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The Jesus and Mary Chain, Paradise, Boston MA 9-12-2012

Music: 

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Six Strings That Drew Blood

The Jesus and Mary Chain were a somewhat disappointing and listless live show. They really, for the most part, just seemed like they wished they were somewhere else. I don't know if that means "In front of a different crowd, on a better day", or "At home not having to slog it out on the road 20 years later in front of a middle-aged crowd of people who don't choke down pills anymore".

Overall it sounded all right, though there were many false starts that I would not have expected at this point in their tour and careers. I guess there are some times bands just don't gel with their audience, and this was one. Hopefully other cities had a better experience.

These guys really are a favorite band of mine and I hope they were more together for other crowds, don't like, not go see them, it's probably worth the gamble.

We really did both enjoy The Vandelles as an opener. They were pretty much super fun, wardrobe malfunctions not withstanding :-) Their name and style aside, they really were more of an early '90s band than Another Rockabilly Band, check them out.

I did get some photos, here they are:

I really do like a good zip tie job:

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Jane's Addiction, Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA 8-11-2012

Music: 

D.R.I. - Beneath The Wheel

Jane's Addiction at Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, 8-11-2012

This was our second time seeing Jane's Addiction in the last couple of years, and neither time did we manage to get anywhere near the stage. I think they sounded much better at the NIN/JA show than here, both just in sound mixery, and the playing. It was a good show, but unfortunately not the best thing ever.

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Chris Isaak @ The Indian Ranch, 6-30-2012

Music: 

Garbage - Not Your Kind Of People

This Saturday we saw Chris Isaak in the scorching heat in Webster, MA. I don't think I've been to a hotter show, 95 degrees in direct sunlight all afternoon. Also, I'm pretty sure Natalie's little sister is just slightly in love with a musician twice her age. I'm sorry parents, couldn't be helped.

This show was absolutely the perfect summer day thing to do, and the Indian Ranch was the perfect place to be. The Indian Ranch is like a campground with a music venue of maybe 2500-3000 seats (ish?). So we were able to get campground food for lunch of hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, and you could dip your toes in the lake to cool off. The place was a real throw back and was really well organized. We'll keep an eye on their concert schedule, but so far this year it looks like we've seen the one show we would go see. (I would love to see Charlie Daniels, but I really fucking hate it when musicians hard-sell me politics and/or religion. Especially if those politics are completely off the fucking deep end and the artist rants endlessly about it as I believe Daniels does. Say your piece, then play your damn music, folks. Exceptions are to be made for bands whose whole /point/ is their politics, and if it matches mine, I don't notice. In other news, I'm a massive fucking hypocrite. This is not to say that preachy liberals aren't super annoying, or that I don't want to push them off the stage into a mosh pit of knives. Here's looking at you Mr. No-Meat-Anywhere-In-The-Venue-Or-I-Walk Morrissey).

The opener was local country singer/songwriter Kiley Evans. She did about a 30 minute set and said she's getting some airplay on Boston country stations, which is good. The best story she had, though, was the story of about the cutest thing I've ever seen at a concert. At the last two Chris Isaak shows we saw, there was a little kid dressed in a matching suit to the one Chris was wearing, once a powder blue suit with darker blue flames, and once Chris's signature mirror suit.

Of course he would be dragged up on stage and dance, and he was great, he looked just like a mini-Isaak. Turns out that was Kiley Evans' little cousin, now 10, and unfortunately absent from Saturday's show.

The Chris Isaak set was great. We don't go to many daytime shows, so it was a whole different experience for the artist to actually be able to see and interact (NICE HAT) with the crowd. A lot of the later music was from the newest Sun Studios themed record, with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis classics from their Sun sessions. If anyone can carry that music forward accurately it's Chris Isaak. He pays good tribute to his heroes and ours without being Lounge Coverband Guy.

As much as I love seeing local bands for cheap money playing music they just wrote about things that are so important to them that they have to tell you about it right fucking now, it's also hard to do much better than a band that has had 25 years to grow as a unit and just gets tighter and tighter, and who still seem to love every second of what they do. I do wish more rockabilly type folks would turn out for Chris Isaak, and I know Boston's got the crowd for it, after seeing the people show up for Imelda May twice in 3 months, Rev. Horton Heat and even our local bar bands.

My photos look like J.J. Abrams directed me. More lens flare than Star Trek what with the sun right in my face, but I got what I got. I also discarded any focusing mainly on Herschel Yatovitz. I don't know if it's schtickey banter or what, but apparently dude doesn't want his picture taken, so who am I to be a prick about it. It's a shame though, some of them were good!

