Archive for May, 2009
n which the Captain posts few great video he recently discovered. No big whoop.It’s been such a busy month that I’ve neglected to post all the great videos I discovered this month. I was going to include them in my last post, but Blog-City was full of bugs last week, so I decided to wait until after Memorial Day and hope everything was fixed.
First up is a bootleg video of the awesome introduction to the Jane’s Addiction set. Even though the video stops before the end of the song, it still manages to showcase the majestic feeling of Three Days performed live.
Next up is another bootleg live performance. This one is Davy’s encore from the recent FOUND show. Hilarious stuff; I just love the way Davy says biiatch!
On another note, can I say how much I love this recent trend that cuts together old Muppet footage into new music videos. Pure brilliance. Here’s a great one featuring my favorite character, Bert, and his good-for-nothin’ roommate set to The Lonely Island’s aptly titled I’m On A Boat
Even better is Miss Piggy taking an X-rated turn with Peaches’ wonderfully filthy Fuck The Pain Away
Finally, in keeping with the wild animal theme here is the brand new video for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs instant classic Heads Will Roll.
All around a top notch video. In my opinion, dancing wolfmen and confetti blood would make most videos better.
After my busy little vacation to Florida, I was looking forward to coming home and enjoying a little R&R. Well, that didn’t happen. Here’s some updates on what’s been keeping me busy:
Adding recent pictures to my Flickr account
I posted all of the pics from my Florida trip, as well as the pics from my winery trip last weekend. As you may have noticed from my frequent Twitter updates, Megs and I went on a six(!) winery daytrip last Saturday for Preppy Dave’s Thirtieth Birthday.
This fantastic occasion brought old friends in town from all over, including Tall Tom, Jeff the Red, and Lt. Dan! Even Maria-who-married-and-then-divorced-my-crazy—former-roommate-Dr.-Dan made it out for the festivities. It was a long day chocked full of laughter and wine, and a great way to celebrate for Dave. Cheers!
Live At The Levee Acts Announced
Normally this free concert series down by the Arch has the kind of butt rock/has-beens that you would expect, but this year they actually managed to land a couple of good acts. Guster is playing July 31st. Not really my thing, but still a decent band. Lupe Fiasco will be here on August 1st, which is pretty sweet. But the big news is Sonic Youth is playing July 17th! For free!
After being off of my radar for several years, they really impressed me with their 2006 return to pop-smarts album Rather Ripped. They are set to release another album in a few months that has already generated some good buzz. I’m definitely going to the show, and anyone interested should hit me up.
My Age Is Starting To Catch Up To Me
I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to throw out my lower back in Florida. Pretty much as soon as I landed back in St. Louis I’ve been in some kind of pain. I assumed that it eventually would work itself out and I’d be fine in a couple of days. Well, it’s been a week and it’s still incredibly painful to stretch my back in certain ways. I actually have an appointment with a Chiropractor tomorrow for the first time in my life. Hello Thirties!
FOUND Magazine Reading
Megs and I went out last nite to catch a very entertaining read from Davy of FOUND Magazine. Those of you not familiar with FOUND should check out the magazine’s website. Funniness all over the place. I’ve read them off and on over the past few years, but this was the first time I was able to catch one of their live shows and it did not disappoint.
The show was relatively short, very reasonably priced (only $5!) and incredibly humorous. Megs and I ran into our recently married friends Jon and Emily, plus we got a chance to check out the very hip Mad Art Gallery. It was the maximum amount of fun allowable for a Wednesday nite when I have to work early on Thursday morning. Well done FOUND!
So two Saturdays ago in Tampa I finally caught the concert that I’ve been waiting for sixteen years to happen, a fully reunited Jane’s Addiction! I was expecting the show to be amazing and yet I had no idea how memorable my experience would be.
