Archive for September 2012
It was a Friday, so my Monday, and Nathan said Max was having a party with bands playing in his basement. I was not excited to go out, but he said Vedora were playing, so I just had to. Max is a really good guy and plays guitar in a couple of bands and often does sound at the Monkey House. Despite having to work early the next morning, I went over to Nathans and we headed for the party. We made a pact to stay for the the first song of the third band, Vedora were on second, grabbed some beer and off we went.
Max lives in town, not far from Winooski, so it took no time to get there. We arrived, chatted a bit, but someone said Black Rabbit were about to go on, so down to the basement we went. It was a pretty small room, with lots of concrete and natural rock formations. That worked well, as you could sit on the rocks, if you are the kind of person who can sit with live music playing.
Black Rabbit were ferocious. Their songs are loud, fast, heavy, catchy and fun. They played with a searing intensity. The room made for a nice full rock sound. Everything about their set was great. The last time I saw them, it took a few songs for me to get into them. Not this night. I was hooked from the first note and rocked their whole set away. I really like these guys and must see them more!
After the set we wandered upstairs for some air, and another beer. There were lost of fascinating people hanging out. Soon enough, Max came around and said Vedora were ready to play. Back we went, and Vedora kicked off their show. While they may have lost of bit of of subtlety in their sound, due to the small cement room, they made up for it by rocking hard. They sounded great and the set was wonderful as always. Dragnet stands out as one of the songs that unleashed the wow factor from the audience, but really, the whole set was lots of fun. They played like crazy, had the small but committed audience loving them at every moment. They always do a great job, and Friday was no exception. They wrapped the night with In the Pines/Chain and everyone had a great time. You can check out the video someone shot of Terrarium.
After their set it was time for another beer and a bit of air. It was a warm night and really nice to just walk around after being in a crampt space. That did not last long since Rawsome came on to play. We headed back down as Max picked up the guitar, Jessie-Lou, grabbed a mic and they were joined by a drummer who’s name I did not catch. Rawsome were raw, loud and fun. The music was pretty punk. The lyrics were a little buried in the mix, but what I caught was fun and sassy. Their last song was a nice back and forth between Max and Jessie-Lou that was brilliant. I’m sure they will bring it to a wider stage soon. I’ve seen Rawsome twice and really enjoyed both shows.
Again, after the set it was time to head upstairs. Nathan and I hung out with some cool people on the patio and chatted about life, the universe and everything. At one point I could hear Spirit Animal start to play. I hung out for a bit, but then had to head down. I only caught a couple of songs, but they were catchy. They had nice hooks and were loud and fast. They rocked hard. I should have caught more of their set, but was glad I at least caught a couple.
Having stayed so late anyway, we just hung out for a bit until Torpedo Rodeo took the stage. They rocked hard, and were just tremendous. I sometimes forget just how good they are, and really need to catch them again sometime soon. They playing is tight and it’s very easy to get into their songs. I’m so glad I stayed.
When they wrapped up, Nathan and I said some goodbyes, and headed out. I was kind of tired the next day at work, but also filled with a warm glow. Thanks guys!
How easy is this? Walk a few blocks and see a great show in the North End of town. I like it. Being a huge Swale fan, bought at ticket for the show. It was set as doors at 8, but when I arrived they were not letting people in, the band was loading in and Mount Eerie had not shown up yet. I walked home, hung out for a bit then went back. People arrived and the show began.
Studio A is not a usual concert spot and the room was long and thin and had an extended section to the left, that went off at an angle. The floors were wood and the walls cement. It seemed a bit of an odd but workable venue. The show started when Jason Anderson dragged a chair into the middle of the room, stood up on in, and invited the audience to surround him. We did. He began playing his acoustic guitar and singing an odd song about addiction. While the tone seemed quirky at the onset, it changed into a very positive and uplifting attitude. He really worked all the lyrics, frequently stopped to say how much he appreciated our choice to spend a Thursday night with him, each other and music. It was very touching all the way through. Towards the end he asked us to sing the chorus of one of his songs. We did. There was a warm reverberation happening in the room and the several dozen people singing sounded like a full blown chorus. It was wonderful. Every moment of his show was riveting and enchanting. If you ever need a positive boost, just check out some of his music. He will get you turned around.
