Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Short Takes # 1

Well nothing too exciting is going on with me right now, so it's time for some random notes on things.... worth noting. Here goes:

* 'Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith' ..... official release date, 05/19/05. I will be in line for this one of course. Maybe I'll get to squeeze in two viewings on premiere night like I did with Episode II. (DVD Set of original trilogy comes out September 19th)

* I finally saw 'Old School' the other night and thought it was hilarious. Will Ferrell is great as always, and tall. Really, really.....tall. And hairy too. He's really tall and hairy...yeah.

* I am seriously considering going to music school somewhere. I've been feeling very inspired lately, and have begun to crave musical expression. More on this as it develops. "Fighting the Frizzies, at 11".

* For unknown reasons, I've also been slightly more confident around women. Having grown up extremely shy, without any sisters, females have always been somewhat alien to me. It's like I'm usually so intimidated and inferiorized by them. Is that a word? Screw it... it is now.

* I almost went to see America last weekend (think "A Horse With No Name" and "Ventura Highway"... great acoustic stuff), but opted out before purchasing tickets. I'd still really like to see them, but the timing was bad. I decided I'd rather spend some time with Jen... (her cat of 20 or so years just died, and she's trying to deal with that). I know exactly what she's going through, because I went through that in 2000. When/if America comes around again, I'll be going with my dad.

* I've been expanding my musical tastes. Among some of the bands/artists I've been making a point to listen to more of....



Maroon 5



Stevie Wonder



Steely Dan

(Side Note: 311's "Amber" is a current favorite.)

* John Mayer's new album will be released on November 9th............ possibly. This is the "word on the streets".

* NIN's (Nine Inch Nails) next album, titled 'Bleedthrough', should be out in early 2005. It is Trent [Reznor]'s first studio album in five years, and will have all new material. The very intriguing thing about this is the fact that Dave Grohl, of Foo Fighters and Nirvana fame, has provided all of the drumming for this album! Having always been a fan of Dave's work, and of course Trent's... I'm very excited to hear the new stuff!

(Side Notes: Trent will also be releasing 'Closure' on DVD soon, as well as a reissue of one of my all-time favorite albums, 'The Downward Spiral' in 5.1 Surround! Once again, Trent will take music in a new direction.)

* I will be going to Hawaii for the first time, in February.

* I've been playing more video games than I have in quite some time. It's like reconnecting with an old friend you hardly talk with anymore. I have so much fun getting a good buzz going and losing myself in a good game. And I'm getting excited about some upcoming releases, most notably...

* Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - release date: October 19th. This time, three cities... San Fran, LA & Vegas. This means I will have to make a stop at the liquor store that day, because it's gonna be a party. (It is rumored that NIN's "Head Like A Hole" will be included in the expected mammoth soundtrack).


"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."

---Mitch (Billy Crystal) in 'City Slickers'

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Mayer The 13th

John Mayer

Harvey's Ampitheater

Stateline, Nevada, United States


Set List:

Bigger Than My Body

New Deep

No Such Thing

Come Back To Bed

My Stupid Mouth



Old Love (Eric Clapton cover)

Your Body Is A Wonderland

Why Georgia



Homelife (Acoustic)

Back To You (Acoustic)

Love Song For No One (Acoustic w/Dela)



To make what could be a long story... not quite as long, I flew down to Reno so I could go with Laura to John's Lake Tahoe gig. Good times. :) At the gate, we were curious to see if they'd let us in with a camera and alcohol. It turned out that they couldn't care less about what people were bringing in. You have to love Nevada. I was glad I had decided against hiding those tiny rum bottles down my pants. After all, it would have just rectum anyway. Hahaha, a little cornball humor for you.

Anyway, John's set started off as good as usual (this time "Bigger Than My Body" was first). John played one of my favorites from HT, "Daughters". My favorite part in the song is near the end when the piano joins in. The cool thing about when they played this was that John let his piano-man (who's name I haven't quite learned yet... for now I call him "the Matt Stone looking guy")... play an extended little piano solo during the end. It was excellent stuff. A couple songs later, I was so pleasantly surprised to hear "Old Love". I have been loving this song recently, in fact I believe I even had mentioned it in one of my earlier entries... John and David [Ryan Harris] did something during this song that I've never seen before. First, David was reaching around John playing John's guitar for him... then later they were BOTH playing John's guitar at the SAME TIME! They were even playing different riffs! It's unlike anything I've seen before. All I could think was 'that's neat-aroni'. And a little note about "Why Georgia"... after the second verse, John said to the crowd "People of The Lake, SING!". It was our cue to collectively sing "So what, so I've got a smile on...etc".


To end the set, John played another favorite of mine, "83". At the end of this, I was expecting the usual medley of 80's tunes. He didn't do that, but instead he thanked his openers, DJ Logic and Switchfoot, and proceeded to sing "We were meant to live for so much more" (of course from Switchfoot's current hit single "Meant To Live") to the jazzy 83 outro. Then the encore...

