Information Leafblower: July 2006 Archives

July 2006 Archives

Page of 2

We sucked it up and went out there early on Day Two. A storm front had moved in North of the city and it was surprisingly cool out when we left for lunch. So I made the executive decision to get out to the park in time to see The National. I felt like since I was the guy that started the “The National Hate Washington D.C.” rumor, I owed it to them to go see them. But only because the weather was cooperating.

IMG_6946.JPG

We grabbed a taxi at 10 after two and made it out there in time to hear Jens Lekman’s last song(verdict: pretty damn good). I hustled up to the photo pit on the opposite stage and grabbed a prime spot before The National went on. Being from Ohio, the crowd was very vocal and restless while waiting for their (sort of) hometown heroes. The band soon took the stage and started “Secret Meeting,” and guess what? They were amazing. Just brilliant. I was shocked. Not that I expected them to suck but I wasn’t prepared for them to be so good. Perhaps Alligator doesn’t do a great job of getting all the little flourishes across that make their live show so compelling, but they sounded like a different band on stage. As a whole, their set was more upbeat than the record, which made a big difference. They were so good I almost got to the point where I would issue a formal apology for starting those nasty rumors, but fuck that, I’m even more pissed now. I want to see them again as soon as possible. Still, The National were my favorite band of the weekend.

IMG_7131.JPG

Liars were up next and by the time they took the stage, the sun was out in full force, so it was appropriate that their first song had a chorus of "The weather is fierce." It was so hot in the photo pit that I only lasted up there about a song and a half. I don’t know how those kids that stayed up front all day made it. It had to be over 115 degrees up there with no shade whatsoever. Liars were surprisingly good, although they got a bit grating at times. Their industrial, tribal drum circle songs were great but their shouty, anarchistic screechy metal tunes left a lot to be desired.

After fleeing the photo pit, I grabbed a beer and headed back to our base camp in the shade by the main entrance. Ms. Smith and I learned a lot from Day One and spent most of Day Two lounging in the shade, people watching and just chilling while listening to the music from afar. The sound at the festival was brilliant, so you could clearly hear either main stage from pretty much anywhere on the site. So we saw no reason to move out into the sun. And we didn’t.

IMG_7141.JPG

Mr. Lif and Aesop Rock were next and although the crowd was really into their set, I wasn’t. I found them too wordy and lacking the fat beats needed to keep my interest. I’m not really into indie hip-hop, so it wasn’t really my thing. But I got some good pictures. They were the most photgenic artist of the weekend.

IMG_7336.JPG

IMG_7529.JPG

I’m not all that familiar with punk veterans Mission of Burma outside of “Academy Fight Song” and “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver,” but I enjoyed their set. They seemed like they were a big hit, which is more than I can say for Devendra Barnhart. He was a total snoozefest. I don’t think his laid-back hippie vibe was a good fit after Mission of Burma tore it up. He almost put me to sleep. Ms. Smith was similarly unenthused so we used his set to wander around, grab some food and more beer.

IMG_7718.JPG

Yo La Tengo was up next and I finally came to grips with the fact that I don’t really care for them. But I give them props for their first three songs. They were really long so I got to take a boatload of shots, mostly of Ira seemingly in pain. It was fun to watch the performers and see how long it took them to go from dry to completely drenched in sweat. In Ira’s case, approximately two minutes. Even less for the big guy.

It was around this time we tried to catch our first act of the weekend on the second stage but they were in the middle of a set change when we went over there. It turns out I didn’t see a single act over there. I was thinking it would be insanely hot in the tent, so that kept me away but the scheduling wasn’t exactly ideal. Spank Rock, Matthew Dear and Diplo all played at the same time as bands I wanted to (or thought I wanted to) see on the main stage, so picture taking took priority.

IMG_7849.JPG

Spoon was next on the Connector stage, so Ms. Smith and I crossed the park on more time to go stake out our spot. Once we were settled, I went up front to grab a prime spot for photos. When I got up there, Britt was hanging out in the photo pit signing autographs and talking with the kids up front. He was really cool, signing everything that people shoved in his face, smiling and chatting the whole time. Right before he left one girl grabbed him with one arm, shoved her camera in my face with the other and commanded, “Take our picture!” So I complied. Britt walked over to me and said “Alright buddy,” slapped me on the back and headed back stage. What was my witty response to one of my favorite artists on the planet? “30 Gallon Tank,” I said, but it was not to be. Spoon’s set consisted almost exclusively of new songs and a mix of material from their last two albums. I was sad not to hear any Girls Can Tell material (especially "Chicago At Night"...hello!), but their insanely tight, catchy version of “Stay Don’t Go” (by no means my favorite Spoon song) almost made up for it. Being right in front during “The Two Sides Of Monsignor Valentine” was a big thrill.

