Friday Fives – in concert edition

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, or over-think this.  Just whatever pops in to mind.

20141017_095812Best concert

Gosh, I have been to so many concerts. Hundreds. See those ticket stubs in there?  That is just the last ten years, after I had effectively stopped going to concerts.  Best Concert? In the spirit of not over-thinking it (per our instructions), it just may have been Pearl Jam last night in Denver. I have seen the band a lot. Over ten times, I would say. Last night’s show was unique and amazing. And long. Almost four hours. I wrote that up this morning, though, if you are interested.

Worst concert

I can’t think of any overtly bad shows. Ok, there were some that were a little disappointing. I saw Smashing Pumpkins three different times on the Siamese Dream tour. Each and every one of those shows was stopped early because Billy lost his shit at something stupid. However, the band was absolutely at the height of their powers then. So, even a shortened Pumpkins set was still more beautiful and powerful and intense than every other rock band playing a full set.  At that time, in that era, on that tour, Smashing Pumpkins*** were the greatest rock band in America.  This was a band at the height of their powers > like Guns and Roses ‘Appetite for Destruction’ era.  Zeppelin in ’77, the Destroyer bootleg era Chili Peppers*** on the ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magic’ tour.  Beastie Boys*** on ‘Ill Communication’.  Nirvana*** on Nevermind tour.  Pearl Jam*** on the Ten Tour.  Police*** on ‘Synchronicity’.  Prince in the ‘Purple Rain’ era.

Billy Corgan:  he will cut you

These are bands that were in top form, taking over the Earth.  It never lasts long, but if you can catch a band in this moment, you should.

There was another show I was disappointed at, but not the band’s fault at all. Back at Lolla 2 (1992) Pearl Jam had been added to the bill last minute. They were just coming up, and getting bigger every day. Because they were a late add, they had a shitty time slot. They went on at 2 pm. PLUS, it was a school/work day. So, about half the audience wouldn’t show up until about 7 pm, after work, time to catch the headliners. PLUS – it was Phoenix in the summer. So, it was 118 degrees out… as it is in summer in Phx.

At this point in time, I was already a rabid Pearl Jam fan. This was my third time seeing them, and they were still just out whoring for their very first album. I saw them three times in Phoenix in one year.  Can you imagine how many shows they must have played that year?  Editors note:  I counted them up.  They played 71 shows in one year. So, there was virtually no one there to see them. It was early and it was hot as hell. There was no shade at this venue, so most folks found a shaded beer garden and holed up there for a few hours. Sadly, those folks missed an amazing show. Pearl Jam ALWAYS puts on a killer and passionate show.

Most overrated live band

Poison. Actually, I don’t know how they are ‘rated’ live. But, I do enjoy their music. I don’t actually have any albums, but I know the music. Many, many years ago I had the cassette ‘Look what the cat dragged in’.  Look at this cover.  They were seriously hot, beautiful women. Their show was flat. It felt like they were just going through the motions. I fully get how that happens. After 4 or 500 hundred live shows, I imagine it gets tedious. The good bands, though, never let it show.

Oh, and Pink Floyd. That is correct, I have not only seen Pink Floyd, but they sucked. Even kookier – I can tell you that every other person there will tell you it was the greatest show in history. Why the discrepancy? Because most people are stooges. Couple that with the fact that I seriously am an expert in live concerts. I have actually seen more national touring acts than all of your friends put together.

At this point (early 90’s, Division Bell tour) the band was basically the David Gilmour show. That isn’t a necessarily a bad thing. The band played only expected songs. The setlist was boring and predictable. On top of that, the versions played were too good. There was no character or intimate moments. It literally sounded like the band put on a greatest hits CD and stood there. I understand that saying Pink Floyd is wildly over-rated sounds like a hipster douche. However, they are wildly overrated. I very much enjoy their music. However, about 60% of it lost its appeal after I stopped doing drugs. In an unrelated side note, here is my favorite Pink Floyd song, performed awesomely by David Gilmour. This is a beautiful and unique performance of a very deep cut… the kind of moments I live for… and the kind of moments that were not present that evening in Tempe.  I could tell you the name, but it’s so absurd you wouldn’t believe me.  Put some headphones on and dig it!