As detailed in a previous blog , the bill was a double headliner of Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction under the ultra-cool NIN|JA 2009 moniker. I figured after such a long hiatus the show would be packed with Jane’s fans, but the sea of faded black NIN shirts indicated otherwise.1 The place was thick with sulky teenagers and aging goth-metalheads, but perhaps the worst was the father-of-the-year candidate who brought his 5-year-old (sporting a friggin’ mohawk.)
Rob and I had great seats about 20 rows back; close enough to see all the actions but far enough away to not have to worry about the violent idiots in the pit spilling over. The Nine Inch Nails set started out strong with Terrible Lie, and then kept it old school with SIN, March Of The Pigs, and Piggy. The first five songs didn’t make it past his NIN’s first two albums! It was a sign of good things to come.
Considering the past couple of times I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails, this setting was fairly tame by their standards. No elaborate set pieces, instead relying on a large metal gate of lights. Trent didn’t even bother to dress the goth part, instead opting for a green camo shirt and jorts combo that seemed to leave many fans puzzled.
What NIN lacked in style they more than made up for in substance. Trent seemed to grasp that this Lollapalooza ’91 reunion brough out the old time fans, and he played a large sampling of his early work sprinkled with some recent fan favorites. He played several of my favorites and even surprised me a bit with the beautiful instrumental La Mer. I figured Trent would play Closer for the encore, but he opted for the far superior Hurt to end his nite.
At some point during the set, Trent announced that this would be the band’s final tour, which had a noticeable effect on the crowd. I just laughed it off. I know Trent has been touring and releasing albums almost non-stop over the past few years, and I know he is set to be married later this year, but I just can’t see him throwing in the towel. I think he’ll probably take another five year break like he did between The Downward Spiral and The Fragile, and then come back with a vengeance.
The Nine Inch Nails set was probably their best I’ve seen since the nineties. I caught the group in 2000 and 2005, but something about this time really seemed to bring out the best of Trent. And considering that I wasn’t nearly as interested in first headliner as I was in the second, it was all added bonus.
And then there was the main event, Jane’s Addiction! I was so excited for the band’s set to start that I was bouncing around my seat. Finally the lights dimmed and a large screen dropped across the stage. To my delight a scene from The River Wild popped up, where a kid asks noticeably young Kevin Bacon if he saw Jane’s Addiction before they broke up. Genius!
Then, with images of Perry’s film Gift on the screen, Eric launched into the iconic opening rift of the band’s best song, Three Days. Chills raced through my entire body. The screen lifted slowly and the band was revealed in all their glory.
For the next ten plus minutes I was treated to a full version of probably the best song I’ve ever seen played live. They absolutely killed it. I was exhausted by the time they finished, and it was their first song! They followed up their splendid start with several of their heavier classics, including Whores, Ain’t No Right, and Pigs In Zen. They slowed down again with a beautiful rendition of Then She Did, another of my favorites. At this point Perry stopped and discussed the crazy blue sequined jumpsuit he was wearing.
He said he stole from an old lady consignment shop in Miami, which cued Been Caught Stealing. Eric was looking bad-ass in the same Dangerbird shirt he’s been wearing lately
and Dave OF COURSE was shirtless.
I swear he must be allergic to shirts by now. The screen dropped down again for Ted Just Admit It, and sticking with it’s Natural Born Killers theme, featured several trippy shots pulled right out of the movie. It worked on many levels.
Jane’s closed out with two more heavy favorites, Mountain Song and Ocean Size, before exiting the stage. During the break I was debating whether the band would return and play Jane’s Says or my personal all-time favorite song, Summertime Rolls. As I watched the crew roll out the steel drums, I knew Jane Says had won. But as I had time to think about it, I was actually glad they didn’t play Summertime Rolls. I’ll always cherish dancing to Summertime Rolls with Meg for the last dance at our wedding and it would be hard to top that for a Florida memory.
Jane’s Says was fantastic as usual, and the crowd really appreciated it as the encore. When the house lights came up afterwards, I left my seat thinking about how perfect the whole nite had been. And then I almost got robbed at knifepoint.
