Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The whole reading queue idea

I kinda failed at this for 2006. Before going back (if I do) and editing that post (link in title) I only have two books listed as being completed. And that was updated April 12.

My goal was to get me to stop buying so many new (to me) books (accomplished, more or less) without cutting back on the actual reading I was doing (failed miserably.)

From a 12/31/05 update from the first one:
UPDATE: At the end of 2005 there are 58 books are currently in the queue (this includes no in-process) and there are 6,558 pages of finished reading through 23 books (12/31/05.)

The list for 2006 (in little order)
  • Murakami, Haruki: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
  • Garland, Alex: The Coma - I have no real comments, actually. I liked how it started and it was quick enough that it wasn't a problem to finish.
  • Morgan, Richard K: Altered Carbon
  • Johnson, Denis: Resuscitation of a Hanged Man
  • Burgess, Anthony: M/F
  • Brooks, Geraldine: Year of Wonders
  • Egan, Greg: Diaspora (I see it listed for 2005, this was actually Distress)
  • Acker, Kathy: In Memoriam to Identity
  • Bartheleme, Donald: The Dead Father
9 books. 2481 pages. Weak sauce.

And I don't think I even wrote much about any of those. And I probably still acquired more than 9 books in 2006.


Happy 2007, folks.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

New Old Posts!

Folks may notice that new show reviews are appearing! These were written at the dates they're posted here under but I had them elsewhere. I often decide to post such reviews in only one place... which is a little silly.

More recently I've found that writing wholly separate discussions of such shows is acceptable to my being.

Even more recently (hence the start of the back-dated posts) I found that I don't want to lose old reviews so I think I'm gonna start crossposting everything here. Also this way I can find it, yo.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 04, 2006

the Starlight Mints at the Rhythm Room

I saw The Starlight Mints with Bishop Allen and Tom Heinl at the Rhythm Room on Thursday.

Tom Heinl was first; it was just him up on stage, for a few of the songs he played a guitar or a old gas can for accompaniment, for the rest he used recordings he made in his apartment in Oregon. He sings silly songs that at first sound serious in a voice that reminds one of Johnny Cash or Bill Callahan.

Bishop Allen was up next. They are fairly standard but catchy indie pop but they pull it off quite well live. I mean, seriously, they were really really something live. I don't know what else to say. They played a lot of the songs that I had heard before which is only like 8.

The Starlight Mints were last. They are fun. They played songs. Like "Margarita" and "Valerie Flames." They sounded better than the Modified show just after Coachella. Also they seem to pick great shows to be a part of (with Dressy Bessy and Deathray Davies, the Flaming Lips and Liz Phair, that recent show with the Octopus Project and Dios Malos.)

Labels: ,

Minimum Wage and Inflation

OK, so AZ Prop 202 (and similar propositions in other states) would increase the minimum wage to $6.75 (an increase of over 30%) and set up a yearly increase based on inflation.

Doesn't this create a feedback loop? Increasing the minimum wage will increase inflation which will.... Can someone explain why it won't work this way and/or why this is not important?

I mean, I support having a minimum wage and it makes sense to increase it every once in a while and small increases would create less havoc for employers but I'm just working myself into a corner here, aren't I.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

2006 Ballot Propositions for Arizona

Every two years it seems we get a whole bunch of ballot propositions to vote against. I would say a new set but it seems like we always get the Recommendation from teh commision on salaries for elected state officials asking for a 50% raise. For some reason that one never passes. I wish someone would do that for me. Oh, wait, no I don't. I wish someone would recommend a small, reasonable raise for me because that would actually be accepted.

OK, if you saw this in the first few days it was up, good for you. But I'm changing how I'm doing this. I'm just gonna give the number, name and how I'm voting for all 19. Then I'm gonna add comments on the ones I have good comments on. I'd like that to, eventually, cover them all but since there's only just over a week until the election I doubt that's gonna happen. This is mainly for my own purposes, anyway, so that I know how I'm gonna vote.

The 100s- The first 8 all include ammendments to the Arizona Constitution.

  • Prop 100 - Relating to bailable offenses
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 101 - Relating to property tax levies
    • I'm voting YES

  • Prop 102 - Relating to standing in civil actions
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 103 - Relating to English as the official language
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 104 - Relating to municipal debt
    • I'm voting NO. Well, I'm leaning that way, at least.

