I started this post Friday. I was going to write this epic post about how annoying it is that now that bands and publicists woo me with tons of free music to blog I lack the time and/or energy to write about it or blog about it. I barely get to listen to most it. But then, ironically, I didn’t have time to write the post and now I lack the energy to even try even though I’ve spent the day doing pretty much nothing but vegetate.

I did listen to music today, mostly The Oranges Band today, which reminded me that I need to call ex-Oranges Band member Dan Black because he sent me a message months ago that he thinks he actually knows the guy who’s picture was on our holiday card this year and I never got back to him.

I think it would be weird if Dan does know him, since I don’t. I know Dan, I don’t know Troy’s friend, the guy on our card. I don’t actually know Troy, either.

But I digress….

We saw The Kills at the 9:30 Thursday night. There’d been a rather ominous note on their website from VV earlier in the week:

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2009
hello everyone

a quick note to everyone who came to the boulder gig at the fox theatre last night….

sorry i left i the stage earlier than planned. my lungs closed and suddenly i couldn’t breathe. it happened repeatedly for the rest of the night. fits of choking. spent a good three hours at the hospital trying to stop choking. not the kind of night i had planned! thank you to all of you who were concerned.

i really appreciate it! i will be fine! x x x vv

All seemed to be well, it was an energetic show and her voice seemed none the worse for wear. (If Kate Moss was in the balcony I didn’t see her).

Last week we caught Sara Watkins. That was also a really good show, but in a totally different way, which makes sense since she makes totally different music than the Kills. It wasn’t advertised as a seated show (not that I saw) and it seemed to suck some of the life out of the crowd, which I thought was kinda unfortunate. I’ve seen other seated shows at the 9:30 that had a lively audience. When we got there we were the only ones sitting in the balcony, which was fine by us, but also a little odd.

Husband was pleased that she had Sebastian Steinberg on bass for that show – he’s one of his favorite bass players. John Paul Johns (you know, from Led Zeppelin) has played a few shows with her and he also produced the solo album she’s touring on so we were surprised by the substitution but really pleased because Steinberg is an amazing bass player.

Lots of other arty things were happening during this, the first weekend of Spring – although Artomatic registration is not open yet.

I’m a bit cantankerous because I want to start recording the soundtrack for a potential installation and a major construction project sprang up 200 yards from our recording space. Pile-driving and sound recording are not the very best of friends. We have a little time, but this kind of installation requires a lot of planning and construction that can’t be done at the last minute.

Did I mention that Artomatic registration is not open yet? It’s not.

David Fogel’s 88 hosted the 4 day Forward Festival at various locations. Artery 717 opened “Private Arts” a new show of work by 40 local designers showing off the art they create after their design clients go home. Anna U Davis closed out her show at Long View Gallery. Artomatic registration did not open, although Sean Welker opened a new show at R. Coury Fine Art Gallery in Savage, Maryland. Transformer Gallery opened Fabrication of Blindness/Fabricating Rain, an intriguing looking show. There is/was a whole bunch of music stuff going on this weekend that I’m too tired to blog about, but luckily dcist has a roundup.

We were going to go to many of these things – instead we stopped at Artery 717 and said hello and then drove by BeBar for X in DC, but by then I was too tired to get out of the car – let alone go inside – so we went home. It is indeed a life glamorous and exotic.

In far more important news, the pattern for the cables on the cute little ballerina sweater from Glampyre Stefanie Japel’s Fitted Knits are totally fucked up. The sweater looked wrong because it was wrong. If I’d just looked up the errata to the pattern to begin with I would have figured out why much sooner. It’s an eyecatching cable and the mistake is centered right at breast level – you’d think someone would have caught that before the book went to print. I’m just grumbling because I don’t feel well and I hope this would be a quick and easy project, not one I had to rip out and redo repeatedly. It’s a beautiful sweater and I love her designs.

And, of course, yesterday was National Corndog Day, as you may have read in the accidentally epic meatblog post, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Corndogs.” You can go read that while you wait for Artomatic registration to start – if you’re on the mailing list you’ll be the first to know when it opens.

…just not on the same night.

I think we’ve spent more time at the 9:30 Club in the last few days than in all of last year, total. Mind you, I was abducted by aliens (or possibly artomatic) last year, so that’s all a blur and maybe doesn’t count.

Well, whatever. We’ve been supporting live music lately and we’ve seen a bunch of really good shows.

Friday night we caught George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic. A pared down version of the band opened and then the full funk mob took the stage and played til the club threw on the house lights and threw everyone out.

As always, it was an outstanding show.

And, as always, I had nightmares about an old dude in a big diaper for days after.

