oh yeah this post is sort of long but don't worry it's mostly pictures
do you know how good burritos are late night after one too many cocktails? too good. classy joint above, hee. mission district, san francisco. last week.
somehow after never having been to san francisco EVER until april of last year, i've managed to get there three times in the past year on the work dime. which is so good. i have an awesome friend who lives out there and it is definitely among my favorite cities to hang out in and explore.
one day i took a ferry ride to alcatraz. i am not sure why i did that. i don't really recommend it. the boat ride is nice and hey, that jail sure has some nice views, but when you get there, um, it is a creep ass prison. yeah it may be a prison that's been closed for 45 years, but still .... it's gross. dude, their cells were tiny, i was like, feeling bad. for murdERERS! yeah. eeew.
the second photo below is the cell that clint eastwood totally escaped from. (yes it really was him it wasn't just a movie. shut UP).
then another day i went to pretend i was rattle & hum bono, rock 'n roll not really stopping traffic, at justin herman plaza on the embarcadero. the structure bono spray painted there, captured in the rattle & hum movie, is the vaillancourt fountain.
the above photo, with pablo neruda's words, is from a new exhibit right behind the fountain. supposedly the exhibit is meant to honor the u.s. abraham lincoln brigade that fought in the spanish civil war. there is a wall with poems, photos and phrases. apparently some people really really don't like it.
[mp3] when love comes to town - b.b. king, bono, the edge(live) ripped from an audience video recording of sunday's event at the kodak theatre in los angeles. (via). sound quality is not super awesome. halfway through the song, this version morphs into the more blues, less rock arrangement that b.b. king and his band typically play live.
i like the little lyrical change starting at 1:20 or so. it's interesting to hear the change in bono's voice from the last era when u2 used to actually play this live (see: dublin, 1993). i like the v.2008 enunciation better (love) without all the v.zootv faux affectation (luh-uh-uh-aahv).
also:la times article Invite Bono and the Edge to a night celebrating B.B. King, and odds are pretty good there will be some "Rattle and Hum" in the air...
...At the start of the program's second half, Bono and the Edge took the stage to accept the institute's Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award on behalf of Microsoft chief turned Experience Music Project benefactor Paul Allen. "We're not as smart, but I think we're better looking," the ever-loquacious Bono joked...
...But the night belonged to Founder's Award winner King, who drew the evening's entire lineup for the show's finale, including Hancock, Wayne Shorter and George Duke. As the music swelled to a close, Bono genuflected at the foot of the seated blues legend and his six-string companion, Lucille; another loyal subject forever indebted to the King.
it's hard to tell from this video but this break is pretty sharp and fast and right on a ton of huge rocks. dudes out there are crazy rad. i was sitting there yesterday with one of my best friends in the world. just watching. good times.
daniel lanois on new u2 album:"It's very sophisticated, rhythmically," said a coy Lanois. "I'm talking high-grade and wicked. We've gotten to a place, a combination of myself and (Brian) Eno, I think we've just done something that's never been done before. The president of the company is singing like a bird."
also: the president of the company gave a very bono speech at the the women's conference last night in long beach, california.
i missed the end of it but it took him at least 15 minutes before he even actually "started" it. he was going on about the shriver family and lots of other things before getting to his basics. you can also watch a full archived broadcast here. his speech is during the concluding session. he spoke after the award winners, which included gloria steinem and billie jean king.
a dude attended a meet & greet with daniel lanois over the weekend and says part of the discussion with lanois touched on the in-progress (?) u2 album. the fan posted on interference that: Specifically, he spoke of those two weeks spent "mixing" in NY. In the end, instead of mixing, he said that the band completely rewrote a few of the songs that were finished. This was a good thing, because he then said that they are now better songs than before... [more]
last weekend i was in chicago for the marathon. chicago is a major marathon, considered one of the top 5 in the world (boston, new york, london and berlin are the others). yeah, no way did i compete in it. i was working. like, watching kind of working.
i love marathons. some people i deal with on a regular basis think marathons are no big deal. 50 or 100 mile races are normal things for them. but i am definitely amazed when i see people competing in 26 mile races. a lot of people who run marathons only compete in one marathon ever. and it is this major test of their will. a lot of them do it in honor of someone they know who is sick or who died. or they do it to prove something to themselves. it is emotional to watch.
first you have these tiny little speedy guys running the entire 26 miles about as fast as you would run if you saw the ice cream truck skipping your block. you see them and you're like, holy cow, i could never run a marathon.
then you get the normal pack of people (45,000+ in chicago). many of them are incredibly fit and have spent the better part of a year scheduling their lives around training for this day. but if you look close, there are a lot of regular people. some of them are fatter than you or way older than you. and some have fewer limbs than you and some of them are doing silly things like juggling and some are walking. some are in wheelchairs. and you are sort of humbled by their collective awesomeness.
doesn't mean you've won. cause along may come a bigger one.
i feel like the above lyrics (from coldplay's song lost) are so bad in a sort of adorable way that every time i hear them i giggle. too bad about the remix that doesn't sound too remixed to me. they aired it on radio today. (you can find it lots of places). the remix is called lost+ and it sounds just like the album version of coldplay's song, but now it features jay-z saying some crap about Jesus and judas and crucified and bobby brown or something. it's not so much a remix as just a verse thrown in there at the 2:30 mark or so. also:i'm not so keen on keane, but a little birdie told me that you can buy a digital version of their brand new album for $2.99 on amazon. is it even worth $2.99? not sure. you can also stream the songs at amazon and decide for yourself.
