'and on that farm he had a pregnant lady symbolizing a pig. E-I-E-I-O!'
stay classy, PETA.
i told you not to call it a comeback
this is seriously the best thing i have seen all year.
all right, fine. allow me to explain why: when i was a wee lad, Garfield was the first comic strip that i read. that, and Peanuts. but Garfield was the first strip that i "got." you know? i thought it was hi-larious. the cat loves lasagna! that's fucking comedy! you can imagine my dismay when i got older that -- in addition to getting lazy, narrow-minded, cheap, cowardly, mean-spirited and reviled by my peers -- i realized that Garfield is just not funny. it is, in fact, the opposite of funny. instead of mirth, it summons despair and violent rage.
however! now, by removing Garfield from the strip entirely, the sense of wonder and joy i once derived from reading Garfield has been restored! it's funny again! yay!
uh, sorry. but i mean, come on. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A KID'S CONCERT. dan zanes has some serious mojo working for him in the painfully adorable bandmate department, i'll tell you that much.
ahem. so anyway the man of the hour tells us that he's got a new album coming out in a couple months called Nueva York or something and it's got a lot of latino and hispanic roots flavors to it -- salsa, meringue, norteno, etc. (probably not too many narcorridos, though, sadly). so we were treated to a few ditties from the new rekkid. and this being brooklyn, his home town, he played "wonder wheel," his homage to the coney island ferris wheel. i keep waiting for the Dan Zanes Backlash, but astonshingly it fails to arrive. maybe it's not so astonishing. the sound mix was perfect, the lighting warm. his song choice was tasteful, his dance moves endearingly ridiculous. there were songs about monkeys and songs about mary mack, silver buttons and all. there were anti-war stalwarts ("i'm gonna lay down my sword and shield ...") and pro-immigration tunes. at the end of it all, he did his James-Brown-I'm-Exhausted-to-the-Point-of-Collapse bit, hand towel and all. then he played the traditional Zanes end-of-show waltz, "sidewalks of new york." he stepped down off the stage and slinked through the unwashed masses out into the lobby. he vanished. dan zanes can put on a hell of a show.
there were, per usual, a smattering of guest appearances: tap dancer derrick k. grant brought, um, 'da noise and i guess 'da funk. BombaYo, from williamsburg, did their ferociously badass puerto rican folk dancing to poly rhythmic chants (toddler nice guy: "look! ballerinas!" ah, if only ...); the Filipino Arts & Music Ensemble was adorable with their twelve-thousand mandolins played with huggable awkwardness by 13 year olds ("the most strings i've ever seen on stage at one time ever!" says ZanesHimself). anna zanes, dan's daughter, was there in all of her early-teen glory and she played the flute and daddy dan sang along and she had a friend with her and it was cuter than baby pandas. bless.
then, of course, there was Father Goose. he didn't just hop on stage. he swarmed it. he had a posse. he brought his boys. he had a hype man! at a kid's concert! a hype man! a hype man who i am pretty sure had a glass eye for reasons we'd be better off not knowing about. dan zanes is rad for many reasons -- the all-inclusiveness, the you-can-too vibe, the exquisite choice of songs. but chief among the reasons that he is rad is turning Rankin Don into Father Motherfucking Goose. if brooklyn is the dollhouse that dan zanes built, father goose is the guy who tore the damn roof off it. jaysus.
so, yes. dan zanes puts on a hell of a show. but "children's music?" pishposh. this was as good a performance as a performance can get. you could ask for no better critic than my three-foot-tall daughter who weaseled her way to the front of the baby most pit. there she was, palms down on the stage, bouncing up and down for a solid hour. when she woke up from her post-concert nap, we asked her: "do you remember what you did this morning?" she paused and furrowed her tiny brow with a gravitas that would make walter cronkite look like pee wee herman. "ummmm," she replied. "i can't remember."
There Will be Beating a Dead Horse. but wait! there's more:
i could go on, but i'm starting to go blind. besides you probably get the point. i'd like to think that with the oscars finally going down tonight this phenomenon will become a thing of the past. but this blog is No Country for Such Optimism.
in conclusion, i learned everything i needed to know about being a parent from the GODS. take that, dr. brazelton.
there you have it! some of you have found me at my family-friendly blog-away-from-blog. thanks for your patronage over there -- it's been a relative success, and i will continue to update there as well as here. but right now, i have a little present for those of you who have stuck with me: fuck! shit! pisscuntwhore!
god you have no idea how good that felt. and welcome back.