Thursday, July 31, 2008
On August 27, McCready’s Shadow 86 (his first band, reunited after 20 years) plays an early show at the Tractor. If you want to see one of the planet’s best axemen go to work on a tiny stage, we suggest you get your tickets right now.
done. i'm excited! it's listed as a jimi hendrix tribute, and honestly i thought that this was the best part of the flight to mars show at the showbox in may.
also, the site links to an interview with mike that somehow i missed. here is my favorite part:
You might see me staring up in the sky with my eyes closed. I’m not faking it. That just kind of happens. It happens a lot with Pearl Jam. There’s something the five of us create that I don’t get anywhere else on this planet. We all kind of speak to each other in a musical sense, a non-verbal sense.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
this morning, i was listening to my "EV" playlist. not in any order, the songs are: millworker, growin up, porch (solo acoustic), goodbye, brokenhearted, my hometown (bruce springsteen and eddie), man of the hour , i am a patriot, if you want to sing out sing out, parting ways, and setting forth. a lovely little playlist for my ride to work.
speaking of pearl jam, i so want this for my birthday. from the tenclub website:
thanks in advance.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
if i may, i will put music into three categories: that which i listen to daily; that which i listen to sporadically, but when i do, i remember why i started listening to it in the first place; and that which i wish i could forget i ever listened to. bands like bon jovi or mr. big fall into the latter category for sure. pearl jam and the frames are in the first. u2, rem, nirvana, and a bunch of others, including the silversun pickups, are in the second.
speaking of musical categorization, perhaps i should give the fleet foxes a second chance. carrie brownstein likes them. (if you have not read her blog, please do. it is one of my first stops every day. i love her writing, and i especially love reading the comments her entries inspire).
i especially love her for writing this: Instead of following my usual trajectory for show-going -- the one wherein I plan on going all week, but then bail at the last second due to tiredness, old age or an excuse to hang out with my pets... hello!! seeing a rock star admit that makes me feel a little less pathetic for once in a while skipping a show for that very reason. and i'm only 28. what will i be like in ten years?
Friday, July 25, 2008
for some reason, i think this is hilarious. at about 5:40, some lady with a terrible voice starts singing along and glen kind of stops and wags his finger and keeps going. a few seconds later, she starts again and glen says something, the beginning of which i cannot for the life of me decipher and marketa cracks up. then the lady says something like, "if people would sing i wouldn't have to sing so loudly." glen has a blank look on his face for a second, but without meeting a beat he says, "jesus. do you talk to your tv too?"
this website. while it is not about music, it is about being a fan (of the red sox, in this case). i am finding that i enjoy reading people's blogs about things i don't even care about, because it is interesting to read about the way others express thier fandom (is that a word?), if that makes sense. plus she seems to have a little obsession with josh beckett, of which i approve, and the graphic of him in her post for today is cracking me up.
the grand archives. i especially like the song swan matches. sometimes i feel like i don't listen to enough new music (i need to expand my musical horizons, me thinks). it seems like every time i listen to KEXP, for example, i hear a new band and think to myself that i should check them out but then i get discouraged because there is never enough time to listen to all the stuff i want to, so i don't. but, seriously, of all the bands i saw at the subpop thing a few weeks ago, i think that they might have been my favorite.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
(i'm not sure what happens in the video around 3:15.. crazy sounding)
god, ed's voice sounds AMAZING. this performance is a perfect example of why i love this band. they take a song that's not even originally by them and make it theirs. (i don't mean that their covers are better than the originals, but that, somehow, pearl jam can take songs and re-do them so that they sound like theirs.. kind of like what glen hansard does in astral weeks). as a side note, i also love, how at the end of the real me, mike casually drops his guitar and walks away. awesome.
now i now next to nothing about the who (my musical ignorance is staggering really.. so much to learn, so little time) other than the songs pearl jam has covered over the years. any PJ show without baba o' riley in it seems a little incomplete to me. about 15 years ago, i bought a live who cd (which is probably still at my parent's house.. or more likely, sold in a yard sale) and tommy, which i love.
in 1999, pete townsend released a solo cd to benefit a school in chicago. ed performed on a few songs, and also at a show in chicago:
1. check out ed's hair.
