December 21, 2004

IT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU BACK IN A BAR BAND BABY

The singer, she is the younger sister of a young/white blues prodigy. She is not well known, and when you say her name, there is a forever PS. of her being his sister shadow. She is nothing, if not a minor leager pro. She can win a bar with soft moves. I wonder if she just grew up wanting what her brother had, or if it is in the DNA, or if maybe she spent her teen years bucking for a Star Search star turn. She is a natural performer in a way that could land her a lifetime of cruiseboat gigs.*

I do not doubt that before this, there is a long history of her in her bedroom practicing the prance, the pout, the tossing of her long hair, giving her womanness a drama workup -- she knew what face is to be made for solos, she knew what face to make when she was singing some tired double entendre -- all the while she threw her hair like a pole dancing expert, her "risque" moves were something I think she must have picked up watching Cabaret, because it was very musical theatre, it was very Minnesota Virginal (an aesthetic on easy view at any Twin Cities mall).

I said: "She looks like a stripper from Burnsville."
Sean said : "She looks like the type of girl I would go home with after a show in Lincoln Nebraska."
My man is nothing if not honest.

She then vamped through "Darling Nikki" and the closing mega-medley of "Crosstown Traffic" into two Zepplin songs, and managed to make it all sound like "You Oughtta Know" as an epic song suite. There were chops, there were open shirts, there was dueling solos between the hammond organ and the guitar player, there was an inadvertant hair war between the singer-lady and the gtrist, who did a lot of scrunchedyes-I-am-giving-it-to-you-face during the Zep miniset. He had a chin beard like a merkin, a shell necklace and during one of his solos, he squatted like he was shitting in the woods, held his gtr out over the monitors, so the audacious audience could strum during the "crazy" part. It was exactly what you want to see from a band like that.

The dancefloor was people like me, people on a date. Except the people dancing were all nine varities of weekend/holidays drunk -- secretarial hotties of all ages, stuffed into their tighest black jeans, with their most shimmery blouses tucked in for a slimming effect.
Grinding.
To the bar band blues bland.

To be clear, I do not have contempt for the old, the uncool, the excessively and glaringly white, the trashy community college court reporter girls, the cartoon-dog style tongue out yer mouth drunk unmarrieds. Just fear. My fear is that after years in big cities, my hometown soemtimes feels like it's cultural core is a bus station pageant.

All of this was nothing when held up to the performance I saw in audience after the set. A guy with a dustbroom moustache, faded Harley shirt, scrawny, drunk, 50-ish, playing air guitar along with "Holly Jolly Christmas" being played of over the P.A. - smiling big, singing along and just jammin on some eternal, invisible, internal Christmas-riff.

(*Actually, what she most reminded me of was when I saw Gina Gershon play, backed by Girls Against Boys. GG's artistic wingspan covered minor space: "jazz hands" + " the do me face" + leather pants... she was gunning for Joan Jett, but she was more hammy Cherrie Curie. This show was made approx. 1007 times stranger due to my seating arrangement. I was in a booth seated with Sally Timms, Billy Corrigan and a rich couple in their sixties, visiting from Moscow who had come to Chicago's House of Blues "to see zee Bluhhze. You understand? She-cah-goo Bluhhze!" The couple were holding their ears, totally frightened, and had bailed by GG's blitzkrieg version of "I wanna be yr dog," Meanwhile Sally and Billy held forth with some of the most bitter critical commentary ever dished. I had a splitting headache, and Mr. Corrigan offered that he no longer even took aspirin, he just prayed. His dialogue with god got him through some sort of oral operation, suggested I try the same, and then evangelized to me for some time about the rising tide of worldwide spiritual conciousness and wrote down titles of new age magazines to check out on a scrap of paper and passed it to me. I was unconvinced of his deep spiritual nature, as he treated any autograph-wanting young person like they had just offered him some free gonorrhea. Yo, Bill, we are all God's Children, even the bitches from Winnetka with perms!)


Posted by Jessica at December 21, 2004 01:08 AM | TrackBack