Friday, July 22, 2005

Jill Sobule at Largo

Okay, I know what you’re saying to yourselves: What is it with Jill Sobule and Sam Phillips? You’ve seen them a dozen times each in the last year. Why? There are so many other acts out there? The answers are rather simple. With Sam, it is her beautiful songs and voice. I could watch the same show week in and week out. Her kind of beauty, inside and out, is just so rare in popular music. With Jill, you just never know what you are going to get; other than a fun show. And she didn’t disappoint last Tuesday.

At one of Jill’s shows, a few months ago, Jill joked about being diagnosed with A.D.D. With her need to change the shows on a whim, and her being able to link bits of dialog into songs that you wouldn’t imagine in a million years, I have to agree with her doctor. Then there is that whole fidgety thing. Almost from the time we walked in to Largo, Jill was wandering around, with guitar in hand, strumming it and chatting with people. Maybe she was just worried someone was going to steal her guitar (it didn’t look like her usual one… I could be wrong). But I’d like to think that she just had so much nervous energy that she needed something to do with her hands, and the guitar seemed like the best way to relieve it.

Opening the show was Posey Manufacturing, which is Kevin Posey and his dancing (and sometimes singing) sidekick. Now I feel really bad here because I do not remember his name. But this is not a man you forget. He has striking looks: The lines of a David Bowie, with the presence of a young Tim Curry. Add to that the obvious hours at the gym and it doesn’t matter that he has a ballerina outfit on with pasties to cover his nipples; you really have trouble taking your eyes off of him. So, here is how it works… Music and some background vocals are piped in. Its eighties Joy Division with some juicy ballads thrown in to change the pace. The sidekick (God I feel bad for not remembering his name) dances around Kevin and the stage. And Kevin, with his dreamy vocals, sings about boys who’ve f*cked him over. This is performance art as much as it is rock and roll. They are putting together a full show (they usually only perform a 3 or 4 songs) which I look forward to seeing some day. With each of these Largo performances they continue to try out different things. This week they took a page from Jill’s book and had an audience member come up to hold a lyric sheet. Unlike Jill they put a horse harness in his mouth and had him sit on his knees while Kevin grabbed his hair and sang. We were laughing as much as we were enjoying the music. As I’ve stated before, Kevin doesn’t need the “Show”, but this is what he wants to do and it is working.

Jill did a solo show for us; which is just fine for me. The solo shows allow her to do whatever she wants. I told Maria, who had never seen her before that Jill can be very political. So, of course, tonight she wasn’t at all. She brought up Karl Rove a couple of times, but just let the name act as the joke. Her focus seemed to be on her love songs. I think the show may have shifted because of the audience. There were a lot of new fans in the crowd and they laughed A LOT at the songs in the beginning. I’ve never heard the audience laugh so loud during her songs. Its not that they aren’t funny, it is just that we have heard them before. That may have been distracting to Jill and she may have shifted her focus after that. Just a thought. I could be totally wrong. We also got a special performance of “Supermodel” with three women from the audience joining her on stage. Jill said that she usually doesn’t perform it because without the band it sounds like Seals and Crofts. Part way through the song she threw in a bit of “Summer Breeze”, just to make her point. During her encore she did “I kissed a girl” and had Kevin and company come up on stage. He was supposed to sing the chorus (“I kissed a girl”), but had trouble. During the middle of the song Jill says, apologizing to the audience, “I didn’t know he was gay”.

It was a fun night. After the show, I had to double check with Jill on the name of a friend of hers who had gone on to porn, therefore giving Jill the idea for a song. I believe this woman may be a distant relative of mine. LOL

Once again, we have artwork from my daughter Jessie.

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