IMG_8089.JPG

After our allotted three songs in the photo pit, I headed back into the crowd to watch the rest of the set with Ms. Smith. During Spoon’s last song, I made my way over to the other stage one final time to get ready for Os Mutantes. They weren’t really my thing, too "Uncle John's Band" for me, so after a few songs, we made our way out the back exit and quickly hailed a cab back to the hotel, where air conditioning and cold showers awaited.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at the Pitchfork Fest. Yes the writers on the site can be pretentious wankers at times (unlike the writer of this site), but they did a great job with this event. Everything there was super cheap, from the tickets ($30 for two days), food (most dishes under $5), beer ($4 for 12 oz.), and water ($1 for 20 oz.) The lines got a bit out of control at times, but most of them moved fast and everyone inside the gates was super friendly. I felt like I got a lot for my money.

I can’t say enough about the sound. There were some hiccups during Day Two (Most notably during Spoon and Os Mutantes) but overall it was crystal clear and loud as fuck. The heat was oppressive (and that’s understating it a bit) but we did better on Day Two by just hanging in the shade and not trying to over-extend ourselves by standing in the sun. That strategy worked wonders and we were able to enjoy everything to the fullest on Day Two. Chicago itself was great. I’ve been there twice and it already seems very familiar to me.

For the Day Two photoset on Flickr, click here.
Click here to see all my photos from the 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival.

(aka I survived Day One of Pitchforkfest and all you get is this lousy blog entry)

Greetings from hot and humid Chicago. I just went outside to get breakfast and it's already 85 degrees out. It's supposed to reach 98 today, with a heat index around 107, which is even worse than yesterday's 95 degrees.

Yesterday Ms. Smith and I got up fairly early(we skipped the GJ/Camera Obscura gig the night before due to my raging headache which turned out to be a good move because the gig was cancelled due to a power outage) and went on a boat tour that highlighted Chicago's skyline/architecture. It was really cool although we were both melting at the end of the hour long trip. We decided to lay low during the peak heat hours and just tooled around the city by our hotel. We eventually made our way down to Millennium Park and saw the Gehry Concert Hall and the Bean (photos later). We headed over to Union Park around 4 or so and caught the last bit of Destroyer (verdict: not my thing). Art Brut was next and Eddie and Co. ripped through the same set they've been playing in the US with the exception of one new song that has a killer guitar riff. He also added some new drinking partners in "I'm Considering A Move To LA", "drinking Stella with Paul Weller," "drinking gin with Vera Lynn," etc. They were great. As usual.

IMG_6569_1.JPG

My man Ted Leo was next and I was super excited to see him since I've missed him the last few times he came through DC. He came out and straight rocked it, mixing old faves with new stuff, all of which was great. It was a real treat for me to finally get to take some photos of Ted. Longtime readers know I heart him the mostest and being in the photo pit during one of his sets was something that I've looked forward to doing for a long time. Ted played, in my opinion, the best set of the day.

IMG_6625_1.JPG

The Walkmen were up after him and hit the ground running. They played a slowie first and then got down top business, pumping out "The Rat" with just the third song in their set. It was best. I got a great spot in the pit and got some amazing photos of them.

IMG_6672_1.JPG

About halfway through The Walkmen, I hustled over to the other stage to plant myself in front of Barry's mic and waited for The Futureheads. Sunderland's finest played the kind of set I wanted them to play at their recent DC show, opening up with "Decent Days and Nights" and then quickly following up with "Area" and never letting up. It was a straight up ass-kicking.

IMG_6862_1.JPG

As for the Festival itself, it was great, save for the heat. I am getting to old for this shit. Me, myself and my Scandinavian heritage can't handle triple digit heat and humidity. I really wanted to see Band of Horses yesterday but I had a rough time dealing with four and a half hours of heat, so there's no way I could have gone out there at 2:30 yesterday when they went on. I fear The National will suffer the same fate today. They play an early set but we're most likely going to wait until later in the day to make our way over.

