Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Five: Hand stamps, burlesque dancers, and the prevalence of jackasses everywhere

I'm rocking the smudged remains of a bar hand-stamp again this morning, and feeling a bit weathered and hungover... not from the mere two drinks I had at First Avenue*, but from the late-night mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, and enormous plate of onion-filled mashed potatoes I for some reason decided were a good idea afterward. Well done, Stefanie. You're going to start that sensible eating plan when now? Soon, I'm sure.

Anyway, DeVotchKa was brilliant, and I mean "brilliant" in that charming British way of saying it was an excellent and enjoyable show, as opposed to "brilliant" implying they were showing off their intellectual prowess by doing long division in their heads and reciting the answers on stage. Did I really need to explain that? Probably not. I'm tired. Too little sleep this week. So sorry about that.

Since the lively and fun klezmer-like stylings of everyone's favorite Denver-based Slavic/Bolero/Mariachi/punk band are still rolling around fresh in my brain, let's go with that for today’s list, OK?

Five things that were awesome at last night's DeVotchKa show

  1. Not every rock band successfully (or even unsuccessfully, for that matter) incorporates a tuba into their live act. I imagine fewer still deck that tuba out with strings of red Christmas lights to make it look all sparkly and festive. I have to appreciate that kind of extra effort and showmanship.

  2. I love that every member of that band looks like they also have a day job at Initech. I decided that the drummer was clearly an accountant, the bassist/tuba player is a marketing director or project manager, and the violinist/accordionist was surely an IT developer. I was stuck pegging the lead singer at first, but my friend Jamie helped me out by suggesting he's the sales guy or customer service rep. Good call, Jamie. Good call.

  3. I also love that, between songs, the lead singer took swigs not out of a beer or water bottle, like most musicians, but out of a full-sized wine bottle. Awesome.

  4. Mid-set, a roadie guy pulled a rope from the rafters to release two long, flowing, heavy sashes hung from hooks on the ceiling beams. At that point, two tiny, barely-clad brunettes worked their way out to the floor and proceeded to climb and perform aerial dance maneuvers on said sashes. I'm thinking this is a carryover from the days when DeVotchKa was (according to Wikipedia) a backing band for burlesque shows, and I think it is a fabulous little extra to retain in their act. And now I totally want to find out where I can learn to climb and flip around on sashes like that. It's an entirely impractical skill (not to mention one with limited venues in which to practice or showcase), and I know I'll never have the ass or the flexibility to work it like those girls did, but I still think it would be tremendously fun to try. Not to mention that it would make an excellent conversation piece to impress strangers with my unique and astounding talents. I will probably entirely forget about this plan within 48 hours, but for now it is a fun little fantasy to imagine.

  5. Towards the end of the show, when a threesome wedged their way in between the six inches of space between me and the couple in front of me and then parked themselves there as though they were oblivious to their rudeness, I did not simply seethe inwardly as I usually do, trying to burn holes through their skulls with my eyes. No, instead I immediately and fearlessly called up my inner bitch and said, loudly, "So you have no concert etiquette at all then? No? Well, that's nice." Girl #2 turned and gave me a sheepish look and said, "We'll keep moving." My friend Lisa, beside me, piped up and said. "Good. You do that." Yay me. And yay Lisa. Bad concert etiquette is one of my biggest peeves in life, and sometimes the jackasses just need to be put in their place.

Filed under things that were NOT awesome at the DeVotchKa show last night? The couple who performed a similar wedge-in maneuver a few steps to the left of me and then groped and made out with each other, so wrapped up in their own little world that they did not notice the girl behind them making vicious stabbing motions at them with an imaginary knife. (That air-knifer, on the other hand, does make the "awesome" list.) Also not awesome were the two dirty, burly guys who shifted into spots in front of us right before the first encore. It's bad enough when strangers touch me at concerts--when they bob around in a way that far exceeds the normal and acceptable bubble of personal space around them. But when those strangers smell like cigarettes and patchouli and look like they haven't washed their hair in a week? Yeah, that's even less cool with me. One of these guys wore a metal band on his left ring finger that I'm really hoping was just a fashion ring of some sort. If there's actually a woman out there who lets that skeeve-master crawl into bed with her each night, then the world's a more frightening and unsettling place than I ever imagined.


* One more reason I love Wikipedia: Who else was going to tell me that my mayor apparently crowd-surfed at a "Rock for Democracy" event in 2004? Actually, that's one more reason I love Minneapolis's mayor as well.


Miss Peach said...

Dude! I like Devotchka too! Fun fun. And make-outers and concerts SUCK. Unless you're one of them. Hee.

Miss Peach said...

Oops, I meant AT concerts. Not AND. Concerts don't suck, generally.

Anonymous said...

A tuba with Christmas lights is the perfect accessory for every occasion, I would think.

stefanie said...

Peach--I've been a concert maker-outer only once, and I'm not proud. Not really. Considering I didn't know the guy ten minutes before the making out, however, it does amuse me more than a little bit. And I didn't wedge myself in front of anybody to do the making out, so I'm hoping that redeems me just a tad.

R--I have since been informed it was a sousaphone, not a tuba, but I agree it was a fine accessory nonetheless.