Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Just Gotta Get Off My Chest, That I Think You're Divine...

Okay, first off I want to thank my friend Jami for scoring me tickets to the Placebo show last night. Without her I'd have been crying at home in my beer while they played. Secondly let me thank Derek for putting up with music he doesn't like (some comments from Derek about Placebo: "Whiny. Boring. Pretentious. Stefan is a dead ringer for the guy in the band No Vacancy in the movie School of Rock... you know, the guy that thinks he is a rock god and wears the silly shirt," and perhaps the most heinous comment ever - "the short guy [Brian Molko] is just like the guy that won Rockstar Supernova." Oh man. That is so not on.)

So I managed to score tickets two days ago from KNRK to a private in-studio session with Placebo in the afternoon before the concert. Yes, I am that lucky. We were early, so we went and had a quick (and delicious) beer at Amnesia Brewing. The show was at Mississippi Studios, which is a tiny intimate little venue.There were basically 4 long church pews right in front of the low stage, and a sort of balcony behind that with a couple rows of stools. When you walked in through the back door, you went by a bar, where they were offering free beer. Never one to say no to that, we dutifully stood in the free beer line, until the stupid Miller High Life girl said "oops, I'm out of beer!" I think they brought one case of beer for 40+ people. Whatever. Miller High Life sucks anyway.

We went down the little stairs and sat in the last pew, right against the wall, so I could sort of half stand to see better (not that it was hard to see, they were like 15 feet in front of me). No photos allowed. Poo heads. So Placebo came out, and I think they had just rolled out of bed. They weren't very interactive, which was kind of lame, as there were fans sitting 2 feet away from them. It was an acoustic set - Brian and Stefan on guitars, Steve on snare or tambourine, and um, other guy on like a glockenspeil - and they played a slowed down version of Because I Want You (which, if I can go all fangirl on you guys, was so like OMG! Guh! Squee!), Song to Say Goodbye, Jackie (a Sinead O'Connor cover, which was just Brian singing and a little guitar from Stef and was wonderful), and then Meds. Brian sang with his eyes closed through every song, for whatever reason, which bugged Derek, but which I chose to interpret as Brian being way into the songs he was singing. :) Either way, I was way into the songs he was singing. Bloody brilliant. And what would I do without Youtube???

So they had a meet and greet afterwards, which basically consisted of the band sitting up behind the tiny bar by the back door and us being shuffled along. For some reason Brian was expecting a glaring field of snow, as he was bundled in a jacket and a toque and a scarf, with giant Willy Wonka sunglasses. Rock star diva, that one. So they signed my Meds Ltd. Edition, and Derek had them sign the poster they were giving out. I said to Brian "that was beautiful" and he said "thank you very much". Stefan and Steve were quite friendly, all smiles, but they were elevated behind the bar and it made them appear to be 15 feet tall. So I mumbled a "thanks, that was great" to them both and they said "thanks" and then we were outside. Hmm. I think I should have thought of something witty to say to them before I was standing in front of them.

So why do I love this band so much? (My God, but this is going to be a long blog post). I don't know why. A friend told me to listen to them (hi Amy!) because she thought I'd like it, so I listened to a couple songs, and it was good. Then one day I listened to Once More With Feelings, and I liked it, and it was on repeat on the computer so I listened to it like 3 times in a row without realizing. Then I fell in love with one song, then another, until I couldn't get enough.

Now, I've been in love with an album before and listened to it ad naseum (ie: Fully Completely by The Tragically Hip, or Lost and Gone Forever by Guster). But this is the first time in forever that I've wanted to listen to everything a band has put out. I adore Brian's voice. I love the inflection and emotion. I love listening to it on older songs like 36 Degrees (love the way he sings "burning just for you") and Nancy Boy, where it is a little more high pitched. I love how its gotten a little bit deeper over time, like on Drag. I think that the band is a combo of all that I loved in the 80's (Depeche Mode, The Cure) with the more rockin' stuff I like now a days. I can listen to songs that make me bounce in my seat (like the 3 mentioned above, or I Do, or The Bitter End), and there are such great melancholy, angsty songs that can put you in that other head space (like Without You I'm Nothing, or My Sweet Prince -- I mean, its not a stretch. I was always made fun of for liking "Depressed Mode".). So, I don't know. I just love it. It makes me very happy. It is very very odd to have a band that I love so much that Derek doesn't. I mean, it shouldn't be - when we got together I was listening to Depeche Mode and he was listening to Rush. As time went by we found music we both liked (of course I ended up liking Rush too), but it stands to reason we might like some things that are different.

