Information Leafblower: September 2007 Archives

September 2007 Archives

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On The Record

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Spinner Front Page What do you do when you're swamped at work and just back from a three day music festival? Milk last weekend for all its worth. Pictured above is my photo on the home page of AOL's music site Spinner. Pretty Awesome. You can check out my ACL photos on Spinner here. My photos are slides 2-50. Many thanks to the fine folk over at AOL/Spinner for letting me represent them at the festival. The other big story at ACL was "the fire." My photos of the fire were used on Spinner and Pitchfork. Flickr picked up one of the photos on their Explore page and it's gotten over 800 views and been favorited 32 times since Saturday. Sweet! Semi-related: One band I wish I could have seen at ACL was Underworld. Looks like the NYC show was awesome.
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Like woah. I survived Austin City Limits Festival 2007 and all you get for it is this crappy post.

Biding my time at the Austin aeropuerto before heading off to Dallas and ultimately BWI. I had a pretty awesome time here in Austin, although I was running around doing festival related things so much I didn't get the chance to eat as much BBQ as I wanted.

Quick thoughts:
My Morning Jacket fucking OWNED! They were amazing. The only group all weekend that seemed like they could play even bigger venues than ACL. Probably the set of the weekend. So so good. Also earning props: Bloc Party (got so many good photos of them I could run a new one every day for a year and you wouldn't get sick of them), Arctic Monkeys and the aforementioned LCD and M.I.A.

Wilco was a snoozefest. I ended up shooting them and running over to catch MMJ and I have to say, after (only) seeing three songs I don't see what the big deal was. Tweedy looked like he'd rather have been anywhere else on the planet. MMJ meanwhile were decked out in beach gear and gave their set a luau feel. They had girls standing on stage holding coconuts and some random guy wandering around stage with a metal detector like he was at the beach. Have some fun with it! Wilco's big thing was Tweedy wore a cowboy hat for the first song. Pffffft. Also snore inducing: Andrew Bird (who drew an absolutely HUUUUGE crowd on Saturday) and The Decemberists (Say it with me now - OVER-RATED).

Blue October... Without a doubt the Worst. Band. On. The. Planet.

The Arcade Fire played in the dark. - Literally. I (along with the rest of the photogs that pretty much had a battle royal to be one of the 32 people "lucky" enough to get photo pit access during the AF's set) was SO PISSED. The Black Cat had better lighting than the AF's set. Meanwhile, you could see and hear Muse all the way across the park. I backed the wrong horse here, no doubt.

Surprisingly Good: Common (he covered "Award Tour!") and Crowded House (mostly heard new stuff but didn't stick around that long).

Indifferent towards: Bjork (played a strangely paced set and I really don't like her new stuff) and Bob Dylan (played "Tangled Up In Blue" right off the bat and then all new stuff after that. His voice was in rough shape at the start of the set but got better). Plus, I was so happy not to have to take any more photos by the time Dylan came on (we weren't allowed to shoot him) I think Morrissey would have had a hard time keeping my attention at that point. Also, The National. They were wonderful but I've seen them play that set four times in the last two ro three months.

All in all, I had a wonderful trip. Austin (and ACL Fest) is best! The beer is cheap and the music and good food is plentiful. I would come back in a second. Although probably not for SXSW.

Special thanks to Dan for letting me crash on his couch all weekend and to Frank Chromewaves for the hotel and internet access. Hopefully Frank is still talking to me as of tomorrow since I spent most of the weekend telling him his favorite bands suck. I'm such a dick.

Also, big ups to all the Hot Freaks bloggers. They put on two great nights of after parties at two awesome clubs.

Photos should be up on AOL/Spinner at some point today. Make sure you check them out!

**UPDATE** Waiting on my connection in Dallas...Here are the photos at AOL/Spinner.

Also...

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After something like 18 months, I finally "get" My Morning Jacket. Z, specifically "Gideon" and "Knot Comes Loose," has been stuck in my head for the better part of this week. Which is a bit strange because some of Z screams Jimmy Buffet.

I bring this up only because I am having a hell of a time choosing between covering MMJ or Wilco at Austin City Limits next week. They both play at the same time. Right now I'm leaning towards taking photos of Wilco (who I've never seen) and then rushing over to catch the end of MMJ's set. Mostly because Jim James is a mountain of big hair (see above) that doesn't move around very much on stage. If this is a bad idea, please advise.

Lastly, Ticketmaster just sent me an email to let me know Morrissey is playing Baltimore and Tijuana(??). As if I didn't learn anything from my last Morrissey road trip.

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SeeqPod Music beta - Playable Search

I was playing around on the net last night and came across Seeqpod, a cool little app that lets you form playlists of all the available MP3's on the nets, so I made a playlist for the weekend. Now if only it could export the MP3s and playlist order directly into my (and your) iTunes. That would be hott.

I can't recommend the Gruff Rhys track enough. Figures I find the perfect summer song just after Labor Day. Oh well, definitely give "Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru" a listen, it's absolutely brilliant and would have fit in perfectly on Guerilla. Quite possibly my favorite song of the year. I've probably listened to it 20 times since yesterday. Head over here to download the MP3. Also, here's the video that was directed by Dylan, who does all the visuals during the Super Furries live show. Gruff is touring the US at the end of the month and I've set up an interview with him during his stop in D.C. on the 20th, so look for that later this month.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, which is a shame because there are some great shows tonight and tomorrow. Tonight is the Kora Records Third Anniversary party tonight at the Black Cat featuring Meredith Bragg and The Terminals, Donny Hue and The Colors and Olivia Mancini and The Housemates. I'm a big fan of Olivia and the Housemates, so I'm a bit bummed that I can't make the show. Instrumental Analysis has all the details on the show as well as some MP3s for you.

