This is why when I listen to rock music I usually wind up saying the same things I hear from people I introduce to opera:
- Why are they screaming?
- I can't understand what they're saying.
- Is there supposed to be a melody in there somewhere?
- Doesn't this get on your nerves after a while?
- Hey! Would you like to maybe watch TV instead?
That last one didn't go well, I admit, but in general I've had my horzions broadened to the extent that I now have been known willingly to listen to albums released during my lifetime by musicians who are still performing.
On Sunday, I experienced massive mind-expansion at Chicago's Intonation Festival, an Indie/Alternative gathering in Union Park on the West Side.
- I realized halfway through the afternoon that this was the first time since my college commencement that I've engaged in a mass activity intended for people my own age.
- In a crowd of at least 2,000, I was the only person without visible tattoos.
- I am not immune to the amusement that comes from watching an intoxicated thirtysomething suburban guy in a polo shirt get hot 'n' funky to a hip-hop dance mix of "Darling Nicky."
- There is no part of the body so small or hard that it cannot be pierced repeatedly.
- Skulls are out, robots are in.
- You can buy stuffed toys in the shape of poo (not Pooh), roast beef, and pickles.
- The afro is back.
And I found a nice bench in the shade, equidistant from both stages, and knit a whole lot of Susan's Elizabeth Zimmerman Pillbox Hat. It's going well. Pictures forthcoming.
I like Neighborhoodies and wanted one of my own, so I picked one out (all the while flirting madly with the salesman, even kissing him at one point) and was delighted with the result. I was hoping the kiss might get me a discount, but no. I am now proud to be playing shortstop for the Middlemarch Marauders (sponsored by Vincy's Dry Goods).
If you don't get the joke, Google "George Eliot," and shame on you.
C had his purple t-shirt printed up with the words "wrecka stow," which will strike a chord in Prince fans who remember (in spite of their best efforts) Kristin Scott Thomas's immortal performance in Under the Cherry Moon.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I loved everything I heard. (There was one band that came all the way from Oakland to sing falsetto Japanese baby talk, and I hope they will decide en masse to enter a religious order that requires a vow of silence.)
But for all the amplified sound I did have a marvelously peaceful and restorative day, with an appropriately splendid sunset:
And a terrific closing performance by The Decembrists:
Perfect training for next weekend's adventure: Lollapalooza.
I wonder if I can get something pierced and/or tattooed by Friday?