Sunday, June 28, 2009

Somewhere in New Mexico/Arizona

More samples from my photos taken on vacation in the Southwest.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Playlist - 6/21/09

This Week's Playlist: Nirvana - With no more concerts to dictate my playlists, I'm back to choosing the playlists myself. This week, one of my all-time favorite bands. Enjoy.


Smells Like Teen Spirit
About A Girl
Come As You Are
Serve the Servants
Drain You
Heart-Shaped Box
The Man Who Sold the World
Old Age
Pennyroyal Tea
Scentless Apprentice
Lake of Fire
Rape Me
Do Re Mi
Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
All Apologies

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Playlist - 6/14/09

This Week's Playlist: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - This week's playlist is once again influenced by a concert I'm going to see; I'll be heading down to the Southgate House this week to catch Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. I first saw the band last year when they opened for Against Me! at Bogart's, which was a great show by both bands. Looking forward to seeing them again, and the Southgate House is a much better venue than Bogarts (except for all the smoking, thanks Kentucky).


Me and Mia
Counting Down the Hours
The Sons of Cain
Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
Little Dawn
Dial Up
La Costa Brava
I'm a Ghost
My Vien Ilin (live)
Heart Problems
The Lost Brigade
The Angel's Share

As always, new playlist next week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico (part 2)

Still working on getting pictures edited and online from my April vacation. I've been back for two months now, so it's time to quit dragging my feet. I already posted a few pictures from White Sands here. Photos from Guadalupe Mountains can be found here. And as always, there are many more photos from my vacation on my flickr page. Up next: the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Playlist - 6/7/09

This week's playlist: Will Oldham aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - This week's playlist choice was again decided by a concert I'm going to as I'm seeing Bonnie 'Prince' Billy play this Thursday at the Southgate House. Oldham has become one of my favorite musicians over the last couple years. He's performed under a number of different names, with the most latest and most prolific being the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy moniker. Last year's Lie Down in the Light was one of my favorite albums from 2008. Looking forward to the show this week!


Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - A Minor Place
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Easy Does It
Palace Music - Work Hard/Play Hard
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - My Home is the Sea
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Seedling
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - So Everyone
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Beware Your Only Friend
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Death To Everyone
Tweaker (featuring Will Oldham) - Happy Child
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I Am Goodbye
Soulsavers (featuring Will Oldham) - Through My Sails
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See a Darkness

Saturday, June 06, 2009

65th Anniversary of D-Day

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, France during World War II. Needless to say, D-Day represents one of the greatest clashes not just of the twentieth century, but in human history. There are countless stories of courage, valor, and sacrifice that occurred on this assault and the days surrounding it. Much has been written about that I couldn't try to add anything very meaningful to the discussion. Instead, here are just a few links regarding D-Day. I'd recommend just taking a few minutes out of your day today to look them over and reflect on what those brave men accomplished sixty0five years ago.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wave Goodbye - Nine Inch Nails Live in Noblesville, IN

A few friends and I went to Noblesville, Indiana last Saturday to catch Nine Inch Nails play one of the shows on their last tour for a very long time. NIN has been my favorite band for awhile, so I had mixed feelings about this possibly being the last time I would ever see Trent Reznor and co. perform live. Sadly I could only make it to one show on the tour, but at least I'd get to see them one more time.

The North American leg of NIN's
Wave Goodbye tour was also dubbed the NIN|JA 2009 tour because NIN was co-headlining with Jane's Addiction (with Jane's Addiction playing last). Opening of both bands was Street Sweeper Social Club, the new Tom Morello project, and they did not disappoint. Singer Boots Riley comes across less angry, but just as socially conscious, as Rage Against the Machine singer Zach de la Rocha. Boots did well, but Morello was easily the star of their performance. The man puts on quite a show; if you ever have a chance to see him perform live I highly recommend it. SSSC played through a handful of original songs and a great cover of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" before their set ended with the Jane's Addiction members crashing the stage with birthday cake to wish Morello a happy birthday.

