Evander Kane & ATL 15:08
also, big congrats to Evander Kane and the rest of the 2009 class of draftees of the Atlanta Thrashers for the next step of their careers and dreams! I cannot wait to see Kane in a Thrashers jersey in the near future. he's a kid I could see Coach Anderson having a lot of fun w/. he's versatile up front and appears to be genuinely excited to play for Atlanta. here's to prospect camp in a few weeks!
Metric - 2009/06/17 14:04
setlist: Twilight Galaxy/ Help I'm Alive/ Satellite Mind/ Gold Guns Girls/ Handshakes/ Gimme Sympathy/ Sick Muse/ Empty/ Front Row/ Dead Disco/ Stadium Love// Monster Hospital// Live It Out
after seeing Metric about four times or so, I'm very familiar w/ their live set and it's something I really appreciate about the band. one thing that bothered me w/ their last record, Live It Out, was that it seemed to fall a little flat, but in the live setting it was a completely different story; their live show, in the right setting, is exhilarating and flat-out AWESOME. w/ that said, I was greatly anticipating seeing Metric once again and in a completely different setting - their kinda-sorta hometown of New York.
granted, we went to All Points West last year and saw them on the big stage there, but it was an abbreviated set, it was hot, we were waiting for Radiohead, etc. but it was there that we were first exposed to the overwhelmingly EEEGHHHH version of Live It Out. it was slowed down, cheesy, and it really ruined the track for what it is - a loud ending that is desperate, a little furious, and definitely in your face. at APW (and once again @ T5), it seemed like a career-ending song, not in the idea the track is single-handedly killing this band's legacy, but that it now comes across as, "we realize that our time together is limited, so let's enjoy the time we have left and hold on to it as long as possible". that's not what I appreciate about the song (see above). apparently that's not how Emily Haines and Co. feel about it and I guess that's fine. I mean, it IS their song and all, and they can reinterpret it as much as they want to b/c I'm sure it gets old playing the same songs in the same structure for YEARS.
and that's how the show @ T5 went. the new songs from Fantasies sounded nice w/ some interesting arrangements - theremin on opener Twilight Galaxy, Emily Haines w/ her own guitar/bass (I was too far away to make the difference, really) on Gold Guns Girls, etc. but the older songs, even from Live It Out, were given new treatments. as a rabid Smashing Pumpkins fan, I've come to accept and even appreciate remakes of songs in a band's back catalog. w/ Metric's, uh, "reduxing" of tracks like Empty (WHICH, YET AGAIN, KILLS ON RECORD) and Dead Disco and even the instant-winner that is Monster Hospital, I felt the material growing a little older as time passed. I mean, I don't really need to hear random-ass rants during a jam session in the middle of Empty - I just want to shake my hips and move my feet... not think a little about side commentary. once again, I've fallen into this trap in the past w/ Smashing Pumpkins and their ridiculous incarnations of Bullet w/ Butterfly Wings. it's just weird to get the same thing from another band that you feel doesn't quite fall into the schtickyness that, say, Billy Corgan does.
it was very nice to have some personal touches during the show, however. it was clear that the band was excited to play NYC once again and this was stated a few times throughout the gig by Emily and her mates. it's always a special treat to be in a band's hometown (even if Metric split their time between NYC and Montreal) for a gig. there's just a certain vibe about the show that makes it unique and I was fortunate to be a part of that.
it's also amazing to be a part of a crowd that is, plain and simple, INTO THE BAND. so many times I find myself unintentionally STUCK @ a show w/ so-called "fans" that don't want to have a passionate reaction b/c they fear losing SCENE CRED, as if showing support and HAVING FUN damages yr scene points. a highlight of the show was during Dead Disco when the floor just broke loose w/ fans and it seemed as if everyone around me had their hands in the air and was shaking about. it was ridiculously fun to simultaneously be a part of and witness.
congrats, Pens, for an excellent post-season and that beautiful Stanley Cup victory! once again, as long as you somehow get to the playoffs, their performance from the past two weeks shows you that ANYTHING is possible.
as for this guy...
there's always next year? HAHA... right! keep it real, hoss!
one thing I absolutely love is the beach @ nite. the above pic does not reflect that.
what it DOES represent is one of my favorite beaches (probably b/c of childhood reasons) - jones beach state park. I grew up on this beach, spent some class picnics there, honed my short game @ its pitch-n-putt course, climbed massive mtns of sand, saw concerts, and think there's nothing wrong with parking in a massive concrete lot and walking a bit to a generous stretch of sand and waves. even though jones beach isn't the best beach I've visited (uh, hello Maui!), I feel forever linked to it and, as such, cherish any time spent there. it's one of those things about NY that I miss lots and really regret not going to more often when I lived up there. and that's what makes it so special.
we're only going to be on the island for a couple of days, but I definitely plan on spending an evening there. there's nothing like the beach once the sun goes down. the temps cool, the crowd gets more sparse, and it is so peaceful and calming. it honestly just doesn't get better than that. if there's an opportunity to pull out a beach chair and just claim an area on the beach while the sun goes down, you better take it. it's one of the best feelings in the world.
so lame, this I know, but can you really beat waking up to that? I mean, seriously now. greeting the morning on the beach is all fine and whatnot, but I cannot wait to be a part of Manhattan mornings for a few days. enough said?
