Not signed in (Sign In)

Vanilla 1.1.4 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome Guest!
Want to take part in these discussions? If you have an account, sign in now.
If you don't have an account, apply for one now.
    This is my first post on PinkFlag but rather than lay back and lurk any longer I just want there to be a Louisville thread for posterity and I will say a few things about the context in which this show occurred.

    So, my hometown has a quirky, one-foot-in sort of role in the regional music circuit. While it is the birthplace of a lot of credible, & sometimes great music (Slint, Parlour, Rodan, Bonnie Prince Billy, MMJ, et al) and its local music scene is at a peak with numerous venues and young promoters, Louisville gets shorted by "the circuit" mentality that a lot of bookings are decided on.

    It's quite close to Cincy (when I was younger I'd often drive to shows at Bogart's in Cincy where I saw Public Image & many other acts in the 80s era) and Indianapolis; it's not strictly a college town although it has a large university, and so forth. It's geographically at a crossroads which makes it seem neither Southern (Nashville gets those show) nor Midwestern (Indy, Bloomington, Cincy, Lexington, all compete for those shows).

    For example, many lesser groups than Wire...simply ask "Why would we want to play there? It's not one of the largest cities and it isn't a college town like Chapel Hill). So this young promoter persisted and I, for one, would enjoy knowing how he got one of the greatest living bands of our era into town.

    Anyhow, the young guy that got Wire to add this gig deserves kudos. The show was at a venue called The Clifton Center which is a conference/performance space converted from a former church/elementary school. It is a venue that seems incongruent to a rock show (you expect to see a Nun come around that hallway any moment) but its theater is near pitch perfect and the audience gradually rolls out into the vast expanses of hallway and into former classrooms that serve as a place to set up a bar and so this space remains popular.

    I compared the setlist(s) for Cleveland and the Bowery and I believe it was 90% idential to those shows although I did note that Cleveland didn't include a 2nd encore. Not sure how related that is with the group but suffice to say the Louisville show was well attended, the audience was vocal and engaged but polite.

    I didn't attend Pitchfork this year but it is a popular destination for a lot of folks in the Louisville scene and I have been up there several times, most recently in 2010.

    Suffice to say that the band did a great thing in a very small way in accepting this show and the scene reminded me of the scene in the film 24 Hour Party People where the impact of a Sex Pistols show on Manchester is first implied and then amplified. This was a show that was very much noticed, noted, and embraced by fans in Louisville. I've been on a tear ever since last Thursday night--joined this Forum, downloaded some of the 70s live recordings and repurchased A Bell Is a Cup (on Amazon, not offered here) which was my first Wire record on vinyl back in the day.

    I only recently had discovered the On the Box/Rockpalast DVD before the show was announced and I am addicted to that show it is a REVELATION to me to hear The 15th and other tracks before they became something else, and that in turn has me looking at Chairs Missing and 154 in an entirely new light. Hearing The 15th as a punk song with Colin swallowing the lyrics ("DESTROY-ed") knocked me off my feet. That has to be one of the finest bits of archive and live recording in the annals of recording is simply phenomenal IMO (discussed elsewhere on this Forum I realize).

    So, maybe I should listen to another band than Wire for a few days...take a breather...Nah! It'll go on til it's more in my blood than it already was because although as a teen in the late 70s I was well aware of many other groups but I only knew Wire through "Map Ref" on college radion and then a few years later maybe 12xu and Ex-lion tamer via American hardcore groups like Minor Threat (how a lot of Americans in the 80s got their Wire marchind orders as is well known).

    At the end of the Louisville show. Graham did a brief shout out about playing in the hometown of Muhammad Ali and I could tell he meant it. Has we been having a pint or whatnot, this fan could've added a few personal details to that (how I'd seen him change this city first and then the world, making grown Caucasian men CRY and mend their ways, and all that was the M. Ali signifier in American society and abroad.

    So that Louisville show looks a bit like an outlier on PinkFlag's table of live appearance by Wire. But I think it was a very important one in its own small way and that seeds were planted here.

    Meant for this post to appear grouped with the other "U.S. Tour 2013" shows (although it's in the right "Wire" Forum category. Perhaps a mod can help me out or maybe it doesn't matter. mea culpas for the various typos above. once again, cheers, Jim
    Very much enjoyed your post Jim. Interesting to read the context you set the gig in. I wonder if the thought of playing in a place namechecked in Eardrum Buzz appealed to the extent that they were tempted to go 'off-circuit'
    Well I can flesh out the story a little from our side.

    The options were - play Cleveland, have a day off / drive to Chicago to arrive the night before pitchfork or play in Louisville and drive to Chicago the following day. Wire are an adventurous lot and the option of playing somewhere we had never played before appealed. The show had in fact come about because Joel & his partner had been persuaded by Greg from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (where we opened the tour) had persuaded them it would work.

    Our expectations were that the show would sell somewhat averagely, the promoter would lose money and we would be unlikely to ever come back.

    As it was the show did really well especially given what Jim has said (which we were aware of) and the fact that it was July (traditionally a poor time to tour) & Louisville had just had quite an important "alternative" festival - In fact the whole tour, for the most part, exceeded everyone's expectations given both the month and the fact that we have toured relatively recently. But I must say Louisville was the very unexpected cherry on the top!

    I don't think it at all unlikely now that we will return to Louisville the next time we are in that area of the world... and maybe it could preface a swing through the south...

    BTW - I was also contacted via facebook by someone else from Louisville who said "always was somewhat a casual fan, but seeing your live show changed that completely. enjoying exploring the back catalogue and your new stuff is brilliant."