Saturday night I dragged Husband to see Dan Auerbach. He enjoyed the show (whew). I figured he would, but I’m not sure he’s ever listened to the Black Keys and I knew he hadn’t listened to “Keep it Hid” – which was only released a couple of days ago. You should get “Keep it Hid”, by the way, it’s a really good album.

Auerbach played in Boston the next night and you can read the review here, it pretty much says what I would have said.

The opening band was Those Darlins, who were a very fun band out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They were followed by a quick set by Hacienda, who were also Auerbach’s very capable backing band.

Was this a trend this week?

Yes, yes it was. Tuesday night Lucinda Williams’ road band, Buick 6, was also her opening act. They’re quite good, plus they did an instrumental cover of Prince’s “Erotic City,” which is Husband’s favorite Prince song.

We met up with a group of friends, one of whom worships Lucinda Williams. I think Jean can die happy now because it was a good show and it sounded great and we didn’t have an obstructed view for even a moment.

There was a couple in front of us, but they stayed primly seated until the encore. Then they stood up and “danced.” They should probably have stayed seated, but I’m not one to judge. Much. It’s safe to say they really love the new album. Really really love the new album. A lot. I think “Real Love” must be “their song.”

Come to think of it, that’s probably a good thing – or at least a far better thing than having some of those early wristcuttin’ songs be your song, because I’m pretty sure that’s not the sign of a healthy relationship.

Although Williams posts her setlists on her website, the most recent shows aren’t up yet. Luckily, Dave of Sound off with Dave posted a setlist so I don’t have to try to reconstruct it. Oh, let’s face it, I wasn’t going to try, but since someone else did the work I can pretend.

People Talkin’
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Circles and X’s
Drunken Angel
Side of the Road
Everything Has Changed
Something About What Happens When We Talk
Over Time
Tears of Joy
Are You Down?
Real Love
Come On
Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings
Honey Bee

Angel (J Hendrix) – solo acoustic
Little Rock Star
Long Way to the Top (AC/DC)

Thanks, Dave!

Saturday night we encountered the Human Eclipse – moments before the show started Saturday, the tallest guy in the place wedged himself in front of me – causing my view of the stage to go from “perfect and unobstructed” to this:

The view from here

We were standing on the steps of the balcony – it was pretty much impossible for the suburban lumberjack to be unaware he was crowding in front of other people when they’re all standing on a ledge.

At least Kyle Bunyon parked his ox outside. Sheesh.

We had a phenomenal view of the stage for Lucinda Williams, thanks in part to the Kennedy Center crowd perched primly on the steps, clearly terrified to stand during the show. Friday night we also had a great view of the stage and of the crowd. (I really like watching the crowd, especially at a George Clinton Show). I think it’s safe to say that Husband and I were the only ones at both of those shows.

And now, because I shouldn’t be the only one who’s haunted:

(That’s from last month, but it’s the right image and, conveniently, the right club. Not my picture, I found it on flickr).

I decided to round up the links to some of the music blogs I’ve been checking out lately because, well, you keep asking me to and I keep promising I’ll get to it. So here you go, in no particular order:

Pitchfork isn’t really a blog but I’m going to put it at the top of the list because it’s useful. And even when not useful, it’s silly and amusing (although not intentionally so). Pitchfork is frequently accused of being over-wrought, pretentious and opaque (often by me). Isn’t that what rock journalism is all about? Quit your whining.

Brooklyn Vegan, of course, because you’re not cool unless you read Brooklyn Vegan.

Music snobbery is also a good read, although I have the same problem with Music Snobbery that I have with Brooklyn Vegan – I’m unfamiliar with a lot of the venues they mention, but that’s okay.

The Music Slut is constantly posting videos I’d otherwise miss out on, seeing as I no long spend my days in an office and lack coworkers dropping by and asking, “Hey, have you seen…”

Gorilla vs Bear had me with their name and graphics, but I enjoy the content as well. Like Brooklyn Vegan, Gorilla vs Bear produces a blog radio show for Sirius XM radio. (For now).

Stereo cupcake
is where I learn important tidbits such as: Santogold changed her name to Santigold. Every bit as silly as it sounds, but I bet it’s been publicity gold. Case in point: this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned Santigold on my site, ever. Also probably the last, but that’s not the point.

Sasha Frere Jones is, of course, a professional music critic/journalist and musician. He gets double bonus points for this great post, “Who is on Twitter?”

