Into the woods

8 08 2009

Short and sweet…

I posting from the woods.

America is an amazing place.

I’m in the woods, on a netbook with an aircard, downloading last nights allegedly mind boggling Gorge (Phish) Show.

An annoyed angel is sitting yards from me with a very sharp knife carving away at a stick.

Princess Angel is in her 8 room subdivided and subjugated plyester nylon and goretex fiefdom doing lord knows what.  We could probably tell you if she were within our zip code.  The entrance of her fiefdom sits 10 meters away.

That is all…

Now its a tough choice : Thursday – Steelers Preseason or Phish @ Darien??? Hmmm….


When it Rains it Pours

2 08 2009
I want to know have you ever heard the rain

I want to know have you ever heard the rain

And it did : but first a word from our editorial staff.

Good luck today to the men and women of Pittsburgh Rugby.  I’d like to say I wish I was there with you, but, well, I’d be lying.  You will have a great time and hopefully be victorious.  I will be having the time of my life seeing something so amazing it rivals the Ark of the Covenant being opened in Raiders of the Lost Ark (minus the face melting, save for the guy a few rows behind us who I think had some help).  So good luck and goodspeed and in the meantime I have maintained a fairly healthy diet out here.  [ed note: [inside an apparent ed. note] Actually looking back on the last two/three days…I’ve been a vegetarian again.  Wow…accidentally even. ]

Poster was attained yesterday, miraculously, and now I can leisurely make my way to the shows.  Speaking of posters, today is A Mock Show (, which is, well, an art show of posters with a film screening.  Of course, it focuses on Polluck.  On that note, may I point out, Mom & Dad, [ed. note: god help me if they ever read this someday…cause I have a feeling some later stuff to come may not be entirely FF (Family Friendly)] that while you chide me for having a more posters than a 12 yr old Brittney Spears fan, and point out that at the ever increasing prices (30-50) they are not only a waste of space but money, that alas there is proof! #mce_temp_url#

Is it the most solid investment? Do I have a few Enrons? Well, time will tell all I’m saying is someday if you have to live in a nursing home one of the puppies might be paying your bills.  Cause you mean that much to me, I’d sell a Pollock, really I would.  By then I should also be finished remodeling the house so I could probably sell that too.

Also apparently to some of the ladies out there, size does matter.  Some seem to think my paragraphs are a little long so I will try to shorten them.  It was in paragraphs, really it was. However today I will try and make them a more manageable size.  Quizno’s torpedo rather than Center City Mufflelata.

And Cue:

So last night…

First, this place is just unspeakably amazing, last night the sky was clear for about 70% of the show and you could actually see Denver in the background, a sight that only gets better as the night goes on.   I showed up at the crack of 3 since they decide to do the posters in a way that is, albeit fair in that, taxing and trying.  Show up 5 hours before the show, wait in a queue, and one per person.  I need to get back into printmaking.  I have all the screenprinting stuff at my house, and I have done the woodblock stuff before.  500 @ 50 a pop thats $2500 in less than 30 minutes [ed. note: yes, I know, I know, and I’m not going there] [ed. note: yes, I also know that not all 500 were released cause a small few are held back for promoter/band/etc.][ed. note: Cannonball Mgmt Da’Lyrical Block print coming to your area 2010] .  The good news is that this crowd is pretty much what you’d expect.  500 people salivating for a piece of paper that only 500 people will ever have and that none of them have ever seen.  The risk is that sometimes they suck.  Star Lake ’09 I’m lookng at you. A lot of times they are amazing.  This one is amazing and well worth the $50.   These 500 people in line are really about 400 people and 100 of their girlfriends (of boyfriends occaisionally) who they are using to get a second one to trade/sell.  So 400 of these people can discuss, dissertate, free associate and extemporaneize (I CREATED A NEW WORD!) on the poster market, artists, values, history…they are basically the same kids that used to write Nintendo Zine’s back in the days of the NES for their neighborhood and now have a lot more expednable income and the same thirst for knowledge and acceptance. This line is where you find that.  Met a few people, including my new buddy Kirk, who lives in Denver, soon Colorado Springs, is a lawyer, and is apprently single. Ladies grab him while you can!

Poster accomplished Kirk and I party in the lot, for which I had purchased a Growler earlier in the afternoon at Wynkoop brewing.  Oldest brewery in Denver, it is apparently owned by the current mayor, and apparently the mayor knows his stuff because its good.  I tried over half of their 15 selections, including a great Milk Stoudt, the B3k (a good Schwarzbier), the amazing Anniversary (a oak aged barleywine) (my favorite but they only made one keg, so no growlers) and the Chili Beer.  I can’t remember the full name but I can remember it was delicious.  So delicious in fact that I bought a growler of it. Great beer flavor with a definite yet more subtle than youd expect taste of chile peppers and maybe a touch of the heat, but just a slight whiff.  Kirk and I pontificate for a hours on past shows, setlists, probability matrixes…the kind of stuff two gentlemen our age with decent jobs and a necessity not to be totally blithering fools do at these sort of things.

Being a local I follow him in as he’s passed the test with his encyclopdic knowledge and he leads me to his spot, which is of course a great one.  Having no necessity to head in too early due to already having the poster we only wait a little bit (meaning less than an hour) for the show to start. Anticipation is overwhelming the crowd after last nights event and the shadow is looming large.

