The Amazing Mirvana

Travels, and makes stuff.

Archive for the tag “reviews”

Dan Bern


I left directly after dance class last night to go to the late show at the Club Cafe. I arrived early enough to qualify as “devoted fan.” I was one of the first five people to get there, around 9 pm, and stand in line. They weren’t going to let people in until 10 pm. The first guy in line was wearing a t-shirt that he made himself, that said, “Dan Bern for President 2008.” He had another shirt with him that he gave to Dan Bern. I told him how I would love to buy a shirt like that, but that seemed wrong, and he said, yeah that’s why he only made two of them and he’s not selling them. Still, we have that t-shirt printing press in the basement…

Then there was his girlfriend, and then George and Arthur. Often when I go to a show by myself, especially one of this nature, I end up being “adopted” by someone. George and Arthur were happy to take me under their wing. They asked me why I like Dan Bern and what brought me out to the show and so on. Foo is actually the one who turned me onto him, and I kept thinking that Foo shoulda been there, but alas he is in Cha-ston. I only have Bern’s first album, but I played it to death and know the words of every song. George and Arthur have seen Dan Bern about six times, own several of his albums, and so on.

They invited me to sit with them and I obliged. They are two older people who still like to come out for shows (unicorns), and we all lamented about how most of our friends like to go to bed at 9:30. I think I solved that one partly by hanging around younger and younger people;)

So, the show was amazing. Bern did mostly new material that has yet to appear on an album. He also did a few songs that you will never hear on an album. More reasons why I like him, aside from the fact that he’s a brilliant songwriter:

– He stopped in the middle of a song to tell someone to shut up.
– He likes tremolo
– He sang an ode to the 22nd amendment (of the US constitution)

He was accompanied on harmonica for part of his set by a local musician, Mark Reesmueller(sp?) who was wingin’ it the whole time, and was phenomenal.

He only sang two songs that I knew (off the first album): Marilyn and Wasteland, but I loved his whole set. The audience sang along with all the songs they knew, and he even stopped playing during Marilyn and let the audience finish it. He said that his new album will come out in a few months, and he might be coming out to Pgh. on tour again.

I wanted to buy another album and went up to the merch table with George. I couldn’t decide, and then George bought a copy of New American Language and just handed it to me. Thanks, George. I will enjoy it.


Washington, DC: Style & Status

Style & Status:

The exhibit of Ottoman period clothing at the Sackler was impressive. It was mostly all male coats or caftans, with a shoe and a few hats and other textiles. A few of the garments were displayed in cases such that you could walk all the way around them and see the back. This proved enlightening because I could see that the back of one garment was all one piece. The pieces were amazingly well-preserved considering they dated back to the 15th-17th c. It was worth the trip to see it. The items came from different collections and it’s lucky to see so many of them in one place (outside Topkapi). It closes on Jan. 22. I purchased the accompanying booklet for about $13 and it has good photos of everything. There is a large coffee table book with some nicer-looking plates for $50.

From the Bureau of Gothic Tourism:

I checked out Midnight (formerly Catacomb), Saturday nights at 1707 Lst NW in Washington, DC (The Meeting
Place). Half block from the Farragut North Metro stop. 9pm-3am. $5 cover. 18+ Featuring DJ Phae, DJ Liebchen, DJ London and DJ St. Aspartame. Guest DJs weekly.

It was the closest thing I’ve found anywhere else in the US to our very own Ceremony in da ‘Burgh, but even friendlier, more laid back, less drama, better music, etc. The space itself isn’t much to speak of. Slightly smaller than The Upstage, it’s big enough for the crowd that shows and there’s plenty of seating, affordable drinks, but minimal decor/ambiance. People were mostly dressed down, basic black and some fetish gear, not many going over the top. I saw a lot of the same types of people that you see at Ceremony, almost as if I were in a parallel universe. They had a few vendors selling CDs and some chainmail and leather gear, and they had cake. I’m told that cake is a weekly ritual for anyone who’s had a birthday that week.

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