Since Jason just used an acoustic guitar in the middle of the room, it was a pretty quick wait for Swale to hit the stage. They came out and played a pretty gentle set. Most of the songs were mellower ones, though a couple rocked hard towards the end. Unfortunately, something was a bit off. They played a nice version of Soft Fireworks, but it took me half way through the song to recognize it. Something just did not sound right. I think what happened was that the room had so much reverberation that the sound was bouncing around the corner and coming back, and some of the sound got lost. Swale did a great job, as always, but in the end, it just was not the musical experience I was hoping for. Oh well.
After a bit longer of a break, Mount Eerie took the stage. They played as a five-piece, two guitars, bass, drums, keys. They had a nice heavy rocking sound, but again all of the detail got lost in the reverberation. There was no distinction between the guitars, and the whole sound was pretty muddy. I kind of like the intensity of Waves, and some of the others,but the sound was disappointing. I hung out for half a dozen songs, then headed home.
In the end, it was not the experience I hoped for, but I’m still glad I went. The Jason Anderson set made it all worthwhile. As for Swale, I would be seeing them again soon.
From Meet the Press Sept 23. 2012
David Gregory “How much trouble is the Romney campaign in this morning, and what changes it?
Joe Scarborough (host of Morning Joe on MSNBC and former Representative R-FL) “Well, they’re in a lot of trouble this morning. But, thank God for them, the election is almost 45 days off….He’s going to do well in the debates, I think Ryan will do well in the debates. We’ve got a long way to go, so it’s not over. That said, the trajectory of the campaign has to change. This has been a horrific week for him. Even the Romney people behind the scenes will tell you, the Libya press conference was a nightmare for him. Even worse than the 47% video. They’ve gotta right the ship. If they do? Long way to go.”
Stewart “Yes, the Senate voted on a bill that would provide a billion dollars to veterans that wold help them get jobs in law enforcement, fire departments, and on federal lands. The bill was affirmed by 58 Senators, rejected by only 40, thus failing to pass, because apparently in Senate world 58-40 is a losing score….Leading the charge against America’s fighting men, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who opposes on grounds of fiscal responsibility.
Coburn 9-20-12 “If in fact we’re going to start addressing the bigger economic problems of this country, you gotta quit playing felonious accounting with what you’re doing, which is exactly what that bill did….It’s exactly the same, pardon my word, crap that congress has done for years.”
Stewart “That’s right. This bill is felonious crap…..The Senator and some of his colleagues felt that the proposed methods of paying of paying for this bill, imposing penalties on medicare providers who have been delinquent on taxes, was a less than solid fiscal foundation. I’m just spitballing here, how did we pay for the actual wars, that made these individuals veterans who now need jobs?”
Reporter February 23, 2009 speaking about war spending “Engaging in accounting gimmicks over the years, leaving big ticket items, like war spending, out of official budgets.”
Stewart “Oh right, by not paying for them at all. We didn’t even put the wars on lay-away, paying them down a little bit at a time, only taking the wars home when we were done with them. Of course, we could have funded it, but that would have been wrong for America. Obviously Senator Coburn was not in the Senate when the war began, but I’m sure the minute he got there, he brought the fiscal integrity he’s famous for to even the supplemental war funding bills.”
Coburn March 30, 2007 “The Congress has taken a vacation…While we haven’t passed the supplemental for our troops. The American people ought to be outraged that we would leave here before we’ve taken care of our troops. I think it unconscionable.”
Stewart “What kind of felonious crap? So, once again, 800 billion dollars unfunded for war, a billion dollars, but paid for in a way you weren’t crazy about, to help the guys who fought the war get jobs afterwards, we’re not made out of money people.”
Stewart “So, let me get this straight. All this destruction and bloodshed was over a dumb internet video, made by some bleephole, and it was promoted by the Koran burning Florida pastor, Terry Jones. I believe we have a clip of him as well.”
Terry Jones (from the movie Life of Brian) “He’s not the messiah. He’s a very naughty boy.”
