Patterico's Pontifications


My Musical Dream

Filed under: General,Music — Patterico @ 1:37 pm

Picture this, fellow music nerds. In this dream I had, I experience the following moment: The Bangles have left the stage. Before Aimee Mann comes out to sing with Susanna Hoffs — and before we hear from Chris Stamey of the dBs — we have on stage Jon Auer from the Posies, and Jason Falkner, formerly of Jellyfish and The Grays. Auer and Falkner are standing in front of the microphones, ready to sing the next song. Behind them, holding an electric guitar, is Mitch Easter, legendary producer of REM and front man for Let’s Active. At the drums is Jody Stephens, the only living member of Big Star. But . . . where is the bassist? There’s none on the stage. Ken Stringfellow, who plays bass, walks diffidently onto the stage and picks up a bass, his body language saying: this isn’t really a song I was going to play, but whatever. And then, the real bassist comes running onto the stage and takes the bass guitar from Stringfellow. That bassist is Mike Mills, the bassist from REM.

Yes, it’s a crazy dream to have: all these music legends on a single stage. But it wasn’t a dream. It was last night’s performance at the Wilshire Ebell Theater — a star-studded tribute to Big Star, presented as a benefit for the Autism Think Tank.

Someone has many (maybe all) of last night’s songs on his YouTube channel, filmed from a seat far better than the ones occupied by myself and Mrs. P. When I found this treasure trove this morning, I immediately looked for a video of the most magical moment of the night. And I found it. After the songs listed on the program were finished, Chris Stamey came to the stage and said that they had one more song to perform, but that legally, they had to turn off the PA system (the Wilshire Ebell is in a residential neighborhood). But they would do the song acoustically, without any amplification, and if everyone was quiet, they ought to be able to hear just fine.

And then, they played this:

I had thought this moment would live on only in my memory. Thanks to the Internet and YouTube, it also lives on right here. Watch the video. It’s worth your time.

If you like that, I have a couple more beneath the fold.

In The Ballad of El Goodo, the harmonizing on the words “hold on” sends chills down my spine:

And here is the forementioned song with Aimee Mann and Susanna Hoffs:

Lovely. From this angle you can’t see that Aimee Mann was wearing tennis shoes.

And finally, for no reason (or is it? Ask me tomorrow!), here is an acoustic performance by Ken Stringfellow, not from last night’s show, but just walking the streets of Vienna with his acoustic guitar:

Absolutely beautiful. It’s a great time to be alive, folks.

13 Responses to “My Musical Dream”

  1. Great stuff.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Aimee Mann’s my favorite. Trivia – she’s from my hometown, I know the guy she went to prom with.

    SarahW (267b14)

  3. Better enjoy it fast, I bet it gets DMCA’ed.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  4. Susanna Hoffs is still a major babe from the looks of things. And she must be closing in on 50 [wow, just looked it up and she’s actually 55].

    JVW (638245)

  5. Nice. Here’s a recent Let’s Active reunion, with Mitch Easter, founding drummer Sara Romweber, and Suzi Ziegler of Game Theory in place of the late Faye Hunter.

    Karl (d03c47)

  6. JVW,

    True, and she seems like a really decent and nice person, from everything I know about her.

    Wowie she’s short though.

    Patterico (9c670f)


    EPWJ (992ed5)

  8. Beautiful. Acoustic is the way to go – very intimate.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  9. sahweet

    mg (31009b)

  10. I heart Ms Hoffs

    JD (285732)

  11. Top notch performances. Some bands come along every decade or so and inspire young folks to take up the torch and carry on. IMHO, Big Star – and Alex Chilton – were among the most iinfluential and their shadow looms large some 40 years later.

    As I’d mentioned before, I got to see Chilton when he was fronting the BoxTops when they opened for Country Joe and the Fish in Spring of ’68. The crowd near the stage were none too polite to the BoxTops, they apparently preferred the headlining freaky Fish who later appeared wearing masks like the Beatles wore on the cover of the Magical Mystery Tour album. Alas, except to the nuts in the Bay Area who have always worshiped their SF hippie bands of that era and thought them much more important than the sane world did, Country Joe is but a footnote, while Chilton’s Children continue to create music that will ring clear and true for a hundred years or more.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. Karl, I remember when you linked your Jukebox on Protein Wisdom. You have great taste in music!

    hadoop (f7d5ba)

  13. Mmm. Susanna Hoffs. Thanks for this.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

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