Information Leafblower: April 2007 Archives

April 2007 Archives

Page of 3

You know that trip to Europe that I keep going on about?
Ms. Smith and I leave today!

Here's the schedule:
April 24 - Fly to Cologne, Germany - take train to Amsterdam
April 25 & 26 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
April 27 & 28 - Antwerp, , Belgium
April 29 & 30 - Brussels, Belgium
May 1 - Cologne, Germany
May 2 & 3 - St. Goar, Germany
May 4 - Cologne, Germany
May 5th - Fly home

If we're lucky, our trip will be alot like this:

See ya soon!

While I'm gone, you can check out some Mr. Pink, peruse the Bukowski archives, take a look at either my NBA photos from this season or my favorite concert photos.

Talk about coincidence...Late (and I mean late) in the day on Friday I was handed two tickets to Saturday's Spoon show in Baltimore. Saturday was also my blog birthday (for lack of a better term). In my first ever blog post I mentioned that I hoped to find out why Spoon isn't the biggest band in the world, so that made for a pleasant surprise when their area show fell on the same day.

Seriously though, it's not like it takes much to get me excited about seeing one of my favorite bands. I've been a fan since Series of Sneaks . We used to have a promo copy of that album at the office and I listened to it constantly, just to hear the "Ma ma ma, Ma ma ma, Ma ma ma" in "Car Radio." Best. "30 Gallon Tank" is easily one of my 10 favorite songs evah. I could go on...

The last time I saw Spoon was at the Pitchfork Festival last year, which I'm sure most people would agree wasn't their best hour. They just seemed out of sorts and under-rehearsed, and I'm not saying that just because I'm still bitter that they didn't play "Chicago at Night." Saturday's show, however, was completely different. They sounded tight and wowed the crowd as they worked their way through a set mostly filled with material from their last two albums and a smattering of songs from the upcoming Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. The only old stuff they played was "Fitted Shirt," "I Could See The Dude," and "Anything You Want." The last song in particular was a real treat. I heart Girls Can Tell.

That was also my first ever trip to Sonar in Baltimore, which is a nice enough place but I'm not sure if I'll be going back anytime soon. There are four big columns in the middle of the room, and that, coupled with a seemingly impenetrable line of tall people running through the middle of the venue made seeing anything pretty much impossible. And I have no idea who was doing the lights at the show, but they were obviously a noob. The show was basically lit by four spotlights mounted in the middle of the room, which is like going to see one of your favorite artists and having them lit by four high powered flashlights. The stage had all sorts of lights on it, and they were all working for the opener The Oranges Band (who weren't half bad), but they couldn't figure it out for the headliners. That was terribly frustrating because I thought the lighting set up was going to lead to some nice shots. Alas, we're stuck with the B & W shots above. I don't feel bad complaining about the lighting though, because Britt complained about it all through the show (as well he should have). Still, all in all a great show. I even bought a shirt!

Here are some live Spoon tracks to get you as excited as I was in Saturday:
[MP3] Spoon | The Two2 Sides of Monsieur Valentine (live)
[MP3] Spoon | The Way We Get By (Live on WERS)

Lastly: I'm trying out a new slideshow app I found online. What do you think? Better than me posting one or two pics and directing you to Flickr? Worse? Thoughts?

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I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even realize that today was the fourth birthday in the life and time of information leafblower dot com slash blog until Peabs reminded me of this yesterday. He knows because it's also his birthday. So hey, have a happy one and do it up bro!

Since it's the weekend, here's some Buk to celebrate.

writing

often it is the only
thing
between you and
impossibility.
no drink,
no woman's love,
no wealth
can
match it.

nothing can save
you
except
writing.

it keeps the walls
from falling.
the hordes from
closing
in.

it blasts the
darkness.

writing is the
ultimate
psychiatrist,
the kindliest
god of all the
gods.

writing stalks
death.
it knows no
quit.

and writing
laughs
at itself,
at pain.

it is the last
expectation,
the last
explanation.

that's
what it
is.

