Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Hot Club

Another patron and I were discussing the cramped quarters in the HC WC. I told the guy that it wasn't as bad as the bathrooms in the old Sullivan Stadium. Guys used to go in the sinks and even the circular hand washer. Pigs! Originally the place had troughs - fittingly.

Someone was talking about guys coming out of the closet. He said, "Buy mothballs."

A guy was trying to sneak a beer out of the Hot Club by putting it in his pocket. Russ caught him at the door. Said Russ, "They think we're amateurs."

A woman was walking on the deck pushing a baby carriage that contained no baby. Her husband was carrying the infant. Grant said, "The baby had too many."

A patron trying to get served called to the bartender, "Ma'am." When she did wait on the customer, she told him, "You don't get my attention that way."

Mr. D. said that when he worked at the Silverwoods men's clothing store in LA that he and his buddies were driving around cars that were worth $200. But they were all wearing suits that cost $400.

Brendan and I were talking about LA where he lived for 6 years. I told him that I visited Mr. D. a few times while he lived in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, and I always felt like a fish out of water there. Brendan said, "You mean like wearing pink spandex and smoking crack?"

And with all the people from all over the US moving to LA and trying 'to make it' (like farm
boys from Kansas), it was akin to farm animals in the jungle.

Marcus Aurelius returned to the Hot Club and told me that he had a relative on the Mayflower. Marcus said that the relative was kicked off the Mayflower before it reached shore but still made it. Marcus didn't say it, but I guess his relative was a good swimmer.

In talking to Contraire about our Camrys, I tried to point out where mine was parked in the lot. I told Contraire "It's the 3rd car from yours." He said "Nice spoiler". I said, "No that's not it. The next car." Observed FootJoy of Contraire, "He counted his own car!"

Someone used a word in a way I had never heard. The word was 'butterbean'.

Overheard: "I've been dodging bullets for years. I was married."


Sunday night, Mr. D., Doc Proc, the Bear and I took in the Steely Dan concert at Great Woods in Mansfield. MA. The Bear was pinch-hitting for Victoria who was ill and couldn't make the concert. The Bear was his usual charming self and filled in quite capably, even if he did do a tag team with Mr. D to bust my chops on a few occasions.

As Mr. D. said, "This is the best concert of the summer." What he left out was that it was our only concert of the summer (he had seen Jimmy Buffett with Doc Proc in June).

However we agreed that this was the best concert we had seen and heard Steely Dan do, and that's out of 4-5 times we've attended their gigs. I especially liked it because of the song selection. The band started with Bodhisattva, a number I haven't heard in many years. They closed with an encore of FM and My Old School.

Walter Becker had shorter hair and had lost weight. He never looked or sounded better. One patron in the men's room commented, "You forget how good Becker is." Indeed.

Donald Fagan was in good form. While he's never had the strongest voice, he uses what he has to good effect. Both Fagan and Becker seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. At one point, Becker told the fans in the crowd, "You're a f--kin' great audience."

Lead and rhythm guitarist John Harrington and bassist Freddy Washington were as smooth as silk in their roles.

The playlist was heavy on songs from Steely Dan's 70's albums. They did Black Friday, Chain Lightning and Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More from '75's Katy Lied. From The Royal Scam (1976) they did Kid Charlemagne, Don't Take Me Alive (one of my favorites - "Yes I crossed my old man back in Oregon, don't take me alive."), Green Earrings and The Royal Scam. And there was Hey 19 from Gaucho.

Becker and Fagan dipped into Aja for the title track plus Josie and Peg. They also returned to yesteryear for Dirty Work and Do It Again.

Opening act Michael McDonald came on stage for the last several songs and traded verses with Fagan on Do It Again. The two female backup singers, each with great pipes, shared the lead on Dirty Work.

At the outset, McDonald showed off a still strong voice and thrilled the crowd with songs from his Doobie Brothers era: Takin' It To The Streets, It Keeps You Runnin', and Minute By Minute. He also added the gems What A Fool Believes and I Keep Forgettin'.

McDonald also had a dynamite backup band with a guy on a Hammond B3 organ (Mr. D. loves the sound of a Hammond) and a black female drummer (I know - not PC but it's me). The latter, Yvette 'Babygirl' Preyer, did a great job pounding the skins and even sang lead on one number (Mr. D. tells me it's hard to drum and sing).

