Sunday November 20, 2005



The next 2 Concert Shots are ready to go now. I just have to get the pages created and hot linked. I wonder how I should stagger 'em. Maybe I'll just do one massive update...hmmm....

Oh - oh, my God, I found and listened to the Steve Albini re-produced version of Cheap Trick's In Color album today. The band was never satisfied with how that original breakthrough record sounded. They always said they'd re-record it more to their own vision if they got a chance. They did just that in 2002. I can't believe they haven't released it officially as it ABSOLUTELY SMOKES the original. And I'm not one to usually say something like that with a do over. You can't even compare! They really need to bundle the 2 together in a re-issue. You could probably even fit them both on one disc as the album's pretty short.

To top it off, they also recorded versions of the super-obscurities "Fan Club" and a Robin Zander version of "I'm Losing You" which the band recorded in demo form with John Lennon a few months before he died. The very last "bonus track" is an ominous, plodding and nearly scary version of "Oh Caroline". It's funny to compare it to the jaunty album release. Ohhhh....I'm so happy with this I can hardly put it into words.

As for the rest of the day, it doesn't really matter as not much happened. I already said I edited pics and did some downloading. There wasn't much else. As we always like to do when we can, we capped the night with the FOX animation lineup.

And Amanda got most of our shopping for Christmas done to cap it all!




Saturday November 19, 2005








Yes, yes - happy birthday indeed. I don't know what you're up to but I hope you're having a decent one. Again, I're the only constant, non-family link I have to my childhood. I'm proud that we're still close and I'll look forward to seeing you again over the holidays...

As for MY day, I felt awfully good considering the late hour of getting home last night. I spent the day editing the 300+ pics from the show while listening to the spoils of my dc++ trading. I listened to that amazing Who 1979 recording. Actually, the recording's only okay but the performance is unbelievable. They were really on that night.

I'm getting so spoiled with my spoils, man. It's really eye opening and I can't wait for it to show up in our songs and stage show.

All in all, this was a fairly relaxing day. I got all the pics edited and uploaded. It was nice. Although, I'm starting to get that work-related itch that I need to really jump back in. Which is crazy, 'cause I already have. I'm just taking things at a more reasonable pace for the rest of the year.




Friday November 18, 2005

U2 gives Atlanta Vertigo...



Well, today was all about the background again. I got a lot more done on the way to the next Concert Shots updates. In the meantime, I also got some more music downloaded from my dc++ hubs. The only bad thing is that I KNOW there are thousands of hubs out there and I'd like to register to a couple more. The two that I've been able to get into are Pink Floyd based. Luckily, they have a lot of other artists in the shared collection but not enough variety for me. Still, I've got some amazing, amazing stuff.

Here are some of my current favorites.

Prince live in Osaka, Japan from 1989 on the Lovesexy tour. Wow!
The Who Live In Chicago, December '79.
Pink Floyd Live From Wembley Pool, November '74.

In fact, we listened to the Floyd '74 disc on the way to Atlanta tonight. What an amazing document to hear the band perform the LIVE version of Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety. Several of the songs are expanded and or re-imagined. It was just the four of them with a backup singer so some juggling was necessary. For me, it's totally fascinating. And the recording is pristine!

I'm glad we had Floyd 'cause traffic was miserable. To make it worse, we had to make a side stop so Amanda could pick up the jacket that she left at the TV studio last week. was miserable. Floyd relaxed us, though.

Then we were there. Amanda had to let me out at the entrance to go get parking because I was running so late. By the time I got in there, the band was already starting. Luckily, it was only Institute so I wouldn't have cried over it either way. Of all the great opening acts on the U2 tour, we got stuck with Gavin Rossdale's new band. They sounded tighter than Bush sounded last time I heard them but still...I don't get it. I only saw the first 3 but it was pretty boring.

