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Archive for June, 2008

Dave Matthews Band at Nissan Pavilion

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I mentioned what I didn’t like about the night yesterday, so now I come to praise DMB. First, I consider it highly unusual that they can begin and end the set with songs I’m quite ready for them to retire (“Don’t Drink the Water” and “Too Much”), but it’s still one of my favorite shows from them. The second song was a nice relaxed take on “Old Dirt Hill” (from their most recent album). I have to add the concert was enhanced by two important things – great seats (near the stage – side Leroi) that we were able to sit down in for some of the show and the addition of guitarist Tim Reynolds helped immensely. Tim’s known for touring with Dave as an acoustic duo, but he’s a great electric guitarist in his own right (his songs don’t do much for me, though) and I’d been really looking forwards to the show since I found out he’d be touring with them this summer (I’ve seen him with Dave four times, but never with the band).

“So Damn Lucky” (from Dave’s solo album) was next, and I would have sworn it was a new song from the band if I didn’t know it in its original form, a nice rocker. “The Dreaming Tree” I hadn’t seen since 1999, so that was a nice return. New song “The Idea Of You” is quickly becoming one of my favorites; “Corn Bread” was also good, though it doesn’t match the chorus of the other song. We were listening to “Corn Bread” from Dave and Tim’s last album in the car on the way there, and when Dave sang “But you ain’t ever had my corn bread, there’s a little bit of heaven and a little bit of uh-huh” Jill asked in a voice dripping with sarcasm if he was talking about something else. “No”, I said, “he’s a master baker”.

But I digress. A good take on “You Might Die Trying”, then only Dave, Carter (drummer) and Tim remained on stage to bring us a treat: the first “The Space Between” since 2004, and one of my favorite songs from Everyday. Even better was the surprise they had next – they’d been sprinkling some classic covers in this summer, including Pink Floyd’s “Money” (I was hoping for that), but we got their first ever take on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”. Just amazing – see for yourself:

Another new song, “Eh Hee” (of the extremely weird video) was pretty good live, though “Louisiana Bayou” seemed to drag in places. With touring keyboard player Butch Taylor gone, Dave had a piano out for a soft beginning to “Out Of My Hands”, but that was the end of any sitting. I do like the title track from Everyday, but it’s based on “#36”, an older song (there are several numbered songs from DMB which are songs that just never got titles – “The Song That Jane Likes” was almost one) and I love it when the crowd sings the chorus to “#36” loud enough to tempt the band into segueing into it. I was pretty psyched when that happened, but then the band went for my favorite segue ever – “#36” into “Ants Marching”, and just a kick-ass version of “Ants”, too. Here’s my pic of them during it:

Ants Marching

I thought that might be the end of the set (I’ve seen it end that way before), but they had a little bit of time left. Not as much as planned as they had to tease “Jimi Thing”, but then they did the big segue from Crash, “So Much To Say” into the brief jam “Anyone Seen the Bridge?” into “Too Much”, at which point we left to try (and fail) to avoid the great parking lot exodus.

If we’d stayed for the encore, we would have seen new song “Sister” and a cover of “Thank You” (Sly and the Family Stone, not Led Zep), which I was ok on, but I kinda wished we’d seen “Rapunzel”, I’ve got a soft spot for that one. All in all a great show, no regrets about anything that happened later.

Concert traffic

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Friday night we were both pretty tired, and after a quick dinner of formerly frozen chicken, we went to bed. Which helps explain why I was awake a little after 6AM Saturday morning, as after I answered the call of nature I just couldn’t get back to sleep. Illa and I had a nice walk in the woods as it was pleasant, just a little humid. I got a lot of stuff done, although three tries in I still haven’t authored a DVD the way I want – maybe I’ll try again next weekend.

In the evening we headed over to Nissan Pavilion to see the Dave Matthews Band with a stop at Baja Fresh on the way over. The traffic on the way in wasn’t as bad it was last year, which should have warned us of something (and it should get better as they’re widening Wellington Road). The show was great (in my top 5, out of 30) and will get its own post, but the sucky part was getting out, because we didn’t. We were in the farthest parking lot from the street, and even leaving before the encore began didn’t help, as we were stuck in place for 90 minutes (and what’s up with fans of an environmentally friendly band running their engines for so long?). We made the best of it, sitting on boulders and reading while we waited, although the carbon monoxide made the last couple minutes tough.

Today I didn’t get up quite as early because we got home so late, but I was still productive (not counting the DVD authoring), caught up on newspapers, started an auction and started prep for another, went on the elliptical machine and grilled burgers for dinner.

