Books I’ve read, week thirty-four

57. Doctor Who: Damaged Goods
Writer: Russell T. Davies
Now that he’s not running and writing the TV series anymore, I finally picked up the first Doctor Who thing he did (and one of only two books he’s written). It took a while to figure out what was going on (particularly which Doctor and who his companions were), but Davies shows (as usual) an adept hand at making the supporting cast come alive, even if the story itself is pretty horrifying (Now that I’ve read this, I may track down some of Paul Cornell’s Doctor Who books as well). B-

The return of the keytar to Wolf Trap

And is there a better symbol of the 80s? Although it didn’t make its appearance until the final group, the Regeneration Tour was definitely underscored by keyboards, starting with Naked Eyes. They started their best known song, a cover of “Always Something There To Remind Me”, with two keyboard players and a drummer. They switched around on subsequent songs, some not even using keyboards, but it was an important part of the show. It was a decent performance, but I was waiting to see my other fave, “Promises, Promises”, which they did a great version of, got everyone up and dancing.

Naked Eyes at Wolf Trap

I’m a child of the 80s, started really listening to music in 1981 (I really remember the Heavy Metal soundtrack getting a lot of rotation on Q107’s top 5 at 10). I’ll still stand by my first cassette purchase, as well as some of my ones from RCA (later BMG) Music Club. But the very first thing I owned (probably a gift) is one I still have: K-tel‘s Blast Off, an album I played so much those songs are permanently ingrained in my head (although I expect to hear skips on the first two songs).

Blast Off

One of the songs on there was A Flock Of Seagulls’ “I Ran (So Far Away)”, so I was pretty psyched to hear it. I’d read some reviews saying they were the weakest link of the show, but I thought they were pretty good (even if the singer skipped his hairdresser past to dress straight out of the Axl Rose Sr. catalog). “Space Age Love Song” was also pretty good.

A Flock Of Seagulls at Wolf Trap

After they finished, we had spotted our friends Hannah and Dave and went to chat with them, and got trapped when ABC started, so just grabbed some empty seats next to them for the set. They had a polished band, and sounded just like the records. They played a couple new songs that weren’t bad, but I really enjoyed the end with the triple threat of “Be Near Me”, “When Smokey Sings” and “The Look Of Love”.

ABC at Wolf Trap

We returned to our seats for the act both Jill and I wanted to see: Belinda Carlisle. Playing both her own and The Go-Go’s hits, it was the only set we knew all the songs, and Jill danced so hard she wore herself out. I’d seen The Go-Go’s twice before (and the only act of the night I’d seen any members of before) and like them, but it was a thrill to finally see her do solo songs, especially “Leave A Light On” and “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”. Great show and I might add she’s looking fantastic (though you wouldn’t know it from this photo, try this one from a couple days ago).

Belinda Carlisle at Wolf Trap

We had passes to the Encore Circle for the night and we went back there to get some drinks and take a break. We struck up a conversation with another couple and weren’t really paying attention when The Human League went on, but I didn’t mind as I knew they weren’t playing their hits until the end. When it came time, we went back and stood at the top of the lawn to watch them do “Human”, “Fascination” and the big one “Don’t You Want Me”. We skipped the encore of “Together In Electric Dreams” as Jill was wiped and had to get up early today, but it was a great evening and a worthy farewell to another summer season at Wolf Trap.

A really satisfying concert and a great musical

Friday started at Wolf Trap as I went over with friends and met Jill and my sister there. We had a big picnic on the lawn (I made some quick chicken wraps beforehand), then went down to our seats for Great Big Sea. It’d been a couple years since we last saw them, and they had a new album out. The new songs were good, but I’d only been listening to it for a week and it wasn’t that familiar, but the old songs were great, especially “The Night Pat Murphy Died” and “General Taylor”. I was a little disappointed that the slightly shorter set due to co-headlining meant dropping their covers of “Gallows Pole” and “Good Girls Don’t” but maybe we’ll catch them when they return in the fall.

Great Big Sea at Wolf Trap

After a short break, Eddie From Ohio was up, and in great form and spirits. They were once again joined by Jake Armerding on fiddle (like Falcon Ridge) and they used him to good effect. They played most of what they played at Falcon Ridge, with some nice additions including “1000 Sarahs” and “The Candidate”. Encoring with a cover of “If I Had A Boat” was a nice treat as well. Between a nice dinner, hanging out with friends and a long show with good performances it was my favorite night at Wolf Trap this summer (one more show to go Tuesday, though).

Eddie From Ohio at Wolf Trap

Our friends Meg and Z stayed over, so Saturday morning I made French toast for everyone. They took off and we got busy, I read newspapers and made another DVD, Jill ran some errands. We had steak and salad for dinner, then Jill tried to make ice cream, but the maker needed to be frozen first. Sunday I ran on the trail with Illa while Jill ran out to get bagel sandwiches since she’d used up the eggs. After a quick breakfast we went over to my mom’s house to help with her dog’s nail trimming before heading over to Alexandria. We were early, and since we were right next to the Potomac, sat in the shade of a tree for a while.

Potomac River

I’d read a review of Rooms, a two person musical, that sounded like it’d be right up my alley. When I found half price tickets I grabbed ’em, and we chose a matinée. The show was really good and the performers were excellent. Too bad they didn’t have a cast CD or I would’ve bought one – my favorite song was “I Love You For All Time”. We took a winding drive home and had a snack before I started some more auctions (wouldn’t normally start that late but next Monday’s Labor Day). Jill made burritos for dinner and finally got her ice cream, she was pretty happy about that.

Jill at Potomac River


LeRoi Moore, saxophonist/flutist for the Dave Matthews Band, passed away Tuesday from complications from an ATV accident. Weirdly enough, we were at his last show. They’ve been touring since his accident with Jeff Coffin, who’s part of the Flecktones, but who knows what will happen now. The show last night was apparently pretty emotional. He’ll be missed, as he was a big part of the band. Here’s a classic moment, one my favorite songs to feature him:

Movies I’ve watched, week thirty-three

53. The Cell
I picked this up used at Newbury Comics several years back, but never got around to watching it. I mainly wanted to see it because the director did R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” video and it was supposed to be visually inventive. I was reminded of it by the reviews of his new movie and gave it a spin. I was concerned about Jennifer Lopez being one of the stars, but she’s not given much too work with, mostly eye candy like the movie is. Vincent D’Onofrio and Vince Vaughn are good, but the serial killer storyline is too contrived. It is indeed amazing visually, reminiscent of some of Guillermo del Toro‘s work. B-