Sunday, May 22, 2016

It's A Miracle

Pam had an extra ticket to see Cyndi Lauper and Boy George at the Wang Theatre. Guess who got to go? ME. That kind of thing never happens to me. Thanks, Pammeke! And thanks, person-who-couldn't-make-it-whose-seat-I-took!

First of all, I love The Wang. It's one of those right proper old art deco theatres. You know, decked out with red velvet and gold trim, ceiling paintings, sculptural detail and fancy chandeliers. It opened in the 1920s and holds 3500 delighted Gen Xers. Pam scored orchestra seats, row M for Motherf*****, how'd you score these seats?
Pam and I just wore what we'd worn that day, but the audience in general is largely to be commended on their various get-ups in the style of generic 80s, or costumed as Cyndi or George. Some of them went all out, down to the fingernails! It looked exhausting. I imagined fishnet imprint in the back of my thighs and was glad I was just wearing my normal clothes. Then again to re-assess "Pam and I just wore what we'd worn that day." My beautiful friend was in a funky green patterned retro-dress, tights and boots, and a biker hat. I was in a red tunic and a lacy scarf over black & white patterned leggings & my old Doc Martens. An authentic pair, and I'm not just referring to my boots. My boots, and Pam and I, have crossed the decades with this music. No costume required.
On this mini tour Cyndi and George are switching who goes first, according to the bellowing doorman whose primary information could have been accomplished by a sign. "Cyndi goes on first!" and "Will call to the left! If you have your tickets, go straight up the middle!"

Cyndi wore all black with a corset, her hair these days an aggressive busby of bubblegum pink. She's in fine voice, the band sounds fantastic. She opened with "She Bop," her naughty "this is really about masturbation" song. But it seems this tour, the bubbly chanteuse is in a melancholy "cowboy song" mode. She did Patsy Cline's "Walking After Midnight," and one or two more from that era. She did "When You Were Mine," a Prince tune she's been covering for decades. All told, a very intimate "storytelling" style of set, with like a 20 minute lead-in to set the mood describing when she first heard rock n' roll, growing up in "Ozone Pawk, where there's a lawta people who tawk like me." Two encores, the first was a loud one she launched into with a yell, "Are ya ready?!" and the band swung into "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." There may have been someone who didn't leap up and sing along, but I didn't see that guy. Great set!  The final encore was "Time After Time," a gift to the lofty space and met with a respectful resounding quiet, as she performed it solo on just her lap dulcimer. She closed with an amazing version of "True Colors," and the audience went wild when she held a "power to the people" pose for long enough to matter. Superior set, and I goggled at Pam that after that magnificent show we still get to see Boy friggin' George now?

His crew got set up fast, including a full drum kit and a percussionist, in fact the young dude playing records while we waited got his set cut short! I'm sure he didn't mind, because here comes Boy George. George came out wearing I think his own clothing designs, if not his then a contemporary -- a tunic & leggings with cartoonish motif, couldn't tell exactly the detail even from row M, a funky black jacket and quite a large yellow hat. I couldn't love him any harder. George was in fine voice, these blues in high heels never sounded better. Three backup singers doing the parts Helen Terry did in the 80s. They were fantastic. Unbelievably he mined the back catalog! Dude had a whole career after 1989 but only did one song from post-Culture Club (Bow Down Mister), everything else he pulled from Colour by Numbers or Kissing to be Clever, plus some cover songs. I thought it was a good move. He probably figured with a twin bill of 80s icons that the crowd would be appreciative of a retrospective. I loved it, didn't expect it because Culture Club just came thru here a few months ago. He was jokey with the front row, a little bitchy with the crew but in a lovable way. "Shall I sit down here like this, in this position? Could we do better? It's not that expensive, is it?" For the last song (of the set, there were 2 encores) Cyndi came out, resplendent in a loungey track suit surely made by the designer of George's tunic set. Together they led the delirious audience through a raucous "Karma Chameleon."

Boy George Set List (Boston: May 21, 2016)

Fun Time (Stooges cover)
It's a Miracle
I'll Tumble 4 Ya
Church of the Poison Mind
The Jean Genie (Bowie cover)
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Miss Me Blind
Karma Chameleon (w/ Cyndi Lauper)

Bang a Gong (T Rex cover w/ Cyndi Lauper)
Bow Down Mister

Imagine (Lennon cover, quiet duo w/ Cyndi Lauper on her dulcimer)

Dirty Sweet 'N You're My Girl

Walking to the train after, I confided to Pam that I felt like I had some spiritual communing with Genine, gone from this plane just over a month now and still on my mind daily. I'd read Genine's Obituary and traded some messages with others from high school who were lucky enough to get into her warm light for awhile, but I didn't go to the memorial service and didn't feel like a proper goodbye could be achieved. At the Wang I fucking thought I saw her. I know for sure I felt her. Then I realized with a surge of happiness that I'll always feel her whenever Boy George sings a song. That's magic. Pam and I sat on a low wall sipping Starbucks late-nite teas and talking about the gifts the universe brings, trading stories about things that happen that can't always be explained, but you just need to keep your heart open and let it happen. It's nice when you find others who "get it."

So. Pam had an extra ticket to see Cyndi Lauper and Boy George at the Wang Theatre. Guess who got to go? Muggins here. That kind of thing never happens to me. Thanks, Pammeke! And thanks, person-who-couldn't-make-it-whose-seat-I-took! And thanks, Genine. Because of course.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The vortex is strong with this one

Photo: Ed Green

This selfie Ed took at a game last summer
is one of my favorite pictures.
These guys...these smiles!

I met Ed decades ago when I first began to go out and see local bands.
Psychotic Larry was a hard rock trio featuring, of all things, Ed on keytar
and my buddy Peet on bass.
Loved hanging out with those guys!

Ten years or so into my relationship with Joe,
it comes up, for the first time, that Joe knew Ed too.
Ed and Joe had been roommates at Berklee
Joe had also played bass in Psychotic Larry, whaaaaat?
I love that they hang out again.
I love when circles complete.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Welcome to Allston

This is a building you see as you enter Allston coming off the Mass Pike. The windows have been closed up for years and murals painted in. The sky looked so clear that morning that the building stood out like a mirage. I had to take some photos. The top right triptych depicts Mr. Butch.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevel

Currently Reading

Forged: Writing in the Name of God
it was amazing
tagged: currently-reading