  • Prop 105 - Relating to state trust land
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 106 - Relating to state trust land
    • I'm voting... well, I don't know but I'm leaning towards NO

  • Prop 107 - Relating to marriage
    • I'm voting NO

    The 200s- The next 8 are initiative petitions

  • Prop 200 - Relating to voter rewards
    • This establishes a $1,000,000 prize to be awarded to a randomly selected person that voted. The first (and only) FOR argument found in the link above is priceless.
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 201 - Relating to smoking
    • "Proposition 201 would prohibit smoking in all public places and places of employment, except as provided by the proposition.... Proposition 201 would not prohibit or repeal more restrictive city, town or county law"
    • The exceptions: Retail tobacco stores that are physically separated and independently ventilated, Veterans and fraternal clubs when they are not open to the public, Hotel rooms designated as smoking rooms, Outdoor patios.
    • See the similar Prop 206 below for more.
    • I'm voting... well, I don't know. Maybe no?

  • Prop 202 - Relating to minimum wage
    • I don't hate the minimum wage but I don't see a reason for increasing it over 30%.
    • This prop also sets up a cost of living increase every January 1... which is something I could get behind. [Edit: See next newer post... OR wait a minute this is a bad idea.]
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 203 - Relating to early childhood education
    • Funding early childhood education is good, right? Funding early childhood education by increasing the tax on a pack of smokes from $1.18 to $1.98 is ridiculous. It's not that I smoke, it's more that I find picking on legal addicts to be, well, childish.
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 204 - Relating to farm animals
    • From the above link: "Beginning January 1, 2013, Proposition 204 would amend the Arizona criminal code to make it a class 1 misdemeanor to tether or confine a pig during pregnancy or a calf raised for veal on a farm for all or the majority of a day in a manner that prevents the animal from lying down and fully extending its limbs or turning around freely." There are also exceptions (such as during transportation, slaughter or lawful scientific or agricultural research.)
    • The arguments for and against section is one of those interesting bits of American election fun that you can't get elsewhere. Reading silly comments online isn't quite the same thing; these folks are trying to be serious.
    • Here is the structure of most every AGAINST argument " It's a sad day when out-of-state , anti-meat , anti-science based interest groups can come to Arizona from back East to push their cruel and inhumane agenda on Arizona's farm families. They paid petition signature gatherers to spread false-hoods and distort modern, humane and science-based agricultural practices."
    • The AGAINST arguments don't explain why pregnant pigs need to be tightly confined; it's all "you can't tell me what to do!" nonsense.
    • I'm voting YES.

  • Prop 205 - Relating to voting by mail
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 206 - Relating to smoking
    • Prop 206 does much the same as 201 but has an additional exception - Bars, including parts of restaurants, hotels and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and are physically separated with a separate ventilation system - and would "would preempt all city, town and county laws relating to smoking in bars and retail tobacco stores"
    • Also I need to google "Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Committee" because they paid for pretty much every FOR argument you see. That sort of thing disturbs me.
    • I'm voting... well, I don't know. Maybe no?

  • Prop 207 - Relating to eminent domain
    • I'm voting NO

    The 300s- The final 3 are recommendations from some government agency or group or who knows what.

  • Prop 300 - Relating to public program eligibility
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 301 - Relating to probation for methamphetamine offenses
    • I'm voting NO

  • Prop 302 - Relating to legislators' salaries
    • Again, give me a choice for rasing salaries from $24,000 to say $27,000 or a plan for slowly raising salaries to $36,000 over a 10-20 year period and I'll vote yes.
    • I'm voting NO

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Ladytron at the Clubhouse

    I forgot to check the normal indicators internets to guage the popularity of Ladytron and was shocked to find the Clubhouse packed and it looked like a goodly number of people got turned away. I bought my ticket earlier when I bought my Magnolila Electric Co ticket and honestly that is the only reason I went otherwise I would've stayed home and watched the Tigers not play so well. And rest. And maybe do some laundry. Shit, it's 9. That means I gotta start a load.

    Anyway CSS opened and most people were rather indifferent. Ladytron played a set that was a good 75 minutes long and then after a short break they played another 3 songs.

    They were good, I liked the show.

    Also I find it saddening that shows like this are the kind of shows most people go to... that is this concert experience is nowhere near as cool when it's too packed to move or go near the bar or get a water and you have to wait 45 minutes to get in and another long line for merch and all. 640 folks went away experiencing that concert (and another hundred or so maybe went away pissed not being able to get in) whereas for the Joggers/Oxford Collapse show I saw on Monday 45 people had a great show with plenty of room and all.

