Night On the Town

I went to a concert at The Ox last night, a fundraiser for the Christian Study Center's music program (concerts Friday nights etc.). I went with a couple of the guys from the youth group, but Kimberly ended up staying babysitter. I'd been looking forward to hearing Jukebox Wagon, the headliners, who played last, four hours after the evening started. I'd heard some good things about them, particularly from my sister, and they were OK. There was also nearly an hour of chick rock from two women named Sydney Schaef and Melissa Reyes, had a backup band, and were a lot of fun, although they played for a long time and talked with cute scrunchy faces.

The highlight of the evening was the second band to play: the (I believe) not-extant-as-most-bands-are-band The Mike O'Malley Jazz Ensemble. I think they might've played a few times at Market Street Pub, but I don't think they really think of themselves as a band, more as a get-together-for-funk, but I don't actually know that. Maybe they've been practicing devotedly for years, ignoring their families for their art.

While The Mike O'Mally Jazz Ensemble warmed up, they busted out in a Shaft-esque *piqui-wonw-piqui-wonw-wonh* guitar funk I can really get into. Fantastic funky bleus cheese. Then they just played a little rock n' roll, a little jazz, a little funk. And it was one. Now that's trinitarian art. The Mike O'Mally Jazz Ensemble (note that I use their full name, in tribute to their bombast) is the obvious baggy-panted love child of The Alan Parsons Project and Yes. Well, they're not that good, but that description points the way, and it's fun to talk like that, anyway.

They were the best show there...but they were the second of five bands. Gotta hate that premature lineupfication.

The above might've been my dad's favorite non-The Police album when I was a kid. I loved just staring at the cover...even the walkways, which seem (weirdly) normal to me now, were unlike anything I'd ever seen, and I was amazed that there was a place on earth that looked so much like a spaceship. And yes, at age nine I was already an Asimov fan, loved his short stories and the Caves of Steel trilogy, and Pebble In The Sky, but stumbled when I hit Stars, Like Dust, and the Foundation books. Even at age 15, when I tried the Foundation books again, I hated them, but those straight up detective stories that were the Lije Bailey and Daneel Caves of Steel novels, well, that was great stuff.

I am not looking forward to the upcoming I, Robot on film. For part of the reason why, see here. Sure, Asimov was a disgusting, vaguely humanistic atheist. But by gum, he could write a mystery, and he could come up with a cool concept, such as the Three Laws of Robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

And now a story involving a murder, those three laws, and some of Asimov's character names is being passed off as I, Robot. Paff! Piffle!

Still, I suppose that the only really important thing is that I had fun last night, and will perhaps listen today to my The Best of The Alan Parsons Project, which isn't really fun, since the strong suit there is not singles. And maybe I'll think of Austin McDonald.

The eighties...that was a very plastic time for me. Plus there was Aragorn. Man...some weirdness, when I think about it.

Pronunciation quirk in saying "The Mike O'Malley Jazz Ensemble" was the apparent inability (sparked, I think, but the word ensemble) of folks to pronouce the name regularly. It seems to come out as "Mike O'Mah-Lee Jahzz Ahn-sahm-bull."