Show Me

Here’s a holiday treat for one and all: a video. Yes, that’s right! It’s like a song, but with moving pictures. You might know it as a “movie” or a “talkie”. Appropriately, I’m covering a song called “Show Me”, by the great Joe Tex, Mr. Skinny-Legs-and-All himself.

This video was recorded last July, when I participated in the Satellite Soul Review, a night of soul covers performed to celebrate the birthday of our booking agency, Satellite Booking, and its wonderful henchman-in-chief, derek becker. This clip fills me with holiday cheer and goodwill, making me realize how fortunate I am to be part of this great Chicago community of musicians and artists. The guitar playing (Michael Saenz and Jeff Thomas), the drumming (Jon Steinmeier), and the horn section (Mucca Pazza) are all vital and forceful, and the camera work (Steve Niketopoulos) is luminous.

But it also puts a different kind of smile on my face. As you regular readers know, the battle to make peace with who I am — who I really am — has been a defining feature of this blog, and of this time in my life. I’m currently 29 years old, and I’ve been performing rock music publicly for about ten years. When I was twenty, I firmly believed that I was possessed of that mysterious substance called “star quality”. (This is embarrassing to talk about, but hey, it’s just the Internet, right?) The point is, I believed that anyone watching me perform would pick up on my intense charisma, nod with profound understanding, and then elbow the person next to them and say, deeply, “This guy’s…. going…. straight to the top.”

Watching this video, however, helps me understand Abraham-the-frontman as he actually appears. As fate would have it, it seems that my particular kind of “charisma” goes as deeply into the traditions of game-show hosts, stand-up comics, and Muppets as it does into those of rock stars. And that’s cool, you know? I mean, it’s not “cool” in the Jagger-esque sense, but it’s its own thing, and it’s good to have your own thing.

And the best part is, we’ve all got it!

13 Responses to “Show Me”
  1. The Bubble King says:

    My head is probably one of those vaguely silhouetted during the wide shots!

    Isn’t it a strange coincidence that we both have friends who uploaded videos of us performing in the last couple weeks?

    I checked out a Detholz! video too. Outrageous. Tremendous.

    As for your charisma and on-stage persona, don’t sweat it. The Soul Review was a little more gameshowmuppetesque than your typical performance, no? I mean, you definitely have that big loveable funman quality about you sometimes, but shit I gotta be honest… your laser beam stare to the back of the house, and flawless no-look-key-playin’ when you dudes opened up with End of Actress last May at the Hide Out was a chilling experience. You know how to captivate an audience, and that’s all that matters.

  2. Jon says:

    Stage presence, check. _Web_ presence, check!

  3. Lara says:

    Babe, I love your Mick Game Show Host Jagger the Frog ass, no matter what.

  4. Hey man, it’s more David Byrne than Mick Jagger, but damned if they aren’t both essentially sprung from the same all-encompassing “onstage rock and roll persona” fountain anyway. Plus, they both have incredible stage presences, just of different varieties.

    Plus PLUS, game-show-hosts, stand-up-comics, and Muppets? You (perhaps unintentionally) assigned a secondary significance to entities such as these, but hey, it takes a lot to be any of the three on any successful level.

  5. Abraham says:

    bb king: thanks for the endorsement. tis an interesting angle that perhaps this show was not fully representative of my standard schtick.

    jon: as I’m sure you know, the Web is everything. everything-dot-com.

    lara: you make it easy bein’ green.

    pan mast: you’re right. I didn’t mean to slag off those professions, which I do respect a hell of a lot.

  6. Judah says:

    The honesty of this posting complements your charismatic persona. In your case, knowing the authentic fellow behind the rock star has always made my experience of both all the more rewarding. I and many of your other college mates had the very response you describe upon encountering your 20 (even 17-18) year-old star quality. I’d venture that we also readily picked up on the beyond-Jagger influences, implicit in your endearing, unabashedly geeky magnetism. Any way you spin it, you’re the real deal both onstage and off, and we (your friends, your adoring public) are lucky to have you. Happy holidays, my friend.

  7. Abraham says:

    thanks judah… your comment brought me some good old-fashioned holiday cheer. I hope you are having a relaxing few days.

  8. Peter says:

    Nice! This show was so much fun!

  9. The Bubble King says:

    Rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t take a 2 week holiday, man!

  10. Chris says:

    “The battle to make peace.” Is that anything like the war to end all wars? It really gets at the heart of that human dilemma, the struggle to stop struggling (to stop &c.)

    Just the fact that authenticity is even on your list puts you way ahead of the game. Here’s to having your own thing in 08. Happy New Year.

  11. Abraham says:

    peter: I agree!

    b b king: right you are. my holiday-ing is an entirely bourgeois construct; I’m not at all proud of it. we’ll be back in business on monday.

    chris: I didn’t even realize that I’d written that phrase — “the battle to make peace”. very revealing! looks like I’m taking a page from the bush administration’s mideast policy on that one. thanks for your kind interpretation. happy new year to you as well, my man!

  12. carl says:

    star quality and genius are rarely combined in the same person
    great great video

  13. Abraham says:

    Thank you my man…. you warm my heart.

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