WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM LIVE
Is how Fee Waybill and The Fabulous Spooner once challenged us. What do you want? What David J wants is to share his music directly with his fans. Through his website (http://www.davidjonline.com/living-room-shows.html), the legendary musician is playing in living rooms across the country, self-funding and self-promoting.
For our Atlanta show (Sunday June 12, 2016), our host was the lovely Lisa King at Electron Garden Studio in Avondale Estates, a perfect setting for a surreally perfect evening. We were told the event sold out. As the crowd of 40 or so devotees assembled in advance of the promised 8pm show time, Lisa's group, The Hot Place (http://www.thehotplaceband.com/) entertained us with a few of their original songs, performed as an acoustic trio. Introducing their last number, Lisa reminded us that we've lost too many icons, too many heroes already this year, before launching into an acoustic Ace of Spades.
The Hot Space gathered up their gear, Lisa walked toward the microphone as David fucking J nearly ran to the same microphone, a few minutes before 8. And he was off with no fanfare. Just a beautiful bright yellow shirt that Tim had noticed as we arrived, an old acoustic guitar, and his iconic glasses and haircut, looking much the same now as he approaches 60 as he did in 1979 as Bauhaus 1919 began.
SOMEONE SHOT NOSTALGIA IN THE BACK
Anyone expecting a Beach Boys or Rolling Stones style oldies jukebox show wandered on this set by mistake. David J has claim to one of the coolest back catalogs in music, being able to draw from Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, and now over 30 years of solo and other collaborative material, yet eschews laurel resting for connecting with his audience. His song titles betray a lighter more humorous man than the iconic bassist who would face away from the audience during his spotlight sets with Love and Rockets. One stretch of four consecutive songs Sunday night were: Goth Girls In Southern California; Almost A Menage a Trois; Hot Sheet Hotel (replete with sing along chorus); and Where The Bloodline Ends (the vasectomy song).
There were no Bauhaus songs, not those he wrote (Bela) nor sang (Mr. Moonlight), and only two from Love and Rockets (No New Tale To Tell and Waiting For the Flood). There were three covers, and beautiful choices all. First up was Little Red Corvette, with no apparent irony. After a lengthy first set, his abbreviated second set started with a rocking rollicking What's So Funny Bout Peace Love & Understanding.
For his final number, David re-emerged looking all Captain Sensible in a black and white polka-dot dress and extreme white shades for a great cover of Queen Bitch, ostensibly in support of North Carolinians being able to use the public restroom of their choice.
After the show, David J stuck around to speak with any and everyone who wished to, signing merchandise, old records and concert tshirts, and taking pictures. We even got a quick smile from him. Mine has lasted days.