Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still bright


A short post on the Richards on Richards gig for Bright Eyes lead/phenom (oh how I wish someone would call me that. Not phenom, Bright Eyes.) Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley band. Short because I'm tired, short because life is too hectic these days with things much less fun than music. But not short because it wasn't a fantastic gig. Not short because I don't want to talk about the audience (you were so well behaved!!). It really was great. I loved it. And I've been streaming his album from his site ever since (it isn't released until next week - at which point I will lay down some cold hard cash to be sure).

And it's Richards, last bastion of the free world of video - so here is Cape Canaveral and Souled Out!!. A few more videos from the night here. And I will try to write something more engaging at some point. At least before the next gig....



Monday, July 28, 2008

Bald, bellied and beautiful...


...maybe not in the traditional sense, but you've got to love Tim Harrington - well, I do, as I've said before. The Commodore wasn't packed - it should have been but I imagine some poor souls were mistakenly thinking the Pemberton fest would be a better use of their time. The downside to the lower attendance was that we were booted from our booked table on the balcony (aka cinematography central) to a table on the floor, and of course we got nailed about three songs in ("you're not taping the show are you?" - ummm, No?). So, I wandered to the front of the crowd and enjoyed the full sweaty technicolor extravaganza up close.

I would say the show wasn't as great at their Richards gig, but it wasn't really the bands fault - the sound was muddier (to my ears at least) and though Jay Reatard did a good job opening, I love the Dodos, and they absolutely killed opening for LSF last time. But I'm splitting hairs. I challenge you to find someone as delightful to watch as Tim Harrington. He's just a joy to behold.

My only disappointment? I didn't have a chance to rub that belly. Next time, this will be a personal mission.

Tomorrow night? Conor Oberst. In the meantime, one of the few videos I managed to sneak:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lyle and my obsession with capturing the moment...

A brief post today....maybe something fleshier tomorrow after Les Savy Fav tonight, which my sinus infection and I are looking forward to very, VERY much.

But back to Lyle Lovett. I don't actually think I can say all that much, with the exception of go see him if you have the chance, because he never disappoints. He had his Large Band with him - last time I saw the Large Band was at the crappy sounding (at least where I was) Molson Amphitheater in Toronto, so it was great to see them somewhere where the sound is good (even if the comfort of the seats is questionable - I know my arse is fussier than most, but my tailbone was screaming for mercy by the end of the 2 1/2 hrs. If the bum-breaking Cinematheque can upgrade their seats, so can you, Orpheum! - signed, My Arse)

But back to Lyle. As always, he makes it seem easy. The guys in the band are as good as it gets, and somehow he manages to make on stage patter that must be largely orchestrated seem fresh. A fantastic night. That being said, a selfish part of me was hankering for more Lyle & guitar alone - I remember him playing Townes Van Zant's Flying Shoes in the songwriters circle at the Centre and it was unspeakably moving (well, not unspeakably, but I have no words for it).

And I managed to do two crappy short videos by snugging my camera against my chest - here is the best of the two. The abrupt ending is when the Orpheum Video Coppers found me out. There must be a better way. Or maybe, I should just leave the damn thing at home sometimes to avoid temptation!! But not tonight, not tonight....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Greece in Sensaround

Yes, the Greece posts continue, in a typically disorganized fashion. There will be some England posts at some point I suspect. And there is another rush of concerts coming up soon (Lyle Lovett, Les Savy Fav and Conor Oberst) so it won't be all travel, all the time, I promise.

This was taken at the end of a long day of touring around Athens and the mainland with George, Famous Taxi Driver of Greece. We used George and his drivers 3 times - they were all great. George has a pretty thick Greek accent (much more so than the other drivers we had) and spoke quite quickly, so you had to be on your toes to understand him some of the time. He's a great tour guide though, and we saw much, much more than we would have any other way.

This was taken on the site of a 5th C BC stadium near Cape Sounion, about 45 minutes outside Athens. It was hot as Hades (well, somewhere around 40C), and the persistent screaming of the cicadas raises the temperature at least 5 degrees and made me feel a bit like Herzog in Burden of Dreams. This day was our first real glance at the incredible blue Aegean, my new favorite body of water (everyone should have a favorite body of water)

The best part of this? Tuesday's expression at the end. This is the first(?) of many times she had to humour her (more than slightly idiotic) aunt.
video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jiggedy jig

Home again.

Thankfully, it is sunny in Vancouver. I'm feeling like a bit of a zombie, as I suspect I will for a few days. And a bit frustrated to not be at my fave Vancouver weekend, the Folk Fest. I have a lot of pictures, and a lot of trip related musings, but I'm not sure how many or how much will end up here. We shall see.

I took a lot of photos. You'd think most would look like the first two, but the truth is most look like #3. What did you expect?


Saturday, July 12, 2008

OPA!!

Yes, I'm still alive. I am sitting in the lobby of our fantastic hotel (Hotel Grotta) in Naxos - the only place we've found with internet access. Today is our trip to Santorini - our second to last stop before home.

The trip so far has been amazing. I will write about it when I get back, but here are a few things I now know for sure:

- Greeks are smarter than most people. Not only does the art and architecture back me up, the sheer volume and variety of cheese produced and consumed, the fact that beer comes in 500ml bottles, and the fact that most of them speak at least 2 languages kind of confirms the point. And they have never ending patience with the incredible volume of ...dumber...tourists that pass through their country.

- The blue paint you see on Greek buildings is entirely inspired by the colour of the Aegean Sea. For real. There is water that is actually that colour. Who knew?

- 40C is hot. Really hot.

- Greek kitties are much smaller than british kitties. And they are a lot less picky.

- Nothing ruins snorkelling like a leaky mask.

- Naxian cheese. Say no more.

- I will never, ever wrap my head around the written Greek language.

- Hiring tour guides is a really good thing. You might not get the tour you expect, but whatever you get is bound to be interesting. We saw much more of Athens in a day and a half than we could ever have managed on our own; and learned much more about the plants in Naxos that I would ever really need to know...but I'm glad I do.

- Almonds come in three varieties. The only two I can remember are sweet and bitter.

- Naked tanned people look sort of like wieners (at least in colour). Frightening.

- Tiny plumbs from Naxos are incredibly yummy.

I think that is it for now. I know I will have many more thoughts later on, once the sun and wind is out of my brain.