Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Radiohead Does Dallas

OK, so finally here is my account of Radiohead-A-Palooza Day 3: Dallas.

I got extremely lucky when the presale tickets went on sale for the Dallas show and was able to get a ticket in the general admission pit right in front of the stage. As it has turned out this has been the only show at which I was able to get a pit ticket. Of course any time that you have a ticket up front the ultimate situation would be to have a spot right up against the barrier in front of the stage. However, due to the popularity of Radiohead I didn’t think this was going to be an option for me. On the RH message board that I frequent, there were people talking about how they were going to go directly from the Houston show to Dallas so they could get in line for the pit run. There was just no way I was going to do something like that, so I had to decide how early to arrive. Originally I was going to drive in from Houston on Sunday and go straight to the venue to get in line, but as the time approached I really didn’t feel like doing that. So I went home for a couple of hours, went grocery shopping, and relaxed for a bit. (Later on, I found out that people left straight from Houston right after that show, went to the venue in Dallas, and there were already people camped out there! Crazy!)

While I was at the store I decided to try to help my back out by buying some insoles for my shoes. Gah, I sound like an old man talking about this crap. All of this back worry was precipitated by my experience at the Bob Dylan show in February. After standing for about 4 hours total for that show, my back killed me for about a month afterward. I really didn’t want a repeat of that experience. So I bought these Dr. Scholl’s insoles that I hoped would save my back after standing at the concert. It doesn’t get any more rock and roll than that.

I ended up getting there at about 7:00 for the 7:30 start time for the opening act. I decided that I was going to try again to bring in my big camera since the worst that could happen was that they would say “No”. When I got up to the gate the lady asked to look inside my camera bag so I opened it. She looked inside briefly and then let me in. Woo-hoo! I took the opportunity to make a final pre-show restroom stop and water fountain run, and then I headed for the pit.

When I got inside the walls of the venue, I was happy to see that the pit was fairly sparsely populated. All of the barrier space in front of the actual stage area was taken, and there was a decent-sized cluster of people in the dead-center of the space. I was also happy to see that there were seats at the back of the pit. Wanting to minimize my standing time, I grabbed a seat at the back and soon the opening act started. I took some shots with my camera to get an idea of how close I should try to get. I decided to stay seated until right before Radiohead came on.

I actually talked to some of the people around me after the opening act finished up. I mention this because it is not always a given that this will happen (like, for example, the previous night). Sometimes I’m OK with not saying anything. The 45 minute wait for Radiohead seemed to go by pretty quickly, and as soon as I heard the bleep/bloop music I got up and pressed forward as far as I could. The pit had filled in some during the wait. I was probably about the equivalent of maybe 5 rows back from the barrier on the left side of the stage. I could see pretty well, although in retrospect I wish I had staked out a spot a little earlier because there were a few people in front of me whose heads would get in the way of some of my shots. Overall it turned out to be a very mellow pit experience. No pushing and shoving, and they didn’t overcrowd it, so there was plenty of room for everyone.

It was really cool to be that close. It was almost like seeing them in a smaller venue because you could kind of block out everyone who was behind you. Based on the high I got from the previous night’s show, my expectations were pretty high. As the show started out, it looked like it might be a little bit of a letdown. The energy level just seemed kind of low. I started wondering if maybe the band was tired since this was the last show on this leg of the tour, and only the second time so far that they had performed on a consecutive night. I remember thinking that it was not going to match the Houston show, but at least I could get some decent photos. Something happened though when they launched into “National Anthem”. Things seemed to perk up a bit, and there was a steady build from there on out.

Right after “National Anthem” they played “Dollars and Cents”, which was a first for this tour. They also broke out “A Wolf at the Door”, which was great. As the show went along it seemed like both the band and the crowd was feeding off of each other’s energy, which is really how a good show works. Being that close I could see how the guys (particularly Ed since he was closest to me) were reacting to some of the things that the crowd was doing, which was really cool. Both Ed and Thom got big smiles when the crowd did the “Hey!” part in “15 Step” that the kids do on the record. Throughout I was struck by Thom’s voice – it’s pretty much the voice that you get on the records. When “Idioteque” started up I got out the small camera so I could record it and make up for my recording error the previous night.