    I don't know the answer other than being better at choosing where a band should play and promotors/venues/whoever working together and being flexible and having many options. And free snowcones for everyone.

    Labels: ,

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Two Gallants at the Casbah

    I saw Two Gallants at the Casbah last night. We got going from Phoenix a little lazily and got there just as the first band, Trainwreck Riders, a country rock band, were starting. They sounded pretty damned good. Then we went a couple blocks away to another bar for food because we hadn't time to eat. We missed Langhorne Slim but got back in plenty of time for Two Gallants.

    They didn't talk about Houston at all though for the last song by Trainwreck Riders when Adam and Tyson came up and played with them (harmonica and slide guitar, respectively) one of the members of TR put out a shirt that said "Free Tyson Vogel."

    Two Gallants were dead on, Adam sounded great tonight. They didn't play most of the songs I was really hoping for but I did get "Nothing To You" and "Age of Assassins" and, really, they don't have bad songs so I can't complain about the setlist. The crowd was of a good size and countenance, singing along a lot and not talking too much. The Casbah is a small place, about 250 capacity... though that probably includes the back room with the pool tables and video games and maybe even the outside patio.

    Anyway, yeah, it was great stuff.

    Steady Rollin'
    Las Cruces Jail
    Long Summer Day
    "high heels and mace"
    "red wine"
    "not mine"
    Nothing To You
    Crow Jane
    Age of Assassins
    [second encore]
    My Madonna

    The encore breaks were really short; Age of Assassins was clearly a planned encore, My Madonna seemed more real, in response to the crowd (and people yelling for that song.) Last night I was thinking it was only 2 non-album songs but I guess I'm wrong.

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Magnolia Electric Co at the Clubhouse ==> Cinemechanica at the Modified

    I just saw Magnolia Electric Co at the Clubhouse and then Cinemechanica at Modified. Two totally different shows, both fantastic.

    Jason brought out what looked like a setlist but upon further inspection turned out to be a list of all their songs. Well, almost. It included stuff from the 2003 album with an owl on it but nothing earlier (i.e. the stuff that is clearly Songs: Ohia material) as far as I could tell. Almost their entire setlist was from the album release a week and a half ago, though not "Don't Fade On Me" which was the one I had heard going in.

    Someone yelled out "The Last 3 Humans Words" which is on the live album Trials and Errors recorded in 2003 and released in 2005. Jason's response: "Has it been that long since we've been through here?" Someone else yelled out for "Hard to Love a Man" and Jason responded "Ain't that the truth." The crowd was kinda quiet other than that (and clapping and such.) About 2/3 of the way through thier 40 minute set they played "Montgomery" from the new one which segued into "The Dark Don't Hide It" which is the only think they played which was released as of 2 weeks ago. Still quite wonderful, though.

    Then I left, not sticking around for Jose Gonzalez (the headliner and the reason I was scared it would sell out), to see Cinemechnica. Such a good idea.

    They are from Athens and they have two thunderingly powerful drummers (for most songs), two angular/mathy guitarists and a bassist. And several of the songs are long, I almost want to say venturing into post-rock territory but that seems misleading, their songs are not epic, there is no quiet build or lazy scrawl, this is pretty much all rocking and shredding. They played 30-35 and were glorious.

    Go see them. Seriously.

    Labels: , ,

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Silversun Pickups and Viva Voce at the Modified

    I just saw Silversun Pickups and Viva Voce.

    LetDownRight opened, they are local. They were OK.

    Silversun Pickups were ridiculous. They played all of the songs from that WOXY set and a few others. About 35-40 minutes in all.

    Viva Voce were next. They were good too. They dedicated "Believer" to Dave Matthews for some unknown reason. They dedicated "From the Devil Himself" to me because they asked who had been to their last show at the Modified and I was the only one that responded (AFAIK) and also I was right up front and center.

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    Rogue Wave at Martini Ranch

    The encore was one song off of Out of the Shadows that I forget the name of now and also "Love's Lost Guarantee." They played two new songs. "Ghost" and "Lake" so the other ones are all previous released songs by them except for "Debaser" which is what you think it is (it was pretty cool.)

    Foreign Born covered a Townes Van Zandt song. And an earlier song was probably "5 Years" but the sound was a little muddy and the vocals were very low for that song and I can't be certain.

