Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good Apples at Chicago Hot Glass, March 27, 2010

Set List:
Mt Killer
Used to Sing
Rock Hard
Metal Man
West Wind/Algiers
She Crashed My Car

Thanks to Dillon’s buddy Nick Paul, we got to play the Chicago Hot Glass annual benefit, opening for Stone Free. The industrial setting of this Westside mini-factory fits Good Apples perfectly: furnaces blazing in two spacious, brightly lit halls lined with metal, with beautiful glass objects of art and utility displayed all around, and artists blowing glass on the premises for everyone to see. Immediately we were greeted by friendly and accommodating Chicago Hot Glass members and leaders.

The space was filled early in the evening, all the seats facing glassblowers were occupied, but there was still standing room by the stage as well as on the opposite side of the room. In the adjacent room, the hosts served food and drinks.

We hit the improvised stage around 9 o’clock, opening once again with the instrumental “Mt. Killer.” This was only our second full-length show, and que la difference it is playing in a large space with high ceilings: we filled every inch of it with our noise, but the sound appeared relatively crisp, from what I could tell. Our friends and supporters rocked out with us in front of the stage, but I kept seeing people on the opposite side of the room bopping to our schizo beat. I know I jumped and danced whenever I wasn’t singing—when Dillon, Gabor, and Pete are on, I can’t stand still.

Along with the songs we wrote and practiced last winter, including our cover of Alex Chilton’s “Rock Hard,” we tested three newbies, completed literally in the week prior to the show: “Metal Man,” “West Wind/Algiers,” and “Cosmonaut,” the latter featuring the chorus inspired by the “Moon Calling Skylab” (“Mjesec zove Skylab” in B/C/S) episode of the Alan Ford, the cult Italian graphic book that is unfortunately unavailable in English; we’re cool and esoteric like that. What’s new about our songwriting process now is that I began writing lyrics mostly from scratch, as opposed to cutting, pasting, and modifying Kristy’s found lyrics. (That process is still alive and well too, as will be heard in our upcoming newbie “Epic.”) I’m saying mostly from scratch, because how can anything be written completely from scratch? Not only was “Cosmonaut” inspired by Alan Ford, the first like of “West Wind,” which goes “between two wars is another war” in a nod to The Leaving Trains’ “Always between wars.” And since I’m talking about lyrics, let me disambiguate the first line of the second verse for “Metal Man.” As opposed to what some people heard (Kirsty, ahem), I don’t sing “he ate my pussy, and now I’m yours,” I sing, “he WAS my pussy, and now I’m yours.”

Keeping things tight and on the short side, we closed with “She Crashed My Car.” To my pleasure, Caren and Lyndee were both creating a new dance to go along with this song, although I don’t think they could see each other. Another proof that great minds think alike.

After our set, we passed out our brand new CDs. They were so new, we were cutting the labels and marking the burned discs minutes before the show.

Pics and more at the Good Apples online HQ.

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