-- Written by Charles Bukowski, taken from his book Betting On The Muse.

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Finally, some warmish weather for D.C.! To celebrate, here is my favorite Pulp b-side, from the "Disco 2000" CD single:

[MP3] Pulp | Ansaphone

Easily one of my favorite "guy gets dumped by girl" songs ever. I've listened to it many a time.

And just for the heck of it, here's the video for "Disco 2000":

Won't it be strange when we're all fully grown?

Two good shows tonight featuring local bands, all part of the Six Points Music Festival.

Middle Distance Runner @ DC9

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Middle Distance Runner / These United States / Black Tie Revue
@ (The) IOTA / 21+ / $10 / Showtime: 9:30pm

And...
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Kenna / The Dance Party / The Vita Ruins / The Sentiment
@ Rock and Roll Hotel

I'm heading to the RnR Hotel to see The Vita Ruins and check out Kenna. I'll get my Middle Distance Runner on next month at the Black Cat, but (the) Iota is a great venue to see them. I saw them there last year and they were brilliant. Plus you get to see These United States, who recently recorded their very own Daytrotter session.

Also, I talked to Luke and Fico from Cedars on Wednesday night after the TVotR show and they told me that they have been added to the Cinematics / Changes show on May 10 at the Rock and Roll Hotel. I am so pissed I'm going to be in Vegas and miss that. But hey, Vegas. Still, I highly recommend that show if you're in town.

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I still don't like the CD, but they're pretty good live. More over at DCist.

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I got home real late and haven't really had a chance to go through all of my photos, but a few are up on Flickr. More will be added as I have time to get through them.

**UPDATE** here's a slideshow I'm testing out:


While I applaud Grambo's redesign and the new look and feel of the venerable whatevs dot org blogging behemoth, I can't help but shed a tear for everything that was (apparently) left behind in the move.

common_people.jpg And by that I mean the back blogs and all the brilliance held there, specifically for this entry, which I am confident any and all FOW's will agree was the best back blog of. all. time. In it, we debated THE song of the 90's. Peabs nominated "Blue" by the Jayhawks, Grambo repped for the only Britpop song that still matters, I threw my weight behind Underworld's "Born Slippy." Mind grapes were squeezed, many others weighed in and the discussion that ensued was, in a word, classic. It's a shame that the whole exchange was (apparently) lost for future generations of FOW's to read.

I bring all of this up, not to knock Grambo (far from it - I'm glad he's back up and running at full steam) only to reminisce a bit on the good ol' days and also to point you to The Tripwire, where they have the entirety of the BBC special documentary on the making of "Common People." I know what you're thinking, "An hour documentary specifically on the creation of and reaction to a single song?" Yes, and it is just as awesome as it sounds. And since I don't recall a BBC doc on "Born Slippy" I guess Grambo was right.

PS - Have you seen Jarv lately? Total effing rock star.

Dagger!

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Shed a tear for Veronica if this is true.

San Francisco, CA: How come Veronica Mars wasn't included on the USA Today "save or axe" survey? Has it's fate already been decided?

Robert Bianco: Yes. According to our reporter Gary Levin, the show has been cancelled. And he's almost always right about such things.

So much for winning the Save One Show poll. Bah.

[via]

I'm going to check out TV on the Radio tonight at the 9:30 Club. The Noisettes are opening. AOL is streaming their album What's the Time Mr. Wolf.
Here are two videos from the group:
"Don't Give Up"
"Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)"

The Mother Hips are releasing their first album since 2001. Here's a track.
[MP3] The Mother Hips | No Name Darrell

Toronto's Born Ruffians covered Grizzly Bear:
[MP3] Born Ruffians | Knife (Grizzly Bear Cover)

Minty Fresh is gearing up for the release of the new Astrid Swan album. Here's a taste:
[MP3] Astrid Swan | They Need You If They Think You Love Them

The Sundance Channel interviews Money Mark.

