We do, that's who!
In case you were unaware, Saul Williams is taking the "Tar Spangled Banner Tour" (subtle!) on the road this spring. And on April 18th, Ro, Iris and I will take it all in at Martyr's, a Chicago venue I've never heard of before. But it sounds tiny, doesn't it? Like the kind of place where they'd have some stampede related to some fire code violation, and then they can say "Maise martyred herself at Martyrs for Saul Williams."
Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to this show. When I asked Mr. Maise if he wanted to go, he snarked, "No, thanks, I've already seen Nine Inch Nails." Yes, Trent Reznor has certainly left his mark on The Rise and Inevitable Liberation of Niggy Tardust, but if you really listen, it is easy to see that Saul has remained true to his poetry and hip-hop roots. Niggy Tardust remains an exciting and underappreciated album several months after its release, and I'll be interested to see what Saul brings to his live show.
If you'll bear with me as I return to the Saul/Trent comparison and contrast, I will point out that like Trent, Saul can be inspiring, but also baffling. He can be witty, but also boneheadedly obvious.
Take, for example, his video for the cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday".
Here, we learn that one should be a little compassionate to the homeless and perhaps walk a mile in their shoes. Unless there's some deeper meaning that I'm missing? Seriously, is there? I mean, if there's not, don't you kind of wish that there were some sort of more complex backstory? Maybe Saul Williams in The Fisher King? I mean, who is this Homeless Guy Protagonist? A man with mental illness? A tortured, starving artist? A mistreated war veteran? What???
And is that an Amy Winehouse cameo at 3:53? Just kidding.
Actually, speaking of Amy Winehouse, she was on the Grammys (in case you weren't already aware). And she was actually kind of...well, I wouldn't say awesome, but she was at least conscious and NOT slurring her words, which is more than one can say for her performances since August. It's a good sign, really, from someone who loves her, and I hope that she truly is getting back on track. She seemed to be enjoying herself, even if she seemed a little awkward. However, I hope she didn't wreck her voice at the same time that she tried to wreck her body. I mean, not to be rude, but I've done better renditions of these songs in my car on the way to work. And really, that's not me trying to brag.
But I wish her nothing but the best and a speedy recovery, and I hope she takes all this shit and makes an even more amazing album out of it. Keep up the good work, Amy!
Oh, and Kanye was at the Grammys too! And although I'm not a huge fan of his, if his upcoming stage productions look like this, I'm totally up for seeing him live. OMG, he looks like Elton John in these light-up sunglasses! And the Daft Punk! And the random fashion references in his lyrics! LOVE it.
And of course, the big WTF of the night was Herbie Hancock winning Album of the Year, but...does anyone actually care about the Grammys? (Other than Kanye, who ALWAYS wants to win.) All of Trent Reznor's bitching about award ceremonies always comes off as sour grapes in a way, but in this case he's totally right. Irrelevant industry bigwigs handing out trophies. Meh.
I mean, hell, I didn't even watch the Grammys, so if there are any other highlights we should be aware of, feel free to mention them!