There Is No Cat

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Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Keep It Light Enough To Travel

Monday night, Laura and I went to see the Be Good Tanyas at The Saint in Asbury Park. Wow! What a show! I had first heard of the band on NPR's All Things Considered back in December and thought they sounded pretty good. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was watching a clip of them on Andy Kershaw's program for BBC Radio 3 when Laura walked in. She liked them, so she surprised me with a gift of their CD, Blue Horse. That got me looking at their web site last Saturday, where I noticed first that they were playing at the Bottom Line in NYC that very night, and then that they were playing about four miles from our house Monday night. I'm glad the CD didn't come a few days later. :-)

Anyway, the show was sponsored by the NPR affiliate at Brookdale, the local community college, who are one of the few oddball affiliates to have followed the lead of WXPN in Philadelphia and instituted a AAA (Adult Album Alternative) format. They're pretty good. My friend Gail's brother is one of the DJs there, so it's always cool to hear him on the radio, even though I don't know him. The station had arranged for this divey bar to be sans-smoking for the evening, and there was a no-talking rule during the performances. They called it "The Asbury Cafe at The Saint", clearly attempting to do a coffeehouse kind of thing. They even had chairs, although so many people showed up that I wonder how long that will last.

There were four acts, but the Be Good Tanyas were clearly the draw. And they certainly didn't disappoint. I'd only had the album a couple of days, but had had time to note some favorites, and they played all of them. They closed the show with "Light Enough To Travel", which is kind of the rockiest song on the album. Most of the rest of their music is inspired by old-timey music, although they don't really sound that old-timey to me. It's kind of like old-timey filtered through a modern sensibility; not quite as modern as The Handsome Family (who also blew me away the first time I saw them as I realized they were updating the Appalachian death song genre to cover things like anorexics starving themselves to death in Chicago), but very nice anyway.

So anyway, it was a wonderful show, probably the best we've seen since Scrawlfest out in Columbus, and they sing like angels, and if you get a chance to see them, go twice.

Posted at 10:08 PM


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This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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