Thursday, October 29, 2009

Batman Captured-- in Iowa!

These two fucktards were arrested last Friday after trying to break into someone's home in Carroll, Iowa (Yah- I don't know where it is either).

My absolute favorite part is that the guy on the left thinks he's Batman.

"Trust me Skeeter, the cops ain't gonna arrest BATMAN"

Monday, October 19, 2009

lucinda williams, 10/4/09, irving plaza, nyc

lucinda williams, 10/4/09, irving plaza, nyc

This was a last minute Sunday gem of a show! Had no idea it was happening til a couple of days beforehand and what a treat it turned out to be! Weiss and I planned to meet up and at the last minute Mike dangled a burger in front of Mark's face and that's all it took. People, once you've got the burger, the natural progression is Lucinda Williams. Burger -> Lucinda Williams. Except for me, I don't eat burgers. I had a sandwich, so--- Sandwich -> Lucinda Williams. And what a sandwich it was! Ohhh, the bacon I had. Grey Dog, you never fail me.

Lucinda did "a special" 3 night run at Irving Plaza to celebrate her 30th anniversary as a recording artist, focusing on different albums each night. We hit up night 2 which was loosely based around Sweet Old World, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, and Essence, but also included random other hits that we were all psyched to hear. Peppered in were stories and insights on various tunes. One of her stories was about being asked to change her lyrics not once- but TWICE, to appear on TV and not offend the normies. Once was for Something About What Happens When We Talk with the line, "all I regret now is I never kissed your mouth". The second for Right In Time, when Good Morning America asked her to omit the line, "Lie on my back and moan at the ceiling*".

It was 2 sets of honest, gritty, no-holds-barred, rock 'n roll and no one else does it like her. Her supporting band Buick 6 are a super-talented group of musicians that compliment her perfectly. The beginning of set 2 was acoustic and then Buick 6 came back out and they rocked their way through the rest. Man, does she fucking rock. Also, she has the nicest dressed guitar tech I've ever seen. The man was in a suit! Swank!

We moved around back for the first half of the show and then went all the way up to the stage chuck.side-- right where the stack is. We were doomed. I put in my filters, but Mike and Mark didn't have any... and THEN I was forced into moving towards the center. The boys may have gone deaf, I never asked. But I did take these fabulous pictures!

It was an intimate show compared to the other two times I've caught her (once at the WaMu MSG Theater and the other time at Huge-a-roo**). Finally! The warmth, the sound, the grit- as it should be. Lucinda Williams, 10/14/09, Irving Plaza, NYC: 9.3 HUZZAHS!

Thanks to Weiss & Mark for the Outstanding Sunday Evening Adventure! 10 HUZZAHS for the company!

3/3 music, burger and/or sandwich lovers agree!


* She refused.
** In which Bonnaroo ended up being miles more intimate than the hollow WaMu. Yee-haw!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

moe.down x, 9/4/-9/6/09, turin, ny

moe.down x, 9/4/-9/6/09, turin, ny

DISCLAIMER: This review is pretty late because after starting it, priorities were quickly shifted to my sick dog who was rapidly getting worse. There were a few real scares, but Milligan has now completed her 3 stereo-tactic "Cyber Knife" radiation treatments for a brain tumor and is currently dosed-up on 'roids and doing well. She's the bestest dog ever and we are keeping our thoughts positive. I appreciate your patience, now back to your slightly belated moe.down review.

Ahh, a decade of delicious moe.downs. I won't lie, I shrieked out loud on TWO separate occasions as the bands were announced. Shriek # 1 belonged to Ominous Seapods, shriek # 2 was for Cake. Well, the Cake-shriek was more like, "AAAAHHHH HOLYFUCKINGSHITCAAAAAAKE! " YES! Umphreys McGee, Sam Bush. Oh yah, and moe.. My running crew and I got more and more excited as the summer drew to a close. 4dice, el herno, and myself would be 10/10. TEN YEARS! Jiggidy, gee- where does the time go?

FRIDAY, 9/4/09
We departed from the Red Roof Inn and quietly made our way up to Snow Ridge where there was no line. The parking lot looked considerably emptier than it has been in a long time. Snow Ridge already seemed to have a quieter vibe & laid back crowd-- this was awesome. The weekend might have peaked at 6500 people, maybe? Phish tour? Bad economy? Dead clowns getting married? I was completely okay with that. Regardless, we headed to our regular 'hood and set up shop.

