Show: Marissa Nadler
Venue: Hotel Cafe
Drinks: None. I arrived late and Marissa Nadler was already a song deep into her
set. Also, the ATM was broken and I was running very low on cash.
Song I Most Wanted to Hear: There were actually a lot that I wanted to hear her
play since I find her catalog very rich. From BALLADS OF LIVING AND DYING, I
wanted to hear "Box of Cedar" but she didn't play anything from that album. From
SONGS III, I really wanted to hear "Silvia" which was one of her last songs
played and it was sufficiently haunting. I also wanted to hear her cover of
"Famous Blue Raincoat" but instead got her version of Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2"
which I also quite like, even though I'm pretty sure she sang "Workers in Love"
instead of "Workers in Song." I will forgive her, it was lovely.
Musical Disappointments: It was a short set at less than an hour as she had to
vacate the stage for the band scheduled to go on at 9PM.
Superficial/General Impression on Singer's Appearance: Nadler's face is
obstructed in many of the pictures I've seen of her, so I didn't know quite what
to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that she doesn't really seem to have a
lazy eye as some of the less flattering pictures suggest and although her nose
is large and her arms are freakishly thin, she is actually quite attractive. It
doesn't hurt that she has a stunning voice and a damaged personality; which are
obviously very attractive qualities.
Merch Table: I was temporarily excited because it appeared there was a Handmade
CD-R hanging behind Marissa at the merch booth but alas it was from the band
previous to her. I bought LITTLE HELLS on vinyl and asked her to sign it, she
flipped it over and signed and dated the bottom of the back cover. I had
previously ordered BALLADS OF LIVING AND DYING from her through her blog and so
I resisted the urge to re-purchase it (as my sickness would sometimes require).
Run-in's With the Bands: Nadler sold her own merch and since she wasn't being
bombarded with money from the small bar crowd, I got to talk to her for a
prolonged stretch with my friend Mike. She was surprisingly talkative and after
Mike asked an outstanding question about her lengthened live version of "Little
Hells" which caused her to compliment his attentiveness, I tried to show that I
was also a fan by complimenting her live arrangement of "The Whole is Wide" and
she confessed that she liked this arrangement better than the one on the album.
I agreed with her but didn't say so. We went on to talk about Los Angeles and
she said she thought it was "a weird place" but when pressed about living in
Boston she said that she was still hoping to fall in love with a place. Then she
corrected herself saying that she hoped to find a man and fall in love and then
move away with him to a mysterious land (or some such romantic foolishness).
Mike told her she might end up like the character in her song "Mistress" and she
said that she sang from experience, which puzzled and intrigued us.
Best Onstage Moment, Non-Musical: All of the best onstage moments were of the
Best Onstage Chatter: Nadler's not much for talking (or eye-contact) onstage.
She would usually politely name the song that she was about to play and late in
her set she said that this was her first concert ever with a band supporting
Did the Bass Player Look Bored?: He did, despite never having played this music
in front of a live audience it was clear that this was not music that was
challenging him and he wasn't going to put on a very dynamic display of musical
virtuosity for us. It was Nadler's show and his effort appeared minimal.
Overall Scientific Rating of Show (out of ten): 8.2