flwyd: (bug eyed earl)
Hey anybody in the Midwest (*cough*[livejournal.com profile] sandbar*cough*): You're the next stop on Les Claypool's tour and Denver's best band, DeVotchKa (plus Saul Williams), is opening. DeVotchKa is worth seeing on their own; combined with Claypool it's hard to have a recipe for more fun at a concert.

I saw Les Claypool at the Fillmore on Saturday and had a great time. I missed most of the first opening act, but it was a cool-sounding metal band with electric violin and cello, among other things. Next up was Saul Williams, a philosophy-major poet and rapper. I really like his poems, but the disharmonic music when he raps is very discordant with the bands I've seen him open for. When an audience member said "Les does this just to fuck with us," I recalled DJ Shadow saying "I'll play a hip-hop track to piss off the indie rockers and then I'll play a folk song to make the hip-hop fans go 'Huh?' Because if I'm not challenging you then I'm pandering to you, and you're better than that."

Yard Dogs Road Show was the third opening act, featuring circus side show acts (sword swallowing, crazy juggling) and burlesque dance with good old music. As a fan of Ukulele Loki's Folderol Follies it's no surprise I thoroughly enjoyed their show. Claypool's band this time around included cello, vibes, and drums which gave an interesting twist to a few familiar Primus songs and some interesting long pieces I hadn't heard before. And Eenor, the world's only guitar-playing redwood tree joined them for Thela Hun Gijit. All told, the show lasted four and a half hours, which is a mighty fine deal.
flwyd: (requiem for a dream eye)
At the P-Funk concert last night, three people asked if I'd "Seen Molly." Since I'd already bumped into a friend of my brother's I didn't recognize, I had to stare at the first girl who asked and think "Do I recognize this person? Why would she be asking about my friend without introducing herself?" I answered "Not here" to see if she would ask a follow-up question.

In case you're keeping track, more people asked me for drugs at George Clinton & Funkadelic than at The Chemical Brothers. I don't remember anyone asking me for drugs at Michael Franti & Spearhead or Kraftwerk (all shows at the Fillmore). I don't think anyone's ever asked me for drugs at the Boulder Theater or the Fox Theater. P-Funk is also the only show I've seen where somebody (two, in fact) tossed a joint to someone on stage who then lit up. Caveat: I've never been to Reggae on the Rocks. And in a reversal of stereotypical roles, a black guy with corn rows secretly reached over and touched my hat. Oh, and Maggot Brain is totally awesome.

One of my favorite Onion articles ever was Clinton to Parliament: It's Time To Drop DA BOMB On Iraq.
flwyd: (red succulent)
I just won a pair of tickets to see Squirrel Nut Zippers at the Boulder Theater tomorrow (Wednesday) night. Since I was planning to go on my own, does anyone want the other ticket? (It's not sold out yet, so if you want to bring a friend one of you can get in free...) Show starts at 8 with an opening band.

In case you don't recall, Squirrel Nut Zippers were the best (most interesting arrangements, best compositions) band in the swing revival craze of the late 1990s. There are few albums I enjoy more than their Perennial Favorites. I'll probably dress up with a top hat and a cane or something. Since it's a fun band in Boulder, you can dress in anything from jeans to a circus costume :-)
flwyd: (octagonal door and path)
Some things I've done in the past month or so which don't involve work or sitting around the house alone:
  • Hiked around on Lookout Mountain with Thuy.
  • Helped Thuy move.
  • Realized it was my half birthday and I should see a show. Found out Explosions in the Sky was playing at the Ogden.
  • Got started with Thor's GURPS game.
  • Made a character and played a game or two at Keith's.
  • Watched E-Days fireworks at Mines.
  • First Saturday drumming at Witches Brew.
  • Ate vegan (seitan) pizza and hiked from one side of Green Mountain to the other with Zaydie.
  • Played in the first game of a 4th Edition series with Keith and others.
  • Ran the geometry table for Mitchell Elementary's math and science night.
  • Took a day off work to attend the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder. Will write up my notes in a separate post.
  • Chose the wrong parking lot in Boulder, resulting in a Denver Boot, the loss of $65 dollars, and the waste of half an hour while two people failed to unlock the boot.
  • Played games with Thor and his cats.
  • Second Sunday drumming at David and Nanette's.
  • Monday drumming at the Buffalo Rose.
  • Bought well over $100 of used CDs at Twist & Shout and Black & Read on National Record Store Day and 4/20.
  • Third Saturday drumming at Spirit Ways. Talked to Doug.
  • Purchased (among other things) lotus root, frozen jack fruit, preserved duck eggs, bamboo shoots, a case of basil seed honey drink, and a tea set at Pacific Ocean Market Place in Broomfield.
  • Walked up to Green Mountain and then around the neighborhood on Earth Day.
  • Saw Kraftwerk at the Fillmore. Found a place to freeform dance near the end of the show.
  • Hung out with my brother who's going to Boston tomorrow and then moving to Ireland for a while.
  • Danced around to Medeski, Martin, and Wood at Balch Fieldhouse at CU. (Aside from the acoustics, the Fieldhouse is more enjoyable than the Fillmore).
  • Served osimanthus tea from Guilin and stir-fried eggplant/lotus root/bamboo/nuts in a sesame marinade over bean noodles to RPG guests.
  • Took players through the character creation process and ran a fight in a Goo's Noodles and Dim Sum, the first scene in a one-shot Feng Shui RPG story I created.
I'm pretty happy about the themes of gaming, drumming, and hiking, though I want to significantly increase the frequency of the latter. I haven't run an RPG in quite a while, but it went quite well. I spent enough time rereading key parts of the rulebook and thinking through characters that things went fairly smoothly. Hopefully everyone will be more comfortable with the system next time and a combat of mostly mooks doesn't take two hours.

