Black Friday, March 13, 2009 was indeed a lucky day for live music fans in Wellington. Head Like A Hole who are now known as HLAH were playing a sold out reunion gig at Mighty Mighty. However that sold out at least a week before the band were due to take the stage.
Black Chrome were playing a show with one wolfman band, Boss Christ at the Adelaide tavern. However I passed both those up to see John Doe of X and Jim White play alt-country at the San Francisco Bath House. I wasn't familiar with the solo material of either so went in with a fairly open mind. I arrived at the time the doors opened to find a local band already playing. They were called Blackwater and very much a country band.
John Doe played first and his country tinged solo material impressed. His stage banter included introducing a song as an auto-biographical murder song and stating that Nick Cave writes a lot of Murder songs but has never written an auto-biographical one and a speech on how the old punk guys are dropping like flies yet all of Fleetwood Mac are still alive.
He played a couple of songs with Jim White on guitar.
I'd never heard of Jim White before attending this show but his brand of alternative country won me over in a live setting. Although this could be due to that his between song speeches made for interesting listening. Confessing to looking out the hotel window and timing the length of a trick at Il Bordello led to a story about him, while being a good Southern Christian boy, selling sunblock at a whorehouse in his city. There were also stories of surfing in tornado storms while on acid.
John Doe joined him on stage for a few songs. While I enjoyed Jim White live, it's John Doe's solo output that I'm more interested in digging up for a listen. Lesson learned: alt-country is not be a genre to be written off.