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:: 1.17.2003 ::

My minidisc player has been broken for about three weeks now, so I've relied on the radio a lot during work hours to pass the time. I've got the NPR and the "rewind" show on Live 105 where they play songs like Martha & The Muffins' "Echo Beach" and that one Veruca Salt song. However, my radio staple is the college radio standby of KALX in Berkeley.

The big trend I've noticed with their DJs these days? A LOT OF JAWBREAKER. This is a good thing of course, but when I heard three separate Jawbreaker songs from three different DJs on the same day, I had to check the indie news to make sure Blake hadn't died or something.

In between all the mediocre stuff they play are some real gems, and I've picked up a few releases from what I've heard on the airwaves. Then again, I just burned the new Robbie Williams CD last night, so I'm not entirely indie. I hear he spent 80 million pounds on that album. Damn, is John Lennon on it or something?

(4:29 PM) :: (link)

(listening to: Air: The Virgin Suicides)

And the award for best show of 2003 goes to...Wilco! Yes, Sunday was one of those nights were everything just fell nicely into place and I enjoyed myself more at a show than I had in quite some time. After band practice I headed out to the city (no traffic) and parked right down the street (no hunting for a spot) and then met up with MRA to get my ticket (no huge crowd, no problems getting the ticket). We went inside while Oranger finished up their set, I grabbed a couple of beers and then headed straight to, yes, the front of the stage where all our friends were assembled. I got to put my jacket under the table (no clutching it to make sure things don't fall out of the pockets) and my beer on the table (no holding it until it's warm). I hadn't eaten dinner, but one of the cooks at the club handed a big caesar salad to his friend, who happened to be standing right in front of us. She decided she wasn't hungry, so she offered it to me and I gladly grabbed the fork and went to work. While Oranger played their last song, I chomped happily on garlicky lettuce while MRA picked the croutons out for herself. Then, after a bit of a wait Tweedy and company took the stage.

The only thing missing was my brain, since I didn't bring my camera and therefore have no point blank shots of the show.

And what a show it was. The written setlist was 20 songs long, but they played more than that, including two encores with Tweedy sporting the electric guitar (most of the set was played on the acoustic). The band was great, even the *crowd* was great, and the bouncers took a chill pill and hung out on the side of the stage, coming up front only once, and that was to pass out water. People sang along, but not in an annoying way, and they danced, but not enough to shake up the crowd. It really was amazing.

Highlights from the set include:

1. Opening with California Stars, making the audience sing along. They really didn't need the invitation.
2. Jesus, etc.
3. Playing "Spiders" for the 12-year old boy standing up front while his mom helped him hold up the sign.
4. "Casino Queen," and me singing along with it.
5. Two versions of "Heavy Metal Drummer." The first like it is on the album, the second in a minor key with no guitar and lots of piano, with Tweedy singing everything with a goth singer's intonation. "Playing Joy Division covers, beautiful, and alone." Pure fucking brilliance. He said that's what their sound should be like if they wanted to score more hits. If you can find an MP3 of this version somewhere, download it and then let me know.
6. "Hesitating Beauty," and me singing along with it.

They played for over two hours and I was smiling the entire time. Thanks to my friends for snagging the tickets, it was definitely a good time out.

Tonight MRA and I headed over to SF right after work to get haircuts (we look foxy), then back to the East Bay for sushi and sake with a couple friends. Not bad for a days work, even after driving over 200 miles through Sonoma county today. Goodnight!

(7:35 AM) :: (link)

:: 1.12.2003 ::

(listening to: Wilco: Summer Teeth)

maurice gibb : how deep is *your* love?

Now I'm not the world's biggest Bee Gees fan or anything, but I thought the Gibb brothers wrote some pretty damned good songs in their lifetime, both for themselves and other people. Pretty sad news to hear that he died today.

Tonight's the big Wilco show at the small venue in San Francisco. It's going to be such a madhouse trying to pick up the tickets and hook up with my friends, but I'm (hoping) it will be well worth it. It's supposed to pour rain around the bay tonight, so I'm hoping that will keep some ticketless folks from coming down to the venue to mob the front door, but probably not. I'm also hoping they'll let me bring my camera and whatnot in, although the chances that I'll be able to get anywhere close to the stage are slim to none. Rock + roll.

(2:55 PM) :: (link)