Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thomas Dolby

Oh, bliss.

I finally saw Thomas Dolby play, live and in person! My husband saw him for the first time since 1988. He (Dolby) said he would try not to be away for quite so long next time.

I've added his blog to the sidebar--absurdly it never occurred to me to go looking for a blog from him. Given his fondness for and skill in technology I should have guessed he would have a blog. Duh. He even mentions the Steampunk laptop referred to here: Steampunk Post.

It was in a tiny club so we were only one person back from the stage (my fault for not letting us get there earlier). My husband has a picture from his phone (I'll try and get it up here). We got there at 8:45. He took the stage at 9:15 and played until about 10:45. The first half was just Dolby on his keyboards. As you can see from his post about this tour he's been having some technological problems. Despite that it's fascinating to watch him set up a song--he would lay in the rhythm and the samples and start playing the keyboards. This time (as opposed to Hyde) I actually had earplugs. I probably didn't need them as it was a quiet show, but I think it helped me focus on the music and not be destructed by the crowd, but the crowd was so into the music--it was magic. I like what Dolby talks about in the post--trying to be in the moment with the audience.
He started with his quiet songs--like this one (my husband's favorite):

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He also told some stories about how the songs were written--I love that kind of thing. He's been doing that for awhile on YouTube.

Then he brought out a back up band of sorts--The Jazz Mafia Horns (great name!) which is evidently a collective of horn players in San Francisco. He had a trumpeter, a trombonist and a saxophonist who also played the clarinet. They were very fun, great at improv--especially when the computers acted up. He moved into some of his more upbeat songs (including Hyperactive and She Blinded Me With Science). And this one, that I love (although he didn't do the funny little monologue).

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His voice, never strong, was a little raspy but the playing was as good as ever, and like I said, the audience was so happy to be there. We were certainly not the oldest. I think we might have been among the youngest (or maybe we really do look younger than we are). There was one gentleman who really looked to be about 75, wearing a Blondie t-shirt who danced in that spastic 80's way all through the show. Very odd.

He did not do any songs from Astronauts and Heretics, his last album in 1993. It was a sad, sweet album, deeply reflective.
This is my favorite song. It's about how members of his band died in an airplane crash, an airplane that he was supposed to be on but, as he says in the song, his plane was delayed.

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This is another of my favorites--again, deeply sad.
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He promises there will be a new album--soon. He played a couple of new songs including "Your Karma Ran Over My Dogma" inspired by a certain pseudo-rapper sampling "She Blinded Me With Science" on MySpace. I won't name the rapper because I don't want people to find this page because of that, but let's just say he's in a custody dispute with his ex-wife who was once a teen singing sensation. Let's just leave it at that.

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