Saturday, April 21, 2007


Saw Modest Mouse at the Orpheum in Minneapolis tonight. There were two warm up bands. I've forgotten their names. The first band was a little more mellow, but really had good tone and great harmony with their vocals. I thought their stuff all sounded very much the same. I think they need more collaboration from band members when creating songs. Still, for the first band they did sound okay.

Second band had "Love..." in their name, but that was about it. A step up in loudness. They seemed to have some better variation in their music so it wasn't as boring. First song or two the bass was way too high and just drown out everything. They finally got the message and turned it down and brought the vocals up. Funniest part at the second song they brought on this guy and he was the spitting image of Kid Rock. He told my buddy that times were tough in Hockeytown and the Kid needed money. I didn't know he could play some electronic pad version of a set of bongos like Maynard G. Krebs, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right Kid? Besides, what decade did that boy last make a recording anyway? Was it before or after Axel Rose? Doesn't matter, since you couldn't actually hear the bongo playing except for a lame brief solo or electrical outage or something. Kid Rock gets a D, and he only gets that since he did lay the pipe with Pam Anderson.

Modest mouse had an elaborate set up. I hadn't realized they used two drummers. And man were those guys tight. I listened for them to get out of sync, but it just didn't seem to happen. I was impressed. My pal and I were on the opposite side of where Johnny Mars was and it seemed like his guitar was way down in volume. I was hoping to hear more out of him. Again the bass really overwhelmed at times, and also had tone problems where it would buzz or yield feedback.

There was a dude in the middle with what looked like a tank commanders helmet liner. Complete with dangling chin strap. I like his look. He played a bunch of stuff. Keyboards, slide guitar, trumpet, stand up bass with and without a bow, and standard electric bass, seems like there might have been something else.

I must be getting old. I couldn't understand a single bit of the leaders banter between songs. It reminded me of the parents and teachers on the old "Peanuts" cartoons. Like a muted trumpet or coronet. A real drag. The lead vocalist was quite the spastic colon kind of guy. The only guy I've ever seen live that worked harder was Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil. That guy looked like he was doing aerobics the whole show. And guzzled gallons of water. And you could see he was just ripped, six pack abs and all.

As usual the antics of my fellow concertgoers was ah, well, sadly unforgettable. The best part was I ran into a guy from work. A good character and he ended up with seats two row in front of me, and closer to the center. Saw him in the hall before hand and said hello.

There were two sisters and a brother plus his girlfriend in front of my seat. The farthest seat to the right had the poorest sight line. The woman that ended up with the seat cursed like a longshoreman. Things like "next times you're going to fuck me in the ass at least use lubricant" and worse. And she was loud. It was between sets so she could be heard and there people all around that could hear and were either snickering, or cringing. So much for Minnesota nice. I have no idea what she had to drink, but man, never let her get that many again. And she just went on and on. It got to the point where I started talking to her sister, and the girlfriend of the brother. The brother was very quiet. The sister and girlfriend were very nice. Admitting, yes, she is loud like this all the time. Yes she is married and her daughter is just like her. Demanding, pissy, and willing to throw tantrums when she didn't get what she wanted. And she was not the most attractive gal. Her companions were much thinner and more attractive.

Then there was the seriously drunk guy behind me. I think between the second band and MM, he grabbed my hat off my head. He put this clean "Browning" hat on me. I told him no thanks, I'd rather not wear that, being a gun control kinda guy. I didn't tell him that last part and he was rather puzzled. He asked me who my favorite baseball team was and I said the Twins. Which is the truth and he gave the hat back saying he felt terribly sorry for me.

He then started talking about how hot his wife was, and that sometimes he drinks too much and isn't able to perform and maybe I could help him out? I told him no, that I'd prefer to stay alive. He didn't understand this or maybe I didn't say it loudly enough. He thought I was threatening him and inquired about it. I said no, you're the one with the guns, your the one that would kill me if I mess with your wife. He liked that. A lot. It was almost like an old beer commercial, "I love this guy." and "I love you man." I really worried I was in for a long night.

