A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork

Three New York shows on this date over the years, the initial one in 1996 at Tramps, the second of two nights opening for the reunited Big Star, and our first since returning from Nashville to record I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One.  We premiere five of those unreleased songs, including “Pencil Test,” which will ultimately be shelved until 2003’s Prisoners of Love and has yet to be performed live since.  In 2007, we Freewheel at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and share the bill with Metal Mountains, a band that it’s barely an exaggeration to say formed at our request.  Usually hard to remember any of the chitchat from these shows, but not this night–asked why all the songs on our then-current I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass record fade out, we’re momentarily confused, till we figure out the questioner must have illegally downloaded the pre-release version sent to press with most every track faded out well before its conclusion.  (We helpfully noted that copies of the full record were for sale in the lobby.)  PG Six, Samara and Helen sit in on the encore of Fairport Convention’s “Flowers of the Forest,” an old swing state tour favorite.  And just last year, we helped The Scene Is Now celebrate 30 years as a band, even though we were in Helsinki at the time.  The staff at Vaunusali generously let us hang around until 3 a.m. Finland Standard Time so that we could open the show at Bowery Electric via Skype at 8 p.m. eastern with “Yellow Sarong.”


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