    I only saw a few songs by Jason Collett, they made me wish I had seen more without giving much of a distinct impression.

    Mmm... Boddingtons.

    Labels: ,

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    the Long Winters at Stinkweeds and the Rhythm Room

    The Long Winters aren't my favorite band or anything but they are enjoyable enough. They played for about 30 minutes at Stinkweeds. After the first song it was all by request which is always nice even if a band only has three albums. And it's fun watching them sit and think, hmm, how do we do this one acoustic-like. It's nice to have a fresh set like that. Michael (drummer) also go to browse the new releases from his chair on songs that didn't require him to do much.


    Several hours later they played the Rhythm Room. Asleep in the Sea opened and were mostly tolerated/ignored. I quite like them. The Long Winters played for a good 80-90 minutes. They accepted a good number of requests here, too. For their final song they asked us to choose between "Stupid," "Shapes" and "Departure." Long story short they ended up playing all three since we could not come to a consensus.

    The highlight for the instore was probably "Carparts," for the full gig it was probably "Prom Night At Hater High" though "Fire Island, AK" was great and "Depature" was a kickass closer.

    Labels: ,

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Pitchfork Day 2

    Continuing my review of the Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, IL, July 29 & 30:

    Sunday was a little different. Most of the friends (including my cousin) that I knew from Saturday were not going on Sunday. I was, however, more excited for Sunday's lineup (beyond the Mountain Goats on Saturday) and I got going early.

    Fortunately it was cool and stormy. If those clouds had been over Phoenix that early (noonish) we'd be in for a downpour; as it stands I felt some drops a few miles North but at the festival we just had some clouds (yay for shade) and cooler temperatures for the first hour or two (it was about 73 F at this time.)

    My extra tickets went very quickly (I could've sold twice as many at twice the price) and I actually waited in line to get in. Doors opened around 12:30 and I was going to wander a bit when I remembered that I had not brought enough shirts to have a clean one for the plane ride (only 16 hours off, at this point) so I got a Mission of Burma one and headed to stage C and chatted with someone I met Friday and waited for

    Tapes 'n Tapes. They actually started a few minutes early, even with the odd intro from their internet marketing manager (actually pictured! wearing a suit jacket.) He commaneded us to blog about and post pictures from the set. This included threats ("If you don't I will kill your dog... if you don't have a dog I will hurt the weakest member of your family" [paraphrased]) which was kinda funny... because, I mean, if you're not on the internet for ridiculous threats then for what? (Continued: and if you're not on the internet, how do you know about Tapes 'n Tapes/Pitchfork/the music festival?)

    There was music too. I like their songs. Their set was good. Nothing killer (ha!) but a good start to the day.

    Danielson was up next on stage A. It's achronological to compare Sufjan to Danielson but that'll work for most people (Sufjan got much of his musical sense/ideas playing with Daniel Smith's series of "Danielson..." bands.) Only there's none of the slow, soft folk and Daniel's voice is more Coyne than Stevens. So big, bright, poppy and full of orchestral color. They played a good set consisting mostly (if not entirely) of songs from the excellent Ships.

    I saw them in Phoenix on what was actually a hotter day, in a packed venue without air conditioning... I spent half that concert outside (where you could hear near as well) and I left this one early, to get a good spot for

    Jens Lekman. He was funny, telling amusing, aloof stories and playing lovely chamber pop songs. He had a full backing band, complete with people playing sax, trumpet and trombone which was great for songs like "You Are the Light." I wanted to leave early but didn't.

    I still was fairly close for the National. The park was starting to fill up but the stages were not yet packed tight. The National had a violinist with them and all but two of their songs were from Alligator. Matt Berninger managed the crazy screaming climaxes of songs like "Mr. November" and "Lit Up" as well as I could've imagined. They were a clear highlight.

    I met up with a friend at the start of the National and we headed over to the labels tent (where he worked the previous day.) It was surprisingly cool so I stuck around and browsed. This was basically outlet stores for Sub Pop, Absolutely Kosher, Southern Records and other indies.

    OK, I looked it up. It was called the WLUW Record Fair. Yeah, I forgot, they also had a good deal of used vinyl and CDs from various vendors (they offered to hold the vinyl if you wanted though I saw several people carting records around the park.)

    I had glanced at the Biz 3 Stage (where CSS and then Cage were playing) but it looked to packed for me to try. Liars were the mainstage band and I wasn't too upset about missing them.

