Monday, August 28, 2006

Dylan @ McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket

This past Thursday I saw Bob Dylan at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. I have seen him a number of times over the years, and it is common knowledge that you never really know what kind of show you are going to get with Dylan. The last time I saw him in Boston, just two years ago, he sat behind the piano with his back to the audience and only played songs from his last two albums. So be it, I guess when you are Bob Dylan you can do whatever the fuck you want.

The past couple of years Dylan has been playing minor league ballparks. I missed him last year when he played in Brockton with Willie Nelson, but this year my brother-in-law came through with some tickets. McCoy stadium is home to the Paw Sox, the farm team for the Red Sox, and home to the longest game in baseball's history, something like 33 innings! It is also a cool place to see a legend, and Dylan must have been feeling good, because he pulled it out and showed those of us standing on first base that he still has the stuff. Check out the setlist below:

Pawtucket, Rhode Island
McCoy Stadium

August 24, 2006

Cat's In The Well
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Just Like A Woman
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Masters Of War
Highway 61 Revisited
Shelter From The Storm
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
Tangled Up In Blue
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Summer Days

Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower

Barn Burning and my Single Speed Obsession

This past week I finally made the time to see some live music, it has been way too long. A few nights ago I drove into Providence to catch Barn Burning at Julian's. It was my first time to see them live, and I was impressed. Definite early-REM and Pavement influences. It was an acoustic show, which allowed the foursome to play around a little. Providence is a rather small city, and musically often gets overshadowed by Boston. I prefer to see music in Providence, there is less of a scene, it is cheaper, and not so polished. Julian's seems to be the place for Providence's art school crowd, lots of tattoos and vintage t-shirts. Bike messenger chic as my buddy Tom referred to the crowd. Anyhow, it was great to see some new music, and if you are near Providence on September 16, check out Barn Burning at Jake's Bar & Grille (w/ Willard Grant Conspiracy).

Before the show started I stopped by the Trinity Brewhouse, one of my favorite hangs in Providence. Walking in I notice this amazing single speed bike from Circle A Cycles locked to a meter. Now I have had bicycles on the brain since getting back into riding this summer, but now I really have the single speed fever bad. The team at Circle A turn out some of the coolest custom bikes I have ever seen, serious bikes with no attitude. Not everyone gets the single speed thing, especially the dude at my local bike shop who wants to sell me a new bike. For me I like the idea of a superlight bike that is so simple to maintain, nothing really to break or adjust. Who needs 27 gears when you live in one of the flatest places in New England? I would love a new bike though, my 14 year old mountain bike is getting tired. With two little ones I have more hobbies than I have time for and I have decided that it would be better to focus on one thing for now. Freetime is rare these days, and when I do get a couple of hours to myself I prefer the simplicity of hopping on my bike and going, plus cycling is something I see myself doing forever. So for now you will find my kayak, surfboard, XC skis, and skateboard on craigslist. The money I get will be used to convert my mountain bike into a single speed, or if I sell everything, maybe a sweet cyclo-cross bike from the good folks at Circle A. Donations are now being accepted.

Listening to: The Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin

Monday, August 14, 2006

Upcoming Shows

Summer is the busy season here, and although I am not working as much we seem to be always on the go. These days I definitely do not get the chance to see as much music as I would like. It's just as well, I'm not really into the big summer stadium shows that pass through Boston, but fall usually finds some of the smaller bands that I dig out on the road. Here are a few shows that I am going to try and catch in the upcoming months:

Campo Bravo - August 17 @ PA's Lounge (Somerville , MA)
Barn Burning (Acoustic Show) - August 22 @ Julian's (Providence, RI)
Jason Molina & MEC - September 15 @ The Middle East Club (Cambridge, MA)
Built To Spill - October 2 @ The Roxy (Boston)

I am also going to go see Bob Dylan on August 24, the last time I saw him in Boston I left a little disappointed. I am going with my two brother in-laws, who are huge Dylan fans. We'll see how it goes, he's playing in a minor league ballpark in Providence, so that should be cool.

Listening to: Sonic Youth- KCRW 10.06.04

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Live Free or Die

We recently returned from a glorious week in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This was our second year to spend time at the same condo in Thornton, and we hope to make it a yearly vacation. It is a simple place; two rooms, uncrowded pool, river nearby, surrounded by trees, and not much else. It was a week of hanging with the kids, eating good food, drinking good wine, catching up on some reading, and being outside as much as possible. There is so much to do within an hour of the condo that we always find ourselves wanting to stay longer. We live near the ocean, so it was so great to be in the mountains again. People in New Hampshire are different than most folks here in Massachusetts, I dig their "live free or die" ethos in the Granite State. Your next door neighbor in New Hampshire is just as likely to be a NASCAR fan who hunts bears, or a vegetarian whitewater kayaker/ski bum. Both love New Hampshire for the same reasons and they seem to coincide peacefully.

I have a half-baked theory that when it comes to recreation and our creative outputs, most people can be categorized as either "mountain people" or "ocean people"- I thought about this idea a lot while on vacation last week. I am definitely a mountain person. I love being surrounded by the hills and even the smell of the trees energizes me. I can sit and watch the clouds roll over a mountain ridge at dusk, changing the shadows on a hillside, the same way some people sit on a beach and watch the waves all day, but it is more than that. My idea of a perfect vacation involves some activity, I have a hard time laying around for too long. This may be simplistic on my part, but mountain folks seem more intent on doing (biking, hiking, skiing, kayaking, making pottery, building a house, shooting a bear, etc.), while ocean people tend to more introspective and creative when it comes to their downtime (laying on the beach, reading, painting, writing, creating music, etc.).

Most of the people I have met from California are mountain people for sure, while I have met many people from Minnesota with saltwater in their veins. I'm not sure it has anything to do with geography. There are plenty of us mountain people living near the ocean, and the other way around. It goes beyond where you choose to call home, or what you like to do on your vacation, it has more to do with the core of who you are- rock or water. Of course, most of us are a little of both, but I think we lean one way or the other.

So what are you? Would you rather swim in a mountain lake or the ocean?

Listening to: Neil Young- On the Beach


Tonight while giving my daughter (age- 3.5 years old) and son (1) a bath, the boy decides it would be a good time to drop a log in the pool, if you know what I mean. The funniest part was seeing my daughter's face when she saw it floating towards her. It was bound to happen I suppose.

Listening to: Paco De Lucia & Al Di Meola- Friday Night in San Francisco