August is a bittersweet month. It is still summerthe hottest month in summerwhen God seems to be trying to fry you off the planet like an ant under a magnifying glass. It feels like the looooongest month in summer, when you just cant bear another neighborhood barbecue, or the irony of a friendly-family picnic. The pool is tiring, the ice cream man is tiring, the park is tiring. Even the kid with the lemonade stand is tiring. He is no longer a precocious little entrepreneur, rather a greedy bloodsucking parasite willing to take your last ten cents in exchange for watered down Crystal Light. Yes, August is the month where summer is officially dying.
However it is not quite dead.
You still have a chance to fling yourself off the diving board a couple times, or eat corn on the cob sopping with butter, or even hear some good music out underneath the stars.
Not only is the Woodland Arts Fair this weekend (which promises two stages of outdoor entertainment), Willie Nelson will be playing with Bob Dylan at Applebees Park, Saturday August 21st.
So is it strange that these two legends are together on their way across the country, touring minor league baseball stadiums? Not really, if you think about it. Dylan and Nelson seem like they could be buddies. Id like to imagine them on their tour bus, sharing stories about music, the sixties, and what herbal tea to drink when flashbacks flare up. Since they are both American icons, it seems only fitting that they both enjoy American things like baseball . . . and therefore minor league baseball stadiums.
At this point I would like to make a public apology to my friend Greg. We were at a party arguing about music and things got heated and I made the mistake of yelling, Face it man, rock is dead!
Obviously I was a little belligerent and just being mean, but the worst thing is that it looked like he actually believed me. Even if he wasnt convinced, he seemed genuinely saddened by the statement and could only reply with a solemn, whatever, man, and a shrug. So it is my responsibility to clear things up to both Greg and anyone else worried about the state of rock music.
The fact that Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan are still selling out crowds on their minor league baseball stadium tour is impenetrable evidence that rock music is not dead, but very much alive and kicking. Even if you consider Willie Nelson country, he still has that rock and roller appeal that people are going to the concert in order to see. So once and for all, rock is not dead. I apologize for my irresponsible blasphemy.
I was also slammed with more proof that rock is alive and well, when I went to The Smacks concert at High on Rose last Friday. Okay, so imagine a guy like Beck wearing a mini skirt and combat boots singing about cruel, cruel women. He even did the whole heroin chic eye makeup and looked frightfully addicted.
The Smaks is made up of cross-dressing guitarist, Brian Manley and his perfectly insane and talented drummer. The two fit hand in glove playing music that is reminiscent of The White Stripes with the spirit of The Clash and the mascara of The Cure. Their music was loud, fast, and hard, but there was an underlying silliness of shiny gold stockings and pink shoelaces that made the whole thing fun.
Manley is scheduled to play at Natashas Saturday, August 28th, as background music for author J. Tyler Blue. Blue is from Baltimore, and he will be reading to promote his book, The Baltimore Years.
In other A&E news, The Actors Guild of Lexington is holding the Raymond A. Smith Excellence in Theater Awards this Friday August 20th. The Smitty Awards will be held at the Downtown Arts Center on Main Street, and the ceremony begins at 7pm. Tickets are 10 dollars and can be reserved through the Actors Guild, 859/ 233.0663.
So as a final recap, rock isnt dead, but summer almost is, so go out and enjoy it. And if you see that kid with the Crystal Light tell him I want my money back. n