Of course, U2 blew 'em away. And still, this couldn't compare with the November '01 show I saw. That one is still in my top 5 shows EVER. This one won't make my top twenty all-time. It doesn't matter, it's one of the best of '05 and I'm glad I got to see it. Bono seemed a little under the weather and / or subdued for him. He had trouble reaching some of the top notes (which I've never heard before) but he paced himself well and did a mighty fine job of disguising it for the everyday concert goer. We shot "City Of Blinding Lights", "Vertigo" and "Elevation." I thought they were going to have a shot at topping the last time early on. But the pacing was off. After a killer opening onslaught, it just started to drag. The highlight segment (for me) began with a truly heartfelt and heartbreaking "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own." Bono wrote this after his father's death and in tribute to his Dad, he took of his trademark sunglasses. Underneath, he still looks like that guy from the Joshua Tree album. They followed that with a 1-2-3 political punch of "Love And Peace Or Else," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Bullet The Blue Sky". Bono even worked in a sing-a-long chunk of "Rock The Casbah." If the whole show could've maintained this energy, it would've been a masterpiece. This was U2 on an average night. It was still light years beyond most bands on their best. Just thinking of Bono repeating over and over, "This is your song now, America, this is your song now" is enough to give me chills.

Here's the full set list (with the bits worked in from other songs, too!):

1. City Of Blinding Lights
2. Vertigo / Rockaway Beach (snippet) / Rock 'N' Roll Nigger (snippet)
3. Elevation
4. Beautiful Day / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (snippet) / Blackbird (snippet)
5. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / In A Little While (snippet)
6. Mysterious Ways
7. Original Of The Species
8. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own / The Black Hills of Dakota (snippet)
9. Love And Peace Or Else
10. Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
11. Bullet The Blue Sky / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet) / The Hands That Built America (snippet)
12. Miss Sarajevo
13. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
14. Where The Streets Have No Name
15. One / Ol' Man River (snippet)


16. Until The End Of The World
17. The Fly
18. With Or Without You
19. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
20. Yahweh
21. All Because Of You
22. 40




Thursday November 17, 2005


And since I'm back on the photography band wagon, I spent the first part of my day editing the 300+ shots from last night. That was followed by uploading potential Magic Numbers cover shots to Pollstar. So that was most of my day right there.

Apparently, 11/16 was a good day for us to get press. I've mentioned before that the Creative Loafing with today's date had us mentioned. It came out last week. The brand new Flagpole also mentions the Daily Show thing in this week's Threats & Promises column. Check it out here.

What? Not enough? Fine. How 'bout this one, then? We got another CD review. It's not glowing but it's still pretty good. I honestly don't get all the punk and Clash comparisons but I'm cool with it and find it interesting. This one's from the University Of Georgia newspaper The Red & Black. I like that it suggests that the album cover alone may be worth the purchase price! Right on and thanks again, Scott! Read it all here.

Or you can just go here and read 'em all back to back to back in cut and paste form.

And oh yeah, that cover of this week's Flagpole that you see in the upper left is a composite picture of several Athens and Nebraska acts (and their connections). All of the live shots on it are (you guessed it) mine and they're pics of Azure Ray and Now It's Overhead in case you were wondering.

In bootleg news, I got a killer recording of The Who live in Swansea, England on 6-12-76. Again - this should've been an official release!

That is all.



Wednesday November 16, 2005

Bright Eyes (aka Conor Oberst) tries to decide between hanging himself or doing the patented "rock star leads the crowd" arm sway at Georgia Theatre.





Well, it's time to begin plugging myself in again.

I did spend the day looking for (and finding plenty still) to update. In the background, I was still grabbing obscure shows via a dc++ hub. Today I got a stunning performance from Pink Floyd from November of '74. The amazing thing is this 80-minute disc is just the second set. The first set wasn't recorded (professionally). The second set was a complete performance of Dark Side Of The Moon by the original quartet. It's cool to hear how the most perfect of all albums was expanded and experimented on in a live context. And the recording is phenomenal. It could (and should) be an official release. After doing Dark Side in its entirety, the band came back for an encore...a 24-minute rendition of "Echoes" that may be better than the studio version. I'm floored by this stuff and it's really helping me get back to that place I need to be to understand my own abilities and hone them even more.

