Thursday, July 27, 2006


We got to the House of Blues last night at just before 7pm. Greg had to show his ID to pick up the tickets, and the dude behind the counter had to go get his manager to verify Greg's identity. On his driver's license Greg has long hair & a beard, he's wearing contacts and he's pre-diet cuddly. Now he's got short hair, a soul-esque goatee, glasses and 40 pounds less cuddliness... and he really needs a new driver's license.

Since we had reserved seats upstairs, we got special pink stickers to wear that granted us access to the "VIP" area. We got in early -- before the giant line of unfortunates who were waiting for general admission -- and the reserved seating in the balcony turned out to be a church pew right on the railing. Sweet! We also had our own waitress. It rocked, I will never go to HOB to stand with the general admission unfortunates again!

Doors opened at 7, show started at 8, and by 7:20 the whole floor was just packed. It was a sold out show, and I was so grateful to be right over the stage on the balcony instead of fighting for position amidst people who are all taller than I am. At 5'0, I am on normal folks' armpit level, and a crowd like that is exceedingly unpleasant. Not to mention pointless, since I have only a small chance of actually seeing anything.

I sipped my dirty vodka martini and congratulated myself on being able to afford to pay twice the price to be comfortable... while remembering how it felt to be young enough not to care. :-)

It was a really interesting crowd to look at. Lots of pink hair, several mohawks, many many lesbians. Supposedly our friend Craig was there, but we didn't see him.

I told Greg that the opening act was this Matt Nathanson dude, who I knew nothing about, but I was just positive that he would be a less talented, less attractive John Mayer wanna-be. I pretty much called it.

He was funny... not sure that helped. I felt bad for him and clapped a lot.

P!NK came on a little after 9. She wore a short black dress with a wide swingy skirt, big ol' black leather boots, and carried a riding crop (which had quite a narrow head -- more painful, you know). She said that the show was really special to her because the HOB in Orlando was where she played her very first show (as Pink)!

There were three songs I was hoping she would do, but knew she probably wouldn't do all three, and maybe not any. 1) God Is A DJ - this was a single, but not one of her biggest hits. I love it, and think it would be great live! Seemed like a pretty good chance... she didn't do it. 2) Fingers - this is from her new album = good sign. It's not going to be a single, though = bad sign. The song is about her lying next to her sleeping husband in the middle of the night, videotaping herself masturbating. She laughs dirtily several times in the song, and it's not particularly nasty by Pink standards, but I love it. I didn't think she'd do it... She didn't do it. And, 3) Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely) - sounds very No Doubt 80's-esque, it's boppy, it's about trying to get the person that you love to just go away for a minute and leave you the fuck alone, but also come back. She did do it! Complete with skippy 80's dance! I sang along with every word, and really wanted to get up and dance next to my pew.

She also did Stupid Girls, Just Like a Pill, Family Portrait, Don't Let Me Get Me, There You Go, I'm Not Dead, Who Knew, and Trouble. I kept thinking her backup singer looked familiar, and Greg leaned over and said he was thinking it too, and then she introduced her as "Susie", and Greg and I looked at each other... Oh my God! It was Sweet Susie MacNeil, from Rockstar INXS, what a surprise. Pink even had her sing a little bit of "Bohemian Rhapsody" which the crowd sang along with her. She looked exactly the same, and frankly I think she might be better off as Pink's backup singer than the dude that won the contest.

She came back on for an encore in bare feet, jeans that were too long, and a t-shirt. She did a beautiful acoustic version of a Janis Joplin tribute (not sure of the name) and Dear Mr. President, which she sang with the Indigo Girls on her new album (Susie and Pink's bass player sang it with her live). That song always makes me cry, and I kept trying to get Greg to listen to it because I knew he would like it, but he never did -- what a loser. But live, he loved it too! I think he may have gotten a little weepy. We gave her a standing ovation after that one.

She ended with Get the Party Started, which was just as much fun live as I knew it would be.

I just love Pink's attitude, she cares what people think about her but she doesn't let it stop her from living her own life. I love the way she dates women unapologetically (or did, before she was married). I love the way she is very sexually aggressive, but still really giggly and silly. I love how she is violently independent, yet girly. Most of all, I love her twirly headbanging.

Let's look at P!NK:

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Antmusic For Sexpeople

Back in the olden days, when I was a teen: in the pre-compact disc technology era that required what was commonly known as a "record player", I bought a lot of albums.

I still have all of them. In alphabetical order within each section (clearly, soundtracks and compilations and such must have their own separate sections).

I spent all my money on albums. Well, other than, obviously, books/clothes/makeup... I spent a lot of my money on albums. There were many albums that I wanted to buy but couldn't afford (which my parents seemed completely unable to believe, when they looked at my giant stacks of albums).

