Cut Me Some Slack

Okay, so here’s my quick review of the giant ham and cheese sandwich that is the Nirvana-McCartney shebang last night. which I did not see until 6:30 this morning, which was this  recording, while making coffee.

0:04: Dave Grohl: I am totally gonna do that Namaste bow I learned from the hot chicks in yoga class. Yoga chicks love that shit.
0:10: Krist Novoselic: It’s cool, Sir Paul. Half the room has no idea who you are either.
0:21: Pat Smear: Everybody thinks I’m Fred Armisen.
0:22: Paul McCartney: I Am Gowing To Speaak In My Sir Pawl Vowice So Evaryone Knoows I Hawve Bean Knighted. And Sow I Wawrm Up My Vowcal Cowrds Awnd Down’t Crawk Like I Did At The Olympics. We’re Gowing To Jawm Owt This Rawk Hit.
0:26: Krist Novoselic: Okay, so I let my daughter pick out my clothes. At least I’m not wearing a rug that looks like a refugee duck from the BP disaster.

My thoughts about the music: When Novoselic said “It’s gonna sound like Scentless Apprentice and Helter Skelter,” he was right, but I think it sounded more like Come Together. Again, this isn’t the finest recording in the world, it’s pretty good, all things considered, and I hadn’t had my coffee yet, and I thought, of course it’s good. It goes on for 60 seconds too long, but of course it’s good. Your lead guitarist has been playing professionally for over half a century and basically is one of the inventors of the genre, your drummer has been playing in every kind of band since he was a teenager, your bass player has been hanging out for the last 20 years playing music for other people’s bands and saying, “fuck the system,” they’re gonna go through the standard book of basic rock riffs and throw all of them at the audience. I don’t know why they had to throw them all at the same time, they could have afforded to back off a little bit, go for finesse instead of bombast, but I’m sure Sir Paul could only give them two hours (including the performance night).

I’m also dying to know what kind of guitar Sir Paul’s playing here.

You know what would not have sucked? All things considered, if they had done this, which has no relation to a hurricane, but it sure would have been fun to listen to:

I just hope this means some more people get heat and electricity and food and clothes and stuff, who need it.

Donate to the Robin Hood Relief Fund. 

Blogging here has been thin, the semester has been thick.  Right now I’m up to my nose in a work in progress and up against a deadline, but I promise some actual content after it’s all over but the shouting.

Things I Find Inexplicably Funny

  It’s that magical time of year, where I have to dig in, eschew all social contact, and sacrifice myself to finals. I’ve been spending the rainiest day in recent memory reading academic journal articles on Abstract Expressionism, and when this paper is finished and handed in, I will never want to look at a Jackson Pollock painting again.  Maybe it’s oxygen deprivation making me feel compelled to overshare this with you.

I used to work at an upscale men’s clothing store down at the Jersey shore (just to give you an idea: men’s golf shirts, $50 each) that was so mind-numbingly boring that we used to place bets based on how overplayed the songs on the South Jersey lite FM radio station were (i.e., how many times will we hear this song this week?). There was a period of time where the song of the week was “Leather and Lace,” but they never identified the artists. We all knew it was Stevie Nicks and somebody, but we couldn’t identify the male vocalist. It took a full week before someone finally correctly identified it as Don Henley.

You know your job is mind-numbingly boring when you can write, in your head, a full gender-studies article on the cultural relevancy of the lite-FM chestnut, “Leather and Lace.” It made me fall in love with the song. It wasn’t a great summer, but there are worse fates.

Years later but still years ago, I convinced my friend Jeremy to sing this at karaoke with me. Being completely blotto, I blew it so badly that I still owe Ms. Nicks an apology.

So, that might explain why I find this pee-myself hilarious, at least through the first 4 minutes.

Ferrell’s comedy takes a while (and it’s not work-safe, you have been warned), but at 4:15 or so, Dave Grohl just takes it back and owns it (and me).  I’ve never been a huge fan of, specifically, The Grohl- his presence is ubiquitous enough to have become cultural wallpaper at this point. But his ability to simplify and perform this overplayed song compellingly shows you why, much like Chickenman, he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere. Guy’s got some chops, and I wouldn’t mind that served up with some caramelized onions.

But then Ferrell breaks the absolute cardinal rule of the guitarist-worshiper. No matter how funny you think you are, no matter how complicated your bromance, YOU DO NOT DISTRACT THE GUITARIST. Guitarists in general tend to be skittery creatures, and it’s a complicated juggling act for them to perform and make it look like they’re not self-conscious. One wrong move and they will tear back to Mom’s basement, the six-pack of Schlitz and the stack of vinyl records before you can say Stairway To Heaven. Deep down inside every guitarist is a kid who finds a complicated, ancient and beautiful stringed instrument less threatening than people.

Musicians make good partners for writers.  When you need to go crawl into a cave and scribble and scrape out a few hundred words and try to make sense of them, they will not miss you when you’re gone. They will, in their weird way. You might come out later on and find a mouse on your doorstep.  In reality, they’re off doing their own scrambling and scraping. Whatever you do, when the machine is in operation, do not distract them. You might end up with a 12-string neck in your ribs, and you will deserve it.