Mike Doughty: November 22, 2013 9:30 Club (DC — 2 sets) + November 23, 2013 Webster Hall – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

November 25, 2013
By


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[photos by acidjack]

Mike Doughty promised to reimagine some of the favorites he wrote with Soul Coughing, and with a successful PledgeMusic campaign, he made it happen. The new LP features brand-new arrangements that hew closer to the vibe of Doughty’s solo work, with more straight singing and less of the scatty sing-speak that he popularized as “M Doughty” back in the Soul Coughing days.

Doughty has refused to play Soul Coughing songs live for years; his book documents his animosity toward his former bandmates and his perception of how and why the band ended. When he played an acoustic doubleheader at City Winery earlier this year, it was the first time I had seen Soul Coughing material live since the late ’90s.

You don’t have to buy into, or agree with, Doughty’s perspective on the band’s breakup to enjoy the new-old songs. If you were a fan of the band in its heyday, it won’t take long to remember how infectious and unusual many of these songs were. From their breakout hit “Super Bon Bon” to their big hit “Circles” to Ruby Vroom’s standout “Screenwriter’s Blues”, this sound hasn’t been replicated by anyone. It was Doughty’s, and his bandmates’, alone.

We are offering three shows in this post: First, an exclusive “VIP” acoustic performance of five songs prior to the main set at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC; second, that night’s main set, where Doughty paid a much-deserved and touching tribute to the deceased longtime 9:30 Club fixture Josh Burdette, the kind of person that, if you have ever been to that club, you would remember. Finally, we have a homecoming performance at NYC’s Webster Hall, which due to my failure to charge my preamp, is missing the last few songs. It and the 9:30 Club set are fairly similar.

The acoustic set is the best example of where Doughty is musically today — you hear him deliver some powerful renditions of both his solo stuff and Soul Coughing material in a manner that he grew more comfortable with over the past decade-plus. It’s heartfelt and reflective, more personal than any Soul Coughing performance ever came across.

The Soul Coughing material presents a different challenge. You have a performer who used to be known for spastic, hyperkinetic performances in his 20s, backed by musicians from a variety of disciplines, trying to redefine that material in a newer, more mature image. Soul Coughing shows were just that — shows — and some songs’ delivery covered up some of the original arrangements limitations. In some instances, these “re-imagined” Soul Coughing songs felt the way Doughty said in The Book of Drugs that he wanted them — leaner and meaner, with fewer distractions. “Unmarked Helicopters”, from the X-Files soundtrack, certainly makes that argument, as do, among others, songs like “True Dreams of Wichita” and “Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago”. “St. Louise is Listening” highlights its essential opening lyric when Doughty’s smoother arrangement is deployed.

In other cases, the reimagination becomes more of an adjustment: Without the classic bass line once played by Sebastian Steinberg, a song like “Super Bon-Bon”, with its mad flow and seemingly random lyrics, is no longer what it was. Absent the classic loop credited to Mark De Gli Antoni on “Screenwriter’s Blues”, Doughty’s lyrics have a different cast than they did in the original. That said, that Doughty dared to mess with his original success on this album is a credit to his growth in the past 13 years. As a fan of both his solo work and Soul Coughing, I think I speak for more than myself that we always hoped to hear some of his ’90s work alongside his current material. So, Mike — thank you.

DC-based friend of the site Kubacheck recorded both of his sets with MBHO cardiod microphones. My recording from Webster Hall was made with Schoeps MK4V microphones in a mobile fairly close to the stage. We have streaming tracks and full downloads of each, and all three are excellent. Enjoy!

Stream “Fully Retractable” from the 9:30 Club acoustic set: 

Stream “St. Louise Is Listening” from the 9:30 Club

Stream “True Dreams of Wichita”

Download the 9:30 Club acoustic set from the Live Music Archive: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Download the 9:30 Club main set from the Live Music Archive: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Download the Webster Hall set from the Live Music Archive: [MP3] | [FLAC]

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Mike Doughty
2013-11-22
9:30 Club
Washington, DC USA
[VIP acoustic set]

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by kubacheck
Produced by acidjack

MBHO KA200N>MBP603a>Naiant adapter>Naiant Tinybox>Roland R-05 (24/48)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust levels)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter)>>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, additional level adjustments, parallel compression, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro]
02 Sunken-Eyed Girl
03 Fully Retractable
04 [tuning/banter]
05 No Misfortune
06 27 Jennifers
07 American Car
________________

Mike Doughty
2013-11-22
9:30 Club
Washington, DC USA
[Main set]

[same info as acoustic set]

Tracks [Total Time: 1:23:11]
01 [intro]
02 Is Chicago Is Not Chicago
03 Sugar Free Jazz
04 Bus to Beelzebub
05 The Idiot Kings
06 Unmarked Helicopters
07 Lazybones
08 Screenwriter’s Blues
09 Uh, Zoom Zip
10 Mr. Bitterness
11 Soft Serve
12 How Many Cans?
13 Monster Man
14 True Dreams of Wichita
15 St. Louise Is Listening
16 [banter]
17 Moon Sammy>So Far I Have Not Found the Science>Moon Sammy
18 Super Bon Bon
19 [encore break]
20 Janine
21 Circles
________________
Mike Doughty
2013-11-23
Webster Hall
New York, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB/DFC)>KCY>tinybox v2>Sony PCM-D50>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, additional level adjustments, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 54:11]
01 Is Chicago Is Not Chicago
02 Sugar Free Jazz
03 Bus to Beelzebub
04 The Idiot Kings
05 Unmarked Helicopters
06 Lazybones
07 Screenwriter’s Blues
08 Uh, Zoom Zip
09 Mr. Bitterness
10 Soft Serve
11 Monster Man
12 True Dreams of Wichita
[rest of show cuts]

If you enjoyed these recordings, PLEASE SUPPORT Mike Doughty, visit his website and buy his record of Soul Coughing songs reimagined there.

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