The first encore started with “Fake Plastic Trees”, which I also recorded (along with probably everyone else there who had a camera). A couple of songs after that they played one I’d really been hoping to hear, “Exit Music (For a Film)”, and it was amazing even though some douche shouted out THOMMEE! during one of the quiet parts and Thom was disturbed enough by it to respond. They closed out the first encore with “The Bends”, which was a nice surprise. For the second encore I got the chance to redeem my other recording misfire, “You and Whose Army?”, and then they closed out with “Paranoid Android”. The crowd was absolutely nuts during the encores. There was kind of a tease of a third encore because it took a really long time for the house lights to come up, but they eventually did.

It turned out to be a really great show, one of the best I have ever seen. Some of the people on the message board who have been to many, many Radiohead shows have said it was either their favorite or among their favorite Radiohead shows ever. Radiohead has a reputation as a great live band, and after seeing them 3 times I have to say that that reputation is well-deserved. It’s truly a more-than-just-the-sum-of-their-parts sort of thing; there’s something very compelling about what happens when these guys play together.

For some reason I was absolutely convinced that there was something wrong with the lights in Dallas. They just didn’t seem nearly as bright as they had at the other two shows I attended. Looking back at the photos, though, I think that maybe it was a function of how close I was that made them seem different. I’m thinking that maybe since I had to actually look up to see the whole length of the light tubes that that made them look different. Before I could see the entire length of the lights and the stage in my field of vision, and I think that made them seem brighter.

Below are some of the photos I took. Apparently the whole show can be seen on Youtube, including many videos shot by a guy who was right up front, with the sole exception of “Dollars and Cents”. Wish I’d thought to record that one! Here is a link to a local blog that collected the videos to each song (in order!) into one post (so if you have a couple of hours to kill...): Dallas Observer DC9 At Night Blog.

Oh, and my back? Sound as a pound. That was $6 very well spent. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go drink my Metamucil.

Here's my video of "Idioteque". Sorry the audio isn't better, but what do you expect for $130?

Here's "You and Whose Army?":

01. All I Need
02. There There
03. 15 Step
04. Bangers and Mash
05. Nude
06. Pyramid Song
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. The National Anthem
09. Dollars and Cents
10. Faust Arp
11. Videotape
12. A Wolf At The Door
13. Optimistic
14. Reckoner
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Idioteque
17. Bodysnatchers

encore 1:
18. Fake Plastic Trees
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
20. House of Cards
21. Exit Music (For A Film)
22. The Bends

encore 2
23. You and Whose Army?
24. Paranoid Android

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Texas Goes (A Tiny Bit) Green

I'm working on my Dallas Radiohead post. I know all 2 of you are anxiously awaiting that. I have to properly document these things you know.

Texas pleasantly surprised me this weekend. There is a sales tax holiday for purchase of certain "green" items. It's mostly geared towards Energy Star appliances, programmable thermostats, and fluorescent light bulbs. I say I'm surprised because it seems really progressive for Texas. I mean, this is the homeland of the giant SUV. I think it's a good start, though. For some weird reason incandescent light bulbs are included in this program too, which makes no sense. In any case, I'm going to stock up on some fluorescent bulbs. I'm not in the market for any major appliances, and I pretty much already have all Energy Star stuff. I still can't believe this is actually happening here!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mc F'd Up

Went to the dentist today for my scheduled cleaning. Luckily no cavities! They said it looks like I'm doing well on my flossing these days too. I've become somewhat obsessed with proper flossing. I bought some to keep at work because the baby carrots and apples that I eat like to leave pieces around the edges of my crowns, and I can't stand having food stuck in my teeth.

I've been wanting to take a photo of this McDonald's sign for a while. It lost its arches in a tornado (the same morning I had to take shelter in my bathroom closet). I think they should leave it like this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Radiohead-A-Palooza - Day 2 - Houston

Saturday was concert #2 of my Radiohead-A-Palooza 2008. You can read about show #1 here and here. Saturday’s show was in the Houston ‘burbs. Since the venue is about 230 miles from my house, obviously a road trip was in order. My plan was to drive down on Saturday, see the show, and stay in the area Saturday night.

I started having some “issues” on Friday night. You see, I was determined to have a camera of some sort at the show. I read on the venue’s website that they do not allow “professional” (AKA removable lens) cameras, and that small cameras were at the performer’s discretion. You can’t always tell how serious a place is about these policies until you’ve actually been there. I was planning to try and take my “big” camera in, but if they wouldn’t let me in with it I didn’t have a backup. I tried to find someone that I know that could let me borrow their camera, but I didn’t have any luck finding anyone. In my desperation I came to embrace an idea that I initially rejected as crazy – I decided to buy a cheap small camera to use if I couldn’t use the big one. I figured I could maybe sell it on ebay later on and hopefully recoup a decent portion of the cost. Obsessive much?

