Pop Philosophy

I went to Burning Man and all I got was this new lease on life

Now I'm back, and the workaday world looks incredibly dull. I keep expecting some person dressed like an Arabian prince from the moon to come careening around the corner on a bike covered in grass. Everyone looks the same now, even when the clothes are different colors. Drab, drab, drab. In cafes, on street corners, at clubs, I find myself looking extra closely at people, trying to see a different person deep inside -- because I feel different now, and I bet they could be someone else, too. I feel like my body is filled with new fluids, like I'm walking around with some kind of gestating muck instead of organs and blood and water. OK, I know I'm sounding crazy, but here's the thing: This new feeling is a good feeling. I'm not going to burst and destroy someone's new carpet; I'm just going to find a way to let a little of this newness out, a bit at a time, until this world looks ever so slightly more like the one I just left. Kinder. Weirder. Shinier. Who's with me?

Honky-tonk womanIn non-country circles Loretta Lynn is best known as the inspiration for the '80s biopic Coal Miner's Daughter. But to country fans, Lynn is remembered as a groundbreaking honky-tonk honey who scored more than 70 chart hits -- both solo and with occasional partner Conway Twitty. Strangely enough in this time of altcountry boom, when graying cowboys like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash can sell out a stadium in a flash, female artists like Lynn get short shrift. According to local promoter Ian Brennan, Lynn was "just as much a rebel as Merle, if not more so. Merle was a big redneck -- he sort of tries to dismiss "Okie From Muskogee' now -- but she was out there singing about the Pill to her Bible Belt audience." Brennan is referring to Lynn's 1974 song "The Pill," which carried the same kind of straight-shooting lyrics as her other classic tunes.

Luckily, fans and neophytes can now glean Lynn's prodigious talent firsthand. The singer performs in S.F. for the first time in nearly a decade on Thursday, Sept. 13, at Bimbo's. The show is a benefit for "A Home Away From Homelessness," a local organization that provides support for homeless and formerly homeless children. Tickets are $50; call 474-0365.

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