Mission of Burma

Went with Roger last night to see Mission of Burma, who haven’t toured together since the Reagan years. Amazing to walk into the Fillmore Auditorium – as I said to Roger, those walls have witnessed more great music in the past 40 years than just about any building on earth. It’s a great vibe. The walls are plastered on every floor with photos and posters – name just about any great post-50s musical act and they’ve probably played the Fillmore at some point.

Mike Watt was opening, along with Silkworm. We were half there to see Watt, and crushed that we missed him – they must have started the show on time, which threw us. Crap. Another time. For the record, Silkworm was boring.

Burma, on the other hand, ruled. Forced to break up just as they were peaking 20 years ago, due to Roger Miller’s creeping tinnitus -today he wears big bulky noise-reducing headphones to block out the sound. Birdsongs of the Mesozoic was formed out of Burma to create chamber rock, and Miller switched to piano – all an attempt to protect his ears. But now he just goes with the blocking phones and plays what he’s always wanted to play.

Anyway. It was like all of that antique art-punk was bottled up in them, perfectly preserved, and came rushing out, unravaged by time. Totally inspired and brilliant, just dada enough, rhythmically and melodically intense. Kind of the Magritte of punk. Or should that be the King Crimson of punk? Just totally righteous.

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