Sunday, September 28, 2008

What are concerts at The Paradise like these days?

I'm guessing they are a bit different than back in the day when my parents saw Jan & Dean there.* Sarah and I ventured out mid-week and got the full experience.  What follows is a brief timeline of highlights**:

8:15: Sarah and I arrive and scope out a largely empty venue.  The bulk of the activity is centered left of the stage where 3 girls are cheering on 2 obese white guys rapping about growing up in Lowell, MA.  I heard the phrase "Mill city hip hop" thrown around quite a bit.  It's important to note that they had a buddy standing behind a speaker and cueing up their fresh beats on an iPod for them.

8:18: The wonder twins wrap up their song.  
"Thank you very much! Anybody here from Lowell?"
Inordinate screams from the 3 girls up front
"You ladies from Lowell?"
In unison "No way!  We're from Fall RivAH! Whooooooo!"
Sarah and I suddenly realize that these girls are way ahead of us and head to the bar for PBR tall boys.

8:23: As the Wannabes from Western Mass launch into to their favorite song, "MySpace Bitches", Sarah and I sit down in an effort to ignore the lyrics and focus on people-watching.  

8:38:  During the second opener, who was actually very talented and politically conscious, I run into a girl from college that I haven't seen in years.  As I try and ignore her twitching, follow her rambling conversation, and figure out how she ended up at this concert in particular, it dawns on me that there are a few more chemicals in play than I realized.  I slowly extract myself from the conversation and focus back on the performer who is taking off his clothes to reveal a red white and blue Evel Knievel jumpsuit.   

9:46: While waiting for the headliner to come on, I catch the 3 girls from Fall River looking at me and talking.  Before I have a chance to mentally review my self defense moves, one of them is walking towards me.  
"If yah wunderin' why my girlfriend's lookin atcha it's becahse ur drinking P.B.Ahs.  She fahckin loves that beah.  It's huh fahvorite!"
Stunned into silence by the onslaught of a South Shore accent, I say nothing as she walks back to her two wobbly friends.  I feebly raise my beer and let out a breath of relief that I don't have to explain away a black eye at work tomorrow.

9:53: Still waiting for the headliner, I decide that this would be a good time to make friends with my Fall Rivah Fans.  (I'm 3 deep at this point)  I stroll over and cheers them.
"So you guys are from Fall River?"
"Fahck yeah we are!" says the one I met earlier
"Oh cool.  I lived in Providence for a while so I know a couple people from there."
Silence.  Why am I trying polite conversation with these girls!?  I change tacks.
"So you guys like PBR?"
The one who was looking at me earlier perks up.  "Fahck yeah I do!  Lemme tell you something.  I'd be drinking one right now except that bahtender won't serve me.  She said she wouldn't gimme a beah because I'm hobbling around.  I broke my fahcking leg.  I'm in a gahddamn brace.  Of cawse I'm hobbling.  Gimme a fahcking beah!  That girl's a C**T."

Thankfully at that same moment Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip started playing.  It was an awesome show. 

*That's a true story by the way.  My parents went there (post Dead Man's Curve) on one of their first dates.

**All times are approximate.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


BEIJING (Reuters) - A once drug-addled elephant fed heroin-laced bananas by illegal traders will return home after emerging clean from a three-year detox programme on China's tropical island province of Hainan.

The four-year-old bull elephant, referred to alternately as "Big Brother" or "Xiguang" in state media reports, was captured in 2005 in southwest China by traders who used spiked bananas to control him.

After police arrested the traders and freed Xiguang a few months later, the elephant was confirmed to be suffering from withdrawal symptoms and sent to a wild animal protection centre in Hainan for rehab, Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

A year of methadone injections at five times the human dosage had helped wean Xiguang off his addiction.

Now clean, Xiguang was expected to arrive on Saturday at a wildlife park in Kunming, capital of the elephant's home province of Yunnan on the mainland.

Xiguang's return would cap a 1,500-km journey home, Xinhua said, and mark another step in the elephant's triumph over addiction.