Thursday, August 28, 2008

the year 1989. Me, in a training bra

I’m bored…yep, at work; surprise. I was sitting here, day dreaming underneath a late summer stormy/cold sky, about fluffy snow and the realization that time if flying way too fast, as it’s already September. Then GNR came on my iPod and I started wondering when Axl is going to release Chinese Noodles or Laundry or Republic or whatever his mythical beast he keeps trying to feed to us over the past 50years as actuality but we all KNOW it’s a figment of his holey doped out ex rocker brain! Which in turn, got me to thinking about my first concert; the connection? It was Guns N Roses. The year: 1989 LA Coliseum, opening act Living Color; headliner, on again off again geriatric retirees, The Rolling Stones; and GNR smack dab in the middle. Not bad for a band that was on their sophomoric album follow up to mega Appetite release, Lies. 89, that’s my 6th grade year, if you’re curious. Nobody ever said my stoner 70’s rock/earthy parents were the Cleavers or made the best upbringing decisions. At least it wasn’t Debbie Gibson.

I give props to Living Color for being a talented rarity, an African American metal/rock band (see how PC I am?) in a land of big hair butt rock; like: Warrant, Brtny Fox and Poison, to name a few. But I’m not whole heartedly knocking the expensive European extensions wearing Rock of Love failure front man Brett Michaels band; cause my bff does have their greatest hits album and yes after many MANY years of a blissful Poison free existence, we still remember all the words. Probably not the best thing to admit

*Side Note* I had actually wanted to go to Boingo's farewell tour that year but wasn’t allowed to because my evil 6year older brother claimed that a sea of bewbies would be flashed; exposing my gentile eyes to unspeakable acts of ungodliness; yet I got to see Axl parading around in assless chaps and using fuck liberally. Good call pops, GNR was a MUCH more wholesome choice for my first concert experience. Is it any wonder why I walk around covered in tattoos and ghost holes from piercings?

They were rad, and thanks to singing along with “It’s So Easy”, I said ‘fuck’ for the first time in a lifelong onslaught, in front of my dad. From what my 11 year old brain remembers, they rocked it; but then again they were probably slurring in a heavily drugged/drunk induced haze, one cord away from projectile vomiting “OMFG Axl’s creamed corn is on my bra!!” on the groupies showing their titties in the front row (see bro, titties after all).

I don’t remember much of the stones themselves, but what I do remember is a majority of the crowd was there to see them. And while everyone was standing rocking out, my cousin Joel and I were passed out in our chairs. I do however remember standing up once or twice on my seat to catch a drift of what was going on; and being BLASTED by the sound of their music. Seriously, as I sat down, the surrounding people actually blocked the music enough that it sounded like I was listening to the stones from outside the venue. But if you’ve seen footage, I can sum it up like this: Jagger walks around, does some old mannish hip shaking dance/Idol-esque arm air punch; leans up against Richards and they both sing into the mic, while the other members look someone bored and dying for their ensure.

I may mock, but don’t worry, it hasn’t escaped me that one day, I too will be an ensure and vodka drinking granny with tattoos picking up on the youngest piece of meat that’ll give me the time of day; possibly with fake boobs at that point.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hi, I'm Melissa!

So Saturday found me bored, sitting in the corner of the unusually Hip Hop filled bar of the Cha Cha with D; one less of our trash talk trifecta, the 3rd who was joining later…At any rate, sitting at the bar, having D wrinkle her OCD nose at the fact I was nursing my cocktail, we took a break from the lively mocking of misguided Seattleite attire for the evening to discuss the infamous “Seattle Freeze”. The theory that the fine people of this city are that of cold hearted superior asshats that don’t want to give you courtesy, the time of day, or the spit out of their own mouth to save you from thirst in the Sahara.

Now, I didn’t think this legend was particularly true, as I have a hard time making nice and meeting people in the first place; shocking, but true. I didn’t realize the Freeze was actual until I became single, at which point I noticed it wasn’t so much a freeze as it was people were just fucking passive. I’m thinking it’s the lack of vitamin D from the lack of sun filling up them up with joy joy joy; where? Down in their hearts.

So as I’m sitting at the Cha Cha, I decide to conduct a little social experiment to make the night a little more entertaining (by that point, the clothing choices had become a little ridiculous and sad-who wears an off the shoulder orange mesh top with a pink lame Rizzo jacket?). So I started introducing myself with a handshake, to random strangers that came into range of my monkey arm length reach, just to see how they would react.