One problem is that usually this is the kind of decision that takes me weeks of research and contemplation, except I only had a couple of hours. I went to the store Friday night and succeeded only in staring at all the cameras in confusion. I decided to sleep on it and try again Saturday morning. So with a greatly compressed version of my normal research I decided on my budget and desired functions and hit the store again Saturday. I made a decision and a purchase, packed my stuff, and hit the road.

I didn’t leave home as early as I had planned, but I had a reserved seat for the concert so I didn’t think there was much point in getting there too terribly early. I checked in to my motel, grabbed some dinner, and headed for the Woodlands Pavilion. I pulled into the parking garage at about 7 for the 7:30 show. I had a brief bit of concern about the fact that as I got close to the venue that it started raining. If you read about the first show, you know that rain played a big part. Luckily it wasn’t raining hard and it didn’t look like it was going to be sticking around long. By the time I got parked, grabbed the cameras, and headed out of the parking garage, the rain had stopped, never to return!

I hadn’t been to this venue before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m used to places that are warehouse-like and surrounded by acres of desolate parking lots, so this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The Pavilion is located almost in a park-like setting. It’s surrounded by trees, and the parking lots are scattered around the periphery among the greenery. At times I felt like I was on a nature hike as I walked to the gate!

I finally made it to the gates, and I have to say that my hopes of getting the big camera in sank. They were doing some serious security checks at this place. Anyone wearing a hat had to remove it so security could look at it, you had to completely empty all your pockets, they were making some people roll down their socks, and they were checking people’s waistbands! It was the tightest security I’ve ever seen at a concert. When I got to the front of the line I told the lady that in the interest of saving time I wanted her to tell me if my camera could be brought in before she made me do all that other crap. She looked at it and then asked me if it had a detachable lens. I lied and said “no”, and I thought for a minute that it might actually work, but then she said she was going to have to ask this other lady about it. Other lady came over and said “Nuh uh”. I was going to have to check my camera before I could enter. I asked if my new camera was OK and she said that it was. I went through all the other security stuff and the lady said for me not to wait in line again, but to just walk back up to the front of the line when I came back. I have to say that even though I think this policy is really stupid, at least the security people were nice and didn’t get all aggro about everything, which can sometimes happen. Some security people let this small amount of power go their heads and act like Dirty Harry. So while I can complain about the policy being bullshit, I can’t say that it’s unfair because things pretty much went down like the website said they would. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try, and it didn’t.

By this time the opening band had started, but it was still early in their set. I started up the steps to head to my seat. I had a ticket on row P, which is the 16th row from the stage. I entered near the start of the lawn section. As I looked at the row letters I started getting excited seeing just how close that really was. I made it to my seat, which was on the left side of the stage, and I was really happy with how close I was. I had the feeling that this would be quite a different experience from the first show I went to.

As show time drew near, the seats around me filled up. Everyone was sitting, but as soon as the lights went down and the beep/bloop entrance music started everyone stood up. In a bit of a departure for the tour so far they opened with “15 Step” instead of “All I Need”. I thought that was a good choice since “All I Need” is kind of mellow. I was mesmerized from the start. This was a completely different experience than the first show. Here I actually had visuals to go along with the music. Sitting on the lawn in VA I was very far away from the stage. There was no way to see facial expressions on anything other than the video screen, which was not a typical video screen setup. The lights also made much more of an impression on me since I was a lot closer.

I did take photos with my new camera, but the experience left me a bit frustrated. It’s really designed to be a camera for people who don’t know and/or don’t care to know how to use a real camera. It’s made for point and shoot stuff. It was pretty difficult to get fast enough shutter speeds to get non-blurry images. Zooming in too much resulted in some really grainy photos. I think I got some decent shots of the whole stage setup, but I didn’t get many good close-ups. I realized late in the show that I could shoot video. I tried to shoot during the second encore. I was very careful about my framing, trying to hold the camera still, etc., but I forgot the most important part – you have to press the shutter button to record! So I ended up with no video (I found some shot by others though).

