Thursday, March 10, 2011

Steve, deathcore, and Weird Al. Go.

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.

Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don't know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.

Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Get all excited and go to a yawning festival.

O.K… everybody!

Steve Martin, Grandmother’s Song.

The first time I heard that song I nearly embarrassed myself in a way that would have been hard to recover from. (Not unlike ending a sentence with a preposition, I suppose.) Put simply, I was the first bright-eyed kid on our block to get Let’s Get Small when it came out in ’77. When I brought it home, my pals and I crowded around the tired old turntable in the living room and started listening to the tracks, one by one, until we were nearly breathless from laughing harder than we ever had. That is, until the Grandmother’s Song came on and I nearly peed myself right there in the living room, which meant I was just a heartbeat away from a defining adolescent experience that would have embarrassed even Charlie Sheen.

Anyway, all of this is to say that it wasn't long before I convinced my dad to take me and a buddy to see Martin do his thing live at the Westchester Premier Theatre. It was a fun night, not just because Martin was as great as we had hoped, but because it was a chance for my dad and me to get out and do something new together. And since then, I’ve found that taking my own kids to shows has been just as fun.

It was just about two years ago now that I took the oldest boy to see Job For A Cowboy at the Starland Ballroom. It was a hoot, not because of the thoughtful, melodic quality of Cowboy’s music, but because it was something I never would have done if it wasn’t for the boy expanding my horizons a bit.

Since then I’ve taken the boys to a number of other things, most of which have been, quite frankly, rather more tame. There have been Rifftrax shows, Cinematic Titanic shows… and I just got us tickets to see Weird Al in May. (squee!) So embrace the live show. Assuming your progeny are older than the Blue’s Clues set, there are lots of choices that you’ll both connect with. Do it.


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