Too far for me

Ok, I like weird covers, but this is a little too far. This CD has “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by Leslie Gore, “White Wedding” by Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits, “Unforgettable” by Ani DiFranco and Jackie Chan (!) and “Shock the Monkey” by Don Ho. The web site has samples if you’d like your ears to bleed as well.

If you haven’t had enough, try this.

A weekend in the great outside

Not really the great outdoors, since I never left paved areas, but definitely not breathing conditioned air. Ok, maybe Friday night, as we had some leftover pasta with shrimp, sausage and chicken from a dish Jill had made earlier in the week – it was pretty tasty. I watched a little TV, and finished planning the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning I headed down to college for homecoming – I try to attend the tailgate whenever I can. The only bad part was the band was now facing the tailgate area, and that made it hard to carry on conversations. But it was good catching up, and there was a couple of guys I hadn’t seen for a number of years.

I only stayed a couple hours, as I also wanted to go to Blocktoberfest, the sequel to Shamrockfest, also now at RFK. I got there with time to spare before emmet swimming, so I got a beer and hung out. They put on a fun but short show. Todd joked they he wanted a beer girl costume, but they didn’t make one in his size, and that his kids were there somewhere, probably at the beer truck.

I saw a number of bands after that, including Stroke 9, whose “Little Black Backpack” was so prevalent a couple years back. For whatever reason, they provoked a dance off between two groups of guys, quite possibly inebriated. I also enjoyed the guy who tried to catch a football and nearly took out the first aid tent. I stayed for the Gin Blossoms, as I enjoyed their new album, but they were dragging out the jams on the new songs (and there was something wrong with the harmony vox), and I left before the end.

Today I got up early again (maybe tomorrow I’ll sleep in) and headed to the Metro, meeting Dad at the other end of the Blue Line as it was time for our annual Redskins game (at least once a year). He’d brought some sandwiches and beers, so we tailgated (again!) for a bit before heading inside. I’d obtained “obstructed view” seats, which meant we couldn’t see about five yards leading up to the eastern end zone, but it also meant we were covered and got no sun, nice on a hot day. The game was great, and we stayed until close to the end when there was no doubt in the outcome (and got stuck in a little traffic, but nothing too bad). After I got back, I played with Illa, then went outside and finished reading the paper on the deck.

Innovations in music purchasing

If you haven’t heard, Radiohead is selling their new album online for release October 10th. The unusual part is they’re allowing fans to
pay what they want at their store – minimum is $.45 (for credit card charge), max is $205.81. You could also preorder a deluxe CD set for $80, which includes the CD, a second CD with extra material, a heavyweight vinyl version of the album, and a hardcover booklet with lyrics and other material, and that’s what most people have been buying (there’s a regular CD coming, but not ’til next year).

It’s an intriguing gambit – at least no one can use leaks as an excuse to not buy the album, and it would be hard to argue you can’t afford it, so we’ll see how often it shows up on P2P sites. But this seems more a marketing strategy than a long term goal, as some will just try to get it for as little as possible, and that’s not a good strategy for most bands (unless they’ve given up on revenue from recording and only count on touring and ancillary revenue.


Ever since I took the train to Live Earth, I’ve been keeping that in mind as a way to go to a concert in another town. Last night, I did. Van Halen is on my must list for concerts, especially now that they’ve finally made the reunion with David Lee Roth happen (that Wikipedia article details this is the fifth attempt, though only one before actually resulted in anything: two mediocre songs for their single disc best of – although the 3 new Sammy songs on the recent double disc best of aren’t that much better), and they were part of my reunions to see this year (Led Zep wasn’t really expected, and looks like it won’t happen for me). Anyway, they are coming to DC in November, but I’ll be elsewhere, and Philadelphia was the closest stop.

So I got into work really early (can’t remember the last time I walked Illa in the dark in the morning), and left about 2:45, getting into to Union Station about 3:30. Plenty of time to catch a 4PM train, and the two hour ride up was pleasant, although I didn’t quite finish my newspapers. That turned out to be a good thing, as I had planned to read newspapers on the way up and a paperback on the way back, but I neglected to bring a paperback to work. I hopped on the subway, then got off at Ellsworth-Federal and headed east.

I’ve been to Philly several times, but I’ve never tried an authentic cheesesteak. The two places most famous for them are Geno’s and Pat’s, conveniently located next to each other in the Italian Market. I’d found a bookstore up 9th Street that claimed to be open until 7 on Wednesdays, but when I swung by at 6:30, it was closed. So I headed back down 9th for dinner. Since it was my first time, I just stopped at the one that was on the side of the street I was on, which was Geno’s. I ordered one with Cheese Whiz and onions, got a drink (about the only other thing they offer is fries), and checked out the condiments (a word to the wise – their hot sauce has some habanero in it). The steak was cut thicker than I’m used to, and the bun was indeed flakier, well worth the time to get there. Afterwards, I headed back to the subway, then down to the Wachovia Center. I had time to get a drink and get to my seat before Ky-Mani Marley (he’s the third son of Bob I’ve seen). He came out with a cover of his dad’s “I Shot The Sheriff”, closed with “No Woman, No Cry”, and in between did a short set of mostly forgettable pop tunes.

I won’t lie, Sammy Hagar is my favorite Van Halen singer (and one of the very few bands where lightning struck twice – although both Van Halen and Genesis have learned it never strikes a third time). My favorite album is his first, 5150, but my second favorite is Dave’s last, 1984, so a chance to see him sing those songs with the Van Halen brothers backing him up was irresistible. I wish they’d had Michael Anthony remain, but apparently he and Ed have had problems for years, which is why Ed brought his son in to play bass (and he was pretty good).

They opened with “You Really Got Me”, and continued on a tear. Dave’s voice was a bit rough early on, but it softened as the night progressed. With the exception of “316”, played during Ed’s solo, all the songs were from the 1978-1984 period when Dave was singing. And they played all the hits and then some, barely stopping to breathe between songs. Ed, Dave and Al were all in fine form, and Ed in particular hasn’t lost a step on his guitar wizardry. “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Dance The Night Away” were early highlights, but my favorite part were the 1984 songs, especially “Hot For Teacher” and “Panama”. I left during the last song, “Jump”, as I had to be back at the train station by 11:30. I’d given myself an hour to get there, but it only took about 35 minutes, and I was soon on my way home. And I didn’t mind not having a lot of reading material, because after I was done with what I had, I napped most of the rest of the way to DC, and I wasn’t quite as wiped today as I might have been.

New music Tuesday

The much anticipated Bruce Springsteen album is out for streaming. I’m much more interested in the album after reading this song by song review. Also, check out the practice sessions for the tour.

Other possibilities this week: John Fogerty’s new one (continuing reclaiming his classic sound) and Mick Jagger’s best of (meaning the solo stuff, although apparently no live cuts from his first solo tour, when he had Joe Satriani on guitar). There’s a previously unreleased track from 1973 on the Jagger CD that was produced by John Lennon, and “Little” Steven thinks you should pick it up for that reason alone (and that brings this post full circle).

Edit: How would this post be complete with a Muppets tribute to the Boss?


Feel like a long time until Lost returns? No, far too busy with the new and returning shows, but here’s something to get you psyched. First, an new podcast from the producers, and second, a blooper reel (you’ve never seen the cast laugh that much in three seasons).

Anyone else catch the Lost shoutout on Chuck?