I thought the setlist was outstanding. Once again they played every song from “In Rainbows”, which I have no problem with. They didn’t play “House of Cards” as the show closer this time, which I thought was a great move. I think that song is way too laid back to work as a closer; I think you want to go out on a high note. They played some great songs that I didn’t get to hear at the first show, like “Morning Bell”, “The National Anthem”, and “Where I End and You Begin”. They played two songs that weren’t even on my wish list that blew me away – “Climbing Up The Walls” and “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”. I did miss “Paranoid Android” and “Karma Police”, and my wish to hear “2+2=5” didn’t materialize, but that’s nitpicking. I thought the crowd seemed like they were pretty into it.

The lighting rig was pretty damn awesome. They used these big light tubes with LED lights in them. As you can see from the photos there were a variety of colors, and during “Planet Telex” they busted out the rainbow mode. I loved what they did during “Weird Fishes”. The lights were blue, and there were small parts of the tubes that were a lighter color that kind of “floated” and reminded me of fish.

The second encore killed. It started out with “You and Whose Army?”, and Thom did his bit with the camera getting an extreme close-up of his eyeball. Everybody went apeshit. Then the final song was “Idioteque” and Thom did his “I’m being chased by a swarm of bees” dance in the middle of it and everybody went double apeshit. At the end of it all I sat there with a big stupid smile on my face while I waited for people to file out. I felt like I saw something amazing and special. I think that feeling was muted a bit at my first show because of the difficult weather conditions and the fact that I had to leave before it was over. Being closer made a difference too. This time I really had the feeling that I had just seen greatness. That it doesn’t get any better than this.

I went back to my motel room happy and eagerly awaiting the chance to see them from even closer up the next night in Dallas.

01. 15 Step
02. Bodysnatchers
03. Lucky
04. Morning Bell
05. Nude
06. Pyramid Song
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. The Gloaming
09. The National Anthem
10. Faust Arp
11. Videotape
12. Optimistic
13. Where I End And You Begin
14. Reckoner
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. All I Need
17. There There

encore 1:
18. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
19. House of Cards
20. Climbing Up The Walls
21. Planet Telex
22. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

encore 2:
23. You And Whose Army?
24. Idioteque

Here are the weird fishees

Jonny is a rock star

This picture is grainy as hell, but I love the hoodie.

It looks like they're in rainbows here. Get it? "In Rainbows"?
Roy G. Biv y'all.

And the crowd goes wild!

Climbing Up The Walls


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Sunday, May 18, 2008


Holy smokes, I was blown away by the concert last night. I am about to leave for the concert in Dallas tonight.

I tried to bring in my big camera last night, but they wouldn't let me. That security was crazy! But I'm such a freak that I went and bought a smaller camera since they allowed those. I'm not all that thrilled with the photos it takes (I guess that's why they allow them? Since only the people with photographer's credentials get the really good photos?) I even tried to shoot video of "Idioteque", during which Thom was dancing around like a crazy man. I was all into my zooming and composition and I forgot to press the record button! I have seen some other videos from last night on Youtube, but so far not that song! ARRGH!

I'm not sure my back will survive tonight. I may not be able to walk tomorrow, but at least I will have seen Radiohead from really up close. More to come.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

In Rain Blows, Part 2

And now, the eagerly awaited (eyeroll) conclusion of "In Rain Blows"!

After what seemed a way-too-lengthy wait, Radiohead finally came out. They opened with “All I Need” from In Rainbows, which was expected since that’s what they had opened with at all of the previous shows. I have to say that despite the rain I got a charge out of finally seeing the band live. I was honestly unsure whether I would be able to stay for the whole show both because of the weather and because my friends were trapped in a car. After a while I did manage to send a text and found out that somehow my friends had gotten up towards the stage under the covered area. It took me a while to respond because I didn’t hear my phone ring. By the time I responded everyone was in the car because of the cold. I knew then that I wouldn’t stay for the whole show. I was trying to decide when a good time to leave would be.

