Friday, July 01, 2005

welcome back, baby, to the poor side of town

I went to see the Eels tonight at Town Hall. All I really knew of them was that song "Novocane for the Soul" from the 90s. A one hit wonder? Well, hell no. They were amazing. The show was incredible. There was a five piece string section and a renaissance man who played organ, piano, mandolin, guitar, saw (!), a suitcase and makeshift drum (made from a trash can!). And the lead singer/svengali, Mark Oliver Everett (aka: E).

E strutted around the stage awkwardly dressed exactly like David Byrne in the 80s: gray suit and white shirt w/o tie. He had a bushy beard and chunky glasses which is also how you could describe most of the men in the room (my companion, Graham, included!).

The music soared. Everyone should have a string section following them around all the time. I sincerely believe that.

But to me the highlight was hearing him cover Johnny Rivers' "Poor Side of Town." I teared up hearing it. It was true to the original and just as moving, but lacking the backup singers. I was so tempted to chime in. And I could have after years of listening to oldies on the radio in New Orleans.

It just struck me how much I love songs like that: about loss and redemption. About trying to make it out of the ghetto. Making your way out of the bind you're in. Hoping for something better.

Songs that remind me of this:
"Say You'll Miss Me": Wilco
"Jesus etc": Wilco
"In the Ghetto": Elvis Presley
"Kentucky Rain": Elvis Presley
"Daniel": Elton John
"Tiny Dancer": Elton John
"11:11": Rufus Wainwright
"Polaroids": Shawn Colvin
"Bus Stop": The Hollies
"If Wishes Were Changes": Nanci Griffith
"Last of the True Believers": Nanci Griffith
"Wing and the Wheel": Nanci Griffith

Man, I'm really a sucker for songs that tug at my heartstrings and make me cry.


Blogger R J Keefe said...

And who is not a sucker?

Fri Jul 01, 12:28:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home