Memorable weekend

And a nice weekend it was. Friday we watched the finale of 24, and I started on the last 4 Deadwoods. I tried a new pork recipe that involed dipping it in a flour and cheese batter, frying and baking it, then serving it with a spicy orange sauce. I liked it, though Jill wanted less cheese on hers.

Saturday I ran some errands (cat feeding for away friends, Best Buy (CDs), Home Depot (door seal), Total Wine (beer), ABC (Jameson’s and strawberry liqueur) and Safeway (more food). Finished the season of Deadwood, and caught up on the paper. Jill went out and got a dresser for the guest room for her winter clothes (no more tubs). She spent a couple hours putting it together, and I helped for the last hour. We had surf and turf (steak and shrimp) for dinner – some fine meat from Safeway around $5/pound. I especially enjoyed my Dominion wheat beer with a shot of the strawberry liqueur (an idea from our New York trip).

Sunday was a fine day to go to the beach – Chesapeake Beach that is. After a stop to feed the cats and feel Jill some coffee, we started on what’s usually a nice hour and a half drive through DC and out Suitland parkway to Pennsylvania Avenue. Little did we know that 395 would be jammed with people going to Rolling Thunder, so I took Route 1 to the Beltway and went over the Woodrow Wilson bridge. That’s a big ass replacement rising beside it.

We got to Dad’s around 1:15, and promptly started doing nothing out on his deck overlooking the bay. I read the Sunday paper and Jill did needlepoint while we sunned and Dad watched the Indy 500 (ok, I watched the last 10 laps). Dad tried to get some takeout, but was unsuccessful (they were afraid they’d run out), so we went out to Abner’s Crab Shack. A bit dumpy, but the food was tasty. We got a dozen fresh crabs, and pounded them and ate their guts. Wasn’t quite enough food, so Jill and I split an order of hush puppies and crab balls (who knew they had them?). Dad had already made salad, so we ate that when we got back, then he went to shelf making while we read some more. We had brought strawberries and lo carb brownies for dessert, then read some more before bed.

We got up today and Dad made waffles. We hung out on the deck until we had burned slightly, then we headed back home. Jill continued cleaning upstairs and I read the paper and some comics. We took a pause at 3 to play efo’s version of the Star Spangled Banner – at least a couple minutes to remembering what this day off is for.

I had decided to buy a new computer, since I had a coupon from Best Buy for double Reward Zone points that expired tomorrow. They had an eMachines Athlon system with 17″ monitor and DVD-RW drive for $399 that was $550, so we drove over to Reston and bought it and a new UPS. We had some snacks, then I hopped online to start my great Star Wars auction. Next it’s a steak for Jill and either hamburgers or hot dogs for me.

Herndon Festival next weekend

Herndon Festival turns 25 in 2005, and I think it’s the best one yet. I was on the subcommittee to select the entertainment for the second year in a row (along with my pal Stuart), and the majority of artists are ones I enjoy greatly. Complete schedule is here. I’ve made a sampler I’m handing out, and these are the artists on it:

Thursday night is the one Jill and I may take a pass on. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the music of Beau Soleil, it’s just that I wouldn’t want to miss any of the other days. They’re a legendary Cajun band, and I enjoy the couple songs I’ve heard from them.

Friday night, the Brindley Brothers open up the Center Stage. The Brindleys own Jammin’ Java, but they’ve got their own spin on folk rock. Hope that Luke breaks out the percussion – he’s a dervish on it. Meanwhile, Bio Ritmo will play the Depot Stage. They’re a big salsa band with a lot of dance grooves.

Ari Hest closes out Friday night at the Center Stage. He’s a singer/songwriter from the John Mayer/Dave Matthews school. I think those two are good comparisons, and not just for the music – they’re the only other acts I can think of where it looks like every female in the audience knows all the lyrics to every song.

Saturday at noon, Almost Recess play the Depot Stage. I haven’t seen them, and the song is aonly a short clip, but I’ve heard them mentioned in the same breath as Da Vinci’s Notebook.

Pete Schmidt is up next at the Cafe Stage. He’s got a sound similar to Toad The Wet Sprocket.

Saturday starting at 2, three local bands play the Center Stage as the “Rising Star” showcase. First is our faves, Getaway Car. Formerly the Excentrics, these guys bring their hand at writing perfect little pop-rock songs. If you like the Foo Fighters, don’t miss ’em.