Stealing Time

Stealing Time

I: Runaway Jim, Chalkdust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Time Turns Elastic, Lawn Boy, Water in the Sky, Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Split Open and Melt
II: Drowned > Crosseyed and Painless > Joy, Tweezer > Backwards Down the Number Line > Fluffhead > Piper > A Day in the Life
E: Suzy Greenberg > Tweezer Reprise

First set opens srong with the crowd loving the Runaway Jim.  I believe I called Antelope instead but it was one or the other and I bet on the wrong horse.  Speaking of which I had also called a Chalkdust opener.  Just to spite me they played it second.  I get a point for that but not the full points.  My phantasy tour points just dropped.  You didn’t know they had fantasy leagues for tours? Where have you been.  You’ve disavowed all knowledge of me? Really? Will flowers help? Chocolates? I know a great place in Boston… [ed. note: while they do have leagues, he is not currently enrolled in one, more because of the lack of remembering the entry date but, small miracles].  The Jim is solid and then comes my Chalkdust.  I think at this point in his life, after giving up cocaine, and oxy, and any other number of substances, Trey has taken this as his new drug.  He loves this song like Jon Stewart loves a Bill O’Reilly sex scandal.  Probably because he takes it out, rocks it, rips it a new hole, beats it like Tina Turner circa the late 70s [ed. note: Ike love’s ya baby.  Ike didn’t mean to hurt you.  Here… Here… Have some flowers baby], lights it on fire, then shoves it back in a box where it will stay until the soonest possible date he can open it up again.

After that spankfest you need to cool down a bit, so why don’t you sit back, relax, dance you ass off, sing along and have a little Gin.  The usual treatment, 2009 is apparently the new Year of the Gin (we couldn’t recall which year that was but this one is definitely going for the title).  Great sing/hum/whistle-a-long and the lights are just indescribeable at this point.  I don’t know how he’s doing it but to stress the improvement to an already top in the touring world light show is impossible.  It’s like going from a 98 Mustang to a ’09 Jetta Bluetech Turbo Diesel. Bigger, better, flashier, and more bada$$.  There are literally colors you’ve never seen before and the cameras are totally incapable now of keeping up with the shades. The pictures you take are about 1/2 the greatness of the colors you actually see.

Now its time to slow it down a bit.  Time Turns Elastic is a great song, and I’ll stick by my guns. The opening is a lot more mellow, its not a burner right out of the box.  It is a breaker not a pacer. Suck it up cupcake.  Put up with the slower start for the rage that the ending becomes.  You are probably the same person that hates Mexican Cousin. Mexican Cousin’ is just 46 days with tequila and you know you like 46 days on your cheerios every morning.

Then the proof that I still am an idiot: Lawnboy, sung by Page, not Mike.  I had a mental lapse, I apologize but his version was good.  Might even be my first ever lawnboy! Page strolling front and center for the festivities. Then a Water in the Sky as a nod to the drizzle that was coming down, but nothing major yet.  The Stealing Time that followed was when the skies started to open, as evidenced by the men running frantically around stage putting on the light and amp stack condoms.  A solid version of a new mainstay, then a really wide open version of Split Open and Melt, with an elongated, roaming jam to finish off the first set.  It seemed like they MAY have stopped a little early due to the rain.  The ending was amazingly solid, just seemed like the set end was a little abrupt.

Then came the rain delay.  By setbreak the rain was coming down, and it continued…I don’t know how long it lasted 45 minutes or more, but by the time the setbreak ended it was well overdue and we were all drenched, which is really just a great reason to by the t-shirt you wanted to buy but needed a reason. Hello heather grey.

Kirk and I both thought Drowned had to come out, but we weren’t prepared for what was about to happen.  Coming out with barrels blazing, the keys struck up the intro and the ride was off. [ed note: It is now sunday morning and I’m eating brunch with nick and friend and ] [ed. note: also got to shower for the first time in two days] [ed. note: yep, you read that right] [ed. note: The rest will be much shorter, for there is no 3 hr starbucks stop this AM] The drowned was an even more mind expanding version than expected, great jamming coming out of it and expansive and the Crosseyed and Painless to follow was the same.  A lot of great tension and release, a lot of reverb and chattter and echo.   A great time was being had by all, two rampaging songs in, both covers and it was already turning into a best of show.  Then they whipped out joy, and true to request were happy, cause this was our song too. [ed. note: A lot of fan nodding going on…we want you to be happy cause this is your song too …  wilco will love you baby…][coffe talk note: Wilco (the Song) vs Joy.  Talk amongst yourselves.  Discuss.]

