Charlotte Martin - Stromata Preview Show - 21 January 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006
Stromata Preview Show

Hotel Cafe
Hollywood, CA

Set List:

lightblinde (piano and virus)
under the gravel skies (w/ KORG voice distortion thingy)
madman (w/ virus) ->we didnt start the fire (billy joel cover)
four walls
inch (formerly inch away from heaven on stromata) - (on virus)
weird goodbye (new song on stromata)
monster (w/ KORG and virus)
quick dive (on KORG) - one of the previously unreleased song on rarities cd 1
keep me in your pocket (w/ loop and billy hawn on drums on stromata)
redeemed (piano w/ billy hawn on drums on stromata)
chasing a shadow
veins (w/ loop and piano and billy hawn

My tour buds, marco and noah, and i decided to get there early and start a line for what was sure to be an huge char show. what were we gonna do with all this excitement building in us? to hear char’s music live again and to get a chance to hear the new songs? to see and support char again? to see all the wonderful fans and friends again? needless to say, the waiting outside got us all giddy and even more excited. always fun to just hang out. Crazy 8s and tour food was the order of the day and we passed the time with great fun and a fair amount of good nature, competitive dissing. :) i loved it. the time flew by until about a 1/2 hour before the doors where it was just like, ‘let us in!’ lol the hotel cafe was really beautiful, bigger than the last time i was there. the lighting on the stage was better as well. upon getting our table and seeing the stage set up, the excitement built all over again. there was the piano and virus that i had seen from this past tour...but there was also a new toy: a KORG keyboard all mic-ed up and ready to go. some exciting stuff was gonna happen. as the soundsystem played an awesome radiohead mix (everyone knows radiohead! each person in our group each said ‘omg! this is my favorite radiohead song!’ at least once)and some was definitely Char time. the crowd went nuts with excitement when she took the stage to a the looped beginning of 'lightblinde' by the reaction she gave, she was feeling that excitement too! it’s great when everyone in a show is just on the same page. :) it was beautiiful. the music filling the room, everyone in there paying attention and just being mesmerized. sometimes i like just looking around for a sec to see the faces and it’s just a great thing to see the appreciation and the focus and intensity on the faces. she walked in and started playing to 'lightblinde'...the more i hear this song live, the more i love it and am rediscovering it. then she played 'under the gravel skies' using the KORG for the first verse. it sounded amazing! she totally distorted and electronisized (i made that word up :)) her voice, very staccato and clipped. see the third pic on top row of pics below for visual. :) it was inventive and cooool. 'madman' on the virus was awesome and then she went into a few verses of 'we didn't start the fire.' more highlights for me were 'four walls'...and the dance. :) charlotte also previewed 'inch' (formerly inch away from heaven) which will be on stromata along with a new song called 'weird goodbye.' i loved both, 'weird goodbye' in particular because it's charlotte on piano and her biting, emotionally charged lyrics. a really heartbreaking yet empowering song. a huge highlight was a KORG-ed version of 'monster.' wow. it was the KORG and the virus, i believe. but she made that song sound so haunting that's the word i was looking for. during the 'ohh what would i do without you part' she played her own percussion hitting the KORG mic, it was just friggin cool. :) 'quickdive' was a new oldie and i really enjoyed it...and love it on the rarities EP. very beautiful. she played 'redeemed,' 'keep me in your pocket' and 'veins' with billy hawn on the drums. i love percussion with char...whether it's looped or w/ drummer or both, it just sounds sooo good. i'm such a huge fan of her new sound which is still charlotte but turned up a few notches...electronicized a bit. the songs are even more universally personal. she ended the evening with a stunning version of 'veins' where she had the loop, the piano and billy hawn on drums and she blew the hotel up, just holding that last note loud and strong until it was screaming for mercy. it was an amazing evening with much love and support there for charlotte. after the show, the line to meet charlotte stretched from inside the main room to the adjoining room. it was cool. :) lots of people buying cds, particularly the Rarities 1 cd only available at this show. check out the discography section for track list. an evening of great company and great fun.

charlotte started off my 2006 with an unforgettable show, one of the best i've seen. the music, the new sound, the essence of char...all the fans, it was just a perfect evening. she outdoes herself with each show and i'm just very excited to see/hear what's next!

Charlotte Martin - Hotel Cafe - Hollywood, CA - 1/21/06
photos by jules