I enjoyed the performance. The sound was pretty good considering the conditions, Thom’s voice was amazing, and it was great trying to guess what they were going to play next. Although there are some Radiohead songs that I like more than others, I like most of their stuff so much that every song was a treat. They could play for hours without a clunker in the bunch. I was particularly hoping to hear “Paranoid Android” and “Karma Police”. I didn’t have high hopes of hearing the latter since they hadn’t played it on any of the previous tour stops. They did play “Paranoid Android”, and some of the other highlights for me were “Pyramid Song”, “Myxomatosis”, “Idioteque”, “Just”, “Lucky”, and “Everything In Its Right Place”. I even had an epiphany in the pouring rain. After hearing everyone sing “Rain down, rain down, come on rain down on me…” during PA, and “I jumped in the river and what did I see” during “Pyramid Song” I realized that there are lots of Radiohead songs with water imagery. Besides those two songs you’ve also got “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”, “Lucky”, “How To Disappear Completely”, “Optimistic”, “In Limbo”, “Like Spinning Plates”, “I Might Be Wrong”, “2+2=5”, “Sit Down, Stand Up”, “Sail To The Moon”, “Where I End And You Begin”, and “Reckoner”. Not to mention you have to have rain to have a rainbow. Wow, deep.

In what seemed like no time at all, the main set was over and after a short break the first encore started. The first encore song was “Like Spinning Plates”, which I was totally jazzed to hear. Around this time I also noticed that not only were my shoes and the bottom half of my jeans wet, but pretty much my whole pants were soaked through. That goddamned rain did not slack off one bit the whole time I was out there. Not. one. bit. At this time I also started noticing that there was a good chance that I was going to get quite cold too. The wind would kick up pretty strong every so often, and finally I started shivering. I was preparing to make my exit when “Karma Police” started up. I knew that would be a perfect place to end for me. I was going to sit there for the whole thing, but I started shivering. I mean like serious shivering. I got up and started moving for the parking lot. I was going to stand right by the steps until the song was over, but I couldn’t even make it through. Towards the end of the song I started down the steps. I was pretty surprised that by the time I made it to the bottom I really couldn’t hear the music anymore. As I left the venue one of the people working there chirped “Have a nice evening!” What the F? I’m drenched to the bone, I’m freezing my ass off, I look homeless, and this person is acting like we’re in paradise? WTF?!

I made it to the car, but it was pretty clear from all of the cars waiting to leave that we wouldn’t be going too far anytime soon. I was prepared to enter a car with an upset toddler, but Faith seemed perfectly happy to be sitting there watching the end of “Surf’s Up”. It was nice and warm in the car, but my soaked pants meant that I would have to suffer until we could get home. It was a slow go out of the parking lot, and there seemed to be some strange routing of cars being done by the local police (including being sent over the highway we needed to get on, away from it, and then back towards it), but it didn’t seem like it took an excessive amount of time to get out of there. After reading some other accounts, I think we actually did really well time-wise. Apparently there were lots of people who couldn’t even get in to the concert to start with. It kept raining the whole way home. I couldn’t wait to get out of those damn pants. I looked at the weather radar online to see just how it was that that heavy rain kept up the whole time. There was a low pressure system that was drawing the rain bands into a spiral pattern. So even though the storm was kind of moving northeast, the center of that spiral looked to be centered pretty much right where the concert was. Joy. Manassas received something like 5 and half inches of rain that day.

I’m glad that things seemed to have ended up working out OK for Faith and Holli. I’m so glad that Faith got to “wock out”. I was pretty satisfied to see that I only missed 5 songs (which I have now heard. Of the 5 I most wish I could have been there for “National Anthem”, and “House of Cards” seems like a really weird choice for a closer). One interesting note is that they played every single song from “In Rainbows” (as well as 2 of the songs from the bonus disc)! Another interesting note is that apparently one can still smoke a joint in monsoon weather. I have no idea how they did it, but they did. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos. There wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to take my camera out there in that weather. Too bad too, because I could have snuck in a bazooka with the lack of searching that security did.

What would I have done differently if I had a time machine? First I would have sprung for a full rain suit rather than just a poncho. Second? I would have skipped Liars and not headed for the lawn until Radiohead was about to start. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess. But I still had a good time overall. I’m sure I’ll never forget this experience. I think those conditions will be one of those things that especially make me remember this concert. I’m sure the tale will grow over the years – “Well in my day we had to sit through a foot of rain to see Radiohead, dammit! You kids don’t know how easy you have it these days.”

The next stop for Radiohead-A-Palooza 2008 is Saturday night in Houston…

01. All I Need
02. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
03. Lucky
04. 15 Step
05. Nude
06. Pyramid Song
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
8. Myxomatosis
09. Idioteque
10. Faust Arp
11. Videotape
12. Paranoid Android
13. Just
14. Reckoner
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Bangers and Mash
17. Bodysnatchers

encore 1:
18. Like Spinning Plates
19. Optimistic
20. Karma Police
21. Go Slowly
22. Planet Telex

encore 2:
23. Fake Plastic Trees
24. The National Anthem
25. House of Cards

Dimeadozen.org has torrents of every show on this tour so far here (St. Louis sounds really nice!)