    Knowing that Louisville basically has one record store (which had ordered one copy of "Change Becomes Us") it is amazing that we were able to delight the crowd with a set which would have been largely unfamiliar. Let's hope that by the time we get back that at least Amazon & iTunes (not to mention our own shop) will have acquainted the audience a little more with our contemporary recorded output!
    hey swimhq, great news about the success of the show from both sides, the promoter has been very vocal about his attempts to resolve the standing of the town at that level of circuit detailed in the thread above (usually UK bands facing a lot of hard choices of where to play in a large nation are the hardest get) and I know from the FB event Joel posted that he was rightly elated about how it turned out.

    Yes, one store right now with another handful of small outfits, but until 3 years ago Louisville was home to one of the greatest indie record stores in the USA, Ear X Tacy. It's a sad story the decline of our record stores, and that one was great, yes.

    It's left behind a very educated hard core of show goers here in the Ville and that would extend down into folks in their early 20s at least. There were dozens of musicians of every age at the show, including some whose releases I already namedropped. One guy (Timothy Furnish, played with numerous groups, incl. his own) posted a reminder about your show to his Facebook followers. So, it's a crowd smart enough to both know that Wire is arriving and to let them play whatever they want and like it A LOT. ;) Besides, CBU is fantastic, and I felt the selection of songs was rather fair to the entire body of work.

    There's a scene here that is still running on an energy that the death of Ear X Tacy hasn't slowed down much so I'm not sure how to gauge all that but it's food for thought. I did notice the age range in the crowd was very, very wide and that also bodes well for a future show.

    Thanks for the response swimhq, you too Ian B.

    ERRATA: rechecked the Cleveland set list and there was a 2nd encore, not sure where I got that impression (an earlier setlist? Or I just got it wrong; who knows).
    Hi all,

    A bit of an update on Louisville - to the surprise of many - there are now 5 independent record stores in town - and shows sponsored by Joel are but one aspect of what can solidly be seen as a burgeoning live music scene in our little regional town of a million (metro).

    Hard to believe it was only 4 years ago that our longtime indie record store, Ear X-Tacy, died and an overall fatalism came along with that demise. Looking back on that now, it seems that part of their demise may've been not taking the resurgence of vinyl records quite seriously enough? Two of the stores carry solely new releases, while the other 3 mix new and old recordings with accoutrements essential to a scene.

    It's been a pretty amazing 2014 with the "surprise" Slint show at Nelligan Hall bringing an unusual focus to the locality (to go along with the awe-inspiring reissue box set-and soon a Spiderland "lite" version will be out). Nothing like having "The Louisville Sound" kicked off by Slint internationally recognized to heat things up on the micro level...I currently have LP and 7" releases by over 80 Louisville acts beginning with the early punks in the 70s (The Endtables, Babylon Dance Band, Your Food, Dickbrains, others anthologized on the stellar compilation Bold Beginnings) into the late 80s/1990s when Squirrel Bait, Slint, Palace Brothers/Bonnie Prince Billy, Rodan, June of 44, and a good lot of other groups were recording, and on to this season.

    But it's not all history...there are some great bands in town today...and if there is a Louisville sound encompassed of Slint-y things such as murmured vocals, guitar ambiance, etc. then its latest heir in my estimate is Anwar Sadat (their full length "Gold").

    Most of these guys/gals were at the recent Wire show. I think I noted above that the Wire show reminded me of the opening scene of the "24 Hour Party People" film in that all the creative spirits in town were in attendance. Anyhow, I note these bands not solely because of my innate boosterism(silly, but I hope also, forgivable because there is true quality behind the recorded output of the Ville), but because records by Slint, Bonnie Billy, June of 44, Rodan, et al have moved up in my selfish little canon alongside latter day Wire records over the past year (Change Becomes Us in particular...and now I must have it on vinyl).

    So far in 2014, Joel & Co have brought in Loop (was a great show and I had a chance to speak to the bassist while at the merch table and he was enquiring about the Spiderland & Bonnie Billy photos on the wall at the venue and so I happily explained that the latter took the photo on the cover of the former, etc.), & Swans/Xiu Xiu are set for June, and he has partnered with Tim Barnes (lengthy discography including the Elephant 6 band Essex Green) at found a venue called Dreamland that is bringing a lot of unusual, avant (in some cases) shows. I think the Swans show will be comparable to the Wire show in one sense, which is that both groups were reunited to do new work, and not to relive the past.

    Slint are on tour in Europe currently so if they come by your way be sure and investigate a live show. While the band states it has no intention of doing a new record, the reunion is welcome because they had broken apart well before Spiderland's slow-growing acclaim came to the fore. Slint drummer/mastermind Britt Walford's new band, Watter, has a new record coming out Tuesday on Temporary Residence that is more than consolation, it is smoking hot (the magic of pre-orders directly from the label)

    Looking forward to consolidating my LP holdings of Wire in lieu of that next record. And, I hope to see the band play live once again on the next North American tour.

    Also, I'd like to inquire whether the band will ever do 24-bit releases on sites like HDTracks? The FLAC I've downloaded here are quite good (Change Becomes Us on FLAC at approx 900 kbps/16 bit sounds awesome...but clearly the entire Wire oeuvre deserves a 24-bit hi-res release). So say I.

    I suppose such a question should have its own Forum thread but I don't want to push my luck. :) Please consider it!

    Jim G.
    New June 10, 2015 show coming; see you there.