Tomorrow is the big Blisspop Presents show at the 9:30 Club with Georgie James, Soft Complex and The Dance Party and the DJ stylings of the one and only Will Eastman. Again, totally bummed I'm missing this. It should be a good time. Doors are at 11 p.m. (it's a late show) and tickets are a mere $10. If you need some MP3s, head over to I Guess I'm Floating.

MTV was on the set during filming on Chuck Palahniuk's Choke. How excited am I for this movie?

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Despite being pretty beat, I went to see The National and The Rosebuds last night at the 9:30 Club, hoping that the underwhelming show I saw in June was an aberration. Friend of information leafblower R.D. came down from NYC for the June show, but caught The National recently at South Street Seaport and said the show was so good his "trust in the decency of the common man had been restored." Yes please.

Unfortunately while playing a very good show last night, the band and venue still highlighted their collective weaknesses more than their strengths. Boxer, grainy, emotional and gorgeous on CD, lacks a bit in the pacing department live and I just couldn't get past this. Matt was also battling a bit of a cold, which didn't help things.

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It almost seemed that the band was holding back last night. On the few occasions they put their guard down and let 'er rip ("Abel" and "Squalor Victoria" for instance) it was truly a thing of beauty that made you think "I am so glad I'm here rather than at home watching Andy Roddick lose to Roger Federer in straight sets." But any momentum would soon be lost when they would follow up with a slowie that brought the energy in the room down again. Alligator worked because "Mr. November's" yin evened out "Daughters of the Soho Riots" yang. And "Daughters" sounds all the better because of it. Boxer lacks the songs that punch you right in the gut (sorry for the horrible pun).

That said, they played "All The Wine" (YAY!) with a wonderful new arrangement and did the slow-then-fast tempo for "Apartment Story" that worked so well back in June. The highlight of the show was definitely the venue-wide singalong to all the words of "Fake Empire."

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Similarly, try as I might, I simply cannot get into The Rosebuds. They've garnered all sorts of praise on blogs far and wide, but after seeing them twice, I just can't get into them.

The Washington Post Express is going to run a few of my photos today, which is why there's no photo gallery here. Head over to Flickr for more photos.

Midlake are at the Black Cat tonight, and although I do want to see them, I need a night off. If you go, tell me how it was.

Mr. Pink had to go to the vet today. He wasn't very happy about it, but he's had an outbreak of eye gunk since we moved into the new place. It's gotten better since the weekend, but I still wanted him to get a checkup (Hey, I went to the doctor yesterday, he can too). The diagnosis is nothing serious, but I do have to put this gel into his eyes twice a day. Boy, he loves that.

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While we were there I had him fitted for some soft claws, little plastic claws that go over his real claws that will cut down on some of the scratching damage he causes. I'm not going to declaw him, so hopefully this will be a better solution. The nurse tried to talk me into pink caps, but I went with the clear ones this time around. But maybe next time.

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Mr. Pink hates car rides and going to the vet, but he did pretty good today. He is currently in the next room conked out on the couch.

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PS - Editors, last night. Pretty damn good. Tom's voice is really amazing, it's easy to get lost in it during the show. The crowd was really weird though, and it sapped much of the energy from the room. It's hard to explain, but lets just say I had no idea that so many people with bad fake tans liked Editors so much. To make matters worse, no photo pass.

iPod Touch

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I will totally buy one of the new iPod Touch models that was released today...as soon as they increase the storage from a paltry 16 gb. I've been telling Ms. Smith I'd be interested in the iPhone without the phone part, and that's exactly what this is. If only the storage capacity wasn't so crappy.

On the other hand, the new 160 gb iPod looks pretty tempting. New Nanos too.

More over at Gizmodo.

Upcoming

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Busy week this week.

Tonight: Editors @ 9:30 Club
Editors

Tomorrow: The National @ 9:30 Club
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Sunday: New England Revolution @ D.C. United
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Also this week but not pictured: Jon Miller's wedding on Saturday.

The NY Times on Rick Rubin.

The WaPo on The Wire filming its last episode. *sniff*

The Guardian interviews David Beckham, who might be returning to England once the MLS season is over.

Wow.

Hard to top yesterday. I spent much of the afternoon pestering the multiude of Michigan alumni in my rolodex after Appalachian State, alma mater of Mom and Pop Leafblower, pulled off the greatest upset in the last 30 odd years in college football by beating Michigan at The Big House.

Forget firing Lloyd Carr (wait 'til he loses to Ohio State again), you have to fire the special teams coach on Monday. Allowing two blocked field goals in just over 90 seconds? That's a fireable offense in my book. Boone, NC is on the map now, baby!
Momentous.

Here's the crazy thing. Michigan's season is OVER.
Done.
Finito.

The only bad thing to come out of this is there's no way anyone that big ever schedules App State again. It's a shame no one saw this game since it wasn't on TV anywhere. ESPN Classic should show it today.

Later that night, Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz no-hit the Orioles in Fenway. Maybe now I will start yelling out "Ohhhhhhh" with all the O's fans during the national anthem. It will just have a different meaning for me.

Not to be outdone, D.C. United traveled to Dallas and came away with a 4-0 win in a game that was over at the half. United is now in 1st in the Eastern Conference and play #2 New England next Sunday.

If only my alma mater, East Carolina, could have out the cherry on top of this delicious Saturday by beating Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Things looked good early but they VA Tech got an interception that led to a TD just before the half that took the wind out of our sales. Still, that was the best game I've seen us play in the last few years. Looks like Skip Holtz has us back on the right path, so it's at least a moral victory.