The Amazing Mirvana

Travels, and makes stuff.

Archive for the tag “shows”

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.


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For my own future reference:

Live G/I-related shows coming up in Pittsburgh at Garfield Artworks.
4931 Penn Avenue. All ages.

Sun Jan 22
with Reinforced, Agnes Wired for Sound & Cyberstrukture

Sun Feb 26

Wed Mar 1
THE CZARS (on the Cocteau Twins’ label Bella Union) + REMORA

Sun Mar 5

Wed Mar 8
MI AND L’AU (from Finland, on Michael Gira of Swans’ Young God Records)

Thu Apr 6

(posted on

The Dresden Dolls

Originally uploaded by mirvana.

As luck would have it, I was hanging out with the right people that night, because I was invited to enjoy the show from the balcony (restricted)–a grateful mercy because I don’t do so well in crowds. I was also invited to meet the band afterwards, but because Amanda had lost her voice, she wasn’t seeing anyone.

They mostly did songs from their old album, plus a couple other songs–the sea shanty, “Port of Amsterdam” and “Delilah” with tplushdame as guest backup singer. That was really awesome–sent chills down my spine. They did some interesting arrangements in a very passionate performance.

The opening acts were also very enjoyable. Faun Fables impressed the crowd with her yodeling, and Devotchka demonstrated how you can fuse a polka beat with gypsy violin and heavy guitar. Their performance and music reminded me a lot of Squonk Opera.

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