MISSION OF BURMA
Burma Three Year "ON" Anniversary Weekend

MOB



PHOTOS & TEXT BY SHERI HAUSEY



Mission of Burma at the Bowery Ballroom
January 14th and 15th, 2005

The Bowery Ballroom is a wondrous venue. The oxymoron of its alliterative name is at once intriguing. How does one align tattered suit images of cast off bowery bums with the waltzing arena of the elite? What does one expect to find a few blocks away from the punk palace of CBGB's with its litter encrusted walls? One finds a wondrous space just the right size to accommodate a good size crowd but small enough to keep the synergy between performer and audience up close and intense. With its well crafted balcony and excellent sound system, the Bowery LOU Ballroom is a music fan's haven from the dismal environment of most live music venues. Perhaps this is why many musicians book multiple nights here rather than book a larger venue. Patti Smith recently spent almost an entire week playing in residence with a New Year's bash to boot. So from the moment I hear that Burma is playing here two nights, I'm overly excited by thoughts of the inspired evening that will result from such a perfect match. I'm still moved by my memories of seeing Lou Reed performing here (see photo) during his Raven tour. Even as Jon and I are milling around during soundcheck with our cameras, I have flashes of Lou at the edge of the stage reciting his Edgar Allen Poe adaptation. Yea, Lou, "nevermore quoth" that damn Raven.

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Coming back to the now, I look around, taking in the expanse. I'm overwhelmed. The excellent lighting and balcony provide for photo op heaven during soundcheck. In fact I think these are the best pictures I take all weekend. Peter hangs out on the stage and talks with Jon, Eric and me for quite a while. This is a special treat. The conversation centers around the sad state of used record stores and the booming basement Boston rock scene. Efforts to appropriately define punk meander in myriad directions. By chance the entire time Peter stands and sits in the most beautiful light . He also exhibits a generous nature by ignoring how Jon and I trade off shooting shots. Peter in that light is irresistible. When Jon talks, I click; when I talk, Jon clicks. Thanks Peter. I love my shots and I know Jon must have some amazing prints.

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Burma's on stage. I sit in the balcony quite a while. Leaning on the table I revel in this vantage spot. Bob Weston never looked quite so much like the divine master of ceremonies. Suspended in the air he works a special magic pushing faders and twisting knobs on his mixing console. Ben Miller enters below, sax case in hand. More special treats for the evening. Seeing the Rachel's onstage causes a momentary ATP 2002 flashback. Flash forward to now and they'll still join Burma on "Wounded World" and more. The show can't start soon enough.



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next

THURSDAY SOUNDCHECK @ IRON HORSE
January 13, 2005

THURSDAY SHOW @ IRON HORSE
January 13, 2005

READ ABOUT IRON HORSE SHOW
January 13, 2005

FRIDAY SOUNDCHECK @ BOWERY
January 14, 2005

FRIDAY NIGHT SHOW @ BOWERY
January 14, 2005
SATURDAY NIGHT SHOW @ BOWERY
January 15, 2005


MISSION OF BURMA