Information Leafblower: August 2007 Archives

August 2007 Archives

Page of 3

I doubt many of you watched Roger Federer trounce Paul Capdeville 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, at the U.S. Open last night, which is unfortunate. For you. Federer, totally pimping by dressing entirely in black, put on a clinic, hitting lasers all over the court. Capedeville was simply outclassed. Federer was straight up messing with this dude, pulling out all sorts of shots from his endless arsenal. Up next for Federer is 6-9 Georgia Bulldog John Isner, who coincidentally, thinks Federer ain't shit. Here's to a long weekend filled with tennis. Maybe one of these years I will stop moving apartments at the end of August and I can go back to Flushing and take in some matches. As I've said many times before, The U.S. Open was my absolute favorite sporting event to go to when I lived in NYC. The crowds are plentiful but polite, the beer and food are a step beyond regular ballpark fare and the atmosphere is second to none. It also earned a new place in my heart by being the only channel on TV not talking about Michael fucking Vick while I was unpacking on Monday.

The other big event on TV last night that you didn't watch was the SuperLiga Final between Pachuca and the L.A. Galaxy. The Gals lost in a shootout when Landon "What's the Opposite of Clutch?" Donovan missed his PK, which would have won the game. Pachuca buried their next chance and LA missed again. Game, Set, $1 million prize. Oh, and David Beckham was hurt. He had a nasty collision going for a ball mid way through the first half. It was easy to tell he was hurt right away. The early diagnosis is some ligament damage, so he'll be on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, missing the rest of the MLS season and Euro qualifiers for Engerland. Sucks for them. It sucks even worse for the Galaxy. They are out of the MLS playoff race and with Beckham gone, they're just playing out the string at this point.

It's a week or two old, but here's the video for "My Eyes" by Travis, perhaps my favorite track off of their new record. The video is typically cheeky and totally awesome.

AOL liked my Projekt Revolution photos so much the asked if they could use them in one of their posts. I said yes. Obvs.

Back at work today after two days of packing and unpacking. Lots more to come this weekend. Mr. Pink was freaked out a bit once he got into the new place, but as of last night he was back to his usual self - running around, begging to play fetch and climbing on everything he can. He eventually stopped to rest so I broke out the camera.

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More over on Flickr.

If you want even more, here's the Mr. Pink archive on Flickr.

Post-gig

Hey Venus! is out in the UK today. Us Yanks have to wait until September (that is, unless you downloaded it 3 months ago like everyone else). I really like this record, it's much better than the last one.

[MP3] Super Furry Animals | Run Away

Back to unpacking...

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If it's August and I'm still living in D.C. then it must mean it's time for me to move apartments. And it is! Although I'm not nearly as excited about packing as my exclamation point might suggest. This is my fourth (!!!) move since arriving in D.C. in July 2004. Everytime I move I tell myself, "The next time I move, I'm buying a place and that's it." And that still may be the case. Next year. *sigh*

So until I'm back up and running next week, here are a few goodies to tide you over:

[MP3] Doves | Catch The Sun (Live)
When's the last time you listened to Doves? That's what I thought.

[MP3] Blur | She's So High (Live)
Blur misses Graham.

[MP3] The Smiths | Still Ill (Live)
I guess by now you've heard that the Mozzer turned down $75 million for a Smiths reunion. One that didn't have to feature Joyce and Rourke.

Loving that new Kanye.

Have you heard The Arctic Monkeys covering The Strokes?

Stereogum has an MP3 from locals Le Loup.

PS - I almost forgot. Even though I abhor most social networks (excluding Flickr, obvs.), I caved and joined LastFM. Mostly because now I don't have to update my iPod section over in the sidebar. So if you're on there, feel free to make me your friend.

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History

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Last night I had the pleasure of watching D.C. United's Jaime Moreno bury a penalty kick to become the MLS leader in career goals with 109. Oh, and United beat the Red Bulls 3-1. Pretty sweet.

A few of the MP3's that made their way into my inbox recently:

[MP3] The Go Station | All Together Now
New album out at the end of September.

