Not to beat a dead horse — or in my case an easy angle (see my block-quoted Scene Critic’s Pick below) — but it’s kinda hip to be square these days, amirite? That might explain why tonight’s Hall & Oates show at The Ryman sold out faster than Steven Tyler at a songwriting session.
Now apparently performing under the unabridged handle Daryl Hall & John Oates — perhaps in a preventative effort to quash potential rumors of a Daryl Hall/Joyce Carol Oates collaboration — the famed, pop-culturally vindicated duo’s blue-eyed soul revue is a shit-hot ticket. But I’m betting resourceful readers — or, ahem, private eyes — that you are, y’all can find a stub or two somewhere in the vicinity of the venue before showtime tonight. Happy hunting!
There’s a scene early on in filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s patently embarrassing and unequivocally uncool autobiographical midlife crisis picture Almost Famous that depicts the director’s older sister (played by Zooey Deschanel) preciously telling a pre-pubescent him, “One day you’ll be cool.” Cameron Crowe didn’t become cool. He grew up to tug heartstrings with Hollywood Hallmark cards like Jerry Maguire, Elizabethtown and (cringe) Almost Famous. “What does this have to do with soulfully blue-eyed, 34-time chart-topping, iconically coiffed ’80s-pop power-duo Hall & Oates?,” you ask. Well, nothing. Save for that Crowe’s screen-adapted sister could have easily imparted her famous Famous line upon Daryl Hall and John Oates (or, well, Hall at least) and it would’ve been true. If Hall & Oates — Now the Tango & Cash of what’s retroactively known as “yacht rock” — ever actually wanted to be cool, Generation Y made the duo’s dreams come true. Internet memes and dorm-room dance parties provided an ironic appreciation that has slowly morphed into sincere reverence for smooth, Reagan-era Motown knock-offs like “Sara’s Smile,” “Maneater,” “Rich Girl,” “Out of Touch” and “Private Eyes.” While such cuts once epitomized what Larry David might describe as “vanilla bullshit,” they have stood a test of unlikely times to finally be recognized for the undeniably infectious nuggets of pop gold that they are. And luckily, in 2011, Hall and (current Nashvillian) Oates both still have the velvety voices to sing them. —ADAM GOLD