Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iron Chef

Cooking tip 101: when plating a hot item with liquid, do not try to flip it onto the plate. You will splatter hot grease all over your chest and you will scream and you will cry and you will get blisters all over your neck and other sensitive areas and you will not enjoy wearing shirts for a very long time and, even worse, you will look like an idiot. Not that this happened to me on Sunday or anything: I’m just thinking that it might happen to someone and I want to warn you ahead of time.
Do you ever do things like that? Things that, given 3 seconds of thought, you would have figured out were really really stupid ideas? But for some reason the synapses in your brain weren’t firing as fast as they should and you found yourself on the other end of dumb? Confess: what are your Darwin moments?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Left Cold

Coldplay. Doesn’t it send delicious shivers up your spine? When we saw them in Houston 2 years ago, they left it all on the stage, filling the Toyota center with copious amounts of energy. In a nutshell, one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some great ones (Prince being among the naughtier but more energetic shows.)
But this time? Well, still a great show, still enjoyable, but not worth the ticket price. I’m thinking for $100 a pop for not-so-great seats, they ought to be on fire. Maybe literally. Although that seems to belong more to Ozzy Osbourne than Coldplay.
I’m not saying Coldplay didn’t do a good job. They did, and they performed well. They actually sang the songs, unlike some bands who think it’s a good idea to hold the mic. out to the audience and let them do the work. They ran around on stage, moved around the audience, sang a good variety, yadda yadda yadda. But they lacked that something, that magnetism that made the Toyota Center show spellbinding.
Maybe it has to do with the opening, um, band? DJ? Skinny guy behind a sound board? He sucked, bless his heart. He had screens set up showing a Pink Floyd-esque movie that roughly corresponded to the “music”. And I mean that in the most loose definition of the word. One hour, one song, 12 chapters as seen by the film, and the whole time I thought, “Hmmm. This would work better if I were completely wasted. At least then I wouldn’t notice that it’s now 9:30 and no sign of Coldplay.” When the opening act finally ended, the wait music put our whole group to sleep. It’s a dangerous game, to lull the audience to sleep right before you want to energize them so they'll buy lots of souvenir crap.
When Coldplay finished the concert, they gave us one encore, one song in the set; "Yellow", which is worth sticking around to listen to, but for as nice as Chris Martin seems when speaking to the crowd (“Thank you for giving us your Friday night; Coldplay fans are the most handsome, the best looking crowd”) it just doesn’t seem nice to make us wait 2 hours to hear them play for 1.5 hours, and then send us on our way not having even worked up a sweat (us, not them. They were sweating, but who wouldn’t under those lights?) So, while I still enjoy Coldplay, I’m thinking hold onto your wallet when they come to your city and listen to ‘em on Youtube instead. Besides, there you can get a lovely version of Lips Like Sugar that would make Echo weep.