Tags: corn mo

guitars

Broken Tuesday (part 1)

The first thing I do the next morning, is to check my phone to see if Jon has texted us as I've asked him to. No such luck...but there is a MySpace bulletin to say he's got a gig at the Parkview Lounge in Houston (by which we assume he means the street) that night at 10. We leave him a message to say we're crazily busy that day, but will try to come to his show nonetheless.

Though really, we doubt that we can make it. We've been in the US for 4 whole days and a bit out of our 7-day stay, and we still haven't made any serious attempt at shopping, so today is set aside for that -- and OK Go in Prince Street at 6pm. Only it said to come down there early...but how early is 'early', we wonder. So we take the subway downtown to try and locate the Apple Store, and wouldn't you know it, it's right next door to J Crew, one of the shops on Lisa's list! The sun is out and the weather is uncommonly clement for the time of year, and so the first purchase of the day is mine: a stylish raffia bag, big enough to hold my coat and scarf.

We check out the Apple Store; there is a podium and some seating upstairs where we suppose the gig will be later, but where at that precise moment in time a woman holds forth on the blessings of iWeb to an audience of no more than 4 or 5 bored-looking individuals. Jules asks a 'genius', for that is what the assistants in the shop are called, what time he would recommend we come back to see the band, and he reckons 4pm should be good. That leaves us precious little time to do all the shopping we had planned on midtown...and when we get to the subway, we find our luck has run out, or almost: a building collapse up in 116th St has caused all trains up or down to be cancelled for the time being, and drives us to go back up and hail a cab. However, a cab is just as slow as a bus in Manhattan, and time is ticking away. We're dropped off at the Penguin Store, in search of a tie for Jules's hubby, but they don't carry any she likes and now she wants to go to Tiffany's...she has some birthday money to spend, after all!

We got there by way of Rockefeller Center, where we tried but couldn't find Anthropologie (Lisa had said it was around the side, but Rockefeller Center has too many sides to check if you're hot, thirsty, and in a hurry). After going around the counters in Fashion Jewelry twice, Jules settled on a cute silver ring with 5 little hearts on it. I texted Jon to ask till what time he'd be on, as not only were we now en route to OK Go, but we were also meant to be at David Berkeley's set at Makor in W. 67th St at 7:30pm, and thought we might possibly be running late.

We got back to Prince St just after 4pm, and joined the queue line, no more than 9 or 10 people long, and found that the wall we were leaning against actually belonged to the post office we had earlier been unable to locate!

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(and that's my stylish J Crew bag there -- no, not the carrier bag, the one in front/next to it)

(tbc)
gamiila sig #2

New York Monday

We got back to Queens in the wee small hours of Monday morning, and while Lisa went straight back out again to return the car to the Avis lot, the holiday makers went to bed and slept in. On waking, we decided to take a trip down to South Street Seaport, and once there trawled around the shops for a bit and had a late brunch of cheap Chinese. The place is not without its charms

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but a bit windy

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and basically, it's just another mall; so we soon headed back to the city by way of Staples where we picked up another memory card for Inspector Gadget, and Burger King to access the 'Net. I don't know why I logged onto Myspace, but I'm glad I did because I found that Corn Mo had left us a message, saying how our showing up at his gig Friday night had really made his day and were we free for lunch any of our remaining days? We let him know that of course we were, and Tuesday or Wednesday would suit us best.

Julia's lucky wristband really did work! Every time we rubbed it, something good would come our way. A bulletin came in from OK Go to announce that they would be doing a free gig at the Apple Store at 6pm the following day, and to get there early if we wanted to get in. And of course we wanted to! We'd been looking at buying tickets to the OK Go/Snow Patrol double bill in Madison Square Gardens before we came, but had left it too late to secure some -- and now this! All hail the lucky wristband!

We picked up Lisa from her place of work, and had dinner on Jules, to celebrate her winnings, at Ellen's Stardust Diner, where the waiting staff sing while you eat. We got to be quite fond of our waiter Benny

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but unfortunately he was done singing before we were ready to go, and all our willing him back to mic failed to get a result. Maybe we should have rubbed the lucky wristband some more?

