Thursday, August 31, 2006

Work with me, Pollstar

I'm having trouble lately getting my Pollstar updates to load. I'm not sure, but it seems to have started around the time they added a video thing to the listing page, so that might be blocking it or something. I need my pollstar. There's a Wilco listing just sitting there right now. And a Pageant listing.

I love the heady rush when you open the e-mail and see a cross-listing of band and venue and put it all together, though.

This week the new Bob Dylan album came out, and I picked it up at Recycled Records, along with the new Old Crow Medicine Show and the remaining Drive By Truckers that we didn't yet have.

The Dylan, "Modern Times," is self-produced. Ten tracks plus 4-track dvd bonus, and I think I got the last one of those that Recycled had Tuesday. hee. I'm not the hugest Old Crow Medicine Show fan - they're very talented, but it's so hardcore, it's tough to listen to much. J and I are always talking about what a fine line and hard to define difference it can be, between country and alt-country and all. Anyway, we saw OCMS open for Gillian Welch and David Rawlings a few years ago, and they were definitely smokin'. Rawlings sat in with them the whole set, which was amazing too. Their album, "Big Iron World," has 12 tracks, and, as J observed, "Hey, there's another song with 'cocaine' in the title on this album too." hah. Then the Truckers, Gangstabilly, 11 tracks, many of which we have on later live albums. It'll be interesting to hear the original of 18 Wheels of Love. And any album with a song called "Panties In Your Purse" is okay by me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Balloon festival!

Saturday husband J and I went to the hot-air balloon festival in nearby Lincoln, Illinois. It's an annual event there, but you don't see stuff like that around otherwise, and we'd never gone, so this year, why not. It was cheap, it was a nice drive, and it was neat. I don't know anything about either ballooning or science (hot air rises?), so if you do, please have patience. But it was very nifty. There was some delay and question whether they'd inflate, as 'weather' was moving through, and it did rain a bit, but they did end up inflating, although only a few actually took off. But we were allowed to mingle freely among them and watch the whole process, so I put together a kind of timeline of it in photo form - 17 after the cut. J said the coolness stemmed from how it managed to be old-fashioned and simple, yet kind of techy too. Plus everyone likes fire. The fire blasts were loud, and also hot, like when (in olden times) you'd go to a concert and feel the heat from the pyro blasts. anyhoo.

We noticed in the paper that one of the pilots was named Jerry Garcia. We also noticed that one of the crews was lookin’ sharp all in matching tie-dye. Sadly, this was not the Garcia crew! However, we decided that a tie-dye balloon would have been righteous.

The balloons got unloaded out of surprisingly small packages and unfolded along the ground for inflation.

I’d assumed it would be a huge, intricate thing to inflate them and would take a loooong time. No, you just set up a fan and let ‘er rip, apparently.

You got yer basket; you got yer fan.

It turns into a giant cave that seriously tempts one into running inside it.

A bunch of them began to inflate

and then began to erect. I’m just guessing that the fan blows regular air into them for size and shape and the hot air from the torch blasts is what makes them, you know, floaty.

Each balloon has a guide wire or tether thing controlled by crew members as it turns to stand upright.

Everyone likes fire.

We have liftoff!

Sadly, not many of them flew because of weather and dusk. I’d have liked more pictures of them aloft.

However, we were allowed to walk freely among them, which was neat, and also like being in a room full of elephants, in a way.

The funny with this one has got to be unintentional, but woah.

This is the coolest balloon ever. I hope you can see the Pink Floyd thing as well as the peace thing.

As it got dark, they looked awesome illuminated by the torches.

Then it got dark, and they took them down not long after, and we went home.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Drive By Truckers! At Mississippi Nights!

Just scored tickets for a surprise Drive By Truckers show at Mississippi Nights in STL Oct. 24. GA, and even J, who's not very fond of waiting in line, is serious about it this time, to the extent that we'll probably take a half day off work. It's going to be brutal in the pit; they play for hours all sweaty and Southern. We're disappointed it's not at The Pageant, but we'll get by. Only $17, or $21 each including fees. Really, if they'd just charge $20 for the tickets and a $1 fee, one wouldn't feel so screwed. It's not even a ticketmaster venue.

The dbt web site (above) mentions that Patterson Hood's next solo album should be released in 2007 - have I mentioned how very much I love his previous release Killers and Stars? It's one of those acoustic albums recorded in someone's kitchen that somehow comes out sounding splendid, with just a few chair-creaking kind of noises. Also Jason Isbell is releasing a solo album soon, so we'll have to check that out too. /whore

(For you Wilco fans, btw, Mississippi Nights is a club on the Landing by the river where UT and Son Volt and everybody used to play. Actually, everyone has played there at some point, including U2. It's been around forever.)

Anyway, if one more thing happens in October, it has to be a weeknight, that's for sure. We already have every weekend booked plus two weekday concerts, AND we'll have to find some other time to visit my mother this year - end of September or beginning of November instead of our usual. I'd be half tempted to try to hit Cyndi Lauper at the Pageant if I wasn't just getting back from Ohio the day before! yeesh, y'all. also yay.