Thursday, September 28, 2006

fright moves

It’s been a long time coming … but you knew a change had to come.

Who the hell am I, you wonder? Good question. I don’t have an easy answer and you probably don't want to know, but I’ll say this: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have something important to unload. I’m a serious-minded individual ... probably why I've avoided this forum for so long. Anyway, it’s not just anything that’s got me in a tizzy - this is serious business.

Here goes: last night’s performance by Bob Seger on the Dave Letterman program deserves a special mention in the history of unintentional comedy. It was really something else (I don’t have a clip but the one above seems a fair substitute). Bob, bless his Motor City heart, sang a terrible song with unintelligible lyrics; he was backed up by a drummer sporting a curly, silver mullet (you're in the Silver Bullet Band, compadre), a risibly flamboyant lead guitarist, and a guy playing the biggest saxophone I’ve ever seen. So am I just writing to make fun of a poor, over-the-hill artist who's lost all sense of fashion? No sir. In fact, I’d like to use this parasitic canvas to defend the right of the elderly to rock out with their … okay, to rock out.

Several years ago I had the privilege of seeing the Rolling Stones play a show that literally knocked my socks off (very unusual) and rewrote my definition of ‘self-indulgent.’ It was over-the-top and beautiful, ridiculous and thrilling; I had never before been emasculated so definitively by a sixty year old libido.

Look, I don’t listen to a lot of the new music. I pick my spots (love the new M. Ward, Post-War). But really, new rock music is, for the most part, a sick joke. For every Wolf Parade there are a dozen Panic! at the Discos (picked at random from list of MTV:VMA nominees). I say, if the kids don’t know how to rock, let’s leave it to the old folks who actually know what a draft is. By golly, some of the best shows I’ve seen have been guys who were supposedly past their primes: Mick and Keith, Neil Young, Chuck Berry, and Ray Charles, to name a few.

(Bonus credit: my favorite band of the moment is the brilliant funk/rock/pop dinosaur with a name inspired by a dildo in Naked Lunch … can you guess who it is?).

The point is that what Seger’s performance lacked in blood sugar, it more than made up for in pure rocker emotion. Bob’s still a little bit too tall even if he couldn’t really use a few pounds. And he’s still Seger, people, still Mr. Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll. And, above all, he still believes in what he’s singing, even if I don’t understand what that is.

Do I regret not seeing Seger in his prime? Of course I do … I’m only human. But at the end of the day I’d rather see Seger in his sixties than watch The Killers flit foolishly around the stage at the height of their career.

So there you go. Maybe I'll post again in six months. Oh, and go see The Queen (this is a movie blog, after all).


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