Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Shmorgasbord

I have a friend on Facebook who falls in and out of love a lot. It is a tad embarrassing the way she will one moment be waxing prosaically about her newest love interest, only to inevitably slide into the emotional dumper so all her online friends can see her spectacular wipeout.

I bring this up having seen Chrissie Hynde play Humphries last night, sharing the bill with Lucinda Williams. Chrissie's voice was in its normal superb form. She was playing with her new paramour, Welsh folksinger J.P. Jones. They have a new album called "Fidelity" which they wrote holed up in a cramped Havana hotel room together.

Hynde is pushing 60, Jones, the new love interest, is a freshly scrubbed 31. He had been a big fan of le grand dame growing up, with her poster on his wall and had sent her some songs and they apparently hit it off. May September romance, the cougar effect in all its glory. Whatever.

Their portion of the concert was okay, replete with "mommy" wisecracks and between song patter about their age difference and seeming inability to ever have children. But they broke one of the first rules of entertainment, thou shall not bore. Every song was another mutual admiration, self congratulatory paean to their budding romance. It gets old for a listener. Would have liked to hear at least a couple songs of a different emotional temperature, maybe something sad or pissy.

Not only that, the guy is just not a great singer. Okay, not a bad voice if you are getting sufficiently plowed at the pub, but a steel rake on cement next to the sonic royalty that is Hynde. So I found myself wishing that he would shut the fuck up.


Lucinda, who I am a big fan of but had never seen live, was fantastic. I had been warned that her shows could be really slow but I was riveted. In all of my years in San Diego (and come to think of it, I was born here) I had never visited the intimate venue. Not a bad seat in the house. Lady next to me said that she had some sort of meltdown in Sacramento. She stopped our show to complain about the sound from the stage monitors. Tempestuous.

She has a new guitar player, a giant of a man named Val McCallum, who shreds. Comes from the L.A. band the jackshits. Or maybe it is the kingshits. I went to the show with fellow guitar player Chip, and we were both blown away by this guy's stunning performance.

Lucinda has a pure voice, lacking in a lot of range, but honest and sincere. I have heard it described as heroin cowboy but not sure if that is a fair call. I love her. Her fans are passionate, I found myself being hugged by a lesbian girl during her encore. Any port in a storm, honey. Chrissie and JP joined her and we stood next to the stage. Fantastic, except for JP bumbling his lines and drop ins. But a very satisfying evening all in all.

Setlist- 1) Blessed
2) Tears of Joy
3) Kiss Like Your Kiss
4) Are You All Right
...5) Concrete & Barbed Wire
6) Crescent City
7) Something About What Happens When We Talk
8 Jackson
9) Greenville
10) Right In Time
11) Awakening
12) Seeing Black
13) Unsuffer Me
14) Come On
15) Honey Bee
16) Righteously

17) Sweet Side - with Chrissie & JP joining in! Chrissie kneeling in front of Lucinda. Lucinda commented "we made some history tonight"
18) Joy - " don't let Sarah Palin take your joy; don't let the fearmongerers take your joy"


I got a call last week from something called Project Ethos. Did I want to attend a spectacular multimedia event that included concerts, fashion show, art exhibits and beautiful people? Gratis as an honored guest VIP, plus one? My wife is in the fashion biz so after checking I said sure. Wanted to see how they got my name, as I am not exactly too far up there on the cool charts. Ethos describes itself as an incubator for  art, music and fashion.

Leslie and I piled ourselves into the old jalopy and headed down for the hour long trip to the big city. I was wearing a decent shirt and had slipped into my better pair of loafers. Slight detour for Bronx Pizza, Spinach Ricotta. We found our way to the high end nightclub, Fluxx and saw a coterie of beautiful people milling about outside.  We met the charming hostess I had spoke to on the phone and she slipped a curator badge over my neck. As a gallery owner, I guess the hopes were that I would help discover some emerging talent. Had I forgotten to tell her that I only handle dead or extremely sick artists?

We were escorted in and a man rushed up to me and asked to see my driver's license. Obviously I did not possess the right cool cred to be invited to such an event, too old, decidedly unhip, not wearing my customary black. He apologized and the night started to spiral downhill. We waited for two and a half hours for nothing to happen, except perhaps view the generally ghastly art. Drank the overpriced cocktails.

There was no where to sit and we asked a kindly security man if we could sit at one of the many empty reserved tables for a moment and rest our old and tired peds until the big shots showed up. Just for a moment, mind you. He was very nice and assented. The media relations girl ran over and told us that he had no ranking and we would have to vacate the area immediately. I tore my stupid fucking badge off my neck and let Leslie know that I was ready to go but we took a walk around the gaslamp instead and  she simmered me down and we started the long wait until 10:30 when the hideous hip hop trio and soon to be major recording artist Sophia Fresh came out and whored themselves around the runway.

All night a persistent thought perambulated through my noggin, what the hell were they selling and what the hell was this about? During the start of the fashion show, it clicked. This was a very expensive venture to sell clothing, to resonate with the trendy mod whatevers. I sometimes attend Fashion Show events when Leslie is doing her thing at the WWIN and Magic Shows in Vegas and the designers here were pretty pedestrian imho, all sizzle, no steak.

We did meet a nice woman who sold medical instruments. Saw a lot of hormonally overcharged beautiful people. But next time I think I will skip it.


Looks like Washington Nationals pheenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg is out for this year and probably the next. Twelve big league starts and he is sent to the showers with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow that will require Tommy John Surgery.

I was listening to the crafty left hander Randy Jones rap with Darrin Smith on 1090 Sports Radio yesterday and they mentioned that some healthy high school kids were having a procedure that extracted a tendon from their thigh and reattached it to their arm so that they could become better pitchers. Prophylactically. Healthy kids. Freakishly weird and something that I want to discuss with the bio-ethics professor.  Probably prodded by their overbearing families. Frankenkoufaxes.

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