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Frank Black - live notes. 1994/1995

After finishing up his second solo album, Teenager of the Year, in early 1994, Frank spent much of March and April with his band on tour opening for the Ramones. His set length varried widely; 5 songs one show, 15 songs another, including some previews of new songs from the forthcomming album.

In mid May, Frank finally left the States and did some appearances in the UK, including a Peel Session. He didn't have his band with him, but was able to get Teenage Fanclub to be his backing band for the session.

He returned to Europe again in June, band in tow this time, playing a whopping seven show run at the Arapaho in France, the last of which was broadcast on radio for the Black Session program, and later officially released on CD.

After the French shows, Frank flew to New York for some shows, including an appearance on MTV, as well as Late Night With Conan O'Brien where the band performed "Freedom Rock". It was a somewhat strange sight for viewers, as a screen behind the band showed Conan's sidekick, Andy, dancing as they played.

In late August, Frank began a world tour, including stops at several European festivals, such as Reading Festival. After stints though Japan and Australia, he returned to the US in mid October and finished out the year opening for They Might Be Giants, this time without a band.

When the tour hit New York City, Frank was booked to perform on the Jon Stewart Show. The producers of the show wanted a full-band performance, however. Frank considered asking They Might Be Giants to back him up, but they were playing Conan that day. So he recruited some guys from the band Miracle Legion, including drummer Scott Boutier and bassist Dave McCaffrey. (Months later, Frank called them up and got them to be in his band, full-time.) They played "Headache", as well as some of "Jumping Bean" over the end credits.

  • THEY MIGHT BE FRANK: "It might have seemed inevitable that Frank and TMBG would end up playing together on stage while he was doing his solo show opening for us. He occasionally sat in for "Spy," but we never really mixed it up as much as I thought we might when this touring package came up. Through an odd set of circumstances They Might Be Frank was finally realized, however, in Memphis just before Christmas. The TMBG tour was to end on the 18th. Linnell booked a flight to spend the holidays overseas, but then this radio festival got confirmed without our knowledge for the 20th. Frank bailed us out by coming back from rehearsal in Rhode Island for his next European tour to do a special set with Brian, Tony, and me. We were billed as They Might Be Frank, and performed a bunch of his current songs, "Los Angeles," "Headache," and "Czar" along with a new, very cool song he wrote called "Jumping Bean," and some Giants regulars "Spy" (which Frank conducted the improvisational portion of) "Dig My Grave," "The Sun," "Istanbul" and a Bo-Diddleyized version of "Particle Man" with Frank singing and playing the clarinet line on the guitar. We also covered "Duke of Earl," which to my surprise (but not Frank's) had the audience chanting along almost right away." - John Flansburgh,

Following a busy 1994, 1995 was a rather slow year for Frank as far as touring is concerned, with only a handful of shows early in the year. Frank headed out for a few shows on the east coast, as well as another short stint in France, before returning to California to begin work on the next album.

{songs performed 1994/1995}
(Instead of trying to get setlists for every show, I just took a bunch of setlists from each year/era, and divided the songs up by how often they were played)

regular rotation
(probably played at the majority of Frank's 1994/1995 shows)

(I Want To Live On An) Abstract Plain
At The End of the World
Bad, Wicked World
Big Red
Brackish Boy
Freedom Rock
Hate Me
The Jacques Tati
Jumping Bean
Los Angeles
Men In Black
Old Black Dawning
Olé Mulholland
Sir Rockaby
Space Is Gonna Do Me Good
Ten Percenter
Two Spaces
The Vanishing Spies
Whatever Happened To Pong?
White Noise Maker

occasional rotation
(played once in a while / somewhat often in 1994/1995)

Duke of Earl
Fazer Eyes
The Man Who Was Too Loud
Parry The Wind High, Low
Pie In The Sky
Pure Denizen of the Citizens Band
Two Reelers

rare occasions
(played rarely; probably not more than a few times in 1994/1995)

Adda Lee
The Hostess With The Mostest
I Heard Ramona Sing
Modern Age
Places Named After Numbers
Speedy Marie

Frank Black Gigography