It was great to hear some boys on Scrubs tonight. If you missed it, The Jayhawks were played. Blue from their album "Tomorrow the Green Grass." Arguably the step-parents of the genre we now know as Alt Country.
February 28, 2006
February 27, 2006
I'm not anal about very many things. One thing, though is music in iTunes. I'm so anal about track tags that it's not healthy any more. I'm taking a big step today and letting CDDB figure it out for me. It makes me feel a little strange, but then again, most of you don't know what I'm talking about.
This should be good. Or at least give some laughs.
Steve Buscemi is back to being a director.
Knight School is fascinating to me.
The inspiration that hit me while driving back from Chico last week hasn't past. I just haven't worked out how to put it out there.
That's it for now.
February 23, 2006
Portlanders, get your magic-marker out and mark May 11 and 12th on your calendar. On May 11, you'll want to be at the Rock Creek Tavern. On May 12th the White Eagle Saloon. The Whipsaws are coming to town! Alaskan Rock/Folk/Country at its best. They put on a great show. You can also check out their new CD at CDBaby or their MySpace page. I ordered it a while back and have never had a better experience with an online vendor. They are great. Incidentally, a lot of musicians I'm into have music and "blogs" on myspace. So, in order to be interactive with them, I had to join. That's right, I'm on myspace. I'm not sure I understand it, but I've had a few blasts from the past find me already. I've got a post (or an Article, as I sometimes refer to them) rattling around in my head that I'll take some time to write up later. Enjoy The Whipsaws, I know I do.
February 21, 2006
I drove to Chico today. A family friend needed a ride, so I drove her up there and dropped her off. I’ll go back up there on Thursday and pick her up. Not a bad drive at all. When making any trip, I prefer not to come back the same way I got there. So in this vein, I took a different route back. On my way up there, I drove 680 to 80 to 505 to 5 to 32 to Chico. I’m sure no one is as big of a geography geek as I am to actually trace my path, but I give the details nonetheless. On the way back I took 99 south to Sacramento (or Sacramentucky) and then 80 to 680. 99 was nice, I’d never done that stretch of it before. If you’re familiar at all with the US highway system, you may wonder what a 99 is doing on the West Coast.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the US highway system, here’s a little lesson. President Eisenhower, influenced by both his almost envious admiration of the Autobahn in Germany and his experience of following the “Lincoln Highway” as a young man, passed the “Federal-Aid Highway Act” in 1956. This created, or (pardon the pun) paved the way for the national grid we now know and love. Sorry, Alaska, you’re the only state to not have any interstates…yes, Hawaii has interstates (Don’t ask me, I don’t make the rules). There are major interstate highways that run North-South and East-West across the country. If you are on the west coast you are familiar with I-5, perhaps I-90 in Seattle or I-10 in L.A. (Here in the Bay Area it’s all about the 80). North-South highways are odd numbers and East-West highways are evens. I-5 is the Western N-S highway going Canada to Mexico through Washington, Oregon, and California. I-95 is the Eastern N-S highway going from Canada to Miami. Incidentally, I’ve driven the 5 from the Mexican border to Canada…never all at once, but there isn’t a section I haven’t driven. I’ve driven on the 95 from Newburyport, Massachusetts into North Carolina. So, no matter where you are in the 48 states, near you should be either an Interstate ending with a 5 or a 0. So as I check my traffic log, lots of people will be familiar with the 5, the 10 (Los Angeles), the 95 (Hello, Boston visitors, whoever you are), the 90 (Ohio loves the Motion), the 40 (new daddy in ARK), the 75 (someone who bookmarked my blog from Atlanta [Marietta, specifically])… I know I’ve already said too much about highways. It’s fascinating to me, though.
So in exchange for my long ramble about interstates, I recommend a great book. William Least Heat-Moon wrote Blue Highways: A Journey into America on a special trip in 1978 (published in 1982). He jumps right to my attention in the first page when he writes, “A man who couldn’t make things go right could at least go.” With a series of events in his life converging, he sets out across America to perhaps escape from home, or perhaps to find it. Instead of using the Interstate highways listed above to get around the U.S., he uses the “blue highways” more minor interstates or state routes. I haven’t thought of this book for years, but today I thought of it passing through a part of California, most of you either have never been or can’t even picture. I need to read it again to get some more details back in my head. Here are a few quotes from the book.
"At any particular moment in a man's life, he can say that everything he has done and not done, that has been done and not been done to him, has brought him to that moment. If he's being installed as Chieftain or receiving a Nobel Prize, that's a fulfilling notion. But if he's in a sleeping bag at ten thousand feet in a snowstorm, parked in the middle of a highway and waiting to freeze to death, the idea can make him feel calamitously stupid."
"Other than to amuse himself, why should a man pretend to know where he's going or understand what he sees?"
"Boredom lies only with the traveler's limited perception and his failure to explore deeply enough. After a while, I found my perception limited."
“I can't say, over the miles, that I had learned what I had wanted to know because I hadn't known what I wanted to know. But I did learn what I didn't know I wanted to know."
"Instead of insight, maybe all a man gets is strength to wander for a while. Maybe the only gift is a chance to inquire, to know nothing for certain. An inheritance of wonder and nothing more."