    After the record fair we wandered around Flatstock for a while. They had some interesting posters but what was best about that was the shows they advertised.

    Aesop Rock & Mr. Lif were the next artists I caught. That was nuts. They did my some of my favorites like "11:35" and "No Regrets." And they did Lif's songs too, like "Brothaz" and "Phantom." DJ Big Wiz (or something, I forget/don't care) did his own scratch solo from scratch... which turned out almost entirely differently than the one he had done in Phoenix the previous Monday. I considered leaving early (they were my number 2 artists for Sunday) but I'm glad I didn't as they closed with "Daylight" which got a great response.

    I ran over to stage C for Mission of Burma. A no-nonsense set of the old hits ("Academy Fight Song" and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver") and second-incarnation tracks ("The Enthusiast" and "2wice.") The music was strong and hard and driving.

    After Burma I was hot and tired from the jumping. I went and got some Phat Thai and sat in the shade. Devendra Banhart (not picutred) was on the mainstage and though I like his music I'm a little sick of him. He was at ArthurFest (saw the whole set), he was at Coachella (saw a few songs) and he was here (saw almost nothing, sort heard from afar most of the set.) The noodles were good, though. I ran into another friend from the day before and we sat in the shade and chatted and relaxed before heading out for

    Yo La Tengo. Buy this point there were many more folks around to be waiting at the stages and we ran into some other folks who were getting ready to leave. Anyway, Yo La Tengo. They played mostly songs from their upcoming album I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass like "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind" which is about 12 minutes and loud and droney and poppy. Most of the new songs sounded kinda light, though and I wasn't entirely pleased. I'll bet they are another band that really should be seen in a small little dive or something.

    I forget what I did next. I might've used the restrooms (I brought my own sanitizer for the second day) and gotten some water. I dunno. Not a fan of Spoon (not pictured) so I took

    pictures of the grounds and the crowds and

    myself (go Tigers!) and got in a good spot for

    Os Mutantes. I was not very familiar with them. They sounded like fun sixties semi-psychedelic pop with lots of orchestral color. They had two drummers (both playing kits, even.) There were a lot of people there. There were even a few crowd-surfing.

    Eventually I got home. I even slept for an hour before walking to the L stop and riding that for half an hour and waiting in the airport for my sold-out 5 am flight home. I read Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan and listened to music (not pictured.) Eventually we landed and I took a shuttle van to my parent's house, got my car and drove home and then sat around for a bit before falling asleep around 9 am.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Pitchfork Day 1

    I'm not gonna promise to come back and post more text this time. I mean, I would like to but you know as well as I do that it's probably not going to happen. But here are some pictures and some text inspired by said pictures. And inspired by missing pictures. (Note: the pics are about 25% larger than shown, so you can view image for a slightly larger shot.)

    I hear there was about 18,000 people. It was about 95 F with high humidity. Certainly high for me (from Arizona) but it seemed high even for Midwest folks. The water was cheap, the food was decent and not so bad in price, the people overall were fun and there wasn't much of the pushing and forcing to the front.

    The first band I saw was actually Chin Up Chin Up (not pictured.) I missed Hot Machines (not seen, even) entirely, arriving around 1:45 pm. We took the bus down from Bucktown and then I had to sell an extra pair of tickets... which didn't take much effort at all what with the show being sold out. Anyway, then I got inside and saw the last song or two by Chin Up Chin Up and then moved to Stage C for Man Man (pictured above.) They were weird. Covered with war paint and feathers, jumping around and being loud. Around this time I parted ways with my cousin (not pictured, but he could be if he so desired) and met up with friends from Ohia (not pictured) to see Band of Horses (not pictured.) I enjoyed them better than Man Man, partially because I was more familiar with their music. I wasn't, however, fully commited to the set and left Stage A early to get a good spot for the Mountain Goats (pictured below.)

    Oh, yeah. There are two stages, A and C (plus the dance/whatever tent, B.) The two stages were completely offset, a band would finish their set from stage C and then within about 5 minutes the next band would start on stage A. Even right up at the front you could sort of see the other stage (askew, that is) and you could sort of hear it if they were playing loudly. It wasn't terribly conducive for really listening. So when Band of Horses closed with "Funeral" I knew they were playing it but I can't really comment on how it sounded because I was in the wrong place.

