“Woah, slow down there maestro. There’s a *New* Mexico?” – Montgomery Burns

I don’t normally like to do two random posts right next to one another, but it’s been a couple weeks and I don’t have any one subject worth posting about.  (But at least the first one’s long.)  So…Simpson’s quote in the title…and here we go…

  1. Saw Iron Maiden with my brother last night.  I think it was my 7th time seeing them, if I’m counting right.  Maybe eighth?  It gets hard to remember.  It was Dave’s 10th show though.  (He seemed sure.)  Maiden is one of my favorite live acts and they were in rare form last night, all looking to have a ton of fun playing for a crowd that seemed largely unfamiliar with their newer material.  (That always drives me nuts.  They put out a new album last year, have been touring behind it since, and their setlist has been online the whole time.  Look at the set, buy or–ugh–stream the album, and sing along!)  Didn’t buy a shirt last night because they didn’t have the football shirt at the merch booth, so I’ve ordered it from their website.  The regular shirts were $40, and there just wasn’t one I liked enough to pay that much.
    Ghost opened for Maiden.  They’re OK, not great.  I like two songs; in fairness they did play them both.  I’ve really TRIED to like them.  I like what they THINK they’re doing, and the music is strong…but the vocals are kind of weak, in my opinion.  The guy just sounds like he should be fronting a power-pop band, not a willfully Satanic black-metal act.  But, they set a decent tone and served as a strong opener for Maiden.  I think they probably brought in some people who would’ve otherwise been on the fence or not gone at all, too.  So that’s good.
    Maiden’s this whole other thing, man.  I sometimes forget to mention them as one of my favorite bands, but they definitely are.  Steve Harris is one of my top bass influences, and Bruce Dickinson has inspired a lot of the screamier side of my vocal technique (although I don’t do it even a fraction as powerfully).  Their sound is so massive and their songs so energetic and their stage show so fun that seeing them is almost a life-changing experience…from the first time you see them onward, you just start including the phrase “I saw Maiden this one time and…” in your concert conversations.  Good show last night. Not the best I’ve ever seen them, but maybe the most fun I’ve ever seen them have.  And that means a lot as a fan.
  2. I was very disappointed to see that in the space of two days, Message author Eugene Peterson took a stance in support of the LGBTQ community, then immediately back-pedaled when it threatened his bank account.  Coward.  But then, he’s made a whole career of misrepresenting the words of Christ.  Why should he be expected to stand behind his own?  (Sorry…I just think transliterations are a bastardization of scripture that should be avoided.  There are plenty of proper translations that are plainly readable. I do own a copy of the Message.  It sits next to my copy of the Book of Mormon.  Because I put the same stock in them both.)
  3. Speaking of books… I’ve been reading Denis Johnson’s “Jesus’ Son” so named after a line in The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin.”  And that’s fitting.  It’s a bunch of semi-related short stories all told by the same narrator (known only as “Fuckhead”) and all of the stories involve drugs in one way or another from what I can tell.  It’s a quick read and a fun one. Plays with your head a little.  I can see why people were raving about the guy in the days following his death.  Wish I’d discovered him before he passed away.
  4. Bought a couple cool Summer hats at Levine Hats in downtown St. Louis.  They’re both of the straw variety and kind of trilby-shaped.  Although one’s a lot closer to a traditional fedora shape.  Most people don’t know the difference…as a quick primer, what Indiana Jones wears is a fedora.  What you THINK is a fedora is a trilby.  I like both of the hats.  They’re nice ones and they’re doing a great job keeping the sun out of my eyes.  🙂
  5. The new record is going okay.  I’ve sort of started on vocals in that I did a few takes and didn’t like them.  I’m a little too loose in my presentation.  I want to get a little stronger and tighter in my approach and present something I’m really happy with.  The vocal track is a large part of why I’m taking almost a full year on this one.  I want this record to be my best vocal performance to date.  And I think the songs are strong enough to make that a real possibility…  But the first takes aren’t there yet.  🙂
  6. I’ve got a gig coming up with the Feldman Group at the end of the month (the 29th, I believe).  It’s at a little bar that Mike plays a lot because they’re pretty loyal to him.  It’s not the kind of place I’d normally hang out, but they treat Mike and his band well.  And a gig’s a gig.  It’ll be fun.
  7. Doctor Who was REALLY FUCKING GREAT this season.  Sad Peter Capaldi’s leaving just so they can get all the fan-girls back with a younger, prettier guy again.  Or there are rumors that they might case a woman as the Doctor this time, too.  Which I feel would be a mistake.  Not because I won’t keep watching…but because I think MOST people won’t keep watching (see the Ghostbusters reboot).  There’s a formula to that show…you just can’t stray too far away from it and keep the fanbase.  Casting a woman would be a transparent publicity stunt to show everybody how PC they are that would end up tanking the ratings after a couple of weeks.  The legacy of the show and likely the actress they’d shoehorn into the role would both deserve better.  But of course, everything’s pure speculation at this point.  Personally, I’d love to see them offer the role to Simon Pegg.  Or failing that to an actor EVEN OLDER than Capaldi.  Like if Max Von Sydow isn’t doing anything…
  8. I’m up late because I forgot that I needed to do laundry.  Seems to happen to me a lot. Should really just set a day and stick to it.
  9. It was announced earlier in the week that Nick Lowe will be coming to town in October with Los Straightjackets along with him.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow.  So…in other news…tomorrow I’m going to be buying tickets to see Nick Lowe with Los Straightjackets.  How could I possibly pass up seeing one of my favorite pop singers with one of my favorite Mexican Luchador surf bands?

And that’s where I’m going to stop, because I’m tired.  I’ll try to post again soon.  I think I’ve got a thing or two coming up that merit posts of their own, anyway!

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Current Listening:

  • Still Maiden. Mostly the stuff they didn’t play at the show.  🙂