Victim #1
Me: “Hi, I’m Melissa!” (This would become my power play opener of the night)
V1: I’m Joel
Me: beg pardon?
V1: Joel
Me: It’s nice to meet you!
V1: I just got out of a 4 year relationship…
Me: I wasn’t-no, I was just being nice. Um, wow, I’m sorry dude
V1: it’s ok, it ended on a good note and we’re still friends its fine
Me: super

Victim #2
By this point, several people were trying to bypass the bar line to get service, at which the tender was turning them away
Me: Hi, I'm Melissa!
V2: nice to meet you (no name given)
Me: (undaunted) the bartender has been telling people to wait in line; I don’t know if you’ll have much luck (big cheesy smile)
V2: Oh, well, I work here, I figured he would. I’ll go to the other side to get help (and thus he sprints off, I presume, frightened but proceeds to stare at me with coworker; great, I’m back in high school)

Victim #3, 4, 5
V3: (to V4) I have to piss, order me a drink (I fail to introduce myself)
V4: (whines) I don’t KNOOOOW what to get him
Me: get him a shot of tekillya!!
V5: that’s racist. You assume because he’s Mexican, he’ll want tequila?!
Me: touché fucker, but I suggested it because we’re in a Mexican themed bar
V5: (says something else, trying to be clever about being half Pilipino/white and his right to being racist-blah blah blah; at this point I start to lose interest in him)
Me: Hi, I’m Melissa! (To both)
V4: I’m Holly!
V5: I’m Ryan
(Friend returns, I ignore and turn back to D)

Victim #6. Not really a victim, as he’s the bartender and his earned tricks are based off of his ass kissing personality.
Me: What’s your name?!
Tender: Joe!
Me: thanks for treating us to great service-PEACE OUT!

New bar, one last victim and the 3rd member to the trifecta, Anna, has arrived. Now, the last victim was by far the friendliest, but I’m guessing it’s because he was gay, and I’m not meaning in just the homosexual way, but in the intended way of the word’s roots, to be happy; cause fuck all, if he wasn’t one happy and friendly dude.
V7: I’m Chad!
And with that, he stayed and chatted with our table about chlorine, hair and a whole butt load of other stuff I can’t remember because it was close to last call and I was becoming quite sleepy with a tummy full of vodka and bad sushi.

I will conduct more tests, as this forces me not to sit in the corner with a “don’t-talk-to-me-I’m-carrying-Ninja-Stars-in-my-bra” look. And who knows, perhaps I will meet some new friends and end up with some crazy stories of pants pooping, cheesy domino's tattoos, puking and bar fights to share with my children someday


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Radiohead, White River Amp 8/20/08

Oh. My. Fucking. Gawd.
My mind has been blown; I am the Jon and Radiohead is thy prostitute.

From the minute they took the stage, I knew I was in for concert going experience that might possibly have blown my first going experience (GNR/Rolling Stones, entry coming soon), out of the hemisphere. I was stone sober for this event, sitting amongst the periodic funny smelling smoke clouds and frankly, I’m glad I was. I felt like I was able to enjoy the show without bladder emergencies and absorb every fucking detail that was being given to me.

The weather seemed fitting…emo ‘I’m an agro spent youth and NO ONE GETS ME!’ gloom, would be an understatement. The clouds looked like angry murky grey waves viewed from the ocean floor, with the ever looming threat of a downpour; which didn’t actually start until ‘Dollars and Cents’, at which point I could say “Radiohead has made me proper wet in the pants” and literally mean it. I embraced the rain with my face turned to the sky; the cold however and being able to see my breathe with frozen toes in the middle of August-no so much.

I would’ve never bought a ticket for this show on my own. Not that I dislike them, I have managed to get almost every album for my collection, but more for the fact that I assumed, rightfully so, that it would be sleepy-time event, where a comfy la-z-boy recliner would be greatly benefited over the ass callus producing seats that the builders presume are acceptable. The price of tickets for a show of this caliber normally waylays my decision against the splurging. Thankfully, Anna prevailed and had an extra ticket; with regrets of it being in the lawn section, to which, I cared not-even with the rain. From my vantage point, Yorke was approximately a size that could fit on my thumbnail; again, I didn’t care. It’s not like this is a Manson show where you want to see every detail cause they get crazy on stage; this is a kick back gig, ie: sleepy time. So needless to say, I didn’t’ deem it necessary to be close enough to watch Yorke’s crazy flailing Charlie Manson moves

(Thom Yorke sizes may vary)

The stage was flanked by large monitors that not only showed the band, but adapted to the curtains of LED. Speaking of LED’s…before the show started, we noticed the stage hands rolling out several rows of tubing from the top of the stage. Seizures be damned, cause once that shit got going, you were hypnotized with an array of patterns, flashing and a kaleidoscope of hues to capture every song’s mood. The pairing of lighting effects to the music just pushed their performance over the top; far beyond anything I've exerpienced in my concert goings.

