I’m on the train on my way to New York to catch a few nights of Nels’ residency at the Stone. I’ll be seeing him play with Jim Black tonight and with the Singers tomorrow (along with a super secret special guest), and I’m hoping to catch at least one more set while I’m in town. If you’re in the New York area, you can check out the full schedule here.
This is- as far as I know- the lone release by the touring band comprised of Mike Watt (bass, vocals), Bob Lee (drums), and Nels Cline (guitar). This particular lineup only did the final tour in support of Watt’s punk rock opera Contemplating the Engine Room, as guitar duties had previously been filled by Joe Baiza (Saccharine Trust, Universal Congress Of) and Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits) on drums. (Hodges left after the first tour, replaced by Bob Lee of Clawhammer, Backbiter.)
This is probably not a very rare find on the internet but it’s an extremely important record for me. I was playing a little guitar by the time these tours were going on but only considered myself a bass player- and a frustrated one at that. Seeing Nels Cline transformed me and caused me to change my priorities. And maybe that’s not a good thing….but it’s where I went and never looked back.
This is a song by Nels Cline an was released on piss-bottle yellow vinyl on the Kill Rock Stars label. The b-side was Nels covering Captain Beefheart’s A Carrot Is as Close as a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond, plus a “tourspiel” by everybody involved in the “Puttin’ the Opera to Bed” tour.