Monday, March 06, 2006

“Christmas at the Zoo,” Flaming Lips
A merry, yuletide funeral. Too quickly gone to properly enjoy.

“Agnes Queen of Sorrow,” Bonnie “Prince” Billy
The screen door slams, but instead of Mary going away we have Agnes, singing through a scruffy, rug-faced man. He resembles me in all things, except he is rich and I am not, he is red-headed and I am not. The orange cello strains come through the door in procession with the sentimental steel guitar. The end satisfies like a crisp cup of coffee.

“Sari” Nellie Mackay.
The pendulum swings and we end up in a heavily ironic Rogers Park dream: polite pretenders spend time slinging jokes about how much they love the Oxygen network and springing platitudes about highs and lows, about rhymes and lives of crime. Sari, sari, sari. A mention of hari-kiri (pronounced “Harry Caray”) makes me think of the late, lecherous lush of Wrigley Field and old Comiskey fame. I guess I failed my test.

“I Threw it All Away” Bob Dylan (with Johnny Cash intro).
Next weekend I will be in Nashville, observing all the compulsory Lenten fasts (skipping the pork in the collard greens, climbing stairs on my knees) and pilgriming to Our Lady of the Opry-Lowlands. The crowds will cheer as I give them my Episcopal benediction.

“Sweet Little Girl” Stevie Wonder.
“Should we hold a formerly great artist responsible for his latter day sins; is it better to burn out or fade away.” The mean blues harp above the herky-jerk crowdedness of the Lakeview Lounge, when the middle-aged harmonica player would get up around 1:30 and hook up his mic and amp and join in on songs: some classic, some improvised. This is also why spoken word open mics suck: not because they’re bad necessarily, just because they’re a bad idea. Not all imitation is a bad idea, but most of it is. Fade out fade out fade out (with background singers making their first appearance).


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