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for March 6, 2002

Leif Motif
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

This Friday night, Leif Garrett plays the Court Tavern.

Let's say that again. This Friday night, in the year 2002, Leif Garrett plays the Court Tavern. Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love couldn't think of a single thing to write about it for weeks. Weeks! In the New Brunswick underground, every conversation ends with:

"Are you going to see Leif Garrett?" "With bells on! And blue eyeshadow! And satin gym shorts!" (Take Your Interesting Monster's word for it: there are people you do not want to visualize in satin gym shorts.)

Is it nostalgia? How could it be nostalgia? Leif Garrett's original screaming girlie fans are now mommies and corporate executives who couldn't have time for this curiosity if it rolled up the driveway and offered to shovel. Half the gleeful weren't even born during Leif's Tigerbeat teen heartthrob heyday, so Your Oscar-Winning Rabbit regarded the disturbance in the Force with amused perplexity until simultaneously everyone gushed about outfits. The lightbulb went on. Aha. It's'a costume party, and that's funny.

No one's interested in the music, or the celebrity, the Where Are They Now? pall a middle-aged bubble gum star might cast over a punk rock venue. No one cares about the icky possibility that the band could suck and probably will suck and Leif Garrett's positively no one's groovy supercute fave for the last twenty years. No one appears to have pondered how pathetic the event could prove. Nope. No one cares! Know why? For the same reason Eighties Nights are popular: music has become a crashing bore. Music is not, by and large, funny.

"My Imponderable Mystery," you say, "you blaspheme! What could be funnier than a Top 40 countdown where all songs sound alike?" I'd nominate drive-up ATMs with Braille instructions, but let's face it: music isn't funny, and the not-funny-ness of now cannot be blamed on four airplanes diverted from their flight paths. During the nineties, music amused less as it homogenized. Even the once hilarious B52s grew leaden with every wedding banquet repetition of "Love Shack." Skipping over the accidentally mirth-inducing big hair metal bands and the notable exception of Sir Mix-A-Lot, one has to travel back to the first half of the eighties to burst out laughing with - not at - a song, and please let's not start on Country/Western.

Music's not amusing, and you miss it. Altrok's esteemed Fearless Leader, Sean Carolan, did not exactly disagree. If you haven't guessed, Sean and Your Perpetual Care should never converse and drink liquids in any room without Scotchguard and proper ventilation. He'd seen Lisa Kudrow's purported directorial debut, in which yet another pack of wild girlfriends signify their newly empowered state by lip-synching to Motown hits. I'd seen Wendy Wasserstein's "The Sisters Rosenzweig" in which failing romance might be saved with lip-synching to Motown hits. Let's frivolously blame "The Big Chill" for killing comical music. We've found our Gigi, not G.G. Finally, Glenn Close is a riot.

Well, then. Leif Garrett.

I feel better already.

©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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