Well, I made it out to two of the three concerts I had planned on attending last weekend. After Ambulette, I was pretty spent, but I worked up enough energy to hit Bright Eyes on Friday night. I'm glad I did for reasons that have nothing to do with the show -- more on that later.
The Bright Eyes concert itself was a little disappointing. After the last two stellar shows here in Omaha, I was expecting another lively, fun Bright Eyes show. Didn't quite go as planned this time around. Conor formed a new version of the band just for this show, and it included a woodwind section. He also had Orenda and Maria from Azure Ray playing bass and drums, respectively, and Andy LeMaster on guitar. That, right there was 3/4 of the band Now It's Overhead. But I never really liked that band, so that fact did not impress me.
The set featured probably 60-70% new material that has not yet been released. It was very mellow, and Sokol Auditorium does not work well with mellow music. I found myself more engaged in coversation with people than I was with the actual concert. For the encore, Conor played some older songs, and when "Train Under Water" started, I began paying attention again. It sounded weird, at first. The singing was all off -- it was totally flat. I was curious to see that the hell was going on, so I walked into the concert room and realized that it was the opener Simon Joyner on stage singing the song. Huh?
Anyway, I made some progress with a woman that I have been working on for a long time at the show, so all was not lost. It looks like I have plans with her for New Year's Eve, so that's a bonus. I still have not figured out if I have to do my show that night, but I am starting to think I will not have to.
I skipped The Faint shows on Saturday and Sunday because I was too wiped out. I heard they were good, and that the show was the loudest in Sokol history. Cool.
Original Guns N Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin joined the band on stage last night in Los Angeles to play five songs. Izzy left GnR in 1991, due to personal issues with Axl Rose. The two had been friends from Indiana, and helped form the band in the mid 80s. Izzy has made appearances with the band a couple of times before in New York and in Europe. The last time he actually played with the band prior to that was in 1993, when he filled in for a few days for the guy who replaced him, Gilby Clarke, who had injured his hand. GnR also made news by announcing that the long awaited new album, Chinese Democracy, will be released in March 2007.
Last month it was announed that Southern Methodist University (SMU) would be the site for the George W. Bush Presidential Library. The goal was to raise $500 million to build the thing, and to hire some people to write papers praising our worst ever president. Still, there are still some "true believers" left, so I bet the half billion could have been raised. Now the staff and administrators at SMU are publicly calling on the University to rescind its offer for the library due to Bush's terrible job performance. From a letter dated December 16, "We count ourselves among those who would regret to see SMU enshrine attitudes and actions widely deemed as ethically egregious: degradation of habeas corpus, outright denial of global warming, flagrant disregard for international treaties, alienation of long-term U.S. allies, environmental predation, shameful disrespect for gay persons and their rights, a pre-emptive war based on false and misleading premises, and a host of other erosions of respect for the global human community and for this good Earth on which our flourishing depends." Sounds about right.
Here is a case that could potentially hit close to home. A paparazzi photographer is suing the blog Perez Hilton.com for illegal use of its photographs. They are suing for $7.6 million. The photographers say that Perez uses the photos illegally, refuses to give proper credit, and has a bad attitude. Perez argues that since he alters the pictures, it is not copyright infringement. I think the lawyers would disagree. I use other people's photos all the time without permission or credit, but I don't make money with this blog. I hope I don't get sued. The results of this case could drastically change the way bloggers use images.
Right-wingers who still believe in the Iraq War will come up with some of the silliest defenses for the failures in that engagement. The most concistently used right-wing argument is that the media does not cover the "good news" in Iraq. You know, like all the schools being built and how many happy Iraqi children there are. Turns out that, too, is another right-wing myth. "Teachers tell of students kidnapped on their way to school, mortar rounds landing on or near campuses and educators shot in front of children...No credible current national school attendance statistics exist in Iraq, whose education system was once considered a model in the Arab world. But examples abound of schools being closed or left mostly empty as parents flee the country or keep their children home." Is that the "good news" the media refuses to tell us about?
I have to make this posting quick, so I will close out with these videos I found on YouTube. They feature British Page 3 model Keeley Hazell spoofing various pop videos. Here she does her version of the Jessica Simpson "These Boots Are Made For Walking" video (at least the part with the car wash)
She also does Britney Spears here, and Kylie Minogue here. It's good mindless entertainment.