This week's events were unexpectedly reminiscent of my teenage years. During the past week I managed to have less acne and a fuller beard than my pubescent years. Surprise, surprise. But my thoughts were bouncing around from afternoons after high school and my first real job. Between music and my sense of smell, I find connections to some of my strongest memories. No exception this week.
On a typical weekday afternoon in high school--10 out of 10 times--I was welcomed home by a combination of cooking, dancing and singing. All by my mother.
My mother, perfectly accompanying the chorus while cranking up the volume on her CD player: "Let's give 'em something to talk about," would always follow, "Yeah, sing it, Bonnie!" As I'd glared on, oft accompanied by a friend, my mother would ask, "What? It's Bonnie Raitt. Sing with me!"
It wasn't embarrassing for me because all of my close friends revered my mother. She was kind and always had a way of making those around her laugh. Still does. It's something I'll always love and appreciate about her. I understood her, but I could never quite grasp her unwavering love of Bonnie Raitt. If I were a musician I could only hope my mother would equally loyal to my music. She has listened to "Bonnie" (they're on a first name basis) for, what, 15 years like this.
These reflections filled my mind on July 17 at Utica Square's Fifth Night summer concert series during Jessica V. & the Rhythmatics' two-hour set. Yes, they played "Bonnie" and had my mother been there, another reason I'd love for her to visit, she would have been dancing and singing along with a cold beer or boxed wine in her hand. She would have fit right in.
My Own Two Feet
For any of you who have attended a Fifth Night concert you don't need me to tell you that it's fun for the whole family, but I will anyway: It's fun. Bring the family.
If I were my mother's age and had always lived in Tulsa, it would be the perfect spot to run into old friends, share a beer, bring out the dog and just relax before the weekend.
I took some chairs, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend. "Old people sit. Young people peruse," she explained.
I took it upon myself to translate this to: "None of the hip kids will have chairs, Isaac," and thus responded accordingly: "I'm neither a kid nor am I hip. There is no way I can stand for two hours. My feet would be killing me." Plus, and I didn't mention this, I've been to Fifth Night before and I know what people do, thanks.
My feet have a high arch. Don't ask me to stand for long periods of time. Most others in attendance brought chairs, too. Some looked hip as hell.
The band covered other hits from my mother's afternoon CD mix like Fleetwood Mac. The only thing missing from Jessica V. and her Rhythmatics was Tracy Chapman. The final piece to my mother's CD.
The Fifth Night concert series continues Thursdays from 7-9pm through August 28. Maybe I can get my mother to travel here for one of the final evenings. What do you think, Mom?
July 15 was this year's annual celebration of Urban Tulsa Weekly's Absolute Best of Tulsa awards. Sadly, I didn't win. Wasn't even nominated for anything, but there's always 2009, so think about me come nomination time.
The actual party was a blast. I had no idea what to expect. I tried to have no expectations, but I was shocked at the turnout. I was greeted, on the 15 floor of the Petroleum Club, with offers of free Jagermeister shots and a burlesque dancer in a thong.
Instead of the Jagermeister, I opted for a chocolate-chip cookie. It was a Tuesday night. I have to get up on Wednesdays.
Again, much of the evening had my nose remembering my days working in a country club in Tennessee. The event was light years ahead of a country club party, but the smell of hors d'oeuvres, fine meats and cheeses took me back to waiting on the elites of Chattanooga. My nose even recognized the faint smell of sterno while my mind thanked your deity of choice for not having to replace or deal with that nasty blue blazing goo.
I considered filling up a couple of to-go bags with fruits and cheeses for old times sake, but dancing with a doggy bag in hand is challenging. How embarrassed would I have been had I hit an ABoT winner on the face with a cube of muenster cheese at the drop of the Wu Tang Clan?
The Urban Tulsa staff knows how to throw a party, but they could work on their application of faux tattoos. You know what I'm talking about, Katie Sullivan. You robbed my mermaid of a breast!
After making my way to the restroom and doing my best to rid my forearm of my freakish mermaid, I recalled another one of the lesser pleasant dealings of the country club life: the drunken clientele. Several young no-deodorant-wearing men at the Petroleum Club were yelling their favorite "country club" hit (i.e. "Brick House") in the men's room. I rolled my eyes and continued to attempt to rid my arm of the faux mermaid, who was now without a face and a boob, all while keeping my skin. I wished my mother were there to help me. Surely she could have helped. I would have been okay with her singing and dancing if only she could help me get my forearm back.
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