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Rain Blows, Part 1

I’m having a hard time writing this week. Lack of sleep has just turned my brain to mush. I know I’ve mentioned it a million times, but I’m just not cut out for the schedule that I have to keep for my job. I feel like a zombie. I’m going to try and press forward anyway. I’m breaking this into two posts because it’s way too long!

Last Sunday I went to the Radiohead concert in northern Virginia. Why northern Virginia? My good friend Holli lives there so I was able to combine a visit with attending the show. Fittingly, Holli is the person who turned me into a Radiohead fan a couple of years ago. Holli wanted this to be the first concert that her 4 year old daughter Faith attended, so we planned to sit in the lawn area in case Faith needed to be evacuated.

I heard horrible nightmare stories about the traffic at the Nissan Pavilion Amphitheater in Manassas, so we planned to arrive as early as possible. The parking lot opened at 4, and we arrived about 4:30 for the 7:30 show. We came in the back way and had no problems at all making it into the parking lot. The forecast called for a 100% chance of rain. This forecast was correct. On the way there we stopped at Target to get rain ponchos, and by the time we got to the parking lot it was raining fairly heavily. We had 3 hours to kill in the car. Various DVDs helped pass the time, and it seemed to go by pretty quickly. Faith was amazed when I showed her how to refog the windows after taking up all the window space with finger drawings. As 7:00 approached we got ready to make our run for the lawn.

The plan to keep Faith dry was to put her in a jogging stroller that had a plastic enclosure around the seat. Since it was rather cool, she was also bundled up in a sweater and a couple of layers of clothing. Holli also put earplugs in Faith’s ears in case the music was really loud. Holli’s husband Tom got Faith situated in the stroller and the rest of us donned our ponchos and prepared to make the soggy trek to the entrance. The people standing outside the car next to us decided to spark up a J right as Faith was being bundled into the stroller. Nice.

We made it inside the venue only to see a huge set of stairs leading over a hill into the lawn area. Obviously this wasn’t going to work for a stroller, so we started heading toward the front where there was supposed to be a ramp of some kind. On the way there we spotted actual restrooms as opposed to port-a-potties, so with the exception of Faith we all availed ourselves of the opportunity to go one last time. We then headed up the absurdly-angled “ramp” up the hill and into the lawn seating area. Seriously, this ramp was f’ed. The thing was at like a 45 degree angle. There’s no way you’re getting a wheelchair up that f’ing thing, and there’s no way that it meets code. Tom managed to get the stroller up there though, and we surveyed the scene. The lawn wasn’t very crowded, and we debated how far down we should go considering that we would have to push a stroller back up a muddy hill on the way out. We settled for an area on the right side of the stage closer to the front of the lawn than the back. We deployed our lawn chairs (bought for the occasion), sat down, and the opening act (Liars) came out soon after.

Everything seemed OK, if a bit uncomfortable because of the heavy rain, at first. The rain had not slacked off one bit in the 3 hours we had been there. Having it pelting your face was not as fun as watching it from the car. Faith said that she was dry but was actually too warm. I was sitting on one side of Faith, Holli was on the other side, and Tom was behind Holli. As the band was playing, I looked over at Faith every now and then and gave her a smile to make sure that she was OK. Eventually I started to notice though that something was amiss. Whenever I would look at Faith she started hiding her face. Eventually she started to become upset and started crying. I thought that maybe she was scared. After Holli talked to Faith and she was still crying, the decision was made that Holli and Tom would take Faith back to the car. I didn’t know for sure what was going on. I found out later that Faith was upset because she wanted to be out of the stroller and on someone’s lap so she could rock out with us. That’s pure Faith. I guess she felt isolated in her plastic bubble. Since the weather was so nasty that just wasn’t an option. So I spent the rest of my time at the show by myself. To see the further adventures of Baby Faith, Holli, and DAAAddy, read Holli’s blog entry (be sure to check out her photos!).

