Happy Anniversary, Baby! Got You on my Mi-ind!

Egads. Little River Band. Gotta shake that somehow…

Luckily, RUABelle and I did something last night that should help exorcise the pablum of Beeb Birtles from my brain.

Yesterday was our 16th anniversary.* We celebrated by eating dinner at Koto,(mmmm, sushi and sake) and then grabbing a quick drink at the Crosswalk Bar in the Renaissance Hotel before the show at the Ryman.

I may look like the whitest dude on the face of the earth. My skin has been described as “cadaverous.” But when it comes to music, to quote Tower of Power:

“You and me might disagree, ’cause I like rhythm and blues
Now I’m not dissin’ disco, I’m not saying punk is bunk
I can’t settle for heavy metal, cause I got to have that funk

I like soul with a capital S
Soul with a capital S
Sweet soul music, that’s the best
Soul with a capital S”

And how! We spent over three hours listening from the second row of the balcony at the Ryman to Ozomatli and Los Lonely Boys throwing it down and had a great time.

I had seen the Lonely Kidz a couple of times before in small venues. Really small. Like the Hog’s Breath Saloon in Destin and Elliston Square. I was impressed how well their show translated to the Mother Church of the Ryman. But even I have to admit that the 40 minute masturbatory guitar noodling of “Onda” was a bit much. Thanks to RUABelle for sticking with me during that one.

We were especially impressed by Ozomatli, a nine member multi-ethnic funky horn band from L.A. Their amalgam of funk, rap, cumbia and jazz made for a great show. Despite the fact that I’m sure that this was the whitest audience they played in front of on this tour, (there might have been two people in the whole crowd who I would have called “swarthy”) they showed a playful exuberance that was born of their love of the music and maybe a little bit of pharmaceutical assistance, if you know what I mean.

In a brilliant stroke, they marched down into the audience while roadies cleared the stage for Los Lonely Boys. They continued to play back line rhythms for a half hour on the floor of the Ryman, in the lobby, up the stairs and in the balcony right in front of where there merchandise was being sold. As the Guiness guys say, “Brilliant!” They concluded their impromptu between-sets interlude by leading the entire crowd waiting in line for the bathrooms in the funkiest version of the “Sesame Street” thene that anyone would ever have the pleasure to hear.

The Dry Spot gives them four spots. Check them out!

* “Anniversary of what?,” you might ask. “You guys aren’t married.”

That’s a good point. It’s always difficult to name a starting date for a relationship, especially one that has lasted as long as ours. So, no, we didn’t choose the first time we did that as our anniversary date. Get your minds out of the gutters, people.

But it’s not exactly the anniversary of our first date either. RUABelle was a cocktail waitress in a bar where I used to play guitar. We flirted for a couple of months before I finally asked her out to a movie. But it was “Ghost,” and I’d already seen it with three different women that summer so we really don’t count that one. Plus she wouldn’t go out for a beer with me after the movie as she was playing hard to get. I was of, course, too dumb to figure that out.

So we mark our anniversary two weeks after our first kiss which happened as I loaded up the car after a gig in Bowling Green. I waited patiently for that fortnight until I could get back up to where she worked again for our next tryst. I played the gig until 1:00 in the morning and then went back to her apartment where we stayed up talking until the sun rose.

Then I had to drive back to Nashville and be at work by 8:00. That part sorta sucked, but my feet weren’t really touching the ground anyway due to the flush of new love and a total exhaustion buzz. So that’s the date we use. Now you know.


7 Responses to Happy Anniversary, Baby! Got You on my Mi-ind!

  1. newscoma says:

    My anniversary is that date.
    Just saying.
    I know, I’m a perv.

  2. saraclark says:

    Well damn, I was going to post a review about that show being the whitest, stiffest bunch of 50 somethings I had ever seen. I just did not expect that crowd demographic.

    But since it was your anniversary and apparently you were sitting behind me (sec 12 row A 1&2) I won’t say anything.

    I am a huge Ozomatli fan and they are the reason we went. You should get Street Signs, those guys are funky and The Other Half was diggin the Japanese percussionist.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Happy (belated) Anniversary!


  4. ceeelcee says:

    Hi Saras.

    Clark-I was in section 11 Row B 2& 3. (White guy dancing in his seat with the good looking blonde schoolmarm sitting next to him looking mortified.) We were definitely surprised by the white bread crowd, too. But LLB has become increasing Lightning 100ish. You couldn’t turn on a sporting event last year without hearing “Heaven” as the bump music. Glad to hear they still have a little edge left.

    I just missed seeing Ozomatli the last time I was in Vegas, so we were glad to catch them here. “Street Signs” is now on Amazon order.


  5. saraclark says:

    I could certainly burn you a copy of mine if you want it. I bought it through itunes, so there’s no collateral to go with it.

    We were the on the front row, one section over, I had on a denim jacket and was with the big, long-haired guy in a black leather jacket. I was just a smidge too baked to stand up and dance that close to the rail(it always makes me nervous sitting there).

    The Other Half said that crowd was exactly LLB’s crowd and what they were expecting and marketing for. It just weirded me out. We talked about how cool it would be to see Ozomatli at Bonnaroo or in California with a livlier crowd.

    But we do have those same seats for Gov’t Mule on Sunday night and I am looking forward to that show too!

  6. John H says:

    congrats on your own special anniversary. Great post, all in all.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was one of the (well) over-50 white guys in the crowd, which was remarkable in its composition and its enthusiasm. The emphasis on blues-based material was surprising, as was the emphasis on instrumental rather than vocal performance. Agreed that Onda was over the top. Surprising that no one commented on the decibel level, which, IMHO, detracted from the listening experience.


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