Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spiritual Rez

These guys opened for George Clinton & P-Funk at House of Blues in Boston last night. They were already on when we got in, and I really regret missing the beginning of their set. They describe themselves as "a 7-piece reggae horn funk dance party," and that pretty much suits the bill. They're from Boston, and it's always great to support local music. You can hear in their sound how much of an influence bands like P-Funk are for them, so I'm sure it was HUGE for them to open for George Clinton last night. I'm psyched for them, and really jazzed about them, so I feel the need to spread the word. Check them out!

I just bought their independent EP, which is available on iTunes or through their website, and it doesn't entirely do their live show justice. According to their website, though, they're planning to put out a live album this summer. Plus you can download live stuff on their website, too. And fortunately, there's a few videos on YouTube. Here's one, but please, do yourself a favor and check these guys out and go see them if you ever have the chance:

George Clinton at long last

I've wanted to see George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic for as long as I've know who George Clinton was, and that's going back awfully far. He used to play in Providence almost annually, or it seemed that way at the time anyway, but I somehow never made it to a show until last night. Last night's show was George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars at the brand-spanking new House of Blues in Boston.

First off, I'm a fan of everything about the House of Blues in the first place, but I had never actually been to one until last night, and the club completely met my expectations. I really like it there. It's small enough to have a nice, clubby feel to it, but big enough to hold a pretty good crowd, and I'm not sure there's a bad "seat" in the house. The only actual seats are along the first balcony in front and in the upper balcony. We never went upstairs, though.

Now, the show itself. It was fabulous. There's a line in the Jimmy Buffett song Manana that says "Don't try to describe a Kiss concert if you've never seen it," and I've been reminded of that line a lot today when people have asked me how last night's show was. There is nothing I've ever seen that is quite like a P-Funk show. Watching George Clinton & P-Funk live is like watching a ringmaster with his circus. No joke. I don't think there's ever fewer than 12 people on stage, though which people they are is constantly changing, and at one point I actually counted and there were over 20 people on stage. George himself is like a conductor, and he is somehow able to make the audience a part of his band. With all those people, they are able to be so tight and so on, all the time, it's amazing. I think there were 7 or 8 guitars, including bass, two sets of keyboards and synthesizers, about a million singers, and George in the middle of it all. I've said it before, and I think it bears repeating here: I'm attracted to a lot of the music that I like because of the complexity - I like music with some depth, and I'm not sure it gets much more complex than the sound that P-Funk puts out. I danced my face off, and I can't wait to see them again. And again. And again.

House of Blues, apparently, closes at 1:00. When 1:00 rolled around last night, though, George wasn't done. In fact, he was in the middle of a song when a little after 1:00 the house lights came on and the mics and amps were unplugged. House of Blues unplugged P-Funk. Having never been to a P-Funk show before, I don't know how common this is for them, but everybody on that stage looked pretty shocked when it happened. So they started the crowd chanting "ain't no party like a P-Funk party, cause a P-Funk party don't stop," which after a while led into the crowd singing along to "We Want the Funk," and "Shit, hot damn, get off ya ass and jam." Needless to say, no one left the stage, and the crowd continued dancing until around 1:30 when we finally left. George and a lot of others were still on stage when we left, and the crowd was just starting to dissolve. It potentially went on for a while longer than that. So it was a really late night, but so, so worth it. I had so much fun. Here's a link to PrefixMag's pictures from last night's show.

The opener was a band called Spiritual Rez, and they absolutely kicked ass. But that's another post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I love scavenger hunts.