Then its time to pass the peas and bring the ammunition.  Tweezer drops off the edge [ed. note: This is Red Rocks.  This is the Edge.] and wails.  Great version into a new solid slowly growing fan fav, backwards down the number line. All my friends didn’t go backwards down the number line but instead at this point shed their ponchos and were dancing in the aisles admiring the now completely clear view of Denver again. Oh, and the specific worldwide fruits and herbs being projected on the walls by ck5.  Then it was time for a man with a terrible disease.  The kids eat this one up like nerds in a blizzard.  Loving it and an amazingly well done version.  Then it was an Uncle Crappy special, after we had awoken fromt he sound of the storm.  How does this stuff happen? Who knows, its Red Rocks, its like Alice in Wonderland on steroids for music.  Amazing stuff just happens and keeps on happening and keeps on happening.  As evidenced by A Day in the Life.  Solid.  So lets get this straight.  We had The Who, Talking Heads, and the Beatles ALL IN ONE SET!  So if your keeping score thats 3 covers and 4 new songs in ONE SHOW!  And four of arguably the top 10 covers.  And no encore even yet!

Little Suzy came raging out for that, head caved in and all.  Speaking of the undertow the energy was still there pulling everyone in, straight through the inevitable Tweezer Reprise.  Great solid ending.

Soon afterwards talk began.  People were throwing around superlatives.  Best post hiatus? Sure, easy argument, few runners up, best since 1.0???  Wow. Not sure on my take yet…I’ll reason it out.  I will probably release a best of disc set soon (once I have time to get my current release I’m working on out…which I will also share).  Definitely great show.  Amazing. Superlative filled.  I’ll let you know after sunday.



The Boys of Summer are Back

31 07 2009
The Boys are Back in Town

The Boys are Back in Town

Well, it finally happened, my lifelong goal of seeing not only a show but the artist I had always hoped for in the best venue in the United States of America, god bless her bountiful soul, has been accomplished and will continue the next four nights.  These updates may be informative, will probably be mildly amusing, and, if you don’t have the impeccable taste for music (and disdain for sour cream) that I and others share, may want to make you want to swab out your ears with a hot poker (or go out and buy a Jonas Bros. album, same difference).

First of, this place is even more mindblowing than expected.  It truly is gods venue.  These majestic outcroppings of rock, giant monoliths rising from the earth, strata exposed majestically.  Oh yeah, obviously they do exhibit a sandy reddish orange color. Go figure. Long story short, if you think you get it you don’t.  The closest I can do to come close to explaining it is imagine going to a concert in the colloseum or parthenon, if it only sat 9500.  For the yinzers take Star Lake (yes, I’ll refer to it as its god given name and not its government name).  Now throw away the lawn (the pav sits 7500 under the roof) plus a few more in the back).  Now make it narrower, much narrower, and MAYBE slightly longer, but its on a decent natural slant.  The thing that gets you is just how small it really is.  9500, thats it.  Even Hampton holds 12,500.  Now take the stage, and put it right on the floor at the bottom. Not raised at all, it starts at the floor/stage, and goes up.  193 steps. Thats it.  193.  From the stage to the last seat at the top (and there isn’t a bad one in the house).  Oh and the seating Isles? At least 2.5 – 3 feet for each one, carved out with a wooden bench seat on the front.  You have more than enough room to dance.  Heck, you can stack up 2 deep and still dance, and they do! The stage sits right in front of a rock face the lighting designers, if they are so inclined, and lets face it, Karuda is like a fat kid at an all you can eat Gullifty’s dessert buffet. [ed. note: I say this as a fat kid. Who thinks that is a great idea and if they want I’ll let them take that idea for free!]  The venue is framed on the left by one of the monoliths and on the right by another rock wall/face. At the rear another monolith encroaches from the right side, creating a nice chasm to view the night sky through.  Speaking of the night sky did I mention you can see denver when you look past the stage? I didn’t? Well I did now.

Ok, enough about the venue on to the show.

I fear I never told you...

I fear I never told you...

1: Divided Sky, Ocelot, Wedge, Poor Heart,
Moma Dance, Horn, Stash, The Horse > Silent in the
Morning, Possum
2: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug
Groove, Ghost, Wolfman’s Brother, Limb By Limb, Billy
Breathes, Squirming Coil, David Bowie
E: Loving Cup

