Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Pogues @ 9:30 club, March 10

A lot of this blog seems to be me catching up and posting about things that have happened in the past. This post is in that category. Way back on March 10, we went to go see the reunited Pogues at the 930 club. This was the second of two sold out shows. We had seen the Pogues on their first reunion tour, about a year earlier, and it was great, amazing, all I expected. This time around was just as good, but not as much as an event.

We got there and of course, the place was packed. Interestingly, the Hives show (which we had gone to two nights before) was also sold out, but not nearly as packed. My friend Scott had gone to the first night show the night before, and so we had the advantage of being able to compare the two shows. Our crowd was way less drunk and also less boisterous. Which was fine by me, honestly. I would've liked it if our crowd was more boisterous, but if that meant being really smashed too, then I'll take what we got. There were of course many people who were clearly way too drunk but fortunately they didn't infringe on my good time. Also, according to Scott, Shane MacGowan was in better form (it's all relative!) on our night.

In general, this show compared w/ the last (and first) reunion, was not as good. But how could it be. When we saw 'em the first time there was just a lot more excitement b/c we'd never seen 'em before and so there was a lot of build up and anticipation. Plus the show was on a weekend night so there were no worries for the next day. But that's not to say that this time around wasn't good -- it was great! It's just the shine came off it a bit.

Anyway, the set list was great w/ the usual "greatest hits", although there was no "Fairytale of New York". Shane did sound good (like I said, it's all relative) and the band was tight as usual. I ran into a couple of people at the show. One was a girl named Jennifer who sorta recognized me as someone familiar and I did the same w/ her. Turns out we went to high school together, travelled in similar circles, but were not friends then. She was friendly, and we talked for a bit during the Pogues. She is now married to the drummer for Black Market Baby. I also ran into Joe Englert and chatted with him for a few minutes. Super nice guy. I can usually count on seeing some familiar faces at shows like these, and this night was no exception.

Jane at 11 months

Hard to believe that in a few weeks Jane will be a year old! I know it's been a while since I've posted any new pictures, so this slideshow is 3 months worth. She has become pretty proficient at crawling although she is a not a long distance crawler... her specialty is more like very short bursts of crawling. She loves standing up (with helping hands from a grown up) and will go up and down for hours. OK, minutes is more accurate but the point is she loves it. She's eating real food now and is doing very well in that department. But she has no teeth yet! Something to look forward to. She's been doing the sort of babbling thing and making vowel sounds. And as you can see, she's still working on the hair, but it's starting to get a bit thicker. All in all she's really doing well. Enjoy the pictures!

View the slideshow

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Wire has checked out

OK, so this post is more than a week late... I'm catching up a bit. The finale of the Wire was a week ago, and it was a sad day for TV (if I can say so). The Wire was by far my favorite show on TV in the last maybe 3 or 4 seasons. OK, maybe not my only favorite -- the Sopranos, of course, was also great until it ended.

The finale was pretty good, and this season was decent, but last season was by far the best. I didn't always catch every line of dialogue, or keep up with all the characters' names, or understand every plot nuance. But to me, it was a very well done, affecting, and entertaining show that (I'm guessing) comes as close as possible for a TV show to depict what is happening in our cities' institutions. Yeah, the newspaper storyline could've been better this season, but Jimmy's wake in the final season was great, I thought. So many great characters: Jimmy, Bunk, Omar, Lester, Bunny Colvin, and the kids from season 4.

When we lived in Columbia Heights, I would usually watch The Wire on Sunday nights and then go walk the dog in our 'hood. And I gotta say that watching the Wire put a new spin on living in a place like CH. For one thing, it made me more paranoid about crime directly after watching each Sunday night -- everyone on the street while I was walking the dog was up to no good! But more generally, it really made me look at the things that I was seeing in CH streets in a different way. Seeing the people on the streets and knowing that they had stories behind them, some positive, some negative. Right now I'm writing at a superficial level, but the show really did affect me in the way I looked at my 'hood.

I was in Baltimore a few years back for a work retreat and we took a tour of some of the worse-off neighborhoods in Baltimore. Drove through streets of boarded up houses and I thought "wow, that really looks like something out of The Wire." And then we turned a corner and saw a bunch of HBO trucks set up for filming.

So now that The Wire's gone and The Sopranos is done, I might have to cancel my HBO... I like Big Love and Entourage well enough, but that might not be enough to keep us subscribed. Although Flight of the Conchords is pretty good... hmmmm.

Some Silver Spring news

Here are a few pieces of info I've "repurposed" from other Silver Spring blogs.

- From Silver Spring, Singular, the City Paper Crafty Bastard fair will have an event in Silver Spring this summer.

- And from Silver Spring Scene, some info on the upcoming Hook and Ladder brewpub in downtown SS.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hives & Donnas @ 930 Club

Last weekend was a busy show-weekend. On Sat, we went to go see the Hives and the Donnas. (On Mon we went to go see the Pogues -- more on that later.) I was looking forward to it for a few reasons. One, the last time we saw the Hives, they were great -- funny, tight, energetic, and rockin'. Two, I haven't seen the Donnas in a few years and was looking forward to seeing them again since I like their older stuff a lot.

The Donnas have a new album out (Bitchin'), and the word on the street is that it ain't too good. (I don't have it.) This is not too surprising since their last album, Gold Medal, was a bit of a clunker. So this all solidifies a downward spiral since Spend the Night. But even so, they have been a source of fun rock n roll for me and my friends for several years, so a chance to see them is an anticipated event. What a disappointment. The set consisted of nothing older than anything off of Spend the Night. The new songs did not sound all that appealing. Plus, the singer has developed some stage banter consisting of things like "yay-aa!" and she really wasn't singing too well. I think in the past, we'd give 'em a pass on some aspects of the musicianship since they had great funny/catchy/rockin' tunes. The guitar player however sounded great like she always does. I was disappointed not to hear at least something from the older records...

The Hives were, in contrast, great. Second time I've seen 'em. The singer, Pelle, definitely has watched a few Rolling Stones films because in the same way that Mick Jagger used moves by Tina Turner, Pelle uses Mick's moves. But beyond that, the music was tight and it would be hard to imagine a less energetic performance. To be honest, my opinion of the latest album was pretty low the first time I listened to it. But it grew on me. And seeing the new songs done live, I thought they were great. They played a varied set, with songs going back to Veni Vidi Vicious (a great version of Hate to Say I Told You So). The crowd was very into the show, which for me always makes things more exciting. I really think it's a drag to go see a show -- no matter what type of music -- and not see the crowd make any indication that they're enjoying themselves. To me, that's what the live show is all about: feeding off the band, and the band feeding off of you. I know, it's a cliche, but that's how I feel. Anyway, enough of the rant... great Hives show and a fun Saturday night.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have crawling!

Jane has reached a milestone -- she has started to crawl! It is a tentative, sort-of shuffling crawl, but a full-on crawl nonetheless. Legs and arms move together, for the most part, and she can go about a foot or two. It was amazing when I watched her do it. Amazing to watch her figure it out. We, of course, had to put the proverbial carrot out in front of her (in this case a book) to motivate her, but it worked! I have some video of her doing it for the first time. And that's the first time that I saw, anyway. Our daycare provider tells us that she has not seen Jane crawl before, so I'm gonna assume that I saw it first. I'd like to put the video online, but I've got a feeling that may never happen. Maybe some pics!