I also love puzzles and riddles and games. I was thinking about certain things that I would like to own but not pay full price for, and I feel like I'm on a long term hunt for these things. The short list includes, at the moment: two Linkin Park CDs, Hybrid Theory and Meteora, and the book Fight Club. There's a ton of other CDs, too, but those two stand out as the most necessary in the short term. I used to own Fight Club, but I loaned it to someone, and of course, never got it back. Anyway, I am constantly looking for used CD stores where I can buy the CDs used. I refuse to pay full iTunes price for CDs that old when I should be able to find them used. I'm also in the market for a used copy of Fight Club, and therefore check thrift shops and used book stores as often as I can. Do not tell me that I can find such things on eBay or CraigsList or even Amazon, because I don't want to hear it. It's a hunt, and the hunt is almost as great as finding what you're looking for. There are rules, and purchasing on-line is a clear violation. It's like a scavenger hunt challenge against myself.

I remember when I was in school, probably Jr. high through college, we used to do scavenger hunts. There would be a list and a time frame, and whoever found the most items on the list, won. There were also photo scavenger hunts, which were fabulous. I miss things like this so, so much. We would do a 2 hour hunt where you had to run around the neighborhood knocking on doors and asking people for the basic, everyday stuff on the list. Only one item per house, and everything had to be given to you by someone. No trips to the quickie mart or anything like that. We would have month long, really obscure hunts in high school, sometimes where everything had to be found or purchased, if at all, from a thrift shop. I remember one where there was a pink rubber glove involved - Rocky Horror-style. You would not believe how hard that shit is to find. Last week I did the Twilight riddle on line, and it was so very much fun for me. It was like an on-line scavenger hunt. I want more such things. I want real-life scavenger hunts back.

Facebook in real life

I recently started using Facebook. It's a weird, weird place. Anyway, this video's been around for a while now, and its really quite funny.

Spring Training time!

Pitchers and Catchers report to spring training tomorrow, Thursday, February 12. That means regular season ball is just around the corner! It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

I can't resist just a touch of gloating: I'm going to opening day this year! This marks the first time I'll get to be there for opening day. The ticket lottery always puts together opening day and Yankees games, and I've always opted for the Yankees games, even a few years ago when opening day was on my birthday. But not this year. Opening day is Monday, April 6, and guess who's not going to work that day. WooHoo!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Kings of Leon are fabulous.

That's it, really. The title say it all. Here's some YouTube. Here's their website.

Check. Them. Out.

Good stuff.

I need a bigger iPod

I'm not even kidding. I have a 4G nano. I love my nano. It's pink. It used to hold all my music. I used to talk shit about 32G iPods - "why would anyone need that much storage on an iPod?" I said. "Who would pay that much for an iPod? I mean, you can switch out your music and everything; how is 1,000 songs not enough?" I would ask, stupidly. Stupid, stupid me. A nano is now great - for the gym. I need a 32G for my day-to-day life.

I've spent the past hour trying to distill down what I can justify taking off of my 4G nano. It hurts. For real. I feel like I've listened to the intros for every song in there, determining what can go and what has to stay. It's actually paining me to delete some of this stuff in order to put the new shit on there. But I have so much new shit that I love equally as much as my old shit. I don't have kids, but I think of it that way. Sophie's Choice, baby, Sophie's Choice (okay, maybe that's extreme - it might even be politically incorrect on some f'ed up level, but really, it's bad). The Guster all has to stay, and so does all of the Citizen Cope, and all the Sublime and RHCP, along with Ash Roth and Animal Collaborative. Bummer.

Who's being sacrificed, you ask? Let me tell you about some of the heartbreaking losses: Lots of Sinatra; all the Jimmy Buffett (it is winter after all); most of the Billy Joel; It's awful, really. I can't talk about that anymore.

So, who gets the honor of losing nothing? RHCP. Sublime. U2. Buckcherry. The Gipsy Kings. Fort Minor. SOB. George Clinton. Linkin Park (despite the fact that I may have a few songs three times, but one is studio, and the other two are two different live versions, I can't pick a favorite, I don't do favorites). And all the new stuff. I'm doing this to get the new guys in. I'm adopting them. It's benevolent of me, really.

Hey, friends? I turn 30 in April. I could really use a bigger iPod.
I'm just sayin', baby I'm just sayin'.