The security weren't allowing any glass into the camping area and confiscated Hern's salsa & Jam. They took his JAM, maaaaan! They also made me empty my factory sealed bottle of calcium/magnesium/zinc into an unlabeled ziploc baggy. 4dice was in line in back of me and they wouldn't let him in with his ziploc baggy of zyrtec, because it was not in a factory container. Special. This is about when I decided to sell my calciums. "1 for $10, 2 for $20".

It did fill in quickly around us, but we managed to save a few spots for the folks arriving late. We had finally started to relax when a circus tent of kids went up in our backyard. NIMBY! One of them had a portable compression sprayer full of some concoction that we declined to taste*. That kid-- henceforth known as "Spagett", was already in too deep. It was important to make friends early and we tried our darndest.

Pete and Nelson showed up, finished our cul de sac, and we were ready to fucking ROCK. moe.down x, fuckers! Foregoing a nap (typically necessary on Friday after setup), I headed in to see Okemah, ft. not only Ted "Tigerbeat" Marotta and al Schnier, but also a few of the boys from freebeerandchicken- I miss those guys!!! Okemah were a nice way to start the weekend. A little bit of North Country rock. The moon rose behind them which was quite picturesque and for some reason reminded me of the Hee Haw set**.

After Okemah, I walked down to where the Beer Tent used to be, but instead found an actual 2nd stage with The New Mastersounds killin' it. I like the new 2nd stage setup. It places the band as the centerpiece of moe.ville village. So, where you used to go down in between sets and get food, you'd have to really "enter" the Beer Tent to see the band. With this 2nd stage, you can pretty much see the band from anywhere in the village. It's very cool and really features the smaller bands in a better way than in years past.

Anyways, The New Mastersounds- awesome. A 4-piece soul-funk-jazzyish band out of England. I've been hearing good buzz about them and was psyched to check them out and enjoy the hell out of them. They remind me a bit of Soulive, but a little more funkified. And then before starting a new song they spoke in their crazy English accents...
"Simon, will you show the nice people how to clap for this next song?" Oh, hell yeah. They rocked. I will definitely be checking them out in the future.

An added surprise was our neighbor, Spagett, sitting in the center of the speakers in front of the stage- back turned to the band- cigarette dangling precariously from his lips and a giant bloody gash on one of his shins. Fabulous!


Friday night at moe.down is challenging, because it sets you up for the days ahead. You've been awake since the early morning, you've set up camp in the hot direct sun, you have embarked upon a 4 day journey without a shower. So, after a while of Method Man and Redman calling us "white motherfuckers" we decided to chill out, pre-game, and rest up for moe....

Vinnie started off the Friday night set, solo and immediately we realized they were throwing back to moe.down I, where each of the boys began a set solo. In 2000 I thought Chuck's intro was my favorite- he tore shit up, but I didn't have a fave this time around. The air was cold, the Moon was full, and Jupiter was RIDICULOUS. Less stars were visible cuz of the full Moon during the weekend, but the planets were shining bright & beautiful colors. We had finally kicked off moe.down x, surrounded by friends and a ton of love-- right on. Psyched to hear Styx-> the Pit, Spine (without the tweaked intro, thank you!), Punchline (love it), Four, & Buster all w/ Kirk Juhas, moe.down I stylez. Fucking classy. Kirk rules!

moe., FRIDAY, 9/4/09
vin. solo ->
Buster >
New York City
Big World ->
Hi & Lo ->
Tubing The River Styx >
The Pit,
The Seed
Spine Of A Dog*>
Waiting For The Punchline*


* w/ Kirk Juhas

DOWNLOAD FRIDAY's moe.: moe., 9/4/09, moe.down x, turin, ny

When we got back to camp, our neighbor Spagett came for a visit. He had no more compression-pump-alcohol to offer, but he did offer air squirts from the pump ("please don't do that again") and his awkward Spagett impression. I'd explain it further but it's really not that funny***. They were an odd crew, our neighbors- and we were still hell bent on keeping things friendly with them. They had a lot more energy than us.

SATURDAY, 9/5/09

I've become a big fan of Erewhon Gluten Free Crispy Brown Rice. Did you know that Kellogg's Rice Krispies contain malt? Did you know I'm allergic to malt? Now you know. Anyways, I lived on the Brown Rice cereal all weekend- that shit is gooooood! What a way to start the day! When you combine that with a stiff Java Junction coffee, the sun, and a good hair-washing under a faucet next to the RV camping- well, that's just one of my favorite mornings of the year.

