November 12th, 2014

krazy koati

When the morning comes

So you know the band OK Go? If you're not sure, think of that astounding music video your friends were forwarding a little while ago. That's them. They're doing a couple of tours, one in large venues, one in smaller ones. We got to their show in the Magic Stick, the upstairs and relatively smaller part of the Majestic theater in Detroit. (We'd been to the Majestic for a Walk The Moon concert a year or so ago.)

The opening act was called Rollergirl, and started with no announcement or warning or anything, really; just, a guy who seemed to be doing sound checks started DJ'ing, and, didn't stop, for more than a half hour. It was just the one guy, doing a pretty attractive set, and after the show bunny_hugger went up to him at the merch table, out of a sense that it's just decent to support small acts. He wasn't quite smooth at answering her question about what's the best of his CDs for someone who doesn't know his kind of music, and he admitted he wasn't good at marketing himself. (I believe there was also something about people associated with him who were kind of part of the band, but weren't there, and I don't share the details because I don't believe I got it.)

Apparently OK Go has a reputation as a band to make visually stunning music videos of, so their actual music and performance get overlooked. This seems unfair; their live performance was --- to the best of my ear's ability to tell --- dead on, capturing the sound of their albums in the way a live performance can do only if they're really good and working really hard. The show included a couple visual gimmicks, including a confetti cannon that fired repeatedly; near the end of the show the lead singer said that it was all biodegradable confetti and it tasted kind of salty.

Between some numbers he took questions from the audience, though as he pointed out, the crowd was really more making demands than asking questions --- to sing ``Happy Birthday'' to a guy whose birthday it apparently was, or to sing a little nonsense ditty they'd done in a Behind-The-Scenes video, that sort of thing. In the last third of the show the lead singer did come out to a chair in the midst of the audience, pleasantly close to us, to sing a couple pieces. Most delightful to me is that he was sitting up on this chair, in the midst of people holding up their cell phones taking pictures of him, which was such an arty scene that I had to take a picture of it and so make the picture of somebody behind me that tiny bit better.

We hung around after the show, letting the crowd drizzle out, and watching people pile confetti up into mounds they could slide into. We went to the bowling alley downstairs, which lacked pinball, but which was wonderfully decorated in neon and Halloween props. We've got to bowl there sometime.

Trivia: Rumors that Napoleon Bonaparte had escaped from Saint Helena and returned to Paris arose in 1816 almost simultaneously in Nemours, parts of Burgundy, and the Bourbonnais. French authorities suspected (fairly) a well-organized plot. Source: The Discovery Of France: A Historical Geography, Graham Robb.

Currently Reading: Benjamin Thomson --- Count Rumford: Count Rumford on the Nature of Heat, Editor Sanborn C Brown. Mostly a collection of Rumford's writings, of the time, and isn't this just a magnificent bit of the joy of discovery, when his friction experiments brought water to boiling:

Though there was, in fact, nothing that could justly be considered as surprising in this event, yet I acknowledge fairly that it afforded me a degree of childish pleasure, which, were I ambitious of the reputation of a grave philosopher, I ought most certainly rather to hide than to discover.