Celto de Mayo

Sunday, May 6th, 2007 11:01 pm
flwyd: (Akershus Castle cobblestones)
The skies hung thick all day, holding forth with an Irish-style drenching across the winding road past farms standing fast against the encroachment of homogeneity. We walked to Macky Auditorium, the most Castle-like building on the Front Range, during a brief dry spell. What could better set the scene for the arrival of Loreena McKennitt, the Canadian ambassador of Celtic romanticism?

The stage was set beautifully. The wiry centerpiece and elegant backdrop evoked an elegant Arabian room while the caged candles dangling from the ceiling provided a gloomy castle air when needed. The lighting was carefully coordinated to enhance each song's mood.

Even though I've listened to "The Mask and the Mirror" and "The Book of Secrets" many a time, I don't know the lyrics of many of Loreena's songs well. For instance, last night was the first time I followed the plot of "The Highwayman" all the way through. Instead, I let her voice become part of the musical soundscape that induces my spine to weave and transports my imagination to a land swirling with mist and mystery. "Santiago" may be the best example of this technique; it's a song made from around five phonemes (la, li, ti...) in several pleasing orders.

Loreena talked a little about her growing realm of influences. Her early albums* don't particularly stand out among other "new age" Celtic music. Mostly solo, they feature beautiful distant female vocals based on old poems and folk songs, soft harp, occasional guitar, and a touch of synthesizer. But over the last twenty years she's dug deeper into the history and mythology of the Celtic people and found that they spread as far as Asia Minor and along the Silk Road to China. As she explored these ancient paths of mingling she has collected styles and spices not typically found in music labeled "Celtic." The following is a list of instruments I observed at the concert last night in roughly descending "stereotypical in Celtic music" order:
  1. Fair-haired vocalist
  2. Harp
  3. Violin
  4. Bodhrán
  5. Accordion
  6. Hurdy gurdy
  7. Mandola
  8. Acoustic guitar
  9. Piano
  10. Synthesizer
  11. Bouzouki
  12. Double bass
  13. Viola
  14. Cello
  15. Drum kit
  16. Electric guitar and bass
  17. Congas
  18. Dumbek
  19. Oud
  20. Erhu
  21. Tablas (I place erhu above tablas only because Colcannon has two members who have managed to work the erhu into Irish music.) It is this musical diversity which takes the listener past the misty heath on an inward journey most fantastic. I thank Ms. McKennitt for sharing her words, music, energy, and atmosphere with us.


    *: I bought "Elemental" and "To Drive the Cold Winter Away," neither of which I'd seen before.

Fat Days

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007 09:49 am
flwyd: (Vigelandsparken heels over head)
I think each day of the week should be Fat at a different time of the year.

Fat Tuesday is a time of partying before the 40-day Lent celebration leading to Easter.

Fat Wednesday is 40 days before Labor Day. It's designated as the time to have a meeting and figure out who can drive to Burning Man and what it's going to take to build a dome for your theme camp.

Fat Thursday is Thanksgiving.

Other suggestions?
I had a phatabulous Tuesday night with [livejournal.com profile] mollybzz at the Fox Theater watching The Folderol Follies and Ukulele Loki's Gadabout Orchestra, a burlesque acrobatic show with old-time music. I started dancing to the ambient pre-show music and by the time the opening band was in full swing there were about 20 people on the floor performing various spontaneous and slightly ironic dance moves. The crowd dancing mostly stopped for the main act to feast our eyes on Victorian stripteases, aerial dance in lace and powder, and a glass-walking midget. There may be a non-fuzzy picture or two out of the hundred I snapped.

After the show, Loki invited me to next month's meeting of the HUMBUGS facial hair society. Definitely the best $8 concert I've ever attended.
flwyd: (pentacle disc)
I just ordered tickets for Loreena McKennitt on Saturday, May 5th at Macky Auditorium at CU. It's certainly not a typical way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but it is the two year anniversary of filing my affidavit of common law marriage.

As is typically the case, the Ticketbastard charges accounted for over 20% of the total price. But careful examination of the seating chart let me save $10 per ticket for better seats. I'll take six rows back in the center over two seats next to the wall, thanks.

Sometimes the venue is the deciding factor. How can you pass up a breathy Celtic vocalist in a well lit castle? Like Red Rocks, I have lots of happy associations with Macky from Cinema Interruptus to Engineering graduation. And since I wasn't a film or journalism student, I have no negative memories of the place :-)

This definitely makes up for slacking on Béla Fleck; probably Sigur Rós too.
flwyd: (requiem for a dream eye)
Massive Attack
Fillmore Auditorium
Denver, CO
Friday, April 28, 2006

Tickets? Purchased. 'cause gettin' a Visa card now a days isn't hard. (Total TicketBastard charge for two tickets: $22.20.)

I think they only have 3 US tour dates -- Seattle, Denver, and Inyo. This show is going to be awesome.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Daydreaming.
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