Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MY MIRACLE TICKET? OR KICKED IN THE SHINS?

I can't remember when I last saw a concert. Of any size. Seriously, other than amateur bands playing for free in the park as I strolled past, I'm not sure I've seen any live music in years. Which is really odd, because from ~1987-1997 I saw more live music than a rock critic. Just show-after-show-after-show. Small clubs, mid-sized venues, arenas, touring festivals, parties, college campuses, I couldn't remember every show I saw if someone paid me to list them. Well into the multiple hundreds at least, I wouldn't be surprised if I saw 1,000 shows in that decade.

And then I decided to pursue a career, "settle down," save money, etc. Not that I ever decided, "That's it, Mike. You're a grown-up now, no concerts for you." No, that'd be ridiculous. Just went out less, failed to plan ahead for big events as often (the scheduling difficulties that accompany a career as a lawyer - ugh), and ultimately used those "spontaneous" moments for both bigger ticket, and more intimate, experiences. And the upshot of this? I haven't seen any live music of consequence in years.

What a disgrace. Let the ribbing, razzing, and ridicule begin.

Anyhoo, that's not why I'm posting this. I'm posting this because I wish to report that I'm attending my first big boy concert in years . . . tonight! That's right. Applesaucer -- long-time friend, part-time "Neighborhood Commenter," and full-time pain in my ass -- decided for whatever reason earlier this week that he'd harangue me into joining him to see The Shins tonight at whatever they currently call the "theater" under Madison Square Garden (I think they may call it "The Theater at Madison Square Garden" or something equally unoriginal). He has a long history of successfully haranguing me into doing things I don't wanna do, and the results of these successful haranguings has been decidedly mixed: purchasing Rangers season tickets late in the '93-'94 season which gave us first dibs on playoff seats? That worked out pretty well. Joining his AL Roto "keeper league" the same season, when he had Clemens, Key, Cone and Mussina as his starters? Didn't turn out nearly as well (for me). To protect the innocent (and the guilty) I won't even get into some of the others right now.

Tonight? We'll see. I know shit about The Shins. Seriously, I don't know any of their songs. But assuming I maintain a level of sobriety tonight that allows me to remember and recall, I'll report back.

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21 Comments:

Blogger Thrillhous said...

Good luck at the show. The older I get, the less tolerable I find concert crowds. Kids today!

Hmm, this applesaucer sounds like quite the instigator. You sure he's not the one who told Libby who Valerie Plame was?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

The older I get, the less tolerable I find concert crowds.

I'm hoping this may attract a somewhat older crowd. Actually, I don't care if the female fans are young, it's the loud, rowdy guys I can live without.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Natalie Portman said...

MIke, the Shins will change your life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Slang)

Natalie

9:31 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

First off, thanks for swinging by the Neighborhood, Natalie. Even though I'm married, I think I could find a place in my life for a nice Jewish girl like yourself. Meet me at the Irish bar down the street from the Garden at 7:45. I'll ditch Applesaucer and bring you in instead. Think it over.

Anyway, the funny thing is . . . I saw Garden State, and not only do I not remember that line, but I don't know the song.

(Nor did it change my life when I heard it.)

9:39 AM  
Anonymous James Mercer said...

Mike, glad you're coming to our show tonight. Here are three songs from our latest album, Wincing the Night Away:

http://www.myspace.com/theshins

The first Number -- Sleeping Lessons -- starts off with a nice synth/xylophone-sounding arpeggio, building into an rocking, acoustical crescendo. You'll appreciate the entire song much more on the second listen, once you know what's coming.

The second number -- Australia -- is a pretty little acoustical toe-tapper. If I don't say so myself, my vocals are especially stong on this one, particularly how they synch with the sneakily nifty drum beat.

The third number -- Phantom Limb -- you've probably heard. Applesaucer tells me that you found it a little TOO pretty for your tastes, and I can see that. I'll try to work on that in the future. In restrospect, I'd also probably cut the last minute's repetitive-filler. But I am proud of my beautifully floating vocals, however.

Oh, the first song comes on automatically when you go to the site. After that you'll just have to click on the next two songs.