The LED set up:

the power to run it:
Suck this *band points at crotches* money hungry electric company swine! We’ll go green and use solar power and lower the emissions. You ain’t getting our duckets!

In terms of sound…I haven’t been to many blockbuster shows, I just prefer the intimacy of smaller theaters over the crowds and sometimes horrific blown out sounds of the bigger venues. Given that fact, I must say the sound for this show was by far, some of the best I’ve heard, big or small. The clarity, fullness and the fact that you could make out every note without the need for earplugs, was something my ears and body took in with great pleasure.

Given the combo of the near flawless sound and dazzling visuals, a few key songs stood out in my mind:
Pyramid Song- The stage appeared to be underwater, swimming in a blue lit hue, Greenwood, (Johnny I presume), channeled Jimmy Page, by playing his guitar as a stand up with a bow, creating a creepy whine, which carried on while Yorke played the piano at a slower tempo than the recorded version.

(Pyramid song)

National Anthem-began with a red laser light show; best described as taking a laser pin and going crazy against the wall, in a breakneck way that makes your cat go nuts. When the song starts to build with the horns into a general mess of noise and the repetition of “its holding on”, the red laser continues but is now joined by all the tubes being blue lit in a fashion that resembles a fuzzy t.v. screen, a la Poltergeist. Imagine that blue fuzz, coupled with the bright red snaking through it, and you’ve got ocular assault.

(just a taste of the above mentioned)

The Gloaming- started with a monitor panel on the floor of the stage, beating like a heart, in an emerald green hue in tempo with the base drum. When the chorus of “They should be ringing” with the building of the music, the LED tubes lit up, replicating a very fitting, emerald green ‘downpour’ onto the stage. I must admit, the coloring reminded me of the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald Castle.
(the Gloaming)

And one point, in all of their glorious flawlessness, Greenwood and Yorke take main stage to do an acoustic version of Faust Arp; to which Yorke screws up on the lyrics a few times; proving that he/they are not super human. He proceeds to start singing Neil Young's "Tell Me Why"; mumbling the words he doesn’t know; laughs; says “fuck it!” and continues on to finish the intended song. It’s good to see bands have fun and laugh in the face of mistakes instead of having teen temper tantrums and destroying their equipment before storming off in a “Mom won’t let me wear this slutty top-STOP CONTROLLING ME!” hissy fit off the stage. (yes, I like run on fluff sentences)

How to Disappear Completely. Sent Anna into a 50's musical love lorn look, with folded hands under her chin and one foot raised

Idioteque-was impressive for the bright white lighting patterns; you tube video attached
(of course the video does it no justice. Key word search radiohead+white river, for more videos)

Set list:
01. 15 Step
02. Reckoner
03. Optimistic
04. There There
05. All I Need
06. Pyramid Song
07. Talk Show Host
08. The National Anthem
09. The Gloaming
10. Videotape
11. Lucky
12. Faust Arp
13. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
14. Climbing Up The Walls
15. Dollars and Cents
16. Nude
17. Bodysnatchers
Encore 1
18. How to Disappear Completely
19. Arpeggi/Weird Fishes
20. Idioteque
21. In Limbo
22. Street Spirit
Encore 2
23. You And Whose Army? [Thom dedicates to the people who demonstrated against the WTO in Seattle in 1999]
24. No Surprises
25. Everything In Its Right Place
In all they played a 2hour set and I was pleased that I knew all but one song "Talk show host" and was a little sad they didn't play my fav "Exit music (for a film)"; which I understand...noboyd wants to pass out in a puddle of drool in front of their peers. I think next time they come through, I will have to shell out the money for closer seats, just to get the full effect of band member visuals.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reaching for the Gold

(US men win 4x100m, by a fingertip)

I’m groggy. I stayed up past my old lady bed time of 10pm to watch the Olympics; more exact, to watch the men’s 4x100m relay. Holy FUCK, talk about an exciting race, probably one of the best relays/race I’ve seen. Most of the excitement stemmed from the French talking smack about "smashing" the US; which isn’t my beef, some are just better; but when you throw in the shit talk, you deserve huge disappointment. Show some fucking class, much like my oh so ladylike self. BURP. So we had the lead, until the 3rd leg of our team lost it a bit, to the point where the 4th leg, 33 yr old Jason Lezak, had a body length to gain on first place. Going into the turn, I thought we were getting the silver, thus ending Phelps race for 8 golds, but the final 50meters Lezak somehow found the strength to pull on the Frenchy poop head; which trust, when you’re sprinting, it’s hard to pull out anymore. He took one massive dive to the finish and out touched by .08 of a second. The French’s response: “they didn’t win, they just out touched”. However you want to call it, the Americans got the gold and Bernard was left at the wall staring in disbelief before putting his head down.

