This weekend they’ve been having the annual Air And Water Show along the lakefront here in Chicago. It’s not really my cup of tea but it’s quite popular. Between my friends posting pictures from it on Facebook and my iPod coughing up songs about people on boats it seems I have little choice but to pay tribute to the spectacle.
While the name of the event is the Air And Water Show, there’s not a lot of water involved these days. It’s mostly airplanes flying around, many of them military jets. So I’m going to do my best to put the Water back into the show with this post.
Dan Zanes “Drunken Sailor” (Traditional)
Dan Zanes is a pretty popular children’s musician. He’s all over the Disney Channel. Amazingly enough his music stands up well on its own and is way better than most children’s music. Hell, he does a duet with Lou Reed on one of Freakette’s CDs. The only other kids music that doesn’t make me cringe is the stuff that They Might Be Giants does.
The Winechuggers “Six Months In A Leaky Boat” (Split Enz)
This is the song that started me thinking about this week’s theme. I still find it weird that it was banned in England because the BBC thought it was written to protest the Falklands War. There really isn’t a lot of metaphor here, it’s clearly about sailing to New Zealand. I guess you could get confused if you don’t know what Aotearoa is. Or if you think that “shipwreck love” is some sort of slam on the Royal Navy.
The Virginia Gentlemen “Ship Of Fools” (Robert Plant)
I suppose there are many reasons that there aren’t many ships at the Air And Water Show these days. I’m sure the airplanes are big crowd pleasers and are more visible to more people. With ships you’d have to look over the people in front of you to see if you’re on the lakefront, with airplanes you just look up. And people have always been interested in watching things fly. But I bet a real live ship of fools would go over big. And we seem to have no shortage of fools these days to put on such a ship.
Michael Manning “Somebody To Love” (Jefferson Airplane)
There are civilian planes flying around the show but it’s largely military jets. And some of those pilots can be obnoxious. I was at a Cubs game a few years ago during the Air And Water Show. I was sitting in the back of the upper deck and some jerk in a jet decided to buzz Wrigley Field. It scared the hell out of me because he came from behind me and I couldn’t see or hear him until he was pretty much literally on top of me. Others in the crowd cheered the plane. I did not.
Parthenon Huxley “Mister Blue Sky” (Electric Light Orchestra)
The weather this weekend has been absolutely perfect for the event. Cool temperatures and cloudless blue skies. This is the best version of this song I’ve ever heard, way better than the original.