Last night was TMBG concert #3, and while it was better than last night, it still wasn’t as good as Monday. Just as I was leaving I had the great idea that I should borrow Mike’s camera (the one we use to take snowboarding videos) to just record videos and capture the banter that way instead of scribbling notes like mad. But I called Mike and he wasn’t home, and I didn’t have time to walk any further away and pick up a camera, so I ended up filling up an entire sheet of paper (front and back) with notes, which was twice as much as last night. Hopefully by the next time TMBG comes around I’ll have a nice new little camera which I can use for recording.
The opening band was Common Rotation, and when I first heard they were opening I thought the name sounded familiar. Before Common Rotation came on, Danny Weinkauf (TMBG’s bass player) came out and plugged Common Rotation, and mentioned that Dan and Dan and John Linnell had played on the new album, and that it had been produced by Danny and TMBG’s sound guy. But when they came on stage I was surprised to see Adam Busch (he played the character Warren on Buffy) standing there. Regardless of the fact that it was Adam Busch, Common Rotation was surprisingly good. I enjoyed them so much that they now have the honor of being the only opening band I’ve ever bought the CD of at the concert. I even got the insert signed by Busch and the rest of the band.
Anyway, I still don’t know why the name was familiar, because I might have heard of them because of TMBG’s involvement, or I might have heard of them as Busch’s band. I have no idea.
They actually covered TMBG’s Don’t Let’s Start in their set (they also covered it on the album), which I thought was a pretty damn brave thing to do when opening for TMBG, because if you fuck up a song like that, the fans will hate you. But the cover was well done, and all was well in Common Rotation land. Busch introduced the song by saying, “this song is about what it’s like to open visually and sonically for tmbg.”
A few other quotes from Common Rotation:
“This next song is about where we come from, which is Hollywood CA.”
cheers from the audience.
“There’s no reason to applaud that. This song, like the others, is vaguely sarcastic.”
“I just wanted to comment that there are some very snappy hairstyles out there… and thanks for coming out for us.”
– common rotation’s bass player
“So says the guy in the hat.”
I wore my earplugs for most of the first half of TMBG’s set, taking them out at Ana Ng and leaving them out for most of the rest of the concert. Here was what they played, complete with a lot of quotes:
- Santa Claus
- Bed Bed Bed
“Tonight is the third of three shows here, and we’ve been saving everything for tonight. We’ve only been giving it 45-47% the last two nights, but we’ve got a night off tomorrow night.”
– flansburgh/linnell (not sure)
“For example, I’ve already blown out my voice.”
- New York City
“The guy with the really shitty stinky pot from Monday night is back. I can tell it’s the same stash.”
“Tonight is that stash’s 25th birthday.”
“We just got rid of smoking in New York City, but then we come here and you’re smoking your stinky pot in public. You’ve got this whole bohemian thing going on…”
- Wicked Little Critta
- John Lee Supertaster
“I’m just checking out the infinite sustain on this guitar. I feel like I’m Carlos Santana.”
“I’ve got that too. Check it out. It just keeps going.”
– linnell, while playing his accordion
“It’s a sign of the apocalypse. An expressionist painter has come back from the dead.”
– flansburgh, on the grandson of James Ensor, who is apparently a reporter for NBC
- Meet James Ensor
- Birdhouse in your Soul
“So we’re skipping the song that’s listed?”
“What? Oh, I see…. I can’t read my own writing but apparently everyone else can. Well, what do you want to do John?”
– the audience
“I’m not asking you… When I need your advice, then I’ll ask you.”
[Flans tells a story about Jim O'Conner getting on an airplane and the guy next to him making a loud noise and Jim saying "Imagine there's an invisible wall between you and I" and Flans suggesting that the audience think about that idea.]
“Pst! Note to the lighting guy!”
“We’re going to do the song that’s on the setlist, the one we almost skipped over!”
- Hypnotist of Ladies
- Clap Your Hands – “everybody swear!”
- I’ve Got a Fang
- Dr. Evil – performed by Robyn Goldwasser.
- In the Middle In the Middle In the Middle – also performed by Robyn.
“This is a public service announcement, but the subtext of the song is love… loss… disillusionment… you know.”
– Robyn Goldwasser
“That was amazing. That song invites the kind of white person clapping where it goes like this: [ flans demonstrates someone attempting to clap on the downbeats but missing] — But even on that song y’all were rocking so hard that you were still on the backbeat.”
- Ana Ng – “This song is about love… disillusionment…” — linnell
- Man, It’s So Loud In Here
“I was reading this article about us in Variety today that was so… confusingly incorrect that I started doubting everything I know about us.”
“I would like to draw the audience’s attention to the audience around the perimeter of this beautiful theater… They’re like the audience’s audience. Give yourself a round of applause for giving yourself a round of applause. This theater really is beautiful though… how’d that happen, anyway?”
– some girl in the audience
“What, like it went crunch and suddenly an opera house sprang up from the ground? I don’t know, I’m kind of skeptical about that… But I did just read an article about something like that in Bull Shit magazine.”
“Can we have the spotlight guys shine their lights on each other?”
“Okay now we can see them. Are they wearing sunglasses?”
“Oh my god they’re so close together? Normally they’re across the theater from each other, but tonight they’re right next to each other… I’m so sorry!”
- Pet Name
- Spin the Dial:
“Apparently we’re listening to Eugenics radio…”
“KUgenics… We’re playing there tomorrow, actually… in Eugene, OR…”
- She’s An Angel
- Cyclops Rock – “Give me a C. Give me a Y. Give me another C. Give me an L. Give me an O. Give me a P. Give me an S. Give me one eye.” — flansburgh
- The Sun – “Everything on it is a gas… copper, wood, wood chips, etc, jewelry making tools, and kilns…. yes, even kilns are a gas on the sun.” And nuclear estrogen reactions.
- While Linnell was putting on his accordion, Flansburgh flipped on the radio again, and The Beatles’ Tax Man was playing, which Linnell immediately began to play on his accordion and sing…
“Wasn’t there a jam song released about 10 years ago that was basically a repackaged Tax Man?”
“I think Tax Man is rereleased by some band every 10 years or so labeled as an original composition.”
“This is a Jam Song… yeah, this is a jam song… insert political commentary here…”
“Let’s do this next song in the style of Tax Man… [discussion] C’mon, let’s just try it.”
- Particle Man – in the style of Tax Man! Ha, this was great. It seemed like Linnell was having a little trouble with the key for the first verse, but after that they settled into a tempo and key that worked.
“And you’re working for no one but Triangle Man!”
— linnell, at the end of Particle Man
- Dr. Worm
- Encore 1:
- Istanbul – with the long Dan Miller acoustic intro
- Encore 2:
- Hey Hey We’re the Monkees
Okay, I might write more about all three concerts as a set later, but for now, I’m too tired to write much more. I did enjoy this concert more than Tuesday. By the end of the concert, my legs were completely dead, and I haven’t been at all productive this week on account of being exhausted every day… but in the end, it was worth it.
Oh, and thank god they didn’t play The Guitar or James K. Polk.