Eugene Chadbourne


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Patrizio culls recordings from some of the first live shows guitarist Eugene Chadbourne played in a duo with drummer Paul Lovens in May 1996 (and no, there is not a note from their show at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville that year). The album bears a subtitle -- A Suite to the Waiters of the World -- and most of the track titles relate to this very loose concept. While it is hard to believe these two had not been playing together for very long, they had not yet reached the level of perfection (if such a word can apply to Dr. Chadbourne's precise imprecisions) documented on later albums, such as the fantastic Young at Heart/Forgiven (2000, Leo). Chadbourne uses his steel dobro and his modified five-string electric banjo, plus some kind of electric plunger called a "patente à gos," more a visual prop than anything else. Lovens elegantly waltzes on his drums, carefully drifting away from any regular pattern that may arise, forcing the guitarist to restructure his thinking when losing focus, respectfully following when he jumps into one of his interpretations. The last part of the set is Peggy Lee's "I Just Want to Dance All Night," but bits of songs by Roger Miller and Nick Drake are hidden in "Husbands and Wives" and "Mt. Pleasant Thoughts of Maryjane," two longer improvisations. One must often listen closely as these two tend to get very quiet, as if they wanted to hide all the subtlety of their playing -- bizarre, clownish at times -- but always remarkably relevant.

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