Anyone who watched the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary circle-jerk on HBO has to have noticed Sting rocking a massive beard. Not a Norris Skipper, not a soul patch, or even an imperial. No, it's looking like Sting seems to have fully committed his face to a Grizzly Adams/Frederick Douglass/Rasputin/Vandyke-like garden of whiskery topiary. With a chin like a Chia Pet, the former Police-man is looking professorial as ever. We now can see what Gordon Sumner would've looked like had he never adopted his prick-tingle nom de plume and stayed the course as an educator instead of spending three decades pushing the boundaries of white music. Despite opting for stardom, Sting still managed to teach generations of musicians lessons like how to ride a single to the top of the charts with a chorus that simply goes "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da." Among his pop pupils are The Soul Cages, Nashville's premier (albeit unopposed) Sting/Police tribute group, who pull out all the stops to pay homage to the man and his musicshort of tantric sex.
Sat., Dec. 26, 10 p.m., 2009