The New York 7 - Subway 22:14
outside of metro Atlanta, there is a tremendous lack of mass-transportation. there are no local bus routes and there are absolutely no trains. it seems like a blessing that there are so many methods of getting around in New York and I completely miss that. there's something special about traveling by train, I just can't explain it. it's probably a little of the hustle, a bit of the bustle, and a lot of the coordination that makes it all run fluidly.
it's easily one of the two things I definitely took for granted when I lived up north (the other being beaches). I really do think I have some strange fascination with transporting the masses from here to there. I love airports and anything having to do with that - like the fact that something that large can fly or the aesthetics of air travel. the same applies with rail travel. I love train stations, the practicality and dependence on timetables, and the speed of life underground. it's something I definitely miss while down south. even though MARTA can fall into this category of public transportation, it certainly doesn't have the same feel as it does when you try to get around one of the largest cities in the country.
The New York 7 - Bagels 22:09
let's be honest here - New York bagels are perfection. from the hard exterior to the soft, delightful doughy insides, you cannot beat a New York bagel.
the way I like 'em is w/ a little cream cheese and some lox. too much cheese makes the experience a little too creamy and too much lox makes it too fishy. it's all about the balance. oh yeah, and b/c I do it crazy w/ the lox, i have to keep my bagels plain. no poppies, no sesames, no eggs (yuck!), and especially no everything. just plain w/ lox and cream cheese.
and my favorite place to get these jewels is in Hicksville @ Bagel Boss. it was absolutely perfect having a great bagel place right around the corner from your house... or a few blocks away. another great deli is Gold and Meyer's Gourmet Deli and Bagelry in Plainview. for an eatery to feature the word BAGELRY in it's name, you know it has to be special!
I don't know many places in NYC that do bagels, but you really cannot go wrong. I'm sure you can find an amazing bagel ANYWHERE in the 10001. but I know that I'm extremely excited to walk out of a deli, dip my hand in a brown paper bag, unwrap a sliced bagel w/ lox and cream cheese and savor the moment!
The New York 7 - Metric 21:36
we first stumbled upon Metric years ago, maybe 2004? at any rate, we were at the show b/c of the main band, South, and Metric was opening. in hindsight, it was an odd pairing. however, Lindsey and I walked out of the Cotton Club that evening and were instantly won over by Metric. we loved the funness of the music, the odd stage presence of frontwoman Emily Haines, and the novelty of something new.
fast-forward some years later and we find ourselves absolutely loving their new record, Fantasies, and excited to see them once again, only this time it will be in New York @ Terminal 5. it's seemed like forever since we've been to a big show, and this one is huge for us. I think the last big show we went to might've been Radiohead... LAST YEAR. aside from that, the only shows we go to are for local bands or some nat'l bands that play in bars-turned-venues.
w/ a show like this, there's just a certain "feel" to them that makes them special. you can sense it even before you walk in. from the moment you walk out the door and make your way to the venue, you know that this show is going to put you over the edge and be amazing.
well, I'm not necessarily saying that will be the case w/ Metric, but I do know that we are excited about seeing one of our favorite bands in another town that's not Atlanta. and there's the fact that we've seen 'em live before and we know that they can rip the venue to shreds w/ their in-your-face jams.
next week, we're taking a trip up to my home state of New York and I'm just gonna give y'all seven reasons why I'm excited to make the drive up north.
BTW, please pardon the creepiness of the pic above. however, take note of the background, which is the eighth hole of the Bethpage Black, home to this year's 2009 U.S. Open golf tournament.
we went in 2002 and it was so bad-ass. in '02, it was the first time a major golf championship was held on a public course. usually these kinds of things are reserved for the private clubs and the only people who would have experience w/ it are the pros. when the Open was previously @ Bethpage, it was so strange b/c most of the attendees there felt as if it was "their" course, as they've played it every weekend or slept in cars overnite to play. they knew the tricks, the nuances, and the yardage. many times, players would discuss strategies w/ their caddies, patrons would overhear these candid discussions, and they (as typical New Yorkers would) chimed in with their knowledge and insight, much to the chagrin of the experienced player.
it was the combo of that along with the fact that there is no crowd like a New York crowd for a major sports event. New Yorkers wear their passion on their sleeve and can easily get behind a player (i.e. Phil Mickelson) or tear a player apart (i.e. Sergio Garcia). it's an amazing and electric atmosphere for a sports event of that caliber and it makes you wonder who will be the player who earns that support or is on the receiving end of some good ol' fashioned New York 'tude.
w/ all of that said (and really b/c it's the main reason we're going), I bring you my #7 reason to be excited about our New York trip in a little over a week.
I came across this book through an article on The Guardian that is about Murakami's latest novel being a surprise seller upon its "mysterious" release in Japan. in said article, there was mention of Murakami's work with the sarin gas attack that rocked Japan over fourteen years ago. immediately, my interest piqued due to said interest in tragedies. and because my wife is an avid reader and huge fan of Murakami's previous works, I knew that this could be a worthwhile read.
honestly, I'm very pleased with the outcome of this reading experience. I'm moved tremendously by both the Japanese work ethic that is portrayed (showing up to work two hours early just because?!) within as well as the seemingly-innocent, yet saddening experiences (taking a train because it was time to get milk for the family and consequently getting gassed) of those who chose to tell their side of the events of March 20, 1995.
what's also shocking to me is how the response to these events was so... unaware? when you think about it, though, what should a hospital do when presented with one person who is complaining of breathing difficulty and vision problems? obviously I'm aware of the situation (as I can recall the news stories about it and I'm reading about it), but it's mind-blowing for me to digest that hospitals in Tokyo let those affected by the gassing to sit around for well over an hour suffering the effects of exposure to sarin.
all I'm saying here is that this is a fantastic read that brings a lot of things into perspective and reminds you how simple life is and how varied people's reactions are to the same situation.