Monday, March 23, 2009

Fancy Seeing You Here

Ok, so this post has been a long time coming, since the original incident in question took place last year on Labor Day Sunday. I was attending the last day of the Chicago Jazz Festival, headlined by Ornette Coleman. He had a quartet consisting of his son Denardo on drums, acoustic and electric bassists, and Ornette himself played violin as well as saxophone.

A funny thing happened though while I was watching Ornette - I noticed none other than Will Oldham being escorted by an usher down the aisle into the VIP seating. While I didn't manage to take a photo of him at first, he would leave the concert early and I was able to get an admittedly poorly lit picture of him departing. You certainly wouldn't realize it was him here unless I told you who it was, but it was indeed Mr. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy himself.

Also, here's a short video I shot of Ornette and band playing:

So, after Ornette finished, it was still rather early and I met up with my friend John Lee, who was watching Ornette from the lawn area, and we agreed to take the train to the Double Door to see Roky Erickson, making this night into a musical legends from Texas double bill, if you will. I hadn't eaten any dinner, so we went to a convenience store where I tried to buy a Snickers using a $20 bill, but the clerk refused to allow me to pay for it with a bill that large. I didn't have anything else, but thankfully a kind man behind me in line offered to buy it for me. Chicagoans are nice, especially when it comes to helping each other in food-related matters. We're now at the Double Door, hanging around during the opening band's set, when in walks Will Oldham again! I guess he had the same idea as John and I about the double-header. This time I was determined to take a better photo of Will, and especially wanted to get one of him and Roky in the same shot. You can see him in this one on the right side. He was pretty much at the front of the stage.

Roky was totally awesome, and the crowd was really into it. Definitely one of the best pure rock shows I've ever seen. Here's another video I shot of him and his band the Explosives performing the classic, "You're Gonna Miss Me":

So, a pretty amazing night of music, but I would be remiss if I left out that this night was also the beginning of a new bad TV obsession of mine (in a long line of them, notably Saved by the Bell, Knight Rider, and MacGyver). Once I arrived home after Roky, I wasn't ready for bed yet because I still hadn't eaten anything for dinner besides that Snickers. So I microwaved some food and looked for something good on TV. As I browsed through the channels, I chanced upon a Labor Day marathon of Beverly Hills, 90210. I had never really watched this show as a young adult, figuring it was mostly for girls, but of course I was aware of it (how could you not be). I thought this would be something decent to watch before hitting the hay, but I was quickly drawn in and stayed up to watch 2.5 episodes before going to bed after 2:00 am. The next day I tuned back into Soap Net to watch probably 7 or 8 more episodes of the marathon. While doing this, I found out that they normally showed 2 episodes a day, and even better, were showing the entire series in order! I have since made it up to the final season, somewhat embarassingly (even more embarrassing is the fact that I wrote more about watching 90210 than I did about Ornette and Roky).

So, this would be the end of the post if I had written it back in September. However, since it's now March 2009 and I happened to have seen Bonnie 'Prince' Billy perform here a little over a week ago, I figured I might as well include something about that to bring this thing full circle. Mr. Oldham was notably playing with Jim White on drums, who I know Biggie is a fan of.

Finally, here's a video of the group performing "A Minor Place" from the album I See a Darkness. Note the more upbeat tone of this rendition, compared to the album version:

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