Related: I really like this Peanut Butter Wolf remix of "Shadrach."

Also, it looks like the lineup for the Virgin Festival in Pimlico is going to be released on April 27th. Here are the bands that have been confirmed thus far:
Police
Smashing Pumpkins
Beastie Boys
Modest Mouse
Velvet Revolver
Fountains Of Wayne
Bad Brains
Booka Shade
Sasha / Digweed

Believe it or not, I do more than take photos. I am busy at work preparing for my trip to Europe (departure one week away and counting!) so apologies for the dearth of actual content around these parts. To make it up to you, here's a tune for your iTunesing pleasure.

[MP3] - Paul Weller | Wild Wood (Portishead Remix)
I was thinking about what artists it would take to make me head to Chicago and take in Lollapalooza, and these two, Weller and Portishead, immediately sprung to mind. So here's their collaboration. Very stark and sparse. The Modfather does trip hop! Brilliant. I prefer this version to the album cut.

New (old) Radiohead?

Slightly related: RSS Headline of the day - Subterranean Homesick Allen.

Nice! And well deserved if I do say so myself. The Globe is really good at keeping their readers up on the Beantown blog scene.

Yes, please. Don't forget the tour.

If you ever get of line over there again, I'll smash your fuckin' head in so hard, you won't be able to put that cowboy hat on. You hear me? Fuckin' hick.

Worst commercial ever. [via Catpita]

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Yesterday I took a detour on the way to finish up my taxes and went down to Freedom Plaza to check out the D.C. Voting Rights March. It was the first march I'd ever "participated" in (although honestly, I just went for the photo op - I live in Virginia) and I was a little underwhelmed by the whole experience. The tremendously crappy weather had a lot to do with it. Like much of the Northeast, it was windy, rainy and very cold. After sitting in the rain for two hours Saturday at RFK and then braving it again Sunday to go to the Wizards game, I can safely say I am now done braving the rain for blog purposes for the immediate future. But I digress...The march and rally were supposed to last two hours, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., but they started early and were apparently done by 3:30. I was sick of freezing my ass off and took off around 3 o'clock, just after the rally started.

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Here are a few more photos if you're interested.

Could it be? If so, I am so there.

Doowutchyalike, ya'll!

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Other than watching Stranger Than Fiction with Ms. Smith (which was surprisingly great - I loved Dustin Hoffman) on Friday, I spent the majority of the weekend watching sports. Saturday night was the D.C. United v. Kansas City Wizards game in the pouring rain at RFK and Sunday was the Wizards' blowout loss to the Bulls. So...bad results but good pictures.

Yes, the WWL's website drives me crazy most of the time, but still, it's nice to see your name in lights, no?

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Thanks for the linkage True Hoop.

When the D.C. area Arcade Fire show was announced way back when, I didn't pay much attention to it because I quickly figured out that I would still be in Europe on that date, so there was no need for me to get worked up about it. And while I like Neon Bible, I honestly haven't listened to it THAT much and it hasn't really blown me away when I have. I'm sure I'll go back and revisit it in-depth in a month or two when the hype dies down a little, but until then I am secure in the feeling that there was no way the upcoming DAR show would ever top their show in January of '06 at the 9:30 Club.

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That was, until today. The National were announced as the openers for the Arcade Fire's DAR show show and six others. Holy fucking hell. I doubt I'll even remember the gig is happening while Ms. Smith and I are frolicking around in German beer gardens and eating our weight in schnitzels, but I'm sure everyone that already has tickets is a very happy camper today. At least, they should be.

In case you were (like me) unaware, The National have set up a new website for their new album Boxer. Here it is. Also, here's a a promotional video by Vincent Moom for one of my favorite tracks off the new record:

I heartily encourage you to go buy the record when it drops in late May, but if you can't wait that long, you can get the above song a few others here. At the very least, be sure to catch The National on their headlining tour around the country in June. As I've mentioned before, they're playing D.C. on my birthday!