IMG_6831_1.JPG

Somehow I accidentally deleted my Art Brut photos from yesterday, which is a bummer, but at the same time I don't really feel like the interweb needs any more pictures of Art Brut. Anyways, more photos after the jump and over at Flickr.

Sorry for the lateness of today's post. I was on a plane most of the day (more on that later). First things first.

IMG_6261.JPG

IMG_6272.JPG

Much has been said (rightfully or not) of Editors and their sound, i.e. it's not that original, etc. And I'm not arguing that. I'm the first person to admit they aren't exactly reinventing the wheel. But they do what they do very well and they are, simply put, an amazing live act. They have poise and stage presence beyond their years. Last night was the second time I had seen them this year and they were just brilliant. No matter what you think of the record, you owe it to yourself to go see this band in the live arena. They sound huuuuge. Whatever they're paying their sound man, he deserves a raise. Last night was, sonically, one of the best sounding shows I've ever heard at the 9:30 Club. My only complaint is that they played "Open Your Arms" a bit too fast and it kinda lost its slow burn feel/appeal. That song was a big standout for me last time I saw them and this time it just got lumped in with the rest of the set. On the other hand, "Camera" which was the quintessential, "Time to go to the loo" tune last time out was much, much better due to some lively drumming. It sounded very "Columbia," one of my favorite Oasis tunes (and likely another song left of the upcoming compilation). Editors rock, go see for yourself.

IMG_6240.JPG

Cedars played a great set to start off the night. Their new material sounds amazing and it's easy to tell they are getting more and more comfortable playing their new stuff. There could be big things in the works for these guys, so keep your eyes on them. Lake Trout were beyond horrible. Everyone that tells you they've outgrown their jamband phase is lying. They just went prog. And they still suck. Big time.

IMG_6124.JPG

Today's flight to Chicago went smooth as could be until we landed. We sat on the tarmac for 30 minutes after we landed waiting for a gate to open up. And then took about an hour to get our bags because they sent us to the wrong baggage claim and since there are no functioning signs in that whole area, we had to wait in line for another 20 minutes just to find out what carousel are bags were sent to. It was very frustrating. So the flight took less time that than it took to deplane and claim our bags. Wonderful. But we're here dammit. And I have a gin and tonic in hand and am feeling much better, although I feel like a bit of a dork for blogging from the hotel lobby. The crowd here is weird. Part businessmen, part hipster, part jock(Cards v. Cubs this weekend).

Pitchfork tomorrow! Expect muchos fotografias throughout the weekend.

Guess who is playing Chicago tomorrow night? Camera Obscura!
And D.C.'s own Georgie James is opening.
How excited am I?

If Pete Townsend is so fucking tech savvy, then why did he set up a hotmail account?

Some great photos of Mos Def and The Zutons in action.

Great idea.

More brilliance.

Assimilate, bitches!

This is great!

liamiscool.jpg

A few people (Yo Grizz!) have emailed me about the upcoming, two disc Greatest Hits collection from Oasis that will feature 18 songs picked by the band. And by the band, I assume they mean Liam and Noel because they are the only two that have stuck it out this long (leaving in the middle of the tour excepted). I was going to post my guess as to what the tracklisting will be, but instead I present you with four tracks that most likely won't be included but should:

Oasis | Fade Away (live) (MP3)
This is a live version of a b-side from the Cigarettes & Alcohol single. It comes from the Black on White bootleg, a CD that forever cemented my Oasis fandom. I loved this song when I heard the recorded version, but hearing it live gave it new meaning. "While we're living / the dreams we have as children / fade away." A lost classic that never got the chance it deserved. That this song sounds so good live with Tony effing McCarroll on drums speaks volumes. Even he couldn't fuck it up. "Now my life has turned another corner / I think it's only fair that I should warn you / Dream it while you can / Maybe someday I'll make you understand." When I was 21, this song seemed like the most profound thing ever.

(It's Good) To Be Free (Live) (MP3)
Another live track from the Black on White bootleg that just annihilates the recorded version originally featured on the Whatever single. "What would say if I said to you / It's not in what you say /It's in what you do."

Oasis | Rockin' Chair (MP3)
You can just imagine Noel sitting around writing this before the band really took off. "I'm older than I wish to be / This town holds no more for me." The "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" fade in at the start of the song gets me everytime, as does the acoustic solo about half way through. This track was originally on the Roll With It single, which I listened to hundreds if not thousands of times in college.