I have never even heard "Homelife" done acoustically, so it was a real treat to have John play my favorite HT track to start off the acoustic encore. He had the greatest rant about cell phones towards the end of it, unfortunately I can't remember exactly how it went because I was laughing too hard. It was all about how the same people keep calling you over and over, nagging and nagging... and eventually you don't even hear the ringing anymore. You just hear "*RING* ... *RING* ... *FUCK YOU* ... *RING". lol It was classic. "Back To You" was also great of course, and John finished out the night by having David LaBruyere (Dela), his bass player, come out to join him. As they got ready to play, John said to Dave something like "you think we should just kiss? Talk about something we could do to freak all these people out." Dave then handed John some flowers, and John accepted them while singing "I like girls!" lol Then they both started playing "Love Song For No One", which is the very first song (and version) of John's I ever heard. It was a perfect ending to the concert.


Overall, I had a really great time down in Nevada! Many thanks to Laura for driving me around everywhere, especially when I felt compelled to find an open Taco Bell at 2AM. hehe She was great, and so was my mini-vacation. I hope to plan a trip like that again sometime soon. :)


*Fun Fact*

When flying from Reno to Seattle, if you decide to stand in line for an hour to get on an earlier flight to Portland, airport personnel will not let you board. You will then be laughed at by everyone and feel like a stupid dumb-ass.



Sunday, July 11, 2004

Thank Mayer For 7-11

John Mayer
White River Ampitheater
Auburn, Washington, United States

Set List:

Why Georgia
Bigger Than My Body
Come Back To Bed
My Stupid Mouth
No Such Thing
City Love (w/long blues jam intro)
Your Body Is A Wonderland
New Deep
Inner City Blues (Marvin Gaye cover)

--- Encore

Comfortable (Acoustic)
3x5 (Acoustic)
Neon (Acoustic)


Where, oh where to start? This was the best concert I have ever experienced...

I took my dad along. He likes John's stuff that he's heard. Having played the guitar for about thirty years, he can appreciate some good guitar work. So I bought two tickets months ago. I wanted the best seats possible, but got stuck way off to the right side of the venue. (Thank you, Ticketmaster. You stinky bastard.) Luckily, the seats were close enough that they were still good ones.

*Fun Fact*
If you ever plan on sneaking two miniature bottles of alcohol into a concert (one 50ml Bicardi, the other Black Velvet), be sure to hide them down your pants inside a paper towel. I assure you, security personnel will not search there (but it may cause you to walk funny).

First up was DJ Logic. I have never been overly familiar with the whole DJ process, but I was intrigued. Really, there was nothing too exciting about it. Not a bad idea though, as more and more people are making their way to their seats. After almost an hour, on came Switchfoot. These guys were pretty good. Not knowing anything about them, I was impressed. Catchy songs, good energy, good stuff. I plan to pick up their newest album sometime now, due to the fact that they mostly played the newer stuff.

Darkness typically means it's Go-John time. All day, my dad and I had held discussions. What will John play? In which order? This is what I'm hoping to hear. What are you hoping for? And just how many licks DOES it take to get to the tootsie-rool center of a tootsie-pop?? This much is certain... the world may never know. Eventually, John came out and started playing "Why Georgia", my dad's favorite. He played some more great songs (see the list) following that. Before the forth song, John told the audience "This is a song called 'Comfortable'". Naturally, the crowd went nuts. The 16 year-old groupies wet themselves and screamed. So with nothing more said, John starts playing "My Stupid Mouth" in its entirety. He's funny like that.

It was great to finally hear "Wheel" live... especially with a cool little jazzy intro. Before "No Such Thing", he told us something like "This is an older song. I wrote it... HOLY SHIT! About six years ago.". He ended up braking two strings during it. NST was followed by a free-style blues jam that morphed into "City Love". In that, he substituted the line "she keeps a toothbrush at my place" with "she keeps her tampons at my place". I was cracking up. I should also mention that in the last verse where he says "I found it in Lydia", he has actually been singing "I found it in America" ever since 9/11. If you listen to AGT (Any Given Thursday), he says it on that version as well.

Next was "Your Body Is A Wonderland", or for you hardcore fans out there, 'YBIAW'. The only part out of the ordinary here was just after the solo. David Ryan Harris, John's newest guitar player, took over lead vocals for a bit... singing a small medley of songs to the "Wonderland" hook. Among them was Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing". Very cool!

"New Deep" followed. When that was over, John put down his guitar and grabbed his microphone. Then he calls DJ Logic to the stage, and the band proceeded into a cover of "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye. David sang with John on this song, and the whole band got into it and ripped it up. It was classic. Next up was "Clarity", the end of which was looped so John could introduce the band and say his thank you and goodnight piece.

