Monday, May 9, 2011

It's a Date and Spinal Tap

I went on a date last night with George the Elder.  We went to hear some live music. We grabbed a bite before the show while the boys stayed home and ate pizza.

"Wowza!", you are thinking.  "How amazingly sweet for your husband to plan an evening out on Mother's Day!"  Now, you know how much I love George the Elder, and many of you know that he loves me too.  But, those of you who know him best would also know that while he is sweet and kind and generous - - remembering Mother's Day in ADVANCE would not be one of his hallmarks.  Nope.  This musician just happened to be playing in SF on Mother's Day.  George the Elder likely realized this on Saturday morning.  Still, it was pretty serendipitous.  So, Go Him.

We only go hear live music occasionally.  And most of those occasions are to see artists that George The Elder would like to see.  More often than not - - and last night was no exception - - it's a BIG surprise to me who this person is.  It's also a big surprise as to what they are playing since I have never heard of these people I would not have them on my i-pod play list.  That's assuming I owned an i-pod which I don't since I have this really weird thing about putting earphones in my ears and not being able to hear anything around me.  I find it all really hinkey.  Another story for another day.

As we were waiting for the music to begin, I asked George the Elder, "what does this guy look like?"  He declined to answer - - he wanted me to see for myself.  This is William Fitzsimmons....

Big Beard.  Bald Head.
A little disconcerting (get it?  dis-concerting??? - - never mind).  On stage walks what can only be described as a cross between mega-mind, an Hasidim Jew, and some guy in safety glasses and a lumberjack shirt  - and then this guy, this weird looking guy - - alone with his guitar starts to sing.  Amazing.  And while, as he admits, most of his songs are sad-wrist-cutting in nature, his voice is hauntingly beautiful and he plays a sweet sweet guitar.  I'm pretty sure, if you click on this little link below you can hear him sing....

We had a really great time. 

But, before Fitzsimmons came on, we were "treated" to a little warm up act.  They, not so memorable, since I can't remember their names - were excellent food for fodder as we waiting.  My observations?
  • Never watch Spinal Tap (or portions of Spinal Tap) prior to going to see live music at a small independent theater.
  • If you do happen to watch Spinal Tap prior to going to see live music at at a small independent theater, it will be impossible to take anything seriously no matter how good they are.  The words, "11", "haberdashery" and a vision of a teeny little Stonehenge descending can't be erased.
  • Songs starting with the lyrics, "Tilt your head back until the bleeding stops" and "Singing to the houseplants" just add fuel to the fire.
  • Dear small group, just because you have digital music equipment that allows you to play every instrument known to man plus a few of your own inventions- you do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT need to use every one of them in every song.  Pick a couple.  Stick with those.  There's no good reason to have bagpipes. honky-tonk piano, english horn and ancient zither in one 3 minute song with a synthesized percussion going great guns in the background.
  • If you are only playing about 10 songs you do not also need to bring 17 other musical instruments on to the stage with you.  a)  it looks cluttered and b) those three cords that you played on the banjo in song #5 could have been done without.  It didn't add much, and hey!  why is that the one instrument that you didn't use your digital equipment for?

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