July 29, 2006
A Lotta Shows To See And A Short Time In Which To See Them

Four shows in eight days has taken a toll on my body and my mind.

Kathy Griffin at the Wiltern with Mark, Charley and Lori: Some great funny moments, but there's just a little more shtick than I can handle. I think everyone else liked her more than I did.

The Raconteurs at the Wiltern with Mark, Charley, Lori, Ruby and Indy: Did someone say supergroup? I think these guys write great little songs. Made me realize I still love Jack White. And I need to see more of his irrepressible Jackness than can be afforded in a band consisting of more than two people. Ran into the neighbor who burned me a Raconteurs CD before I'd head of them, which was nice. Dancing made my legs and butt sore for the next couple days, but I recovered just in time for...

photo by lori

Slayer at the Long Beach Arena with Lori and Neck: My (other) neck is sore. Sad that we missed Mastodon, one of the opening bands. I kind of hate the Long Beach Arena; despite a sold out show in a venue capable of holding more than 13,000 people, the place felt like a dimly lit, seedy indoor flea market. Just like the Foo Fighters show, actually. And maybe it's just my immature palate, but I think I like just about any of the other headlining metal acts I've seen in the past few years more than I like Slayer. In any case, the crowd was great, as expected. Ten metal dudes for every metal chick, and the hair made me feel like I was in junior high again.

flaming lips at the hollywood bowl
photo by lori

Flaming Lips at the Hollywood Bowl with Mark, Charley and Lori: This is really what it was all leading up to. I had high hopes after loving them at Street Scene. Os Mutantes and Thievery Corporation opened, and both were really good. The Flaming Lips show was all Wayne Coyne getting into human-sized hamster balls, thousands of glow sticks flying through the air, epic experiences and affirmation of life. And in an excellent coincidence we saw Ruby, who we didn't know was going to the show, sitting four seats away from us—in a venue that seats 18,000. (In another coincidence, I am typing this now in a cafe and as I was writing “glow sticks flying through the air” I just heard the guy next to me, who's talking on his phone, say “yeah, it was cool, there were thousands of glow sticks and really cool videos.” Then he asked me how to get on the wireless internet here.) But sitting on a bench 200 yards from the stage doesn't really compare to the Street Scene situation of inhaling the sweat of the six people pressed against you, and the show didn't seem to have quite the same energy. Also the Flaming Lips have some kind of bummer (well, simultaneously depressing and life-affirming) songs, and they closed with those instead of, say, Bohemian Rhapsody. Also I missed Cody.

Posted by jjwiseman at July 29, 2006 02:32 PM

what you don't get it that if it weren't for Slayer, none of those other bands you've seen would be around. Guaranteed.

thats ok though, I can understand why you might not have enjoyed it. Admittedly, it wasn't the most powerful performance I've seen them put on.

Posted by: mark on July 31, 2006 11:40 PM

If it wasn't for Slayer the Flaming Lips wouldn't exist? Are you retarded? Flaming Lips would've existed even if the Beatles never existed. Slayer is a decent band and all (if you like growling), but for fucksake, speed/death/satan metal is an extreme offshoot of rock-n-roll. Sonic Youth trumps Slayer when it comes to Flaming Lips. Sonic Youth, formally started in 1981. Slayer... 1982.

suck it.

Posted by: slayerIsShiite on August 1, 2006 07:48 AM

Maybe you meant that the other metal bands he enjoyed owed Slayer. In that case, you meant Judas Priest.

Posted by: wait.... on August 1, 2006 07:49 AM

It's true, I don't really know enough to put Slayer in context. I'm "like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie..."

Posted by: John Wiseman on August 1, 2006 01:01 PM

Did you notice that Flaming Lips' sound was off? I could hear the people behind me singing along over Wayne's voice. It wasn't the equipment, since Thievery Inc. had good sound.

I also thought it was lame that the rest of his band was stuck behind a big screen, out of sight (at least from the cheap seats). Other than that, good show. The videos were the best part for me.

Posted by: Jason Dunsmore on August 2, 2006 03:37 PM
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