Chuck Prophet And The Mission Express Friday January 28, 2005 Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
w/ Dawn Kinnard
Chuck Prophet autographed? ticket stub
Styrofoam/Apology/What Makes The Monkey Dance/Old Friends/West Memphis Moon/You Did(Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)/Summertime Thing/Pin A Rose On Me/I Bow Down And Pray To Every Woman I See/Smallest Man In The World/Run Primo Run/Eloise/After The Rain/What'll I Do/I Couldn't Be Happier/Just To See You Smile/Automatic Blues
Encore: Solid Gold
Crowded show at Club cafe. Crowded is the key word. Knowing that it would be packed I went down early to snag a good seat. I met Dawn (not Kinnard) in line and she was cool enough to help me out with the setlist. The opener Dawn Kinnard was aiight. I felt that her singing was good but it looked like she took her first guitar lesson that afternoon. Joni Mitchell certainly doesn't need to be looking over her shoulder.
Chuck And The Mission Express came out and walloped through a fast paced set that was recorded for cable television. Who knows, you might see yours truly in the first row. "Woo-hoo, look ma, I'm on the T.V.!"
Chuck Prophet hand-written setlist
Chuck Prophet And The Mission Express autographed show flyer (produced by me)
Chuck Prophet autographed No Other Love CD cover
My friends and I waited to meet Chuck after the show and after an hour he shows up and is acting like he just dropped a whole sheet of windowpane or something. Not the most personal guy in the world (check out my ticket stub!), but who really cares when you can play like a fucking banshee.
On a side note I go to my car and it doesn't start. I don't get home till 1:00 a.m. It wouldn't have been that bad but I went down there at 5:15. Talk about a la-ha-hooooooooooong ass night.
Preview article from The Pittsburgh Tribune Review Thursday January 27, 2005
Rocker Chuck Prophet continues to perform 'Miracles'
By Regis Behe
The cover of Chuck Prophet's latest album, Age of Miracles is a William Eggleston photo of a young woman holding a vintage camera sprawled across a patch of grass. The box camera image is repeated in the accompanying CD booklet.
Some sort of artistic statement?
"To be perfectly honest, I didn't have an album title," says Prophet, noting his affinity for Eggleston's work. "When I finished the record, when I stood back and squinted a little bit and knew I would have to invent some lies for the bio, I realized there was a kind of a theme running through it, this retro-nuevo general crankiness with technology, and technology not really improving our quality."
Prophet, who visits the South Side's Club Cafe on Friday, says he was a bit nervous about applying this theme because it's been overdone.
He shouldn't have worried. Age of Miracles continues the San Francisco-based musician's run of superlative releases that dates to 1999's The Hurting Business and includes No Other Love, released in 2002. Along with Age of Miracles, the discs share a sense of adventure as Prophet seamlessly combines rock, soul, blues, hip-hop and other forms.
Critics and writers often remark on his ability to "mash" or "synthesize" genres; Prophet says he's sometimes bothered that form seems to be more interesting than content.
"But I can't help but wonder, in a perverted way, what Meredith Brooks and Burgess Meredith might do if you put them together," he says with a laugh. "Or what Jimi Hendrix would do if you brought him back from the dead and said 'Hey Jimi, you might want to check this out, it's called a Casiotone. This part here you can get a beat going and with your fingers here you can play chords on these buttons and over here you can play melody.' You just make something up and want to record it. Because inevitably, it would be more interesting than the conventional way that people make records. I guess that's my own perverted way of keeping myself interested. I don't think you need an owner's manual to get through the record."
He's right; all that's truly required is an appreciation of music. Whether it's the melancholic 'Pin a Rose on Me', the playful electronic pop of 'You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)"' -- a song that asks "who put the ram in the ram a lama ding dong?" -- or the wistful title track, Prophet has a knack for creating memorable melodies.
He especially excels at painting the lyrical details: the "extra-special shoes" for 'The Smallest Man in the World', or the itinerary of 'Just to See You Smile' in which the narrator walks "20 blocks to your favorite bakery" in order to surprise his lover with her "favorite treat."
"I have my own value system, the things that I think that are worth wrestling into the form of a song," he says. "And it changes, because you have to keep yourself interested in what you're doing, musically and thematically. And to keep yourself interested, sometimes you'll discard things if they have a certain familiarity. If I had any more songs about lonely motel room's on life's highway, it's not interesting to wrestle with anymore. I'll just discard it."
Prophet admits to being disenchanted with his music when he's finished recording an album. It's only when he gets a chance to hear it in an unfamiliar environment -- a record store or somebody else's home -- that he reconciles with his art.
"It's a lot like honking your horn in a tunnel and waiting for it to get you off," he says. "Sometimes, it just doesn't get you off. Sometimes, it's just not so cool anymore. You just wait to hear it bounce off the walls and come back at you."
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