If you ever get me cornered, ask me to tell you about the drive home. In a blizzard. On drugs. In a strange car.   With a busted window. With 3 guys tripping balls. Oh, I guess I just told you the story. Well, never mind.

I love to play this song camping. It’s tough for the others. I tell them I am going to play some Floyd. Then, I play that song, an Fearless. People get quite disappointed. Sorry, but Wish you were Here gets boring after playing it for 30 years.

Most underrated live band

Again, I am going to mention a couple here. The first is Barenaked Ladies. I haven’t seen them since Steven Page left, so I can’t vouch for their shows now. However, this band is the most fun band live… consistently. I went in to the first show (tour supporting Rock Spectacle, and excellent live collection) just being a casual fan. Maybe even the tickets were free. I can’t remember laughing so hard or feeling so engaged as I did that night. Once that happened, I went to see them every chance I got. In Winterpark the show became rather famous among hardcore fans as the ‘pipe guy’ show.

It’s a great story, but one you need to hear in person. I have met hardcore BNL fans, who have never been to Colorado. I tell them “I was at the ‘pipe guy’ show and they gush every time. Ever been to a rock show at a ski resort? It is super cool. They set up a stage at the bottom of the hill/run. Then, the people just fill up the hill. Everyone has a great site line, because you are halfway up a mountain. On top of that, you are in the woods. It is just magical.

Oh, the other is James Taylor.  As you can guess, I have seen him a ton, too.  Over ten times.  Now, you imagine a James Taylor show is relaxed white people listening to very pretty songs.  It is.  But, it is SO much more.  First off, his voice is still crystal clear.  It sounds as good or better than it did in 1972, when Fire and Rain first came out.  Next, he is a super good guitar player.  Then, my favorite part; he is incredibly funny.  He is as engaging and fun as BNL.  There is no concert I laugh at more than a James Taylor show.  He gets is self image.  He is keenly aware that is a punchline of all that is white and boring in music.  He plays off that. Here is my favorite song of his, Copperline.

Best concert album

Simon and Garfunkel – Live in Central Park. There is no further discussion. There is top five list. Just that concert, far and away above the others.  I defy you to watch this and not cry.

 

*** I was at these shows

Friday Fives – in your earhole edition

1.    What is the worst premise for a TV show you can come up with?

‘Wife swap’ – a show that involves dudes swapping wives with no sex or even nudity.  Pointless, cruel… and strangely already in existence.

 

2.    What’s some advice or knowledge that you think every car owner should know?

Learn to work the internet and become comfortable with forums.  Every question you have has been encountered by someone before.  These folks will guide you through the problem, and help you avoid the landmines that they encountered.

 

3.    If you could have been an additional main character on any TV show from all time, what show would you choose?

a fellow player on MTV’s sketch comedy show ‘the State’.  I think in its 2 seasons it was the greatest sketch show of all time.  Up there with Kids in the Hall, SNL, Chappele… etc

4.    Music: Do you have a favorite cover version of a song?

Yes.  I should note that Jamie says there is no such thing as a good cover song, and that they are all bad.  Now, that being said, I disagree.  I’ll talk about 2 covers here.  The first is Dave Matthews doing ‘Watchtower’.  It’s a Dylan song, but you know it better as a Hendrix song.  I saw Dave Matthews Band open for the Dead a LONG time ago – 1995.  This was before they were big.  They were just breaking with the hit ‘what would you say’.  It was the only song I knew, and so frankly the only song I wanted to hear.

Dave says at the end of their set that he asked permission to cover this song from the Dead.  This is because the Dead also cover ‘All Along the Watchtower’.   So, he said that and started the song.  Mind you, he never mentioned the actual song… just that he had permission.  By now, you have probably heard this version from DMB.  It starts out slow, and builds in to this insano monster jam.

So, I am outdoors in Vegas flying my body in 120 degrees and my brain on acid.  After that single song performance, I became a dedicated DMB fan.

