Archive for March, 2012
The greatest rock band of the past twenty years, Radiohead, played St. Louis tonite. This was the 3rd time I’ve seen Radiohead here in St. Louis, and the 6th time they’ve played the Gateway City. My two previous concerts were both at Riverport Amphitheater, and they varied greatly in quality. In 1995, Radiohead was the opening band for R.E.M. and it was an incredible show. They played almost every song from The Bends; my high school friends and I went crazy. The lads came back to Riverport in 2003 and played most of Hail To The Thief, which I consider to be their second worst album. It was largely forgettable.
Fittingly, the show tonite at Scottrade Center was somewhere between the first two. It was good, not great. Pretty much what I expected. But I did learn a thing or two at the show, which is the topic for the Friday 5 I’m posting before going silent for the rest of the month.
Top 5 Things I learned At Radiohead’s Concert On March 9th
1. The band isn’t heavily invested in their back catalogue
I had a feeling that the setlist would be heavier on new tunes, and I was correct. Radiohead played most of the songs from their last album, King Of Limbs, and several new tracks. While this was somewhat expected, I was a little surprised at how little old material the band played through the first 2/3rds of the show. They repeatedly broke the #1 rule in Rock ‘n Roll: don’t play two new songs back to back. Every time they broke the rule, I could see waves of people heading for the exits for a piss or a beer.
The first old song they played was Airbag, and the crowd went wild. Then two more new songs and the first mass crowd exodus. I’m sure that kind of thing is noticeable on stage, but I don’t think the band really cares at this point.
2. Scottrade’s alphabet is catered to Radiohead
I had a feeling that Radiohead would be playing mostly newer material, so I decided to go for the cheapest tickets available. For $60 a ticket they can play whatever they want. For over $100 a ticket they better stick with the hits. Even though I went with the cheap seats, I logged on the first minute they went on sale so I figured the tickets wouldn’t be that bad. Our seats were in row R and dead center in the nose bleed section. Typically the worst seats in the house start once the letters start doubling up, so I thought a single R should be decent. R for Radiohead!
Turns out it’s R for Rear. We were in the highest seats, up against the wall. Still, even in the very back we could still see decently thanks to the crazy set design.
There were numerous monitors hanging from the ceiling, and they featured extreme close ups of all the band members. This surprising clarity was good for the most part, except when they chose to focus on Thom Yorke’s lazy eye.
3. Radiohead needs to harness their creativity by constantly looking forward
While I wasn’t thrilled that Radiohead was playing mostly new music, I understood why they were doing so as the evening progressed. Continuing to make relevant music after twenty years in the business must be difficult since so few bands succeed for that long. By the twenty year mark most bands are content to stick with the hits. But Radiohead has always fought to stay relevant, and I’m guessing that touring with new material is one of the ways they accomplish this goal.
Looks wise, the band has stayed remarkably similar.1 Phil the drummer still has a giant shaved head. The Greenwood brothers still look like A/V geeks, especially Jonny with his shaggy bangs.
Thom is still sporting a variation of his unshaven vagabond look.
About the only change is that Ed O’Brien is dressing a bit sharper nowadays.
All of that is to say that the band has eliminated past distractions like fighting with Clear Channel or their record company and decided to focus on making relevant music. And while most of my favorite Radiohead songs will probably always be from their first ten years, there are still lots of people who love the new tunes just as much as the old. I respect Radiohead for refusing to coast on the triumphs of the past, but I was still the guy yelling “Play some old shit” throughout the show.
4. McBride & Sons don’t like Radiohead
The venue for the show looked like it usually does when a big concert comes to town. There’s only so much a band can do with a hockey arena, so they went the 2/3rd stage. It looked pretty standard, except for the empty suite on the ground level. There is a box on the field at Scottrade Center, which allows rich folks to enjoy the ground level view without having to mingle with the commoners. But I guess Radiohead is too arty for the wealthy, because the suite was noticeably empty the entire evening. The field box is covered in a large sponsorship by a local builder, which lead to the ongoing joke that McBride & Sons don’t like Radiohead.
5. Thom Yorke is tired of playing Karma Police
By far the most memorable part of the evening was Thom Yorke forgetting the lyrics to Karma Police. During the second verse he just stopped singing at one point and then let out a small chuckle. By this point it was already pretty obvious the band was going through the motions when playing older material, so this little slip actually brought some much needed levity to the situation. During the next refrain, Thom made a great save by changing the lyrics to “This is what you get, when you forget the words.” The crowd went wild, and the whole band gave a little grin. It was a genuine moment that really connected with the crowd. Sadly, I’m guessing that five years from now this will probably be the only thing I remember from the evening.
And with that, I’m out of here. See you in April!
1. Thanks to The Riverfront Times for these great pictures.
Nothing spices up my workday like eating an odd lunch, which means today was extra spicy. I decided to go mucho loco today and try the Frankenstein monster that is the new Doritos Taco from Taco Bell.
