Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


My friends Kate and John S and I went to see James on Friday night at Turner Hall. James has been one of my favorite bands since the release of their 1990 album, "Gold Mother." The show was excellent and amazing. The only disappointment was that they didn't play "Born of Frustration," which is my favorite James song. But they did play "Sit Down" (a wonderful song about unity), "She's a Star," "Say Something" (oh, I can relate), "Out to Get You" (which is A+), "Ring the Bells," and "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)," which was the emotional highlight of the show. After the band concluded "Sometimes," the entire audience kept singing, "Sometimes I look in your eyes and see your soul" for literally seven or eight minutes. It was amazing and a truly transcendent experience. Of course, they also played their most famous hit, "Laid," which is an awesome song, but I am quick to point out that I liked James well before they became better known after the release of "Laid."

I bought their new album, "Hey Ma," which proves that the band is still making truly excellent music and that they're as relevant as they were in the late 80s and early 90s. I'm particularly taken with the tracks "Hey Ma," "Upside," and "Whiteboy," which has done well on the charts in the UK.

It's hard to believe that lead singer Tim Booth is 48. He could easily pass for 38.

According to their official blog, the band had a great time here in Milwaukee. I'm glad, and hope that they'll return sometime soon.

TEXT BELOW FROM www.wearejames.com/blog/

Yesterday in Chicago the aftershow carried on in the diner over the road… We finally left town at 2am. Milwaukee not far. Parked up outside hotel for a while. Sleeping on the bus getting easier. Stationary sleep becomes an unusual event. We’ve been doing overnights on the bus for 4 out of 5 nights…
Milwaukee seems like a quaint peaceful town. River and malls. Go and buy socks in TJMaxx, just like TKMaxx. Just round the corner there is a beerfest. Me n Mark eat a Caesar salad at Buck Bradley’s. Blackened chicken done their special way. Tastes great. A polka band are playing wearing lederhosen and hats with feathers…….before going into a cabaret style version of That’s Why the Lady is a Tramp…..
Tim, Jim, Larry and Andy doing a radio show. It’s sunny and warm today.
The venue is 100 years old, dark wood stylish old place with a very slopey floor. Windows covered in posters of the B-52’s and Josh Rouse to give a stained glass light effect in an unusual kind of way. The ballroom is a stunning building with a kids tumbling studio downstairs. It has a tasteful, clean dressing room and modern shower. We are very happy about this. Larry takes a photo of the shower curtain. He sees James daisies everywhere. There is much showering and Unkle Bob shower too. There is even an in-house juicer so we run out of carrots quite soon. Another three bags arrive and then me n Geoff get to a bit of post-juice bottling before it all gets packed away. There are some interesting yellow beetroots which look like giant radishes. Geoff the Unkle Bob chef goes wild and juices half a ton of celery and it tastes dreadful. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… He then looks dismayed at the pineapple pulp and whisks that off to use in something he is creating later.
The people who work at the Turner are really friendly and helpful. Especially in catering where there is an array of mexican options and a vat of fluorescent green margarita containing 3 bottles of tequila. We steer clear til later and it ends up on the bus til then.
Take Tim back to Buck Bradley’s. The oompah band have gone away. But the Usinger’s sausage factory is a good point of reference to head for. The bar is a long one with a great atmosphere. Tim has blackened fish and is really happy with that.
The gig is a stormer. A guy called Eric has asked to propose on stage to his future wife. He does this near the end of the show. Then the band play Star…..she’s a star… Eric even got down on one knee. The ballroom slopes forward so there is a feeling of dancing forward. The place is packed but there’s a bit of breathing space at the back. There’s a little lookout square window just outside the dressing room where you can see the show.
A woman gives us orange roses outside the dressing room. There is an aftershow which is packed. The two guys who helped me with my suitcase randomly got tickets to the aftershow, good karma to them. The couple who bought me and Mark lunch were there. Hello and thanks to all them. Lots of good people. Much signing of t-shirts and singles and Larry explains about the artwork being changed with the baby and the bricks and the gun…. We finally set off at 2am to Minneapolis… It’s a long drive and I wake at 9 and head out off the bus passing a neonlit place called Sexworld to a charming Dunn Brothers cafe where I drink a well brewed tasty coffee…..life is good…


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