Apparently midway through MM he and someone else got into fisticuffs and were hauled off by security. They made it back for the last few songs and the encore. Between songs I heard them shouting obscenities back and forth. Then at the end of the show and the lights came up, they were apologizing with more "I love you man". Man I miss hanging with rednecks on a more regular basis. Especially the drunk ones.


The show was good. It was loud. I love a good loud show. My ears have stopped ringing now. Ticketmaster had hosed up and never mailed my tickets so I had to call them up and go through voice mail hell twice until I got to a person before the system hung up on me. They printed tickets and they were ready at will call. Worked out fine in the end. I just still hate TicketMasterWhore.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You Never Know What You'll See

I roll by many a bus stop on my commute to work via bike. Occasionally they are occupied with people waiting for the bus. Mostly not. This morning one stop had at least three young women standing at it.

One of them had a dress and I think was looking up the road hoping to spot the bus and saw me turtle like. Quickly with her left hand she hiked her skirt up another 2-3 inches to show a little more leg and with her right hand stuck out her thumb with a big grin on her face. Considering my pathetic amount of speed at the moment it amused me a great deal and I laughed out loud. I'm always impressed when someone is so quick thinking in a harmless humorous way. Made my morning commute even better.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Red Letter Day!

Some days just go so swell, you wish you could have moved a few things over to another day that went far less well.

I got up on time (which isn't always true) with the plan to cycle. I rode the Hiawatha ride Saturday. Rode to work on the QuickBeam yesterday. I dawdled around packing and drinking coffee. I forgot to go shopping and get anything for breakfast. D'Oh. I did find a bagel that wasn't moldy and it tasted edible when toasted.

While drinking my three gigantic mugs of coffee (emptying a 10 cup pot - cause I'm too cheap to throw any away), I decided to go see any updates from an old friend, Foamy. Made for a hilarious morning. Check out the rant of the day on Imus. Geerrreaaat! As Tony the Tiger might say.

The sun had come up by the time I got out the door and I took the Atlantis. I didn't feel like a messenger bag and the QuickBeam has no racks. Plus I'm feeling a little tired as I am (you heard it here first) in terrible shape. I've been such a turd for the winter. Yuck. Gears can be your friend even when it makes me feel so dang wussy.

Yeah, my butt is a little sore but it was a really nice ride in, dressed right on target. Thin woolie shirt on top with a cheap bright green (florescent - ugly - but visible) jersey on top of that. Shorts and wool leg warmers and wool socks on bottom. Cycle gloves and wool gloves for hand warmth. It felt great.

Got to work and immediately figured out, I'd forgot my locks. I subscribe to the Sheldon Brown theory of locks. Every lock can be defeated if they want it bad enough. You just want to make your bike harder to steal than the next bike. Much like, you don't really have to out run the bear to live, you just need to outrun your friend. Morbid huh? So I use two locks and forgot both. They are in the bag on the QuickBeam. Dang.

I thought, well, I sit very near the entrance and sometimes the guard at that entrance is a real softie. Ouch! The uberfuhrer of all guards was there! So I went in with my badge (I work in a secure building, okay not really that secure, but I digress) and my bag with my lunch and wallet in it. I state, "I stupidly forgot my lock at home. My desk is at XX right near this entrance, I have an open space where I can store my bicycle. May I please bring it in this once? I won't make it a habit." He gets this squinty eyed look, "Why you little dumb ass gun control lovin', liberal minded, green thinkin', global warmin' believin', mo-ron engineer." "Knock yourself out.", he says.

I am stunned. I'd have never guessed. I'd have predicted complete and utter failure. Lucky me. So I roll it in, let them check the bags (small black Carradice front panniers) and get to the shower.

The shower has been cleaned! There has been new shower heads installed! There are lights again, so I don't have to shave my noggin in the dark. I'm ecstatic. What the bleep set this off? I wonder if some new exec in the building took up running? The craziness. I've been trying to get it this clean and maintained for years. Ever since the last decent custodian (Woody, a name said with reverence by those that use the locker room) worked the area. Will wonders never cease.

The question remains. Does this mean I will get hit on the way home???