Seagal â€˜O6: Losanjealous Sets The Record Straight
There is a ratio in modern times that demands attention: it is the amount that something is talked about divided by the number of people who actually saw it. I call it the Modern Ratio. The Modern Ratio of Steven Seagal’s performance at the El Rey theater last week is approaching infinity.
I was there. But I won’t write a review. I will give an impression. This isn’t an attempt to be smart or different. This is an admission of failure. I had some ideas going into the theater. I mean, Am I going to criticize the hell out of this! But after 45 seconds I realize, No. This is bigger than me as usual. Just come out of it and bear witness.
My name was on the guest list thanks to my colleague. As I approached where the guest list was and the guy stewarding it, I thought about the concept of a guest list for Steven Seagal. And his band Thunderbox. As in, who would not be on the guest list? I was thinking with about 2 microjoules. This guy asks me, Are you going to take any pictures. I had the weird thought, I’m not thinking at all right now. I’m not prepared for anything. I was hoping to park my car and pass through walls into the presence of Steven Seagal. I have to answer a question. To which there might be a wrong answer. What would be a wrong answer? I remember an e-mail from my colleague with password hints from which I incompetently configure the phrase, I come from a website called LAXpressions. I didn’t say this but I might as well have said this. No I’m not going to be taking pictures of Steven Seagal. But seventy other people with cell phones will. I am allowed to pass.
I seem reasonably together as I write but I was not together that night. It took only going into the lobby. My intellectual fortress breached and sacked. Where did this kind of ninth-rate Hollywood bullshit go to all these years? The last time I remember feeling like I was eighteen and who-are-these-jerks was when I was eighteen and I went to an MTV Rock and Jock game, and I was amazed that the stands at Pauley Pavilion were only 16% full. Who wouldn’t want to be at this free event? I thought in my eighteen year-old mind. And within an hour I already knew that there was some secret universe where bullshit like this was conceived, and happened, and attracted people with breast implants, but no one knows who had the idea, why is it here, and why are these people here? Why are these people here? Advantage-seekers are everywhere, but what advantage here? Yet that must be it. I have a comp ticket and seek the mystically schlocky (and why me, but that’s another article). What do these people have to accomplish?
By people I mean a certain type that seems not to have evolved in at least fourteen years. It’s the same white-haired guy in white jeans and an orange shirt from the Macy’s Young Men’s Department and his cougar girlfriend. They haven’t changed at all. She still wears her hair in ringlets and has breast implants that look like fire hydrants. And he still makes angry premeditated spins on the dance floor. And she applauds them like an elementary school teacher. It just hasn’t changed. The flotsam. Dudes. Women. Plastic necklace badges. From what? To where? Worn by who? Why? It’s Steven Seagal and Thunderbox. You’re on the guest list.
To cut to the chase. His band is playing on stage. He’s not there yet. Orpheus used to do the same thing. I’m drinking a $29 Long Island Iced Tea. At least it’s well-mixed. I’m looking around. What are we doing? Who are we? Then you see him. A tech helps him with his wood-bodied flying V guitar. I’m not an expert on brands but I’m not making that up. He comes out on stage. I forgot that one of his back-up singers had said, Put your hands together for Mr. Steven Seagal!!! (to make it easier for him to beat you up no doubt. . . .) He steps up to his microphone. He’s concerned. His guitar doesn’t have the right tone. He remains concerned. The concern never leaves his face. This distances me emotionally from the show.
So this is where logic must stand down and courage take the fore. It has been reported he was wearing a satin kimono. This is wrong. It was purple shantung. I was there. I saw it. So anyway. Here’s the thing. There were like ten musicians in his band. Seven. And Steven. His was the one instrument you couldn’t hear. He seemed to be really playing but where were the sounds? There wasn’t any sound! A little, not a lot. He was on unamplified ground.
Ah fuck. I don’t know. I don’t have the heart. It’s Steven Seagal playing the blues with a band called Thunderbox. What do you want? He looks like what he looks like. He’s 260 maybe. Big arms. Strandy hair. Changing guitars. Playing more quiet blues. Let’s take it back to Mississippi! Let’s take it back to Memphis! He’s been living in Memphis. Which is where all his band were found. By him no doubt. While he was accidentally looking for the drug lord who killed his blonde sister who shows her breasts before dying. And here he found this talk show band. So he can play his muted blues. At the El Rey. After touring “the world.” What world? The world of Motorcross maybe but not “the world.” All right. That was caustic.
I saw a bunch of those movies when I was younger. I remember he didn’t move as much as other martial arts guys. And what happened to Jeff Speakman? Or Mitch Gaylord? Kurt Thomas doing karate on the traditional stone pommel horse found in the middle of Czech villages in Gymkata. Where are their blues bands?
So as you can clearly see, Steven Seagal played the blues at the El Rey Theater and Losanjealous was there. You can count on us. As usual.
*non-el-rey photo submitted by reader