Monday, August 28, 2006

Best concert ever

That's all I can really Jade and I went to St. Louis for the weekend to see Sonic Youth and The Flaming Lips at the Pageant. After getting lost in East St. Louis and fearing for our lives a little bit, we finally made it to our hotel in Forest Park. We spent the afternoon at the science museum. It was pretty cool. They had a large hands on area that reminded me of the Exploritorium in San Fransisco. Most of it was geared towards kids, but hey, I just a kid in a grown-up's body. So, I had a blast playing with all the displays. I could have spent a couple of hours more there, but it was crowded with kids. The rest of the museum was rather standard. It had the typical dinosaur exhibit and geological content....most of which isn't hands on. They had a small section about architectual engineering...which was interesting. Later that night, we had Japanese food for dinner and martinis at a cool bowling alley called Pin-Up Bowling. It was a martini bar with 8 lanes of bowling. They had Vargas pin-up girls all over the walls. Aaron would have loved it. The best thing kids or teens. I had an idea for an over 21 bowling alley awhile back. It was kinda bittersweet to see it had already been done. There's nothing new under the sun. Anyway, we get to the venue and it's really nice. Twice as big as the Blue Note and much cleaner. We had the most amazing spot to stand that I've ever had at a show. we were about 20-30 feet from the stage, where the floor is raised a tier. We were at the front of the teir, so we had a clear view of the entire stage, with no heads to block our view. We held our spot with zealous determination against the mob of drunk and high people trying to push their way forward. The opening band was okay, I think they were called The Magic Numbers. Sonic Youth went on second. They were fantastic. We'd seen them before in Columbia, but this was an even more intense show. For 40 somethings, they rock HARD.

Now, on to The Flaming Lips.
I'm going to try to describe this as accurately as possible, to try to express the shear "eventfullness" of their show.

The band comes on stage. The bass player is dressed as a skeleton, the guitarist/keyboardist is dressed as a space commander, and the lead singer is in a suit. They start their first number off with a bang...literally. 2 monstrous confetti machines start spewing mass amounts of confetti in a massive explosion out over the audience, all the way up into the balcony. On the right side of the stage appear a dozen people all dressed as Santa Claus, waving handheld spotlights. Captain America was also on the right. On the left side, a dozen women dressed as sexy mini-skirt wearing aliens appear. They wore green alien masks with big eyes. They too wielded spotlights. Superman was on this side. The lead singer has this tube gun that shoots multicolored streamers all the way too the ceiling. He would use this throughout the act. All over a sudden, about 30 (at least) 2 1/2 foot diameter balloons were released on the crowd. These were batted around by the audience and the band. I have no idea how a band could play through all that chaos, but they did. Oh yeah, they had a 40 foot video screen behind the band that showed video clips and a fish-eye lens view of the singer. As they went into their second number, Captain America and Superman picked up the balloons as they landed on stage and removed them. Confetti and streamers would appear throughout the show. The go-go aliens and Santas would remain on stage for the entire show. Eventually, two giant balloons got passed around (they were about 6-10 foot in diameter). Every song they played was one I wanted to hear (with the exception of She don't use jelly). I didn't get to hear two songs from Yoshimi, but that's okay because every other song I couldn't have done without either. Speaking of Yoshimi....the singer used a puppet of a nun to sing that song. Oh yeah, he also came out with two gigantic synthetic hands on and would clap to the rythm (they were about 4-6 feet across and looked very realistic). He also blew up one more balloon on stage that was about 15 feet in diameter, and was filled with money. He blew it up till it popped and money rained down on the audience (that part made me wish I was closer to the stage). All the songs sounded great. The singer was awesome with the audience. There was a lot of dialogue with us. One of the Santa's was celebrating her 16th birthday, and he had the band and audience sing happy birthday to her. Talk about something you would never forget. That seemed to be the overall theme for the night, having a fun and unforgettable experience.

I've been to somewhere between 30-40 concerts in my life and this one was the absolute best ever by leaps and bounds. I highly recommend seeing The Flaming Lips if you get the chance. It's worth it even if you have to travel to see them. This show made me want to compile a list of the best shows I've seen. Five is too low a number, so I'll go with 7. The order is based on techincal ability, atmosphere, and stage presence.