Oasis | It's Better People (MP3)
This song was also on that single and it's a bit of a rarity in that it's an acoustic song sung by Noel that's not a ballad. Strangely enough, I can't see Liam doing this song. He'd overpower it. Not the greatest song in the Oasis catalog by any means, but this is the type of song that would be a single now, whereas The Chief used to toss them off with ease back in the early to mid 90's and stick them on the b-sides of their singles. Ah Noel, you were so best before you started writing all your songs about your ex-wife and how she was taking all of your money. But I digress...

Editors / Cedars tonight!

Stream The Kooks track "Eddie's Gun" in Windoze Media.

New DJ Shadow material:
"Enuff" stream it in Windoze Media
"You Made It" stream it in Windoze Media

The Bronx are streaming their new record over at MySpace. It's shouty and fun.

Speaking of shouty and fun, I got a copy of the Be Your Own Pet album late last week ansd spent some time with it over the weekend. It's much like their live show, it runs together in most places and is very loud and in your face, but at least with the CD I can pick out the riffs and lyrics. It's not something I'd sit around and listen to, but it's fun for long drives. If you're into thrashy punk, you could do alot worse.

32 shows in 30 days. By a 65 year old. Because he's doesn't get most of today's guitar bands. So he went to check them out. Respect.

Shawn Hogan, hereo.

The Smiths, on first listen. Sounds like she was predisposed to hating them.

Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger (touring soon!) and John Roderick from The Long Winters interview each other. Great stuff, if only because Sean and John were each in each others bands. [via LHB]

mullinrules.jpg The Chicagoist Guide to the Pitchfork Music Festival: Part One

Not even close. Bruce Bowen (6.5 ppg for his career, never averaging double digits once!) is nowhere near the player future Hall of Famer Chris Mullin (18.2 ppg for his career, All NBA once, second team All NBA twice and four time All Star) was. Talk about insulting. Kids today...wow. And Amare has a game similar to Patrick Ewing? Maybe post-surgery he'll turn into a soft, whiney jump shooter with a knack for coming up short in the clutch, but right now, not so much. And don't even get me started on the 'Melo and Bird comparison. USA Today's attempt is a little better. I can live with the 'Melo and Mullin comparison and I'm (somehow) less offended by the Joe Johnson to Bird comparison. But only just.

w00t! w00t! w00t!

I just found out that I have a photo pass for PitchforkFest in Chicago this weekend. So. Excited. There's even a decent chance these photos might appear on a major online outlet in the near future. Sweetness!

So who else is going to PitchforkFest? Holler at me.

Before heading to Chi-town on Friday, I'm going to see Editors at the 9:30 Club on Thursday night. Back Room has garnered quite a few spins on leaftunes, and they had a great light show last time (i.e. pretty pictures), so it should be fun. And yesterday I found out local boys done good Cedars are opening the show! And they have a new EP coming out in August. They have new tracks available for streaming at their MySpace page. Check out "This Century," that might be the best thing they've ever done. It's straight fire! They better *ahem* have this in the set list on Thursday. *ahem*

But wait, I have news regarding D.C.'s other best band, my beloved Nethers. New D.C. show on August 10th and The Red & Black! And, listen up Seattle and NYC peeps, upcoming shows are coming your way.

NYC - Aug. 11th
Seaport Music Festival w/ Josh Ritter; South Street Seaport, Pier 1. This show is free.
Nethers go on at 7 pm. You were already going to this show, so go see Nethers and get a new favorite band out of this gig. You'll thank me later.

Aug. 23rd - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo w/ the Decemberists.
Nethers go on at 6 pm. Yes, you get to see my favorite band open for your favorite band. At a zoo. And no, I'm not jealous. Not at all. Thanks for asking. Hmph.

Completely not related: Republicans are pretty. And mostly white.

Will the next iPod have a none-touch interface? That would be sweet, especially if you bought one of these:

PIC-iCarta-Small.gif

Thanks for the link Gl*mrocker!

Last week I finally got some new music, which means I have something to write about today.

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
Oh. My. God. Why didn't anyone tell me about this record back in May when it came out? It's incredible. Imagine Belle & Sebastian with a motown fetish. Twee Motown, people! I don't even like B&S (or twee for that matter) but this record is fucking best. I've been listening to it for like 5 straight days. This will easily be in my Top 10 at the end of the year. Go buy this record right fucking now. Unfortunately they just came throught own a week or so ago so I missed them on tour, but this KCRW session is just as good. They drop a little of Paul Simon's "Call Me Al" into "Let's Get Out of This Country" and yes, it is best. You can also stream some MP3's over at the Merge site.
PS - They have a blog.

