too much typing—since 2003

4.23.2005

...vanishes like a dream

Thursday was an unexpected treat. I'd gone to hear a talk at the Milwaukee Art Museum by Jon Langford, and thought it would be just that: a talk. The talk portion of the evening (led by WMSE DJ and station manager Tom Crawford) was entertaining, albeit covering much of the same ground as this week's Langford interview in The Onion - although the interview doesn't quite convey how funny Langford can be in person, nor does it contain one of the best explanations he offered for the Mekons' interest in classic country music: he'd noticed that a lot of country was about "drinking and failed sexual relationships, and we in the Mekons had quite a bit of experience with both."

The unexpected part of the evening was a brief acoustic concert, featuring not only Mekons cohort Sally Timms on vocals and what looked like a briefcase but proved to be a concertina, but also ex-Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone (playing an acoustic bass built on a banjo body (it looked kind of like this) and a woman playing violin and adding background vocals whose name I didn't catch (Jean or Jeanette something? an Asian woman but not an Asian surname... anyone have a clue?). Langford and friends did a few songs from The Executioner's Last Songs projects as well as a couple of Langford's solo tracks (the Hank Williams tribute "Nashville Radio" most memorable among them). The presentation featured a bit of a preview of the multimedia version of The Executioner's Last Songs, being presented this evening, in fact (for too much money). Basically the film projections, of Langford's paintings and other images, were more distracting than engaging; I'd rather just see his paintings, one of which was on display and proved far more compelling in person, in its detail and gritty yet shimmering texture, than in reproduced form. So an enjoyable evening with several of my musical favorites...

A couple of semi-obscure Mekons numbers: both sides of the Elvis-quoting "Untitled" ep: Untitled 1 and Untitled 2.

1 comment:

Michael W said...

Jean Cook, perhaps?