So after the set we had a beer at Lucky Lab, and went shopping at the Herbivore Vegan Clothing Store, where we got belts, and two issues of Herbivore magazine, and this shirt (scroll down, on the left) that says "Praise Seitan". Then we had dinner at the Mash Tun Brewpub, which was yummy.

So we went into the Roseland, and suffered through the bad DJ, then the set up and tuning and check check check of the mics (Yes, at 8:30pm. Because they didn't have all damn day to do it?) and then really suffered through She Wants Revenge (Ugh. Why couldn't we have gotten a show where Placebo went on first? This band sucks rocks). One funny thing was Derek and I sat there and watched the people come in and get searched, and this guy had a HUGE fro, and they actually patted down his hair. Anyway, Placebo went on at 10:30pm. That is past my bedtime.

The setlist:

Yes, I wrote it on my hand. Let me try to decipher it, in no particular order:
Taste in Men
IR = Infra-Red
Because I Want You
Soulmates = Sleeping with Ghosts
A Song to Say Goodbye
EYEM - Every You Every Me
One of a Kind
The Bitter End
Special K
RUTH = Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush cover)
Twenty Years

So wow. That was so fun. They were so animated, like the complete opposite of the private session. For some reason they felt the need to throw a guitar on reverb for 5 minutes at the end of each song, which was kind of annoying. But they got the crowd to help out with Special K, and One of a Kind was great, and Taste in Men I just love, even though Stefan was giving the crowd silly deep meaningful looks, and The Bitter End rocked, and Twenty Years is one of my favorite songs so just... yay. Some guy held up a sign that said "Chante en Francais SVP" (sing in French, please), and Brian saw it and smiled, but didn't comply. Wanker. And I danced so much and shook my hips and now my lower back is very very sore. I should probably exercise more. Hopefully they will tour again and play a longer set (they only played an hour) like a normal band. Owen asked me how it was this morning, and asked if they played Twenty Years. I love that kid. :)

[Derek:] I was going to leave a comment, but it got too long. I decided to just append it to Lesley's post. Here it is:

And now...the rest of the story....I think we must have been at different shows last night. It had to be one of the worst (if not worst) concerts I have been to. It was painful. It is just inconceivable to me what people liked about it.

You know how you wonder how people with functioning brains support right-wing a**holes?

Kind of like that.

First of all, the music...when the first band played (appropriately called She Wants Revenge -- I wanted revenge after having to listen to that drivel), Les & I were making fun of how the guitarist just strummed the same chord continually. For some reason, though, when Placebo does the exact same thing, it is heaven to her. I don't think a saw a single string plucked all night; just the same chord strummed incessantly. At the end of almost every song , the Placebo hack would play one note for like 30 seconds after all of the other guys stopped playing...yeah, that didn't get old. Les & I were also making fun of the keyboard playing in the first band -- it honestly sounded like something Owen plays (no offense to Owen -- he's only 4 and has never had a lesson -- as i'm guessing the keyboardist hadn't). I noticed the keyboard played once by Placebo -- it was horid. There were only a few notes, but were so off. Sure, people cheered wildly for Placebo, but they also did for the first band who we both hated.

OK...their personalities. I can't judge the drummer (although I thought it was odd that he clapped for their own songs at Mississippi Studios), but the two other guys need to get over themselves. The guitarist/bassisst thought he was a frickin' god. He spent most of the night posturing like a rooster wanting to get it on with a hen. He wore what looked like a mechanics jumpsuit zipped down to his waistline.

Yes...he did.

Sometimes he would put his guitar down, go to the front of the stage, and just stand there with his arms raised. Puke. The little fellow (the singer) wasn't as bad at the Roseland show. As Lesley said, though, he closed his eyes for every song played at Mississippi Studios. I don't agree with Lesley's assessment that he was "way into the songs he was singing." I think he was just too cool to care about the audience. He said nothing at the beginning of the set, between songs, or at the end of the set. I don't think I saw him glance up at the audience once...great way to show appreciation to his fans. "I am too cool for you. I will not acknowledge your presence because I am singing this for myself, not you." During the Roseland show, he seemed rather unanimated. He stood at the microphone barely moving all night. I do remember that he once crouched next the keyboard that was towards the back of the stage. Very exciting. Perhaps snorting some "Special K" that he likes to sing about?

Yes, I will admit that I am a music snob. However, I like a very large variety of musical genres. I have a problem with bands whose image overshadows the music. I'm not the only one who has a problem with this. From Wikipedia: "Since 'Without You I'm Nothing' [1998] the band have fallen out with the British music press, who regularly mock the personality and pretentiousness of its lead member, Brian Molko."

