Sunday, April 26, 2009


Surprisingly, no Van Halen this weekend. More proof that the year of Van Halen may be over.

Watched my son complete his testing and acquire his 1st degree black belt. At home I spent much of the day performing the mind numbing task of carving the last block of a print I'm working on. I was not planning on doing the music thing, but by 11PM boredom set in and I caved. I grabbed a glass of tequila and watched the DVD that comes along with The Very Best Of Echo & The Bunnymen, More Songs To Learn and Sing. I would have loved to smoke a cigar but doing so inside the house would result in my execution. Fortunately everyone was still awake and they did not mind my cranking the volume.

This CD and DVD expanded, remastered reworking of the classic 1985 hits retrospective features 20 career-spanning tracks that chart the band's evolution from 1980's Crocodile to 2005's Siberia. The DVD gathers eight videos from 1983-1999, many directed by acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbjin.

Call of the addict
It bites deep into his soul
Looks for his next fix

Cigarette in hand
Poet with a microphone
Verse sung to music

High up on our throne
Silhouettes against the light
Follow where they lead

Word from up above
Sunglassed Muse up on the stage
Voice of an angel

Their songs of sorrow
Words from a land of darkness
Lit in black and blue

The four stand as one
A talent beyond belief
Swayed by their magic

Mumbling his words
Only adds to the mystique
He's screwing with us

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This week I was informed of some upcoming concerts scheduled for this summer at Red Rocks Amphitheater in the Denver foothills. The Killers, September 9th, tickets going on sale this Friday the 24th. Dropped in at a Ticketmaster outlet during lunch and picked up several, enough to take the whole family. It will be an experience that cannot be missed.

In celebration of another planned live concert, I decided to pull out a bootleg recording of The Killers live show at Enmore Theater in Sydney, Australia on December 18th, 2004. An excellent recording of the band when they were on tour following the release of their first album Hot Fuss in June 2004. Short set but well done. It got me rocking.

Failing hearts lament
Youth a distant memory
Measures every breath

Seemed so far away
Pushed into the minds corner
Stands there besides us

Dark stranger arrives
Extends a hand before us
No where else to run

Download it here:
The second half of the show in the darkness in front of the house was Echo & The Bunnymen, live at the Mercury Lounge in New York on May 18, 1997. Another excellent recording. Ian's accent while talking in between songs is so thick that I doubt anyone in the New York audience understood a word he said. Although his voice is not as silky as it was back in the day, he sung beautifully, well enough to put me in the "zone".

Evergreen is the seventh studio album by the band, their first album since reforming after they disbanded in 1988/1993. The recording of Evergreen started at the beginning of 1997. The live debut of "Nothing Lasts Forever" was at the Cream nightclub in Liverpool in early May 1997 at Echo & the Bunnymen's first concert since reforming. This was followed by two sold-out concerts at the Mercury Lounge in New York and a number of festival appearances in the US, UK and Europe before Evergreen was released on 14 July 1997 by London Records.

So ethereal
Sound that's intoxicating
Cupped hands hold his heart

The anchor is lost
Rare flashes of clarity
At music's mercy

Download it here:

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The storm resumed over night and dawn brought heavy snowfall, both on the ground and falling out of the sky. Big fat flakes. The snow continued all day long, ceasing sometime after dark.

The wet spring snow lay thick on the branches of the pine trees, causing them to droop and lean menacingly towards the house. I noticed a couple limbs had already come down. In an effort to knock some of the snow off the trees leaning towards the house, I took out the 12 gauge shotgun and fired at the tree tops. The buck shot peppered the snow pillows, dislodging little snow. I had fun trying anyway. Fortunately later in the day a wind knocked much of the weight off the trees, followed by warmth that accelerated the melting. The big trees made it through the storm without damage.

The power went out late in the morning. Towards the end of the afternoon I lit a fire to add some warmth to a gradually cooling house. I periodically drove the truck around the driveway, packing down the snow to ensure access to the street could be maintained. The power came back on after dark, bringing the adventure to an end. The late return of power coupled with my unwillingness to depart with a fire burning cinched the decision to not leave that night and go skiing the following day. Ski season is definitely over.

Thick snowflakes falling
A deep blanket of white
Trees bow to the sky

News from the war front
Grim reports for families
Lives dripping away

I initially was not planning a concert party this Saturday evening, wanting to give the liver a break. However, late in the night I checked my stack of CDs and noticed that I had a 2008 Van Halen show from almost exactly a year ago. After a nearly 2 month break for unspecified reasons, the band was back on tour, resuming their grinding schedule on April 17, 2008 in Reno, NV. Tonight's show was a few nights later, held on April 22, 2008 at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH. Very good audience recording that captures the whole show, the one they've been repeating throughout the tour. Everyone performs well, although the sense I have is that the band is going through the motions, Eddie's performance somewhat lackluster. But I enjoyed it anyway and stood outside for the whole two hours, the mild evening making that possible. Breaks in the clouds revealed the stars. In bed by 1:30 AM, ears ringing.

The booze is flowing
Their friends have all assembled
Party with the band

They're in the drivers seat
Music keeps us in high gear
Burning minds rubber

Eddie's on the stage
Can move at only one speed
Fast and furious

Toes the minds thin line
Peers over the darkest edge
Stands between two worlds

Download it here:

This show and many others can be found at one of the best Van Halen Bootleg sites at the following link. Register and join the party!


My one day ticket to the All Points West Art and Music Festival came in the mail this week. I will eventually have to make my travel arrangements, watching for sales/specials that may arise between now and then.

A very wet spring storm moved into Colorado this Friday, rain turning to snow that fell all day, making for a slushy commute back home. Nearly a foot on the ground at the house. I would have loaded up the truck with my ski gear and drove west but the main highway through the mountains was shut down due to the hazardous driving conditions and accidents. It was coming down faster than they could clear it. I decided to stay put and simply enjoy the evening.

We stopped making things
Yet wealth can still be acquired
In next mans pocket

Sit there at the top
Leaders of society
Play their Ponzi scheme

It was late by the time I got around to thinking about the concert. The snow had temporarily stopped falling making for a pleasant time outdoors in the snow, stomping out a patch of ground to stand in without fear of getting wet. Tonight's show was a concert by Echo & The Bunnymen, live at the Bordeaux Grand Parc on Novenber 29th 1987. An excellent recording of a well done performance at a time when they were riding high on fame's wave. The crowd was really into it and had fun based on the comments/sounds coming from the audience. Some of their best songs played at a time when Ian's voice just wonderful. Will's guitar playing is superb as well, but what I think I'm hearing is that his style may be improving with the passage of time. Whereas Ian's voice only declines as he gets older, Will seems to mature and rely more on style and tone to make up for some of that youthful energy he's lost, the same exact thing I saw with Eddie Van Halen when he seemed to peak long after they peaked in fame.

A great show!

Explores his emotions
The mind's inner recesses
Music is the key

Will's guitar sings
Strikes an emotional chord
Serenades the heart

From a distant sea
Carried on a planets wind
Flakes fall on his face

Like a sirens voice
Playing with our emotions
Carries us away

A ticket in hand
Wide eyes look to the future
Comes all too quickly