So there I was one day, reading an article in Seventeen magazine about how to be popular. The main point of the article was to be yourself. Do not pretend to be something you're not, don't follow the crowd to try to fit in. The article used listening to Adam and the Ants as an jumping-off-a-bridge type example of something foolish to try and suffer through for popularity's sake.

I had never heard of Adam and the Ants, but I figured if listening to them = suffering, they must be good. Luckily, the National Record Mart in University Mall had a copy of Kings of the Wild Frontier. Even better, it was packaged with a free advance-release copy of the next single, Stand and Deliver.

It was 1980, I was 14, and the idea of music that everyone hated combined with that picture of Adam was enough to make me spend my precious album money on a record even though I had absolutely no idea what it would sound like.

I loved it! Kings of the Wild Frontier is a great album. I managed to special order their previous album, Dirk Wears White Sox, which was only released in England on a small label. I bought every single, since most had non-lp b-sides. I bought bootlegs of live concerts.

The music had a punky edge, as well as a poetic perversity. Adam Ant formed his band in the late 70's, when punk was beginning, and they often played with the Clash, Siouxsie, the Sex Pistols, the Buzzcocks.

When the album that Stand and Deliver was on was finally released, I ran out and bought it immediately. Prince Charming wasn't great. It was far less punky and raw than the older stuff, but it was pretty good. I was sure that on the next album, Adam and Marco (Marco = songwriting partner, guitarist) would get back to their real selves.

The next album was Friend or Foe. Before it actually came out, a single was released -- Goody Two Shoes. In those dark pre-internet days, when a song was released in England before America, it was absolutely un-gettable here. But I, being both a hormonal teen and a spastic Antfan, had my sources in England and was soon in possession of a cassette tape of Goody Two Shoes being played on British radio.

I could not believe the poppy sappy crappiness of that song. I cried. I no longer waited anxiously to get the Friend or Foe album, because I knew that it would suck, I knew that the pre-fame rawness of Adam's songwriting would never be seen again.

I was right -- the rest of Friend or Foe was more poppy crappiness. It was also by far the biggest commercial success, especially in America, thus cementing Adam's decline.

Still, whenever I would go see Adam live, even in the late 90's, he would perform all his old stuff, with very little of the later songs thrown in. Sometimes he didn't even play all of his "hits", which makes me wonder if he liked them very much, either.

He is working on an autobiography, which will be released this fall. He made the most money, by far, on Goody Two Shoes (it still shows up in commercials periodically, too). I wonder what he'll say about it?

Monday, July 10, 2006

UFC 61: Bitter Rivals

On Saturday night we went to Gator's Dockside to see the UFC 62 pay-per-view, in what we thought must be a misguided attempt to save money. The PPV costs $40, we figured we would have to spend that much on food/beer. But we only spent $30, so we saved $10, bitches!

The fights were actually surprisingly dull. The main event (in my mind, anyway) was Tito Ortiz vs Ken Shamrock. I loathe the Ken Shamrock, and quite like the Tito. Obviously, the younger, hotter Tito was destined to win, hopefully in a humiliating fashion. My former favorite ref Herb Dean chose to stop the fight controversially quickly, though, and this is coming from the chick who is always screaming at the tv for referees to stop the fights sooner -- I am always so worried about someone getting hurt. But a a few elbow shots from Tito, which weren't defended as quickly as Herb apparently would have liked, and the fight was over in less than 2 minutes. It was a pretty good fight, and I don't know that it should have been stopped so quickly.

I was glad to see Frank Mir return after being injured, although he has gained approx. 600 pounds. He held up really well though, came back with new energy in the third round, and won. I bet a few more months of recovery and training and he'll be back at his former peak-of-physical-hotness weight.

We really liked hanging out with Gary, who wore a very attractive pirate-y skull and crossbones do-rag (and was, shockingly, the only one there wearing one). We also really liked his girlfriend, who we both really feel like we know from somewhere, but can't think where.

Overall, it was so much fun watching a mixed martial arts event with other fans. We want to go back for UFC 62 on August 26th!

Things to do differently next time:

1) Arrive 3-4 hours early

2) Immediately order enough food/drinks to last through the night

3) Greg will wear makeup and women's clothing in an effort to avoid the lines in the men's room (no lines in the women's room for UFC sporting events, due to the pitiful lack of female fans)

4) Wear UFC t-shirts ordered online, thereby making us look (in comparison to college kids) not only older, but sadly geekier

5) Ask management to turn on closed captioning, so we don't miss anything when the yelling gets too loud

6) Impose our will