Sound and the Fury 

A week on the scene

Attitude adjustment

This summer's Chicks With Attitude Tour has been a strange hybrid, because it captures neither the soothing folkiness of Lilith Fair (even though its headliner, Liz Phair, is a Lilith veteran) nor the all-out rock blitzkrieg of the Vans Warped Tour or Ozzfest. Despite its gender unity, it's essentially a tour without a musical niche.

That might explain the lukewarm turnout for the Tuesday, August 10 show at Sunset Station. But the crowd was impressive in at least two respects: its sheer enthusiasm, and its demographic range, which encompassed everything from teenage girls to fortyish guys who sang along with every tune that Phair played from her 1993 classic, Exile in Guyville.

After a solid, agreeable set by the underrated Cardigans, Phair - joined by a four-man band - delivered a smartly-chosen sampling of her songbook. For "Polyester Bride," she brought up a diehard female fan who held up a sign saying "I Wanna Be a Polyester Bride." The fan, alternately sheepish and giddy, lip-synched the entire song, earning a hug from Phair.

After the obligatory performance of her hit single, "Why Can't I?," many of the younger fans bolted, leaving Phair free to pull out parental-advisory chestnuts like "Fuck and Run" (which, according to Phair, was misheard as "Fuck Enron" by at least one attendee of the Democratic National Convention) and "H.W.C." One cringe-inducing moment: Phair - replete with headset mike - set down her guitar and attempted to dance suggestively during a performance of the crass "Rock Me." It was an unnecessary and diverting detour into Britney Spears' Onyx Hotel.

Requiem for a heavyweight

The local jazz community came together in admirable fashion to honor the life of piano great Joe Piscatelle, who passed away last week. KRTU 91. 7 FM turned Monday, August 16 into a full day of remembrance for Piscatelle, including many of his recordings and conversations with musicians he impacted. The following night, Luna Fine Music Club served as a gathering place for Piscatelle's friends and fans, following a memorial service at Laurel Heights Methodist Church. See related story "Jazz Elegy" in this issue of the Current.

Going coastal

Third Coast Music Magazine - a monthly newsletter that documents the American roots-music movement - celebrates its 15th anniversary at Casbeers on Sunday, August 22. The bash will include Third Coast perennials such as Jimmy LaFave, Sisters Morales, Troy Campbell, Barb Donovan, Bobby Flores, and Christine Mims. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Compiled by Gilbert Garcia


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