I had picked Mike’s (as well as a few others UNOlker, brentsmith) for the opener and I picked wrong but wasn’t dissappointed.  I really fell in love with this during Trey @ Webster Hall (2005? solo tour, after 17 steps, with his mom in attendance for her bday and string section) replete with explanatory monologue.  Up until then I didn’t quite get it.  Afterwards I can’t get enough.  Well ALMOST can’t get enough.  I now hear it at seemingly 75% of the shows I see, but still a great opener…crowd going nuts, [FYI Jack Johnson just came on the in store radio – the sharing song… he’s one of those guilty pleasures you almost have to have if you like music, why can’t he and MMW get together and make one mind blowing kids album rather than two good ones] [ed. note: see peppita plethora post – bingo] sound cut out for treys guitar for about 5 seconds about a minute in, you would’ve thought willie nelson showed up on stage, they were eating it up.  The usual, maybe slightly extended “silent pause for the cause”, with extended cheering, and a solid, nice take on a great song.  I figured that would be a mid/late 1st setter a middle night.  From there it just kept getting better.  Nice lilting groove ocelot, which is constantly fighting with Kill Devil Falls for fave new tune.  Good version, crowd already rocking and grooving.   Did I mention that at this point more than one of the security guards were now dancing in the aisles they were monitoring.  No lie.  Obviously a couple of deep cover heads.  Wedge, and I even called it right, a solid rip through and my first one this year I do believe.  At this point the break out Poor Heart, which usually elicits a ho hum response, admittedly from myself as well as a lot of the crowd.  You know its a good show when you are grooving to the bluegrass.  Thankfully it goes by in the blink of an eye, though still probably clocking in as 2:34 seconds longer than any song on the lates Black Eyed Peas album. [ed. note: can’t pick on FOB two days in a row] It really was well done though. The Poor Heart. Then they open the lid and let it out.  We get a nice deep grooving Moma Dance that just flows and oozes.  At this point its probably ~60 degrees and everyone is still sweating.  This is over the top, they are stacking a lot of solid set pieces, a lot of favorites and second set treats into what essentially is a “Tour Opener”, let alone a TO 1st set.  Horn. Horse-Silent.  You either know it or you don’t and they do.  Then it really breaks loose.  Stash was great.  I literally have never seen light do that before.  I mean it was on the verge of descending into basically visual static then moments of clairty.  It’s almost impossible to describe something you 12 hours later are still trying to not only figure out how but comprehend.  Then the set closer, and according to some nearby “2009 defacto bomb factory by far!” Possum.  Not gonna lie, used to not dig this one so much…maybe once in the whole 2.0 incarnation did it do it for me.  1.0? Maybe a few times.  3.0 This thing rocks.  He’s right!  Bombs just falling from the sky from the get go.  Mike on vocals and trey just shredding and sliding all over the place.  Tearing it up and just building it bigger and bigger and ripping it to shreds.

As for that the visual thats been hitting me in 3.o is the clarity and lines of the solo.  It reminds me a lot of when your watching a championship skier and their hitting the perfect run.  Not just a good run.  Not just competent and able.  2.0 was filled with Bode Miller style failures and debacles as well as lot less Bode Miller style successes. 3.0 is a lot of Olypmic gold medal runs, coming out of the gate, hitting the lines perfectly, smooth corners, swift cuts.  Forwards, backwards, upside down and in transition never erring from the line.  This was another one.  Its like in golf, swing as hard as you want and try and force it where you want it to go all you might, the best shots and perfect shots always feel like nothing, the thing thats amazing is the lack of a feel of force and collision when you hit it right.  Its like they really are just totally relaxed, not forcing it and the lines are incredibles.   Solos dropping out of nowhere, into the bowl, down the runs, back up again and out, perfectly intertwined.

Best 1st set of my summer so far (I’m 98.7% sure of this. And thats despite some less than desirable stuff getting in my way yesterday, but still 98.7%)(Only one other set comes close this summer for me, but I’ll continue my eval.) Then a LONG setbreak.  Much longer than usual it seemed.  At this point it was also in the 50s.

Second set begins with Mike being introduced as he emerges from his hiding spot behind his amp stack (speaking of which I need to get back to building my 4X10 so I can put the bandmaster to good use) (speaking of which @Shadow remind me to talk to you about those bricks) getting ready, apparently needing a tweak, going slightly offstage then getting announced again.  This time for real.  As anyone who is educated in such things, charming, witty, hilarious and downright handsome [ed. note: you’re welcome UncleCrappy, that one’s on the house] knows that means one of two things : Lawnboy or Mike’s -> ??? -> Weekapaug [of course the obvious is it going to be an unfished Mikes->??? with the ???->Weekapaug to come in a later show of the 4 night run? Especially if an encore?]  The odds were probably about even.  Mike’s is a solid 2nd set setpiece, high energy ramping it right back up but with all the greatest hits already played in the first set wouldn’t they save that for another night?  Plus Mike usually does get an announcement for his lounge act…  Mike’s Song!  Good version really solid. and about halfway through I called the Hydrogen.  Just felt an old school Mike’s->Weekapaug [ed. note: cheat sheet – old school : Mike’s->I am Hydrogen -> Weekapaug  new school : M->Simple->W   future school M->?->Wolfmans Brother->W]   This is by far my favorite setpiece that exists for them.  You don’t beat a good  “Mikes Groove”.  I even have had a debate for years which was better Help->Slip->Franklin’s or Mike’s->?->Weekapaug and to tell you the truth I haven’t figured it out yet.  Both are a great way to spend 40 minutes.  Hydrogen was well done.  Lilting easy flowing groove, subtle, followed by a walloping Weekapaug.  At this point they were definitely making a run for best show of the summer. Then out comes the Ghost! I have loved this song for awhile.  As soon as it opened i was hoping for an epic 97/98ish funky Ghost->Wolfman’s, and although this was probably more a 2000ish one it was great.   Great groove, a lot of craziness in the lighting, searching, climbing, diving, into and out of negative space. Then the wolfman’s happened and I about lost it.  I may actually be getting good at this after almost 40 shows.  Limb by Limb to follow, maybe a little more soft than I like but you have a hard time picking a bad number of that album, so many good ones, and it didn’t dissappoint.   Its just when you are surrounded by Santa Claus and the Birthday Fairy the Easter Bunny can’t be the top dog it often is come April. Billy Breathes was textbook, possibly a little flaw here or there, but so beautifully constructed you have to kind of let it slide, not to mention a rarity.  I think I’ve seen it before but I’m not even sure.  Definitely the one that will stick in my mind from now on.  Squirming Coil was great as well, another textbook take and then it happens.  Bowie.  And I called Bowie this time.  “Always Bowie, Never Maze” (thanks UNOlker) is apparently the 3.0 motto much to my dismay.  Not gonna lie, if there is one song I still don’t get, its probably this one.  Not that its not better than anything on the latest Toby Keith [ed note: Yeah I saw those tweets you too… once i got power back on they blew up my phone for more than 5 minutes coming in.  Loved every minute of it, but…lets put it this way Little C is doing you a huge favor!] but still.  I used to get a mase every time in 1.0/2.0, I might have heard bowie twice, and I loved it that way.  Maybe its because of the torrid affair I had with Maze (i mean, it is an incredible raging song) but call me crazy, its hands down better.  [ed note: he probably is crazy, even if he’s right][ed. note: its not the right answer, but also the way you arrive at it that gets full credit] So yet another bowie.  I think I’ve seen two more Bowies this summer than the number of shows I’ve attended.  And each one makes my heart skip a beat in failed anticipation.  I WILL get a Red Rocks Maze!!!  Even this though could not dampen my spirits. Then they totally redeem themselves with one of my favorite covers.  Loving Cup.  A virtual cornucopia of auditory and visual genuflection replete with sing-along and harmonies.  A beautiful end to a beautiful night.

