Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

20 August 2005

Rockin' the Suburbs

Downloading music for free is a habit that has become hard to break. It makes me sad, but I'm going to try to reform.

Saw Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds last night. They both so totally rocked. It was awesome. I was trying to be all snobbish about Ben Folds (you know, white preppy, middle-class music and all) but he won me over completely. He's actually a real rock artist and he has a groovy anti-religious, anti-Republican vibe that I was digging. Rufus was his fabulous cabaret self as usual, although I would've preferred seeing him with an audience who was there to see him, you know? Most of the folks at the Wiltern last night were there for Mr. Folds. Rufus's set was awesome, though. He did a pumped up, rocked-out version of "Art Teacher" and he actually sang "Poses," a song I've never heard live. Plus he sang "Memphis Skyline" and "One You Love" and "Gay Messiah" and then during Ben Folds' set, he came back and they covered "Careless Whisper" together. The audience went apeshit.

After the concert I headed up to Big Wang's on Cahuenga and Sunset for a birthday party appearance. Big Wang's is cool too! Good, rather cheap beer in the middle of Hollywood. Who knew? Valet parking is $10, but I found rock star parking less than a block away. And the birthday girl was very glad I went.

Oh yeah, some Australian guy named Ben Lee played at the Wiltern, too, and for the life of me I can't figure out why anyone likes this guy. He has a sort of "we're all in this together / love one another" vibe that is, I suppose, sweet, but he can't write lyrics (two of the half-dozen songs he sang last night began with "I've been thinking about...") and his melodies are uninteresting and conservative. He's happy and excited, so it would seem rude to be negative about him, but he just hasn't got the goods from what I've seen.