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  1. #1
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Stan Ridgway live: a review

    Seven of us headed to the World Cafe in Philly last night to see Stan and his band during their tour that is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wall of Voodoo record 'Call of the West'. This venue is truly awesome, small and modern, with great seats everywhere. The main function is live music, but it also serves full dinners along with starters and sandwiches and the like, and it has a great bar. They wait staff will continue to serve you throughout the night, so no need to leave your seat for your next beer, and the food is pretty good too. We had our tickets to this one as soon as they went on 'pre-sale' for members only (a friend is a member. The club is owned in partnership with public radio station WXPN) and we got primo mezzanine seating that offers a great view of the band and plenty of room to move around before and during the show.

    The opener was a Philly band called 'Bunny Drums', and they've been around for many years, or so I'm told. I assume the name is a non-so-subtle reference to Echo and the Bunnymen because their style was very similar, with some Thin White Rope and Chameleons thrown in for good measure. A solid wall of guitars blasting out dark, foreboding songs with a vocalist who sounds dark and foreboding. Pretty good stuff for the most part, and not the usual boring fare you hear before the main course.

    They were playing a lot of nice tunes over the PA before and after the opening act; lots of old English Beat, along with some reggae I didn't recognize, but as soon as they started playing the Marty Robins classic 'El Paso', we knew Stan and his mates were about to appear, and we were right. Stan was out front, of course, playing harmonica and guitar. To his right was Pietra Wexstun on the keyboards, to his left was guitarist Rick King, and behind him drummer Joe Berardi. No bass player needed, thank you, at least most of the time. King played bass once or twice I believe, but the keys took over that function most of the time.

    Their first tune was 'Call of the West', the title track from that great record, and it set the tone for plenty of Wall of Voodoo material throughout the night. Next up was another title track but from one of Stan's solo records, 'The Big Heat', which has always been my favorite Stan song. While I'll never remember the order of the rest of the songs they played during the main set and three, yes three, encores, I do remember these WOV songs; Factory, Lost Weekend, On Interstate 15, Mexican Radio (I understand he hates playing that one), Spy World, and these Stan Ridgway songs; Camouflage, Peg and Pete and Me, Barbecue, Lonely Town (another fave of mine with the classic line "I think about those mosquitos on my windshield, and how they don't give a damn about Christmas time"), A Mission in Life, and Don't Box Me In (written with Stuart Copeland). They also played a trilogy of instrumental movie soundtracks from Sergio Leone movies; Fist Full of Dollars and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, but I can't remember the last, along with the JC classic Ring of Fire.

    f you aren't familiar with Stan's quirky style, I can tell you it's distinctive, and I'm quite a fan. The band was really tight and that drummer was worth his weight in gold, using all kinds of cymbals and other noise-making equipment in his kit. Tons of odd little fills and effects course their way throughout the songs, and he and Pietra had plenty to do in nearly every one of them. While you can classify this as rock, it's not your standard basic three chords stuff. Many of his songs have dry, witty lyrics, and the tunes project a spooky feeling, perhaps like something you would hear in the desert Southwest. Actually, the same sort of feel you get from a Sergio Leone soundtrack in his old Clint Eastwood westerns.

    I got to shake hands and got him to sign my copy of 'Holiday in Dirt', for which our own Troy provided the album artwork. I had to chuckle when I told Stan that 'Troy P... said hello" (he told me to do so), and Stan said "Who?". I explained the artwork and he said, 'Oh yeah', Troy! Tell him I said hello too." He's really a nice guy and took time to talk to everyone in line. I was the third one there so my wait was minimal, and after that we headed out and on our way home. It's about a 90 minute drive, so I was exhausted when we finally hit the hay around 1 AM, but it was worth it. If you have a chance to catch them on this tour, Swish highly recommends it.

    G Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  2. #2
    sunshine came softly Monkey Bones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    Stan said "Who?"....
    Hehehe, nice review, G-Daddy. Not too many out there like Ridgway.
    Here comes midnight, with the dead moon in its jaw ...

  3. #3
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Cool review, daddy-o.

    Sounds like a pleasant way to spend an evening.

    fp

  4. #4
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    I clipped my toenails today.
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


  5. #5
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Thanks Davey...

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Bones
    Hehehe, nice review, G-Daddy. Not too many out there like Ridgway.
    ...I felt an obligation to do it right after being treated to such a nice show. I'm sure when Stan said 'who?' it was likely because he was far from home (he said he lives outside LA, and I don't mean Louisiana) and on the road for many weeks, and then me springing a name on him that just didn't fit the situation.

    G-Daddy
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  6. #6
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slosh
    I clipped my toenails today.
    Let me know when you get to your fingernails.

    G
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  7. #7
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    It was more than pleasant after a few pale ales.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    Cool review, daddy-o.

    Sounds like a pleasant way to spend an evening.

    fp
    But I had to quit early because I was the driver and it's quite a ways home from there. Nothing like the thought of a 90+ minute drive to create a buzz kill.

    G Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  8. #8
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I certainly enjoyed reading it. I was hoping to be able to snag a boot of the show, but I haven't come across one yet. I did find a copy of the night before in NY, if you want a copy of it let me know, I'm downloading it now.