Then came the encore. This was like something out of a dream. One of those dreams where maybe you had been drinking earlier that night, and you're not that sure if you're really there or just imagining it, it's so surreal. When the lights come back up, all we see by his microphone is an acoustic guitar and a chair. John comes back out, sits down and picks up the Martin. He then playes a few random rhythmic notes here and there to tease us. That guitar sounded so perfect. And then he starts in with "Comfortable". Everyone went nuts. But soon after, we were all perfectly quiet, and all that could be heard was John and his guitar. He nailed it down perfectly, even with a few improvisions. Instead of "but you could distinguish Miles from Coltrane", he opted for "but you could distinguish Mayer from Matthews"... a subtle response to all those people who think he's just another Dave wannabe. Later in the song, following the usual "I loved you", he sang "grey sweatpants... no makeup... and I don't know.... she still looks really damn good! Ummm, nevermind... I guess my point is that I want you baaaaaaaack." It may not be word for word, but pretty close. Nice little improv moment anyway.

Next in the acoustic encore was one of my favorites of John's, "3x5". It was amazing to see John playing this solo, as I have rarely heard it, much less at a live show. After 3x5, John invited Harris back out to play with him acoustically. David started singing one of his own songs (I'll get back to you on the title), then joined John in a brief tease of "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega, which ultimately worked right into "Neon" to end the night. Amazing show, amazing night!

On the way home, my dad said to me, "I didn't realize he was such a great guitarist. I'm a fan". I couldn't help but smile.


"Is there a god?
why is he waiting?
don't you think of it odd,
when he knows my address?
Look at the stars
don't they remind you
just how feeble we are?
Well, they used to I guess"

"New Deep" by John Mayer

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Finn-tastic Time

Tonight my dad took me along to see the Finn Brothers out at the Moore Theater (in downtown Seattle). From the outside wall, I learned that it was built in 1907 (nice 'The Shining' moment). You may know Neil Finn from his days fronting the band Crowded House. If you're not familiar with them, I recommend giving them a listen (think "Don't Dream It's Over" and "It's Only Natural", etc...). You may also know him from Spilt Enz, his band with his brother Tim. I saw these two tonight, playing together again after many years apart and covering material from both bands as well as some new stuff. I had a good time. :) Neil is one of, if not THE best singer I've seen live to date. When he and Tim sing together, the harmonies are dead on. Good stuff!

Looking forward to seeing my buddy John tomorrow...

Monday, July 5, 2004


Yesterday was July 4th. After using my special "jump to conclusions mat", I finally made a groundbreaking decision. Fireworks are neat-o! ID4 has always been my favorite holiday. The beginning of summer... warm weather... women with less clothing... and let's face it, when else do your parents encourage you to blow shit up?

*Fun Fact*: If you tie a firecracker to your shoe and light it, you will get to visit a hospital ER (like my cousin did a few years back)*

I watched 'Dreamcatcher' the other night. This movie was different than I expected. I found myself staring with my mouth wide open mumbling to myself "what the hell?!?". It wasn't bad, just messed up beyond comprehension. And yeah, the whole "giant alien killer worm hosting in earth beings and eating their way out of the rectum" theme was just a little disturbing. There were SO many different things going on it was sometimes hard to realize the connection between them. Never the less, I guess I enjoyed it. At least I got to see Donnie again (from New Kids fame). He did a good job, too! But poor Jason [Lee]. :( He didn't make it too far into the film, and he's the main reason I wanted to see it in the first place.

Anyway, I must get back to many things that need to be taken care of on my day off...


"Life is a waste of time

and time is a waste of life

So let's get wasted all the time

And have the time of our life"


Thursday, July 1, 2004

First Officer's Log: Stardate 40701.2

Tonight I consider progress. Nothing extraordinary happened, but I feel perhaps more... accepted in society. I went down to have a drink, and ended up talking with one of the regulars I see in there quite a bit. We played games on the little electronic computer thingie and made idle chit-chat. Stuff like "so where do you work?", "are you going to be here tomorrow?" and "you did what to your neighbor's dog? for HOW many cookies?!?". You know, just the usual friendly chatter. The interesting thing is that it marks the second time in a row she hugged me before I left. I'm sure it doesn't mean much, but I can't help thinking maybe I'm leaving more of an impression that I originally thought...

By the way, a couple nights ago, I played those pull-tabs again. On my last tab I ended up winning $117! Yahoo-ey!! I like those now, but I'm not going to start spending all my money on them or anything. Nothing much else for now. I get paid tomorrow, so that means I'll be able to pay my rent. Nice. I must conclude this entry to go play some guitar now. Later people! ;)

P.S. I'm thinking of ending each entry with a quote or lyric that stirs in my head that day for whatever reason. To steal an idea from Jerry Springer, tonight's FINAL THOUGHT is:

"I can't say I really blame you

for being bored with the beginning

always staring at the score

to figure out who's barely winning

but don't you know,

there is a reason strong moves slow"

---"Tracing" by John Mayer