Where am I now?

As you can see, this blog hasn't gotten any love in many years... But you can now find me on my site jessicatravels.com.

22 June 2005

Glen Phillips Timeline

Glen Phillips, photo from his website

Tuesday, June 21:
  • 10:07 - Jess forwards email to Chris about Glen Phillips' new website, but doesn't look at website
  • 10:43 - Chris responds after looking at website, noticing that Glen is playing Portland that night
  • 11:06 & 11:08 - Jess responds, frantically hunting for the venue name and location, as they're not readily available on Glen's website
  • 11:17 - Chris sends an email saying it's tempting to go, despite the fact that Jess has a class until 8:45, as the show starts at 8:00 and he has an opening act
  • 11:35, 11:41 & 11:55 - A series of emails that run from thinking it sounds tempting, to deciding we'll go
And that is how we ended up wandering down N. Mississippi last night at 9:05 trying to find the Mississippi Studios. We found the place, opened the door, and were immediately ushered outside by the guy who took our money and told us there were still two seats right in front. Mind you, we were anticipating a bar with a stage, something noisy (or at least sort of noisy) and dark. What we got when we walked back into the room was a tiny wooden stage in the corner, and seats set up around it. On the stage was a stool, a microphone, and Glen playing guitar and singing. Thankfully, he was only on song #4, so we didn't miss much. It was quite intimate - there were, perhaps, 50 people there. And, at times, it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop - even during the songs. I've not been to many live shows with as much intensity, and where the performer was so exposed and vulnerable. It only made us respect his artistry more.

So, I'm exhausted today, but it was well worth it.


activist kaza said...

You lucky little things...any clue why he was playing this date in such an unlikely locale? And any review of the new CD? I've been anxiously awaiting this one since the last solo effort ('02) which was a bit of a disappointment to me, excepting the many versions (all good) of Darkest Hour, which does rank as one of his best compositions.

Thanx 4 the tip on the website and a serious case of envy...

Jessica said...

No idea on any count - he did say something last night about it being a "last minute" thing, and that he assumed the folks who were there were, therefore, the "hardcore" fans. (He asked if anyone would be pissed off if he didn't play the singles... We all said no.)

The only other CD we have is "Albulum," which we adore. (Tangent: We bought it directly from him after he opened for The Counting Crows. We had no idea who was opening, and then this guy walks onstage with no band, just a guitar. And then his voice starts sounding really familiar, until Chris & I looked at each other and said, "Hey! It's the Toad guy!" He'd done a song live that night that had a fabulous line in it that I completely adored, but that song didn't appear on "Albulum." I'm so happy that it had staying power, as it's track 9 on "Winter Pays for Summer!" The line: "I want to be the toy in your cereal box/I want to be Carter in your Peace Talks." Brilliant.)

I really like the new album, though it took a few listens before it grew on me. And now that I've heard him do some of these songs live, in some cases I like the songs more and in others I wish they sounded on the album more like they did live. ("Half Life" is an example of the latter.) Overall, though, I really do like it. You might listen to the samples at Amazon - or does he have some on his site? - before buying, though.

Oh, and apparently he has a habit of playing lots of new songs at these intimate shows - he didn't do a single one off "Albulum" (that we heard), and only 5 off the new one. He said he ends up playing all the CD songs before the CD is out, so that when it's done he's on to other things. There was one incredibly haunting song he played last night that I'm now hoping will make it onto the NEXT album...

Jessica said...

Except that the other CD is called "Abulum" instead of what I wrote. My bad.

activist kaza said...

Yeh, that's one I got. Came out in 2001 or early '02 I think. I don't think it rates with most of his Toad songs tho, with the notable exception of "Darkest Hour" (he has offered even better different versions to download of this than he put on the CD tho) and maybe "Fred Meyer" (for local connection). Thanks for this...I have a habit of writing about music on my blogs on the weekends (the rest of the time, it's politics) so I am giving you a plug today! Let me know if it boosts your traffic (ha ha)...

Jessica said...

Wow, thanks for the plug! And, just in case you're interested, you can go here: http://glen.musicengine.net/ and click on the "Taping and Trading" section. There's a really active taping contingent in the GP fan base, and some of them post the results to the web to be downloaded. I've already downloaded the Mississippi Studios show and have been enjoying it immensely!