Looks like an interesting read

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Tim Minear, writer/producer on X Files, Wonderfalls and a number of Joss Whedon shows (Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse), wrote a script for a movie of Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”. Downloading to my phone in 3-2-1…

Movies I’ve watched, week twenty-five

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

42. Hot Fuzz
The team that brought you the first zomromcom take on the cop buddy picture. Not LOL funny for the most part, but a wry commentary on earlier films, with a nice action ending and use of Timothy Dalton. B+

43. Shrek The Third
The first was great, the second was ok, the third – meh. C+

44. Recount
I’m a politics junkie, and this behind the scenes story of the 2000 Florida recount was addicting. It’s been long enough you can watch the story without emotion, and the performances (especially Kevin Spacey and Laura Dern) are fantastic. Bummer of an ending, though. B+

Books I’ve read, week twenty-five

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

46. V: The Pursuit of Diana
Writer: Allen L. Wold
47. V: The Chicago Conversion
Writer: George W. Proctor
48. V: The Florida Project
Writer: Tim Sullivan
Another week of traveling, another round of V books. Pursuit of Diana follows on from the end of the second miniseries, but seems like a bridge between that and the series. Chicago Conversion and Florida Project take place with mostly new casts, but Florida Project is stronger because it uses guest stars from L.A. and doesn’t have to spend time introducing them. Pursuit of Diana B Chicago Conversion C+ Florida Project B-

New JK Rowling and Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

British bookshop Waterstone’s had a competition to collect stories written on postcards, and also commissioned some from well known authors that were auctioned off for charity. You can read them here, and order the book here. And if you discover (as I did) that JK Rowling has handwriting nearly as atrocious as your own, someone’s helpfully transcribed the whole thing.

Family weekend

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Another weekend traveling to Massachusetts, except this time to the western end of the state. Due to some miscommunication (I wanted to leave at 5:15, Jill thought I said get up by then) we got a very late start Saturday, and I drove very very fast up to BWI (flights are definitely getting more expensive, still broke $200 each). We boarded the plane only minutes before they closed the doors, but still got ok seats, and the flight was uneventful. We usually get a ride from the airport from one of Jill’s family, but it was an extra crazy weekend and we rented a car – this one, not bad.

We got to Jill’s mom’s house around 10, and played with Jill’s sister’s kids for a while until they had to go out, and I promptly took a nap. I got changed and we headed over to the church. It was the christening of Jill’s youngest niece, Eva, and I’d been asked to be godfather (now you can ask of me a favor). The ceremony was fairly short and painless, then we headed over to a party at Jill’s sister’s father’s house. We sat in shade and chatted most of the afternoon, then went back to home base. We watched some of the Red Sox game, played with the kids, and Jill’s mom made BLTs for dinner – no one was very hungry after we had consumed mass quantites of pizza at the party. Everyone got tired early, and we were all in bed by 11.

I woke up early Sunday because of the early bedtime and hung out with Jill’s grandmother for a while. We went downstairs and Jill’s mom made us some breakfast, then we waited for the rest of the family to arrive to take pictures. Jill’s mom thought we were just going out for brunch, but Jill and her sisters had actually arranged a surprise birthday party at the restaurant with friends and family, and she had no idea it was coming. It was fun, even going outside (under cover) during the thunderstorms. The food was great (I’ll never turn down two breakfasts), but all too soon we were all going separate ways. We headed directly to the airport – we were lucky the day before and didn’t want to press our luck. Of course that meant the flight was delayed, but only by twenty minutes. The Beltway was running slow because of rain, and we got home a little after 9. Two fun weekends in a row, but I’m looking forward to nothing more than a concert this weekend.

No pictures – I packed my camera, but forgot to bring it out. If only someone reading this blog took some pictures…

What if D&D illustrated

Friday, June 20th, 2008

the concept of Alignment with comic book characters?

The answer’s in the equation

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Google search has some hidden features, including a calculator. What I didn’t know until now is that certain calculations that would seem obvious are also included (and if you don’t get it, go here).

Movies I’ve watched, week twenty-four

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

40. V – The Final Battle
Finally got to this, good timing to start re-reading the books. Not as great as the original (the star child stuff is pretty weak), but still some awesome moments, especially the introduction of Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside). B

41. The Constant Gardener
Don’t watch this if you’re looking for a feel good movie. I know the situation in parts of Africa is dire, but the effect on me of movies like this is to not want to watch any more of them. Still, great acting and nice use of flashbacks. B