For this final show with Don Kerr, the band played for what seems like ever. Darrin says he edited out any quiet bits so the show could fit on two discs, which it does. And even at that it’s still about 2 and a half hours long.
Only five songs are repeated from the previous night (and they are all from the new album, except “Stolen Car,” which Martin sings on this night) and “Take Me in Your Hand” which is pretty awesome. There’s also no Kevin on this night, so the set is full of a few of the more rocking songs (as opposed to the Harmelodia stuff).
After a rocking “Fat” they play two rarely played songs “Remain Calm” and “The Idiot.” But the set list is just a perfect collection of the songs that I love most: “Aliens,” “King of the Past,” “Saskatchewan,” “California Dreamline,” “Fan Letter to Michael Jackson” and “Horses.” Wow.
Some notes: “There’s an awkward introduction to “The Idiot” which they hadn’t played in a long time. The “Aliens”/”King of the Past ” pair is great. I also loved the way they run right into “Mumbletypeg” while Martin is still feed backing the previous song. “Horses” has an angry chant from Dave (the “facts” chant) and you can really hear DB wailing on the acoustic guitar at the end of “Stolen Car.”
Don gives a nice thanks (he says he’s about to cry) and they open “Take Me in Your Hand” with a jaunty “Ob La Di” riff and lyrics about Don.
There’s a lot of banter, including an Ed the Sock joke (“Don Kerr fired by Ed the Sock.”) It’s a wonderful ending to a wonderfully time with Don Kerr. Incidentally, Ted’s closed in 2001 as well, and the band, who played many multinight sets there moved their Green Sprouts Week to The Horsehoe.
This is a great show, and the sound is outstanding. And since Don is leaving to play with Ron Sexsmith, here’s a story by Jill Sexsmith (presumably unrelated).
[READ: April 25, 2015] “Airplanes Couldn’t Be Happier in Turbulence”
I enjoyed the way this story began with some very down to earth information and then ends in a preposterous and yet still strangely believable situation. It’s about exasperation and the need to do something, anything, when everything feels out of control.
Madison (it’s hard to believe that there are grown women with that name) has wanted to scale the Empire State Building ever since she watched King Kong as a kid. Her husband, Frank, is a grounded individual, an actuary who is full of facts and statistics. When she says she want to go there, he says “There’s a 0.28 percent chance of getting pistol whipped” in New York City. He also quips, I suppose you want a pony, too. She jokes that she does, although she is afraid of horses–especially ponies, the “kneecap biting form of the horse” (I can attest to this, having been bitten on the kneecap by my neighbors supposedly nice pony).
Madison has never taken a vacation from her job. She is anxious at the thought of empty days in front of her. Her boss and coworkers keep trying to get her to go. This year for her birthday she and Frank are going to New York City. Her boss throws a going away party even though two of the four days are on the weekend.
Years ago, she took a “Simuflight” class to get over her fear of flying (wonder if Joshua Ferris did this). She learns, “an airplane couldn’t be happier in turbulence.” Of course, Frank is there with facts “47% of fatal accidents happen during final approach and landing.” He also knows the odds of losing black luggage. Which is what happens to Madison’s bag. Now she is stuck in Crocs and airplane clothes.
Madison and Frank have a daughter, Lily. She is a lesbian. Or perhaps she is just experimenting (frank hopes). When she announced her preference, Frank put up a sign at Thanksgiving that read “Cancelled until further notice.” Lily and her friends formed a mini pride parade (complete with assless chaps) and marched in front of their house.
The next morning Madison’s luggage appears. But it is not hers. Rather, it is a the luggage of a baker from Toledo. The woman had great taste and nice clothes. And they fit as well. Madison plans to wear them and then send them back when the vacation is done.
So out they go to Central Park where they ride in a horse drawn carriage and are protested by PETA. Madison is ashamed and jumps out but Franks stays with the horse–unswayed by the liberals.
When she catches up with the carriage she asks the driver if the horse does live in warehouse. He nods but says that he does yoga to relax. Frank tells her that the horse clearly isn’t suffering.
On her birthday they go to the Empire State Building. But when they get back to the hotel, after Frank has gotten out of the cab, she asks the driver to keep going. And the story grows surreal but also ties back very nicely to everything else that has happened in the story, including their lesbian daughter and her voice mail that she has eloped.
It’s clear that Madison is at her wits end and she does something foolish–possibly well meaning, or possibly not even well thought out. But she has to do something, right?
While I would love to know what happens to Madison in the end, I enjoyed imagining the possibilities (even if the reality seems planned out). I really enjoy the way Sexsmith constructed this story.