Next is Kenin, whom I think 3 Doors Down would be like if they had more talent. Finally is Cecilia, a group that’s a real family – only one isn’t related. The sisters are up front with some amazing harmonies.

Saturday evening the tribute acts play: U2 and Temptations/Four Tops. No samples from them – if you don’t know them by now, you need to buy their greatest hits.

Sunday, Jim Boggia plays the Cafe Stage at 1. He recently opened a tour for Michael “No Myth” Penn, and it was a good match – both have a Beatles influenced pop sound. Next on the Cafe Stage is Evenout, local rockers taking it down a notch to play an acoustic set.

To close out the festival on the Center Stage at 4 is Eddie From Ohio. Sometimes compared to Jewel fronting Barenaked Ladies, these local (and our) faves are taking a break from their annual Wolf Trap show to play a little closer to our house. So we’ll treat it like a reverse Wolf Trap show – we’ll have a cookout at our place after the show.

If both of these are true,

It’s going to be very hard not to go to London July 2nd.

This article claims
a) Paul McCartney and U2 will do a duet on “Sgt. Pepper’s”, and
b) the original Dark Side/Wall lineup of Pink Floyd will perform. I’m drooling right now.

In related news, here’s one of the best Bono interviews I’ve read.

Episode III

I liked it better than the first two. It didn’t live up to the original trilogy, though. Though I admit my nostalgia for those is pretty strong. I think I’d like to see it again in digital before I write more.

However, there’s a priceless parody here and a nice cut scene here.

Ze weekend so far

Yesterday Jill had a dress rehearsal for tonight’s Reston Chorale performance, so we had a quick dinner of friend shrimp and spinach she fixed before she went off to that. I cleaned up the kitchen, finished the paper, watched last week’s Smallville, went on the elliptical machine and watched Family Guy and part of this week’s Smallville (I’ll finish that today or tomorrow). I got some headway on my Star Wars eBay auction, and even got another live show transferred onto DVD.

Today I had my Neurosoma appointment, then went to see Todd Watts (from emmet) play a charity wiffle ball tournament. Nice day for it, gets me pumped for more outdoor festivals. Jill was asleep on the couch when I got back, so I hopped online. I’ll mkae some dinner now, then I’ll read until it’s time for the concert. I would have gone to Episode III tonight, but I’m going tomorrow morning now.

Other new shows

Brindley Brothers at Old Dominion Beer Fest 6/24 (fest to 26th)

Coldplay at Nissan Pavilion 9/30

John Mayer at MCI Center 10/3

Live 8

It would have been easier to call it Live Aid 2, but they’re referring to it as Live 8 (Live Aid + G8). This show would be more of a protest than a fundraiser, but comparisons to the original will be inevitable. It’s tentatively scheduled for July 2nd in Hyde Park in London, and an undisclosed location in DC (because the G8 meeting happens the next week in London).

No absolute info about artists playing is available, since the show’s still tentative, but the rumors have Elton John, U2, Oasis, Coldplay, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and the Who in London, and Eminem, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna in DC.

If Queen (touring with Paul Rodgers – ex Bad Company and Free) played London, I’d be very tempted to fly there – more so if they don’t announce a possible US tour. Jill’s already off the 1st through the 4th. DC would be a definite no matter who plays if I don’t go to the UK – I remember watching the original Live Aid on TV, and really enjoy the new DVD. And I love the multi-artist shows, they often offer artists I’d like to see but won’t (ticket prices, tour schedules) and the bonus of once in a lifetime lineups (I’m thinking of R.E.M. with Thom Yorke from Radiohead at the Tibetan Freedom Concert, Sarah McLachlan with Liz Phair, Indigo Girls, and Natalie Merchant at Lilith Fair, Dave Matthews Band with Neil Young at Farm Aid, Carole King with David Crosby and James Taylor on The Mall on Earth Day, Dave Matthews with Daniel Lanois and Emmylou Harris at Groundwork, Queens Of The Stone Age with Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan at the 9:30, James Brown with the Pietasters at the HFSmas Nutcracker, Mary Chapin Carpenter with Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams, and Patty Griffin at the Lincoln Theatre, not to mention Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo, R.E.M., Eddie Vedder, John Fogerty, Dixie Chicks, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Babyface, Jurassic Five, and James Taylor at the MCI Center at the Vote For Change tour finale).

