Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ryan Adams- Fox Theatre, Atlanta 3/20/2009

Photo taken by Ryan Adams Archive forum member nextolastsong

Last night I attended the Ryan Adams concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. You may recall that this was somewhat of a make-up show for the show that he played in Alpharetta back in October in which he walked off the stage after an hour. After that experience, and after the so-so reviews I’d heard about the shows in Birmingham and Charleston, I really set my standards pretty low for this show, just in case. Luckily, it turns out these fears were unfounded, and Ryan and the Cardinals put on one of the best concerts I have ever been to. In fact, the first 45 minutes or so of the show were so good, they could have just played that, and I really would have been pretty satisfied.

They played for right around two and a half hours, with a 10 minute break about an hour and a half into the show. This was much better than the hour and 45 minute show that I was hoping for. The setlist was pretty incredible; lots of songs from Cold Roses, which is never a bad thing. The highlights for me were “Let it Ride,” a version of “Dear Chicago” that sounded like it belonged on Cold Roses and “Oh My Sweet Carolina.” Everyone went nuts during “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” especially after the line “all the sweetest winds they blow across the South,” and rightfully so. God Bless the South… There were plenty of songs from Cardinology, including the opener, “Magick,” and I’m now pretty tempted to go out and buy it.

Video taken by Ryan Adams Archive forum member LightBulb_Sunset

Overall the crowd was really good and really into and the Fox seemed pretty packed. Ryan was in a good mood and joked around a number of times, including his dedication of “Beautiful Sorta” to Method Man and Red Man. Anyways, this concert really restored my confidence in Ryan. I’ll admit that after the last show, I was really pretty turned off to him and didn’t listen to his music very much in the mean time. After last night’s show, however, I remembered again why I liked him so much in the first place. Great job, Ryan.

Here’s the setlist, obtained from a poster on Ryan Adams Archive:

1. “Magick”
2. “Let it Ride”
3. “Two”
4. “Everybody Knows”
5. “Beautiful Sorta”
6. “Mockingbird”>
7. “Dear Chicago”>
8. “Blue Hotel”
9. “Cold Roses “
10. “Natural Ghost”
11. “Easy Plateau”>
12. “Bartering Lines”
13. Band Intros
14. “Fix It”
15. “Magnolia Mountain”
16. “Please Do Not Let Me Go”
17. “Peaceful Valley”
18. “Freeway to the Canyon”


19. “When the Stars Go Blue”
20. “Sink Ships”
21. “Oh My Sweet Carolina”
22. “Grand Island”
23. “Evening Joke”
24. “I See Monsters”
25. “Come Pick Me Up”
26. “Rescue Blues”
27. “Wonderwall”
28. “Goodnight Rose”

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tor/Sufjan Stevens- "Illinoize"

If you like Sufjan Stevens, and you like rap music (at least rap music set to the music of skinny white guys), definitely check out the Illinoize album, a mashup by some guy named Tor. Basically, he took some exisiting rap songs and set them to the music of songs from Sufjan's various albums. You can stream the songs on the website, or download them for free. Most of the songs work pretty well; I would say that tracks #1 and #6 are the best in my opinion. It suffers the most on track #4, but this is mainly due to rapper Grand Puba attempting to sing (which is part of the original song that it was sampled from, and therefore not really the fault of the mashup). If I was more blog-competent, I would figure out how to embed some of these songs, but I don't, so you'll have to check them out yourself.

Hat tip to blogger and Birmingham friend Eric for the heads up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day

A Youtube classic for you:

"Could be a crackhead!"

"I wanna know where da gold at!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

District of Columbia

I leave for D.C. early tomorrow morning. I will be up there for a week trying to find a job and visiting friends. When I drive up there, I usually take I-85 to I-77 to I-81 to I-66. From what I understand, this is a little longer than taking I-85 to I-95, but I love looking at the mountains more than getting there quicker. It's all about the journey anyways, right?

I took this picture of my way back from D.C. in December

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An exploration in self-torture: Spin class

Around the second week of January I decided that I needed to get in shape. This is probably a decision I should have made, oh, two or three years ago, but nonetheless, since then I have been going to the gym for about 45 minutes each day for five days a week. I been changing up what I've been doing a variety of cardio activities, primarily focusing on the elliptical machine and the ergometer (rowing machine).

Last week I decided to try out the spin classes that they offer at the campus rec center. I had never done one before, but knew they were supposed to be hard. I asked a classmate of mine, a former Green Beret, about what to expect since I knew that he had done them. He told me to prepare to leave my dignity at the door. In spite of this dire warning, I went anyways.

He certainly wasn't bluffing. Spin class does a great job of combining the experience of riding a bike with all the charm of 45 minutes of pure masochism. It kicked my ass that first time, and has kicked it the other four times that I've been since then. There are two girls who teach the classes here at Clemson, both of whom have their individual styles. One girl makes it much more like an aerobics class in that she plays technoed-out versions of Top 40 songs and many of the exercises center around keeping to the beat of the music. While the music itself is pretty miserable and while this isn't really my favorite style, the workout does seem to have more structure and certainly gets the job done. The other girl plays much better music (including two Metallica songs, though I will knock off points for playing a Creed song and a Nickelback song), and the workouts seem more oriented towards the music itself (go hard during the upbeat chorus, back off when back to the verse). I'm not sure which girl I hate more (I actually like both of them, though 20 minutes in I begin to resent them when I start to feel like I'm going to keel over).

A great benefit of spin class is how I am usually only one of two or three guys in there. The downside of this is 1. In the middle of the workout, I couldn't care less who was in the class since I am simply attempting to not die, and 2. When I finish I am such a sweaty beast that I'm not sure that any girl in there would even consider talking to me.

Not actually me, but not too far off from the truth...

In spite of what it may sound like, I have been enjoying spin class and really feel like I get a great workout every time I go. I suggest giving it a try if it is offered at your local gym.

"Gonna fly this boat to the moon somehow..."

Andy Samberg (of Saturday Night Live fame) and his boys from Lonely Island have made some funny music videos over the past couple of years, but "I'm On A Boat" really takes the cake. The only thing that could make it better is if T Pain was in it--oh wait! He is! If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. And then attempt to not get this song stuck in your head.

**Note: This video contains excessive (and satirical) use of the f-bomb. If you are offending by strong language, or at work, you probably shouldn't watch it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

South Carolina as viewed from Charleston

I'm not sure how long this has been around, but I saw it on the internet and after my experience living in Charleston and being around Charleston people, it seems pretty accurate.