Whenever I drive over to spend the weekend with my parents on a Friday evening, my dad will often drink several glasses of wine and then fire up the Apple TV and want to play me videos of old soul songs. Sometimes he’ll throw in some vintage country tracks — what my mom calls “good old hollerin’ music,” the stuff my parents used to play when they threw parties in our finished basement for the neighborhood adults, with a tableful of footed glasses and a handle of bourbon and the turntable and lots of slow dancing. My sister and I would lie on the floor of our bedroom upstairs with our ears pressed to the carpet, listening to the reassuring thump of the music, longing to see what the grownups were doing.
Anyway, this clip was my dad’s selection tonight. It’s so odd — something my dad acknowledged up front. I don’t know what to make of this video. “Look at James, though,” my dad said. “He’s loving this!”
It prompted a memory of the one time I got to see the Godfather of Soul in concert. He played the Homer Hamilton Amphitheater at the Tennessee Valley Fairgrounds early in the summer of 2000. I had just graduated with my Masters and was preparing to leave Knoxville in August, bound for Athens, Georgia, where I’d start my Ph.D. work.
My boyfriend and I went to the show with another couple. The H.H. Amphitheater is an outdoor space with a covered stage. J.B. pulled out all the stops: go-go dancers who changed their glittery outfits every couple of songs, multicolored capes he’d throw off at some predetermined climactic moment in a song, and the tightest horn section ever. Apparently, it was true what I’d always heard: both that J.B. was an exacting band leader and also that he was the Hardest Working Man in Show Business.
Just after the show started, an evening thunderstorm blew in from the west. We didn’t have the sense God gave a goat, so in the midst of all the thunder, lightning, and rain, we danced and danced and drank deep from our BYOB tallboys, whose boozy contents had been diluted with rainwater.
Headed to the mountain for the weekend, and here’s what the weather’s been like, so this cologne seemed like the one to wear (smells like clean water and dirt, with a faint note of wood smoke).
HHEY BRO WHO OUTED STUDENT PORN STAR?! COME GET LAID FOR 10K! ANY GIRL YOU WANT!
Too many responses to this to articulate them all, so I’ll just say I’m thankful a.) for the fact that we’re talking about this and b.) for articles that have thoughtful, non-boneheaded discussion in the comments.
Every time you feel yourself getting drawn into other people’s nonsense, repeat these words. (via Sweatpants & Coffee)
Max Reinhardt’s 1935 version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is gorgeous. Gorgeous. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me?