In fact I told the crew that McDonald's opening act was as strong an opener as I've ever seen. There were no dissenters. Two Sa-Nakes but no dissenters.

And let me say that I disagree with reviewers Brett Milano (Herald) and Rick Massimo (ProJo) who found fault with McDonald's singing of Motown hits like I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing. I enjoyed all the material that McDonald did, especially his rendition of Grapevine. I did use both Milano's and Massimo's reviews to check my memory of certain songs (Well we did imbibe a few).

Saw Driller Killer and his lovely wife, the Queen of Reprobates. Queen Monica asked me where we were sitting and I said Section 3, DD. She said "DD, just where you like to be."

Driller reminded me that the Dan's backup keyboardist Jeff Young (and the Youngsters) played with Fagan in the NY Rock and Soul Revue. And Dan trumpeter Mike Lenhart's sister Carolyn was one of the backup singers.

All in all the best concert of the summer. And the best Steely Dan concert I've heard.

It rained. A guy said, "The rain is letting up." I asked him, "In what state?"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Hot Club

Jesse showed Jane the reference to her in last week's Zine. She was all dressed up and had her hair down. She looked smashing and even prettier than usual. Jane admitted that she didn't think she looked so pretty with her hair up. Jane agreed with Mr. D. that she does have good posture, and she added that her penmanship is fine too.

Fiery Fan (FF) was upset when Mike Timlin gave up the lead in the 8th Wednesday night. FF thought Papelbon should have been in. FootJoy, Wise and I tried to explain that Timlin was the right move (save Papelbon for the 9th so you can use him again), but Fiery was having none of it. I told him that everyone fails and asked him who his favorite hitter was. "Ted Williams", he said. I told him mine too and Ted was the last player to hit .400 (.406 in 1941). So one of the greatest hitters in baseball failed to get a hit 60% of the time. FF grumbled that you can't compare a hitter to a pitcher. I threw sand on that idea.

Wise had a crick in his neck. I told him to use moist heat on it. Mr. D. said that in the old days you'd use Ben Gay. Mr. D. said "Ben Gay should have had a hemorrhoid product".

Foot Joy and I were discussing how to explain the use of multiple remotes for the TV and cable/satellite to our loved ones. One time Foot Joy said he was explaining to his grandmother how to use the remote to get the channel she wanted. He was giving her instructions over the phone. He heard the phone go beep, beep, beep and said, "Grandma, not the phone. The remote."

A woman walked by with a T-shirt that read "Wake Up and Smell the Couture".

The Fashion Police spotted a yahoo wearing yellow heels on the deck. Fashion faux pas.

We were talking supermarkets past. Someone said an owner wanted his son to take over. The son, who was gay, didn't want to run it. FootJoy said, "He wanted the floral section."

Overheard at the Hot Club: "She doesn't like you? That's Strike One." Response: "I didn't say she didn't like me. I said she didn't like meat."

Foot Joy pointed out that at some point Javy Lopez will throw to Javy Lopez.

Chuck D Computer and I were talking about Scientologists like Tom Cruise. I said, "Yeah, I want to belong to a religion started by a mediocre sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard. Chuck told me to check out the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Go to http://www.venganza.org/

Wes Craven (Last House on the Left, The People Under the Stairs, A Nightmare on Elm Street) did the original and left the blueprint for Alexandre Aja's recent remake.

Both Hills tell the tale of a middle class family, the Carters, who meet a different kind of nuclear family in the southwest desert. You know - a wrong turn. The wrong place at the wrong time. The set-up has been copied many times.

In the original, the Carters are up against Papa Jupe (James Whitworth), his children Pluto (the remarkable Michael Berryman), Mars (Lance Gordon) and Mercury (Arthur King), their Mama (Cordie Clark) and 'adopted' daughter Ruby (Janus Blythe).

Alexandre Aja uses the same character names for the Carter family that Craven used. But Aja's fallout family that attack the Carters are totally different from Cravens (with the exception of Ruby). I make this point because Aja plays up the nuclear testing and fallout angle and its effects on the deformed family that savages the Carters. Aja's remake uses old footage of a series of nuclear blasts and tests that are both awesome and awful to behold. That alone is worth the price of admission for the '06 version.

