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Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Looking back on my concert experience this past week, I got to thinking about how good Phantom Planet was when they opened for PATD. I’ve noticed, in my large (and sometimes sordid) history with going to rock concerts, that at times the opening bands are as enjoyable, if not more so, than the headliner themselves.

The most blatant example of this in my past has been a couple of years ago at the Vegoose Festival in Las Vegas, NV, when I saw a little band called The Killers open up for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I by FAR enjoyed The Killers more than Tom Petty, and it wasn’t just because Brendon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, was wearing an enchanting mix of strange little black tie and bright blue blazer (though it didn’t hurt).

Live photo shot by yours truly of Brendon Flowers

No joke, this was actually the outfit he wore during the concert. I shot this myself. Awesome.

I went to go see Matt Costa perform at a really awesome SF venue called Slim’s last month (http://www.slims-sf.com/). The opening act for Matt was a band I had never heard of called Delta Spirit. I was dubious at first because of the name of the band (it sounds kind of like a hippie-dippy band that should be performing at a coffee shop or a sit-in somewhere, right?), but they rocked it. Sort of Bob Dylan-meets-Nirvana, complete with a lead singer wearing that headgear-looking apparatus that lets you play the harmonica without having to use your hands (you know what I’m talking about. What is that thing called? Does it even have a name? It always looks sort of uncomfortable and sado-masochistic to me). They had a really raw, painful sound that lent itself well to the folk music they played.

A band called The Honorary Title opened up for Mae at Slim’s last Tuesday. I had already known who The Honorary Title was and loved their music (I highly recommend the album Scream and Light Up the Sky, especially the tracks “Apologize”, “Thin Layer”, “Stuck at Sea”, and “Far More”), and so went to this concert actually only to see the opening act.

Maybe the appeal in the opening act is that they always seem to put themselves out there fully, like they have nothing to lose. And maybe they don’t. They’re usually still trying to prove themselves at the opening act point, and feel like they have to go all out to get noticed. Maybe it’s the feeling like you’re discovering something new and unknown, something secret that no one else knows about, someone just about to make it big and you’re catching them on their upward trajectory. That’s how I felt when I saw the Killers. And when I started wearing Levi’s Capital-E Jeans before the big green-conscious trend caught on (it’s true–i swear).

Or maybe it’s that sometimes that the headlining band is sometimes too complacent in their position as the most successful act on the ticket. While this definitely wasn’t true with Panic, it was definitely the case with Tom Petty. Someone as old-hat as Mr Petty sometimes seem to be going through the motions instead of actually trying with their whole heart to put on a good show. Yes, Tom is a wee bit past the age of spry youth, but if the Rolling Stones still can rock it, why can’t he?

For now I will stick with buying my Delta Spirit and Honorary TItle records and see them whenever they come to town. If that means I have to see some lame headliner in the process, so be it.

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Yesterday I went to go see the Oakland A’s (that’s baseball for all you non-jocks) play the Boston Red Sox in Oakland. I’m not really into baseball, but my family is somewhat related to a player on the Red Sox, and therefore we get great tickets to games when the Sox come to town. I personally like to go for the ample people-watching opportunities. Baseball games are ripe with people (mostly men) discussing (drunken yelling) various topics of interest to only avid baseball fans (ERAs, RBIs, other stats that I don’t understand), but there are also people wearing really great stuff (giant foam cowbay hats and t-shirts with the sleeves cut off).

What I found most interesting was the baseball players’ wives (or BPWs to make things easier). Because of our family connections I was able to go down to “the tunnels” where the players walk from the locker room to their insanely expensive automobiles (huge SUVs and tiny sports cars. Why no middle ground?) parked in the VIP lot. Most of the people milling about in the tunnels were the BPWs waiting for their other halves to emerge freshly showered. While observing them I noticed that they were all dressed very similar.

Here is the uniform of a BPW:

1. Designer jeans (preferably Sevens, True Religions, or Citizens of Humanity)

2. Expensive-looking wrap sweater or cardigan

3. Stylish flats or peep-toe heels

4. Louis Vuitton bag (is anyone else as sick of the monogrammed tote as much as I am?)

I was observing them and realized that in my beanie, Converse sneakers, jeans (OK, they were designer too, so sue me), Bob Dylan t-shirt, and biker-style jacket that I probably looked pretty ratty compared to them. But I never felt more stylish. See, they all looked so put together, so polished, so BORING. I have always preferred someone with a more eclectic sense of style than someone who always looks just right. Give me the Kate Mosses and Sienna Millers of the world over the Nicole Kidmans and Katie Holmes any time. Sure Nicole and Katie always seem to look so perfect with their Chanel dresses and Hermes Birken bags, but Kate and Sienna just have way more style. It takes a lot more imagination and talent to put together something new instead of just going for the head-to-toe designer look book. Sure Kate and Sienna slip up every now and then (ankle-strap shoes strapped OVER jeans anyone?), but they still possess something that Nicole and Katie don’t have–individuality.

Of course the guy in the foam hat and cut-off t shirt is just unexcusable in any light.

Sorry dude.

OK, as an introduction to this blog, one thing you need to know about me…I’m obsessed with music. Everything that has to do with music. John Lennon’s acid-drenched imagery, Janis Joplin’s crazy hippie garb and lonely-girl mystique, Bowie’s great eyeliner, Dylan’s epic poetry. My current obsession (and by current I mean since their first and only album came out two years ago) is the band Panic! At the Disco. Their second album called Pretty. Odd. comes out later this month (March 25th to be exact–mark your calendars!) and they have already released a music video for the first single from that album, Nine in the Afternoon. For those you don’t want to buy it on iTunes, you can check it out on YouTube. The video blew me away. It was like the band took a page from the Sgt. Pepper playbook. Honestly, watch the video and if you have any knowledge of Beatles music and history at all, you’ll know what I mean. The marching band, the mustaches, the shaggy mop-top hair. Ok, so the long underwear isn’t as charming as the psychedelic marching band outfits the Beatles wore, but you get my point. Even the scene in the beginning where Panic! is being chased by the screaming girls is like straight out of A Hard Day’s Night. It’s worth downloading just to see the crazy imagery. Not quite as good as their video for I Write Sins Not Tragedies, but then again I am a sucker for creepy carnival videos featuring circus freaks. But that’s just me….PS: Brendon, you’re so gorgeous it doesn’t really matter, but you need to cut the hair a little. Just a suggestion.