Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Music - Chris Isaak - The Best Of Tour 2006

Last thursday was lucky to FINALLY catch the great Chris Isaak playing at the Capitol Theatre. Last time he toured here I was out of Sydney, and the two times before that he sold out too fast. But this time I snagged a seat, exactly in the middle of the very last row.
Chris was as smooth and charming as you'd imagine him to be.
He was quite dressed up - a hot pink suit to start with, then a many-mirrored one to finish (I'd never previously imagined Chris as a mirrorball, but the suit suited him). The colourful duds went well with a night of songs that were more emotional and romantic than we'd get from most modern singers. A mix of Nashville, and lazy Californian beaches. Some of his female fans definitely approved. One ran onstage in the middle of a song (a dozen others were asked up towards the end of the night), and I noticed a couple of women in the audience who jumped out of their seats to scream and dance about at the slightest provocation.
He sang most of his well known songs - Blue Hotel; Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing; Somebody's Crying; Please Let Me Down Easy; Speak of the Devil.
There were some old rockin' numbers - Blue Moon; Don't Be Cruel; and Only The Lonely (hearing him live for the first time I realised how much he owes to Roy Orbinson).
He sang Return To Me while walking all over the auditorium, including visiting us plebs up the back, and there were two songs from other guys in the band (one with an Aussie influence - I definitely heard the lyrics 'yeast extract').
One song of his I wish he hadn't left out was Dancin'.
And even though he'd have a right to be a bit bored with it by now, he sang Wicked Game with all the moody passion it deserves - my favourite musical moment of the night.
But the huge highlight for this little fan was to discover that after the show he was available for autographs in the foyer. I was probably the 500th person in the line, but he obviously has plenty of stamina for this kind of thing (by the looks of him he's a very healthy fellow). I got a smile and a handshake, and he signed a photo for me. For the guy before me he added a halo above his head. I got devil horns.
He also said something to me, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what - I only remember how much cooler his voice was than mine! Smooth as.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Advice on Chopsticks and When to Bring Your Own

I've grown accustomed to visiting the flash sushi train downstairs for lunch 2 or 3 times a week now. I didn't like using their disposable chopsticks, as it's needlessly wasteful.
Today I brought along my own pair for the first time (a handsome pair in a box which I bought when I lived in Japan). When I whipped them out there was giggly surprise from some of the staff. I think it's usually only nerds and fussy old people who carry their own. Younger/Cooler folks are expected to walk around with only small electronic devices and a wallet full of cash in their pockets.
One young woman working there said her parents bought her a pair last year, as there were stories in the news describing some of the nasty chemicals used in making the disposable kind. But she's too embarrassed to take them anywhere, so they sit unused at home, making her feel guilty.
All up, it was a good move. I got fussed over, with a pat on the shoulder from the owner, and another person there rushed to get me a bowl of my favourite Korean salad before I'd even asked.
So my advice re chopsticks is, fear not embarrassment, take your own.