Monday, July 27, 2009

New Shoes: The Paolo Nutini Experience

Right out of the chute, Paolo Nutini jumps on his early hit, "New Shoes". The mix is bass heavy and somewhat muddy, but despite the result of an obvious half-assed sound check, the crowd recognizes this song and gets moderately involved. Now what? Paolo goes with another tune off his new album that maintains the pace and fortunately the sound guy starts dialing up a bit more clarity on behalf of the talented band. Nutini's vocals are cutting though the mix. I'm enjoying myself. This is going to be a good night after all.

I had already accepted to conditions of this venue, The Vogue. The Vogue is an old neighborhood theatre that was converted many years ago into one of Indianapolis' best venues for national acts. On the plus side, smoking is banned and the ventilation is top notch. The bar service is good and security keeps things in order without being heavy handed about it. You have to be 21 to enter. Another positive. The drawback is that seating is sparse. You either have to call ahead for seats or queue up an hour or more before the show. I arrived 15 minutes before the first act came on stage and found a parking spot right across the street. I'm in the door, meet my daughter right off. She buys me a big-assed can of Foster's, and PaPa's pretty happy at this point. I don't mind standing around for a couple of hours, especially when I'm only 30- 40 feet from the stage.

The opening act is Matt Hires knocking out a few pleasant acoustic numbers. The second performer is Erin McCarley. She was restricted to her guitar and a few synth sounds. She may be a headliner one day, same for Hires. The predominately young female audience was here for the dreamy Paolo Nutini, so Erin did not get the props she deserved.

So Nutini finished the two snappy numbers and went into one of his soulful ballads. In my opinion, this is where he shines. The mix is still not what it should be and numerous people are talking like this is a cocktail party and the band is merely providing background music. But hey, the venue is like a party with folks standing around, drinks in hand, and with good friends. Let's just say that Nutini could not overcome obstacles of The Vogue on many of his subtle offerings.

The sound finally gets fixed and the rolling bass is gone. Nutini warms up, and I have found good value for my ticket price. Paolo Nutini worked hard to deliver a top notch show. He had a smokin' band behind him and finished strong. "Jenny Don't Be Hasty" during the 5 song encore was the highlight of the evening.

A couple of notes:

During the show, a random drunk appears out of nowhere and points at me and starts laughing about my lethargic demeanor. The diminutive fucker is no threat to me. I'm more surprised than insulted. He babbles on for a few seconds while I go into Anton Chigurh mode and stare at him. I finally point to the back of the room and he ambles along. There but for 1 mg of Xanax, nothing came of this bizarre encounter.

There was one fellow whose head was so big, it looked like a stop sign was erected in front of the stage. My daughter remarked that this wasn't a head, rather a planet.

Speaking of obstructed views, many of the petite ladies strained to elevate enough to see the handsome singer. Nutini, however insisted on singing out of a crouch early in the show. He looked like was looking for a lost contact lens he was so low. Anyone under 5'5" was not seeing the dude.

I think Paolo Nutini was either stoned or else hammered on the Corona he was gulping down.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cate's Game 7-11

Hard weeks make for better weekends.

Friday, July 10, 2009

In the wake

The big week for celebrity deaths has flushed a few of my latent ideas on related subjects to the surface. To the best of my recollection, these are some of the utterances that were heard in my home as I learned of the passing of McMahon, Mays, Fawcett, Jackson, and others.

1. Michael Jackson's golden casket.
What a waste of money! Once lowered into the ground no one is going to see it, even Jackson, himself. If his estate gets low on funds, can they exhume the body and swap it out for something more affordable like a Tupperware coffin ? People waste too much money of funerals. Personally, if someone bitches about the low quality of my casket, that's their problem. My survivors will appreciate the extra inheritance.

2. Billy Mays
He was a fixture on my most punchable list. When he was on the Pitchmen show, I began to realize that he was just a guy trying to make a living and the grating demeanor was his shtick. I already miss the fellow. Sorry, pal.

3. Why are we mourning people we don't know?
The past week, many people lost mothers, fathers, wives, children, and close friends. Spending more time making things to place on a celeb's memorial than you do honoring your own is fundamentally wrong.

4. The news coverage of Jackson was deplorable.
I felt sorry for his close family (Except for that sleaze ball father of his) to have to endure the public spectacle. ...and it continues.

5. I do not believe that
what happens to your container (body) after you die is of any importance. It can be disposed of any safe manner with no consequence in any possible afterlife. If it comes to pass that you get more life and your body back at some point, some physicists agree that matter and energy can be reconstructed to a previous state. Being eaten by a shark or preserved in Lenin's tomb, or vaporized in an atomic blast makes no difference.

6. Al Sharpton
I thought the hyperbole of Michael Jackson's super powers got a little out of hand when he was credited with somehow advancing civil rights and racial harmony in the country and around the world. This is total bullshit! His performances had wide appeal, but he didn't get into vigorously pushing for the social and political changes that have made life today a bit better than the days of old. This is not a knock on MJ. He was a flat-out great entertainer and made many people happy for a number of years. That's what he did. The remoras like Al Sharpton sicken me with their self serving and demonstrative accolades. The man will not champion a cause that advances all of humanity. Instead he lurked in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to exploit a popular Black man to pimp his narrow political agenda.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Founding Father

Thomas Jefferson did not shoot fireworks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We be dum

As usual, an innocuous trip to the local store supplies me with fodder for a blog update.

I was waiting for my prescription to be filled and meandered into the toy section. I was curious to see if there were any new family games on the retail shelves. There wasn't. I did see something that was moderately disturbing.

I am aware that Monopoly comes in all flavors these days. In fact, I have a Simpsons version. I also realized that the game has been released as a computer game. which invites online play and computer opponents. No problem with that either. The version that had me cursing the stupidity of the masses did not have Monopoly money in it. No, no, no. Instead, the players are provided credit cards and and a hand held balance calculator to keep track of their assets. No math skills required. No having to make change. No banker. As many of us will attest, Monopoly helped us hone our skills in handling money and involved mental arithmetic skills. I wouldn't be shocked to see the game tally the pips on the dice an show you where to put your marker.

Just another example of the dumbing down of America.