Let me back up a minute. Earlier in the show I noticed a fellow standing next to me who was illegally videotaping the show. I asked him to contact me if he was planning on posting the show online, and we exchanged numbers. Bad move #1.
Later this fellow, who I’ll call Robby McStabber, admitted to me that he had snuck into the good seats in our area, and asked if he could use Rob and me’s tickets to sneak in a couple of his friends. I was already in a great mood so I agreed to go back to the lawn of the Amphitheater and bring back the whole gang. Bad move #2.
After Robby McStabber’s two buddies were successfully in the good seats, I headed back to my seat and promptly forgot about the whole incident. Bad move #3.
I later surmised that Robby and his buddies had cased us for several songs during the Jane’s set, and then followed us to the bathrooms once the show was over. Not wanting to wait in line for the urinals, I moved over to the shorter line by the stalls. As I began to enter my stall Robby and his two goons followed me in and shut the door behind them.
At this point I had no idea what had just happened, but I quickly realized that I was stuck in a stall with three other dudes who were blocking the door shut. Robby Mc Stabber told me to give him whatever money I had on me. I said I didn’t have any money. He then told me to hand over my wallet. I said I didn’t think that was a good idea. Mr. McStabber then lifted his shirt to reveal the handle of a knife blade sticking out of his pants.2
This whole episode lasted approximately twenty seconds, and the whole time I kept thinking “How is this happening in such a crowded place?” I rapidly realized that I just needed to find a way out into the open and I would be much safer. I also noticed that by some stroke of luck the stall door opened outwards instead of inwards. As soon as I saw the handle of the knife blade I quickly lurched forward and shoved my way passed McStabber and his goons and then hightailed it for the bathroom exit.
Luckily my buddy Rob was right outside the door. I hurriedly shouted “wehavetoleaveNOW,” and then swiftly weaved through the crowd to the main exit. Poor Rob had no idea what was going on; I almost lost him several times as I rushed through the crowd. After several minutes he finally grabbed me and asked what was up. I hastily explained that Mr. McStabber had tried to rob me in the bathroom and that we need to proceed to our car ASAP.
Rob caught on quickly and we were out of the Florida State Fair Grounds in no time. Once my heart stopped racing I was absolutely exhausted, and so was Rob. Well, not too exhausted for a Slurpee and the return of Rob Face ,
But pretty exhausted anyhow.3
Even taking into account the strange and nearly violent ending it was still by far one of top two or three concerts I’ve ever attended, and damn memorable to boot.
As it turns out, I managed to catch the best nite of the tour. The first stop on the tour, Palm Springs, was apparently sprinkled with a few lighting and sound miscues. The second nite in Tampa seemed pretty flawless to me. The next show was Sunday nite in Atlanta, where Perry managed to break his leg during the first song! Apparently he limped through the rest of the set, and then was taken straight to the hospital. The word is that he’ll have to perform the rest of the tour sitting on a stool, which is a shame because that man knows how to shake his ass.
And there you have it, one of the best concerts and most memorable nites in my life. Special thanks to Rob for scoring the tickets and for driving all nite. And a big thanks to Eric Avery for deciding to tour with Jane’s Addiction again. My favorite band proved that sixteen years was definitely worth the wait.
1 When did it become ok to wear a band shirt featuring the group whose show you are attending? Gee, you like Nine Inch Nails? I would have never guessed… except for the fact that you shelled out $75 for a ticket and walked two miles across the state fair parking lot just to be here. I only saw two Jane’s shirts the whole nite; well done Team JA.
2 I know I shouldn’t be that surprised that a knife was snuck into a Nine Inch Nails show, but COME ON! REALLY?!? I get basically violated at the security check at the front gate and this guy sneaks in a knife! Glad to see my $10 service charge was put to good use, Live Nation.
