction! Like you said, only in NY.

Alzo said...

BTW. Re: Henry F. Kissinger. This gem from Seymour Hersh's memoir: "He lied like other people breathed."

Paul Kelly said...

Whoa, shit! Willie Nile is amazing!

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