- Lara, Steve and I went to see "In the Heat of the Night" last night at the Movies in the Park festival. We went to see "West Side Story" last year, but left disappointed because it was so crowded that we were sitting, roughly, by the Sears Tower, and couldn't hear a thing, which is a bit of a hindrance for a musical. This time, however, it was pretty good -- the sound was incredibly improved, we got there early enough to sit close to the screen, and we brought a nice picnic dinner. It was a lot of fun, and it's free! Thanks, Mayor Daley!
I used to watch footage of people praying in Mecca, and I thought, man. There's no way you could ever get 5000 Americans to sit still and be quiet for five minutes like that. Surprisingly, though, the crowd at the Movies in the Park was pretty quiet and well-behaved, although way too many people succumbed to the temptation to yammer on their cell phones. Hey, nimrods: it's outside, but it's still a movie. So shut the fuck up.
- Do any of you have "smooth jazz" stations in your cities? It's basically jazz with all the confusing, difficult, interesting parts removed. They play it sometimes at restaurants when they feel like they need to play music, but they don't want anyone to actually listen to it lest they become a disco. It's the ultimate inoffensive music; it seems calculated to appeal to everyone and no one at the same time. I have an unshakeable mental association of smooth jazz with cabs, because pretty much the only time I ever hear it is in a taxicab at 2:30AM when I'm coming home from a bar or a club. As a result, every time I hear smooth jazz, it makes me want to go to sleep. I am assured, however, that many people actually enjoy this music, and listen to it voluntarily; the smooth jazz station here, WNUA, is extremely popular. It strikes me as the yuppie equivalent of KMEO, the station my mom used to listen to when I was kid growing up in Arizona: they played, basically, home Muzak. It was all popular hits of the recent and distant past, played by a crappy studio orchestra, with all the basslines and percussion removed.