Here are some photos from the Flickr set:

Kiley Evans:

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 2:18pm - Kiley Evans opening for Chris Isaak at the Indian Ranch. csFlickr

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 2:18pm - Kiley Evans opening for Chris Isaak at the Indian Ranch. csFlickr

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 3:26pm - Chris Isaak at the Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. 6-30-2012 csFlickr

Crooning to his crowd. L.L. Chris Isaak.
Sat, 06/30/2012 - 3:34pm - Chris Isaak at the Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. 6-30-2012 csFlickr

Great Balls Of Fire. Scott Plunkett:
Sat, 06/30/2012 - 4:38pm - Chris Isaak at the Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. 6-30-2012 csFlickr

We're all in this photo somewhere. Zoom and Enhance, C.S.I. style:
Sat, 06/30/2012 - 4:44pm - Chris Isaak at the Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. 6-30-2012 csFlickr

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It's a bad day for ears

Music: 

Big Black - Heart Beat

The other day, I noticed the cover for my headphones was coming off. Don't know how to fix that, but Natalie said she has an idea or two.

Today as I was listening, I started noticing the right speaker wasn't working. I found this insignificant looking notch taken out of that wire, something either fell or sat on it (how, I don't know, given where it is), and so I'm going to have to cut, strip, solder, tape.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 12:20am -                                csFlickr

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Vintage Drink Recipes

Music: 

Lou Reed - Dirty Boulevard

Natalie and I have been booked for a tropical vacation for a few months. A while back I decided she should raise her tolerance for girly fruity island drinks ahead of the trip.

Luckily we found the perfect book in an antique store to help us out. Here's How, a wood bound book with awesome illustrations from 1941. It's got like 70 pages of recipes, and I wanted to take a few photos since it might be the most fun book we own. Excuse the thumbs here, but the way the binding is hinged (like with hinges) doesn't really allow it to lay flat for photos :-)

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 2:55pm - We found this wood-bound drink recipe book from 1941 in an antique store, and have been making lots of them.  Somehow, we still have full kidney function. csFlickr

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 2:56pm - We found this wood-bound drink recipe book from 1941 in an antique store, and have been making lots of them.  Somehow, we still have full kidney function. csFlickr

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 2:55pm - We found this wood-bound drink recipe book from 1941 in an antique store, and have been making lots of them.  Somehow, we still have full kidney function. csFlickr

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Expedient Potato Clock

Music: 

Joe Buck - Muddy Waters

Today one of our ISPs, Expedient(Warning: Opens annoying talking flash-based woman talking over your music), sent me a potato clock. I think it was to mark the 10 month anniversary of a new circuit we haven't quite been able to turn live yet (fault of another 3rd party vendor, long story) :-)

You'll notice the sticker on top is not centered, and that made it rest on this like 1/32" lip around the right "potato cup". That was going to drive me mental, so I was able to re-center it, now my inner Monk is happy.

Aside from that, it works great. It took me 10x as long to set the clock as it did to get it powered by potato, but it's pretty much staying right on time after 30 minutes anyway.

This is not the first such strange vendor swag they've sent me. The last thing I can remember was an Expedient branded USB hub, that had a keyboard controller in it. The Keyboard controller was so that whenever you plugged it in, it could send "http://www.expedient.com" to your default browser and open their homepage when you attach it. It also had a button on the top that would send you to their site, which is why it needed to be a "keyboard". I can't put my hand on that thing at the moment, but if I ever do, I'll definitely update this entry. It may not have survived my move from my last cubicle.

Photos:

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Orpheum, Boston, 4-23-2012

Music: 

The Pogues – Sea Shanty

I'm no kind of authority on Rodrigo y Gabriela, beyond the fact that they're awesome and you should see them, I've never kicked them out of an iTunes DJ playlist, ever. I gather they started trying to play metal, didn't make money at it in Mexico, moved to Ireland and got huge with speed-acoustic music. I also know that whoever Gabriela's orthopedic surgeon is, he must drive a very, very nice car. The hammering she does on her guitar is amazing, amazingly fast and amazingly loud. I can't imagine retiring with perfect joints after 30 years of that, but it sounds awesome now, so it's not like I'm telling her to stop.

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Candye Kane - Concord Center for the Performing Arts 9-24-2011

Briefly, since I'm on a highway...Here are some photos from the Candye Kane show at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts in Concord. This was a benefit for the Concord Feminist Health Center. Go donate to them, it's important, I'll wait. She was great, huge voice, good songs. She spoke a lot about the importance of the work of places like CFHC, and about her own fight against pancreatic cancer. She seemed to be doing great and to really enjoy doing shows.

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Imelda May @ Brighton Music Hall, 7-30-2011

Music: 

Misfits - Hollywood Babylon

[music | Misfits - Hollywood Babylon]

[Also-music | Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes]

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Server Room

Click these for huge images if you wanted to get a close look at something, I figured I'd run through a bunch of stuff since I was in there rather than just the couple things we were talking about.

This is the AC, it's a 10 ton unit, which as I said was supposed to be ducted to blow down in front of the racks, but instead the baffles are aimed to shoot air into the cold-aisle. This seems to work very well. Scale-wise, that thing is 8' tall.

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