Bowl of Fire, Live at the Cat's Cradle, Carborro NC 4/2/99

Review by Jessica Brandt, First posted 4/9/99 on The Landing

We got there right on the dot at 10:30, which is when they told us the show 
would start, and sho 'nuff it they were already playing. ("they" being a band 
called "The Sideways Jazz band" or sideways somethingorother. I don't know. I 
am not allowed to drink at the Cradle, so beforehand i drank enough Schlitz's 
to make anyone forgetful.)

Imagine my excitement when i looked up and saw Jim sitting on this box on 
stage, just jammin' along with the band. They were really cool-- They had a 
young keyboardist who looked pleased as punch to be playing the piano. The 
trumpet player was also very young (Look ryan! a new career!) and he was 
really good. he played a shiny-as-hell silver horn and held a hankie..didn't 
louis always hold a hankie? he also sang. Then there was a bass player and a 
cool drummer and a REALLY great trombonist named David Wright. They played all 
sorts of fun jazzy stuff..sort of like "play it again Sam" sort of stuff, if 
ya follow me.
OH! and Kat made a special appearance....she sang one song. I can't remember 
the name...someting about heartache...she stayed to watch the rest of the 
performance then took off.

Next up was The Countdown Quartet, which featured Wright on Trombone again and 
vocals, a different bass player, the same drummer, and Jim on guitar again. 
Jim had some SMOKIN' solos. Oh yeah, also Mr. Cecil Johnson on tenor and 
soprano sax. Sometimes, I swear to God, he played them BOTH at the same time. 
I think he told me that he got that trick from the guy in the Dirty 
Dozen...Roger. Anyway, this tall goofy-looking white guy, Wright, steps up to 
the mic, and he belts out songs as if he were Louis. I swear to god! it was 
weird to hear-- deep and growly, yet soothing. In between he just killed his 
trombone. he has some monster chops to play for an hour and a half without 
losing face.

During that band I grabbed Andrew Bird and talked to him. I use the old line 
"I came all the way from cleveland" wich got me really far with everyone in 
NC. Anyway, i tell him how much his band kicks ass and yadda yadda...He looked 
funny, like a junior partner in an accountancy firm...grey suit and green 
tie....but he was a little dispondant and was nice for like 2 mins then after 
i finished my sentence he ran away like there was a 3 headed monster coming 
behind me. Let me tell you, tho. That man is HOT. *rowl* and for what I can 
tell, he is not married (no ring) and didn't have any girlies with him. no 
groupies, even!

So the show was as good as i expected. Someone on here said before that e 
doesn't make eye contact with the crowd. true. but damn, he's so entertaining. 
Every so often he'd actually SMILE. and he plays that fiddle like a ukelele 
sometimes which is cool. The rest of the band is really cool too THEY look 
like they're having a good time on stage.

he played mostly new songs...maybe 3 from Thrills. Before "Depression 
Passillo" he said "it's been a hard tour..." then some guy said "how hard?" 
and he said "the only thing worse than a bitter musician is a self-pitying one 
[ which made him smile] it's time for 'Depression'". Another funny ting 
he said was before "Pathetique"...."this is the song that made USA Today say 
we're the country's biggest party band"....that is funny when ya think of how 
"Pathetique" sounds :) One more thing is that before one of the songs he said 
"i'd like to apologize to my drummer....we like to rough-house before the show 
to get psyched up, and this time i went too now he has a hole in his 
chin..." :) The drummer forgave him. hehehe

They played for about uhm...oh, i have no clue. they DID come out for an 
encore. the handfull of people that were there brought him back out again. 
seriously, there were like 20 of us :( Guess there's not much of a market for 
fiddle music! he played that salsa song that Ryan wrote about. i was in AWE. 
it was incredible. the guitar player also sang in Spanish with him. way cool.

Oh, Jim and Kat came back during Andrew's set. They were soooo cute. they held 
hands and slowdanced...the whole bit. and no one came up to them for 
autographs except one or two people. i stopped jim before Andrew's set and 
asked him some things about photos i gave him, but i didn't bother him for a 

So tere you have it. If Andrew is coming to your town, GO!!! it's the closest 
thing to a Zipper event you'll have for a while :) Can't wait for the new 
album. there's going to be such a wide array of stuff.

Oh, and i got the coolest poster, for free "cuz i came all the way here from 
cleveland"'s like, hand-painted or a lithograph or something. Plus, free 
stickers cuz the guy working the booth was a little slow :P

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