Not To Be Confused With "Nowhere Man," Sans Whiskey Girl

I'm ashamed of myself. The blogging has come to a complete halt. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

While I try to get my act together, enjoy this review of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl. In the words of the self-proclaimed "editor, publisher, la dee dah," "It took some time, but it glows."

Hey! They made the front page (and the top of the front page, no less): http://www.moregoatthangoose.com/

Here's the review: http://www.moregoatthangoose.com/cds/cds.php?cd=00008



Just wanted to pass this deal along to others, in case they're interested. You can fly from Boston to Phoenix (and vice versa) for only $143. All you need to do is go to Yahoo! Travel and choose "my dates are flexible." It'll be the first one in the list.

Now you don't have an excuse to come and visit.

Be sure to jump on this today if you want to get these savings. These deals never seem to last more than 24 hours.



Last night I had a rare honor. Esteemed filmmaker Brock H. Brown inconspicuously handed me a normal enough looking video tape. It contained the raw footage to his semester project at film school, Pantomiming. Enthusiastically, I popped the tape in as soon as I arrived home.

I won't divulge any details, and can only provide the fuzzed out image of an anonymous crew member depicted above. What I can say is that this is a legendary film in the making. Excellent concept and writing, well executed, creative composition and angles, and a few shots that will drop your jaw, or at least bring a smile to the face.

The film is solid in its own right. One only wonders what further heights could have been reached with the original screenplay (pre-censorship) and the original location (pre-railings).

I can't wait to see the finished product. Congrats Brock!


Bridge School XVIII Review

I figure it's only right that I should blog about my trip to the bay area before Gabe gets back and blogs about his. I did have a weeks head start, after all.

Day One

Angie and I flew out Saturday morning, October 23, 2004, from Phoenix to San Jose. We managed to pack everything into a carry-in this time. No waiting, I love it. We went to the hotel and unpacked. We were hoping this was the same hotel we stayed at last year, where some of the bands were staying (we bumped into Chris Carrabba on our way in one day), but it wasn't.

The Saturday show doesn't start until 5 PM, so we headed into San Jose to get some dinner. We stopped at Cafecito to see if we could talk to someone about getting Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl a show there towards the end of their tour. Jeremy wasn't in.

We walked around and chose Original Joe's, an Italian restaurant. Man, this place was a trip. It looked like it had been a pretty swanky place fifty years ago. By today's standards, it wasn't as impressive. It looked like an odd amalgam of wood paneled elegance and a truck stop. Everyone was in tuxes, but the booths were Formica tops with vinyl seats. The food wasn't anything special, but they sure charged as though it was! We ate it all up, though, packing it in so we wouldn't have to buy the pricey concessions at the amphitheatre.

We rolled up to Shoreline an hour early, so no long wait getting parked. It was already drizzling, and we staked out a spot on the lawn where we could see the screens and the stage. Just so I don't have to go blow by blow on the weather the whole day... It rained almost all day. It would break from time to time, long enough to get the ponchos off and the blanket out, only to start raining again. It cleared up for good when Paul McCartney came on around midnight. Not that it was any relief, since it was freezing cold by then and had been most of the day.

Neil Always starts the show off with a few songs, and this year was no different. Sugar Mountain, Do I Have To Come Right Out and Say It?, and Field of Opportunity. Some years he only plays one song, so three is always a treat.

Tegan & Sara are a sister act from Canada. They write simple songs, very girl power, catchy. They have played Bridge School before. I like their stuff, though it always seems incomplete somehow.

Eddie Vedder was next with Soon Forget, Better Man, You've Got to Hide You're Love Away [Beatles], and Masters of War [Dylan], the protest song he's been playing around lately. Eddie was awesome as usual. I think it's amazing the feeling he injects into the songs. We commented later about how 14 years later, he still has the exact same grunts and gasps on songs like Evenflow. Histrionics to some, but elements of the songs to any Pearl Jam fan. Good set, way too short, though he was a late addition. Pearl Jam has played every Bridge School every other year for over a decade now, so getting Eddie in between was a bonus.

Los Lonely Boys from the Austin, TX area were next. Angie had picked up their CD many months ago at Stinkweeds, based on the sticker that said they were Willie Nelson's favorite local band. That, too, may have been a carry-over from our newfound respect for Willie after last years benefit. Since then, this band of three brothers had broken it big on the radio, and deservedly so, as they are first-class musicians, great songwriters, and nice guys. Their songs are a tad too commercial for my taste, but they were fun to listen to, and they certainly won over all those present who had not yet been exposed, with songs like Heaven, Hollywood, Senorita, and an a capella rendition of More Than Love.

