guys n guitars
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The most mild-mannered guys are transformed into sexy things the moment they strap on guitars.
Maybe it’s just me, but judging by the bevy of birthday party girls who were climbing all over Tom at Black & Blue’s gig in Fort Worth Friday night, I think not.
The night started unpromising. By 10:30, there were maybe 15 people in the club, including me and a few friends. But an appreciative crowd grew over the course of the first set and during the break, the girls arrived—a whole flock of ‘em in short-shorts and high heels and glitter everywhere. One wore a tiara. This was good news.
“Those are the girls that are going to dance to Honky-Tonk Women,” I told a friend.
I was right, of course. Honky-Tonk Women was the second song of the second set and that’s when the party really began.
It was, we learned, Kaitlin’s 22nd birthday and she was out in a white sequin tank top, white short-shorts, disco ball earrings and tiara, partying with her posse at the Moon bar. It was a mass of writhing, squealing girls, pressed up to the low stage, wiggling for attention. Kaitlin draped a scarf around Tom’s neck and another girl put a tiara on Steve. The girls would drift off for a minute, to get drinks or take cell phone photos of each other, then return, arms in the air, nipples aimed at the band, shaking their bottoms and shrieking.
This display attracted throngs of beefy frat boys and the dance floor grew increasingly crowded. By Satisfaction and Jumping Jack Flash, the room was a hallucinogenic bacchanalia of dancing. It was a notably rhythmless orgy but heartfelt and enthusiastic.
I’d pay money for copies of the photos taken at the end of the show of Tom, looking sweaty, pleased and bewildered, flanked by young girls, pressing in and posing. It was a MySpace moment in the making.
After the last shutter clicked, the girls wandered off and the club began clearing out.
“What was that about?” Tom asked.
Guitars, baby. They do something to us.
Electric guitars properly wielded instill authority, power, mystery and blatant sex appeal. It works for women too, but they become sexy in a masculine way.
I am first of all awed by the ability to stand on a stage and sing, play a guitar and interact with an audience. The skill alone is a turn-on. I am attracted to competence.
But guitars on men are like stiletto heels on women: an automatic come-on.
Guitarist wield their instruments differently. Tom is low-slung and solid and wears his guitar at groin level. He wears t-shirts or his sleeves rolled up, flashing forearms. When he solos, he plants himself even more firmly and works his instrument. (So to speak.) His playing is crunchy and assertive.
Black & Blue’s other guitarist, Steve, is tall, slender and androgynous. He wears his guitar high. He moves on the stage less than Tom but his connection with his guitar is palpable and his solos are complex conversations.
Both different, both hot.
My first major real life rock-and-roll crush was on a bass player. Bass is hot. It vibrates. Bass players don’t need center stage but can be a band’s backbone. Joel, Black & Blue’s bassist, mostly hangs back on stage. He hasn’t started working the crowd yet or maybe he’s going for mystery. Drummers have to work hard for attention, tucked way back the way they are. Chuck seems to like it. He works his ass off behind his drums and enjoys watching the dramas in front of him.
Girls who chase bands know that dating a bass player is different from dating, say, a lead singer. (What do you call a lead singer without a girlfriend? Homeless. That’s my favorite musician joke.) The ego needs are different. You have to be prepared to do an awful lot of ego-feeding to run with rock stars. Rhythm guitarists have lesser ego needs than lead guitarists. Drummers have low-maintenance egos but are infamously flaky. (What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicans? A drummer. Another good one.)
Here’s my favorite rock-and-roll wife story. It was our first wedding anniversary and Tom’s band du jour, Tex Edwards and the Swingin’ Cornflake Killers, was playing at Taco Land in San Antonio. (BTW, big Cornflake Killers reunion on Aug. 8 at Reno’s in Deep Ellum.) Before the show, as the many bands that day milled around and set up, MsKrit, Tex’s girlfriend, and I were, as always, sitting off to one side watching the scene and entertaining ourselves with caustic narrative. At one point, the wife of some other musician in some other band stood before us.
“You wives and girlfriends of the band?” she demanded.
“Me too,” the woman replied. “Makes ya mean, don’t it?”
That night went on to be an epic rock-and-roll night to remember.
But I digress...
Skill counts in guitar-lust, of course. The first time I saw Kenny Vaughan, a successful studio player in Nashville, was at a small-ish club where we very fortuitously stumbled into a show of Nashville notables playing together for fun. I knew of Kim Richey, Jim Lauderdale and Mandy Barnett, who were part of the group, but I’d never heard of the geeky-cute gangly guy with dark hair and big plastic glasses.