If I didn't mention the passing of the great Kurt Vonnegut.

R.I.P.

PS - This is awesome. [via Deadspin]

I am still a bit under the weather today, but since this stuff is growing staler by the day, here are some jumbled and entirely random thoughts on a few recent releases.

The Photo Atlas - No, Not Me, Never
Sounds like At the Drive-In to me, and depending on your views on shouty, over-the-top vocals, that may or may not be a bad thing. I don't usually tend to go for this type of stuff, but I bet they're pretty good live.

The Cinematics - A Strange Education
They sound like the Editors like The Editors sound like Joy Division. And by that I mean, close enough for lazy comparisons by lazy writers. That would be me right about now. Still getting through my first listen of this record and I like it even though it doesn't have the scope or depth of The Back Room. But I bet this record will grow on me with a few more listens. Look around for some MP3's (there are plenty out there) and judge for yourself. Another band I want to see live, although I'll be in Vegas when they play D.C. with The Changes (dagger!) so I'll have to wait until they tour with The Bravery in June.

Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City
I think I said this sucks a few weeks ago, but it has grown on me quite a bit since then. I'm really liking the angular guitar sounds. There are a few great songs here but overall it lacks the copious amount of hooks on Silent Alarm.

Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
This also isn't as instantly catchy as their last record, but it's still really, really good. It has this great, vintage Replacements vibe to it that I'm really enjoying. The thing I like most about this record is they've successfully made "the difficult third album" where they've updated and changed their sound, and it stands up to their earlier work. Which is more than you can say about most bands. Counting the days until I can finally see them live.

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
I just cannot get into this band. Even with Johnny Marr on board. Meh.

The National - Boxer
Moody as all hell and lacking a slam dunk like "Mr. November," but I do find myself looking down at my iPod thinking "This song is great" a few different times with each listen. I'm not sure if this will be the record that ultimately breaks them and makes everyone realize how great they are, but it should be. This album will set the blogosphere on fire when it's released (if it hasn't done so already). The early favorite for 2007's Band of the Year as voted by a bunch of effing bloggers.

Ted Leo - Living With the Living
My first reaction was "Oh shit, Ted made a bad record," but that's not true. It's just merely good, not great. The reggae song and some of the other stuff doesn't bother me as much as other people, I just feel like this record is Ted treading water. Sounded great live though.

Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
Now, with keyboards!

Albert Hammond, Jr - Yours To Keep
I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this record. It takes all the great stuff from the Strokes (killer riffs and great drumming) and distills them into a tidy, new package - without the crap production. Bonus. Some of the lyrics are cringe inducing, but that could easily be said about any of the records above. Definitely worth checking out if you're curious.

Travis - The Boy With No Name
I've only heard five songs from this record but they're all great. I can't explain my irrational love of this band, but I've been a fan since their first record. The new stuff doesn't re-invent the wheel but I'm a sucker for Fran & Co.'s happy, fun-time pop tunes. Looking forward to hearing the whole thing.

For 2007? If so, I say meh.

Pearl Jam, Daft Punk, Ben Harper, Muse, Iggy & The Stooges, Modest Mouse, Interpol, My Morning Jacket, Satellite Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snow Patrol, The Roots, Patti Smith, Kings Of Leon, The Black Keys, Regina Spektor, Spoon, Lupe Fiasco, TV On The Radio, Pete Yorn, G. Love, Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse, LCD Soundsystem, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Silverchair, Femi Kuti, Yo La Tengo, Hold Steady, Jack's Mannequin, Stephen Marley, STS9, MIA, Slightly Stoopid, Blonde Redhead, Sparklehorse, Sean Lennon, !!!, Blue October, Son Volt, Motion City Soundtrack, Polyphonic Spree, Peter Bjorn & John, Silversun Pickups, CSS, The Rapture, The Wailers, Roky Erickson, Tapes N Tapes, Heartless Bastards, The View, The Cribs, The Fratellis, Ghostland Observatory, Tokyo Police Club, Rhymefest, Soulive, Cold War Kids, Annuals, Fields, Electric Six, Jim Noir, Elvis Perkins, Sam Roberts, Black Angels, Charlie Musselwhite, Aqueduct, Juliette & The Licks, Dios, Viva Voce, David Vandervelde, Los Campesinos!, Chin Up Chin Up, Ryan Shaw, Colour Revolt, Satin Peaches, Illinois, Arckid, Mickey Avalon, The 1900s, Bang Bang Bang, Bound Stems, High Class Elite Carey Ott, Matt Roan

