November 21st, 2011


I Saw StarKids and it was Totally Awesome!

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. You can comment here or there.

OK, sorry, that’s their tagline.  They were totally pretty good, though.  The Human Tape Recorder was not alone at the Fillmore in Silver Spring last night: some of the songs seemed to consist of the folks on stage just holding the microphones out to the audience.  I didn’t remember “Karaoke with 2000 people” on the ticket, but hey.

If you’re not familiar with Starkid and the StarKidPotter show, I assume that you are over the age of consent and don’t have teenagers at home.  The music didn’t suck, generally, and some of the standout songs were really good – when this group puts its collective mind to doing an R&B old school blues number, they can bring it down.  The parts that came from the college auditorium review still sound like they came from a college auditorium review – not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

While it’s disconcerting to be among 2000 people at a show and still raise the average age by 5 years, I have to say that makes me glad to see teens at a concert like this wearing Spinal Tap tee-shirts.  Another good one said “Shakespere hates your emo poems.”  On me, that would be rude.  On the skinny goth emo chick wearing it, it was hilarious.  I would have bought her a drink, but of course she was probably 12. 
The HTR had several friends there, bordering on a mob of their own, and one of the other parents loaned me a pair of earplugs for the duration.  What little hearing I have, I owe to him.  What little sanity I have I don’t owe anyone for, I paid for it – in the form of a Dewers on the rocks, mid-way through the show.  The venue is actually great; the acoustics at the Fillmore are amazing in surround-sound - I got all the songs from the stage, from the sound system, and from 1500 female amplifiers, all aged 18 and under. 

The highlight of the evening was being groped by a teenage girl with a Ron Paul for President button.  Of course, when I texted this fact to SOBUMD (“My life is getting weirder by the minute!”), all I got back in terms of sympathy was “Just lie back and think of the blog.”  Heh. 

The opening act was a guy named George Watsky.  He was more than just pretty good – I’d've paid to see him by himself.  He recalls Bo Burnham, but I mean that in a nice way.   More interesting to me was that when someone shouted something about “do the something something one” he said, “This is a concert.  That’s a poem.  You don’t really want me to recite a poem to you, do you?”  The crowd said yes, pretty clearly – and he stood there on stage and recited a poem (about lisping, and getting past that fact) to a crowd of 2000 mostly teenage girls.  And they applauded like crazy – his delivery was great, the content was good, but to me the simple fact that the opening act can still hold a crowd like this steady and happy with a poem…  Well, it does my heart good. 

But all good things must come to an end, and I got the HTR home a little after midnight – a near-final birthday gift concluded – and it was totally awesome.  Just ask her!



A Thankful Countdown: Day 3

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. You can comment here or there.

I’ve decided to count down to Thinksgiving, and take a moment each day to think about things I’m thankful for. 

Number Three:  Books.

The reading of them, the writing of them, of the making of books there shall be no end.  I surround myself with them, in part because they help insulate the walls in the wintertime, but mostly because I’ve so often found a wonderful world waiting for me on the other side of a wall of words, full of magic, of science, of fascinating characters, of bastards and dastards and witches and bitches and lions and tigers and bears, oh my. 

My favorites have always been those that reference books that have come before, whether those of the author or others – the quiet in jokes that solidify the conversation between reader and writer.  When the protagonist mentions something that happened in Oz, or Middle Earth, or Narnia, it’s a wink from the author, saying, ”I’ve read those, too.”

The three lunatic children have been known to describe the house as living in a library, and for the chance to offer them two thousand passports to distant lands, I am thankful.