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Mike Doughty @ Largo 5/6

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We took photos of the show, but our crappy camera and Largo's strict photo policy precludes us from showing them here.

We took photos of the show, but our crappy camera and Largo's strict photo policy precludes us from showing them here.
Last week Mike Doughty, former frontman for Soul Coughing, was in town for a two-night stint, first at the Hotel Cafe on Tuesday followed by Largo on Wednesday. LAist caught the hard-working minstrel at Largo, where the small, but appreciative crowd listened as Doughty did his singer-songwriter thing. He left the full band behind this time around, joined onstage only by cellist/guitarist Scrap Livingston and a jar of super special questions from the audience.

Doughty led the audience down memory lane, drawing heavily from both the Soul Coughing well and from his solo work.

Soul Coughing fans enjoyed the acoustic arrangements of “Soft Serve” “Circles” “Janine” and “True Dreams of Witchita,” while newer fans enjoyed the fact that he pretty much played all the cuts from his 2005 release Haughty Melodic. Some of the standouts included “Unsingable Name” “Madeline at Nine” “I Hear the Bells” and “Your Misfortune.”

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He stopped a number of times to answer questions for the jar (e.g., “Do fish sleep” and “When was the last time Soul Coughing played together?”) and answered them. Or didn’t. Or made Scrap do it. This bit, only a true diehard Mike Doughty fan could love. Doughty’s rapping, however, we don’t know who could really really love. He performed two raps, accompanied by his acoustic guitar, and they didn’t really work. They must have been new songs because he used an “analog telepromtr” (aka a music stand) to help him get through the songs. Couldn’t tell you what they were about, but they were lame.

There was a very casual vibe in the air -- and this show was mellower than usual Mike Doughty shows. There weren’t people singing along, and the crowd remained quiet when he broke a guitar string and changed it onstage. Maybe it’s Largo’s strict no talking policies in effect.

Doughty, ever the hard-working troubadour, pitched his live CD from the stage and said he’d be selling them after the show. He said the proceeds went right to the gas tank for his rental car. That and probably more In-N-Out, which he said was his favorite part of SoCal. It was a question in the question jar -- and one of the questions he didn't make Scrap answer for him.