Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Morrissey Ruined Thanksgiving

This is going to be a sad tale. A tale sad enough to inspire a classically brooding yet witty Morrissey song.

The former frontman of The Smiths is basically my favorite human being, (or at least in the top three, along with Woody Allen, and, I dunno, Abraham Lincoln). He's one of those polarizing pop music figures who a lot of people hate or at least consider irrelevant since his legendary band split up, an opinion that renders the people who harbor it irrelevant in my mind.

One of the most witty lyricists to ever live, a larger than life icon who never got as famous with the mainstream as the size of his persona, a man critics like to paint into a corner for his depressive lyrics, an artist under-appreciated for his wit and originality, a celebrity who is cagey about his sexuality mostly because coming out of the closet would make him more normal and less of mysterious weirdo (who used to claim to be celibate and writes of romantic misery better than anyone), an interview subject second to none, a periodically controversial fire-starter, a celebrity legendarily unwilling to give up on decades old grudges, a musician passionately loyal to his current band, an advocate of animal rights, an over-sharer who is bluntly honest while never actually revealing himself, and pretty much a completely perfect human being, Morrissey is one of those people you either get or don't get, and if you don't get him, he doesn't really care.

And now Morrissey is performing in both LA and Las Vegas just as I'm leaving for The Bay Area for ther Thanksgiving holiday, then he heads up to Oakland right after I come back to LA. Is he punishing me for the obscene amounts of turkey meat I plan on gorging myself on over the traditional holiday meal? Is he once again waving off traditional American iconography with his strangely scheduled performances (America is not the world, afterall)? Or perhaps I'm just taking the entire thing too seriously and melodramatically?

As I'm faced with the choice between family and Morrissey, it's not as easy a decision as it should be if I were a slightly better person (in a way that would break my poor mother's heart). Yet I will, I must, make the right choice and drive up North to the Bay Area tomorrow, doing my best to stay ahead of the holiday traffic and try not to look back over my shoulder as I realize I'm missing Moz at his intimate Hollywood show.. for looking back will only turn me into a pillar of salt. Or cause a car accident on a two lane road where people often drive 100 MPH ("and if a double-decker bus/ crashes into us...").

To try and wrap this rambling post into something thematically coherent, I'm going to implore any readers who are in the Las Vegas metropolitan area this weekend to check out Morrissey's show at The Cosmpolitan (a resort with an aspirationaly artsy vibe that's it the perfect venue for the hyper literate, Oscar Wilde loving singer). If his setlists from recent European and early American tour shows are any indication, the singer is pulling out a whole lot of old Smiths classics he hasn't played in years (I Want the One I Can't Have! Still Ill! I Know it's Over!) and solo-years deep cuts (Speedway!!! Speedway!!! Speedway!!!) that will make for a perfect night out in Vegas, for casual and obsessive fans alike.

Just think of the seasoned crooner as a (probably) gay and (most definitely) British Sinatra and get yourself down to The Cosmo for what is sure to be Sin City's hipster event of the season.

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