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flag US - New York - Full Moon 35 - 08/26/99

Mary Lou Lord & Jill Sobule
Knitting Factory, NYC, NY, July 23rd 1999

As Mary Lou Lord pointed out herself halfway through the second set, to do two shows in one evening is kinda weird. The people who see both shows would like to hear all different songs, the ones that just make it to one still wanna hear the 'hits'. Yet this double bill was a lot of fun to see - even twice.

Mary Lou opened and started - after being caught up in heavy traffic - her first set with Hey, Man and she also did - not in that order - Western Union Desperate/Just Like Heaven, I Figured You Out, His N.D. World, Hey Antoinette ("my sister re minds me of Peg Bundy - just the hair though") and the usual lot of Bevis Frond covers: Book (with a cute story about some J. Mascis' / Neil Young kinda effects that she hears in her head), He'd Be A Diamond ("for the Austin Powers type of guy") and Lights Are Changing which started off with a few lines from There She Goes Again by The La's and was introduced by Mary Lou with the cute Champion the Wonder Horse story again. She also made some remarks on busking and the Kelly Family, which I thought were especially funny since they are not very known in the States but huge in Germany. She closed the set with a very good 1952 Vincent Black Lightning and then returned for a few encores. The set was short and sweet and even though she apologized for not being in perfect form because of her late arrival at the Knitting Factory.

Jill Sobule followed and was excellent. Now I'm not that familiar with her stuff and only had heard about two of her songs previously, but she really won over the crowd in a second. I wouldn't necessarliy say that her songs or her performances are better than Mary Lou's - they are just different. While Mary Lou's song come more from the "cute" department, Jill likes to change from what she calls "semi- depressing" to hilarious and over-the top. Which actually reminded me a lot of Jonathan Richman. She did a number of brand new songs - and she had to get up guys from the audiences to hold her note book with the lyrics for her! - including the very funny The Secret Life Of Claire and Lucy At The Gym, a strange cover of Que Sera plus a song she did together with her mum, who was visiting from Denver. Very cool indeed.

The second show was not only longer, but better too. Mary Lou - who by the way was very impressed with Jill's set, too - didn't necessarily agree when I met afterwards and maybe she just played more of my favourite songs in the second set, but I enjoyed the second show a little more, even though she had bad problems with her guitar getting out of tune towards the end of the gig (which probably is why she thought she kinda lost it at the end). The "second round" started off with Western Union Desperate and Just Like Heaven again and though it is kinda silly to compare the versions, the second one was probably a little better than the one from the first set. She also did Some Jingle Jangle Morning, which made me very, very happy cause I never heard her do it live before and it's still one of my favourite songs. Maybe because you tend to like the song you hear first by any given artist best, maybe because it's a damn good song... I'd asked her if she could do it, she did it and I was a very happy camper indeed... Exclusives from the second set included That Kind Of Girl by Matt Keating, a lovely Subway and Blimps Go 90/I Should Have Known Better, a very nice Lucinda Williams cover and an abbreviated Polaroids. She also did the "Elvis" section of the show again at the end, His Lamest Flame, and the amazing Richard Thompson song, From Galway To Graceland. Cool stuff.

The second set by Jill was also better, I'd say. Not only was it longer and included the hilarious Heroes (if that is the title of the song), it also included the duet with her mom again and some very unusual requests, "that are not part of my usual repertoire", as she put it. She even did Kissed A Girl at the very end and promised an all new album would be out in January. Keep you fingers crossed, it's gonna be a killer record!

Copyright © 1999 Carsten Wohlfeld e-mail address

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