Friday, March 24, 2006

On How I Was Assimilated…By the Beastie Boys

I’m a pretty relaxed person in my musical tastes—I can appreciate most anything, with a few exceptions which include most Grand Ole Opry-style country music, rap, and the type of metal music that is comprised entirely from random screaming. Even within these genres, there are exceptions I like: OutKast, Missy Elliott, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dolly Parton, and I even found myself the other day, to my horror, liking an AC/DC song. In my experience, girls who like AC/DC are all hard drinking skank-ho’s who, at the slightest hint of AC/DC, jump up onto the nearest table to strip down and shake their bums around with wild abandon, (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I was surprised to discover that, with no drunken after-trade show party morons around to influence my tastes, I liked this song. I am a whore! Who knew?

All I’m saying is that while I love punk rock, but there is no excuse for Oasis or Stone Temple Pilots; but, with these few exceptions, it would be hard to find a type of music I couldn’t at least appreciate a teensy bit.

In fine teenage tradition, Girl Kid finds ways to be in love with music I cannot stand. For instance, she has a deep abiding passion for the Beastie Boys, who I have always thought of as Alvin and the Chipmunks with extra helium and a dash of crack cocaine. I can only hope she stays away from jazz. So, when I saw the trailer for the Big Screen Concerts showing of the Beastie Boys, Awesome! I knew we’d going, and so we did. I guess I can be happy that $13.50 a ticket is a lot less expensive than what it would cost to actually go to a BB concert, and less hard on the ears as well.

What can I say? David Cross, masquerading as Leprechaun/German/Swiss chocolate-obsessed maniac Nathaniel Hörnblowér apparently “directed” the concert film, if you can call giving camcorders to fifty people and telling them to “rock out” directing. Let’s just say that I was nauseous and ready to blow chunks within five minutes. Out of focus, dark, camera pointing at the floor, the date/time stamp still blinking on, and all cut to together with the usual concert film frenetic suicidal-hamster-on-speed style. I was clutching my stomach in record time; and the pack of skinhead bone crushers to our left shouting, “Yeah! Rock on!” and pumping their fists every few seconds didn’t help either. I was in hell. David Cross, you are a freak—a freaky, freaky freak; but no matter how hard you try, you are not Andy Kaufman. Sorry dude.

Still, in the second hour, something happened to me. I learned to unfocus my eyes, and that helped with the stomach pains, and I began to, (dear god, I can’t believe I’m saying this) appreciate the Beastie Boys. For one thing, damn, what a great way these “boys” have found to avoid working for a living. No instruments necessary—just get a DJ to scratch someone else’s record up, and then create a cascade of noise that includes either your name, and/or the names of NYC neighborhoods. Genius. It probably takes a lot of rehearsal to get it right. The Beastie Boys almost cross the line into Saturday Night Live sketch: they’ve got the coordinated track suits, cute nicknames, sideways hats, and they do all the “rap” moves as well. It almost crosses the line into parody, but somehow they pull it off, including a bit in the middle where some of them dress up in tuxedos and mimic a cheap Bar Mitzvah band for fifteen minutes. Anyway, after all these years, I finally found something not chunk-inducing about the Beastie Boys, and so all must be right with the world. Girl Kid announced on the way home that she hopes, “To see the Beastie Boys in concert before I die…or they do.” I mean, man, those guys are my age. Dude, pretty fricken awesome. Word to myself.


At 10:27 AM , Anonymous Jim P said...

The Beastie Boys are something I can take in small doses happily. I'm not so sure I'd get any socially acceptable epiphanies after a whole concert, though.

By the way, I'm quite surprised that you'd have a problem with Girl Child getting into jazz. Unless your talking about Kenny "another bored housewife is lighting candles by her scented bath" G.

There is some great jazz going on out in the world. And not just the old stuff. I'd recommend such acts as Garage a Trois, Stanton Moore, The Combustion Collective, and anything Skerik is playing sax on.

Glad to see you writing again...

At 9:31 AM , Blogger Mistress Squidia said...

I know, I know, jass is great, jazz is good...and I just can't get into it. I've heard "real" jazz too. It just sounds like mindless background noise to me. I can't help it.

At 11:23 AM , Blogger David Lasky, Esq. said...

I really like the "hits" of the Beastie Boys, like Sabotage, or "Intergalactic Planetary", but I've tried listening to a whole album, and it's not easy. I imagine a concert might be similar. But I'll look for this one on DVD.

Similarly, I just watched a Cat STevens concert DVD, filmed in 1976 AT MY COLLEGE (but 10 years before I went there). His hits are awesome, even considering he's now a fundamentalist nutcase and all. But his (1976) Brit-hippie-dude personality is immediately grating, and his non-hit songs induce sleep for me. Fortunately, it's a DVD and I can just click right through the boring songs all the way to Peace Train at the end. Out on the edge of darkness, there lies a peace train.


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