Ma and Pa Kettle go to town, time travel with Nick Cave


Every marriage is founded on at least one silent agreement, sometimes several of them simultaneously. A common variant of this phenomenon holds that when the man begins to lose his hair, the woman grows her ass in sympathy. You both lie to each other a little about how you prefer the comforts of this new fleshly arrangement to the old, competitive adolescent one.

Mrs. Upinthevalley however, refuses to enlarge her behind for any reason, including an impending 35th birthday lurking in the mists of a not too distant future.  Which leaves me stranded as the owner and caretaker of a hairline determined to make an ignominious retreat from Joel McHale to Jack Nicholson and a woman on my arm who every day looks more like a trophy wife than the college girlfriend I married, all grown up.

As long as I’m not confronted with photographic evidence to the contrary, I can live with this. Day to day I am content to enjoy a cultural time frame of my choosing.  The great jukebox in the sky called iTunes permits one to dive deeply into the mercurial spring of pop whimsy. Here one can live indefinitely in the era in which one’s tastes and wonder of the world were formed.  Or choose differently tomorrow.  As a man who can still -sort of- fit into skinny jeans,  I can sort of, almost, kind of, sustain this spiritual perpetual-adolescence on any given day….up to that moment I find myself crowded into one of the locales in LA where the skinny jean people congregate in great numbers and shame me with their pompadours and their Beiber-esque up-dos.

Going to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the timeless and glorious Shrine Auditorium was like attending a prom for the 40 year old hipster set. A chance to look and act our age and feel comfortable doing it, seeing all around me faces similar to mine in mileage, wit and wisdom. Nick, who is both older and younger than I am,  pranced about the stage like a latter-day medicine show pitchman as he worked through his deep repertoire of moody ballads and apocalyptic art-rock anthems.  It was a lovely evening for which time itself stood in abeyance.

On the way home, we stopped at Du-Pars in Studio City for some french fries, even though it was well past her bed time.  Which made it both a married couple and teenager-y thing to do.

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