HFStival weekend

Friday I rushed home to join Jill in finishing cleanup. I got a call at 6 – Chris and Jess and Chris L. were at Dulles. I went to get them, then we stopped at Safeway on the way back to get a couple extras. We settled in and I put on the DVD that came with the new Episode III soundtrack. It’s pretty nice, uses music and film from all 6 movies. Chris hadn’t seen Volume 2 of Clone Wars, so I put that in while I started grilling. Chris’s brother, Tim, and his wife Debbie soon showed up, but I kept cooking. 4 steaks, 4 chicken breasts, 9 burgers and 6 hot dogs later, I was done. We gorged on food, and it was a fun evening. Jill had been up since 5, though, and barely made it past 11. We went for a little longer, but we wanted to get rest for the next day.

Saturday morning was clear and sunny. I made eggs and toast for breakfast, and we got underway around noon. I was hoping to get there by 1:30, but there was more traffic and we were there at 1:45. They Might Be Giants were scheduled to go on at 1:55 and we were in a long line of cars, so everyone abandoned me for the show. It took about 25 minutes for me to make it to a garage a couple blocks north, then another 10 minutes to walk down (I grabbed a loaded hot dog for support).

When I go there, TMBG had finished because they’d started early – very unexpected (someone in the car had decided DMB stood for Dey Might Be Giants). We went outside to the second stage to catch The Stereophonics. The printed schedule had them scheduled two hours earlier, but I recognized them from when they opened for Howie Day. They were good, and we wandered around the vendors, some of us getting food (Jill had a chicken pita, and I caught a little of Pepper) before heading up to the club level.

I’d used the bathroom when meeting up with my peeps earlier, but this was my first chance to enjoy the surroundings. It was nice. Air conditioning, lots of bars (though no import beers on draft), and I really enjoyed the burger made to order. We were going to get some seats outside to watch Echo and The Bunnymen, but they came out, the singer said some crap about his voice not being up to it, and they Ashlee Simpson’ed offstage. We had good seats to see Garbage, though. Shirley & Co. were in good form – we even got a footwear change midway through the set. The oddest thing I realized about them was that the sample of “Don’t Worry Baby” they played during “Push It” wasn’t from their CD – it was the original Beach Boys recording. I liked it.

We hung out on the stairs to see Sum 41 on the side stage, because there was nowhere left open near the stage. It was distracting because we were right over the Bacardi tent with their girls on a trampoline. It was hard to make out the music for most of us, so we moved on. Jill and I wanted to catch the The Pietasters, so Jill took up a position while I went back to get close enough to see the last 3 songs of Sum 41’s set. Jess and Chris went back inside to see Social Distortion while Chris L. checked out the video game tent.

The Pietasters were great, and Jill danced like a maniac, but it was cut short due to an impending storm. We made it inside with enough time to catch the last few songs from Social Distortion (they played “Ring Of Fire, but no “Ball And Chain”) and the beginning of the rain. It rained lightly but steadily through Good Charlotte‘s set. We were under the eaves, so we were fine, and the moshers didn’t seem to mind.

The best was yet to come. Billy Idol brought a ferocious burst of energy into the crowd, especially when he played hit hits from the 80’s (the row behind us shouted out the alternate lyrics to “Mony Mony”. It was raining harder, though, and lightning had been sighted. Around 9, they evacuated the stadium. It wasn’t too crowded in the club level, so we chatted for a while. After about half an hour, they let us back out, and Coldplay was soon putting on a show. The lights were great, they played wonderfully (the new songs are great), and erased any memory of their show 4 years ago.

The Foo Fighters closed out the night by tearing into 3 songs without a pause. We wanted to avoid the crowds, so we left halfway through the new song they played (ironically entitled “The Last Song). I was happy to miss 3 songs, as we got the car and were on 95 well ahead of anyone else. The only weird thing about the HFStival was that it was 105.7 rather than 99.1. Otherwise, it was another great year, and I really enjoyed myself.

Yesterday I made waffles (they were supposed to be half whole wheat and half regular flour, but I was out of regular), then took the crew to the airport. We straigtened up the place because we thought we might have an interview about adoption, but it was postponed.

Instead, we spent the day reading and watching TV. We had missed the previous two Sunday’s TV, so that meant 3 hours of Simpsons and 3 hours of Desperate Housewives. Fun, fun, and leftovers made good fajitas for dinner.