Before I went to the shows yesterday, I thought there music was "OK" -- not too exciting, but not too offensive. Now that I have seen them, I can't even tolerate the music. I am now unable to separate their recorded music with their live persona.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A November to Remember

With all this cool stuff coming out, who has time to write 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo?

November 7 - Guitar Hero 2 Release Date. We've already pre-ordered it, and, as you can see, got the t-shirt.

November 14 - Tenacious D Pick of Destiny Soundtrack released

November 17 - Tenacious D Pick of Destiny the Movie released

November 19 - Nintendo Wii Release Date

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Random Observation

The Emperor's laugh on Lego Star Wars 2 sounds an awful lot like Jon Stewart's imitation of George Bush's snicker on The Daily Show.

Friday, October 20, 2006


We heard a rather loud crash at our back window, followed by a loud round of chicken chatter. Then we saw this guy, laying on the ground. I think it is a Merlin. It ran in to the window, and I placed it on a chair up off the deck. Its neck was bent weird and its eyes were tracking strangely, so we weren't sure if it would make it. After about 10 minutes, it stood up, and once it got itself all put back together, and let us take pictures, it swooped gracefully up into the sky.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eragon the Movie

My friend let me know that you can now see the trailer for Eragon on the film's website. The movie comes out in December.

For those of you that don't read books destined to sit next to Harry Potter on the shelves, Eragon is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. The kicker is that Christopher Paolini started writing it when he was 16. The second book, Eldest, came out about a year ago.

So I'm excited, but really, put a fantasy book with a dragon on the cover in my hand and I'll be a happy camper. The trailer looks really great, and the cast looks amazing. Hopefully it doesn't suck.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

If It Wasn't So Serious It Would Be Funny

Why is this world so fucked up?

Wait, don't answer that.
Iraqi Shiite residents of Baghdad's Sadr City expressed anger yesterday over a picture of a grinning Jesus they mistook for a Shiite holy figure that appeared in the area after a joint US-Iraqi operation. Residents found a picture of "Buddy Jesus" from the 1999 film "Dogma" posted in the streets, accompanied by a badly photocopied pamphlet bearing a crude approximation of a US military crest and outlining a US "plan" to subjugate the neighbourhood.
Here is a candle lit in peace, with the blessing of B.C.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fight Over All My Tender Parts

Andy Rooney recently had some interesting things to say about vegetarianism that was actually fairly positive and not rude.

I'll give you a minute to digest that.

In a piece titled Food For Thought: Andy Ponders Eating Spinach, Horsemeat And Vegetarianism, he says:
I don't know why anyone who eats beef finds the idea of eating a horse so repulsive but I'm one of them. Horses seem so friendly and I don't like to be reminded of the animal I'm eating. I often pass a farm with cows grazing in the field and I think to myself how terrible it is that human beings grow other animals just to kill them and eat them.

Most of us think of vegetarians as nuts and I'm not a vegetarian but I wouldn't be surprised if we came to a time in 50 or 100 years when civilized people everywhere refused to eat animals. I could be one of them.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

This Better Not Mean More Malty Beers

Tragedy has hit the Pacific Northwest. Yes, I'm talking about the hops.
About 4 percent of all hops in the USA went up in flames yesterday. Most of the country's crop is grown in Washington's Yakima Valley, where a 40,000-foot warehouse fire consumed rather a lot of the essential beer-brewing ingredient on Monday.
Thank Gord the beer for the Hood River Hops Fest this weekend has already been made.

On a completely different note, this explains everything. *smirk*

Monday, October 02, 2006

Got Everything That I Desire

So this 7-Eleven down on the west side near the Ross Island Bridge seems to be the place to go for new and exciting candy choices. We got something there before that was new, and every time we go it seems they have all the special, new, and or limited edition candy available. It rocks.

Yesterday we got the 1 & Only - Has It All, which, I know, Nestle, but we'd just come from a meeting and well, we needed chocolate.

So my anonymous taste tester is showing the chocolate sandwich cookie peanut butter cup with crunch candy piece on the left, and the chocolate chip cookie peanut butter cup with butterfinger candy piece on the right. I gave the tester one half of my oreo cookie to make up the size difference.

Conclusion? Meh. As ATT put it - "Lame. I couldn't tell what was in it."

On a completely different note, the child is so obsessed with Lego Star Wars 2. Goodness. He can't sleep, which makes us all very grumpy. Today at school he made a Book of Feelings. They are as follows:
I am happy when I play Lego Star Wars 2.
I am sad when I got to bed sometimes.
I am surprised when I'm turning 14.
I am mad when I stop playing my Lego Star Wars 2.

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