[MP3] Minus The Bear | Dr. L Ling
New record, Planet of Ice, out today.

[MP3] Black Moth Super Rainbow | Forever Heavy
[MP3] Black Moth Super Rainbow | Sun Lips
Doing a few dates with the Flaming Lips and then with Aesop Rock.

[MP3] Standfast | Devil
[MP3] Standfast | Love For Life
The press release say "...for fans of Feist, Sia, The Cardigans." Take from that what you will.

Instrumental Analysis has a new song from ilb faves Middle Distance Runner. They have a new E.P. out in October. I heart E.P.'s.

Cedars

Cedars (formerly known as Cartel), another local fave, announced yesterday that they are calling it quits, which is a shame. They were one of the first local bands I saw upon moving here and totally dispelled the notion that D.C. was all hardcore all the time. They are all good guys and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors, whatever they may be.

Last year at Virgin Festival, the Scissor Sisters - and act I wasn't all that familiar with - surprised me by turning in the best set of the day, instantly making me a fan. This year's surprise best set was from Velvet Revolver. Considering the people that make up the band, perhaps my expectations should have been higher, but they totally blew me away. I quite liked the V Fest line-up, but it was short of rock - and rock stars (sorry Billy Corgan, you don't count) - and VR delivered both. I would go see them again without hesitation.

More photos from the 2007 Virgin Festival:
Modest Mouse
LCD Soundsystem
Amy Winehouse
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Interpol
Wu Tang Clan

Yesterday I did two things I never thought I'd do.
1) Took a trip to Nissan Pavilion
2) Saw Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance

Ask any college aged D.C.-area local and I'm sure they can tell you a sob story about the legendary traffic backups getting to and from Nissan Pavilion, which is all the way out in Bristow, VA. But the scheduling and set times of yesterday's show negated any traffic concerns I had, so out to Bristow I went.

As for the show, I actually liked Linkin Park much more than I thought I would, although after sitting through the crap that came before them, any band worth it's salt would stand out with no problem.

Julien-K was boring, MOR rock-electronica, the kind that gets played on the radio once every five years and then disappears without a trace (God Lives Underwater and Gravity Kills say "hi"). Taking Back Sunday was all shouting, with nary a hook or melody to be had. My Chemical Romance was Queen without the payoff. Great show but nothing there. Only Placebo did anything to impress me, and their hits are very samey.

LP put on a fine show, at least what I saw of it. I left after 5 or 6 songs in order to beat the traffic home and start editing photos. They were engaging, and at least had some hooks for people to sing along to.

If you want more, be sure to check out Martin's review for DCist.

True To You has details of Morrissey's upcoming dates, which will partially make up for the dates he cancelled over the summer. Here are the East coast dates:

October 22 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 23 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 26 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 27 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 28 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 30 BOSTON, MA : Orpheum
October 31 BALTIMORE, MD : Rams Head
November 2 WASHINGTON, DC : Constitution Hall

Hopefully I'll be able to photograph the Baltimore or D.C. show. Maybe both.

I missed Bukowski's birthday (again) earlier this week. Here's a poem to make up for it.

Bukowski's Grave

Eat

talking of death
is like talking of
money -
we neither know the
price or the
worth,
yet looking down at my hands
I can guess
a little.

man's made for guessing and for
failure
and women
for the rest.

when the time comes
I hope I can remember
eating a pear.

we are sick now
with so many dead
dogs
skulls
armies
flowers
continents.

there is a fight -

this is it:
against the mechanics
of the thing.

eat a good pear today
so tomorrow
you can
remember
it.

-- Charles Bukowski

This is the best movie I've seen in quite a while. Of course, I'm a sucker for anything Grizz and Peabs related. I assume I would say the same thing about Dirty, but I've never met him/her/it. Also, this movie was better than 100% of the festival reviews I read for Lolla and VFest. And yes, I'm including my own. Something to keep in mind for Austin City Limits next month. Blaaaaaaah.