    The set by the Mountain Goats was one of the most amazing I have ever seen. John was in a great mood, hilariously telling stories as intros to his songs, jumping around and actually kinda acting like a goofy rock star in front of a large, receptive crowd. I mean, he asked us to sing "No Children" and it is shocking to learn that there are thousands of other people that know this song that well. The setlist was ridiculously great including my favorite, "Source Decay" (which I've never heard live) other songs such as "Dance Music" and "Cubs in Five" and several new songs. They closed with "Terror Song." I was in shock and overwhelmed with joy almost the entire time.

    Franklin Bruno (see Nothing Painted Blue, the Extra Glenns, Franklin Bruno) played piano or guitar for most of the songs.

    After the Mountain Goats I needed to get some water and cool off and calm down. I really wanted to see Destroyer (see below, kinda, if you squint/imagine it) but... well, the Goats are a tough act to follow.

    I did hear Destroyer from afar, thus not really getting into the set. It sounded good enough, though.

    Then there was some resting in the shade and eating and chatting with new friends while Art Brut (not pictured) and Ted Leo (not pictured) + The Pharmacists (also not pictured) performed. I did catch a song or two by Ted Leo but I failed to noticed him bloodying himself.

    I did see the Walkmen (pictured above.) They were good. They played songs like "The Rat" and "Thinking of a Dream I Had." And a couple guys from Man Man came out to play horns (not pictured.)

    Next up was the Futureheads. The sun was starting to set but it was not yet starting to cool off. Who am I kidding, it never really cooled off. The loss of the sun (not pictured) was nice, though.

    Decent Days and Nights
    View (I can't figure out what I meant.)
    Back to the Sea
    A to B
    Favours for Favours
    ? (I did not recognize this one and I failed to record any lyric snippets.)
    Skip to the End
    Hounds of Love
    He Knows
    Carnival Kids
    Man Ray

    Then I saw the Silver Jews (not pictured.) There was resting and there was "Animal Shapes," "Horseleg Swastikas" and "There Is A Place." It was good but I can see how it would be much better in a club.

    We then walked around a lot trying to catch a cab and then we found one and we got home and it was fun.


    Heh. OK, I went to Pitchfork Music Festival, several other great shows and read some books.

    I am planning on writing a review of what I saw at Pitchy and posting some pictures but I've been lazy/busy/whatevs.

    So, uhh, soon, eh.

    Mellowdrone, Monsters are Waiting @ Modified

    modwheelmood opened the show; their set was kinda like their songs; they took a while to get going, had some cool bits in the middle, then they kinda trailed off. There were three guys in the band; all played with pedals a lot, sometimes doing only that. The songs I enjoyed the most where the ones where they used the electric guitar and actually used it and the guy playing bass really played it and such. Also they covered "Home" by Depeche Mode.

    Monsters Are Waiting played second. One of the guys was one of the founding members of Eve 6. But they were good. Really. All three bands sounded well matched, atmospheric indie rock; the vocalist at times reminded me of Karen O or Emily Haines in her stage demeanor (but certainly not Karen's vocal style.) I dunno. They never really flat out rocked but they built some pretty damned good songs. Oh yeah, also they covered "I Wanna Be Adored" and pulled it off.

    Mellowdrone sounded fuller, better and more together than either opener. They knew what they were doing and they did it well. Again rather atmospheric but they brought more of the rock. I don't know. I'm tired. I don't know what I'm saying. I liked them.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Saxon Shore, et al @ Modified

    I just saw Denison Witmer, Saxon Shore and then a few songs from From Monument to Masses.

    Saxon Shore backed Mr. Witmer for 5 or so songs, otherwise it was just him and an acoustic. He finished with a cover of "Northern Sky" by Nick Drake.

    Saxon Shore were really good. I honestly can't tell you what they played but it was fantastic. I love the light, floating melodies over the crescendoing guitars.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Tilly & the Wall, Now It's Overhead @ Modified

    Tilly and the Wall/Now It's Overhead was good and all but damn sometimes I forget that the Modified doesn't really do the air conditioning bit. Plus I started to get the impression that the show was going to be well attended (which surprises me) from the high ticket price.

    So yeah, it was sold out 15 people after me and it was hot and humid.

    Tilly were very fun. They're good at keeping the audience in the game. Their music is fun and dancy and poppy. They were funny. I mean, they're not essential or deep, really; but they play their songs and I like them.

    I really liked Now It's Overhead, too. They were louder and with more atmospheric type noises than I expected from the few songs I had listened to. I was not familar with them prior to the show.

    Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    The Black Angels and Hopewell @ Modified

    I went to the show because of various comments regarding the Black Angels, the coolness of the few songs I had heard and Hopewell's Mercury Rev connection.

    I loved the show because Hopewell rocked the shitty out of the joint and the Black Angels were low-end cool and throbbing.

    Hopewell sound nothing like the Rev and they rock and the guitars were awesome and the basslines were the best and yeah. Psychedelic space rock, I suppose. The best song was the unreleased "Monolith." It had these poppy bits in amongst all the riffage and Secret Machines-esque rocking.

    The Black Angels had six people making sound up there and wow. Two different people played the drumkit (different times) and another one or two people played an extra floor tom (at times.) Most of the band played bass, most of the band played guitar, one person played some sort of keyboard they call a "drone machine" in the CD notes.

    Fantastic show though due to the way the bands sound I would have reversed the bill.

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Coachella 2006

    Hmm. Last year I rued out and only go through two thirds of the first day. The re-cap, that is. I stayed at the fest until the end... partially because I was right up front by Spoon and felt that it would've been rude to push my way out. Oh wel.

    I've already gotten off track. This is why I am doing this. Right now I am posting Coachella 2006 via pictures. Yes, I actually had a camera this year. Some of the pictures were OK, even. The ones I like the most, though, are of the people I went and hung out with... though I'm not going to post those here. Yet. I always feel weird about posting pictures of other people. I may break through that, at some point, but not right now. Most of those pics have been distributed in other ways so whatever.

    And the plan here is to update this and include lots of text, too. But in order to get something up I'm starting with the pictures. UPDATE (after starting): OK, I'm writing stuff. Sorry that it sucks. I'm saying that every band is good because, dammit, I liked almost everything I saw. Deal with it.

    We camped behind and a bit over from the Coachella Stage (main stage.) On Saturday we walked all the way around the festival grounds and camping and much of parking (going East then South then West and North.) That night a few of the folks in my group learned that this was the long way around while I learned that if you look for Cat Power you can follow her out the artist exit. Anyway, despite the long walk I got that fine picture. But due to the length of the walk I missed the Section Quartet and/or Brother Ali.

    The Mojave tent was rather dark for Rob Dickinson so the first decent pics I got were from the Platinum Pied Piper's set. I didn't have much in terms of expectations but I enjoyed their set, enough that I didn't leave real early (as planned) to see Hybrid.

    I did leave a few minutes early so that I could catch a good portion of the set by the Walkmen. They were loud. I didn't stay but it was good enough that I'll probably check then out when they come to Phoenix in June.

    I could barely squeeze my way into the Gobi Tent for Lady Sovereign. I stayed for a few songs and then decided upon finding shade.

    This is the crowd spilling out of the Gobi while SOV was on. You can see her in that pic, sort of. Anyway I went to the Mojave for a few songs by Nine Black Alps... nothing special but there was room to move and shade.

    After cooling off a bit I headed back to the Coachella Stage for the Duke Spirit. There weren't many people there watching so I got up close.

    Most of the folks I saw there were the same people not paying attention to the Walkmen an hour earlier. The sound mix was a little off so I moved back a ways to see if it was better. It did, and what's more, I ran into a friend so we chilled on the grass watching the rest of the set.

    Next up was Animal Collective; I didn't get any pictures of the band but I saw more friends so eventually there may be a few shots with the Outdoor Theatre in the background. Which would totally not be the reason to post them. Anyway, AC were, uhhh, interesting. I really liked the first song, the others... well, were interesting. Parts were really good but it was easy to get distracted so it was a fine excuse to chat with friends. We were back near the soundstage where it wasn't crowded at all so we weren't bothering anybody.

    Near the end of the set we parted company and I went to the Mojave for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I took a few pics but 5:30 pm does not allow for get photos, especially when I was about three quarters of the way back.

    I left CYHSY after 6 songs so as to not miss any of My Morning Jacket. I found my friend and we got a fairly good spot without being right up front. Not missing any of MMJ turned out to be a wonderful idea as they opened with "Anytime" and went on to play a stunning set. I had chills throughout my whole body by that first song, I was on the verge of tears due to the awesomeness as it went on. Between songs I could barely get anything out other than superlatives "oh my... amazing... wow."

    I saw Sigur Ros with some friends from around the soundstage area. Perhaps I was not quite immersed enough in the sound to enjoy them as much as I did last time... or maybe it was the short set. I certainly have no complaints, though, as their last performance set a very high bar and I still had fun.