We'll know for sure when the official line-up is announced tomorrow. More here...

Now the big question. Is this line-up good enough to make me travel to Chicago and skip this year's V Fest at Pimlico?

[thanks Chromewaves]

Rowr!

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Hint: He's got some phenomenal schwag on.

The line-up for the Concerts to Combat Global Warming on July 7th, 2007 have been revealed, and as usual, the US gets shafted in the line-up department. The U.S. leg of the show, to take place at Giants Stadium in scenic East Rutherford, NJ will be:

AFI
AKON
ALICIA KEYS
BON JOVI
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
FALL OUT BOY
JOHN MAYER
KANYE WEST
KELLY CLARKSON
KT TUNSTALL
LUDACRIS
MELISSA ETHERIDGE
RIHANNA
ROGER WATERS
SMASHING PUMPKINS
THE POLICE

And the line-up for the London leg of the show, to be held at Wembley Stadium will be:

BEASTIE BOYS
BLACK EYED PEAS
BLOC PARTY
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
DAMIEN RICE
DAVID GRAY
DURAN DURAN
FOO FIGHTERS
GENESIS
JAMES BLUNT
JOHN LEGEND
KEANE
MADONNA
PAOLO NUTINI
RAZORLIGHT
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
SNOW PATROL

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 16 and will be available at livenation.com/liveearth or by calling Ticketmaster.

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Express interviews Eddie Izzard.
"I'm like a superhero, like the Human Torch. I can do flame on, flame off." Brilliant.
I still haven't watched this week's episode of The Riches, so don't tell me what happened.

Baseball widgets for your desktop. Go Sox!

Much like most big name touring bands, stupid Chuck Palahniuk appears to be skipping D.C. on his upcoming book tour. I almost fainted when I saw he's doing a reading with Irvine Welsh in NYC and Elmore Leonard in Philly. Jeezy Creezy!
Road trip?

Schrutebag!

Dan Steinberg is The Hot Pocket. Also, Agent Zero is out for the year. That makes me sad. On the other hand, Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson appear to be done for the year and that makes me very happy.

Who else is excited about the Sly and the Family Stone catalog reissues?

Oasis to record a new version of "Sgt. Pepper"...with the Killers? WTF?

I just scored tickets to see Cloud Cult next week. A while back, Peabs wouldn't shut up about them, so I'm excited to see what all the fuss is about.

Another group I'm liking lately is The Cinematics. The Tripwire has an MP3 you should download. Very Editors-errific.

Have you heard the new Art Brut songs?
Stream "Pump Up The Volume."
Stream "Nag Nag Nag Nag."

I'm bringing back a well intentioned but poorly executed feature I use to run every week around these parts called "My Forgotten Favorite" in which I gush about an oldie but goodie that needs more plays my iPod.

Today I'm all about "I Am The Resurrection" by the Stone Roses. I heard this song for the first time in ages at DC9 when I met Amanda and Mike for a drink before The Good, The Band & The Queen's gig at the 9:30 Club. And I'm not talking about the wimpy (and kinda disappointing) album version, this was the full on eight minute and 17 second funk workout. When the original "song" ends around the 3:40 mark and the band gradually lets go and gives John Squire room do his thing, it's pure Madchester bliss.

I get kinda mad whenever I think about all the music we've been deprived of from Squire over the years due to his ego and drug use. I don't play air guitar to many songs, but if I do, I'm usually imitating John Squire. Don't even get me started on "Driving South." Pure shredding, that.