This is the best blog post I've read in ages. Hilarious and so true on so many levels. A week or so ago I told someone that there is nothing more shameful than a blog fight. And I was/am right. But eff the Redskins. And 980. For serious.

Here, listen to some music:
[MP3] Aesop Rock | Citronella
[MP3] Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings | 100 Days, 100 Nights

Lastly, local band No Second Troy emailed to ask if I could let people know they are part of tonight's tomorrow night's bill at the 9:30 Club. Done and done. They go one around 10.

[MP3] No Second Troy | Into Your Sun

Three thoughts on Marrdest Mouse:
1) They were better than I thought they'd be, but still not my thing. But still...Johnny Marr!
2) Johnny Marr is not much taller than me, but his hands are huge!
3) I stood about two feet from Johnny Marr and David Beckham in the same week. Awesome.

Damn. Troy Perkins got pwned on this free kick. So much for that SuperLiga final at RFK.

If you want more David Beckham, all you need to do is head over to Flickr.

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Awesome, awesome piece in El WaPo today on some of the D.C. United fan groups and the role they play at every home game. I know some of you out of town readers don't quite get the whole D.C. United/MLS thing, which is why I highly recommend you read the article (and check out the accompanying multimedia extras that go along with it). I was never a big MLS guy until I moved here, but going to all these United games the last two years have really converted me. I can honestly say I'd be going even if I wasn't taking photos. They are so much fun, the stadium is full of cheer and energy even though it's only half full. The three D.C. United fan groups, La Barra Brava, La Norte and The Screaming Eagles are a huge part of that. It's impossible to sit near them and not join in with all the chanting and revelry.

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Here's the choice quote:

The Barra Brava works how America is supposed to work," says Conner, a recreation coordinator for Culpeper County, Va. "It's a great melting pot. We have 27 different nationalities there now. We have guys from Africa, we have guys from Europe, and South America, which is obviously our roots that we want to hold on to. What we want to be is the standard for American hard-core support."

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United takes on the L.A. Galaxy in the SuperLiga semifinals tonight at 10 p.m. ET. A win and they host Pachuca, who beat the Houston Dynamo last night, at RFK on August 29th! Vamos United!

Wrong. Let me go on record about the Yanks catching the Sox. Not gonna happen.

Not at all related:
Bring on Brazil.

Is RFK back in the mix for USMNT matches? God I hope so. When I was writing down the pros and cons trying to choose between moving to D.C. and Atlanta, the possibility of USMNT matches at RFK was a great big check mark in the Pro-D.C. column. And it just dawned on me that I may have the chance to take photos at the game should one ever happen. Sweet! Once the Nats season is done, they'll hopefully be adding more seats around the goals, which will be awesome for the United and their fans in the postseason.

Let me be the latest person to express their regret at the passing of Tony Wilson, the man behind Factory Records and author of one of the greatest quotes about the music industry ever - "You either make money, or you make history." Truer words were never spoken.

Also, let me also express my condolences to Jen Chung and her hubby Jay as they recently lost their cat Travis. I've been keeping tabs on Travis' plight via Jen's Flickr account and was incredibly sad to read the news this morning. Losing a cat is like losing part of the family, something I definitely have experience in.

Other than Velvet Revolver (photos coming, I promise) the other consensus pick for "Best Set of the Weekend" at the 2007 Virgin Festival went to LCD Soundsystem. Not exactly surprising, as their sound is made for a festival setting (even when they're on at 5 in the afternoon). You need energy and uptempo songs to win over festival crowds and LCD has both is spades.

They're touring with the Arcade Fire in September.

Just Press Play has a special Soulwax / LCD remix and Rewritable Content has the forthcoming LCD single "Someone Great."

Lastly, LCD did a live set for KCRW last night.

More photos from the 2007 Virgin Festival:
Amy Winehouse
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Interpol
Wu Tang Clan


She's just been hospitalized for "exhaustion," so I guess there's no time like the present to post these Amy Winehouse photos from the 2007 Virgin Festival. I was less than impressed with her set, she seemed like she was really out if it. During the second song of her set, she pulled her mic out of the mic stand and disconnected the mic cable while doing so. I have never seen that happen before at a show.