So… that is my live story.  As for studio, I will say Fiona Apple’s cover of ‘Across the Universe’.  I LOVE the Lennon version, and it has no faults.  But, Fiona’s is sultry it is a simmering sex show of bliss.

 

5.    We are not supposed to insert a Q-tip in your ear – what other product warnings to most people ignore?

Can we talk about this qtip thing?  I put Qtips in my ear.  Often.  Every time I shower.  My wife says I am nuts.  Guess who has to get their ears cleaned and drained?  Not me!      I LOVE qtips and I love jamming them in my ears.  I even keep some in my desk at work.  Here is whawt I want to know – if you aren’t sticking qtips in your ears… what the hell are you doing with them?  Secondly, how do you clean your ears?

Don’t cheat!

*** Petraeus update at bottom – 11.23.2012

Ok team.  Rule #1, don’t cheat.  Ever.  The consequences are way more severe than you can imagine.  So, don’t do it.  But, if you are going to cheat… for christ sakes man, make it count!

(Prince Charles) Meaning – if you are going to risk the crown of England… do it for a better piece of tail than this:

(John Edwards) If you are going to risk the presidency, and and a plum appointment to head of state, do it for something better than this:

(Bill Clinton) if you are going to be impeached, man… do better than this:

(Woody Allen) and if you are one of the greatest directors ever, maybe you should leave your wife for someone a little older than her (who is also your child)

(John Lennon) and if you are going to break up the f’n Beatles man, tell me it isn’t for her:

(Elliot Spitzer) So, don’t ever cheat.  It is NEVER worth it, and the consequences ripple through all your relationships.  Ready to lose your job, your house, your friends?  Then don’t cheat.  However, if you are going to risk everything, this would be the way to do it.

 

Update – 11.23.2012

More reason why should not cheat, ever.  The head of the CIA got busted cheating.  Why should this scare you?   Well, this is the one guy in charge of keeping all of America’s secrets.  If he can’t keep it secret, you certainly can’t, either.  He got busted by email.  It is an interesting idea.  Here is what he did.  He set up a secret gmail account with one of his girlfriends (now turns out there was at least 2.  That is how he got busted.  Mistress 2 narced on mistress 1). 

So, they both had their own gmail account.  I should clarify.  They both shared 1 gmail account.  They never sent anything from it.  Each party would go in and write a draft, which was a letter to the other person. He would then never send the letter, just leave it in drafts.  Then, the other person would log in and read the email in drafts.  That person would write a response, and also just leave it in drafts.  Seems pretty clever, except for how we all know about it, now.

Shouldn’t the guy who holds our countries’ secrets in time of war be better at keeping secrets?   See, I am not concerned that he cheated on his wife.  That isn’t my business.  What is my business is that he wasn’t able to keep it secret.

more reasons to hate CSI Miami

csi_miami_broken_glasses_sc

Ok, look at that image above.  I have  problems with that image, and I am about to lay them on you.

that image is one of the icons they use to advertise CSI Miami.   It’s actually a pretty compelling show, except for the horrible acting work of David Caruso.  I say ‘work’ instead of acting, because taking your sunglasses on and off is not acting.  Also, why are you always wearing them inside?  Another thing that drives me crazy is the CSI Miami is televisions #1 export to the world.  The rest of the world is nuts for that show.  So, when the world thinks of Americans… they have two people to reference:  George Bush and David Caruso.  Great.  No wonder why the world hates us.

That isn’t what this piece is about, though.  It’s about those sunglasses.  I really do not like that icon at all.  It upsets me, and seems extremely disrespectful.  Why because of this image below.

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Know what that image is?  Those are the glasses John Lennon was wearing when he was killed.  Yup, that’s his blood on right.  Pretty fucked up, huh?  Now, why would Yoko share and celebrate this image?  I don’t know, she is nuts.  Anyhow, this is an extremely powerful image to me.  Those sunglasses up there at the top really remind me of these John Lennon glasses.

Am I over reacting?  I guess I am.  Still, I had to point that out.  Thanks for listening.