Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

Ever been really excited about something, only to be thoroughly disappointed? It's happened to us now, not only once, but twice, in trying to see Jon Brion* perform at Largo. From time to time over the years, we have seen Jon pop onto stage for a song or two with Jill Sobule, Colin Hay, or Aimee Mann, but we never managed to book a table for one of his locally legendary weekly gigs, which often includes surprise guests.

I don't even remember how long ago it was (early '06?), but we had finally gotten a reservation for the show that fills up months in advance. We queued up on Fairfax Avenue and waited. And waited. What was going on? Why aren't they opening the door? It turns out there had been a three-block or so power outage. Largo could not operate their kitchen or safely have an audience in their space. They canceled the night and sent a bunch of disappointed people on our way.

Shortly after that fateful night of the no go show, Jon developed tendinitis that kept him from performing for some time. So, we were quite excited when he started showing up again on the Largo calendar. With great anticipation, we booked a table for last night's show. The listing had another name on it as well, which we assumed was an opening act. When JON BRION is written in big letters with the other name, Nels Cline, written in small letters under it, that's what you think. How wrong we were.

Jon Brion and Nels Cline took the stage together and stayed on the stage together for, what was a surprise to me, "an evening of improvised duets." There was a lot of experimental electronic, and at times downright psychedelic, sound being produced. It was not what I was expecting at all. I wanted to hear Jon Brion sing some pop songs. He rarely sang at all during the set. I know some folks enjoyed it, but it was just not my thing. I don't think the people I saw sleeping through most of the show (I'm not kidding) were that into it either.

Sigh. So, do we try for a third time? I'm not so sure. With so many favorites of ours on the upcoming schedule--Watkins Family Hour, Glen Phillips, Colin Hay--I don't know that I need to risk it again with Mr. Brion.

*You may not know Jon Brion's solo work, but you have surely heard some of his film scores and/or some of the popular music he has produced, including my favorite Spoon song "The Underdog."


Anonymous said...

Oh thats such a shame ... I'd be giving it a miss rather than risking it again. Too much else good going on.

Keely Van Brocklin Emery said...

I'd looked into seeing him pre-baby. Sorry it was a disappointment. Have you been to Hotel Cafe? I love that place.

Nanette said...

That sucks. :(

Brent and I have been wanting to see him, too. We love his soundtrack stuff.

Will said...

That's too bad, although I like Nels Cline a lot.

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