One of the best parts of the show was the location of our seats. I knew were in the front-left section, on the inside aisle of row J. What I did not know is that row J was the
fifth row from the stage. We had unbelievable seats, and since NIN was allowing nearly all cameras into the show, it meant I had the possibility to take some amazing pictures. These really are some of the best pictures I've ever done. The people in front of us were mostly a bunch of Jane's Addiction fans who thankfully got bored of NIN after a few songs and left their seats, giving us a mostly-unobstructed view of the stage. I couldn't believe our luck.

I've now seen Nine Inch Nails in concert six times, but this was easily the best performance of the bunch. If this is indeed the last NIN tour ever, then Trent Reznor is going out guns-blazing. Instead of playing a greatest-hits type set list to appeal to the more casual fans or people there to see Jane's Addiction, NIN played through a blistering set of deep cuts and rare songs. "I Do Not Want This," "Mr. Self-Destruct," and "Physical" were loud, raw, and angry. "Metal" was a huge highlight, as was the instrumental version of "The Downward Spiral"--I never would have picked either of those for good live songs and they were fantastic. The "Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)" remix was cool to see and "The Fragile" was incredible.

The weather turned crazy a few songs into NIN's set, with pouring rain, thunder and lightning, and even tornado warning sirens. Apparently the sirens were going off during most of "Metal", but I was so close to the stage I couldn't hear anything else. We didn't even realize it was raining until I felt a mist blowing on me, and turned around to see the poor suckers on the lawn getting drenched. Kudos to those who stuck it out (and there were many).

New drummer Ilan Rubin had some big shoes to fill by taking over for Josh Freese and he was more than up to the task. Ilan absolutely destroyed every song. The biggest highlight for him was a pummeling finish to "Wish"; I've seen that song six times, and this was easily the best performance of it. In fact, all the old songs seemed fresh and energetic. "The Hand That Feeds" and "Head Like a Hole"--while way too overplayed on the radio--are still the perfect one-two punch for closing NIN shows. The energy during both those songs was unbelievable. Even "Survivalism" was great, and I'd really grown tired of seeing that one live.

Without a doubt, the perfect way to close the show was with "Hurt". Encores have been rare for this tour, so I really thought the show was over after "Head Like a Hole". However, Trent had made several comments about how great the audience was, and he rewarded the fans by returning for an encore. Once again, this was one of the best performances of "Hurt" I've seen. It was moving and emotional, and it was a song that got everyone involved. The one thing I wish I'd been able to take a picture of was when I turned around during "Hurt" and saw the entire amphitheater lit up in a sea of lighters and cell phones. It was an incredible sight. Then the song ended and we got one final wave goodbye.

I was not at all pleased that Jane's would be the last band performing each night--I'm not a big Jane's Addiction fan--but I thought they were entertaining to watch. They are certainly skilled musicians, although singer Perry Farrell feels the need to make the
dumbest comments in between songs ("I sing with my balls!" Yes, he actually said that) and guitarist Dave Navarro can't perform unless he's strutting around shirtless, striking iconic rock-star poses every five seconds. I didn't mind watching them, but I ended up leaving after five songs because everyone I was with hated them. In the end I'm glad we left early because a section of I-74 was closed on the way home, and our trip took much longer than it should have.

I've already uploaded some of my pictures, and there are even more that I'd like to post on this blog, but I don't want to get too carried away. What I'd like to ask you to do is please go view them all on my flickr page (shameless plug, I know). These are really some of the best photos I've ever taken and I'm very proud of them. I don't say this to pat myself on the back--a lot of it was pure luck, and I had to ask the advice of two friends to see what settings to use--but I couldn't have asked for better results. There are few things that make me happier than the combination of an amazing concert and some awesome photos.


March Of The Pigs
Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)
Meet Your Master
Head Down

I Do Not Want This

Gave Up
The Fragile
The Downward Spiral
Mr. Self-Destruct
Physical (You're So)
The Good Soldier
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole


Street Sweeper Social Club

Jane's Addiction