Sunday, March 02, 2008

Time for SD West again

I'm out in Santa Clara for another Software Development West conference. My treasured friend (and former editor at SD Magazine) Alexa Weber Morales was singing at the Improv in San Jose, and I managed to get into town in time for the show, though she didn't know it. ("I managed it" thanks to my wife, I might add. "Hey sweetie, how about taking me to the airport 4:30 AM so I can watch some other woman sing and dance, 1400 miles away? See you next week!" I have truly married well.)

Alexa was one of two featured vocalists for Patois Records, the up-and-coming label from Bay Area jazz titan Wayne Wallace, whose band was playing this afternoon. Wow, what a show -- I'm a jazz ignoramus, and these artists really made me feel it today. Alexa and Kat Parra, another multilingual jazz gal with incredible pipes, really made that stage hum, and at least to my untutored ear, the band was tight as a tick.

Of course, geeky guy that I am, the best moment for me came early in Alexa's set. She admitted to the audience that she was suddenly uncharacteristically nervous, and wondered if it might be that the stage lighting was preventing her from actually seeing anyone out there. "We're here, honest", I stage-whispered -- I was sitting right down front -- and waved my arm.

Now, picture the scene. You are a garden-variety male nerd (a good bet if you're reading this blog). You were not voted Most Desirable by your high-school class. Really, really not. Your one date with the blonde cheerleader (OK, from the pom-pon squad) ended in disaster when you were carded out of seeing One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and wound up at The Bad News Bears instead.*

You are sitting in a reasonably trendy club in Silicon Valley. The air is still tingling with sexy Latin jazz, and there's a beautiful woman onstage who has just delivered a totally smokin' singing, dancing, wow-the-crowd number. I'm saying every straight guy in the joint just ran a finger around his collar, OK? She looks your way and exclaims with evident delight -- into the mike -- "My God, ___!" (insert your name here).

I am here to tell you that this would completely make your day. Possibly the remainder of your career, depending on your personal mix of self-esteem issues. Alexa, I owe ya.

Go buy her CD, would you? You won't regret it.

*True story. You think I could make something like that up?


Blogger Alexa Weber Morales said...

Awww, Rick! As I recall it, I mentioned being nervous because it usually helps (me, anyway) to say so and I wanted my knees to stop knocking in those high stiletto boots. And then you, in classic Rick form, did the hilarious stage whisper, and I heard that voice I know and looked and could just barely discern your face in the front row and said, "Rick, you're here!" or maybe "My God, Rick!" or perhaps "Can it be Rick, that rare combination of wit and virility and punctuality?" (meeting deadlines being highly desirable to editors, of course)

Thanks for coming! Hope to see you at the conference! (Glad we clarified that it was in Santa Clara and not San Jose.)

Hugs, Alexa

8:54 AM  

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