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Friday, December 8, 2006

Nelson Is Nelson

posted by on December 8 at 0:01 AM

Sean Nelson is performing with an upscale rock orchestra concoction (including the quirked-up band “Awesome”) at Town Hall tonight, Friday night.

For those who know Sean as the Johnny Lydon-meets-Elton John frontman for Harvey Danger, you are about to be blown away by Mr. Nelson’s true talents.

I’m not saying the guy doesn’t put out and put on a devastating rock show (“Ooooh-woooh-hooo/Woooh-hoooo!”), I’m just saying Sean has always been a showman in the masterful Artie Shaw sense that calls for Town Hall, more than he’s been a low-tech Iggy Pop tramp at home in the rock clubs. And with a giant orchestra and pitch-perfect singing voice at his disposal, I’m guaranteeing Mr. Nelson will shine in a coming-out performance like you’ve never seen. This is Mr. Nelson’s moment.

The conceit is great. It’s Nelson sings Nilsson. Never heard of Nilsson? Exactly. Harry Nilsson was a popular singer/songwriter in the late ’60s and early ’70s (Coconut, The Point). In 1970, Nilsson did a record of songs by the not-very-well-known Randy Newman—called Nilsson Sings Newman.

I was happy to see Sean and HD go around once again late last year and earlier this year. But: As thrilling as those shows were (and even with some better-than-the-original-stuff, new songs like “Cream and Bastards Rise”), the finely tuned gigs always seemed like digitally remastered takes of an earlier era. I was always left wanting to know (and hear) where Sean Nelson was today.

Well, he’s at Town Hall onstage with a 24-piece orchestra. Do not miss this. (7 pm, $12, all ages, Eighth Ave and Seneca St in First Hill.)

RSS icon Comments


nilsson, not nillson, i think

Posted by good speller | December 8, 2006 6:30 AM

I love Nilsson, even though he is an alcoholic and also dead. Not only do we have him to thank for "Put the Lime in the Coconut," and "The Point" and the music to that forgotten Altman gem, "Popeye."

Posted by Ariel | December 8, 2006 7:34 AM

Good luck tonight, Sean. That sounds like a blast. Have fun!

Posted by You go | December 8, 2006 7:54 AM

The orchestra was up to 27 members last night, if you count the children's choir.

Posted by sax player | December 8, 2006 8:14 AM

Does anyone know if wine/beer/cocktails will be available?

Posted by speaking of alcoholics | December 8, 2006 8:16 AM

Good Speller,
Fixed. Thanks.

Posted by Josh Feit | December 8, 2006 8:17 AM

Nilsson is STILL misspelled. So is Eighth. And it's John Lydon, not Johnny. And... And...

Posted by 11x11 | December 8, 2006 8:18 AM

Yikes. Fixed.
I'll stick with Johnny Lydon, though.

Posted by Josh Feit | December 8, 2006 8:33 AM

I just hope he gives props to Fred Neil if he does Everybody's Talkin'.

Posted by Levislade | December 8, 2006 9:19 AM

Johnny Lydon--no. Richard Hell--yes.

Posted by BB | December 8, 2006 10:30 AM

No, no. On stage w/ Harvey Danger, Nelson plays the foppish Johnny Rotten punk way more than the dolorous NYC '77 thing.

Posted by Josh Feit | December 8, 2006 10:42 AM

aw, crap! I'm going to the TIG Very Merry Karaoke Bash at the Croc tonight instead. Sorry, Sean - karaoking rockers sounds more fun to me than an orchestral event.... :(

PS: 8pm to whenever at the Croc - $10 to get in!

Posted by el ganador | December 8, 2006 10:48 AM

Rotten was an anarchist--it wasn’t just a narcissistic pose. Jumping about isn’t enough if you want the comparison to hold. So I say Hell.

Posted by BB | December 8, 2006 12:10 PM

Looking forward to this. Question: Some sources (like the Stranger and Brown paper Tickets) say the show starts at 7:00. Others (like the Town Hall website) say 8:00. Much as I love Nilsson, I don't really want to get there an hour early... Can you clear this up? Thanks.

Posted by Superfrankenstein | December 8, 2006 2:41 PM

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