In the evening, I went out to return to photography. Luckily, not only did this show start early (the first band actually went on at 9) but it was right here in Athens at the Georgia Theatre. I mainly went to shoot The Magic Numbers. They're a British band that Pollstar is doing a cover story on. I'm trying to go for a 7th cover shot! We'll see if I get it. None of the Athens venues (as much as I love 'em) are very conducive to cover shoots. I liked The Magic Numbers. They were just straight, old-fashioned, jangly, 60s based pop with nice harmonies, a bit of soul and a splash of twee. Nothing earth shaking, mind you, but perfectly pleasant.

Next up was Feist. This is Leslie Feist of Broken Social Scene with her solo band. She is not meant to be an indie girl. This is a rock star in the indie scene. Her voice and onstage persona reminded me a bit of Chrissie Hynde. It was funny to watch her try to balance big-rock moves with the indie sensibilites. Great voice, too.

Bright Eyes was the headliner. All the pseudo-hipsters were there by this point. For some reason, it delighted me to see all the college freshmen and sophomores wearing early 80s Izod kind of fashions. I'm sure they think that's all theirs but hey, Kanye West and his followers have been on that for the last couple of years. So (not for the first time) the ones who think they're trendsetters are actually just followers. I guess that why they call 'em "trendies", eh? They're just FOLLOWING the trends of their little clique. I have nothing against them, mind you. I just found it amusing. You could see just how precious they all were about it. Especially the guys. Everything had to be just so. To their credit, they all seemed to be having a good time and that's the most important thing.

Oh and for the record, yes, I've always had something against Bright Eyes. I've found him overly pretentious and with too much so-called "integrity" for his own good. And while I only stayed for 5 songs tonight, I must say, I was impressed. Maybe it was a good night or my expectations were just super-low but I liked what I heard. He did seem to be acting a bit...but hey, they do call 'em musical "acts", right?

Now all the things in quotes make sense. Thanks, Conor.



Tuesday November 15, 2005





Happy (expletive number deleted) anniversary!

Yep, on this day in (unintelligble) Amanda and I met for the first time. We've been "starving ever since." To celebrate the starving, we went out to dinner at Jonny Carinno's. Then we chilled with some Pink Floyd (and related recordings) before catching My Name Is Earl, which is about as good as sitcom TV gets - especially now that Arrested Development has been cancelled (it's a sin and a travesty).

Good times...

Other than that, I'm still recharging...or doing my best to. I know there's not been much exciting here lately but hey, that's just what I need for a change. '06 looks like it's going to be totally out of my control. I'm trying to enjoy the calm before it all...




Monday November 14, 2005




I'm biding my time now. I'm refilling the well. I'm figuring things out. I'm learning again. I'm creating again. I'm enjoying.

I can't say if I've got anything tangible to show for it yet but soon...very soon. In the meantime, I'm collecting and listening to rare live performances from my heroes to help bring the inspiration to a critical point. It's working beautifully so far. I'm really getting back in touch with what started me down this path. I had been so distracted with band politics for the past several months that it was lost to me. Now those problems are gone. I can feel it opening up and getting ready to spill when a volcano gets to a certain point. We'll see what happens I guess.

To tell you the truth, there are a couple of potentially big developments on the front...but I can't tell you yet. I don't wanna jinx 'em...

Part of my refilling today involved listening to the very last Led Zeppelin show ever from July 7, 1980. I can't say it's one of the best I've heard but it's interesting from a historical standpoint if nothing else. Plus, Jimmy Page did a lot of on mic banter which was very odd. Three months later, John Bonham was dead at 32. But he certainly got a lot accomplished before then didn't he?

Click here for last week with our Columbia radio debut, Earshot, rehearsal and a whole bunch of other hooey...