Monday, November 24, 2008

Panda 2, Hug Seekers 0 + The Roches Make Highline Ballroom Their Bitch

I always enjoy hearing about incidents in which animals put humans in their place (with the exception of the time my family’s Golden Retriever bit an 11 year-old me in the face for kissing him goodnight on his snout when he was asleep. That I was not so crazy about. The incident did, however, help me finally make sense of that old saying “Let sleeping dogs lie.” As my face and neck dripped with my own blood that cold December evening, I totally, totally got it.) This past weekend I read a story about a young panda in China named Yang Yang that bit a student who climbed into the his enclosure in hopes of hugging him. The fact that a panda would bite someone who entered his home in search of a hug came as a surprise to, well, pretty much just the student who got bitten I’m guessing.

"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn't expect he would attack," the 20-year-old student explained. But when the whole thing went down, Yang Yang in effect said “No, no” and took back the night on that motherfucker. I would have paid good money to see it. Maybe it’s on tape somewhere. God, I hope so.

What makes this story even more entertaining is the fact that this is the second time Yang Yang bit someone who tried to give him a hug. Apparently some drunken tourist tried to do the exact same thing a couple years ago.

Yang Yang- I just can’t stay mad at him.

In other news, this past Friday I went to see the Roches at Highline Ballroom. Shit, they were awesome. I actually got chills at various points in the show. It’s sad that they are going to stop performing live soon. I hope they change their minds about that. They have so many great songs and are maybe the most vocally innovative group in Western music (to be fair, they do some pretty crazy shit in the East). When I am a rich man someday I am going to hire them to show up at my house every morning, sneak into my bedroom, and wake me up by singing their version of “Hallelujah.” Then we can go get breakfast or something.

Here are the Roches singing “One Season,” one of my faves by them, in 1983. They do this crazy part where they sing all out of tune on purpose. Awesome. They played this one on Friday. It was so great they might as well have just walked off stage and punched me in the nuts. I was that blown away.

The excellent Lucy Wainwright Roche opened the show with a set that I wish had been five times longer. Lucy should be playing at Madison Square Garden. I think she should also have animatronic dragons on stage and maybe also a castle like Ronnie James Dio used to have in the '80's, but I would be happy if it were just her and her guitar too.

Dave Hill


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