by Dan Bolles
Whew! What a weekend.
Friday night, I finally got a chance to catch local ska revivalists Husbands. What a hoot! I won't delve too deeply into my impressions as you'll be able to read all about it in tomorrow's paper. But talk about a flashback. The band is still fairly new on the scene and as such are a bit rough around the edges. It's forgivable. I haven't been to a good ska-punk show in probably close to ten years and goddamn if it wasn't fun. The whole night kinda made me long for my saddle shoes and checkered suit jacket. Ah, memories.
Saturday night, I acted as a judge for the Higher Ground Comedy Battle. Again, you can read more about this tomorrow. But I have to say that I went in with fairly minimal expectations. Stand-up comedy is sort of like karaoke in that it's only fun if it's either really good or REALLY bad. For the most part, the 11 contestants fell in line with the former. Color me pleasantly surprised.
The winner was a 20 year-old creative writing major at Johnson State College named Roger Miller. Honestly, if this guy doesn't pack his bags and head for NYC after graduation, something is horribly wrong with the world. Dude was hysterical. I think my favorite observation dealt with port-o-lets at music festivals — part of a larger, equally funny bit about drugs, hippies and jam bands. To paraphrase, you know something is truly disgusting if it's too nasty to piss into. Indeed.
Sunday night, I had every intention of pulling the Higher Ground two-fer and checking out Neko Case. But sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans. Unfortunately, my girlfriend threw out her back skiing at Jay Peak — on her second run of the day — and I ended up playing nurse all night, which is nowhere near as fun as playing doctor. Whoa!
Anywhoo . . .
I'm not a huge Neko Case fan, but I was really looking forward to seeing Eric Bachman. I dug both of his old(?) bands — Archers of Loaf and, in particular, Crooked Fingers. But alas, no soup for me. I hear it was a pretty sweet show though.
However, I did find myself in a rather strange position on Sunday afternoon as it was the first Sunday with no football since September. I've never put much stock in the whole "Cabin Fever" thing. But I'll be honest: I was kinda losin' my shit. I would have settled for the Toronto Argonauts versus the Montreal Alouettes . . . seriously, the Alouettes? That might be the lamest name in professional sports.
The funniest? A tie between former Detroit Lions defensive back Harry Colon and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson. And once again, I digress.
Fortunately, my sports junkie fix came in the unlikely form a Chuck Klosterman article on ESPN.com. The piece deals with the New England Patriots pursuit of perfection with a win in this Sunday's Super Bowl and how the team's legacy — and more specifically that of quarterback/golden boy Tom Brady — would actually be more enduring were they to choke and lose. Essentially, the premise is that Americans, on the whole, identify with failure more closely than they do success. It's more humanizing to watch someone like Brady suffer defeat than it is to watch him continue to be virtually perfect. I think it's the same reason American Idol is still on the air — it's fun to watch people fail.
Though I vehemently disagree with his conclusion that Pats should lose, the argument makes sense. Frankly, Brady is a god among men. He's got model looks. He's the best player on the best team at the most high-profile position in sports. He dates one of the most beautiful women on the planet, Gisele Bundchen. And he recently fathered a child with another, actress Bridget Moynihan. If I didn't love him, I'd hate him.
Regardless of your interest in football, it's an intriguing read. Check it out. Except for you, Casey. I know how much you love Klosterman. And football.
Well, folks. That's all I've got for now. In the meantime, the story I wrote last week about teaching kids to play guitar using Guitar Hero has been getting some attention on reddit.com. And as a result, it's the second most popular story ever on Seven Days' new website. It's even prompted a snarky discussion about my work outside the friendly confines of Solid State. Neat-o!