Friday, May 23, 2008

Radiohead Setlist

Some have asked for the set list from last Sunday's Radiohead concert in Dallas. They played two hours and played all 10 songs from their newest album "In Rainbows." They also did a nice sampling from all their albums sans Pablo Honey. The only song I hadn't heard before was Bangers and Mash which is on the second disc you had to pre-order from the "In Rainbows" release. It is still not available at record stores from what I understand.

All I Need

There There

15 Step

Bangers and Mash


Pyramid Song

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

The National Anthem

Dollars and Cents

Faust Arp


A Wolf At The Door



Everything In Its Right Place



1st Encore

Fake Plastic Trees


Falling Into Place

House of Cards

Exit Music (For A Film)

The Bends

2nd Encore

You and Whose Army?

Paranoid Android

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Search for Eternal Youth

Here's why I'm not too stoked about the new Indiana Jones movie. I hope I'm proven (or proved....never quite sure which is correct) terribly wrong cause I love the Indiana Jones series.

1.) Harrison Ford is old. That could still work, however not only has he looked old in his last few movies he's also looked befuddled and lost.

2.) Shia Labouf. The guy's a terrible actor. He plays the same character (see the awful Transformers for his template) in every flick. He believes cocky and arrogant channels Brando or something. How cliche is it that he's playing a biker dude? This is supposed to be Indy and Marion's possible love child?

3.) Aliens? I hope the reports aren't true.

4.) We often forget that the only true classic Indy movie was "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The Temple of Doom had some iconic moments...but overall the movie's pretty dumb. Kate of the worst movie heroines ever. The Last Crusade was a little better...but still sappy compared to Raiders. It's hard for lightening to strike twice.

5.) George Lucas's writing has gotten progressively worse as the years have worn on. His dialogue for the Star Wars prequels was awful.

Again, I truly hope I'm proven (or proved!) wrong and that we'll have another classic this summer. I'm hoping if I keep my expectations low I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Radiohead in Dallas

So last night I got to cross off another "group to see in concert before I die list". Radiohead ended their ten-year embargo of Dallas by coming to the old CocaCola/ Starplex/ Smirnoff/ Centre Sunday night. 1998 was the last time Yorke, the Greenwoods and the rest of the dystopian gang played Big D. Think about that. '98...that was before Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief and of course In Rainbows. A lot's happened since then.

So even though I stayed up until 3 a.m. a couple of months ago to order tix online I still missed the reserved seats. But the lawn was still great and we had a clear view of the stage with the Tibetan flags and lighting strands hanging from the ceiling. The weather was perfect...75 degrees at downbeat. There was a rather chatty Burning Man Chick wannabe next to us giving her Lesbian girlfriend unsolicited emotional therapy but she settled down by the third song after her second beer and several tokes on her funny looking cigarette. That's the usual but expected downside to these events. Still can smell the cheap pot in my nostrils despite using cologne and whatnot to eradicate it. But the 20,000 folks were into the music and afterwards everyone got out of the parking lot amazingly quickly. (yes, I just used two adverbs in a row just like Ian Fleming)

The crowd was in to it. Radiohead must be an alien band from another planet to show us Earthlings what original alternative music can sound like if truly inspired. Doesn't really fit the normal summer arena show...but even the dystopic myopic strands of minor chords got electric and optimistic at times and the night was rockin'. The astounding light show focused the music instead of taking away and there were no cheesy spotlights and dry ice. They threw a piano out there for a third of the songs and Thom Yorke played that, an organ, drums and several guitars. The rest of the band cooked like crazy maniacs from some type of musicl cult of excellence and even when the tempo was slow it seemed the world would end when the song reached its denoument.

What a concert! I'm still a Weezer man, but Radiohead is by far the most talented, most original, and compelling band since the Beatles. There is nobody...nobody that comes close and you just think I'm on a contact high due to seeing them live just last night. But I believed that before and now am amazed they were even better live.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Inside the Family

When the Dixie Chicks got themselves into trouble in London a few years ago for criticizing President Bush the overriding issue for many seemed to be that it was wrong for them to make such criticisms of our President on foreign soil.

Now, President Bush has done pretty much the same thing. Attacking the opposing party during a campaign season in the United States is an expected and perhaps beneficial part of the democratic political process. But to criticize a potential future leader of the United States in the parliament of a foreign nation is inexecusable. I wouldn't care if it was a Democrat criticizing a Republican, or as in this case vice versa, you keep such internecine conflicts at home.

Hasn't Dubya ever seen The Godfather? Never discuss family business with outsiders. Tear each other up in campaign season in the United States...but not in the Knesset. President Bush isn't a lame country singer...he should know better. He's the freaking President of the United States, leader of the free world.

Unfortunately, when he's replaced this January he's moving only 20 miles away from my house. Guess I should be used to idiots on the Dallas freeways by now.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

So today I wore my Mexican national soccer jersey to school to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. My numerous Hispanic students always get a kick out of it and they are allowed to call me Mr. Brown or Senior Blanco for today only. But I had an interesting experience as I was walking across the breezeway from the parking lot to the school. As I walked past a group of white kids (made up of mostly poor white trash rednecks) I heard someone spit and say "Mexican" in a very hostile tone almost under their breath.

Of course I kept walking because there was no way to truly be sure who was responsible out of a big group of kids and to even be 100% certain the spitting sound was related to the verbal slight...or even if it was directed toward me since I'm not Hispanic although I was wearing the Mexican jersey. But it was tragically enlightening to experience for a brief moment what many of my Hispanic and African-American students go through on a regular basis. As a white male I have never had to deal with that kind of prejudice. Just goes to show you that despite the enormous gains in equality and ethnic respect, the spectre of racism is still alive and not necessarily just hiding in the shadows. The event saddens and angers me because I realize that so many have to go through worse abuse than this on a daily basis.

I've blogged before that I will not allow the ugly reality of racism to go unexposed when I come into direct contact with it. In this case I could not defintively prove that anything actually took place. That's one of the stumbling blocks for the persecuted. You ask yourself was the incident real or imagined. And even if real, what recourse do you have since you can't prove anything.

Often these kids are outnumbered. And all you're left with is a vague, yet certain uncomfortability. That's the case because most racists are too chicken-s$@t to step out of the shadows and confront head-on. Yeah, I apologize for my language but racial harassment pisses me off. To think of good people having to endure that crap everyday. That's the ugliness of racism.

But in those cases where I do encounter racism...usually in the supposedly safe confines of white conversation...I do not allow such warped thinking to continue unchallenged. My goal is to shine the light on those cockroaches and make them scurry to the shadows carrying their unhinged mentalities with them. I will make life as uncomfortable for them as they do for others. It's been said many a time that allowing evil to go unchallenged is just as evil as the evil itself. The least we can do is to make them squirm and not be comfortable with their mentality of hatred.

photo: Me the last time I was in Mexico back in 1998.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day

A little poem in honor of May Day...

May Day and I'm not wearing red.

Ding-dong communism mostly is dead.

But was it ever really alive?

From what version did it derive?

Stalinism, Maoism, Leninism and Che

Never really followed Marx and Engels anyway.

The same poor souls suffer who always suffer.

Yes, the lower working classes always have it rougher.

But Orwell's Proles are too stupid to unite.

They'd rather overspend on cigarettes and whine than fight.

note that the picture is on the LEFT.