I am a 34 year old statue

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Last night I had the good fortune to attend a show by Kraftwerk. If you don’t know about Kraftwerk, check out this Youtube Video:
 

 
Here’s why I think these guys are so fascinating… I can’t decide if this is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever witnessed or if it’s stone cool art that should be worshiped and put on a pedestal.
 
I’ve seen lots of shows… This is the first time I’ve been at one where I could barely discern any physical movements by the “band” that coincided with any of the music being played. I remember controversies regarding lip syncing from Britney to Ashlee. But with Kraftwerk you’re surprised if you get a hint that the four guys on the stage are doing anything other than surfing the web, and THAT’S THE WAY IT IS. It’s just how they work. They even send out robots to do songs for them. I love that but in the back of my mind I’m still way old school. I expect to see an arm raised, and that physical work being turned into music in some way, with a guitar being strummed or a key being pressed and then hearing the sound coming out. I didn’t expect anything different, but it was still jarring to witness. This was beyond lip syncing. It was either performance art or a load of crap. I couldn’t figure out what any of the four band members were really doing up there. Ralf, the only original member in stock, moved his legs a little bit in time to the music and I saw him move his hand once in a while where I imagined that it was in time to the music, but for all I knew he was checking his email. There was one point on one of the last couple songs where he “went all Jerry Lee Lewis” and ran his fingers over all the keys like “the killer” but I may have been hallucinating…  
 
The Myth in Maplewood is a godawful place that looks like the night club from a bad released-directly-to-dvd movie. It was all shiny and perfect, but it’s really a big old shoe store with a new coat of paint. It was packed with 1,999 other revelers, one of which ended up reveling next to me, dancing up a storm, stealing a few moves from the Grateful Dead dancers oeuvre, and generally having a pretty good time. She was bouncing off all the nearby concert goers but that’s ok, this isn’t an art exhibition (or is it???), it’s a rock show. At one point about 2/3 through the nearly 2 hour set she looked at me and asked if I was a statue. I thought I was moving quite a bit so I felt bad. She then went on to inform me that she thought that my spirit was much freer “back in the day” and that I should be dancing. As I started to feel my bones calcify and saw my status as a dinosaur being locked in I asked her how old she thought I was. She told me about 34 or 35 so I enthusiastically agreed with that. If I told her that I was nearly 80 I think she would have had a heart attack. She also told me she babysits for a local radio personality that has a name that sounds like he throws thunderbolts. If she had said that she took care of Leo Laporte’s kids that would have been meaningful, but mentioning drive time radio guys is the same as talking to me about Danielle Steele. It just doesn’t compute. Anyway she moved on and started banging into other folks that probably weren’t nearly as “statuesque” as I.
 
It was an exciting night. I loved the show, but still don’t have an angle on whether it’s an elaborate scam or fine art. Probably somewhere in between. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Computer Love is easily one of the greatest songs of all time….
 
Margaret did tell me that 34 years old is pretty young for a statue so I have that going for me.