One other thing: these three songs are nothing like what we've done in our first two albums, which are themselves strikingly distinct from one another.

James

p.s., college girls love us

9:43 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

To those unfortunates who find themselves reading this on-going monstrosity, I remind them of what I said in the post:

Applesaucer -- long-time friend, part-time "Neighborhood Commenter," and full-time pain in my ass.

As a lawyer might say, "I rest my case."

9:51 AM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

Ah, I was a kid once. Once. But I still manage to hit a couple of concerts a year. Funny thing though, their not these new kids, it's generally someone I grew up with. Elvis Costello, Lindsey Buckingham, Clapton, Prince, Springsteen, and in June, I've forked out primo bucks to see Sting's original backing band.

Mike, enjoy The Shins, just make sure that some college girl doesn't kick you there when you make some inappropriate comment.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Elvis Costello, Lindsey Buckingham, Clapton, Prince, Springsteen

Not a bad collection there, though Sting brings it all down.

I'd assume that Prince & The Boss still give a good show after all these years.

make sure that some college girl doesn't kick you there when you make some inappropriate comment

Ahhhh, the young ladies love me. It's the older lady back home that I'd be worried about.

10:00 AM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

The Shins are good, catchy pop music, and you'll definitely gain some cred with the college girls for going.

I just went to a concert Sunday night, which I wrote about very briefly on my blog. What I didn't write was that I had to leave during Gomez' set because my party pooper companions wanted to go home, because they were tired. Sheesh. And half of them were teenagers!

I go to 1 or 2 concerts a year (not counting classical music, concerts my kids are in, concerts I'm in, bands I see at the Irish Festival or free concerts involving artists I'm barely familiar with.)

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Bea Arthur said...

"Elvis Costello, Lindsey Buckingham, Clapton, Prince, Springsteen"

Absolutely love them! Last Spring we had them play at our Miami Golden Girls festival just after the Assisted Living Shuffle Board Championship.

Bea

10:26 AM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

Mike, this is why I love your blog. On no other blog would you get comments from Natalie Portman, James Mercer, and Bea Arthur.

That is impressive. You must be thrilled to see that Maude's not only reading your work, she's commenting on it.

And, hey, Natalie, if you're still reading, answer me this: what's the point of playing a stripper in a movie if you're not actually going to strip?

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Natalie Portman said...

"And, hey, Natalie, if you're still reading, answer me this: what's the point of playing a stripper in a movie if you're not actually going to strip?"

Hey, you gotta pay to play. I told the producers it would cost them an extra million per nipple plus several months' worth of petits fors on my private carriage tray. They countered with an extra $500K per and a Reggie Bar.

I told my lawyer to tell them to "FRACK OFF!"

Natalie

10:49 AM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

John, natalie,

Closer was an abominible movie. Even Natalie stripping would not have salvaged it.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's hoping the Shins are the bee's knees.

Rudy Vallee

12:53 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I'm getting the feeling The Shins are a teenage girl's band.

Nice call, Apple. Look what you've done to my rep.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Closer was an abominible movie. Even Natalie stripping would not have salvaged it.

While the movie was not all that good, Natalie naked would have improved it greatly.
Hell, Natalie naked in ANYTHING would lead to improvement.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to Mike's Neighborhood, aka, men fantasize about women half their age in various states of undress.

(I'm glad to see I supply a vital service.)

At any rate, I agree with you 100%, Ed. Hell, I'd agree 110%, but I'm generally down on bad sports cliches, so I'll hold off.

1:53 PM  
Blogger George said...

Plus if you can sustain 110% for more than four hours you need to consult a physician.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Ouch.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous woody allen said...

"Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to Mike's Neighborhood, aka, men fantasize about women half their age in various states of undress."

Mike, you make that sound like a bad thing.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

I wasn't debating the merits of "Closer." I was just saying that if you're going to play a stripper in a movie, then you really ought to strip.

And that goes for Jessica Alba, too.

And, Natalie, if it was just about the money, I'd disagree with you, you were offered a million total, after all. But the Reggie Bar was just an insult. And that's wrong.

2:54 PM  

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