Saturday's lineup was another busy one. We didn't have much down time at the Red Light District this year on account of the solid lineup throughout the weekend. Hell, I didn't even take a pic of the flag flying because I wasn't sitting around for long stretches of time. The only break I really had all day saturday was Ani DiFranco's set (oh, I can hear the angry people's eyes). I'm not a fan. The rest of the day however, was non-stop. Sam Bush, moe., Cake, moe., moe.. In between the 2nd stage was stocked with Family Groove Company, The London Souls, and The Heavy Pets. My moe.down x 2nd stage attendance definitely suffered on account of the strong main stage schedule.

Anyways, Kat and I hit up the Crepe place- the line was short and it was pretty good (don't know why I'm going to compare it to the Samosa place at Bonnaroo- but the Samosas at Bonnaroo were way fucking better than the crepes at moe.down.) but didn't really live up to the hype.

Sam Bush was a lot of fun and had a great crowd- 1pm on Saturday is a rough slot, but he had lots of people up to get down.

We headed in for the moe. afternoon set a few minutes after Mexico had started and the Kids' Tent Parade came out with sombreros and mustaches. Very funny. Soon after getting inside, I decided to wander down front, chuck.side- to my amazement, it was pretty spacious--- and Pete the Enforcer was there with Young Nelson (his first moe. show!****)! Spectacular! I ninja'd back up to the runnin' crew and convinced them to invade the front. We rocked out to an awesome set and it was just a flat out great fucking crowd. Good peeps! Highlights: Tambourine, 32 Things, Brent Black (though this crushed my dreams of a Brent Black -> Ominous Seapods band swap on Sunday).

moe., SATURDAY, 9/5/09
SET I (afternoon)
al. solo >
Crab Eyes
32 Things**
Deep This Time ->
Brent Black

*w/ Kids Tent Parade
** w/ Sam Bush

Turin cycles through many climate zones every day. One must come prepared with each of the appropriate layerings. This year's weather was pretty perfect, but the moment the Sun went behind the mountain the temps dropped by at least 10 degrees, and once night fell it was time for a winter hat and Mammut jacket. Cold night air during Autumn in the Adirondacks smells goooood.

I was hellbent on getting close for Cake. I heart them. They put on stellar, energized shows. Lead singer John McCrea busts his ass to get crowds moving and I was looking forward to watching the interaction***** up front. The moon was FULL (and a great counter-part to their disco ball) and it was a gorgeous backdrop for their set. Their set started rather slowly, but it didn't seem like the crowd was giving them enough love at first. He worked really hard to get the crowd's attention and even started Short Skirt, Long Jacket over twice cuz he kept fucking up the opening verse. As always, the set featured some great crowd participation and sing-alongs.

Once everyone had warmed up and the energy levels rose, the glowsticks starting flying- a couple hit McCrea and his guitar. That's pretty fucked up. If he were Les Claypool he would have walked off stage. John instead asked the crowd if they had ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The name is misleading, as it is not great at all. No, not at all. I raised my hand, so NYAH. Then he pretty much told all the hypocritical hippie assholes throwing glowsticks that while it might look pretty in the moment, glowsticks are plastic tubes of toxic chemicals which eventually end up polluting the Earth (and also hurt when you get nailed with one that's been hurled at you). The Cake road blog paints a much kinder picture when describing it, considering how right-on McCrea's little lecture was:
During our set, the crowd illuminated themselves with plastic glow sticks, which together with the sight of a full moon behind the stage and our spinning mirrored ball, made for a terrific light show.He got nailed with at least 1 more glowstick during the set... maybe two.

Saturday night moe. was just plain ol' fucking ridiculous. It's hard to ask for a better set- I'd name highlights but it was strong the entire way through- so here's the setlist as your highlight:
jim solo >
Zed Naught Z {UNF} >
Skrunk >
Queen Of Everything
Lazarus ->
Akimbo, Queen of Everything, Lazarus, meat- all songs that can make a set spectacular on their own- fused together with perfect compliments: Z0Z, Skrunk, George- what a set!!

