Thursday, August 03, 2006

Richard Thompson, 1000 Years of Popular Music, Harp, 2003

Did Harp really say "100 Years..."? Sheesh.

This version of the 1000 Years show, and its studio recording, preceded the one captured on DVD in early 2005 and recently released as a DVD/CD set by Cooking Vinyl. And yeah, I'm in the audience. But you can see me better in the Providence DVD, and the Boxed Set broadcast from Glasgow, and the Sessions at West 54th.

I really, really wanted to go to Chicago for this show. Couldn't pull it off. Deep-dish pizza, Frank Lloyd Wright, my friend Louise's Hopleaf Bar...RT would've been icing on the cake, if I had a sweet tooth. Call him provolone on the pie.

Oh, hell, I'm "blogging" again.

Richard Thompson: Popularity Contest

During “100 [1000!] Years of Popular Music” audience members are treated to a musical history lesson-Richard Thompson-style.

At Richard Thompson’s live shows, fans call out for the tirelessly touring troubadour to sing his best-known songs, such as “Wall of Death,” or obscurities such as “Push and Shove.” But audience members at a handful of Thompson shows won’t hear any of Thompson’s own compositions.

The British-born musician first performed “1,000 Years of Popular Music” in 2000 at the Getty Center in his current home town, Los Angeles. Its success led to a sequel, also at the Getty, and later a five-night run at Joe’s Pub in New York City, with Thompson, vocalist Judith Owen, and percussionist Michael Jerome offering a slightly different set each night. Shows in London and Chicago are forthcoming. “He crystallizes our concept of presenting both old and new music under the umbrella of folk,” says Colleen Miller, concert director for the Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, which will present the show-with Owen and percussionist Debra Dobkin-for two sold-out nights in October

The idea,” writes Thompson in the liner notes to a CD of the show, “is that...great ideas, tunes, rhythms, styles, get left in the dust of history, so let’s have a look at what’s back there, and see if it still does the trick.” The concept has led to Thompson’s assaying a medieval Italian adultery song, a little-known Stephen Foster lament, and even Prince’s “Kiss.” Thompson says he’d like to see other artists try the same format. Word to Beck!

Harp, Oct/Nov 2003

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