Back at the flat, Lisa must have been exhausted, but she willingly drew us up a list of not to be missed places to shop the next day, and then we all called it a night.

(tbc)
guitars

The Mighty Mo

Just before we left, Jules had got on the Internet and reserved tickets, which was just as well, because when we arrived at the venue, somewhere in Alphabet City, with a good half hour to spare, we were told it was sold out. "That's alright, we've got tickets", we said, and were advised to wait in the upstairs bar. I scanned the room, and saw the man himself sitting in a corner reading a magazine. He looked up, saw me, and got to his feet with a look of absolute delight on his face, which deepened as he saw Jules coming up behind me. We were caught up in a bear hug and a torrent of words which he used to express his joy and surprise at seeing us there, and we sat down at his table where he introduced us to his girlfriend telling her how we had been regulars at his shows in Britain over the last few years. We told him how we had meant to surprise him, and he told us how the surprise had worked, and how pleased he was to see us. He introduced us to some of the members of the other band on the bill, 'the best heavy metal tribute band to (80s soft rockers) Air Supply in the Tri State Area', Hair Supply, again emphasizing that we were fans of his who had come all the way from Europe to see him, impressing them with this fact mightily. After a while, they all left us to get ready for the show, and when the doors were opened, it was our turn to be surprised as Mo had apparently taken the time to ensure that we had front row seats.

Hair Supply were on first, and they rocked the place. They had brought a camera crew to record their antics for posterity, and our enthusiastic response to their set has now been preserved on video. anonypooh took some pictures, which can be admired in her journal, if you want to get an idea of what their show was like.

Contrary to usual practice when Mo comes over to the UK and it's just him on his own with his accordeon and (occasionally) keyboard, this time he came accompanied by his full band. He did introduce them, but I'm afraid I've forgotten their names. Apart from one new song from a rock opera he may or may not be writing, all the songs in the set were songs we were familiar with, although obviously, with a full band behind him, the arrangements were different. Needless to say, we had a fantastic time. After the show, we talked to him again, and he said that if we had time and weren't too busy, he'd like to do lunch or dinner some time. At the time, we took it for a politeness, but oh how wrong we were!

(tbc)
kick it!

Gigging in Glasgow's G2

There were two local support bands booked, and when we got in, Porch Song Anthology were up on stage. They weren't bad, though I thought their songs got a bit samey after a while. The State Broadcasters were up next, and they were really really good -- and as an added bonus, I came away knowing what a clarsach is!

Now they say that every picture tells a story, and so I won't waste any words. Here's what the gig in Glasgow's G2 was like:

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And then it was over. We said goodbye to Corn Mo and Matt, and hit Sauchiehall Street looking for a place to eat - we fancied some Chinese this time, but we soon learned that on that particular Saturday, because of the football (Scotland-France 1-0) all the restaurants had to close around the time we'd started to feel peckish. However, we were told that one grubby little takeaway near the end of the street might still be open for business, and so they were.

The rain came down in buckets, and soon we were fairly wet and bedraggled. When I'm cold, wet and bedraggled, and hungry, I want comfort food; but the Canton Express did not have Egg Foo Yong on the menu. While the others opted for Chicken Chow Mein, I muttered something about this obvious omission -- and the man said he'd do me my Foo Yong even if it wasn't on the menu! This perked me up no end.

We met up with Jay & Tori again after we'd eaten, for our final drinks of the night in The Local; then we went back to the hotel for a few hours sleep. Our taxi would come to take us to the airport at 6:35 the next morning.

TBC
offstage lines

The Bunker, Lavery's, Belfast, Oct 6th

So, where were we? Oh yes, going into Lavery's for our second CoRo & Corn Mo gig in our mini-tour. The people on the door were very friendly, but they didn't have The List. Pre-paid admittance would be by confirmation number, they explained, but we gave our names instead and they still let us in!

The venue was a long, dark and narrow room with a few tables and stools and a swanky bar, and a small aluminium stage laden with equipment,

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and...drums?! Corn Mo came on just as we trooped in, to introduce the local support act and good friends of his, he said: Son of Shrimp. They might have been alright, I don't know, but they were certainly very loud. The sound man, Thomas, didn't know where to find the monitor and so the drummer couldn't hear what the guitarists were doing, but even after Jordan came and sorted it all out, Son of Shrimp's sound didn't improve.

