How to Keep a Good Man Down

We're watching a low rent Hedwig and the Angry Inch-esque routine at a dive bar in Manhattan.

It's in the Hedwig vein, but with cheap stage production and characters you wouldn't give two shakes of a rat's ass about. In fact, the lead singer is wearing leather pants that hug his package so tightly, you can easily deduct that he isn't a Jew.

It's basically him jumping around on stage for two-and-a-half-hours with butt-rock guitar riffs worthy of the love child of Scott Stapp and a 4 Non Blondes-era Linda Perry.

Kristin Hall and Matt Anderson are there. And we're all pretty hammered. We're talking about ageism in popular music, and Anderson is using that tattered trump card of "oh, once you hit 40, you need to give up on any hopes of being a respectable musician."

"But that's not true," I tell him. "See that woman over there."

And Kristin and Matt crane their drunken necks in unison.

"Her name is Sharon Jones. I just interviewed her for American Songwriter and she's just now getting famous at 50-years-old."

Sharon Jones, looking very much like the queenly matron of funk-soul that she is, sasses herself with a stereotypical fingersap. We clasp hands like two old friends.

"Whatever she is. Whatever she is," Ms. Jones says.

It doesn't make a lick of sense. But since everyone's shit-faced, it seems to make perfect sense.

And here I become a groveling fan. "I loved you since your last album," I tell her. "I'm coming to see you at River to River this summer, too."

"Okay sweet honeychild," Sharon goes. She gets up from her throne. "Whatever she is, whatever she is."

I shoot Matt a knowing look of "see there" and begin yammering about Sharon's music, which sounds suspiciously lifted from my Nashville Scene Critic's Pick of Sharon Jones' Exit/In concert.

"And didn't you know, she's in movie produced by Oprah? I just touched hands with a woman who's touched the hands of Oprah."

I reach under the table and bust out a roll of Saran Wrap, only to begin mummifying both of my hands in clear plastic.

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