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Oct 17, 04 11:19 AM

The Soup Was Prompt; The Chicken, Tardy.


A gig last night at Fez; just me, accompanied by Shahzad on guitar. He was fabulous. What a genius this guy is. He sounds like Bob Quine, Marc Ribot, and Jerry Garcia mashed up together.

Actually, no; he sounds just like Shahzad. He sounds like himself on any instrument (he was my drummer on the June tour; he's generally a bass player). That's the mark of a man with a true style, a real musical voice. I'm lucky to be able to share a stage with him, and just to enjoy his brilliance.

I made a joke that, being that Shahzad was the drummer on the last tour, and now he's been bumped up to guitar player, that I was grooming him to be my successor in the Mike Doughty organization. People, meet Shahzad, the new Mike Doughty.

Fez is on Lafayette Street in Manhattan, in the basement of the Time Caf. It's a glamorous and slightly disheveled room. We could feel the 6 train rumbling through the tunnels below us as we played.

Showing my Letterman influence, I kept deferring to Shahzad, asking him questions; whether or not we should do a certain song, apologizing for starting songs in the wrong key, asking him to weigh in. A la Paul Shaffer. My good friend Mara came up to me afterwards and said: "I loved that you made Shahzad's happiness the theme of the show!"

Darren Jessee also played, with his new band, Hotel Lights. I know Darren from doing the Horde tour with him, way back in the 90's. And Alexi Murdoch, a solo dude. It can be dicey, showing up on a CMJ bill with two acts one is unfamiliar with, but I lucked out. I dug the hell out of both--Darren's wan, yearning tunes, bolstered by analog synth and pedal steel, and Alexi's trance-like guitar grooves and hypnotic refrains--I recommend 'em.

Posted by Mike on October 17, 2004 11:19 AM