[MP3] The Stone Roses | I Am The Resurrection (Original Version)

A quick aside - I met Squire once, when I was interning at Epic and on the road with Mansun while they were supporting The Seahorses, Squire's post-Roses group. I was with some friends and we'd been scheming on how to meet Squire for a few gigs (it's not like he was hanging out with everyone) and we finally blagged our way into the group's dressing room in Boston and he was a total and complete dick. I can honestly say that I've never met a more rude and arrogant prick in my life (and I've met Stephan Jenkins). I was crushed. Lead singer Chris Helme on the other hand, could not have been nicer. I guess that's what busking will do for your ego. But I digress...

Anyways, I love this song, in all it's pre-Britpop, jamming glory. As you may have read, Ian Brown and Mani played this very tune earlier this week at the Manchester Charity gig, so good timing. I wish I could have been there.

Here's the second of a two part Youtube clip of a live version from the mid-90's. This is latter half of the song with all the jammy goodness.

The first part is here.

30 Rock vanquishes Studio 60 and is renewed for a second season!

This means you should use all of your votes for Veronica! Obvs. Season Four is supposed to be teh awesome.

Big Al hurt in practice, may sit out the last nine games of the season. Eff you Milwaukee!

BTW, have you looked at Big Al's stats recently? Tell me he doesn't deserve Most Improved Player.

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I hate Florida. Eff them. Although Corey Brewer is the real deal. He can play on the C's any day as far as I'm concerned.

On the other hand, this is totally best. The Seattle Weekly went to a Sonics game with freaking Tom Robbins! Yes, that Tom Robbins. I had no idea he was born in Blowing Rock, NC. Awesome. If you didn't read Another Roadside Attraction in college, you didn't get your money's worth.

That's basically all I got for today. I have a few things going on tonight, depending on how everything shakes out. Ms. Smith and I will hopefully be heading to the Rock n Roll Hotel to peep The Long Winters. But if that falls through, we'll be hanging out down the street from my apartment in Arlington with a bunch of DC United maniacs, taking in the Chivas game.

Also tonight is the Sebadoh show at the 930 Club. Loyal leafblower reader C.C. was aghast at my lack of Sebadoh coverage around these parts. She was even nice enough to offer me a free ticket to tonights gig! Unfortunately for reasons stated above, I can't make it (thanks though!) but I told her I would do my best to let everyone know about the gig. So, consider it done. Also, have you checked out the Sebadoh web page recently? They have a boat load of bootlegs available for downloading. For free.

Totally digging Chuck Klosterman's Final Four blog. Key Passage: "I prefer the expressionless Mr. Oden, a person who's likely sitting beneath a singular table lamp, silently reading Chuck Eddy's analysis of the British invasion while peeling a tangerine."

This is all well and good but I still hate him. And Billy Donovan.

Your early entry list for this year's NBA draft. Tyler Hansbrough is such a pussy.

ESPN extends Bill Simmons through 2010.

Fluxblog has started a new blog (side project?) that will solely be about R.E.M. songs.

An open letter to Robert Smith.

Glastonbury sells out in two hours.

Bryce from The National is DJing on WOXY on Wednesday.

Wow! Sounds like the gig of a lifetime.

You're so clever. I doubt they care though.

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Ms. Smith and I ventured out to the Smithsonian Kite Festival on Saturday and also took a stroll around the tidal basin to check out the blooming cherry blossoms. I wasn't prepared for the number of people out on the mall partaking in all of the festivities. I saw some photos from the event last year that made it look like a hundred or so people flying kites near the Washington Monument, but they were a bit misleading. The mall was packed all the way from the Capitol down to the Lincoln Memorial. The weather outside was ideal - sunny, but not hot due the the constant winds.

Going home, the crowds home were a bit out of control. Metro was directing everyone into the back end of the Smithsonian Metro entrance and as you can see from the bottom photo, it was like herding cattle.