Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Hanukkah Miracle!

SO - it won't come as a surprise to most of you that I can be, well, kind of dumb sometimes. That came up recently as I made plans to take Cory to the Big Opening Night of Hanukkah concert by one of my fave bands, Hoboken's own Yo La Tengo (I've written about these shows before. In fact, it occurs to me that word for word, this may well be every bit as much a Yo La Tengo blog as a Dylan blog). Rather, I thought I'd made plans to see the show on the first night of Hanukkah - what I'd actually done was buy tickets for the 3rd night of Hanukkah, and then somehow convince my reliably unreliable memory otherwise to the extent that I made other, unchangeable plans for that same night.

D'oh! YLT would have to go...

Or would they? Out of nowhere, Cory came up with a pair of tickets for the 2nd night of the Legendary Yo La Tengo Hanukkah Benefit Shows at Maxwells, 2008 Version. (well, it seemed like it was out of nowhere... On the other hand, Cory is one of the Chosen People. Coincidence? You tell me.)

So we were off to Maxwell's for what promised to be a night of good rockin'.

And, ladies and gentlemen, that's what we got, with a lot more thrown in for good measure.

The opening band was The Magnetic Fields, rock artistes extraordinaire. Literate, textured, adventurous, funny, sexy, savvy, hip: what more do you want from four people wielding a guitar, a piano (a real piano, people!) a cello and a bouzouki. Think Leonard Cohen meets the Moldy Peaches, but better.

Ok, it's true. These photos were taken with my cell phone. SO - they kind of suck. But I didn't want to be lugging a camera around for this: can you blame me?

Anyway, they were a great way to open the evening. Universal rejoicing.

Next was the comedy portion of the evening, brought to us by everyone's favorite PC, Johnathan Hodgman.

Yes, that's a martini in his hand, and I think it's only fair. He was, after all, the evening's resident Lapsed Catholic, and I daresay he needed some fortification. Later on, he rocked the ukelele for the sultry Santa Baby. This after a diatribe on the tawdry sexuality that you perhaps didn't realize lurked within Christmas Carols. Beyond I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, beyond Earth Kitt growling Santa Baby, beyond Christmas is Coming (the goose is getting fat), beyond the Valley of the Dolls, there's the inescapable nastiness of When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney.
Or at least that's Johnathan's story, and he's sticking to it.

That's it for the opening act. The main event comes later.

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