Then a long trek back to the car after a little rocks ticket trading bingo and a little power and wireless access fandango and off it was to scout out some covert urban camping spots.  Upon finding one I didn’t even have any energy left in me (it being 4 or 5 am according to my body clock) to grab a snack or the supplies I was looking for.  Luckily for me I only had a few hundred feet stroll when I woke up to do that. Also lucky for me, I had procured some Naan earlier in the day and a veggie burrito on the way from the show, so I at least had enjoyed a slight feast.

And now its the obligatory Starbucks blog and charge. Apparently today will be the Denver Mint then maybe Wynkoop then the lot.  From there who knows… We’ll see where the night takes us.

I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me later.

Stayin’ Dry in Mile High

30 07 2009

Arrived in denver now and sitting here taking care of some of lifes little details while I grab a tasty beverage. For those of you counting this is actually my second post of the day.  Its ok I’ll take it easy.  Apparently this ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.  [ed. note: can I have my $5 now… i literally recoiled as I wrote that but. ][seriously conan, I keed, I keed, Fall Out Boy, is a great band… For me to ….  ahhh, I love a good unintentional pun, almost as much as I love Max Weinbergs mom, Conan ] Anyways, I’m here and the rain has let up for a bit. Off to SuperTarget (I know I know) to grab some necessities (gotta love the 99 cent trials) and a poncho then its off to the show.

I’m calling a Mikes Song Opener (thanks for the mental nudge @UNOlker) and hopefully get to see some pretty amazing stuff.

A few requests for you guys:

A) Denver breweries and wineries – any recommendations?

B) Anything I MUST see and do while I’m here?

C) *get your blank stare ready* Halloween costume suggestions – get them in to me now.  For me of course.  I’m just in the gathering ideas stage.

Off to shop a little and hear the first of four mind blowing nights of great music.

Check out if you can’t be here with me.

Good guys, talked to some of them this week.

See you guys soon.

Maybe even a post from the lot!

Palate Pleasing Peppita Madness

30 07 2009

First off, apologies in the lack of updates.  I have been taken to task on this, and even wrote then mothballed afew premature ideas and now am coming forth to seek forgiveness,  I’m hoping to make this much more regular, allowing myself some time (which I think I have found recently tucked away in the folds of my day to day existence) to just foment and conjour up wonderfully fragmented and flawed bits of literary offal for you to gaze upon and laugh in amusement.  Now that that’s out of the way on to the main event.

As most of you know I am the proud winner of a year of free mex, from none other than Mad Mex.  Having a line itemin  my monthly budget for my expenditures there, I felt that maybe this was destiny but also a great reward for years of loyal service.  I get, once a month, to dine with a companion and sample whatever delectable delights we so choose that night.  Basically, it’s the Valentine’s Day special once a month, which is quite fine with me.  Only thing not included : beverages.   Do they still manage to make money off of us? Yes.  I have decided to give brief write-ups of each months experience for you to enjoy, with my usual candor, wit and all around deliberately abhorrent disregard for proper grammatical style.

So we begin our journey through a year of free Mex in July, on a nice warm Wednesday night towards the end of the month.  A partner was picked, albeit an obvious one, and plans were made to dine at my now primary location in Cranberry.  However, as fate would have it, in the iterim some events transpired that made that location less than optimal that evening due to some unfortunate luck which I’m sure will be delved into later but for now will be left as a great stroke of luck.  I say that since, upon realizing a change of venue was in order, I checked the online draft lists and realized that I had made it twice over through Cranberry’s and yet the North Hills held heretofor unexplored territory, as well as an old favorite or two, and with that the new venue was chosen.

I met my accomplice at the mall, where, impeccably dressed as usual and, as usual outshining me not only in the overall appearance but class area of the fashion judging, she was pleasantly occupying herself while waiting for my slightly tardy arrival.  Upon exchanging pleasantries and marveling at my good fortune we browsed some fragrances for a few minutes, I miraculously avoided buying anything, and we were on our way to a wonderful evening.