But when he started playing I got flustered. He didn’t have a lot of guitar god moves and wore his guitar on the high side, which is interesting but less sexually explicit than all that groin-level diddling. But Vaughan’s playing had shades of George Harrison, my childhood guitarist crush. His chords and progressions hit notes in me I blush to speak of. I shook his hand after the show and my knees trembled.
Guys and guitars. It just works.
vote for tom!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I missed their gig at the Cavern last night but evidently, they rocked the jernt. Their ya-yas are definitely out.
if it's friday it must be flotsam
Friday, May 2, 2008
First, shameless promotion: Black and Blue and the AllGood Café tomorrow night. Meet me there! The Dallas Observer advanced the show here.
A month or so ago, my brother sent me this link to Missing Money, a site that searches for unclaimed property (i.e. money). He’d searched my name and found money owed to me. I went to the site, filled out the brief form and forgot all about it. Well shiver me timbers and blow me over—a check for $371 turned up in my mailbox last week! Try it.
The email subject line said: Press release
The message said: Hope your readers find this press release of interest.
The press release was an attached Word document.
If ever a presentation begged to be ignored, it’s this one. A subject and message that tells me nothing, and an attachment from someone I don’t know. Maybe it’s a perfectly legitimate release with information that my readers would find of interest but I’m not going to investigate. Hit delete, get on with my life. The world is full of cluelessness.
Here’s a nifty little tip from the NYT tech blog. If you use Firefox, you can bring up the Quick Find box to search a page by just hitting the forward slash key (same key as the question mark). Seconds saved every week!
Texas Tech University psychology department has launched a series of short podcasts about this and that, psychology-ish, featuring interviews with experts here and there. Here’s the homepage. They’re a little homespun sounding but that’s OK.
I don’t know why this story is buried on page 3 of the business section, but it’s big exciting news to me. Gas prices are causing people to “stampede” to small car. Can I get a HELL YEAH?
Unfortunately, this is bad news for SUV and truck manufacturers (i.e. American companies). But it's good for the planet, the highways and my blood pressure, since the mere sight of a Hummer makes it soar. I'm very sensitive that way.
Another of my pet peeves is the luxurification of the world. Have I discussed that before? How we seem to be devaluing all qualities—quaint, cozy, charming, kitschy—in favor of luxurious? It’s one of my favorite rants, I’m happy to go into it if I’ve neglected to rant it here.
Anyway, the DMN has a story this morning that seems to back my point, about a direct sales company called Home Interiors that was extremely successful until new owners decided to aim for the high-end market instead of the cozy low-incomers for whom the brand was developed. It didn’t work and now the company is filing for bankruptcy.
I love having my prejudices affirmed.
The snarky chick-oriented website Jezebel puts an interesting and believable spin on reports that the depression rate in women is twice that of men.
The Jezebel writer suggests that this isn’t because twice as many women as men get depressed but because women are so much more likely to go for treatment when they do. She speculates that many more men are depressed than ever seek treatment. If some dude is walking around depressed but undiagnosed, does he count? she asks.
It’s a good post, take a look.
Jezebel has also alerted me to a Ms. magazine article that sounds interesting, about self-objectification or "viewing one's body as a sex object to be consumed by the male gaze."
The post continues: More and more women are viewing themselves as sex objects, says Caroline Heldman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of politics at Occidental College, and it's due in large part to the veritable onslaught of advertising images that we're subjected to.
I think this is right on right on but the only solution offered, evidently, is to avoid media images objectifying women, but that would pretty much mean locking oneself in a dark room.
Read the post yourself.
I certainly wish I could stop constantly comparing myself with other women--both media images and women I see every day. It’s a miserable pastime, a distracting little drone in my head: I’m fatter than her…I’m thinner than her...fatter…thinner…fatter…fatter…older…younger….fatter…
What a useless waste of brain energy.
Hey, the cool website WorldHum linked to my post this week about how rising travel costs might discourage dabblers from traveling. OK, so I alerted an editor to the post in a bit of Shameless Self Promotion, but he liked it enough to link so that was very gratifying.
Finally, in what may become a weekly voyeuristic feature as long as I feel like it, this week’s Google searches that brought people to this site are:
Thank God I books for sale Castagnini
inside the brain of a narcissist
negative reviews of elizabeth gilbert's eat, pray, love
gmail emails not reaching their destination
derivation of lithium name
cashmere bouquet plant
customer support gmail
outlook autofill subject line
odd looking dogs
give me obama email adress and guest firstname.lastname@example.org
jack kent cooke Conundrum
gmail to yahoo not getting sent
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