I wasn’t sure how long I was going to stay. I felt awful that the people who had been housing and feeding me for the last couple of days were now sitting in a car in the parking lot waiting for me so we could get out of there. I had a cell phone and could communicate via text message, but it wasn’t easy to get to the phone since I had it in an inside of pocket of my jacket that I was wearing underneath the poncho. I sat through the rest of the Liars set and waited for Radiohead to emerge. The rain continued.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It's going to take me a little while to catch up on everything. I went in to work for 3 hours when I got home yesterday. You know how the first day back from vacation kind of sucks because you are catching up on emails and all the other things that sat while you were gone? Well, it was like that. So I will do some real posts when I catch up. For now, here's one of the shots from the butterfly exhibit.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Small Update

This is going to be a very short post. I've been having a great time on my visit to Holli and Faith. We went to a butterfly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History yesterday. I got tons of butterfly shots, but when I tried to upload a few it wouldn't recognize my camera. So the butterfly bombardment may have to wait until I get home.

The Radiohead show was both great and not-so-great. The band's performance? Great. The weather? Sucked balls. It rained quite heavily the whole time, and since we had lawn seats that was not so great. In fact, it's still raining now. I ended up having to miss 5 songs because I was starting to shiver from having soaking wet jeans and jacket sleeves (everything else was poncho-covered). Everyone else headed to the car earlier, so that's why I say "I". I'm very glad that I have covered seats for the next 2 shows that I am going to!

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Packing Schmacking

Man, I'm wigging out. I hate getting ready to travel. I hate packing. I don't know why, but I don't like it. And I'm only going to be gone for 5 days, it's not like I'm going to the moon.

I can't wait to get there, but I hate that both Holli and Faith are ill at the moment. Hopefully they will both be on the mend soon!

This video has nothing to do with anything other than I think it's really funny. This news anchor recently moved to Dallas to do one of the morning news shows. So of course, this video has gotten some notice around here. It's a giggle!

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Music Pants Gone Crazy

My music pants have gone crazy today. In fact, they've gone so crazy that they just pretty much flew across the room.

Reason 1. I found out this morning that there is a new Nine Inch Nails album, and you can download it free on the Infernets. I would rate myself as just a moderate fan of NIN, but I just really love the concept behind this. I mean, who doesn't love free stuff? And while I like Radiohead's music better, this download blows the doors off the In Rainbows download in an important way (to me anyway). This download is available in high-quality audio. You can download it as FLAC files or in WAVE format. WAVE is actually higher-than-CD quality. I don't even have the equipment to take advantage of it. And you get artwork too. And did I mention it's free? What makes this even more amazing is that NIN just offered a substantial free download in March of their previous album. I don't understand how Trent makes money off of this (maybe by generating buzz for the tour), but then again I guess he doesn't really need any more money anyway.

Reason 2. Yesterday I received an email from a friend telling me that Tom Waits was holding a press conference today at 9AM. Honestly I had kind of forgotten about it until this afternoon when I saw an item on a music blog that I read that Tom announced a tour and that Dallas is one of the stops! As you'll recall from my posts about my trip to Memphis in 2006, Tom Waits was a long-time holy grail of concerts for me. To get the chance to see him again would be awesome. And he'll be here only a little bit more than a month from now! If he's coming to your town and you can get tickets - just go! Don't think about it, just do it!

Reason 3. Radiohead-A-Palooza 2008 is fast approaching. During RAP 2008 I will attempt to see Radiohead 3 times in 3 different cities all in one week! First stop: Washington, D.C. next Sunday. And not only will there be Radiohead, there will be Holli and Faith!

Man, I'm all worked up now and I've stayed up too late again!

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Tenants

Damn, I should be in bed by now. Lately Sunday evenings have turned into the equivalent of the day before vacation for me - I feel like there are so many things that need to be done before the week starts for real and I end up waiting too late and not getting them all done. Like blog posts!

The end of this school semester is approaching quickly. There was lots of drama with our group project last week, but we got a pretty decent project turned in. Several of the people all but disappeared, and I was writing stuff until a couple of hours before deadline and sending it to the person collating the report. I'm just glad to be done. I have to finish writing a short paper about my internship and then I will be done for the semester. This summer is my last semester. I don't feel the usual feeling of freedom, though, because in the first week of summer semester I have to do the "final project" deal where I have to write 3 papers in one week. Not looking forward to that.

There's a bird construction project taking place on my front porch. Some barn swallows have built a nest of mud and straw out there. I didn't know that they could just build one on the side of a brick wall! I don't see that it will hurt anything, so I'm letting them move in.

It's almost done. I wish I would have taken some more photos during the construction - it was kind of interesting to watch it take shape.

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