Hugh and Saul

I subsist on beanie weenies* so I can go out and do things like watch Hugh Laurie play the blues and watch Saul Williams talk.

If you know who Hugh Laurie is, you may be thinking, what? He’s an actor. He’s Gregory House. He’s Bertie Wooster. Yes, he is those characters. But he is also a phenomenal piano player who happens to love the blues.

His voice won’t bring the house down, but his piano playing and stage presence will. Just try to imagine an English actor wearing a tuxedo shirt and plaid pants singing and playing the blues. And drinking whiskey and cracking jokes with the audience. Cra-mazing. He had an awesome six-piece band to support him as well, playing “plucky things and blowy things.” I was reminded that concerts are so much more engaging when you can see how much the musicians are enjoying themselves.

In a perfect world, I would be many things. Including best friends with Saul Williams. He is the type of person you could sit with for HOURS and talk with. I can just tell. He is so smart and thoughtful and witty. He is currently on tour to promote a book of poems he edited. His show was totally freeform. First he had a bunch of audience members come up and read their poetry. Just on the fly. I was surprised by how many people had poems with them. After they finished, he did his thing. He doesn’t “recite” poetry. He exudes poetry. Hearing him “slam” is like being relentlessly assaulted with the heaviest, most beautiful words.

In between performing his poetry, he took questions from the audience. He talked about some personal experiences, race in America, favorite poets. He lives in Paris. So does David Sedaris. Ooh, unintentional rhyme alert. Someday I will be an expat too.

I’m hoping to find some inspiration from these performances and engage in some creative endeavors this weekend.

Coming up next week: Molly Ringwald and Davy and Peter Rothbart of Found magazine

 

*Not really. I don’t even know what beanie weenies are. But it is a fun word pair.

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