Corn Mo was on next, and the audience went wild. He comes to Belfast regularly, and has built up a faithful fanbase there, most of whom were in the house that night. Plus, of course, he had brought us along, and we love Corn Mo. Unfortunately, he had now cut the werewolf song from his repertoire...but it's alright as Julia has a recording of it from that first gig. We couldn't get a good view from where we had been when Son of Shrimp were on, and so we had no choice but to go up front and sit down on the floor, where very soon, we were actually joined by said Scion of Shellfish, and then a few more people who were latecomers to the party.

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And then, almost before we knew it, CoRo were up on stage.

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They started off with the song that had been the off-mic the night before, a cover of Billy Bragg's Help Save The Youth Of America, giving their left-wing Democrat credentials; and then launched into 92 Mikes, which segued into Trumpet, which was followed by...you can tell I snagged the setlist after the show, can't you? ;-)

It was an electrifying performance, with Eric occasionally rocking out, Adam holding Jesus hostage in the trunk, and Jordan doing what Jordan does best, i.e. play the trumpet, the banjo, the bass, the guitar. After the set, the boys went to do a signing, while a DJ unleashed the most godawful racket and we decided to head to the hotel bar for a quiet drink and a mulling over of the night's event among friends. However, we had scarcely sat down in our comfy chairs, when we were joined by Corn Mo...upon whom five minutes later, Child of Crustacean descended, like a gaggle of very excited, very rude young men. They pinched Christy's chair without so much as a by-your-leave, and pointedly ignored us after the following exchange:

Spawn of Seafood's singer: "We opened for Common Rotation!"
Me: "We know. We saw. We heard."
Spawn of Seafood's singer: "So you didn't like us then." - [hissy fit]

After a while, we got up and relocated to the lobby and the Internet. Matt joked that they could track IP-addresses at the website - "we know who everyone is" - though that fell a bit flat later when we realised that we'd been accessing the site through the hotel's rather anonymous connection.

Then it was off to Bedfordshire, knowing that our taxi would call at 9am to take us back to the airport and our plane bound for Glasgow.

TBC
gamiila sig #2

"Are you someone famous?"

Oh brave new Internet access!! How I've missed you! After spending my morning and half of my afternoon making frantic calls to my IP helpdesk and sticking cables in and out of every socket that could even remotely be conceived of of forming my main telephony/ADSL entry point, I'm hooked back up to the Internet again -- what a relief!

Right. Common Rotation. What an amazingly talented lot of young men they are. I mean, I knew they were good; but this last tour, they were even better than they were on their last. I don't know what it is exactly, but technically, they have progressed in leaps and bounds -- their harmonies are faultless live, which I imagine must be a very tricky thing; and yet they seem to do it effortlessly. Their musicianship is unmistakable, bordering on virtuosity. And they're so confident and relaxed on stage -- they really do belong there. Whatever words I use after this, they really won't do them justice at all. Please, if you haven't yet, and you have a chance to go see them in the near future, do -- even if folk isn't your thing, or if you think that folk isn't your thing; I'm sure you'll come away from that gig buzzing, and wanting more.

I met up with anonypooh in London on Thursday, and later, in The Troubadour, with quietlychaotic and her sister, love_by_137, and Davina who doesn't have a LiveJournal. miss_fairfax joined the party later, bringing her brother and a friend; and Geoff was there with his fiancée; the Germans obviously, and grimma who had brought no less that 3 of her countrymen with her; and the scary goth girl that you can't hear what she's saying because she's got so many studs in her mouth; but honestly, the place was packed that Thursday night, lots of guys there too, for a change. Nai, Jules and I were in our usual spot up on the benches next to the sound booth (manned by Ben this time), and Christy and Debs up on the fire escape as per usual, from which we all had excellent views. Corn Mo was received with cheers and jubilation, and he did an excellent set of old favourites and new songs (Thank You with Jordan on muted trumpet), one of which was a song he was still working on, about a werewolf. Unfortunately, after receiving negative feedback from one (ONE!) member of the audience, it never made an appearance again on this tour.

