He’s back (the man behind the blog)
Sorry ’bout that. Spent the weekend in Delaware and unexpectedly got hired again at USAT while working on some freelance articles, so I’ve been busy. Here’s some stuff I meant to blog.
- I met Harry Shearer – star of “Spinal Tap” and “A Mighty Wind” and voice of a gazillion Simpsons characters. I was at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, and a singer-songwriter type named Judith Owen was playing piano, accompanied on bass by … Harry Shearer. Of all the random occurances in my life, that about takes the random cookie.
During the set Shearer has a solo bit, which he uses to play “Loco Man,” a song by the fake “Folksmen” band in “A Mighty Wind.” This is good, because when I talk to a celebrity I always want to mention a subject they hear less about. For example, if I met the RZA, I’d talk less about “36 Chambers” and more about what he thought about the availibility of Shaw bros. movies. Anyway. A while after the set is over, after most of the crowd is gone, I amble over to the stage where Shearer is chatting with a guy holding a Spinal Tap DVD. I figure if this guy just buttonholed him to get a signature, I can chat, too.
“Hey, Mr. Shearer, I just wanted to thank you for playing ‘Loco Man’.”
Shearer laughs. “Oh, thank you! Did you get to see us when we played the 9:30 club?”
“No, I don’t think I’d moved to town yet! Were you switching off bands?”
“Oh yeah, we came on as the Folksmen, and Mitch and Mickey came on and the New Main Street Singers came on, and we ended with everyone coming onstage.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I missed that. I love all the music from that movie. You actually got me into folk music I hadn’t heard of before, like Ian and Sylvia and Gordon Lightfoot.”
“I’m actually a huge fan of all your stuff, all the Christopher Guest movies. Just keep doing exactly what you’re doing, it’s great.”
“I’ll try! Thanks! Nice to meet you!”
Sharing this story with some friends, I learned that Shearer has a reputation as a dick. That may be true if he’s forced into a junket or something, but if you catch him playing music he’s the nicest guy in the world.
- I purchased “Chappelle’s Show” season 2 on DVD. The reviewer at USAT had a copy of this lying around since early April, which was really starting to weigh on me, but I caved and bought it with an estimated seventy billion other people in the Tysons Corner Best Buy. (One guy bought three copies.) I’m one of the holdouts who thinks season one was about as good as this season – c’mon, nothing is funnier than the Fisticuffs sketch. (“Turn my headphones UP! Turn them shits up!”) But it’s definitely glorious to finally have the skits from season 2 – black Bush, Rick James, “is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?” and so on. The DVD insert telling me to “watch new episodes Tuesday 10 pm!” is definitely bittersweet.
- I saw “Star Wars III” and “The Aviator.” I’ve got epics up to (holds hand at forehead level) here.