2. how cool must it be to perform with someone whose music you love? it would be like me singing with PJ or the frames (well, actually it wouldn't, because i can't sing worth crap). that's one lucky man. he's sang with the who, neil young, REM, bruce springsteen..
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
sunday started out much more promising than it ended. i got to marymoor park a little before 1, in enough time to see grand archives who were awesome.
next, i saw a band called blitzen trapper who i again have never heard of but LOVED (yes, that much). i can't really describe their style of music because it was not any one thing. i guess if anything, i would say wilco-ish. but not really.
one of the bands i was most excited about seeing was kinski. after them, i went to listen to the foals, who i totally did not get at all, although the singer did tell a semi-funny joke about british people having such bad teeth that they have party games where they spit out blood. ha. he also ended the first song by breaking the amp, which necessitated much hand-wringing by the crew.
seeing green river would have been awesome if i had chosen a better spot to stand.
another thing - all the bands (and subpop itself) donated their proceeds to charities of their choice, which is pretty darn cool.
marymoor park is a cool place to see a concert. i was there once a few years ago to see tori amos; wilco was playing there a while back and i thought about going, but ultimately decided not to since the park is kind of a pain to get to from seattle (especially on the bus.. don't even get me started about that). but i did think that it was awesome that a lot of the cups, plates and utensils were compostable. very cool.
now, if you will excuse me, i am going to go watch the premiere of project runway. and then tomorrow is the who tribute on vh1 with pearl jam! the hits keep rolling!!
speaking of newer bands, i think my favorite on saturday might have been helio sequence. i'd heard of them before, but i'd never actually listened to their music. i really enjoyed it.
next on the "this" stage were the fleet foxes, who i was moderately interested in seeing. i have to say that i think they are quite over-rated. their songs are okay, but nothing special to my ears. (i've seen them described as "the next big band from the northwest, and they drew a pretty big crowd). i thought they kind of sounded like the foo fighters (their later stuff, not the first two albums).
next, i went over to the other stage to see a band called the fluid, and i'll show my ignorance by saying that they were one of a handful of bands i had never even heard of. i guess that, for lack of a better description (or more knowledge on my part), they sounded kind of like nirvana crossed with mudhoney. i liked them more than the fleet foxes for sure.
then i saw low, who i had also never heard of but really enjoyed. i had lots of fun watching their female drummer who had a really great voice.
next was mudhoney who i loved, especially since i had the good sense to stay away from the mosh pit. i like this picture because mark arm looks absolutely insane in it.
after mudhoney, i saw the vaselines who kind of sound like belle and sebastian (or i guess that belle and sebastian sound like the vaselines technically). they were really good - kind of sunny but depressed at the same time pop. a good counter to mudhoney; balancing the types of music is another thing i think they did well at this festival - and the lead singer, frances, was pretty funny too. they opened with son of a gun and also played molly's lips and jesus don't want me for a sunbeam, 3 songs that nirvana covered (and, showing my ignorance once again, the only 3 songs of theirs i knew).
then there was a 20 minute break and iron and wine came on. i've never quite gotten around to listening to him, but i LOVED (yes, so much that i have to capitalize it) his first song. after that, he kind of lost my interest a little bit. he seemed to do more talking than playing, although he was clearly very charming and funny (he kept asking us to clap along and then stopping us because "i can't play that fast"), but when you have a 40 minute set maybe you should just get to the music. when he played such great heights (a postal service cover), he forgot the lyrics (to the one song i could have sung along with!)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
as much as i love seattle, i hate the fact that buses are the only form of public transportation (well, and monorails and streetcars that go basically nowhere). having said that, i take the bus practically everywhere - not because it's always convenient, but because i hate driving and think that supporting mass transit is really important (as is not giving my hard-earned money to greedy oil or parking companies). i left the show tonight right after green river (and they are the reason for my next complaint.. hold on a sec) and just missed the 545 to seattle. instead of waiting an hour for the next one, i decided to take a bus to the bellevue transit center, which means that i got a wonderful tour of pretty much all the bus stops between redmond and bellevue. it was almost as fun as ride the ducks. every time i go to another city- boston, portland, san francisco, even LA - i am amazed by how relatively easy it is to get around with just a map and a rudimentary knowledge of the transit system. you go to a train stop and one is there within 5-10 minutes. that must be too simple for seattle. it's not even the city's fault entirely, the blame also lies with a short-sighted public that would rather fund roads than mass transit.