The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
More Motown influenced girly goodness, although this has some Go! Team splashes every so often. Some of this record is brilliant and some of it is kind of annoying. In general, I like the songs where they actually sing more than the ones where they chant and shout, but it's a bit different from most of the stuff dominating the bloggersphere, so it's worth a listen. I'd rate this a 7 out of 10. Go grab some MP3's here.

The Futureheads - News & Tributes
I'm torn about this record. The songwriting is better than their debut, the production is top notch and they're obviously a better band since we heard them last but I can't help but be letdown a bit by this record. The first album kicked my ass all over the place where this one is more varied with a broader scope. But it just hasn't clicked for me yet. But I fully intend to give it a few more spins in order to grab hold of me. Verdict TBA.

Sweet. Do I loose what's left of my cool points if I reiterate that Wowee Zowee is my favorite Pavement record?

U.S. radio hangs up on Madonna.

Catherine Wheel BBC session. [via Torr]
Unfortunately it's a Happy Days era show. Ferment would have to be on a list of my Top 10 all time favorite records and Chrome ranks right up there as well but I kinda lost interest until 1997's Adam & Eve (which I believe is out of print now).

The Mighty Mozzer pays tribute to Syd Barrett, writes missive for True To You dot net.

Grambo v. Kevin Smith. Nicely done, although I'm still on the fence about Clerks 2.

A memo from Steely Dan to Luke Wilson. [via goldenfiddle]

Next iPod to do eBooks?

Micro$oft's iPod killer is doomed.

Is there anything funnier than mainstream media writing about bloggers? I vote no. I give you, as evidence, Portrait of a Blogger: Under 30 and Sociable.

"Bloggers in general don't intend to have a lot of impact," said Amanda Lenhart, who directed the survey. "The motivation comes from within; it tends to be very personal. They're not out to change the world."
"Of all the bloggers out there, there are only about 10,000 that have an audience beyond their friends and families," said B.L. Ochman, a business blogger who tracks online trends.

"It astounds me that people are willing to do this stuff without getting paid," Ochman said. "I come from a generation that gets paid for our work."

"The average blogger is a 14-year-old girl writing about her cat," said Alexander Halavais, an assistant professor of interactive communications at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Yikes. I don't even know where to start with that(other than I'm over thirty and occasionally blog about my cat). But that was the funniest thing I've read in ages.

Save Our Sonics. I have only been to Seattle once, but I can't imagine it without the Sonics there. Worst. Although the Oklahoma City SuperHornets might not be a bad idea. True Hoop has all the details of the Sonics sale and possible move.

The Sports Guy chooses and EPL team to follow. This is a much better read than you'd think.

New Eric Bachmann (Archers of Best, Crooked Fingers) material over at LHB.

Color me interested.

Has anyone tried out Lightroom? Sounds cool. I'm looking for some software that is better than iPhoto but more photo oriented than Photoshop.

I need some new music, people. Any suggestions? I have an iTunes gift card burning a hole in my wallet money clip. What should I buy with it? I'm leaning towards the last Rogue Wave record, which was recommended to me many moons ago but I could never find in stores. Any other suggestions? Is the Mew record out yet?

I just browsed around eMusic for the first time in ages. They've added a ton of stuff lately, like the V2 catalog. I can't wait to download the last few Paul Weller records as well as all the elbow singles. Sweet. They also have the new Pipettes and Futureheads records, which is good because DCeiver been promising me a copy of News & Tributes for three weeks now.

What he said. Where have you gone Captain Rock? [via Chromewaves]

New Sloan!

50 albums that changed music.

Mercury Music Prize nominations released. Artists up for the award include Thome Yorke, Arctic Monkeys and...Scritti Politti?

I just want to go on record telling everyone that this is the single worst song I have ever heard in my entire life and I can't wait for these guys to become these guys. Book it.

As if my ex-roommate didn't give me enough reasons to make fun of Pearl Jam.

News on the Funeral follow up. No pressure here. None at all.

Interesting. "We do know that it's a version of 'The Great Escape', it's something like nine minutes long and it will 'make us shit our pants.'"

"Shock" might be too strong a word.