Stewart “I’m sorry. I’m being told that’s a very different Terry Jones, mocking a different world religion, in a film that’s been around for 33 years. Well, that must be a lot of burned embassies. Really? None at all? Fair enough. Look, I’m all about cultural sensitivity. It’s the whole point of my 1996 rap album: Black and white and great all over – celebrating our differences through phat beats. But, I gotta say, I don’t understand this one. An online film, that nobody’s seen, made by some bleephole. I mean, it’s the thinnest pretext for violence imaginable. It’s almost as if certain leaders in that part of the world are deliberately exploiting whatever they can get their hands on, to rile up the populous for their own political gain. Ah! Hey, wait a minute. You really are getting the hang of this democracy thing pretty fast.”
FAREED ZAKARIA: Michael Lewis enters into a world and writes vividly about it. Whether it’s the bond trading rooms of Salomon Brothers for his best selling “Liar’s Poker” or the locker rooms of the Oakland A’s for “Moneyball.” This time he entered an even more rarefied world. Flying on Air Force One sitting in the Oval Office, getting a tour of the White House private resident and playing basketball with the president of the United States. The result published in this month’s “Vanity Fair” is a unique and fascinating account of the day-to-day life of a sitting president. Thanks for joining me, Michael. MICHAEL LEWIS, AUTHOR: Good to see you again…………
ZAKARIA: Interesting. Now, I was — I was just shocked by something else. He shows you his private office, that little cubbyhole, and there are a lot of books in it, which, you know, we know he’s a reading president. But there’s a novel on top, Julian Barnes. And we know from a couple of other things that you think — I mean, he must be the most — the most writerly president — a person to have become president in a long, long time. Because it’s not just about reading, I mean, lots of them read, but he’s reading novels.
LEWIS: If he had time, he’d likely be writing them, too. That’s the interesting thing to me. I think that he’s as literary a president as we ever had, and more literary than probably anybody since Lincoln anyway. In that he lives — the written word means a lot to him, and he — and you know, this isn’t in the piece, but I can remember talking to him about this a bit. Because he was an indifferent student in high school up to toward the end, and he had a very late awakening as — in his mind. And I kind of identify with this, because I was a very late bloomer in high school, and I had the same sort of experience with books. He was — I said he was like passing by a church yard sale in Hawaii when he was a junior in high school and he saw all these novels. And they were available for a nickel apiece. It was “Moby Dick”, it was Dostoyevsky, it was Saul Bellow. He thought, a nickel? You know, I’ll get these books. And he took them, and he took them, and he started reading them and just in a kind of innocent way he got very absorbed. And his first, in a way, a writer learns — I mean he just kind of blended with the books.
And when he got out of school, the first thing he started to do is write short stories. And I don’t know if anybody — I don’t know if anybody knows that. I didn’t put this in the piece, but he tried to submit short stories to literary magazines, and they’re very literary short stories, so that’s — it’s an unusual trait in political — in someone who ends up being a political person. That’s right.
Ezra Klein “After three consecutive years of increasing poverty rates, new data released by the Census Bureau finds the poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2011. That`s better than going up. That means 46.2 million Americans are living at or below the federal poverty line.
But, and this is important to remember, that`s before you take into account all the anti-poverty programs, like Food Stamps and the Earned
Income Tax Credit that we have going. When you bring those into the calculation, the number is probably lower by many millions of people. So
While the poverty levels held, the census did find a rise in income inequality. The income of the highest quintile of earners rose 1.6
percent, while the middle income quintiles fell. So the rich are getting richer and the rest of the country is not.
But we do have some genuine good news here tonight. The number of uninsured Americans, which usually goes up in bad economies, is dropping. About 1.4 million more Americans have health insurance than had it one year ago. After three years of rising uninsured rates, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage dropped from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.
And for the first time in a decade, the percentage of people with private insurance did not drop. Some players are not throwing people off. Census officials cited two major factors driving down the uninsured rate. The number of young adults ages 19 to 25 without insurance dropped two percent, the largest of any group. That is largely because health reform, the Affordable Care Act, allowed kids up to age 26 to stay on their parents` insurance, which has kept an estimated three million young adults insured.
And the number of Americans covered by government programs such as Medicaid has expanded. There are a lot of things government doesn`t do well. But one thing it does know how to do, which you can see here, and you can see, frankly, in every other developed nation on Earth, is give people health insurance.