My daughter Cara bought me Aja's version for my birthday and I wasn't disappointed. It is a lot gorier than Craven's original but almost as good. And the jolts and shocks come from places different than in Craven's. So it holds up well and is a fitting do-over.

One quibble on the '06 version though. Because Aja has used the radiation-deformed aspect, his freak family is more mutant monster than Craven's human monsters. In returning to view the Craven film, I found that better than Aja's horde of hideous horrors.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Hot Club

A group of women entered the HC deck. Mr. D. said, "Barrington Rejected Wives' Club. Their husbands were doctors and now they're divorced." I said, "They'll have to fend for themselves now. Get a job."

New hire Jane walked by on the deck. I said how pretty I thought she was. Mr. D. said he liked how she carried herself and would give her an 'A' for posture. He then added, "I wonder how her penmanship is?"

Our friend Mike Dutra is doing well (he sings like Sinatra). He is getting gigs up the gazoo. Check his web site - StrictlySinatraNow.com.

Dr. John told us he was in Woonsocket (RI) looking for a funeral home to attend the wake of a dentist friend. He got lost (naturally, in the city of one-way streets). He stopped to ask for directions and told the person he was looking for a funeral home on Harris Ave. The Woonsocketonian said, "Oh, are you going to the dentist's wake?"

Dr. John is a pediatrician. Mr. D. asked him if there was any specialty that he didn't want to take up. Without a pause, Dr John said, "Gynecology."

I visited the WC (Water Closet), and on returning mentioned to Mike Module (MM) that I preferred the stall to the urinal when I needed to go. MM said, "You took the suite."

Word has it that the woman (not man) that thought that Bags was Wise's father is Armenian just like him. So Bags has no excuse. His own tribe outted him. The woman looked at Bags and then Wise. She pointed at Bags and said, "You have more gray hair."

Paul ('the Lance') was riding a beautiful '47 Indian. Tom Bates should have been there.

Camouflage Girl (tight shorts to get lost in the jungle and tight top to get noticed among the animals) was prowling the deck. She knocked over a drink on the HC wall and said, "I didn't do it. It wasn't me." Of course, and leopards lose their spots in the rain.

Victor and I were talking about movies. I mentioned a favorite, Mean Streets (Scorsese - 1973), and a line where a guy gets into a fight after being called a 'mook' even though he doesn't know what a mook is. "You can't call me a mook!" Mook-a-lone?


This is a good but not great movie. Michael Mann, who produced the original TV show, is back as writer/director. Mann has done some good movies (Thief, Manhunter, Heat with Pacino and DiNiro). Here he uses a jittery camera that can be both effective and distracting. All those quick cuts. Then repeated shots to show recognition.

The movie starts quickly but slows down to show beautiful scenery, speeding cigarette boats knifing thru blue, blue water, a slew of magnificent water falls (Uruguay?), and love interest Gong Li who plays an integral role. To say more would give up plot elements. But you do need to suspend some major disbelief.

The Colin Farrell (Sonny) and Jamie Foxx (Ricardo) relationship is more hinted at then strongly displayed. Not a bad mix, but we aren't talking Mel Gibson - Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) here.

The movie keeps your interest and moves along at a decent pace. It has a good villain in José Yero (John Ortiz). Actually there are dual villains but Arcangel de Jesus Montoya (Luis Tosar) is less scary than the 'loco pig', as Yero calls himself. Yero has just the right demented look (I liked the glasses). You have two strong heroes so you need at least one big bad ass bad guy.
The climactic scene is fun but derivative. You've seen it before. It works. It fills the bill but like some food, it still leaves you a little empty.

Tom Towles does a good job as Coleman, the bald-headed guy with bad tattoos who opens and closes the movie. The role of Miami police lieutenant Martin Castillo (Barry Shabaka Henley) is also strongly played.

My daughter Cara and I caught this movie together. She liked it a little more than I did and gave it 4 boxes of popcorn out of 5. I would give it 3 1/2.

For other takes on this movie, go to web site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0430357/
And thanks to Victor for the suggestion about linking to a film review site.