When I was eight years old, I knew two things for certain:
1) Weird Al Yankovic was a paragon of wit, even if sometimes I didn't actually know the songs he was parodying (it was years before I realized that "King of Suede" was actually a parody of a real song called "King of Pain" and damnit if I didn't know which version I liked better) and I wrote countless song parodies of my own, hoping that someday I could be the next Weird Al -- I even dressed up as him for Halloween that year, with my dad's hawaiian shirt and eye-glasses, a stick-on mustache and an Annie wig that looked close enough to Al's own hairstyle
2) I was deeply, desperately in love with Micky Dolenz, from the Monkees. Nickelodeon was running the Monkees on during its after-school programming daypart, and my brother and I watched two episodes a night, religiously. We knew all the words to their songs and would often perform Last Train to Clarksville or Daydream Believer (which my brother always called "Sleepy Jean") in our living room, much to our parents' amusement. We even got my uncle's old vinyl Monkees albums out of storage in my grandparents' basement and we haunted our local video store until they special-ordered "Head" for us. I remember marching up to the counter and demanding, "How come you have "Hair" but no "Head" ???" and when it finally came in, we watched it with glee even though we had absolutely no idea what was going on. I loved the Monkees more than anything, wanted to live their life of madcap rock&roll punnery, and I wanted to marry Micky Dolenz.
So, that summer, we were all eating dinner one night. Adam and I were home from daycamp, tanned and chlorinated, and we were probably drinking lemonade because that's what you do in the summer. My dad said, "If you could go to one concert, if there were to be your DREAM concert, who would it be?" And I said, "WEIRD AL YANKOVIC AND THE MONKEES!" And my parents exchanged a glance and my mom said, "Guess who's playing at Great Adventure? Weird Al Yankovic and the Monkees!" It was like the Great Adventure Concert Series Gods looked into my little 8-year-old brain and created the ideal concert, just for me.
So we went to Great Adventure for the first time, and everyone was walking around wearing Monkees' tee-shirts (they were at the height of their renaissance) and my dad gathered us together and said, "Everyone's here for the Monkees. But Weird Al -- I think he's our family's guy. We're a Weird Al family."
We went on rides and ate junk food and Adam probably threw up and finally it was time for the show and sweet jesus, it was incredible. Weird Al played hit hits and brought out dancing Mr. Potato Heads and it was wondrous and joyous. And then, the Monkees came out (minus Mike Nesmith, on whom I was soon to develop an even-more-rapturous crush than my crush on Micky) and they sang and faux-played intstruments and Davy even came out wearing a dress for one number. Rapture.
Later that afternoon, we were walking through the park and my dad said Hi to someone. "Who was that?" demanded my mom. "Weird Al," said my dad. Zug??? So we ran after him and shook his hand and he signed stuff for us and then I sang him two of my parodies: "Stop in the name of lunch! Before I break your eggs, sunny-side-over" and one other one and by then a crowd had amassed and we sneaked off, and I vowed I would never wash my hands again.
BUT ANYWAY! So I am sick in bed with yet another buggy and Josh IM'ed me today with a nugget of joy so breathtakingly exciting that I thought surely he was joshing (heh) with me, trying to make me feel better. Could it possibly be that the Musician Booking Gods like me? Have I appeased them by going to so many shows over the years that I've lost track of who opened for whom and when? Have I been such a good little concert-goer that they're appreciating my devotion, like when God finally allowed Abraham to knock up Sarah so they could have their own little boy?
It appears so.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT. If my dad were to say, "Bex, if you could have one dream concert, who would it be?" I would say "MIKE DOUGHTY AND THE POLYPHONIC SPREE!"
Ask and ye shall receive, apparently. Musical joy at Irving Plaza and at Warsaw. In February, just when we most need that kind of awesomeness. And Warsaw is so close to my house, it means I can host a joy-gathering before and after the show.
OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!
Mike Doughty! He's my number one 2004 album dude! And my fave dancing partner! And my fave fellow soup-devotee! HOLY HOT DAMN! HOLY HOT DAMN A REENAROONIE! And The Polyphonic Spree! My fave way to shake myself up and suspend my cynicism and experience communal joy and unison happiness! You can take your cult-insinuations and shove 'em, mac, because I think the human brain longs for the primitive sense of joy found in unison hand gestures and singalongs. There is no happiness like the happiness I feel at a Spree show, when I can suspend my hipster veneer of cynicism and over-it-ness and rock it the fuck out like the true hippie I am.
Oh joy, oh rapture, oh joyous rapture and rapturous joy.
Also, I am no longer going to LA tomorrow. Sorry, New York, you've got me for the two weeks I promised I'd disappear. But, no -- I'll be here. And for the time being, I'm being here in bed with (yet again) unchicken soup and cold medicine.