I met up with Mark for set II and rocked it VIP stylez up on the soundboard (thanks, Mark!). I was good and resisted the urge to look at the setlist the entire time! Best sounding set of the weekend fo' sho, this was the sweet spot indeed- definitely aided by tequila from Mark's flask. Ah, now that's livin'. The only awkwardness was when Plane Crash started, but the tequila did help me deal with that and it passed quickly. Highlights: Dr. G, Okayalright, Where Does the Time Go?, Rec Chem, and the Wind It Up encore- like fluff on a fluffernutter. You can't have a fluffernutter without fluff!

rob solo >
Dr. Graffenburg
Understand >
Where Does The Time Go ? ->
Plane Crash
Captain America >
Recreational Chemistry^

Wind It Up

** w/ Sam Bush
^ w/ Suke Cerulo

DOWNLOAD SATURDAY'S moe.: moe., 9/5/09, moe.down x, turin, ny

The kids next door spent most of the night practicing their "rebel yells". Yeah. Always bring cotton balls to stick in your ears. Strong enough to drown out the rebel yells, weak enough that you'll get up if "the campground's on fire!!!"

SUNDAY, 9/6/09

It's Sunday already? Whaaa happened? No matter that- wake the fuck up cuz Ominous Seapods are getting on soon! The freaks gathered from around the yard and it was pretty awesome who we ran into on the walk in.

Ominous Seapods brought the heat, no doubt. While they played the original moe.down, it was with Todd Pasternack (and without Max Verna) in the lineup. This time they played as their original 5-man lineup, w/ Max and no Todd. This was the 2nd reunion set without Todd- Lobsterfest '08 being the first. Todd did perform w/ the full lineup (including Max) at TP's Bday Show in '08.

Some of their songs have been slowed down (due to age and pliability) but they still rocked the hill. K.I.M. was a nice opener and went into the melodic Cary Suite. John Henry's was a nice treat, as was Countin' Time. Pull From Adirondack Blue is sweet music to my ears. MMIII -> Lust for Life-> MMIII was the Seapods energy we came to love. Dana ran around pumping his fist, hamming it up, and owned the main stage.

It was nice to see them go out on the edge again- with such a short set I had wondered if they'd have time to get freaky and am certainly glad that they did. When in the North Country, do as the locals... Monopole was, as it always is- comforting and sentimental. I could have listened to another set, but I'm pretty sure they didn't rehearse enough for that. The hill was full of smiling mutants showing their love and support. I miss the Seapods. A whole damn lot.

OMINOUS SEAPODS, 9/6/09, moe.down x
Keep In Mind ->
Cary Suite
Final Destination
Waiting 4 Da Bomb
John Henry's Hammer
Countin' Time ->
Pull From Adirondack Blue,
Michael Murphy (part 3) ->
Lust for Life ->
Michael Murphy (part 3)
Leaving the Monopole


There was barely any chance to rest on Sunday, but between OSP and Matthew Sweet we managed to fit in a 3-D sammich, some GF rice crispie treats, and a game of washers.

I made the tough haul back in for Matthew Sweet because he is fucking awesome. What a random, yet totally perfect choice for moe.down. The turnout for his set wasn't so great and I think the strong Sunday lineup had a lot to do with it (you've really got to pace yourself at these things), but the crowd that did gather enjoyed it immensely. His set included a brilliant rendition of Mott the Hoople's All the Young Dudes. Life without a little surprise Mott the Hoople every now and then is bland!******* . Sweet also had a sparkly pink guitar that reminded me of Chuck's. His band included a low-slung Gibson rhythm guitarist who ruled oldskool and a drummer with the most impressive mutton chops I've seen in at least a full yesteryear.

Umphrey's McGee were up next and I had to run back to camp and do a quick wardrobe change cuz the temperatures were dropping quickly. Against doctors (and our) orders, Hern joined Pete the Enforcer and Young Nelson up the ski lift leaving them to hike down the mountain, which was slightly more challenging for Hern who was in an "soft" orthopedic boot for a broken foot. Mrs. Hannon if you're reading this- first of all- did you notice I quoted you at the top of my blog? And secondly, we TRIED to stop him but he stayed behind and snuck up after we walked to the stage. Halfway through the set, I got this:

Mrs. Hannon, he crAAAzy and stuff.

Umphrey's set was solid and they rocked out a long time. Details are hazy, but I do recall having a blast on the hill for the duration. Umphrey's play guitar-driven jamband rock brought to you by moe., God Street Wine, and Steve Vai. The kids love 'em!


In between Umphrey's and moe., we went back to camp to sit for a while. One of the tamer neighbor kids was walking through and said she was so tired from the Umphrey's set that she might not even make it over for moe.-- so, I gave her a pep talk. "You're almost there--- I don't run but I imagine this is just like a marathon and you're hitting your wall- KEEP GOING!!! You need 3 Advil and then you march right back to that hill, girl! YOU CAN DO IT! You will conquer this weekend!" ROAAR!