Sweet!

A week late but still best.

The day the Boston Globe hoop coverage died.

Peter Gammons is out of the hospital.

Are Apple's customers rebelling?

Wired Mag buy Wired.com. Guess that explains the whole Tripod thing.

Confessions of a car salesman.

IMG_6051.JPG

Through means that I won't go into, yesterday I had the privilege to attend the services commemorating the 10 Year Anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800 at Smith Point Park in Shirley, NY. It was a taxing day, both emotionally and physically. Like every other place on the East Coast, Long Island was under a massive heat wave and being outside for most of the afternoon was none to pleasant.

IMG_5892.JPG

To be honest I don't remember much about the crash of TWA Flight 800. I was in college and pretty much cocooned from the world when it happened. Later that summer I travelled to NYC to do my internship at Epic Records and I do remember the crash being a common topic of conversation, especially since one of the people I interned for lived on Long Island near the crash site. But other than that, it didn't really register with me.

IMG_5895.JPG

All that changed yesterday. Seeing the families of the victims, the former TWA employees and the first responders all remembering that fateful day and learning about how they've coped in the time since then was enough to bring tears to anyone's eyes. Governor Pataki gave a nice speech as did a few others, but the best speech was made by the Coast Guard Captain (whose name I forget) when he talked about the recovery efforts by his men. He said he had a plaque in his office that says "The Coast Guard, We Make Heroes Everyday" but that after dealing with the families that went through this terrible ordeal it had new meaning for him. He came very close to breaking down in tears while he spoke and he got the biggest round of applause out of everyone when he was done speaking.

IMG_5981.JPG

The people in charge of the memorial used yesterday as the occasion to unveil the newest part of the memorial, a sculpture called "The Light." It's an abstract take on a lighthouse that represents a beacon for everyone that lost their life in the tragedy to use to find their way home. It, like the rest of the memorial was very well done.

IMG_5985.JPG

I took a bunch of pictures yesterday during the events, but I was a bit torn about doing it. I wanted to document what I saw and experienced but didn't want to intrude on anyone during their special day. I was but a spectator, not that much different from the press hordes covering the event. So I tired not to intrude too much.

IMG_6026.JPG

You can see all my photos from yesterday over at Flickr. Much like they did 10 years ago, Newsday has comprehensive coverage that is so thorough it can keep you busy for hours on end. Their photos from yesterday are better than mine. They also have reports on yesterday's ceremonies and the victim's families. A fun fact I found out yesterday is that the crash of Flight 800 back in 1996 was the first time the Newsday website was ever updated with breaking news. Back then I guess they just used the site to post PDF's of the paper. It's crazy to think how young the internet actually is. But I digress...

IMG_5928.JPG

Now that I don't live here anymore, visiting NYC keeps getting better and better. I'm able to do the things I want to do and avoid all the things I hate. This weekend's trip was alot of fun, despite the crazy heat. On Saturday we ventured out to Siren after walking down 5th Ave. in Park Slope (where I pointed out all the new establishments that have popped up since I left) and lunch at Bonnie's (my favorite place to eat in Brooklyn) and a few beers at The Gate (my favorite bar in Brooklyn). Siren was mostly "meh" but I was still glad we went. We caught 2 songs by The Cribs (boring), the last song by The Stills (better) and all of Art Brut. Eddie and Co. rocked despite the craptastic sound on the Stillwell Stage. Here are a few pics.

siren1

siren3

siren2

siren4

Stay tuned for some very special content tomorrow.

IMG_5558.JPG

The sky looked ominous as I climbed up the escalator at the Stadium-Armory stop about an hour before kick off last night. It started raining not 2 minutes after I got to RFK. I was a bit down that the field access my photo pass gave me would all be for naught, but the skies eventually cleared up about 10 minutes into the game. Before that I was walking around with one hand holding my umbrella up and the other desperately trying to snap photos (fearing they may not even get the game in) with a hamburger bun sack wrapped around my camera as a barrier to the weather. It was pretty funny.

IMG_5546.JPG

I'm sure the other photographers thought it was hilarious. Ever go somewhere knowing that everyone else there knows you don't belong? That was me last night, standing on the endline of the pitch at RFK with all the other photographers. They all had these very expensive cameras with humongous lenses while I stood there with my little pea shooter wrapped in a hamburger bun sack. Everyone was else was fully weather proofed. Parkas, shields for the cameras, the whole nine. It makes sense the Scottish media in attendance (there was alot of them) would be prepared for this, as would the AP and other national press there. Little ol' me? Not so much.