So two things from this. First, buy this book. Second, I’d love to take “MK in Motion” truly into motion and travel the U.S. blogging and logging little places that the average travel show or hip travel magazine doesn’t go. As William Least Heat-Moon does, count the calendars on the wall of a diner to know if you’re in the right place. Meet people, see places, and bring you all along as I do it. So, that’s my thought today. I’m not going to jump on the road tomorrow to head out across the states…I’ve got to be in Chico on Thursday, after all, but with the right budget and plan, I could really see myself doing it. Different friends could join me for different pieces of the trip. I could visit people who check in to MK in Motion and see their “home.” I started this wanting to write a little essay or article about home, but I will save that for another time. Below are links to find Blue Highways.
Barnes and Noble
Title Wave (some love for the ANC; $3.50 used)
February 13, 2006
February 12, 2006
February 11, 2006
I went to San Francisco today and on the way back on BART, I saw a guy wearing an Art Shell jersey...I don't own any jerseys, but if someone held a gun to my head and forced me to, here's the list.
If I were forced to wear a throwback jersey, I would have a hard time deciding between:
John Elway (#7) (in the "Orange Crush" of my childhood)
Neil Lomax (#15) (Portland guy, always been underrated, but one of my favorites)
Will Clark (#22) (Amazing baseball player)
Mike Greenwell (#39) (Greenwell played his entire career for the Red Sox, and came in second in the MVP voting to Jose Canseco in 1988)
George Brett (#5) (Hard working player who said that in his final at bat, he'd like to ground out to short, but run as hard as he can to first base [incidentally, he doubled in his final at bat])
Stan Musial (#6) (Great Cardinal hitter)
Drazen Petrovic (#44) (In a Portland jersey, of course)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) (In 4th grade I did my biography report on Kareem. My teacher asked when I was done how tall Kareem is. I answered 7 feet 2 inches, but then I added that he might be a little taller now. My 4th grade mind assumed that since I'd grown over the last few years, Kareem must've too.)
February 6, 2006
Two members of NFL history were visibly absent from yesterday's superbowl festivities.
As the rest of the Superbowl MVP's made their walk down the aisle, you couldn't help but think of Superbowl XIII, XIV, XVI, XIX, XXIV.
Jake Scott, the safety and MVP of Superbowl VII was in Australia on vacation. But Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana weren't there. They both say that they had prior commitments with their families, but that's not what the NFL says. Both retired players have appearance fees. The other 31 MVPs made the appearance for $1000 in spending money on top of their flight, hotel, rental car, superbowl ticket and banquets of food. Montana reportedly demanded a $100,000 appearance fee. $100,000!!! As if being a part of history, representing one of the greatest teams in NFL history, getting your picture taken with the greatest QB ever (John Elway) wasn't enough. I wonder if Notre Dame had to pay that to get him to stand on the sidelines when they got beat by USC. Terry Bradshaw has denied the report that he argued over money, but something kept him away. Lynn Swann made it. Bart Starr made it. Doug Williams made it. Terry, your team was playing for the Superbowl and you weren't there. Was it to keep the bald quarterback karma under control for the Steelers?
February 2, 2006
They redeemed themselves with me. BIG TIME. But first a couple of other things.
I sold my extra ticket to a woman for face value. A deal from what I understand. I posted on Craigslist and she was apparently in San Jose on business and wanted to see Coldplay. We exchanged ticket for cash in the lobby of her hotel. The interesting thing was that the ticket was for the seat next to me (I didn't mention this to her at any point). She never showed up. At least she didn't sit next to me. But the cash covered a t-shirt, parking and a sub at Quiznos. I didn't mind at all that she didn't show. Cash doesn't bounce.
Fiona Apple may have broken a few of the key rules of being an opening act.
1. She started early. By the atomic clock of my cell and the clock on the side of the arena, she started her set at 7:51.
2. She played for too long. While opening bands usually play their 5-7 songs and then run off the stage, members of the stage crew ran out as one of her songs drew to a close and grabbed instruments from the band and told her it was time to go.
3. She questioned what she was thinking when she wrote a song. The song, "Criminal," by the way.
4. She gained at least one new fan. Me.
Fiona was phenomenal. I'll save a proper review for another post. I'll also save my revelation about opening acts for another post.
What Schmetzger and I had discussed in December was that a lot of Coldplay's songs just didn't seem like live songs. Great album tracks, great driving music, but not big live music numbers. Perhaps Chris, Guy, Will and Jon were listening, because it was a completely different set list than Austin, which compared with Schmetzger's experience was pretty similar.
They started off with Square One, went right into Politik, Yellow, and Speed of Sound. While I was catching my breath from having my ass kicked by those four songs, they rattled through some songs that might not seem obvious. They inserted "How You See The World" into the set which is a song from "Help: A Day in the Life" a great track live, and a surprise to me. They did their Johnny Cash thing with "'Til Kingdom Come" and "Ring of Fire." They closed the set with "Fix You", which should be (Castpost willing) imbedded in this post or the next post. There will be some more thoughts I share from the show later, but for now, enjoy the clip.