I lucked out and was able to attend the season ending show of WITS (for those of you with excellent vision you can spot me waiting in line in this picture), put on by MPR out at the historic Fitzgerald Theatre this past Friday. Author Neil Gaiman headlined, along with musical guest Josh Ritter, but that just was the tip of the iceberg of the famous faces that stopped by, which included Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage of Mythbusters and some former greats from MST3K (Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy). And of course, Neil’s dog Cabal, who enjoyed a torrid 30 second affair with my crotchal region. Then, of course, their was the announcement that HBO had picked up Gaiman’s breakthrough novel American Gods to be adapted into TV series.
While Gaiman was certainly the reason for going I have to say that it was Josh Ritter who stole all of his thunder with a heck of a great set that really did show that he was worthy of being compared to Bob Dylan. Oh sure, you’ll eyeroll as I did at the comparison, but Ritter is a storyteller first and foremost and it shines through in his songs. Gaiman himself was clearly transfixed by Ritter, as was the audience, during his first song The Curse, which is a heartfelt ballad about Mummy love. Its a beautiful song and it was an absolute treat to see this artist forced upon me who simply blew me away.
Not to be outdone Gaiman continued his Gaiman-esque way of simply trying his hand at some other art form and once again sheepishly knocking it out of the park. He’s written comics, screenplays, novels, children’s stories, poems and songs, and rumor has it he’s a heck of a bedtime storyteller. And now, he can add the illustrious title of singer, as he stood up and took the stage to sing one of his latest songs, The Problem with Saints, about a resurrected and slightly trigger happy Joan of Arc.
Not to be outdone Ritter upped the ante in his final song, one he was apprehensive for fear it would go out over public airwaves, and its fantastic. I’ve embeded all three songs after the b reak so make sure to listen to all of them, then head over to MPR’s website to see the rest of the videos as they continue to post them and be sure to check out their archives from this season as well.
Josh Ritter – The Curse
Neil Gaiman – The Problem with Saints
Josh Ritter – Galahad