Wednesday, June 18, 2008

more wilco

On Saturday, May 17, we went back to the Pageant for the closing night of the tour leg.

Between being the end of a leg and the band having like a month off afterward, and it being St. Louis - which, I say again, is a freaking great place to see Wilco - we knew the show was going to be good. Did I say Thursday's show was good? Saturday's show pushed Thursday's show around in front of the girls, took its lunch money, and pretty much gave it a swirly.

This night the place filled up earlier - whether because it was a Saturday or because of the final night thing, I'm not sure. However, we were still able to get rail - precisely the opposite of Thursday, at the other side of the stage in front of the other guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, who is totally talented and looks like he's about fifteen years old and is Beck. He's not as fun to watch as Nels Cline, but nothin' wrong with him.

In fact - these two shows were the first time we got so close for Wilco - and really I've only been able to SEE Pat maybe once before in Cincinnati. Since he's at the end, and goes back to the keyboard a lot, he ducks out of sight depending on where you are.

If I hadn't been profoundly depressed and barely able to speak - long story; I'm over it - I would have had a lot more fun and would also be able to remember a lot more about the show. (We have a bootleg coming, which will help!) However, nothing could have kept me from hooting when Jeff came out in his Grand Ol' Opry Suit.

Set list from

1. Misunderstood
2. Blood Of The Lamb
3. You Are My Face
4. Hummingbird
5. A Shot In The Arm
6. ELT
7. Pot Kettle Black
8. Handshake Drugs
9. Side With The Seeds
10. She's A Jar
11. Box Full Of Letters
12. Airline To Heaven
13. Jesus, Etc.
14. Impossible Germany
15. Pick Up The Change
16. Too Far Apart
17. Theologians
18. I'm The Man Who Loves You
encore 1:
1. Hate It Here
2. Walken
3. Monday
4. Kingpin
encore 2:
1. Bob Dylan's 49th Beard
2. Heavy Metal Drummer
3. Just A Kid
4. Red-Eyed And Blue
5. I Got You (At The End Of The Century)
6. Casino Queen
7. Hoodoo Voodoo
8. Outtasite (Outta Mind)
encore THREE!
1. I'm A Wheel

I don't even know what to say about that set list. THREE ENCORES. THIRTY SONGS. Three songs from the woody guthrie projects. She's a Jar - I love that song with all my being. Kingpin! I'm the man who loves you! I mean, I'm basically speechless. That show kicked my ass and took my name.

some snaps (don't forget to check out Jeff's suit!!) Oh, and they all wore Obama buttons.:

jeff & nels



Beck Pat



Monday, June 16, 2008

playing catchup with wilco (5/15, the pageant)

So Wilco did a three-night stand in St. Louis at our favorite venue on a thursday, friday, and saturday may 15-17. J and I went to the 15th and 17th (I messed up the presale date for the thursday show, but then they added the friday show later yay!). Wilco is a Chicago band - yes - but St. Louis claims them very heartily. Jeff Tweedy's from St. Louis (basically; he's famously from Belleville on the Illinois side, but still) and the band is deeply embraced by STL.

So on the 15th we were thinking about finding seats, but even though we weren't exactly early, the Pageant continues it's weird-ass trend of everyone finding seats early and then filling up the floor slowly and late, and so J and I went down on the floor and, although the middle was pretty full, we had leisure to check out the right side and the left side before settling at the rail on the left, directly before guitarist Nels Cline.

It's not like I didn't respect Nels Cline before, but seeing him play from that vantage point was amazing. He moved abruptly far up my short list of guitarists. I mean, talented, yes, innovative, yes, but also just so freaking into it and crazy. You could tell he wasn't throwing himself and his guitars around to showboat, but just because he was so swept up by it. And no wonder. Cat got skilz yo.

I didn't keep a setlist because, well, once in a while I just want to have fun, dammit. Between taking pictures and keeping a list, sometimes my concert tasks get kind of annoying, or at least a bit distracting. Here's a review from the RFT, where I yoinked the setlist until I found that it was screwed up, so I went to wilcobase, which did not let me down:

1. Sunken Treasure
2. You Are My Face
3. Hummingbird
4. Ashes of American Flags
5. Company In My Back
6. Handshake Drugs
7. Pot Kettle Black
8. A Shot in the Arm
9. On and On and On
10. Misunderstood
11. Far, Far Away
12. Impossible Germany
13. New Madrid
14. Jesus, Etc.
15. California Stars
16. Walken
17. I’m the Man Who Loves You
18. Heavy Metal Drummer
Encore one:
1. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
2. Hate It Here
3. Kingpin
Encore two:
1. Passenger Side
2. Red-Eyed and Blue
3. I Got You (At the End of the Century)
4. Casino Queen
5. Outtasite (Outta Mind)

I mean just look at that freaking list will you?!? My god. We were virtually speechless when we got out of there what seemed like six hours later. It was fantastic, the best (up to that date) of the wilco shows we'd seen and just brilliant all the way around.