Common Rotation played for an hour and a half, and brought the house down...or at least they did in our side of the room. The Troubadour's basement is roughly U-shaped, with the bar taking up one upright of the U, and the audience space the other upright and the bottom bit. We were in the upright bit, where everyone was standing, dancing and having a good time; but we couldn't see around the corner where apparently, everyone had sat down on the floor in some sort of weird serious listening mood...Still, they enjoyed themselves, I think. The band however, contrary to their usual practice, chose our bit to do the off-mic in, with Adam climbing up on a stool at our table, enabling me to get a perfect shot of the back of his head...(I'm ashamed to admit that I still can't get any decent photos off my digital camera).

You know who else was there? Amber Benson, wearing skinny jeans and a green T-shirt, her hair swept up and no make-up on...and looking absolutely gorgeous. Lovely lady.

Of course we hung around after the gig and had the convo with Corn Mo as already relayed, and a quick hello with some of the boys. Jordan was a bit upset as they had confiscated his beard oil at the airport, but otherwise they were all fine and dandy and friendly. Julia and I went back to the Travelodge on a high, got accosted on the tube by two city types because of our Oscars that Christy had brought back from LA as a souvenir, and I fell asleep listening to the night's recording on my travel companion's inestimable iRiver.

TBC
kick it!

Quickie post

When I said I might not be on for a couple of days, I forgot about the existence of all-night internet cafés...

We've just left The Troubadour in Earl's Court, where Corn Mo and Common Rotation played to a packed basement...and for once, a fair number of the audience was male! Not just guys dragged in by their girlfriends, but guys who had obviously come to check both acts out for themselves.

Anyway, Corn Mo opened (as usual) with gusto, playing old favourites interspersed with new material. Common Rotation played most of the songs on their latest release Isalie and almost brought the house down with it. The band were enjoying themselves on stage, it was obvious, and ended with an off-mic right in front of us anonypooh, freakspawn, love_by_137, and me), so that I got a chance at my one clear photographic shot: the back of Adam's head! You wouldn't believe how clear a shot I got of that! ;-)

Afterwards, we mingled, and had a drink, and a chat, with old acquaintances and friends; and then Corn Mo spied me across the room and came towards me enthusiastically, and catching me in a big bear hug, called me by name and said how wonderful it was to see me again; how it had been a year and whether he would be seeing me anywhere else on this tour. Then he spied Jules right behind me and greeted her in like manner, and we made plans to all have breakfast together again in Glasgow same as we did last year -- only on the way back to our hotel, we suddenly realised that we would be leaving really early as we've booked ourselves on the stupid o' clock flight to Birmingham on Sunday...Oh well, we'll just have to go for doner kebabs after the last show then.
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(no subject)

He's right, you know, Corn Mo -- I just watched Meet Joe Black from beginning to end. That film really is like 5 hours long!

- Are you..?
- I don't know, I might be...who do you think I am?


Hee.
kick it!

Corn Mo

I could use the 53 minutes of Internet time I've got left on this ticket to write up my CoRo Gig Reports 2 & 3, but I don't think I'll bother with that now. Instead, I'll tell you about Corn Mo's performances, which seem to go down better with every show. He is definitely an acquired taste! The first night, when he opened the show in The Troubadour, people started to mutter pretty quick, and some in the first row even took the opportunity to text each other messages that said: "Erm..WTF?!" -- the next night though, the same people were smiling and applauding, and he definitely made some fans in Glasgow yesterday (me included). I can't wait to see him on stage again tonight -- we played the CD on the drive down from Scotland just now, and I'm very happy with my purchase.

Actually, we played his music on the way up from London as well (he'd been kind enough to burn a CD for Julia earlier), so when he started playing I already knew the words to most of the songs and could sing along enthusiastically; but the CD I have has very few of the songs he performs on stage this tour. That's fine, because I love I'll Be Your Platypus and I Wish You Were My Home, and all the others. There are some mp3s on his website (see Links section), but I don't believe they download well at the moment. He has been made aware of this by several people on this tour, and I'm sure he'll sort it all out as soon as he gets back, which will be one of these days (he's not sure of a ride back to London and the airport yet).

Apart from that, he's a really nice bloke...with perhaps a little bit of a mall fixation. Someone ought to tell him, really.