A lot has happened in the past few weeks, and as expected I have been delayed in talking about it. So – here I am. Early on Monday morning I feel like my head is clear enough (or am I just tired enough) that I can write about a few things.
First of all, Amy I went to a concert in Chicago last weekend. We saw Regina Spektor at the Riveria with my brother and his girlfriend. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from her concert. Obviously, I know her music – as everybody should. But what I didn't know was how she would be in a large public setting – in her videos and in interviews she always seems so shy and…well…almost introverted. Personally, I have no problem with that – I just didn't know how that was going to play in a large theatre.
Upon walking into the Riv we noticed just a piano, the piano bench and a chair. Um…OK. If you have listened to her latest album, Begin to Hope (which is what she is currently promoting) it is very clearly a "produced" album – with lots of instruments, etc. I didn't doubt that the songs would sound good only on the piano (as they were probably written), I just didn't expect it. "Fidelity" which gets a lot of air time just seems like it needs the rest of the music behind it.
After suffering through "Only Son" – the opening act that maybe wasn't so bad, but I am so old that I hate opening acts – Regina walked out. She looked shy, introverted and cute. She immediately walked to the microphone and started singing a capella – tapping the microphone with her finger to keep a beat. Eventually she moved to the piano and I was lost in her charm. She is shy…and all about the music. She doesn't really talk of try to build a relationship (at least a talking relationship) with the audience. That being said, when she is singing she is completely immersed in the music – and still she never takes herself too seriously. A few songs had obvious "bad" notes or missed notes on the piano. She usually laughed it off, or cussed about it to the delight of the audience. One song she even decided to start over after profusely apologizing. How cute is that?
So, she played piano, sang a capella, at one point played a guitar – then for "Hotel Song" she brought "Only Son" back out and he redeemed himself by acting as a human beat box while she sang. It was clear they were having a good time with it…as every time they looked at each other they both started to laugh. All in all it was a great concert. I don't think I would have liked hearing a band. It was much better with just her…better than the albums. Her stage presence works for her. The "shy" thing plays as very cute. So – I am keeping my eyes open for her next trip this way…I heard a rumor that she is actually coming to Indy. Oh – and the lighting sucked. Like – it was absolutely terrible.
On our way back home, Amy and I stopped to see my grandparents. My grandfather is in his 90's and just recently had a stroke. My grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. They were both great! My grandfather was excited to show us his scar from his recent surgery – and then he started complaining because the doctor told him not to play golf for a few weeks. I love resilient old people. It is comforting to see that they can still be healthy even if they are old.
So…what else has happened? Well, I have finished my first year as a college professor – and I am still standing, bichessss! I feel like I had a great year. My students are great; the people that I work with are great. I feel like I have support when I need it – I have a nice office – and I get summers off… I finished all of my grading early – which is a wonderful feeling. It sucked because I locked myself in my office for many hours on a BEAUTIFUL day – but it was so worth it just to be done. My final requirement of the year was to attend graduation this past Saturday. It was a bittersweet day. The speaker was terrible – but what can you do?
Last night Ron and I went to see Morrissey…again. I'm not sure how many times we have seen him now. But this was special…because he was playing in Indianapolis. What? Yes – I said Indianapolis. I know – weird, right? He played at the Murat. It wasn't quite sold out – or at least it wasn't full – which pisses me off, but what can you do? Moz said he hasn't been to Indiana for nearly 30 years when he was here working on a James Dean tribute. 30 years – begs the question if I am his illegitimate son…maybe?
So, last Thanksgiving, Ron and I saw this same tour when he made a random Chicago stop between Mexico and Iceland or something. But still, this show had this weird magic around it because it was here in Indy (and I am convinced he will never be back here). The show gets a 7 out of 10. Moz was his typical self indulgent, pompous and insecurely arrogant self (too many selfs?). It's nice to know that some things never change.
Unlike Regina, Moz acts like a (48 year old) rock star. And that's OK. He has earned it, and the audience will continue to give him what he wants, so more power to him. The crowd was a mix…the lady next to me was very drunk and in her mid 40's. There were a lot like her. The hot lady in front of us was in her 30's and wouldn't stop screaming…but she just kept screaming the same thing – and that got annoying. We saw the typical high school kids with their "Smiths" shirts on. We also saw a mom come in with her 6-ish year old daughter. I swear that K-Fed was there, too…or somebody that looked like him. The volume was too loud – and I hate that. The lighting was very good, much better than it was at the Aragon. The gigantic gong was still underutilized – and the guy on the horns was over utilized – but that just feeds into Morrissey being self indulgent – as does ending the encore early because he was having monitor issues.
I have never bought a t-shirt or any such paraphernalia from a Morrissey concert – or from any concert. Well – I broke down and bought a belt buckle. So – after 10 years of my beloved Campagnolo buckle I am switching to my slightly homo-erotic "Morrissey" belt buckle. Amy saw it and decided to ask me if I still like women. Never fear readers…I do still love the ladies. I don't love my messiah in "that" way – not that I would turn him down…anyway why do I call him a messiah? Well – he brings young and old together for a common goal. People faint when the touch him. He sits (happily) on his pedestal and looks at his followers. Some follow because they are sad and find comfort in his music – others see the humor in it. Some people just love him for his hair. Regardless, every show is an experience…different from any other concert I have ever been to. Rufus is the only one that comes close to comparing in terms of attitude, self-indulgence and general conceitedness, and I believe he has been dubbed "the gay messiah" – maybe Moz is "the celibate messiah."
I think that is all for now. 1st official day of summer. I need a nap. I need a car wash. I need to find something interesting to write about.