Nels' pedal board

Nels himself

Nels w/lap steel

He was like a Dr. Seuss character, sort of, and seemed like he was about nine feet tall. Weird sumbitch.

Jeff w/acoustic

jeff & john singing

jeff acoustic


jeff & john

Awesome awesome show. Jeff makes the most hilarious audience banter. You feel like he's perpetually amused but always ready to tell you to fuck off if you need it. Or, in one case, "Sir. Please. put your shirt back on." He always gives his family a couple of shoutouts and usually plays Casino Queen for his dad. He said his dad had requested New Madrid this time because of the earthquakes this spring. "It woke us up in Chicago too."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Pere Marquette State Park

Still catching up!

Here's a bit of a recap of our early March eagle-watching trip to Pere Marquette State Park.

After the Feb. 29 DBT show, we’d spent the night near STL and got up the next day and headed over to the Grafton area. Grafton itself is a part-quaint, part-dilapidated little town right on the river and very near our further destination, Pere Marquette State Park.

On the way, we drove through Alton, Illinois, home of Robert Wadlow, whom my dad once met.

We also saw the Piasa Bird .

In Grafton we went down to the water. The first day, there was visible ice in the river, and we did spot a mob of (american white) pelicans hanging around out by little islands as well as soaring around, as well as a few eagles on the far bank (thanks, binoculars!).

We walked around a little, watched the ferry come and go, and had an awesome late lunch at a little bar/restaurant overlooking the new marina. Sweet!

The state park is where we had an aborted visit last winter just before J’s mom got sick and we had to hurry away. This time we were able to hike some of the trails and get some awesome eagle spotting. I also ID’d a group of male canvasback ducks in the river by the lodge.

The trails were far more, not rugged exactly, but primitive than the ones at Starved Rock State Park, and some of them were pretty muddy. There were times I really thought, geez, they should have some kind of rail here so people don’t PLUMMET to their DEATHS, but we hung on to trees for dear life and made it through all right. The weather was all over the place because it was bright and sunny the whole time, but then we’d be right on the water or atop a totally unprotected hilltop overlook with cold wind howling in our faces. But that, too, was enjoyable, because really the weather was just right – cold enough that the eagles were still there, warm enough for us to get out and hike and look. The second day there was noticeably less ice in the river, so we just made it!

These pictures aren't really in order, so here's just a bunch of 'em:

river view, with pelicans

J on trail

View, with J

our room at the lodge was huge. Much more awesome than the tiny room we had at Starved Rock, although we were in the 'old' wing there, in fairness. Starved Rock is a more awesome park overall and the lodge restaurant is better, but I like the Pere Marquette lodge better generally.

The lodge has an awesome stone terrace overlooking the water down below.

hey, eagles! I named 'em Sam and Abe. :-)

bird nerd!

The lodge from down by the water

The statue of Pere Marquette at the park – J and I always think it looks like he’s chasing geese or shooing kids off his lawn. *snort* Hey! You geese!

grafton - love those cliffs

nerdsville at grafton

We also went to the army corps of engineers museum at the lock and dam near Alton. The views around the lock itself weren’t all that, because we couldn’t really get up and above, but it was interesting, and it was a nice little museum.

With a small Jay Farrar display.

Eagles overhead! Best picture of the trip.

Except maybe this one at the museum. Haha! We had to take individual pics, because there are just two of us, and J merged them later.

Thanks, Bo

I walk 47 miles of barbed wire,
I use a cobra snake for a necktie,
I got a brand new house on the roadside
Made from rattlesnake hide,
I got a brand new chimney made on top,
Made out of a human skull,
Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene,
And tell me, who do you love?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

I got a tombstone hand and a graveyard mind,
I'm just 22 and I don't mind dying.

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

I rode a lion to town, use a rattlesnake whip,
Take it easy arlene, don't give me no lip,

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Night was dark, but the sky was blue,
Down the alley the ice-wagon flew,
Heard a bump, and somebody screamed,
You should have heard just what I seen.

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?