IMG_5605.JPG

The equipment the other guys down there had was truly incredible. This guy's setup was bananas. He had three different cameras each with a different lense (all of them huge) and a little station for his Powerbook so he could upload his pics to his laptop while he was taking other shots. All of this in the rain. I was bit intimidated.

IMG_5659.JPG

Honestly though, I did alright all theings considered. I still can't find my battery charger since the move and my memory card had about 300 photos from the Futureheads show last week, so I was a bit judicious in my snapping. Not so for the professionals there. They would snap off about 8 to 10 shots each time they hit the shutter button. It sounded like a machine gun fight down there on press row.

IMG_5597.JPG

The game itself was great. United dominated from start to finish and wound up winning 4-0. Check out the write-up from the Scottish Herald. Good stuff. Freddy Adu was the best player on the field by far. He was slicing and dicing the Celtic defense all night. Watching the game from the end line of the pitch was great thrill. I could hear the players talk to each other during play and see blades of grass fly up with each slide tackle. United scored three times in the second half and all of those were right in front of me. I know it's "only" MLS, but see see professional athletes doing there thing as close as five feet in front of you is pretty cool. I saw DaMarcus Beasley and John Harkes milling about after the game. An no, I didn't say anything nasty to Beasely, although I wanted to.

IMG_5724.JPG

Thanks much to the fine folk in the DC United front office. I'm going to approach them again and see if I can't do this a few more times before the season is out. I will, however, have to buy a lens with better reach than my current 28-75mm.

IMG_5620.JPG

See all my pics from last night here.

soapsdtrkCOVER.jpg
Oh hell yeah.

Kickoff is but three hours away and it just started raining. Bah!

Good news! From today's online chat with The Sports Guy:
David (New York): Have you heard anything recently about Peter Gammons condition?

Bill Simmons: Heard he's doing GREAT. Supposedly he was watching All-Star Weekend and itching to come back. Everyone expects a full recovery.

That is very good to hear.

Bye Nomar.

It has begun.

"Ben Wallace. It's too bad. Like sand through the hour glass, So Best has turned to So Durst."

"Despite the little girls who play Major League Baseball and the raft of NFLers who play only on third down, American sports fans fancy themselves tough guys who cheer on tough guys. Flailing around as if shot by an elephant gun provides a convenient excuse for Joe Sixpack to write off soccer."

Notes on "Sweet Child O' Mine," as Delivered to Axl Rose by His Editor [via Goldenfiddle].

The Guardian on Nouvelle Vague.

Kate Moss stars in top-secret lingerie film.

A Case Against Sufjan Stevens. [via 5500]

About four years too late if you ask me.

Fitba!

| |

Score! For The Good Guys

I just got word the good people in DC United's front office have granted me a press pass for tomorrow's freindly versus Celtic at RFK. Sweet! I'm getting a photo pass and everything. V. excited. This will be the perfect way to get over my blues now that the World Cup is over.

R.I.P. Syd Barrett.

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I also had 5th row(!!!!!) seats for last weekend's Belle & Sebastian / Broken Social Scene / Ted Leo show at Merriweather. It pained me to give those up since they were undoubtedly the best seats I'd had at a concert in 10 years. The Upstate Life was a bit underwhelmed at the show, so that makes me feel a bit better, although I have never seen B&S or BSS, so I probably would have dug it a little more. Luckily I can still get my Ted Leo fix in Chicago later this month.

2006 Bumbershoot line up.

New Live at KEXP disc. Nice tracklisting.

Talking iPod?

Related: I am almost ready to commit to buying a Macbook. Anyone want to talk me out of it? Also, I have a nice, used eMac for sale fairly cheap. It runs like a dream. Shoot me an email if you're interested.

Apologies to anyone that came to Bluestate on Saturday expecting to hear the musical stylings of DJ Leafblower. Since we called in the big gun for the weekend, I decided to head back to the North Cackalack to see the 'rents and finish stocking up my new apartment. I hadn't seen my parents in a while and I needed to get out of the city and relax, so this seemed like the right time since the rest of my July is pretty much spoken for. We rented a boat on Saturday and tooled around Lake Hickory all day. It was fab. I need to make friends with someone that has a boat and a place on the water. Consider that officially on the "to do" list. I also caught Pirates of the Carribean. It was good, but could have been much better. They could have shaved half an hour out of that movie no problem. Also, the film has less Johnny Depp in it than you would think. The first 1/3 of the movie is comic gold, but then it turns into an action flick with a bunch of special effects and way too much plot happening. Still worth seeing though.