In my opinion, the chance to even go to the games is heart fulfilling enough; silver, gold or bronze, you’re the best of the best. If there is one thing I regret in life, it is not realizing my dreams of giving it a shot for the Olympics. From the time I was 6 and my parents dragged us out on a warm summer night to some street to watch the torch be passed en route to the LA Coliseum; me with my M&M’s and boredom, not knowing what it all meant; listening to people cheer and peering through legs to get a view of a jogging man carrying a lit torch…that’s all it took, that was my first remembered Olympics. The rest is history. I dreamed from then on to try and attend. I was too big for gymnastics and too slow for track and once I witnessed Janet Evans in 88’, it was swimming all the way for me.

Maybe it’s my days of winning our league championships that bring Queen’s “We are the champions/We will rock you” into my head when I watch epic swimming events like this…at any rate, it’s a good song for the rivalry that France created against the US. Perhaps it’ll go along with Phelps if he wins all 8 gold medals. Even if he doesn’t, which is my belief because that’s just too much fucking pressure on the poor kid and let’s not forget the other great swimmers out there; but if he does, he’ll have earned every pretty snatch that will now be thrown his direction because of it. Keep on playa, you are the Champion

(Good Golly Phelps advertising the bod to the masses)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pandora, not the box, but the site

As the wagon is still broken and I ride the public trans with the rest of the Hellevue drones, I am developing quite the addiction to Mocha's; tall non-fat, no whip, extra chocolate-Mocha’s, to be exact.

How is this your problem? Well, you clicked on this page, so it just is…and now I get to offend your eyes with my incoherent caffeine rambling words and utter bullshit. Ramble On…

I know I’m behind the times and just recently discover the joys of Pandora. And I know it is there to introduce you to new music you may have never heard of based off of the music selections you input into their genome…and on that level, it’s fucking fantastic (like: waking up in your bed after a night of drinking, naked, and there’s a body lying next to you and SCORE, they’re actually attractive! Now only if you can remember if you actually GOT some) Although, the site has introduced me to loads of new music and as of late, is sadly replacing my uber radio crush, KEXP; there’s one thing it can’t do: dedicate an entire station to just one band. Sometimes I have a hankering for a particular band, and of those sometimes, I don’t fully have the album collection; and damn it, I don’t want to use up my limited skips and rejections in hopes of hearing this band. Like Veruca Salt, I WANT IT NOW! Is it so damned hard to satisfy a fucking itch?! Possibly if it’s in the unmentionable region and you’re out in public, so you try to do some sort of squat, leg cross shift, to make your clothing do the itching for you, without having to blatantly reach down and scratch.

Ok, time to ween off the java, seriously

So the pros: It breaks down bands/songs you choose, into key elements and determines other music that fits the style, thus possibly introducing you to cool new shit
It also has NO commercials; at least on air commercials that assault your ears
You like something, you can buy it now

Some of my gripes: Can’t make a station band specific
Sometimes there’s a glitch in the Matrix and the system will lag as it “tries to determine” the next song to play
You may have inputted Karate, and the thing chooses Black Sabbath to play next. How the HELL it got that from Karate, I’ll never know.

Overall, it’s good shit when you’re tired of the weird DJ selections or repeating top 40
My dream station...

(took me hours to get this combo. OCD is thy name)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Am I listening to the soundtrack of "Love Actually" here?!

(just a fraction of the sometimes upwardly 9 piece band)

If you’re not going to the KEXP BBQ or are strapped for some cash, South Lake Union is having a block party…for FREE; and the only band that I’m familiar with is Grand Hallway. Decent mellow band hailing from good ole Seattle, with strings, slide guitar, piano and all the rest of the normal set up. I have a hard time placing them in any sort of musical category at which to compare or contrast. At any rate, with the lead singers androgynous voice liken to that of Sunny Day Real Estate or Silver Sun Pickups, it’s easy to see how you can sit out on the lawn with some wine, your favorite blankie or warm body and just chill

(singer Tomo Nakayama)

I saw these guys by pure happenstance at Showbox Sodo while visiting a bartender friend back in October 07. After what seemed like a looooong warm up, making me thinking they were armature and that I was in for a yawning experience; I was pleasantly surprised. They pack a punch.

Just a side note: off of their 07 release Yes is the Answer; “Seward Park”, is fast becoming my favorite song. With a soft beginning building with strong piano and strings, then stalling and building. It’s one of those songs that would fit perfectly into a love movie with one stupid character realizing they fucked up and running head long through crowded traffic filled streets towards the other stupid character who’s heading to the airport to move away to some far off land to do some stupid charity work. Or I dunno, the two stupid characters just part, all sad like, and I laugh. Bitter? Meh. Take this rant for what its worth as a description for their style.
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