    After Sigur Ros I found a friend and caught a few songs by Devendra Banhart (including one by the person he pulled up on stage.) I then made my way into the Mojave to catch the end of Ladytron. I saw them play "Destroy Everything You Touch" and "Seventeen" so I counted that as a plus and made a mental note to do better next time. I did better than 2003, though, where I only caught part of their last song.

    While waiting for Cat Power I talked to two of the members of the Octopus Project and then ran into some friends and we stopped and waited. Her set was mostly culled from The Greatest with a few solo covers ("House of the Rising Sun" was amazing.) I liked it well enough and Chan seemed to be in a good mood. From what I heard this was her first show with the Memphis Rhythm Band backing her; I though they sounded great together, giving the music some weight as it tried to battle the thump from the Sahara tent next door.

    After Cat Power I made my way into the Sahara tent putting in ear plugs for the first time all night. I caught most of the Audio Bullys' set but it didn't do much for me. After the ended we had about half an hour before Daft Punk. The one picture I took looks terrible and I haven't decided how to share the video I took (six short clips, the longest being about 75 seconds.) I was at the front tip of the sound booth, so dead centered and close up but with a rail nearby so I could keep my position. The tent was packed, the crowd was crazy and there was much jumping and dancing and cheering... by me. Daft Punk played for about 75 minutes (going until 12:20 am) doing a mostly continuous mix of their songs.

    Sunday morning I got to watch this little ... umm... animal... transport dirt out of his undergound hole. I was tired.

    OK, the rest of Sunday is just going to be pics for now. Bug me to write more later.

    The Octopus Project

    Theramin solo.

    The Dears

    Mates of State


    Gnarls Barkley


    Monday morning.

    Friday, April 28, 2006


    I am getting ready to go to Coachella. I am happy about this.

    This is my tentative way of approaching the festival, based on the set times:


    12:00 - 12:30 - Brother Ali. possibly leaving early to see
    12:30 - 1:00 - Section Quartet. or wandering instead.
    1:00 - 1:35 - Rob Dickinson
    1:35 - 1:45 - chill. water. check merch.
    1:45 - 2:00 - Platinum Pied Pipers, stay until 2:30 if it's great, otherwise, leaving early for
    2:00 - 2:30 - Hybrid, leaving early for
    2:30 - 2:50 - The Walkmen, stay until 3:15 if it's great, otherwise leaving early for
    2:50 - 3:40 - Lady Sovereign
    3:40 - 4:30 - the Duke Spirit
    4:30 - 5:05 - most of Animal Collective, leaving early for
    5:05 - 5:55 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    5:55 - 6:45 - My Morning Jacket
    6:45 - 7:00 - either get dinner, check out the end of TV on the Radio, or get close for
    7:00 - 7:50 - Sigur Ros
    7:50 - 8:20 - end of Ladytron
    8:20 - 8:45 - either get dinner, check out some of Franz, or get close for
    8:45 - 9:35 - Cat Power
    9:35 - 11:00 - game time decision. could go Depeche Mode and stay for a while, maybe leaving to check out Atmosphere. OR i could head to the Sahara Tent for Audio Bullys and good position for
    11:00 - 12:00 - Daft Punk


    12:00 - 12:45 - The Octopus Project
    12:45 - 1:10 - chill, get some water, check out merch, on the way to
    1:10 - 1:50 - Youth Group, leaving early to see
    1:50 - 2:15 - The Dears, leaving early to see
    2:15 - 3:05 - Mates of State
    3:05 - 3:30 - some of Amadou & Mariam, leaving early to see
    3:30 - 4:10 - Ted Leo, leaving early to see
    4:10 - 4:55 - Metric
    4:55 - 5:15 - either stay and chill or try and get food and water
    5:15 - 6:00 - Wolf Parade, leaving early
    6:00 - 6:40 - game time decision between Sleater-Kinney and Bloc Party, possibly/probably leaving early to see
    6:40 - 7:10 - Gnarls Barkley
    7:10 - 7:15 - water, making way to
    7:15 - 8:05 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    8:05 - 8:25 - laughing. probably making my way to
    8:25 - 9:15 - Mogwai
    9:15 - 10:20 - most of Massive Attack, possibly leaving early for
    10:20 - 10:55 - Dungen
    10:55 - 12:00 - most of Tool

    Lots of very fast walking involved.