Memorable Gigs

Notes from some memorable live sets I played, back when I played often.

Tonight's set(an open mic 20min set in the Arts and Sciences Auditorium)marks the first time I've had the plug pulled on me!

3 of the 4 people who preceded me sang a capella religious stuff. Of the hardcore I'm-going-to-heaven-and-you're-not sort. The third guy even made it very clear that they'd come to make the evening into "Church." In response, I happened to let it slip to a couple of people that I was going to close my set, after "Lullaby in 12 Nursery Rhymes," by singing a soulful a cappella rendition of either "Shalome" or a song of mine called "Folksingers All Want To Go To Hell." The news got back to the guy in charge of the event. So, right after "Lullaby," they pulled the plug. I think that's a sign that I'm moving on up in the world.

It was a good set, anyway. "Cheerleaders" went over especially well, as usual (applause mid-song!) and I did manage to get in some knocks on Valentines Day (sorry, Gwen).

Here's the setlist:
Uncle Herbert's Extra Rowdy Funeral
Polly Vaughn Dreams of England
Friday Avenue (extended)
Pushing Cheerleaders Down the Stairs
Lullaby in 12 Nursery Rhymes (extended)

The Wednesday night show in Douglasville marked the first show I've played with more than one other member of the band in over a year.

I think that the set went reasonably well; it featured an intro to "The Radio is Haunted" that I think is worth reprinting:

"Let me take you away to the far away town of Atlantic, Iowa. There's a place there called Van's Chat and Chew...I hope you don't do both at the same time. Anyway, the jukebox there is full of teenage car crash death songs from the late fifties...stuff like 'there were some kind of guts all over my wheels / internal organs on my windshield." There're also a few songs by Whoopty Norm Nettleman and the Dairyland Dutchmen. You can't have a jukebox in Iowa without Whoopty Norm."

The full setlist:
After It Rains Again (new rock arrangement)
The Radio is Haunted
Hallelujah (by Leonard Cohen)(everyone else is covering it, why not us?)
Lullaby in 12 Nursery Rhymes (extended)

The extension of "Lullaby" was a verse of Bob Dylan's "Love Minus Zero" at the beginning and a verse of Dylan Thomas' "In My Craft or Sullen Art" at the end.

7/26/02 - Pittsburgh
I never pictured Pennsylvania as a scenic state, but I found it to be lovely and mountainous. Even the retail wasteland, perched atop mountains, looked nice ("look!" I would shout at at the best buy on top of the mountain. "Shangri-La has a bright yellow sign now!")

Jamie had never been in an airplane before, but was a remarkably good first time flyer. He never said a word about crashing or dying. His only disappointment was the lack of Hare Krisnas in the airport. Well, that and the fact that the head of his guitar broke on the plane.

We arrived in Pittsburgh very early. I love that, in this day and age, you can wake up in Atlanta and be in Pittsburgh with plenty of time to spare before lunch.

For dinner, we took the shuttle to a nearby mall with the delightful members of Ilk, the Swarthmore College Filk Performers. Filkers performers close to my own age! They were a fun bunch, and a great band, what with the bodrhan and violin and all. Actually, they sounded a lot like the old Maritime Band, back when I had Joe on drums and Margret on violin (how I miss that violin!) Frankly, the whole weekend made me want to switch to Swarthmore. If I were a rich man...dai dai dai dai dum....

Our set began with the usual Technical Difficulties Tango. Jamie's guitar, as I said, was broken. And mine broke a string right before the set, so we wound up borrowing another one, and it took us a few songs to get them properly in tune.

Other than that, the set went well enough. The crowd was Standing Room Only!

Here's the setlist: Uncle Herbert
Come Home, Father
Thought She Was a Goth
One Man's Poetry
Boy Named HTML
Big Bad Retail Wasteland
The Radio is Haunted
We Have Ways
The Death of Me Yet
Lucy Loves Lincoln
Some of My Best Friends Are Weirdos
Song for Lee Greenwood
Snowflakes In Your Hair

The next day, we did "Howl (For Mayor McCheese)" a smaller show.

I was the first person playing at an on-campus outdoor event last night.

"First up," said the very white MC, "Adam Selzer is gonna come here and represent for y'all! Let's hear some representin' for Adam Selzer!" I grabbed the mike. "Just by way of correction, that I have never represented before and will not in the forseeable future. I'll play some music, but I'm not here to represent anything." Worst introduction since Alan Lomax introduced the Butterfield Blues Band. I played "After it Rains Again" then improvised a long intro to the next song. "To quote the ungrammatical vernacular, there are many things which are not where it's at. Full scale reproductions of the one ring from the Franklin Mint are not where it's at. Brunswick Stew and other foods in the ketchup family are not where it's at, and bracelets with four consonants stitched in aren't where it's at. But one thing that's almost where it's at is polka music; it's like klezmer without the soul. Here's one off the 'Whoopty Norm Tries to Outdo Lee Greenwood' record. Song about our founding fathers." I then played my polka song, "Lucy Loves Lincoln," about getting dumped by a girl obsessed with Abe Lincoln. This is the same event, albeit run by different people, at which I had the plug pulled on me back in February. After sitting through several people singing hymns and saying that they were trying to turn the whole thing into a Christian event, word got back to the sound man that I was going to close my set by singing "Folksingers All Want To Go To Hell." BTW - new gig announced: I will be playing a "halloween special" show with Joe Cato on drums on October 26th at Lake Laurel in Milledgeville. Officially, the event is a halloween party for Vampire gamers, and the set will be full of halloween-themed songs. A new verse of "Cheerleaders" has been written just for the occasion. Other band members may also appear (and anyone who WANTS to be appear should get in touch, maybe we can work something out). More details when I have them.

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Adam's New Book: Sept 2013