From: "Greg Ellis" <email@example.com>
Subject: [mkultra]: chapel hill show
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 22:36:21 -0500
was anyone at the chapel hill show sunday night? i thought it went rather well. opening was a guy who used to be in steel-pole bathtub (who lives in raleigh now). he did a one-man tape loop thing set to a 16mm-film about heroin abuse (one of those government-produced atrocities from the early 60s)...pretty nifty.
then was...what were they called?..."ic"-i can't remember but they are on the whole tour. anyway...i liked them ok for about twenty or thirty minutes, but it just went on for a bit too long. nice to see somebody having fun with a theramin, but umm...
i did not dig bunnyfoot charm. reminded me too much of bands around here that were trying to be nirvana a few years back, but they were quite energetic, and fairly interesting to watch.
unwound took the stage and played pretty much the same set that people have been reporting to this listeserv from earlier shows on the tour. one song off fake train, two of new plastic ideas, one off the future of what, one off repetition, and the rest was new stuff...if i remember correctly. it seemed a short set. for some reason the older stuff was a little more interesting (lots of people i talked to had this reaction) b/c justin had incorporated his echoplex and "small stone" phase shifter, making them sound unique from the studio versions. i was a geek and asked about his distortion...(i can't remember if anyone here ever commented on that). it's an electro-harmonix "linear overdrive", or something...just a little signal boost...he was going through the old sunn concert lead head and pushing a beat-up kustom cab with two 15's. vern had the sunn coliseum going through another decrepid kustom cab. as a matter of fact, bunny foot charm's bass player was also sunn-crazy, with two sunn betas going, and the guitar player played through his own small kustom cab (two 12's) and used justin's head. ANYWAY, aside from all the tech shit, unwound seemed to be in pretty good spirits and hammered out a nice set (although they weren't into it quite as much as last time i saw them...vern was toned WAY down from three years ago...probably all those cigs!)...all in all six bucks well spent.
From: candyman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Brian MacDonald <email@example.com>
Subject: [mkultra]: Chapel Hill and Richmond shows
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 16:30:12 -0500 (EST)
Yes, it was indeed Milk Cult (former member of Steel Pole Bathtub) who opened up the chapel hill show on Sunday night. The only problem I had with that however was the fact that I did not find this out until 10:30 pm when I arrived (that's when most shows start at the Cat's Cradle) and the guy was finished by 10:00pm! I also missed ICU unfortunately. Unwound started out the set with "Here Come the Dogs". I thought the vocals were a bit low in the mix (just like last time they played here) but a really good set overall ("All Souls Day" and "Corpse Pose" stuck out for whatever reasons). A lot of people I know felt unwound were lacking in energy. I'm not quite sure what they were expecting, unwound has never been known to jump around and smile a lot and all that stuff. The turn-out was quite impressive however.
On Monday night I drove a few hours up the interstate to Richmond to see the action all over again. This was the second night of the feline leg of the tour (Sunday at the CAT's cradle in chapel hill, Monday at Alley KATZ in Richmond, and Tuesday night at the Black CAT in DC). I let the nice folks in BUnny Foot Charm stay at my apartment, so they graciously put me on the guest list for Richmond (which dissipated any trepidation I had about making the drive). In fact the drummer offered me a ride in the van with them (which would've meant going on to DC the next night and then on to NYC and so forth) for some reason I decided to let my responsibilies preceed my desires. So I drove up to the show myself thinking that it would start at 10:30 or so. WRONG! The damn thing started at 8:00, which is fine I guess, if I had known in advance. So I missed ICU again, and Bunnyfoot Charm's likeable mocking of cock-rock. The guy at the door had no idea what was going on when I asked when unwound started (his response to my question was, "which band is unwound?").
By looking at the set list I however noticed I didn't miss much, they started with "Murder Movies". The vocals were much louder in the mix compared to the night before. The sound overall was rather raw (Vern's bass tone was making the hair on the back of my hand stand up). The equipment was the usual stuff that most of you have done a fine job of noticing. I was impressed by the fact that Vern was wearing the exact same thing as the previous night, a very tasteful t-shirt advertising Reflections in Anchorage, Alaska, with an outline of a naked woman (I assume it's a strip joint). When I first walked in, he was also wearing a cowboy hat. The hat coupled with the strip joint t-shirt and cigarette in his mouth made him come frighteningly close to resembling Nikki Sixx! Anyways, the hat came off and "Envelope" and "Dragnalus" stuck out the most this evening.
Another interesting point was the paltry attendence. There were maybe 40 people there. I don't know if it had to do with the fact that the club seemed anal about letting people under 21 in (that was the reason for the early start and for the owner literally yelling at people under 21 to get out the second unwound finished) or that Everclear was playing at the club just down the street. In fact some yelled "play an Everlclear song" (jokingly I hoped) to which Justin replied in his laconic voice "Everclear opened for us once, kinda funny isn't it". No one laughed of course. No one laughed either when Justin introduced a few numbers as being "funky" and "really funky" when the songs turned out to be "Hexzene" and another gem of melancholy. Of those maybe 40 peole there, about 4 people seemed to enjoy it.
Considering this weird context of Everclear playing just down the street, lots of tacky neon lit bars in this part of town, and the small room of unenthused onlookers, it seemed appropriate that the band ended the set with "For Your Entertainment". A very fine show overall. The set had that vibe of let's just blow through this thing and get out of here. No wall of noise excursions on this night, just the bare essentials. This was the first time I've seen unwound NOT end the set with massive amounts of feedback, but Sarah still left the stage before the last song was over. Richmond used to be a much more energetic place to see shows, I guess everyone moved away or something.
This document was last updated 17 March 1998