    Stan Ridgway
    Highline Ballroom
    New York, NY
    2007-Aug-04

    CA STC-11 > CA STC-9000 > Edirol R-09 > USB > Audacity > Flac frontend

    This tour is billed as celebrating Wall of Voodoo's 25th anniversary of the "Call of the West" album. Stan performed selections from that work in addition to his solo CD's. He and his three bandmates put on a terrific show, playing for almost 2 hours. I had never seen Stan live before, and didn't know the material, but I'm a Stanatic now. Go see this band if they play near you, you won't be disappointed. This is a very good audience recording and the only problem I had was trying to not crack up at Stan's hilarious comments. Samples are attached. Enjoy.

    CD1
    01. Tomorrow
    02. The Big Heat
    03. Factory
    04. Peg & Pete & Me
    05. The Passenger
    06. Don't Box Me In
    07. Lost Weekend
    08. Calling Out To Carol
    09. Lonely Town
    10. God Sleeps In A Caboose
    11. Camouflage

    Total 60:14

    CD2
    12. The Morricone Themes
    13. Mexican Radio
    14. Call Of The West
    15. Ring Of Fire
    ENCORE
    16. Call Box (1-2-3)
    17. Drive She Said
    18. Goin' On Down To The BBQ
    19. Mission In Life
    ENCORE
    20. White Rabbit
    21. Garage Band '69
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  9. #9
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    I was lucky enough to catch Stan at both the Philly and Hoboken shows this past week. Here's a link from Stan's official message board with reviews of both concerts.

    http://www.stanridgway.com/bbs/viewt...er=asc&start=0

    I admit to being totally inept when it comes to downloading music. Can anyone help or point me in the right direction to getting CDs of any of Stan's current tour? I'd be forever in your debt and will name my next child after you.

  10. #10
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    LOL, what did you expect!

  11. #11
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    woah bro i was at that concert too and video taped it!!

    but i later found out my camera doesnt record audio LMAO dangit!!

    well then...how can i get a copy of that show!?

  12. #12
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Pretty much exactly what I got!

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    LOL, what did you expect!
    I figured I would have to explain it to him. I certainly didn't go into detail about how I know you from this board, I just said I knew you. What a nice guy though. He took time to chat with everyone, no bum's rush, and signed whatever was asked. One jerk had about 5 items, which to me is pretty damned presumptuous and ballsy if you ask me. I'm not a signature collector, but I sure wanted to chat and got is sig on my cd, and it will sit on display in my HT room.

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  13. #13
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Hey Jimbo! I was away for a couple days...\\

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I certainly enjoyed reading it. I was hoping to be able to snag a boot of the show, but I haven't come across one yet. I did find a copy of the night before in NY, if you want a copy of it let me know, I'm downloading it now.

    Stan Ridgway
    Highline Ballroom
    New York, NY
    2007-Aug-04

    CA STC-11 > CA STC-9000 > Edirol R-09 > USB > Audacity > Flac frontend

    This tour is billed as celebrating Wall of Voodoo's 25th anniversary of the "Call of the West" album. Stan performed selections from that work in addition to his solo CD's. He and his three bandmates put on a terrific show, playing for almost 2 hours. I had never seen Stan live before, and didn't know the material, but I'm a Stanatic now. Go see this band if they play near you, you won't be disappointed. This is a very good audience recording and the only problem I had was trying to not crack up at Stan's hilarious comments. Samples are attached. Enjoy.

    CD1
    01. Tomorrow
    02. The Big Heat
    03. Factory
    04. Peg & Pete & Me
    05. The Passenger
    06. Don't Box Me In
    07. Lost Weekend
    08. Calling Out To Carol
    09. Lonely Town
    10. God Sleeps In A Caboose
    11. Camouflage

    Total 60:14

    CD2
    12. The Morricone Themes
    13. Mexican Radio
    14. Call Of The West
    15. Ring Of Fire
    ENCORE
    16. Call Box (1-2-3)
    17. Drive She Said
    18. Goin' On Down To The BBQ
    19. Mission In Life
    ENCORE
    20. White Rabbit
    21. Garage Band '69
    ...hence the delayed response. First of all, thank you for the nice compliment, and thanks for sending me that WOV comp several years ago. I listened to it a couple times over the last couple weeks and prior to the show. Also, I would sure like a copy of that NY show if you don't mind sharing, thank you for the third and final time.

    G Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular
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    I would also love a copy of this gig, let me know!

    The Atlanta show was excellent. Glad to see some + feedback for Stan.

    Dave

  15. #15
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    I'm going to the one in Milwaukee this Sunday. I really love Call of the West, of course, his solo stuff is pretty nice too. Where can I find that bootleg??

  16. #16
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL
    I'm going to the one in Milwaukee this Sunday. I really love Call of the West, of course, his solo stuff is pretty nice too. Where can I find that bootleg??
    Dimeadozen.org

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  17. #17
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Everyone who asked for a copy has one on the way. The show isn't especially lively compared to some of the other boots I have. I'd rate sound a solid 8 so hat's off to the taper, who's name escapes me at the moment.

    God speed to the Stanard.

    Regards,
    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

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