Watched the World Cup final last night (which I DVR'ed thanks to my now functioning cable services). I didn't record OT and the shoot out so I missed Zidane going cuckoobananas, but Italy seemed like the better team yesterday, even though I was pulling for France. Oh well. I don't think the world was ready for Fabian Barthez, two time World Cup Champion. Also, I blame the World Cup for me slacking on my Wimbledon watching this year. I watched about as much as The Hoff did.

My other "announcement" is that effective today I am no longer the sports editor at DCist. I decided a few months ago to step down and focus on the upkeep of this site as well as doing more interview/feature pieces for DCist and involving myself less in the day to day operations of that site. I just didn't have the enthusiasm (or time) for the sports stuff that I once did. The very capable Matt Bourque will be taking over for me going forward. I'm sure he'll do fine. Also, congrats are due to Sommer as she is taking over for the departing Ryan Avent and becoming DCist's new EIC. I couldn't think of anyone else that deserves the position more. I have full confidence that Sommer will continue the stellar work that Ryan (and Martin) started. All that remians to be seen is if she ever comes up with all these milkshakes she keeps promising everyone.

Tomorrow I might actually have my Futureheads pics from two weeks ago, but no promises.

Opening August 18th in NYC, followed by a wider (hopefully national) release.

FACTOTUMpostersm.jpg

Sweet. [thx goldenfiddle]

PS - Massive Attack proper US tour! w00t!

Did everyone have a good 4th of July? I watched fireworks from the Key Bridge last night. It was pretty cool.

Being back at work after a 6 day weekend = no buzz, but at least I have interweb here. Hell is losing your TV and interweb connection when the NBA free agent period starts. I missed so much over the last few days. Big Ben to Chicago (be careful what you wish for), Nazr Muhammed to Dtown (like that's going to help), Peja to NOOCH, Speedy Claxton to Atlanta, Derek Fisher to Utah. Oh, and Tyson Chandler to NOOCH for PJ Brown and J.R. Smith?

Let me go on record about Big Ben to Chicago by saying "meh." He leaves a veteran team that has trouble scoring for a young team that has trouble scoring. Whatever. Chicago overpaid for him, which is what you have to do if you want to sign a free agent.

I still want to go in depth about the C's draft but not sure I'll have time in the near future. I liked what Danny did (big surprise, I know). But we upgraded our bench tremendously. Back up PG was a big problem for us last year and now we have much more talent there. And hopefully Leon Powe will be as good as advertised and he will take Scalabrine's minutes.

Brad hearts Buffalo Tom. So do I. Before my Oasis and Super Furry Animals obsessions, Buffalo Tom was the band I saw the most in concert. Like eight or nine times. Click through to Brad's blog for a live set from Beantown.

New Jarvis Cocker stuff! Go here to download it.

Someone's been hanging out with Noel too much.

Pink Sun

I am back from the brink. No, not relocating, although that was stressful enough. I'm talking about 96 long hours without TV or *gasp* the interweb. Comcast was supposed to show up Friday morning to hook my shit up, but *shocker* they flaked. So now I have to wait until this Friday to get connected. TV I can do without, I still have my DVD player (I watched parts of this last night), but not having interweb access is brutal. Especially over a very long holiday weekend (I actually have today off but came into work anyways). *sigh*

So that's the bad news. The good news is my new place is awesome. Why I waited 32 years to get my own place is beyond me. Mr. Pink was a little freaked out by the whole moving process but he's doing better now. He was not happy when the movers came and did their thing. And to say he is not fond of car rides is an understatement. However, he has a nice view from the 11th floor of our new place and he's loving that. He sits in front of the window all day and looks at everyone down below. That is, when he's not napping.

I'm still unpacking boxes and will be all week, but my place is slowly coming together. I bought a new coffee table and cover for my couch, so it's like I have brand new furniture. I'm also shamed to admit I bought matching bath mats and hand towels. God I'm old.

Updates will be sporadic this week until I finally get settled and gain internet access. I have Futureheads pics from last week as well as thoughts on the NBA draft still to come.

PS - Go Portugal!