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20 Jun 05

danny michel and the john mould band fainting goats

ever since i made my claim that i tend to enjoy full bands more than solo artists, i’ve been happily discovering exceptions to this rule. first there was sondre lerche who had a knack for holding the crowd in the palm of his hand. then there’s joel plaskett, although it’s a toss up whether i like him better solo or with the emergency backing him up. and who can forget final fantasy, who’s really just one guy, his violin and a bunch of pedals? and finally, there’s danny michel.

i always enjoy watching danny michel perform. his songs are well written and fun, sometimes to the point of being quirky, but his real strong point (as i’ve said before) is his stage banter. on friday night, after sitting through a somewhat tranquilizing set by dayna manning, danny took the stage and in no time was telling a story about a for sale sign he found for fainting goats. (“they can’t climb up on furniture because they’ll faint!”) he held the audience’s attention for the length of his nearly two hour set, and performed a number of solo songs on both acoustic and electric guitar (with his omnipresent pedals for looping and other cool effects), and was joined on stage a number of times by friends. the cello and upright electric bass were a nice touch for a few songs, and the drum machine was more than sufficient. a standout of the night was the stripped down version of perfect, which is a good song on the album, but an amazing song live. luke doucet also joined him on stage a few times to school him on his own guitar, and i found it pretty impressive that he could play a song that he didn’t know so competently.

the set was capped off by a surprise appearance by danny’s new friend andy kim (who touched my shoulder on his way to the stage – *gasp*), whom you may know by name if you’re over 40, and whose songs you know no matter how old you are. they played sugar sugar and rock me gently together, and i think it may have been the highlight of danny’s career, judging from his reaction.

my only complaint about the night: i was sitting at the table next to danny michel’s family and friends, and they set up a tripod for a microphone and camera directly behind my chair. no mobility or sneaking to the washroom for me during the 2 hour set…

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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