can you smell what (name of combo) is cooking

we celebrated an annual event in our home last weekend.  the wife and i had been burning the candle at both ends for quite a while and were overdue for a fun and relaxing evening of scarfing down junk food and parking our rear ends in front of the boob tube.  my boys were looking forward to this date on the calendar for several months.  it was a special occasion for our crew - wrestlemania.

my buddy (and former student) cedric jones told me about how cool it was as a kid to watch the pay per view event, and how great he thought his parents were (then and in retrospect). we tuned in last year and it was super awesome.  all of our favorite guys wrestled well rehearsed (er, i mean spontaneous) matches, filled with dramatics and all the fixins.  the 4-hour event flew by.  simon's favorite wrestler, shawn michaels, lost his match last year to the undertaker and subsequently retired from the sport.

the grandeur is unparalleled.  honestly.  each wrestler has his own theme song, unique costuming, memorable catch phrases, signature moves, and a finishing maneuver that personifies their character.  john cena has "my time is now", the you can't see me wave in front of his face, the baseball hat and jean shorts (the only guy in the world that still rocks those things), the five knuckle shuffle, and the attitude adjustment.  the fans have something with which to identify. when his opponent gets tangled up face first in the ropes, fans of rey mysterio know that the 619 is soon to follow.

rey mysterio, triple h, cm punk, seamus, john cena, 
john morrison, shawn michaels, r truth

classical and jazz performing acts could take a cue from the wwe.  performers are often looking for a new outfit to wear. most programs feature a new set of repertoire.  nobody would dare start or finish with the same predictable music.  this lack of continuity between concerts could be leaving the listener without a consistent point of reference.  popular music acts have it figured out.  fans do the math when the encore is upon them, able to determine that springsteen hasn't sung "born to run" yet.  

what's so bad about playing some of the same stuff again?  i remember hearing pat metheny for the first time and flipping my shit when he broke off the opening lick to "bright sized life".  i remember dave king's hi hat intro on a halloween alaska show, signaling "the ends".  i remember hearing brad mehldau close with "still crazy after all these years" on back to back sets.  i remember masada opening with ravyah, a tune they had played a gazillion times before.   

and costuming...  the bad plus always has reid in an interesting t-shirt, ethan in a suit, and king in some indie outfit with a hat.  zorn wore his orange tee and camouflage pants, just like most of the promo materials depicted. metheny had the crazy hair.  han bennink ceremoniously strapped on the red bandana.

vince mcmahon has got it figured out.  each character has his set of tools, and they rarely change.  the merch flies off the shelves, the generations of fans continue, and the venues are routinely sold out.  i want to be a part of the new adaptation by chamber players, incorporating these exciting elements of the wwe to our valuable art form.  minus the belly-to-belly suplex.  hey... don't tell me that's fake.

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