With the months of hype that has proceeded the launch of the Doritos Loco Taco, I was a little worried what it would do to me. I read the slogan Taco Bell on the inside Doritos on the outside as something to scare my insides. In retrospect I may not have been scared enough.
In order to properly judge the taste, I decided to pit the Loco Taco against a Regular Taco. But it turned out not to be a fair fight.
True to its name, the Loco Taco’s taste was ludicrous. The extra cheese flavor really pops the taco flavor up a notch. The shell is very flimsy and full of finger staining Doritos dust. And at $1.29 it seems a little pricey for the folks that usually frequent Taco Bell. But strangely enough, it tastes nothing like taco flavored Doritos.
When I compared Loco to the Regular Taco I ate afterwards, it was clear the Loco Taco was way tastier. Hours later and I’m paying the price for eating that mutant/demon taco hybrid; my digestive track has gone to hell. The odors escaping my body are ensuring that Meg will never be a fan. But with less than 48 hours until the cleanse, I’m happy to be polluting my body with this wonderful filth.
Now the only thing left is to double down by eating a Loco Taco while drinking a Four Loko! But that will have to wait till April.
As I’ve mentioned before, March is probably my least favorite month. College basketball and midgets in leprechaun outfits don’t really get my rocks off. We’re not even a week into March and I’m ready for it to be April.
Like nows dude.
But it’s a whopping 25 more days till April. Bummer.
Since I’m not really a fan of March, I’ve decided to sit most of this one out. Starting Saturday the 10th I’m unplugging for the rest of the month. I’m going into hibernation mode until the beginning of April. That means no social media, and even worse no posts here at Captains Quarters! Those who seek council with The Captain should pickup a phone; tarting Saturday I’ll be an electronic ghost.
In the mean time, I’m prepping my ship for launch. The next couple of days I’m already saying goodbye to lots of food I love that I won’t be able to enjoy before I start the cleanse. But instead of binging, I’ve decided to simply enjoy the calm before I’m carried off by the storm. Which is exactly comes to my mind after viewing today’s photo for #WaybackWednesday.
Here’s me with Mr. Off-The-Reservation himself. This was back in 2001, a couple of years before Dave did his famous African disappearing act. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but it’s close enough. Consider:
I’m going away to avoid distractions and to get some unspecified work done.
I’m going vegan while I’m gone.
When I return I’ll still be as crazy as ever.
So time to go social media it up for a couple more days. Time to post more about the 1st place St. Louis Blues on Facebook so I don’t look like such a bandwagon fan. Time to make inside jokes on Twitter, like how @ChainsawAttack’s ass is plastered all over the hometown news. Two more days. Then I’ll be Chappelling the days away till April.
Ya know what I mean?
Sometimes the music that catches my ear uses refined, deliberate sounds and other times the music is painted with broad strokes. This week’s #2ForTuesday is all about the later. First up is another installment of the wonderful experiment that is 3 Artists 1 Song.
For the 4th time in 4 years my favorite shoe company has created an off the wall track that seems custom made for my Modern Rock series. This year Converse recruited Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000 to bring the funk.
Here’s DoYaThing by Converse All-Stars
Next up is Andrew In Drag by Magnetic Fields
After years of waiting, it seems that Stephin Merritt has finally re-embraced the synth-pop sound that made so many people I know fall in love with the band’s universally loved album 69 Love Songs. He spent all of the 00’s running away from the popularity of that album by drowning his songs in feedback and minimalism. But his 2010 album Realism hinted at a return to that sound with the beautiful track You Must Be Out Of Your Mind. And now Magnetic Fields is back in peak form with today’s release of Love At The Bottom Of The Sea. The first single, Andrew In Drag combines the bands acoustic synth-pop sound with the deadpan with that Stephin loves to sing. I get the feeling that I’ll bounce
between several songs on this album before selecting a favorite.
So I’ve been slowly working my way towards getting in shape this year. I haven’t mentioned it because I decided a few years back that I will rarely devote space on this blog to discussing my attempts at weight loss. In my experience, reading about other individuals’ exercise or dieting routines is usually rather dull. The only reason I’m bringing it up now is to explain my strange behavior for the rest of the month. Meg has talked me into a 3 week cleanse that begins this Saturday. I’m hoping it will be a good kick-start towards getting in shape. For the 21 days of the cleanse I will go without:
4. Animal Products
That’s right, for 3 weeks I’ll basically be a hippie uber-vegan who doesn’t drink. Ahhhh!
I’ve maintained that March is my least favorite month, and now I will most likely be cranky for the rest of March. It’s probably going to be difficult on me, which is the only reason I’m drawing attention to it here. This is fair warning to my friends and family: Sorry in advance for my pissy/groggy demeanor and sorry if I refuse to eat or drink something that you offer me. I’ll be back to normal and hopefully feeling better by April.
So I’ve got five days until the cleanse starts and I’m gonna live it up while I can. It’s time to Ron Swanson it up with a steak and a whiskey while I’m still free.