Monday, December 17, 2007

Robert Kelly at the Oakland Coliseum

Now usually I don't do this but...let's hit you off with a little concert review.

I'll keep this one short as I don't wish to devote too much web ink to someone as fucked up as Mr. Kelly. I will say, though, that seeing an R. Kelly concert at the Oakland Coliseum is truly a great opportunity to observe one of the more overrated pop performers of our times amongst his legions of fans. Can anyone out there defend this man's recent musical efforts? Yes, 'That's that,' 'Ignition,' 'Fiesta,' and others are catchy singles, and the man has a knack for producing hit songs. However you can't help but sense that R. Kelly is a singer and musician of some ability, who has chosen the surefire route to success, via nasty lyrics, simple melodies, and frivolous hooks. As for R. Kelly's live performance, there was way too much reliance on shout-outs from colleagues, a montage of the singer's old music videos, and multiple set changes.

I feel bad for anyone who payed face value for these tickets. Which reminds me, thanks to Mateo and Scott for hooking up this ticket for free. I had fun checking out part of opener Keisha Cole's terrific set (great backing band, too) and, at times anyway, enjoyed the on-stage antics of Robert Sylvester Kelly.

Two from the 70's: 1970 Beychevelle and 1976 Friedrich Baumann Niersteiner Pettenthal Riesling-Silvaner Auslese

Tasting these wines were my tasting highlights at work last week. Then again, as we are in the season these were basically the only wines we tasted at work. The
'70 beych - good acidity and fairly lively red fruit, with a decidedly foresty note. Not compelling, but honest Bdx in a pretty good spot for drinking. If you got it, drink it up, I say. The 1976 Friedrich Baumann Niersteiner Pettenthal Riesling-Silvaner Auslese was an odd bird. Old Rheinhessen, burnt sugar and banana flavors, with an almost peaty smokiness to it. Somewhere between peat smoke and pinotage band-aid flavors. Sounds good, huh? Returning to this wine after a few days, the smoke had dissipated and the fruit was a bit fresher, more enticing, more intense and lively. Not bad.