A PREDICTION

A Prediction
By Wembley Ruse

I'm talking people. P-E-E-P-U-L, I'm talkin' folks!

-Lyndon Baines Johnson

Contributed by: Poe, Thanks again!!!

This is a manuscript given to Poe from Wembley Ruse a man who had the privilege to ride around on the bus with the Band, this was wrote while touring on the bus.

It is an uncertain thing to predict the birth of a star. For the most part it falls into the category of gambling. Though actual odds rarely surface, the commenting crew usually accepts they are at the races. However they are also usually professionals in the music biz, never certain but hoping just the same. The birth of star for an audience is a little different for it lacks that ever elegant and sophisticated language of radio playing, chart topping, spin stats those on the inside have the capacity to chatter endlessly on about. The audience just waits for the music once that gets going they wait for the echo inside. Sometimes the echo never comes. Sometimes it comes but it's a muddy weak ting of emotion. But then again sometimes... Well that's what audiences and Bizzers alike hope for: the irrefutable echo within which actually exceeds in volume anything the eardrum can produce.

Example: Austin, Texas. Date: December 4, 1995. Place: La Zona Rosa. Time: 11:04PM

After the onslaught of five bands, ranging in talent and style, ultimately pulsing out into one flat hammer of beats to keep the moshing Austin folks pounding heal to floor, a new act took the stage. And they were different. First of all they took their time (a sound check the duration of which dangerously threatened the audience's patience) but second they said hi to the audience and the audience seemed to reply: "Okay, they're a little awkward and they're taking awhile, but at least they know we're here. Must be the sound guy's fault." So the band got a temporary reprieve. But as everyone stood, swayed sat, an unspoken challenge hung in the air; you better be worth it.

Finally, the speakers screamed to life with the rasping noles of a cello and moments later, dressed in floral and shag, Poe took the stage ("I'm Poe in Poe-land" she would later tease a dj) and appropriately her song was " Hello" which surprisingly enough has been reinvented by the powerful and charismatic members of the new band (Toby Skard, a towering bass player from Oslo Norway; Cameron Stone the gifted bow fiend on cello; the quiet Daris Atkins who down plays his talents by referring to himself as "the anti-guitarist"; Jones, the tick-tock sharp drummer from Reno, and of course Poe herself.) Together they transformed "Hello" from the CD's heroin blue in G to the raw hard-edged passion song that instantly gathered the Austin crowd in the palm of it's hand until Poe's gritty "Hello, are you out there?" was met with a "Yeah!" told by hundreds of voices in unison.

Off in the wings members of previous bands wilted. Out on the floor the audience melted. For though the set's pitch started hard and fast, the third song was a suprise "That Day" was suddenly soft and angular with only a cello for accompaniment. This was no longer about moshing or head slamming, this was about listening and you know, that's what they did from front to back, they listened. But when the song was finished, the powerful alchemy at work wasn't. Something extraordinary happened and no one was prepared for it. Not the audience, the club staff, the stage hands, not even the band. As if the song wasn't enough, as if the heart ringing melodies weren't enough, as if the quiet that followed could hold more, and yet that was exactly what Poe did, she gave more. So many so close to the stage, bright faces, flushed faces, crowding towards the figure front and center like the cold press toward a furnace. And as usual the warmth they needed wasn't enough. So they pushed closer, executing the tiniest floor space as they reached out for her. Who could have known? After all she was new, this was her first time live with a band that had been in existence seven days or rather had been creating for six, and this being the seventh, the day of rest, a time to wonder....well you know that story, a one and only story the numeric importance of which whether by providence or plan proved more than appropriate, so who really, despite the signs could have warned them? Who could have yelled "Get Back"? No one. It was a harmless song break, nothing more and yet there in that silent gulf between two numbers, with everyone clamoring forward, arms raised in a practiced pantomime of love, she didn't withdraw, she didn't hide in a pose quip or another song, instead she stood there and without a word opened the furnace door.

The pantomime evaporated, the press stopped, and the ice of so many frost bitten yesterdays melted in a hundred eyes. It was frightening to experience such a communal gasp. But then again it was frightening to watch Poe look into the eyes of so many people and open up, eyes softening and shining, a fragile smile on her face, a girl's crush blushing her cheeks, only this time the crush wasn't on a life guard but on a thousand people and they loved it. No, they loved her, and as the set continued, songs gliding evenly down to slower melodies, or diving upwards, or even stuttering or missing cues, no one cared about the occasional glitch. It was that terrifying moment when a tiny pimple or crease actually amplifies beauty by checking it's perfection. They reached out for her and when at last she stage dove into the crowd they help her and protected her.

At one instant, an intruder plowed into the ranks of the front row. Drunk, stoned, in search of conflict, hurting anyone around with elbows and heels, he wheeled around everyone and everyone tolerated him until he reached up to Poe and tried to drag her down. Like one sentient creature-an incarnation of Bill Buford's darker breasts-the crowd reacted instantly, closing in on the man picking him and without hesitation expelling him from their midst. It was bewildering, welcomed and frightening all at once, that twenty minutes of music heard for the first time could have forged such loyalty.

Following the show, Poe came out to sign a few autographs. Within minutes there was a line extending out of the club into the street. No one onthe biz side could believe it, a first performance, a brand new band...This just doesn't happen...Radio promoters and record executives started gabbling about possible reasons: singles, sound and hype. But what the Bizzers had missed back stage was the untranslatable instant on stage when in one pulse she immolated every reservation or doubt with her vulnerability.

Stars of course are uncertain things. As you all know sometimes they explode, sometimes they burn out fast , sometimes they burn cold and far, and sometimes they just fade. But there are those that last and they form constellations or pierce the blackness with light to steer by. If the hard road of tours, interviews, promotions and the inevitable sour concerts and displeased fan doesn't seal her honesty within her (all of which is possible and unfortunately, when we to the language of the Bizzers, more than likely) Poe will light our skies for a long time.

Who knows, we'll see. She's scheduled to play LA soon enough. But one thing's for sure, there was an echo, only strange enough it didn't come from fans, it came from Poe herself and her band. Fourty-five minutes before leaving for Los Angeles, the band stopped in at 101X FM and performed live on the air a song they'd just written, inspired by their stay in Austin. The people there had echoed not only in her mind and memory but in Poe's heart. Once again she was giving them more than they asked for and that folks is the making of a far bigger echo than anyone right now can imagine. You still can't hear it and you sure can't see it, but you will and don't be surprised when it's far greater than the Bizzers gabbling in the backwings could quess. They don't know, but I'll tell you the people in Austin do.