Wise Up [ 2004-06-23, 1:20 a.m. ]

“Well, there are 200 people who look just like us,” Kent said to me as we rounded the corner onto Water Street earlier tonight. We went to see Aimee Mann play at this funky little club on a funky little street full of funky little people in cheap t-shirts and expensive jeans. (Yeah, me too, sadly…a wife-beater and Sevens. I’m a Brooklyn cliché.) We stood outside in line with all the other not-too-hip hipsters and admired the scenery. Which is to say, the huge fucking lofts that mocked us with their river views, Viking ranges and glam gay art director inhabitants (the club was in D.U.M.B.O., a trendy neighborhood who’s name is actually an acronym for Cobblestone Streets Nowhere Near A Subway But Who Gives A Fuck Because We’re Rich And Hip And, Hey, Is That Steve Buscemi?). So we stood outside for a while, then we went inside (where there was a cute bar set up with good food and wine and Red Hook beer and pretty people behind the bar because it’s D.U.M.B.O., goddammit, and no uglies are allowed!) and stood some more. And while the point I eventually want to get to is that Aimee Mann could potentially be my New Best Friend and live music is the best thing EVER, I have to first sidetrack and mention the Freaky Foursome that parked their asses in front of Kent and me once inside.

We filed into the club, got some drinks and made our way to the stage area, where we were soon surrounded by – as Kent said before – a shitload of people who looked just like us. Lots of couples, lots of carefully disheveled hair. But then these two paunchy, middle-aged men squeezed in front of us, then reached back and pulled their SKANKY, skanky dates trough the crowd. And they immediately started dancing. BEFORE the band came out. I swear that I am really, really not a judgmental person, and I wholeheartedly support the To Each His Own philosophy, but this foursome was creepynastyweird. The men were each old and fat and bald with bad come-overs and the women were both va-va-voom Latinas wearing tube tops and jeans that laced up the sides. And they were DANCING to no music, and then all four of them kind of huddled up and made a little circle and they all sort of swayed back and forth and danced IN THE HUDDLE FORMATION, still to no music. Then one of the men stepped away and the remaining man had his arms around both women and was dancing with both of them, all bouncy and ass-grabby. When Aimee Mann (soon to be my New Best Friend) came out, they kept bounce-dancing just the same as when there was no music. And each man spent time bouncing/groping each woman. And I have no problem at all with homosexual sex, threesomes, sex with toys, fetishes, whatever, but for some reason, these four people gave me the worst case of the willies. And weirdest of all was that they were at an Aimee Mann concert. It just didn’t seem like the kind of event that would inspire swinging couples to bust out their trampwear and take a hit of X, you know? But they bounced and groped, groped and bounced for the better part of two hours, with me eyeing the two faux-Shakiras scornfully as they shimmied up against their nasty old men to the strains of “Driving Sideways.” I just couldn’t tear my eyes away. On the walk home Kent told me he figured them for Russian mobsters with hookers. It sounded reasonable to me, although I have no idea where he gets his information.

But the concert! The concert itself was great. Mellow, with some great moments of rocking, and Aimee Mann’s kick-ass voice. She was soooo groovy, and seemed very quirky and dry, but approachable. Her banter with the audience was natural and down to earth, not at all pretentious or obnoxious like some bands I’ve seen (Counting Crows, I’m looking at you.) and I just kind of wanted to take her home with us and have a beer and shoot the shit.

Does that ever happen to you? You see a celebrity or personality somewhere and you think, yeah, we could totally be friends. I know that sounds a wee bit stalker-ish, but really, I just mean that if Julianne Moore and Aimee Mann wanted to have dinner with me, I’d be up for it. And if Buffy and Jamie Oliver and Fox Mulder wanted to come, hey, that’s cool with me too.

The music, though…the music is what I really wanted to talk about. Because it was awesome, and it reminded me how much I love live music. And considering I live in a city where it’s harder to find a parking place than a live music event, it’s a crying shame that I don’t see more concerts. There are FREE concerts all the damn time! When I was working at a Big Investment Bank downtown, I would sometimes eat my lunch in Battery Park, and in the summer months there were free noontime concerts. Free! I could eat outside, with live music, and all it cost me was the price of my Au Bon Pain sandwich. I need to make an effort to get my ass to a concert more often. I don’t care if it’s Madonna at Madison Square Garden (which it won’t be because HELLO I am not made of money) or the Funky Chicken Neighborhood Jam Band in the park (no, that is not a real band), I really should be listening to more music.

My brother J is currently touring the country with a neo-Blue Grass band (J is their sound producer), and they’ll be in New York late in August. All the guys in the band are in their mid-twenties, as is J, and they are all so unbelievable passionate about their work. The band has a business plan, for real. At the concert tonight I was thinking about my brother (who turned 24 yesterday!) and realizing that this is his life. Or at least, this is what he wants his life to be. I can’t wait to see his band in August, and to see him in his element. Kent hopes the band doesn’t ask to stay at our apartment.

I have a tendency to forget how much I love music, and I can go days and days without hearing any. But then, usually about the time Kent is ready to go to bed, I start looking at CDs (and gasp! Old mixed tapes) and then I start playing songs and then I SHAKE MY ASS AND ROCK THE HOUSE because I love music so much and no one has ever danced better than me, at midnight, in my sweat pants and Ugg boots, ever in the history of ass-shaking.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I love music. And D.U.M.B.O. lofts. And Aimee Mann. But not Skanky Swinging Freaks.

And now’s when I call it a night…

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