Posted by paulrivas on:
Six weeks ago, I learned the word "raconteur". I'm not sure where I saw it first. About a week later, during happy hour at the Brewhouse, I saw a poster for a band called the Raconteurs playing at the bowl. I said to myself, "What a clever name. I think I'd like to see a band called the Raconteurs." A few weeks later, I heard KCSB giving away tickets in their usual way - to the first caller - while saying that the Raconteurs featured Jack White of the White Stripes. I counted this as a plus, and decided to put some attention toward winning tickets. I did this, and won two tickets last week.
Before the White Stripes, whose music I first heard played in Europe in 2003, "Jack White" was the name of a boy my younger sister Laura went to elementary school with who lived on Pintura. He was always present in my mind because I once heard him exclaim, "This one has more gription," in reference to one mini basketball that was easier to grip than another. It was the only time I've ever heard the word "gription" spoken seriously, and pre-dated the next reported instance of the word by two years, when the Life Artist Bubba Ray Robison heard 1996 New York Mets First Round Draft Pick Robert Stratton say, "This ball doesn't have any gription on it," shortly before becoming a millionaire.
Last night, Rivas Cultural Services introduced a Mexican exchange student to two Santa Barbara classics: Lilly's Tacos and the Santa Barbara Bowl. The pinche mexicano, as he is affectionately known, ate five "tacotes" at Lilly's, a total he later decided was 67% more than he needed. (How many tacos did he need?) He had two asada, one adobada, one maciza and one lengua. He preferred the asada to all, but also complimented the adobada. He said the lengua was okay but earned his lowest rating of the four varieties sampled. Once at the Bowl, Rivas Cultural Services and client picked up the free tickets, schmoozed the bigwigs, and had two free drinks apiece bestowed on them.
It was only a few days before the show that I realized that "raconteurs" sounded like "rock on tours". I'd like to thing this was unintentional on the part of the band, because there's nothing worse than a pun, unless you're in Mexico, where puns are king, but I had my doubts after seeing them play. After carefully considering White's Heath-Ledger's-Joker-inspired-sick-and-twisted-meets-Johnny-Depp-aloof look, and the other guitarist's mustachioed ridiculousness, I could only assume that the joke was on us. Well, not "us" exactly. Not on Rivas Cultural Services, to be sure, and not on the pinche mexicano, but certainly on everyone who paid to see an uninspired and at best occasionally interesting show.