Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Number seven, BABY!!!

Ramon and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary yesterday. With dating, that makes ten years as a couple. I don't feel old enough to have married the love of my life seven years ago. We celebrated last night by trying out a new Thai restaurant (Seattle has been overtaken by Thai restaurants, though the rising popularity of pho has allowed the Vietnamese to give them a run for their money), sampling their excellent Thai beer. We walked home and supplemented our already inebriated state by downing a bottle of two-buck-chuck and reminiscing about the last ten years. The rest of the evening is none of your business.

So I'm a little bleary-eyed today but still awake enough to feel profoundly grateful, firstly, that the wedding day is not only over but seven years in the past (a wonderful day but I still thank my stars that it's over forever at least once a month. I almost killed myself in the effort to NOT embody the Great American Bridezilla and I'm still not sure I completely succeeded. If I ever have the misfortune to find myself in the position of having to marry again, I'm doing it in Vegas with bloody Elvis) and secondly that The Ramon, a paragon of human wisdom and kindness, still loves me better than I've ever been loved in my life and I him. Here's to you, Monchis. I raise my coffee cup to thee. Drinks all around!

[end syrupy tribute]

Lucky in love, that I am.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tears for Fears Still Rocking My Pants

My Favorite Band of All Time, Tears for Fears, came to Seattle a week ago last Tuesday. Well, they came to Woodinville, a Seattle suburb, and played at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, a venue that has a big lovely sloping lawn and a huge outdoor stage. You remember Tears for Fears, don't you? The beautiful English boys from the 80s who brought us such eternal hits as "Shout," "Head Over Heels, " "Sowing the Seeds of Love?" Ring any bells? Well, they broke up in the early 90s due to exhaustion and artistic differences after having released their "Seeds of Love" album. Although the golden-voiced and incomparably sexy Roland Orzabal went on to release 3 albums under the name "Tears for Fears," Curt Smith had gone his own happy way and though those 3 CDs were stellar, man, stellar, the sound had completely changed in Curt's absence. But now they're in their mid-forties and BACK TOGETHER, baby! And they're as hot as ever. And bloody married with children.

Anyway, they're touring to promote their album released last fall; "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending." For a rabid fan such as I, this amazing album was a cool drink after a day in the desert. And the concert moved me, man. It moved me. Roland and Curt were front and center on stage, Roland with his hair and his voice and his big, pretty rhythm guitar and Curt still the hottest bass player around. I'm telling you - they're as tight live as they are in the studio, a very important criterium for any band that this old, hide-bound, has-been musician such as me chooses to worship. I mean, respect. The only complaint I had: the Chateau is NOT the place to go when you wish to have a meaningful, fulfilling concert listening to the band that stirs you inside more than any other band. No. It's a venue for you to take your picnic hamper, a blanket and some lawn chairs to and get tipsy (on the Chateau's wine, of course) with your yuppie friends and maybe get up and dance if you've had enough to drink and if the band pulls out some oldies you actually know. Now, Dear Reader, you must be a rabid fan of something, so I'm sure you understand that when you and that something meet up in this universe you want to have connected with them, however distantly (in the case of you sharing that something with about 1,000 other concert-goers). I was there to experience Tears for Fears, to drink them in, to reward their efforts with highest adulation (well, I wasn't going to show them my tits or anything, but you get what I mean). There was a roped-off VIP section right in front of the stage that contained the REAL fans, but naturally I didn't learn of the concert in time to race to Ticketmaster to snap those seats up. To my eternal sorrow.

Don't get me wrong. The crowd was appreciative. And when TFF obligingly pulled out some of their oldies (which thrilled me more than I'm willing to admit, but how can you feel anything but utter joy when a mature band plays a song that you've listened to for two decades straight?) the crowd - even the glass-clutching yuppies - got up and busted a move. But having lived in Seattle now and gone to some pretty good shows, Ramon and I, we now feel that the only proper way to really experience a band is in a smoky, chair-less venue where everybody's in a knot in front of the stage, clutching a pint and hopping in unison. Where we're the nerdy, pudgy old people and everyone else is 22, got up in hipster regalia and sporting 2% body fat. Ah, well. Once the crowd was up, they were UP, so the rest of the evening was a dizzying group-dance under the stars to TFF's old and new stuff. That, I hope, must have gratified them. It sure got me off. Again, don't misunderstand me. I love the whole picnic/concert thing. The key, though, is that I like to listen to chilled stuff, like Water Music or some nice Bach pieces. Not jazz. Jazz gets me as hot as rock n roll. But I can't listen to an exciting musical concert whilst pulling green apples and blue cheese out of my cooler. Oil and water, baby.

Anyway, if you remember TFF and want to find out for yourself that they're still relevant musically and full of the same old mojo, go here to visit their pretty comprehensive fan site. You can hear their new stuff, view their old and new videos and, if you're like me, geek out for an hour or so. Happy drooling.