Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Fishfrog and I went to go see Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Palace aka Will Oldham) last night. He did an in-store free performance at Vintage Vinyl down on the loop, and it was neat. The crowd was largely male, and there were a fair number of bearded bald dudes. I guess Oldham appeals to the male crowd more than the female, I've suspected as much in the past.

The man himself played fairly straightforwardly, him an his acoustic guitar. Quirky head jerks and facial contortions exaggerated by his copious moustache abounded. He occasionally made comments to the audience, including an observation that he'd never had a dream in which he was naked. Also he noted that Vintage Vinyl's blue walls reminded him of a voodoo something or other, and he hemmed around for the something or other which it reminded him of, eliciting laughter from the audience.

A performance of Werner's last blues to blokbuster he interrupted to explain the song, how it was really about three brothers, one of whom doesn't appear in the song. The older Werner sings to Blockbuster about how the former's torn between worlds and is envious of the younger's potential. Oldham said that he enjoys playing the song a great deal and that while he previously identified with Werner in the song, he now identifies with Blockbuster. I don't really know what to make of this, but it sounds to me like "I used to be shakier, now I'm successful."

Among the songs that he played: Cursed Sleep (the new single), Idea and Deed, Riding, A Minor Place, Death to Everyone, Cat's Blues, something sweet off of Arise Therefore, Ease Down the Road. It was a nice set, I was particularly pleased to hear Ease Down the Road.

It was a good time, I dig me a free concert.

1 comment:

Fishfrog said...

I think the high point for me was Blockbuster, when he simply stopped strumming in the middle of the song. It really epitomized what I liked about the performer and the venue. Casual, real, and straightforward. It was just a room full of people listening to a guy play guitar and sing.