  • people who are just back from a really awesome run
  • people who are involved with “computers”
  • DJs
  • DJs at the airport
  • DJs who are drunk
  • people who don’t have anyone’s email address
  • people who are mad at television
  • people who have forgotten how to email
  • people who have forgotten how to text
  • people who are involved in “social networking” and optimizing the power of re-Tweeting and “computers”
  • people who can’t find a reasonable picture of themselves
  • people who really like the news
  • DJs at the airport
  • people who are hungry
  • rappers
  • people who are cold
  • people who are back from an OK run
  • people who can’t figure out what to feed their kids
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • people who have never seen snow
  • Rachel Maddow
  • forty-five people I’ve never heard of who all invented the internet
  • people who are concerned about the collapse of the publishing industry
  • people who like Battlestar Galactica
  • rappers who are eating food
  • DJs
  • people who are about to go for a run
  • DJs who want to know where you are
  • people who are mad at Twitter
  • people who are mad at rappers
  • a nun
  • DJs

His New Yorker music blog is where the in-depth music writing is, but I just wanted an excuse to link to that twitter post.

Sovietpanda is a Minneapolis music blogger and DJ who came to my attention recently after a friend forwarded me one of his tweets:

“Faces do not melt because of your shitty DJ set. Faces melt because the Ark of the Covenant is opened.”

True ’nuff.

So many important things to post about today – the American Heart Association’s vitally important Go Red for Women campaign, the idiocy of Metro’s proposed cost-cutting measures, the malfeasance involved in the peanut butter/salmonella scandal that, among other things, included sending 32 truckloads of of contaminated peanut products to the free lunch program in our nation’s schools, the Michael Phelps saga, the roundup of blog-links I really liked this week, the squirrel that fell from the sky while I was standing on the sidewalk talking to my neighbor, or even how much I hated the underwear I was wearing earlier.

Instead, I’m going to explain to you what would happen to Husband if he was exposed to my ipod. Did you see that episode of Fringe where people’s brains were being liquified by a mysterious electro-magnetic force? That’s what would happen.

To demonstrate my terrible taste in music, here’s the playlist I threw together for an hour-long run today. The only criteria I used when scrolling through about 50 gigs of music was, “must be able to run to it for an hour.” Somehow what I ended up with was, “19 songs performed by women, plus 1 by the Chemical Brothers.” I don’t know what that means, beyond “Husband’s brain would liquify if he was forced to listen to this in it’s entirety,” but there ya go.

Rehab – Amy Winehouse
House Of Bamboo – Southern Culture On The Skids
Galvanize (feat Q-Tip) – The Chemical Brothers
Human Behaviour – Björk
Stupid Girls – pink
Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
Hazy Shade of Winter – Bangles
I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
SOS – Rihanna
Circus – Britney Spears
U + Ur Hand – pink
Disturbia – Rihanna
Genie in a Bottle – Christina Aguilera
Bad Word For A Good Thing – The Friggs (myspace)
Just A Girl – No Doubt
Things That Scare Me – Neko Case
Army of Me – Björk
Call Me When You’re Sober – Evanescence
Under the Gun – Supreme Beings of Leisure (myspace)
Girlfriend – Alicia Keys

I tried to publish the playlist to itunes but itunes didn’t seem to like the amalgamation of amazon, emusic and files ripped from CDs so we’ll see how that works out…I’ll post a link if it works out at all.

Several readers asked what I have against the Grateful Dead.

Let me explain. It’s not really so much that I don’t want to hear them, it’s that I simply don’t. My brain just blocks the music automatically. You see, long long ago I lived in a group house – a house collectively leased by a group of college students. (This was a cheap off-campus arrangement, not a condition of parole or anything of the like. I clarify that simply because the term “group house” has different connotations in different places).

I had 5-6 roommates at any given time. Most of them were Deadheads. Most of them liked to listen to the Dead. All the time. I worked nights sometimes and would often get up in the early afternoon to find everyone had gone to work or school, but they’d all left their cassette players on in their rooms. What’s a cassette player? Ask your parents.

This means that while I was sleeping, my brain was being accosted by not one or two, but up to five different Dead shows. Simultaneously. To this day, even if I consciously listen to the Dead, the songs don’t sound right unless you’re mashing 3 or 4 of them together. If you’d like to replicate this experience, go to the Internet Archive’s Live Music Archive for the Grateful Dead. Borrow 4 or 5 laptops if you need, and play a different show in every room of your house. Turn them all up loud. Better still, also choose the low-fi stream option. Now, go to bed. Report back to me in the morning. Then, do this for about 8 more months.

That’s the short-form of the story. When I originally posted about this I remember linking to Mark Weingarten’s piece in Slate, “A Long, Staid Trip-How Deadheads ruined the Grateful Dead,” but I’ll be damned if I can remember how I got from point A to point B. It’s an interesting opinion piece, so I’m going to link it again, just for the hell of it.