[mp3] nothing i can do - ben taylor ben wrote this song about his mom, carly simon. ben is probably the only singer whose show i have been to whose mom could audibly be heard between songs shouting from the crowd at the sound guys to "lower the bass" and "raise the vocals." funny. this indeed happened once upon a time many weeks ago at joe's pub. he handled it like a champ. because he is sweet. it was actually more helpful than bossy on her part, too. ben says his mom always wants to know if he has written any songs about her. (insert you're so vain joke here). this song is for mom, says ben. it's from his 2005 album, another run around the sun. [buy] first morning ever to have seen the sun must have run the other way until she found that it was only getting earlier that way when she spun one-hundred eighty degrees and beheld the sweet light rising through the trees she fell to her knees and she began to smile, because she had been in darkness for a long long while, she said there is nothing that i can do but belong to you heaven and earth and i find myself singing this song for you as luck would have it, it just so happens that there's nothing i'd rather do ...
i was finally getting around to sorting through the rest of my spain photos. and i was going to post some barcelona stuff. but then i found out that my grandma died. and while this was not a shock, it sill obviously made me really sad. i would like to be sitting next to my grandma holding her hand and telling her all about spain. barcelona especially. and how yummy the food was. and how, yes, i went to those museums and looked at those gaudi buildings but really my favorite part was going to the soccer stadium, camp nou. even though it was empty. previously:conversation with grandma
here are some of the barcelona pictures anyway ...
i don't know if you write letters or you panic on the phone
saw lisa hannigan tuesday night at joe's pub. as has been stated elsewhere, she sure is lovely. would your mom like her? probably. mine would. is that so wrong?
(quick test: your mom likes the beatles? you like MGMT? your mom wins).
i think there's way more to lisa hannigan than just sweet and lovely, she's quite quirky and thankfully more appealing to me than her previous musical partner with all his angsty anguishness.
so, lisa's band is very good, they are up there a half dozen people, including a stand up bass (shane fitzsimmons) and are anchored in an acoustic set by the drums (tomo). not surprisingly, the songs on her new album (not out yet in the u.s. but you can stream some here) have more power live. vocally, lisa goes from sweet and soft to pretty heavy and howly quite authentically. i think the fact that she seems so whispery otherwise might lead people to misjudge her full repertoire.
she writes her own songs and manages to be alluring without dumbing it down or tarting it up. is it wrong that she get extra points for this? i don't know, but i'm giving them to her.
lisa and her band played a lot of new songs, and a couple covers, including an iron and wine cover (free until they cut me down, i think). overall: thumbs up and i highly recommend checking her out.
here's a video of "i keep it all" from the 11:30 show at joe's pub. (we were at the 9:30 show) - if you watch, at least go through 1:30 or so:
clash cd winner is phil. (email sent to you phil, please reply with your mailing address). thanks for all the entries. usually we enter in the comment section, but i'm trying out the super secret executive privilege private email system where nobody has any clue what is going on and who may have bribed me. i prefer the comments section way, i think, so next time we'll go back to that.
also: still to come, more spain, i totally neglected to bore the internetz by posting about barcelona, which was actually the best sidetrip ever in the history of my life, so thanks to all who suggested to me that i go there.
(ps - if you don't know who world famous bun is in top photo, please go here immediately)
do you know who plays in shea stadium? the new york mets. (used to). do you know who should have made the baseball playoffs this year? the new york mets. ( aaargh).
okay, anyway, the clash played two nights at shea stadium in 1982, opening for the who. an audio recording of the night two show, the clash, live at shea stadium is only just this very week being officially released.
why is this a big deal? this is the first-ever official cd release of a clash concert. (previously released live clash album from here to eternity is a compilation of live tracks from different shows.) footage from the shea stadium concert was used for the should i stay or should i go? video. the master tapes for the rest of the concert were "lost" for two decades before joe strummer discovered them one day as he was moving residences prior to his death in 2002.
so ... i have a copy of the cd to give away. enter to win the clash, live at shea by sending me anemail here by midnight (EST) on wednesday. put "yankees suck" in the email subject line. YOU CAN ENTER TO WIN BY SENDING ME AN EMAIL. the winner will be picked randomly and announced on thursday.
the edge was featured this week on the bbc program the story of the guitar. this appears to be a how to dismantle an atomic bomb era interview. (doesn't it?) but it's totally new to me. really good stuff.
noel gallagher: ever quotable. here's the full text of his belfast telegraph interview, with the following comments, among others: "I listen to Violet Hill and it's like The Beatles. I just think Chris Martin is a great songwriter. Liam fucking hates them -- thinks their stuff sounds like Annie Lennox, but Liam can be a fucking idiot sometimes."
"I fucking love U2 and I always have done -- I love the size of that band. Whether you like them or not, you cannot deny that U2 have written some great fucking songs. People will not accept that Bono is sincere -- in this cynical age, they think he's really just a cunt. But he's not."
On Tom Chaplin of Keane: "He's going on and on about being taken out of his comfort zone when making his new album. What the fuck does that mean? Why would you want to be uncomfortable when making an album? No matter what direction Keane take, it doesn't matter -- they'll still be shit."
a bunch of clips from r.e.m. in madrid on october 1. instead of writing something, i spent some minutes-hours on the plane ride home making this vid. i even included subtitles and a pre-show tour. because i am a dork.
r.e.m. closed last night with i wanna be your dog. that was something i did not expect. it was a pretty damn cool night all around. plaza de toros de las ventas in madrid. just going inside this bullfighting ring to begin with is wild and then, oh, hi r.e.m., you are here, too?
on my way home. have a lot of stuff to post when i get back...