Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Winner

There's just something so cool about this Flickr post of Rick Unger, taken only last summer, declaring him the "Los Angeles Lebowski Fest champ." Epitomizing "The Dude" in L.A. must be recognized as no mean feat, given the competition that must surely exist in that town. I can hear Sam Elliot's opening narration on that movie:
"And even if he's a lazy man — and the Dude was certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide."
Imagine the guys who must show up in the L.A. contests for that loopy international fan fest, doing their best to embody Jeff Bridge's most beloved laid-back slacker.
"But sometimes there's a man. Sometimes there's a man who, well, he's the man for his time 'n place. He fits right in there."
I don't know about you, but I take comfort in knowin' Rick Unger lived up to the end as the embodiment of that laid-back ideal. I understand this was actually his third time winning it.
His prize for winning the 2009 L.A. Lebowski Fest? "An oriental rug," the caption reads. "Naturally."
Say friend, ya got any more a that good sarsaparilla?

Blackbird Singing

Listening to the entire Paul McCartney concert at Glendale's arena, recorded just a little over a month ago, on March 28, 2010.
If you didn't get to go (who could afford the tickets?), and don't mind stepping over to the Internet's dark side to download the torrent from a peer-to-peer site (**cough**,,, **cough**), it's worth the time and effort.
The entire audio of the concert is being distributed online now (a video culled from YouTube clips is also floating around, I'm told), and dang, if the old guy didn't deliver nearly three hours of incredible performances. The middle section, where he gives props to his Bach jams with George as the inspiration for "Blackbird," delivers his Lennon tribute, "Here Today," as atonement for his famous "it's a drag" comment (how many of us can now relate to saying a lame thing after a friend's death?), and then effortlessly dives into the 2000's with his iTunes hit, "Dance Tonight," is brilliant in its cohesion. A few songs later, he plays "Something" on the ukelele gifted him by Harrison — and the audience beautifully sings along.
I regretted missing the concert because, who knows if McCartney will do another one? He is choosing songs, recasting arrangements and adding personal dialog between songs in a way that could be purposely sealing his legacy.
On the other hand, he just sounds so good (his voice only falters once, on "My Love" — who can fault him for choking on his greatest Linda love song, after his disastrous last marriage?) that it's easy to imagine him going on another decade or two.
Eclectic song list, too (click on the above pic to read it). Why is he doing "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" in 2010? But man, I forgot how cool that piano riff is. Go Paul.