3 Notice Rob wearing his Phish “Story Of The Ghost” shirt to a Nine Inch Nails show. Nice job hippie. Maybe that’s why Mr. McStabber identified us as marks…
Judging by the sheer number of responses that I received from my first ever vacation while Twittering1, I assume that most of you realize that I spent a long
weekend in Florida. Funny how things work out some times.
I have been looking forward to this trip ever since I scored a pre-sale ticket for the NIN|JA 2009 Tour back in March. I was originally planning on crashing at my former building with my old neighbor Amir’s place. Well, it turned out his mother-in-law was flying in the same weekend so Dr. Douchebag and I got booted to his beach condo. Sad story, I know.
In another stroke of good timing, it just so happened that my good buddy Jamie is in Jacksonville most of this month on business. Instead of flying back to St. Louis for the weekend to watch some terrible television with his wife, he wisely decided to make the four hour drive down to Sarasota. In fact, we managed to time it so Jamie arrived in Sarasota in time to pick me up at the local airport. Good timing all around.
We met the rest of the Sarasota crew on Friday nite at the beach condo, including Patrick and Rob, and proceeded to drink for the next six hours. I even got to roll Sarasota style, i.e. lots of vodka and tonic/red bulls and massive amounts of flavored tobacco from the hookah.
We spent the rest of the evening traversing the treacherous landscape2 at the beach clubs in Siesta Key Village.
We were all up by the crack of noon the next day with fresh hangovers. Fully ready to live it up I headed out with Amir and Jamie for a gorgeous afternoon of excess. In no particular order we enjoyed 4 hours on the beach, 3 pounds of oysters, 2 cases of beer and 1 pound of crawdads.
This gave me more than enough fuel to head up with Rob to Tampa for the magnum opus of the weekend, the Nine Inch Nails | Jane’s Addiction show!
The show was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. In fact, if I exclude the part where I narrowly avoided getting robbed at knifepoint by three guys in a bathroom stall after the show, I’d say it was the best show ever. But more about that in my next blog.
Fast forward to the next morning, and I’ve got an ever worse hangover. Since I was able to successfully drink away my hangover the previous day, I decided to go for a repeat performance. It worked! More Florida by the numbers: 5 more hours of beach, 4 pounds of chicken wings, 3 pounds of crab legs, 2 more cases of beer and 1 long running contest3 and I’m living the beach life.
I learned while I was in Vegas that the best way to distract from my beer gut was to wear my beer-coosie necklace, and I wound up wearing it most of the weekend. It actually fit in at most of the places we went, but nowhere more so than the Sunday nite hippie drum circle at Siesta Beach.
But I loved it!
At around 9pm it dawned on me that Jamie had a 4 hour drive back to Jacksonville and yet he was still in Sarasota. We thought he would for sure crash out and show up late for work on Monday, but he somehow gathered himself up and left before 10pm. That Jamie is all Man, I never would have made it.
Amir and I decided to double our vodka and hookah intake and back at the condo for the rest of the nite
This made for a particularly rough start to my Monday morning. Drinking off two straight hangovers makes this third one in a row a real beast. A Chinese buffet and the accompanying three hour coma that resulted did little to tame this beast.
I had to summon all of my remaining strength to make it to the Sarasota airport by 6 pm and begin the long trip home. I hobbled into St. Louis late Monday nite dead tired, sun burnt and sore.
I spent most of Tuesday recovering from my trip, which did the trick more or less. Today I was back at work playing catch up and contending with some minor skin pelage off of my face.4 A nice visible reminder of my exhausting, sun filled weekend.
My vacation reminded me of how damn much I miss living in Florida. Great weather, great views, great friends and great times. Sigh.
Up tomorrow, the Captain puts the ninja in NIN|JA 2009 with his blade-dodging skills.
1 Twittercation? Vatweetion? Suggestions?
2 Why are these four or five clubs so vicious? Well, they are the only clubs within 100 miles with significant quantities of women under 30, so they are packed with dudes in the 25-40 age range. Still, this is not what makes them dangerous. It’s the type of predator that these dudes attract that makes them perilous, the dreaded Beach Cougar.