7. Violent Femmes
6. Stone Temple Pilots
5. Incubus
4. Jane's addiction
3. Jethro Tull
2. Tool
1. The Flaming Lips

Let's bowl, let's bowl, let's rock 'n roll

So, Jade and I finally joined a league. It started Friday night. We went to the meeting at 6pm. I got there early and watched people filter in. Everyone that walked in the door had to be either a: 70 plus years old, b: a complete hick, c: a complete goober (see b). I was very disheartened. I only saw one other guy my age. Jade and I sat through their 30 minutes boring ass meeting just to find out that we were the only 2 oddballs....everyone else already had a complete team. They basically ended up taking a vote to see if they wanted to allow us to bowl....they didn't. So poo on them. The manager was very nice though, he said another league that just started last week might have an opening. The manager of the league was a guy in his mid thirties and he was cool enough to let us join. We ended up bowling against his team that night. It looked like this league was comprised of younger players, which is nice. As Jade has already mentioned, another straggler ended up joining our team. It was some weird 60 yr old lady who didn't hardly talk to us all night. She had a daughter that I think was mildly retarded and had a huge burn scar on her arm. The mother seemed embarrassed to have her around, which made me sad. The daughter seemed nice enough, just kinda slow. Hopefully we can add 2 more people next week so we have a full team. Anyway, bowling went well. It was rather strange though. Everyone on the other team kept high-fiving us on almost every frame. It was a little creepy, especially since I don't even like to shake hands. We bowl 3 games a week. I did fairly decent with 165, 165, and 145. I think I drank a little too much beer and that affected my last game. The nice thing is that they leave the lights on, and I don't have to listen to crappy rap music. The next step is getting my own ball, which I'm going to look for tonight online. I ended up being captain for our team. Jade came up with the name "Spare Change". Everyone really liked it, so we went with it. The only other name I could come up with was "The Jive Turkeys"....which I thought was funny as hell. Maybe not appropriate in mixed company though. Hopefully this turns out to be a fun league, as we are in it for the long haul. It doesn't end until May of next year. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I feel special

I just got carded for cigarettes at the tender age of 31. Warms my heart.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

world weary

just because...

by Smashing Pumpkins

I fear that I'm ordinary, just like everyone
To lie here and die among the sorrows
Adrift among the days
For everything I ever said
And everything I've ever done is gone and dead
As all things must surely have to end
And great lovers will one day have to part
I know that I am meant for this world
My life has been extraordinary
Blessed and cursed and won
Time heals but I'm forever broken
By and by the way...
Have you ever heard the words
I'm singing in these songs?
It's for the girl I've loved all along
Can a taste of love be so wrong
As all things must surely have to end
And great lovers will one day have to part
I know that I am meant for this world
And in my mind as I was floating
Far above the clouds
Some children laughed I'd fall for certain
For thinking that I'd last forever
But I knew exactly where I was

And I knew
the meaning of it all
And I knew
the distance to the sun
And I knew
the echo that is love
And I knew
the secrets in your spires
And I knew
the emptiness of youth
And I knew
the solitude of heart
And I knew
the murmurs of the soul
And the world
is drawn into your hands
And the world
is etched upon your heart
And the world
so hard to understand
Is the world you can't live without
And I knew the silence of the world

Friday, August 11, 2006

It's Hot!

Need I say more?

Good flick

I finally got around to seeing this movie. I'm surprised I didn't catch it sooner, as it was high on the list of movies I wanted to see. Jade and I saw it 2 days before it left the theater. The animation was absolutely gorgeous, although some of it made my eyes hurt (some of the characters wear camoflauge suits that project ever-changing images of different people and outfits every second).The movie was very dialogue heavy, most of it was pretty damn funny. A lot of the situations reminded me of "experiences" I had in my late teens/early twenties. The plot was pretty cool as well, although it felt like it was going nowhere until near the end. I think I will appreciate it more the second time I see it. The acting was suberb too, for the most part. Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic. As was this guy->

I can't remember his name, but he played the main pothead in Dazed and Confused (the one that talked about the creepy stuff happening on a dollar bill). Winona Ryder was not that great ( I never thought she was much of an actress). And, of course, Keanu Reeves sucked balls. Even when he's animated, he's not animated. Can somebody expain to me how he ends up getting roles in what otherwise would be great movies? Overall, a good flick that I can't wait to see again. The next movie that I hope to see is Talledega Nights....I need a silly movie. After that, it's Little Miss Sunshine.