Upon arrival we rushed to a cozy little booth and sunk in for what was to be, as expected a pleasurable experience.  First up, I was parched, having come from a little bit of a workout so as to elicit a heartier appetite.  It worked.  I settled in with a Stone 13th anniversary, (for the ??? time in the past few months) due to the fact that, well, like everything else, I’m a sucker for a limited release.  I believe the lady may have had a duck rabbit? I can’t quite recall, as I may have been slightly more enamored with the outfit and general presentation, as well as the conversation, than her choice of beverage, so I apologize for lack of information on the fairer halfs food and beverage choices. [ed note: Is that enough fawning yet? I mean I simply can’t inject enough pleasantries to elicit an adequate description of not only my companion but my apparent fondness of her but I’m also not that guy (except at weddings and the occiasional social) so you , as desired, can inject your own pleasantries about my companion, and I will try not to exhaust your patience] Having begun our refreshment we locked in our choices and began our little repast.

First up: peppita hummus .  Usually I enjoy this as part of the picka-dippa (or you-pick-3 in outsider parlance) but, due to a contest/wager we were both involved in (separate wagers acutally) we chose to forgo the usual (and the chips, which is a shame because the reason I am so addicted to Mad Mex is their salsa) [ed note: NOT the chips as some before have mistaken, it’s the salsa. Their salsa is by far my favorite of all time, hands down, although I’ve had a few other good ones, they are tops.  Their chips : average, although I make it a point to eat the blue ones first so they have that going for them.] and just engage the hummus one on one.  The whole pumpkin seed angle makes it a little meatier but just as delicious (if not more) and pleasantly (though unexpectedly to me) it comes with grilled pita which far surpass the chip in greatness.  In fact if I could get them instead of chips…  So we devour the hummus, or more accurately, she dines appropriately, spooning small portions onto her side plate, lightly basting the pita with a small even, possibly ¼ ounce serving of the green goodness.  I on the other hand, as in general, forgo a few of the basics (as I often due in places where I feel dining is a more casual experience) digging into the bowl like Anthony Bourdain at a beef cheek and pork belly buffet  after a forced 3 week hunger strike.  I don’t believe I scared any small children but to be honest I didn’t see much other than the grandiose mounds piled on top of a previously innocent wedge of flatbread. I’m sure from the outside it looked as bad as I’m describing it.  When renovating the kitchen on my new house, I used less drywall paste to patch the seams than I had on some of those “chips”.  Luckily the time one had to endure this sight was  brief, although we did receive a pretty sizeable portion of the fine concoction.

She chose to stay for the next course. Her decision not mine.  As for her decision making capabilities? I’ll leave that up to the reader, though I will point out she does decide to venture out  in public with me without line-item veto power on my wardrobe.

At this point, obviously, our beverages had run dry.  I refueled with a favorite of mine, the Founders Cerise (Sour Cherry) Ale.  I have a weakness for cherry ales (actually a lot of the fruit ones) as its hard to find one that does it right, but when you do its wonderful.  And the pungent, mouth sucking, sour cherry you get in some of them is wonderfully trying and a beautiful experience.  The Cerise is more understated I found.  You get the cherry coming through decently strong but not overpowering, and the same with the sour.  It won’t make you pucker but you’ll notice the pull in the back of your mouth.  Think a slightly sour, slightly less overpoweringly cherry Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat.  The lady have something wet.

Then it was on to the main course (after the usually delicious and delightful house salads).  I had chosen to dine on the fajitas, not only because of the wager but also because they are delicious and steak and shrimp it was.  As usual, well prepared and seasoned, the shrimp were still plump and the steak moist and juicy.  The usual accompanyments riding shotgun along with a little guac and that most treasured of mexican restaurant staples, the plastic warmer full of soft tortillas.  I artfully pieced together all arrangements and pairings, devouring them all with slightly more class, yet equal aplomb. Speaking of slightly more, as usual, at the end there was slightly more on my shirt than I began with.  Yeah for stain resistant synthetic fabrics! The lady had something with sour cream.  Lots of sour cream.  More sour cream than a small nation should be allowed to import in a year. For the record I think that amount should be 2.75 ounces.  [ed. Note:  the lady probably had 3.25, or a full two dallops]   The lady loves sour cream, and of all the food things I love and endure and strive to attain, there are two I just can’t stand and sour cream is one of them.  Don’t know why, just can’t and won’t (and I’ve tried).  I mean, I will eat cheese that could be used to strip paint off of doors.  I will make sauces that can be used to remove rust and lime deposits, but sour cream? Really? I mean, to each there own and I understand that once again I am yet again the one in the “you have weird taste” camp on this one, only this time without Uncle Crappy to back me up on my stance.  [speaking of which I write this on the way to Red Rocks, to see Phish, listening to the Star Lake show we shared] I let the lady enjoy her sour cream, and we continue our diverse banter.

