A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Friday, August 24, 2007

Crowded House in concert was GREAT!

Now, if you've been here at all, you know my obsession with Neil Finn, Split Enz, Crowded House, the Finn Brothers-- I love it all. I allow my hubby his obsession with Jewel-- he allows me my unrequited adoration of Neil Finn. It works nicely. Mine's less embarassing because at least he's not over a decade younger than I am, but whatever.... lech. No, no, I'm kidding. Kinda. Maybe I'm still reeling from the five-- FIVE! and she tells the same stories!-- Jewel concerts I've attended over the past 15 years.

Ahem. Who is Neil Finn, you may be wondering?

Okay, let me try. Familiar with the Dixie Chicks' latest album? There was a song "Silent House" on there that was written by Neil Finn (he played on the Chicks' album, too), and the song is also covered on the latest Crowded House album Time on Earth. Strangely, Jimmy Buffett covered "Weather with You," which is another Crowded House song. Neil wrote "Don't Dream It's Over," which was also covered by the late lamented Sixpence None the Richer. Crowded House had some success in the late eighties and early nineties (thanks to friend Chanman) with songs like "Locked Out," "Weather With You," and "Something So Strong." There's a hilarious video on iTunes of "She Will Have Her Way" which includes footage from some kitschy 50s B-list horror movie. Back in the eaaaaarly days of MTV-- remember? They played music then?-- Neil and his brother Tim fronted Split Enz, with notable highlights being "One Step Ahead" and "I Got You."

We just drove several hundred miles on a weeknight to see the band in concert, and it was worth every darn boring mile. If you get the chance, you really need to see these guys live. And Neil's son Liam is an incredible multi-instrumentalist whose use of three looping machines cannot be believed. If the guy sitting next to me would have shut his darn trap earlier, it would have been even better.

I love this music. I love these lyrics. He and his band are completely unappreciated here in the US, but when Crowded House disbanded back in 1996, over 100,000 people showed up for their last concert at the Sydney Opera House. So I guess I should be glad he bothered with the US at all on tour.

So, to help you understand, here is "Don't Dream It's Over." If you know it already, enjoy. If you don't give it a try. This one is with Crowded House's late, much lamented drummer, Paul Hester, may his soul rest in peace:

And here's the acoustic, more current version:

I just want to point out some of the lyrics, for further explanation:

"In the paper today, tales of war and of waste/
"But you turn right over to the TV page..."

Years later, and it still rings so true. If you get a chance, go see this wonderful band. They gave us well over two and a half hours of music on top of the excellent opening acts.

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At 8/27/07, 5:24 PM, Blogger Teaching Sagittarian said...

New Zealand is very proud of the Finn boys. How awesome that you have heard them live - they are fantastic aren't they. I was lucky enough to hear Split Enz play in my hometown - it was an outdoor concert at the SoundShell by the beach. Fantastic! I have all of Crowded House's CD's and even subject my class to renditions of Don't dream it's Over on a weekly basis!

At 8/27/07, 7:26 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I am so deeeply jealous of you, but in a good way. I hate it when they call them an "Australian band," though.

I did get to see the Finn Brothers in concert a couple of years ago, and I got to be about five feet away from the stage. That, for a guitar player, is a real thrill.

I've played "Don't Dream It's Over" to some of my students, and some of them thought it sounded like Elliot Smith. At least they didn't scream out "Sixpence None the Richer!"

Hey there's a webcast tonight! I'm getting ready to enjoy it right now.

What's the SoundShell?

At 8/27/07, 8:33 PM, Blogger Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

BIIIIGGG Finn brothers fan here. Big one.

Big one.

At 8/28/07, 9:05 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Of course you are! A woman of refinement like you!

At 8/29/07, 2:44 PM, Blogger W.R. Chandler said...

Ooooh, my anal-retentive side just came out when you referred to "Something So Strong" as being from the early '90s. That song was actually released in the Summer of 1987, right after "Don't Dream it's Over" had run its course in the Spring. Oh man I love their debut album!

At 9/2/07, 3:51 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

You're right, I'm wrong about that date-- the late 80s and early 90s sometime blur together for me.

I think that Together Alone is my favorite, but all the albums have special meaning for me. "Kare Kare" and "Catherine Wheels" have a great overall sound.

At 9/2/07, 3:52 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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