[MP3] Amy Winehouse | Rehab (Hot Chip Remix)

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If you've ever wanted to look at way too many photos of David Beckham on the bench before his first ever MLS game and also at the post game press conference, you've come to the right place. There were about 50 photographers in attendance last night, roughly two or three times the number that usually show up to United games. Noobs. Naturally, all of them were training their equipment on Becks. When he took his seat on the bench for pre game introductions, everyone surrounded him and shot him for a good ten minutes. Just Becks sitting there (as you can see above). The whole thing was a bit surreal. It was like the game was secondary.

United won by the way.

I didn't see much of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's performance at V Fest (had to run and get a good spot for the Wu) but I liked what I saw. I can take or leave the music, but the group is fun to watch and Karen O is usually good for one or two awesome photos per set. Here's mine.

Other V Fest photo sets:
Interpol
Wu Tang Clan

[MP3] Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Maps (Peel Session)
[MP3] Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Gold Lion (Nick Zinner Mix)

I generally liked Interpol's performance at V Fest. They came on stage and played a slowie that had the fans scratching their heads (they wanted to rock!), but the set picked up from there. Mostly because they played a lot of songs from their debut record. Still, they sounded great plugged into that huge sound system. The guitars were crisp and Paul Bank's voice was totally on point. Overall, I was impressed, but I still am in no hurry to get their new record.

[MP3] Interpol | Slow Hands (Britt Daniel remix)

Most of the photographers at last weekend's Virgin Festival were most excited about shooting Velvet Revolver (and with good reason, but we'll get to that later) but for me, the prize of the weekend was the act on the South Stage right before them - The Wu Tang Clan.

I've been a Wu fan since 1993, when their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) pretty much blew my mind. I was very much a hip-hop head in those days, and the Wu were obviously on a different level from everyone else. I've seen them numerous times over the years, at Lolapalooza in NYC(where I took all sorts of photos with the group, I need to dig those up and post them) and a few times opening for Rage Against the Machine.

RZA walked on stage and said "I got one thing to say to you motherfuckers. [pause] TIGER STYYYYYYLE!" From there it was on, a mass of sweaty bodies moving in all sorts of directions (both on stage and in the crowd). Shooting the Wu is a challenge. There are upwards of 15 people on stage and it's hard to decide who to train your focus on. I am pretty sure I was the only photographer singing along with the group while we shooting them.

Their Virgin Festival performance was special if only because everyone was there (which never seems to happen with the Wu), although Ghostface was nowhere to be seen during the first two songs - which seriously depressed me. I kept thinking to myself "The one chance I get to shoot the Wu and no Ghost!" However, he strolled on stage during the third song and luckily for me and everyone else in the photo pit, we got to shoot the first three Wu songs, as opposed to the festival norm two. Best. Also, Richard Branson watched their set from the side stage. That was kinda crazy.

My photos on AOL are still forthcoming, but they were nice enough to go ahead and let me post my photos here as well. More to come!

5049.

That's how many photos I took this weekend. That's way too many. When I go to ACL next month, I'm going to try and shoot 1/3 of that number. Over three days.

Anyways, the weather was just as bad as I thought it would be. At least on the first day. Sunday was a bit better but I'm still sunburnt, have blisters all over my feet from walking back and forth between the stages (I'm bringing a pedometer next year) and have a very sore shoulder from carrying all my gear (again, brought too much), but overall I had a lot of fun at this year's Virgin Festival. Saturday had a bunch of ho-hum performances but Sunday really made up for it. Oh, I should probably mention that I stood not 2 feet from Johnny Marr during Modest Mouse's set. I was directly in front of his monitor and got to listen to his guitar parts for two songs. Yes, I had a huge grin the whole time.

It will obviously be a while before I can post any photos. There will be some up on DCist and AOL very soon. I'll update this post when they are online. I'll have a full recap later, but here are my quick impressions:

Omnipresent quasi-celebrity of the weekend: Stat Boy!