(if you're reading this and you live in seattle, please don't stop riding the bus. but keep making noise for better transportation options)
ok, so on to number two. stupid me somehow thought that it would be a good idea to get a spot towards the front for green river. about ten minutes before they started, it suddenly dawned on me that i probably really didn't want to be that close, but by that time there was a crush of people at the front and no way to get out. i don't think i've ever actually seen a mosh pit up close before. or touched crowd surfers before either. both are things i'm looking forward to never experiencing again. why grown people think that it's fun to smash into each other like idiots is beyond me. i was so focused on trying to stay upright and away from that craziness that i couldn't even enjoy the band at all. it's like a whole crowd of preschoolers gone mad. does anyone actually enjoy that? why??
but the worst part was at the end of the show. honestly, i thought to myself, "thank god, i'm still alive and now i can get out of here." but, no. someone from the stage started throwing shirts at the audience and people went insane diving for them. i had almost gotten through the crowd when a bunch of shirts came sailing over my head and a lot of people went for them at once causing everyone around me to fall down on the ground. i know it sounds stupid now, but i can't remember the last time i was that scared. for a split second, i thought that if i fell, people would step on me and i would die.
i have often wondered why, as a musician, you would continue playing when you see people basically trying to kill each other in your audience. i don't get it. does acting like an idiot somehow heighten your enjoyment of the music? and then to egg that behavior on by throwing things into the crowd for people to fight over... the whole thing just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. thank goodness people don't do that dumb stuff at pearl jam shows any more.
so that i can go to bed on a lighter note, i think the funniest moment for me was on saturday when the guy from iron and wine (who i only knew from his cover of such great heights, but who i really loved) actually started playing free bird when someone requested it.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
this weekend is the sub pop 20th anniversary festival. there are a couple of bands i'm really excited about seeing: the helio sequence, kinski, green river, mudhoney, iron and wine (who i will also see opening for the swell season in LA in october!!!!) and the vaselines (hey kristine, they're from scotland!).
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
i am way too tired to write about pearl jam tonight, but i did find a video on youtube of ed and jeff doing bee girl in mansfield. this song makes me think of the girl in the blind melon video for no rain who dresses up like a bee and ends up looking really sad and lonely. maybe someone knows better than me, but i seem to remember that video is what this song is about. (at the beginning of the song, ed says, "this is for jack." jack irons?)
Monday, July 7, 2008
i think there are very few things in the world that can make me feel the way a pearl jam concert makes me feel; i don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing. does that make sense? i am completely in the moment, singing along with the crowd, not caring what other people think of me because they are all doing the same thing.
i took some paper and a pen with me to write down notes during the show, but my plans for doing that never seem to work out. i didn't go to saturday's show, but i used the hotel's business center to check the setlist sunday morning, and a little bit of me died when i saw that they opened with hard to imagine. why couldn't they have saved that for one more day? but, i swear, as soon as i heard the opening notes of wash last monday, i was in another world. and for some reason, songs that i've listened to a hundred times seemed to take one new lives - the lyrics for education, for example, seemed to hit home in an unexpected way. and when jeff and ed played bee girl, i think i might have even started to cry. i'm not sure why - it's not a great song, or anything - but there was just something about that song at that moment that seemed right.
i'll write a more complete review tomorrow when i'm - hopefully - more awake than i am right now. now, here are some of my admittedly not-so-good pictures. i took the most pictures during the pearl jam show and our tour of fenway park. i think that i may have an obsessive personality - if it's not a band, a movie, or an actor, it's a baseball team. perhaps there are worse things to be in the world than a fan.
our restarant in cambridge. i liked the name; can you tell why?
rockin in the free world
the rest of my pictures are here.