Chuck rules. Chuck is Satan. We actually walked in while Chuck was opening his set and then went into the wonderful cowboy ballad, Shoot First. I heart Chuck. Then we got an awesome Bearsong, which always gets the blood pumpin'! What was superawesome and superevil was Bullet-> Hector's Pillow-> Ricky Marten -> Second Cousins -> Runaway Overlude. Strong stuff!

During the moe.down mayoral election we booed an 8 year old and pretty much everyone else. Eventually the crowd settled for the joint tickets of BUTT SCRATCHAAA and a really wide sideways mouth with a goatee. When combined they made for the strongest candidate. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Mayor of moe.ville, Vag Scratchaa! I was impressed with how quickly we got this over with this year, thank you for that- everyone!

At some point during the start of the second set, Fordice attempted to summon el herno from the darkness by illuminating a beer floating 3 feet above everyone's heads in the crowd. It worked! Duh. Holy crap it's the last set of the weekend! And what a set it was- Timmy, SOMP, Sensory Deprivation Bank, Happy Hour Hero, a killer St. Augustine, The Road, and always a great encore in Rebubula. I was a little disappointed there were no Seapod cameos, but somewhere in there they teased Ominous Seapods' Michael Murphy III- it warmed many a mutant heart in the crowd, I'll tell you whut.

SUNDAY, 9/6/09
Chuck solo * >
Shoot First ->
Bullet >
Hector's Pillow >
Ricky Marten >
Second Cousins >
Runaway Overlude
She #

Mayor of moe.ville
Timmy Tucker
Seat of My Pants>
Sensory Deprivation Bank ** >
Happy Hour Hero**
Not Coming Down **>
Wormwood ** ->
St. Augustine **
The Road **

Rebubula **

* Chuck solo
^ new Rob song
# w/ Jake, Brendan and Andy of Umphrey's McGee
** w/ Nate Wilson

DOWNLOAD SUNDAY'S moe.: moe., 9/6/09, moe.down x, turin, ny

It took til the end, but the fireworks eventually melted all of our faces. Once back at camp we blew through some late night snacks, Bach gave us some lovely background music to compliment the mortars being asploded in the RV lot, Nelson danced with fire, and then we passed the fuck out. Oh, but not before both Heidi and c4d were deafened by a cherry bomb going off in a port-a-potty adjacent to their own. That must have been awesome.

MONDAY, 9/7/09

Seriously? Monday already? I hit up Java Junction nice and early to get me the boost I needed to breakdown and haul out. The power tripping security guards wouldn't let us drive our cars onto the field to load out, those motherfuckers! We've done it for 9 fucking years!!!! GRR! Big fat fucking WHUTEVA, cuz we blew outta there and hit the first rest stop on the Thruway for toilets, warm water, and coffee. Traffic could have been better, but it's an easy trip home when you're still riding a festival buzz.

This is an open letter to moe. now:
Dear moe.,
Boys, I know we occasionally heckle and/or scream at you, but we mostly never throw things at you... mostly. But it's all in twisted jest, because you see- we love you, we just have a hard time expressing our true squishy feelings.
your faithful servants in the red light district

The weekend went by sooo quickly, it seemed unreal. Was this because of the stellar lineup? The wonderful weather? Or did some crazy physicist actually speed up time? Methinks yes. But it flew too quickly. One thing fo' sho' was that we all felt the love <--- I MEAN THAT! moe.down x, 2009-- appropriately enough: 10 HUZZAHS! Bring on m.d xi, betches!

special thanks to Rob Clarke & Scott Bernstein- most/all of these links are their recordings.

non-moe. DOWNLOADS
OMINOUS SEAPODS, 9/6/09, moe.down x
UMPHREY'S MCGEE, 9/6/09, moe.down x

FRIDAY: moe., 9/4/09, moe.down x, turin, ny
SATURDAY: moe., 9/5/09, moe.down x, turin, ny
SUNDAY: moe., 9/6/09, moe.down x, turin, ny


* A smart move.
** Maybe less corn.
*** Spagett comes from the Tim & Eric Awesome Show Good Job which I have little-to-no tolerance for. Go watch some clips on [adult swim] if you're desperate to know, but don't say I didn't warn you-- it's probably not worth the curiosity.
**** He had missed the previous night's.
***** In a less traumatic manner than the Flaming Lips. *shudder*
****** A coffee mug told me so.