As for that, as you could probably gather, to dine, or just be around me, can be a bit of an exhausting challenge.  I talk, a lot, about a lot of things, and I love others to do the same.  The only problem is that with most people this conversation follows a normal linear path with common transtitions and normal detours and exits.  With me its, well like a 40 minute Mike’s -> simple -> wolfmans -> Weekapaug with a ‘97 funk jam in the middle, and billie jean and crossroads teases.  If you got that, than you are probably more like me than you should be comfrotable with.  As I’ve been accused of many things, I was delighted this week to read a thrilling write-up on NADD .  Look it up,  Thrilling and entertaining read, as well as the  Geek Owners Manual one.  As usual, it pretty much fits me, and a lot of tech inclined people  way too well for comfort.  So throughout dinner we have a lot of great banter.  Need it be said my dining companion and I talk on a better than fairly regular basis so  we have a little bit of a rapport, and this evenings conversation ranged on a variety of topics and was quite enchanting, though sometimes, and I don’t know whether this is 100% normal or not, but occaisionally I’ll take a step back and try and envision what it must be like to talk to me, and some days it has to be a challenge.  Your may be talking bout current events, lets say the Gate matter or Nationalized Health Care, and in my 16 core mind (I think that is about where its at these days) I have complete attention to the conversation at hand,  as I would like to consider myself a good listener but also happen to have an interest in the other party so. However there are 15 other cores going at the same time, taking in the décor and figuring out how to recreate it for the tasting room at home, figuring out the exact spice mix used on the steak, calculating the gaussian strength needed to hold the plexiglass panels at home to the wall without them sliding down, calculating the inevitable resolution of our mutual friends dilemma from a few days before and the variables to the outcome.  Which can lead to totally random juxtapositions, such as, “That is just plain fiscally irresponsible.  You can’t expect the gains to keep up with costs and with such brilliant men holding forth it seems that they should be able to the the math and the facts through all the virtue and good inentions. *breath* I think he should really just go for tapas. *blink, and then a look of ‘AHA’ and understandin from the other party* 3. I think threewill do it. *at this point slight confused look from companion as they have neither seen the house or know that I had attained possesion of over a gross of deliciously beautiful and strong magnets the week prior, nor would they care other than to probably roll their eyes and laugh in amusement* Besides, in the end its not really going to matter as the inherent flaw in their logic lies not even in the math but the flawed nature of man and their capacity to…  At which point the companion, who is sharp as a tack and although not necessarily outright acknowledges all the 1274 points to the argument, slyly somehow takes them all in and  will proceed to very deftly poke holes and attempt to rout the theorem at hand, often way too close to successfully, the whole time enjoying the journey and the time flies by,  And three days later, when looking at the wall with the magnets bedded in will just utter something like “6. Stacked two deep, triangle formation.”  Long story short, it may be a fun ride but it has to be exhausting.  I have a healthy caffeine habit to help me along, I have no idea about anyone else.  NADD look it up. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

We finished our entrees, engaged in another beverage, then it was time for our forced dessert.  I would love to tell you exactly what it was I had, but I can’t recall, other than that it was an IPA and one that I had never had before.  I’m not a huge IPA fan.   I have nothing against them just havent had my face melted off by any, however this one obviously didn’t stand out either.  And I’m also a sucker for any beer I haven’t had yet.

I checked antoher of the very few untested menu items off my list tonight.  Generally I’m too stuffed for dessert but, if you have to you have to and we dodged the usual I Scream Burrito  and the *appropriately funny titled* Brownie Sundae and went for the Sopapillas.   Delicious.  Honey, cinnamon sugar, a nice little dough.  Delightful, tasty, and I am kind of an ice cream man myself but I wouldn’t kick them out of bed for eating crackers so…besides the likelihood is that if anything is being eaten in bed, I’m a party to the aforementioned action.  Steak, pho, chicken on a stick, primanti’s : all just as delcious while partially reclined basking in the glow of the slumber rooms visual entertainment provider.  Why else would the food network still be running programs after midnight.

[ed note: 30-Love]

All in all the experience was more than enjoyable.  The food and the company were great and I look forward to regaling with next months tale once it has concluded.  In the meantime it will likely be back to a bunch of tedious and drab music posts…I know, shame shame.

As for that, one will find that right now they are featuring their corn dishes, especially the wonder crabby chicken and corn quesadilla (and burrito) some delicious roasted corn on the cob as well as a smattering of other dishes.  They also have a new rib appetizer as well as making the breakfast burrito I so love from the one day a year (cinco de mayo) they do breakfast, a regular in the lineup, albeit as the appropriately title huevos  *something or other humerous* burrito.  Its delicious, try it.  And chock full of protein (ed note: YES, sentence fragment as well as begun with a preposition, did you not see the part at the beginning where we said that was intentional).

Assuming all goes to plan you will soon be regaled with tales of the Hatch Chili Festival dishes. I beilieve they begin August 13th? The have some great ones too, and I’m not sure whether they intend to bring the hatch chili margarita back or not.  Lets hope it doesn’t get pushed back (due to late harvest which is obviously just a LITTLE out of their control) again this year but even so, when it happens we are there.  Ewhen it doesn’t happen : we’re there too.

Good tidings to all and to all a good night.

Especially to my computer which is literally dying as I type.

Who knew 2700 words could drain the battery

Last Night Now Arriving!

31 05 2009

Use the same link, see two new files!!

