Friday, 6 August 2010

Yum 6 - Rickie Lee Jones, Potato Tacos, Fringe

It’s true – I didn’t write one last week.  But here’s what’s good, what’s new and what’s happening.

I’d never seen Rickie Lee Jones, except for one time, trying to sneak in the back way of a little club in Mill Valley where she was playing a gig that was sold out and part of the film festival.  I couldn’t really see her, or hear her, but I tried.

I was totally thrilled that she was going to be at the Pier this summer as part of the 26th (!) Annual Twilight Dance Series.

She opened with Chuck E’s in Love, which may have been an attempt to get it out of the way, but which her voice wasn’t ready for yet, sadly.  By the third or fourth song, though, she was sailing.  Older voices can’t always do what younger voices did, even in the most practiced singers, but her voice still works.  She hasn’t succumbed to vocal tricks and still has the same dynamic qualities she always did.  It was a privilege to see her.
Rickie Lee Jones

It was 1979 up on the pier for most of the night, as she played pretty much every song from her debut album, a few from Pirates, and a couple of other songs.  She’d said it was going to be old school, but she has a lot of albums and barely touched on her amazing cannon.  Everyone was happy to hear Company, Weasel and the White Boys Cool was hot, and Danny’s All-Star Joint was jumping.  I was thrilled that she did Flying Cowboys, which I’d had on repeat all day and the band really got a chance to shine on that one, too.  It seemed so fitting to hear her sing about the water while we were dangling on the edge of the Pacific.

She closed the show with a beautiful song for her daughter from her latest album, Balm in Gilead, which I’d not heard, but really want to hear again.  Here it is:

The players were great, if not perfectly rehearsed and they weren’t great back-up singers, and I really wanted to hear Satellites, but, oh well.  It was Rickie Lee!  Looking and sounding great!

The new Bloomingdale's at the new Santa Monica Place Mall was there giving out free swag -- when was the last time anybody gave out swag?  (I'm having a hard time believing the mall is finished, but guess I was gone the whole two years it was closed and under construction.  I predict the new one will look as dorky in 20 years as the old Frank Gehry one they knocked down to make it, but for now, it's an improvement over the Miami Vice pink concrete slab it replaced.) We got canvas bags, orange flip flops and frisbees!

Too bad the audience couldn’t manage to be quiet, stop shuffling and talking on their cell phones.  Free concerts can be a magnet for people with nothing else to do, but I’d never had that experience at the Pier before.  A couple came kinda late, demanded to squish themselves into our space, then left early, leaving their chairs - so Tara and I scored a new camp chair each for our inconvenience.

I actually had to have a guy ejected by security, but everyone around me was pretty happy he was no longer shouting and singing and scatting and talking sh*t over Ms. Jones.  As an audience member I might have been able to put up with him, but as an artist and promoter, I thought it was hella inappropriate while there was someone on the stage.

I think I want security at all my events now.  ; )


After a last-minute run to Atwater Village to pick up furniture from Noni, who was moving, who got it from me when I moved (who got it from Diane when she moved), Alfie and I drove around in circles for a good long time before finding the place. 

The place is like kinda past the I-Hop on Figueroa on the other side.  Not too far from Lacy Street Studios if that place is still standing.

Ten potato tacos for $6.99.

I’d never heard of such a thing – ten tacos, potato tacos, the whole deal.  So we order them and out come these deep fried tacos with some green and white sauce and some cheese drizzled on top.  Inside, peppery mashed potatoes.  They are hot and greasy and potato-y and you know I have a hard time arguing with that.  Ten for the two of us left us stuffed.  You have to eat them right then and there, or they will be too gross for words.  We spread lots of hot sauce on there, too. (Somewhere there's a picture - I'll see if I can get it!)

You can live in a place a long time and there’s still things you don’t know.  Now I know about ten potato tacos!

Wow – this is my second year not being there, after two years of being there.  It’s heartbreaking, as I see all my spoken word friends from London heading down there.  (Add to that that it’s Nationals this week in the US and I’m not there either and you realize I am seriously sad!)  It’s strange seeing so many poets going, considering how hard it was in 2007 and 2008 just to get a line-up for my show, and how few other spoken word folks were there.  While it’s great to see it all picking up, it’s also hard to be looking at it from so far away.  

Maybe they’ll finally give us our own category in the programme next year.

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