3 We decided to see who was best at peppering ridiculous catch phrases into casual conversation. I managed to successfully change the unspoken man-love between the three of us from the overused “Bromance” into the far superior “Brologna” and threw in a couple of Vroom! Vroom! Party Starter! for good measure. But Amir was the eventual winner when he referred to the two teenage boys on the beach leering at women in slutty bikinis as “hunting for pornish hens.” That’s was a mighty fine turn of the phrase my friend.
4 Further proof that I am now a tourist and no longer a Floridian. I remembered to coat myself in sunscreen, but I forgot the all important Reapply step later on both days. It was a real rookie tourist move on my part.
Damn, it’s May already! April was a busy month, but early indicators suggest that May will be even busier. Accordingly, I want to close out April with some quick shout outs to all of the great things that happened.
First up, babies! Two good friends were greeted with little bundles of joy last month and congratulations are in order. My old friend and editor extraordinaire Marc welcomed his first child, Henry, into his new home in Queens. Marc and his wife Jenny are both terribly talented individuals and I’m sure Henry will have quite a prosperous life ahead of him.
Slightly closer to home1, Megan’s friend Kim gave birth to Kenley a few weeks ago. This is the first of Meg’s friends to have a child, so it has been quite exciting. Now that our wedding seasons are starting to slow down, we are anticipating a rapid increase in baby season for the next couple of years. It’s like there is some kind of pattern…
Speaking of weddings, Meg and I attended a reception this weekend for my old college buddy Jon. He went the civil service marriage route with his longtime girlfriend back in February, and had a small reception on Saturday nite to celebrate the occasion. They played quite the hosts and I am happy that Jon finally made an honest woman out of Emily.
I found out that they first started dating back in (gasp) eight grade! They’ve taken a couple of breaks since then, but that’s still a long friggin time.
In other milestones, my nephew Ben turned four this week. Damn he’s getting big. I got to pick out his birthday gift this year so of course I went with the meanest looking toy I could find, a Juggernaut action figure. Check out this great reaction shot of him opening the package.
He was either thrilled with the gift or scared of how much ass Juggernaut is about to kick. Either way, a job well done if I do say so myself.
And speaking of kicking ass, how about my 13th row tickets to the Flight of the Conchords last week at the Fox Theater! What a great show, Jemaine and Bret are the best!
I was a little worried before the show that their 2009 tour would be not as great as I imagined, but the worry quickly evaporated when they came out in their robot costumes and kicked off the show with Too Many Dicks On The Dance Floor.
They played a good mix of songs from both seasons and a couple of new songs, and ended on a high note with Business Time and The Distant Future. Even thought the Fox was packed to the walls with hipsters, Meg and I had a blast. What can I say, we’re white people and we’re required to like musical comedy .
Alright, just a couple more shout outs for April and then I’m done. First, the album of the month was definitely Swoon by Silversun Pickups. Their first album was my favorite album of 2007, and this one is already a strong favorite for 2009’s album of the year. So many good songs here, but surprisingly the first track, There’s No Secrets This Year, is my favorite. Everyone reading this should check it out.
Second, damn if Lost didn’t totally dominate April.2
It seems impossible to keep ratcheting up the action, but every week they managed another humdinger. And even though I’m not happy they killed Faraday last week, it was still a great episode.
Finally, how about them Cardinals! The finished April ten games above .500 and with the best record in the Major Leagues. Even though Chris Carpenter landed on the DL for a bit, it was still one hell of a month for the birds on the bat. Keep up the good work boys!
1 Kim and her husband Jay live in O’Fallon, which for all intensive purposes may as well be in a different time zone.
2 Even though they did one of those crappy clip recap shows. Do I really need a reminder that Sun is married to Jin, or that Hurley won the lottery? I got it, thanks.