It's hard to be an aging music listener who doesn't much care for the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen or any of the other geezers still doing the rock concert circuit. Sure, someone occasionally comes down the pike who's listenable, like K.T. Tunstall
or John Mayer. And there's a song here and there that I like, but nothing that tells me to rush out and buy CDs; nothing that says "I want to hear more." Death Cab for Cutie's latest heavy-rotation song I'll Follow You Into the Dark
, which I posted here a few weeks ago, may be the most achingly beautiful song in a generation, but if I had to listen to an entire CD or concert of similar stuff, I'd want to stick my head in the oven. And while I will probably run out and buy the next effort from the maturing Green Day, I'm hardly likely to leave the house to see them live.
So like many people of my generation, I mostly listen to various forms of ethnic and roots music. Over Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. Brilliant and I went to see Hot Tuna, who can usually be counted on to deliver a terrific exhibition of musical virtuousity in the service of bluegrass-tinged rock 'n' roll. The last time we'd seen Hot Tuna was as an opening act to the Allman Bros. Band during the unfortunate Jimmy Herring years. And they were sensational.
But whether due to muddy amplification, the replacement of a keyboard AND rhythm guitar with for some reason a mandolin, a bunch of middle-aged guys in the audience who simply had to get up 27 times during the show to either buy beer or excrete beer, or the drunken asshole in the back of the loge screaming "JAAACCCKKK!!!!" at the top of his lungs, the grizzled veterans Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady had the show stolen from right under their noses by these guys:
Like what you hear? There's more here