September 29, 2007


Fall Night

Despite numerous offers (requests?) of free babysitting service, Jen and I haven't taken many opportunities to enjoy an evening diversion since our son was born in February. In fact our first night out without him came just last week when we headed out to see a locally produced play, and with the "chaos" that ensued in his mother's head from that, we decided it would be best to have him tag along tonight for an event that we'd considered attending for months.

Chattanooga has a great Friday night free concert series called Nightfall which runs from May through September. It takes place in a nice public square with fountains and multi-level brick wall/landscaped terraces. A stage is sunk down at the back of the square so the views can be decent if you get there early enough and the acoustics aren't half bad. Regardless of the act performing you can count on a steady crowd of a couple thousand, since the event blocks off the street for food and beer/wine sales. Yes, a good chunk of the folks come just to hang out.

Tonight was the final concert in the series and headlined one of the few names I recognized this season. I've had the pleasure of seeing several awesome acts at Nightfall, and now add tonight's performance by Howard Jones to the list.

Most anyone who knows me probably wouldn't think my musical tastes go toward the electronica and pop iconery that signifies the era of Jones' music, and for the most part they'd be right. I've mentioned before how I mostly took interest in such music during those college years of mine with a libidinous motive. But the classically-trained Jones is cream compared to the other crap, and besides that he came to the height of his prominence after that young man I was had gone west and was thusly expanding his horizons. So in the midst of catching nearly every Dead show in California between the autumns of 1985 and 1987, I had a cute little roommate (alas, with boyfriend) who was gaga over Howard Jones and with whom I had enough intriguing exchanges about music to respect and explore her tastes. She was one of the first people I knew who had a CD player, and she played the hell out of Jones' 1985 release Dream Into Action. Besides, when her friends came over to party at our shabby Victorian it wasn't like I was going to get any sleep - so let's dance!

Back to 2007: Jones is touring as an "acoustic duo," with just his keyboard and another fellow on guitar. I understand that he started the concept a couple of years back and was playing a grand piano, and though that would have been great to hear I can understand why he doesn't tour like that. He played some new stuff that I'm not familiar with, but of course obliged the bulk of those who came to listen and dance with his 80s strongholds New Song, Things Can Only Get Better, What Is Love? and my favorite (very Reggae-influenced) tune:


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Hey, I recognise that song!... Well, sort of... This song here...

...contains a sample from that Howard Jones track, and was in my set-list when I was DJing a year or two back. It fit in well with the rest of the 'funky house' stuff that I was playing. And it rocked the place :)

I was aware of Howard Jones all those years ago, but didn't really, erm, know that 'Like to Get to Know you Well' song. So cheers for that!

Whenever I think of Howard Jones I also think of Nik Kershaw... In fact, I'm pretty sure that I sometimes get them confused.

Anyway, I reckon there's nothing wrong with pretending you like a certain kind of music in the interests of getting your leg over. I remember during my University days, I had this one girl convinced I was a fan of - get this - opera(!) for about 3 months! She was an opera singer herself... (cue a couple of jokes about a 'nice pair of lungs' etc, etc.)...
I love Howard Jones!!!
good to be open about music, i say.
having grown up with many snooty deadheads in the seventies, who couldn't handle anything BUT! i was never like that. in fact, i loved to freak out one particular roomie by playing the 1st pretenders record, as well as various punk music, like sex pistols and so on.
that said, i know/knew little about howard jones. music in the 80's was hit and miss for me, at times.(remember, i am an old broad!)

glad your little family got out together.
I don't remember that tune either, and frankly I'm going to endeavor to continue that. It sounds like a great thing they've got going there, though. You list some great acts.
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