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Best acts: (in order)
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Velvet Revolver
- Woah. I was unprepared for them to be so good. And by so good, I mean SO FUCKING AWESOME. Blew every other act away. As fucked up as he might be, Scott Weiland is a fucking Rock Star.
Wu Tang - Obvs. Just wait 'til you see these photos. Best.
M.I.A. - She blew my shit right out of the water. Just incredible. people were going CRAZY during her set.
Peter, Bjorn and John - Another total surprise. Really good.
Dan Deacon/Girl Talk - Absolutely tore shit up in the dance tent before 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Honorable Mention: Regina Spektor - Greatest smile ever.

Worst Acts: (in order)
Smashing Pumpkins - Snooooooooooooze. So boring.
The Fratellis - The lead singer has curly hair, that's all I can remember about them. Totally non-descript rock. Boring.
Paolo Nutini - Someone called him "This year's James Blunt," which just about says it all.
Amy Winehouse - She is fucking gross and you cannot convince me otherwise.
Explosions in the Sky - Soft verse/loud chorus without the words. Boring.
Honorable Mention: The Police - Not really, but every song seemed to last for 10 minutes.

If you want me this weekend, I'll be here. Visual evidence across multiple media outlets to follow on Monday.

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And that would be Australia's Dappled Cities (also known as Dappled Cities Fly). They played the Black Cat's backstage room last night and put on one of the most enjoyable shows I've seen this year. Their sound is a glorious blend of Mew, Supergrass, The Shins and Levy - art rock with perfect pop hooks occasionally sung in falsetto.

Two songs really stood out for me "Color Coding" - which has this insane coda that sounds like the Clash doing their best Mew impression - and "Fire Fire Fire," one of the best out-and-out pop songs I've heard this year. I was quite impressed with their show. They said they'll be back in the area in about a month or so, so keep an eye on those concert calendars. Go see them if you have the chance!

Donewaiting has "Fire Fire Fire" available for you to download. Don't forget the awesome remix that I've been obsessing over for the last two weeks.

My Old Kentucky Blog recently had Dappled Cities in on his Sirius Radio Show. Go there to download some live tracks (including a not so great version of "Color Coding").

And you can always peep them on Teh Hype Machine.

You've already seen most of these, but here are my photos from Whartscape 2007. Unfortunately I don't have time to give you all of my thoughts on the event, but I will say that even though it was totally exhausting, I had a lot of fun. Much more than I thought I would. I was clueless that Baltimore had such a great music scene. All of the local bands that played this festival - held in a loft warehouse space - seemed very close and for a total DIY festival, it ran on a tighter schedule than most shows at local clubs. The overwhelming hipsterness of the attendees was a bit much for me, but otherwise it was all good. Best of all, I got to see a ton of bands I had never head before and would probably had never had heard of otherwise.

Best Performance of the Weekend:

Spank Rock. I only stayed for like 5 songs (he went on last on Saturday and I was EXHAUSTED), but he was straight fire. I also got the best photos of the weekend of him.

Best New Band I Saw:
Future Islands. And not because they're representing Greenville, North Cackalack (where I went to school). They totally threw down. Picture Jack Black fronting BS2000 or The Rentals. Awesome. I was so excited when I saw they were from GreenVegas and even more excited that they were actually good. That's a rarity in Greenville, at least when I went to school there.

Best New Band Runner Up:
XBXRX - Kickass punk rock from Oakland. Can't even hum you one of the songs, but it was fun to watch them play.

Best Band That Might Be A Big Joke:
Blood Baby. A joke as in "funny ha ha," not "these guys are a joke." Hard to explain, but they seem like a bunch of dudes that just got together five minutes before they went on and banged out some quasi-Ramones covers. Great personality though. Tons of fun and thoroughly enjoyable.

Worst Band of the Weekend:
Beach House. Boooooooooooooring. I almost fell asleep. I had to make sure I didn't yawn too hard because I felt like I might blow them right over. How on earth did they get compared to Mazzy Star? Blasphemy. Hope Sandoval has PRESENCE. Beach House seem like they might run and hide if you look at them too long.