Sonic Youth took the stage next. They are a band that I enjoy when I hear them, but have never gotten really into. Their lone radio hit, if it was that, was 1995's Diamond Sea. Hard to believe they've been around for over 20 years now. "Youth" seems hardly the word to describe them anymore, but they are true to themselves, at any rate. Well, I loved their set. Angie ated it. I thought they did an awesome job playing their songs acoustic, since they usually trade in distortion and feedback. The songs were beautiful, actually. I want to go get some more of their albums to go with "Washing Machine" and "A Thousand Leaves".

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals were next. I knew we were in for a good time when they rolled out the percussion setup with all sorts of things to bang on and a Jamaican flag draped across. The set was a great combination of soul blues and reggae, with Ben on slide guitar and those passionate vocals. Songs like People Lead and With My Own Two Hands/War were moving, and Burn One Down was a favorite with the Bay area crowd. Not that they needed any encouragement.

Red Hot Chili Peppers were next, and for the first time ever they sounded really good in all respects to me. Kiedes' vocals had always been a sticking point at past performances. Too many really bad notes from a "professional" singer. If I wanted to hear that, I could see The Moon Is No More, and it would cost a lot less. Maybe it was John Frusciante's harmonies smoothing Anthony out, but it sounded good. The Lotta Love and Brandi (You're A Fine Girl) covers were curious, but fun.

Tony Bennett was next. The high point of his set, to me, was just watching and hearing a solid jazz band in action for the first time since Earl Klugh in Boston a couple years ago. These guys were incredibly talented, and, like any good jazz band, each player got his solo through the course of the set. Tony's songs are enjoyable, but all set up so he can mug and get applause after each and every line. He's a showman, all right, but it's not my slice of cake.

Neil was on next. He (or him and Crazy Horse, or him and CSN, or him and Friends & Family) usually closes out the show. This year he deferred to Sir Paul, as he did a few years ago when The Who was in town. He opened with Pocahontas, one of my favorite songs, and went into Harvest Moon (our wedding song) with Eddie and Peggi backing him up, to which we danced, despite the cold and rain. Six more songs, all strong, but I'm always wishing for more songs from my favorite two albums, "Harvest" and "After The Gold Rush."

Sir Paul came on, and everyone stood up. He kicked right into Drive My Car, and it was on! He played 13 songs in all, mostly Beatles covers, a full range of songs, and it was like I would imagine seeing the Beatles would have been like. Some of the highlights were In Spite of All the Danger, a pre-Beatles song, Blackbird, Here Today, a song he wrote after John was killed, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, a Neil cover with Neil, Michelle, Yesterday, Get Back, Let It Be, and Lady Madonna. Who am I kidding? They were all highlights. Hey Jude closed out the show, as more and more of the performers came on stage to sing along with the audience.

Despite the rain, it was one of the best days in my Bridge School experience. No Smashing Pumpkins, no Pearl Jam, just a solid lineup of great bands playing great songs. Everything it was cracked up to be, and worth every cent of the $38 lawn tickets. The show ended at 1 AM on the dot, but it 2:30 before we were back to the hotel, after fighting the parking lot logjam.

Day Two

Sunday we woke up and headed up to San Francisco. Almost no traffic coming or going, which was great. Even on Sunday's I've been jammed up in San Fran in the past. We went to the North Beach neighborhood, parked (way up a hill), and walked around, checking out the menus for something tasty. We walked all the way from the park at the West end to City Lights bookstore on the East. We read some poetry (I read Ginsburg), and I looked and looked for something unique to bring back as a gift for Carl, since this is where lots of beat generation history was made. Surprisingly, they have done very little to capitalize on this, in terms of souvenirs. I would normally praise their rejection of commercialism, except that I was actually in the market for a souvenir that day. Sorry, Carl.

We ate at Mona Lisa. I had the Penne Arrabbiata, which is a spicy tomato sauce, with hot peppers, capers, and olives. Great stuff.

We headed out to catch the 2 PM start of the show. We ended up being a little late, and missing Tegan & Sara and Eddie. I won't go into a lot detail about the Sunday show, except that it was great because we had actual seats, could see the stage a little closer, and it was warm and dry. Otherwise, it was a little disappointing that more of the bands didn't change their setlist from Saturday. In the past, most bands switched things up, in acknowledgement of the many people that come for both days. This year, Eddie and Ben Harper were the only ones to change it up appreciably. No surprise there, we know who the real artists are!

A great weekend, can't wait to do it next year!