LAst night I made the MacGuyverPod, from some balsa wood rods and gaffers tape.  <$3 and seems to have worked like a charm, and found some great batteries (only 2 changes the whole almost 3 hr show…).  Havent got a chance to check the audio but HOPE that its a little better due to some better mic position.  Also I hope they check bags the same for phish as for dave.

All in all an OK show.  A LOT of repeats (pretty much the same new stuff from the night before).   A few nice tunes.   Stay (Wasting Time) ,  Papa >Rapunzel opener, Rhyme and Reason had what seemed to be a real Twist Around (Phish) bassline tease in it, but that just could be my mind…  Dont drink the water had a this land is your land tease… Two step and Dancing Nancies were good.

Its Dave, what can you expect.  Tonight is the real reason I came to Boston so off I am to conquer the day.

Can’t wait.  On my way to a tweetup now and can’t believe my luck tonight.  

Fingers crossed.


FYI sorry no videos yet. Apparently files are too big.  Will have to compress which means I will have to use a more powerful computer.

Tata for now!!!

Also, Beacon Hill Chocolates…really as delicious and decadent as I remembered it!

30 05 2009

Ok so here we go. First off the important part :

That is where all the files will be, in, oh 5 hours.

The audio will be there in about 20 min or so but the video, much longer

I only updloaded a few vids, the killer Jimi thing and Anyone Seen the bridge > 2001 Tease > Too Much tease > Ants Marching were well over a gig a piece.

As for that here’s what was accomplished last night:

Audio – whole show

  • Good – It worked, Its small
  • Bad – Too much crowd noise, need to figure out how to hook up a regular mic or position earbuds differently.

Video – Whole Show (Minus Batt Changes)

  • Good – It worked
  • Bad – Batt Changes in middle of songs, Mem Card Change (Over  8 gigs of video), Takes way too long on this pc to convert then upload.  Need a McGuyverPod which i will make today to hold camera still and be somewhat camoflauged.

All in all a great success for the first run.

So how did yesterday unfold? Well I left to go get rid of my extras which was IMPOSSIBLE!!! Seriously.  Way too many scalpers, tickets were generally in the toilet.  Because I accidentally got an extra pair due to an ordering snafu, I took to the streets (there was NO lot scene, I saw 4 cars total, all dispersed) and tried to get rid of them.  Was LUCKY to dump them for half face right before the show.  Did sell tomorrows ticket for face though, although I’m sure the same issues will arise tonight, and unfortunately tomorrow. I wandered for 4 hours.  I’m not lying.  3:30 to 7:30 walking, at first just with ticket raised, later “Who needs a pair”.  People were literally offering $10 and scalpers couldn’t give some away.  Screw them anyways…  I was just happy to hook a couple of fans up.  Get to hook up my phishhead today for tomorrow, that will be my happiest moment.  Anyways.  So after walking all, that time, and lord knows what distance I made it to the show JUST IN TIME to do a 3 min setup (literally all it took) and BOOM, it starts.  Good Show, for a Dave show.  A lot newer (Grougrux King) stuff showing up, and a few old crowd favorites that in the end I was more pleased to hear than even I really expected.  Burning Down the House is a song I always love but the real Talking Heads gem I want to hear this summer is Crosseyed And Painless (from Phish of course) (last time heard was at Star Lake, pre coventry followed by the BREAKOUT HARPUA!).  So Much -> Anyone -> Teasefest -> Ants marching was great.  A pretty killer Jimi Thing rounded out the set.

Watchtower is still good although I might play it a little less.  I think they play it more than Hendrix or Dylan ever did it seems.  The Rye Whiskey Pete Seeger cover is a song I will have to seek out, as it may become a fav of mine for various reasons.

All in all it was good, looking forward to my engineering gig today, better vids from tonight an definitely less hassle.

Went to Boston Beer Works afterwards.  Great place, went there with Gabe on our trip.  Nice beers and they do really well wit hthe fruit beers if you like that sort of thing, and I enjoy it.  They’re blueberry seems to be a crowd fave, and has actual blueberries floating in it but my new favorite last night (they were out of their stout) is by far : The Watermelon Ale.  Yes folks, I found a watermelon beer in DC, and some of you may know if there is one fruit in my village, it MUST BE WATERMELON. Love it. Make sauces with it.  Can’t get enough of it.  So when I saw one in DC I bought a few cans and was summarily let down upon my tasting when I returned.  Slight hint of watermelon on the air, nothing really on the taste… maybe a very slight aftertaste but you had to try.  BBW brought hope back to the populace.  It is what is says.  Its beer, its cold, wet and tasty, and it reeks of both beer and watermelon.  Not sickeningly like watermelon bubble yum, but like your drinking beer while chewing actual watermelon and it happens to be delicious.  If I can figure out how to bring some back I will.  (Apparently they dont serve TSA approved 3 oz. growlers) 

Might have to leave the freedom trail for tomorrow when my feet have recovered, because oh yes, since I haven’t quite mastered Boston public transit I definitely walked 40 min from my “local” stop.  By the time I got back my dogs were dead.  Then I converted the audio and started to upload it when my eyelids blue screen of deathed.  

And now you know – the Rest of the Story.