A Place in the Morning Stars

So I'm driving to work the other day, Thursday I guess, detouring through the Albertson's parking lot to bop in and pick up lunch, looking longingly at the Starbucks where I will get my (now traditional) final exam Frappuccino in just 54 working days, and my radio-surf of the minute has stopped at 100.5, Jack FM, the radio station that pretends its such a rebel (until you drive to another state and find out it's a nationwide brand whose DJ-less offerings present me with mixed feelings).

A song is on, and I think, "Do I know this? Because it sounds very eighties and very pleasant. I like this."

Detour time. Last weekend Mike and I saw Danny Gans, a big entertainer here in Vegas, for free. How? Um, I'd like to tell you, but then you'll know, and it will be harder for me to get free tickets. My friend told me, I told one other (carefully screened) friend, and my paying it forward is done. Sorry!

I guess the short version is that there is a place that gives out free show tickets to locals only. (Mike, who only has federal identification, can't even get them.) You are notified via email that tickets are available, then you have to call a special number. Once you call, it is like Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. Do not make conversation. Step forward. State your name. Step to the side. Listen carefully. Do not ask questions. Simply hang up and pick up your tickets at the appointed time. If you show up early, show up late, don't show up, call the theatre directly, scalp, or are overheard discussing the (non)price of your tickets while in the theatre amongst the paying customers, You Will Be Banned.

These tickets are made available partly out of goodwill and partly out of the hope that you'll help create buzz. (Note: any local person can get them; you don't have to have a website or be involved in media. In other words, my opinions are my own and the other parties involved have no knowledge of this site.)

Our seats were in the back, but all seats in that theatre are good:

Danny Gans Theatre at the Mirage

This short version is getting long. So, the Danny Gans show. He is amazing. Everything you hear is true. The beginning? So awesome. I even cried a little when he did George Burns. (And when he did George singing "Rainbow Connection" with Kermit? LOST IT!)

The end of the show? Terrific. The middle? Pretty good. If I dare to have one criticism, and I always do, it's that I didn't know many of the voices he was doing. I haven't known much about popular music for over 20 years. (I'm still bewildered that rock is no longer synonymous with "popular.") I have my little tastes; I'm open minded, and I love getting a new song (or, dare to dream, a new artist) for the mp3 repertoire, but getting me to sit down and listen to new music is really hard. I don't mean "new" as in "recent," but "new" as in "new to me." It just has to happen naturally, otherwise I sit there tapping my foot with impatience, not the beat. Things to do. Posts to read. Time to waste.

Right-so-anyway. Mike and I have introduced each other to so many great new songs, but he has the harder time of it because I never feel like deliberately hearing something new. He has to do things like leave CDs in the car, and next thing you know, thanks to the long commute, I'm all about Dire Straits, Supertramp, and AC/DC. Silver linings all around.

For the record, I'm the one who told Mike that Oingo Boingo had more than one song. I've probably gone on here before about the Christmas where he downloaded their entire catalog and spent the day in slack-jaw amazement.

And for a long time he was always, do you know this song? This one? The answer was sometimes yes, sometimes no, and when it was no I'd be, like, no, shh, don't make me listen, it's too many clicks, I'm doing something else, make the new sounds go away. I love Oingo Boingo, but my neuroses and limits to sensory stimulation come first, darling.

One of those songs was "Just Another Day." He was unusually persistent with that one, and the thing is, I was sorta sure I had heard it, and if I think I've heard it, then I definitely don't want to take time to listen again, because it must not have passed the first audition. So I'd tell him that I was pretty sure I knew it and it was okay (as in, "please don't ask me to stop and listen"), and he'd mention again how good it was, but know he couldn't push it.

Well, you see where this is going.

So there I am in the car, as I was all the way back at the top of this post, and to repeat, a song is on, and I'm thinking, "Do I know this? Because it sounds very eighties and very pleasant. I like this."


"Are they singing the words 'just another day'? As in that Oingo Boingo song Mike likes? It sounds like Oingo Boingo. Boy, I really like this. I wish I had the CD to play as soon as I get out of the car! I love this!"

This morning I remembered the holy experience and checked my playlist. Yep. There it was, from when Mike must've sent it to me years ago, from the other side of the world. "Just Another Day" - Oingo Boingo. (Along with "Tomorrow's Just Another Day" by Madness and Jon Secada's unrelated "Just Another Day." You're going to forget you heard that last part.) All this time, this excellent bit-o-Boingo has been gathering digital dust, somehow evading the shuffle spotlight as only a bloated playlist can allow.

So this morning I've done that thing where you listen to a song 15, maybe 20, maybe 100 times in a row. Below is the video if you like the early 80s and want to ride along. (I recommend closing your eyes, though, as the visuals muck up my expectations of menace and catharsis. Danny, you can only carry the Heat Miser-vibe so far.)

09 March 2008 |






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Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)