Out & About

This Valentine's Day is the one in which you're really going to impress that special someone in your life. You've been, you know, kind of dating, but you're not quite sure what the situation is between you two. Some unexpected but very welcome kisses have been exchanged, and you are starting to plan your weekends in unison, and though it is early in the relationship, a pressing thought occurs: "Boy, I really want to impress ol' Kissyface Huggybody on this, the most romantically marketed of consumer holidays, Valentine's Day."

Your ideas are nice but, well, a little boring--don't you think? The dimly lit dinner at that Italian (French, if you can spring it) restaurant or the secluded picnic lunch at the park could work but certainly would not impress your current soul mate. Another thought occurs, as important as the last one: You will be that dangerous and daring person you've been mysteriously insinuating all along. On that make-or-break date with the man or woman of your dreams, you will make the romantic journey to the charming Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios to see Wesley Willis perform.

Sure, it might be a little more "traditional" to go see Barry White or Peabo Bryson if watching large black men croon sweet-and-lowdown love songs at the piano is your thing. But you're not traditional, you are avant-garde. As you stand with your peachums waiting for Mr. Willis to get his groove thang on for the ladies in the house, you explain a few things to your honey-pie so, um, no surprises are kept in waiting. Wesley Willis is a 300-pound-or-so schizophrenic with a penchant for greeting people with head butts, so baby, unless you want to break your nose, keep it away from Willis' large, dreadlocked head. He was diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1989 and has since recorded 40 albums, usually in a couple of hours. Apparently, the writing, performing, and recording serve as therapy to help Willis calm the voices in his head. Your baby may be a bit concerned, but he or she sure is digging the hip vibe of a Wesley Willis show. Right?

Then he comes onstage. True to form, he will roll out a cavalcade of his greatest hits, including "Suck a Cheetah's Dick," "I Am a Rock I Am a Roll," "Vultures Ate My Dead Ass Up," and everybody's favorite: "Cut The Mullet" (Go down to the barbershop/Tell the barber you're sick of looking like a fucking asshole). So while there will probably be those in the crowd seeking the ironic cool of a Wesley Willis show, you and your baby will grow closer listening to songs that capture the lover's spirit such as "I'm Sorry I Got Fat," "Suck a Caribou's Ass," and, of course, "Rock 'N Roll McDonald's." These are the songs, and this will be the experience to solidify an unsure relationship into a union for the ages.

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Yuval Weber