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28014Orion Unplugged

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  • biceeichler
    Oct 29 11:04 AM
      I made the effort to get to Orion Studios on Saturday night for the Prester John and Might Could show.  It had been a while since I've been at Orion and it's been years since I've seen Shawn Persinger play guitar, so despite there being two hockey games and a football game on that I wanted to watch, I skipped the sports and drove down to Baltimore.

      Prester John went on first, and they were amazing as always.  If you've never seen them, the band is just Shawn on acoustic guitar and David Miller on mandolin, but they pull off some intense music with just the two instruments and some loop pedals.  In addition to their own original songs they played covers of Yes (Long Distance Runaround/The Fish), King Crimson (21st Century Schizoid Man) and Rush (an amazing "Spirit of the Radio") and even threw a bit of Zappa's "King Kong" into once piece.  It was a great set.

      Might Could were promoting their new CD "Relics From the Wasteland".  Another acoustic band, their line-up features three guitars and a bass.  They remind me of the California Guitar Trio with Tony Levin, except that they don't do all the classical music arrangements or oddball cover songs.  They did play a Jethro Tull song (which is on the new album) and at one point covered the theme music from Super Mario Brothers 2 (which was driving me nuts because I couldn't identify it until someone at the back of the room yelled out "Now play Legend of Zelda!"), but other than that it was all originals.  I bought the new CD plus the band's first disc "All Intertwined" (I've had the middle album "Wood Knot" for a while).  The discs are good, but don't manage to capture how good these guys are in a live performance.

      I also bought Prester John's "Rise O Fainthearted Girls" (the title of which is an anagram of the title of their first CD, "Desire For a Straight Line").  While "Desire" was entirely instrumental and complex, "Rise" is the opposite end of the spectrum - every song has lyrics and most of them sound somewhat poppish.  Persinger's lyrics go to some dark places, and his singing is a bit of an acquired taste, but I'm enjoying the CD more than I expected.  I still prefer "Desire" though.

      When I bought "Rise", Shawn asked me if I'd heard the live French TV album yet, and when I said no he ran out to his car, grabbed a copy and let me have it for $5.  It turns out it's a special edition of the tenth French TV studio album (entitled "I Forgive You For All My Unhappiness") that comes with a bonus CD of the band's performance at ProgDay 2009.  It sounds like a soundboard recording mixed with some audience recording to get some applause and crowd interaction in there.  Good stuff.

      After the show Mike Potter was playing a recording of the previous Orion show - I forget what the band's name was, but it was fantastic stuff and a really good recording.  Made me kick myself for not going.

        -- Bob