Sunday, January 22, 2012


"The US government dropped a nuclear bomb on "cyberlocker" site Megaupload today, seizing its domain names, grabbing $50 million in assets, and getting New Zealand police to arrest four of the site's key employees, including enigmatic founder Kim Dotcom. In a 72-page indictment unsealed in a Virginia federal court, prosecutors charged that the site earned more than $175 million since its founding in 2005, most of it based on copyright infringement."

"Then again, Megaupload's meteoric piracy blaze and Dotcom's obese materialism had been rolling for years. Why yesterday? We asked the DoJ's IP Task Force, and they haven't responded (yet). But CNET's Molly Wood has a conspiratorial-sounding theory that makes a hell of a lot of sense—and explains why that itch had grown so strong. It all came down to SOPA:

My sources tell me the timing of the Megaupload arrests was no accident. The federal government, they say, was spoiling for a fight after the apparent defeat of SOPA/PIPA and not a little humiliation at the hands of the Web. And what better way to bolster the cause for cyber-crackdown than by pointing to a massive display of cyber-terrorism at the hands of everyone's favorite Internet boogeyman: Anonymous?"

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet was a cosponser of S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act.  Recent events suggest he had a change of heart, as he said in a email to me:

"The PROTECT IP Act received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now awaits consideration by the full Senate. I initially cosponsored S.968 after noting the support of business groups such as Microsoft and the National Association of Manufacturers, worker organizations such as the AFL-CIO, and law enforcement organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police. But upon hearing the legitimate and understandable concerns of Coloradans that this legislation could have unintended consequences — such as chilling Internet commerce, potentially leading to excessive litigation and running the risk of causing unexpected logistical problems online — I determined that the wisest course of action was to push the Senate to pull back, return t o the drawing board, reconvene stakeholders and start afresh."

I replied back to him:

"Thank you for the reply. The recent incident involving Megaupload proves my point and emphasizes the flaw of your proposed legislation. Instead of working with Megaupload to remove the offending, protected copyrighted material, you've taken down the whole site, including all my personal items that I've uploaded to Megaupload. As a consequence of your sledgehammer strike, I've lost everything that I've been sharing with friends and family. And that's how your legislation will work: destroy something for the purpose of serving someone else's interests, regardless of the collateral damage. That's like a person going to the doctor for a splinter in their finger, only to leave in a coffin with the doctor exclaiming "Cured!" You have good intentions but we now see how your Frankenstein creation will be used to terrorize the countryside in the name securing someone's profit. Shame on you."

Late Friday night I stand outside the truck with a stiff wind blowing. First up was Nirvana, performing live at the Estadio José Amalfitani in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 30, 1992. This is what Michael Azerrad who wrote "Come As You Are, The Story of Nirvana" said about this show:

On October 3, four years to the day after Kurt first smashed a guitar at a modest dorm party at Evergreen State college, the band played a nearly sold-out show at the fifty-thousand-seat Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They had hardly practiced, their enthusiasm was low, and they played badly. They had done it for the money and it showed. They vowed never to make the same mistake again.

Part of the agreement was that Nirvana could choose their opening act. They went with Calamity Jane, a virtually unknown all-female band from Portland, Oregon. The overwhelmingly male crowd hated them, From a seat in the highest tier at the far end of the stadium, Kurt watched in disgust as within a minute’s time, virtually the entire crowd was chanting “Puta madre!” at the band and throwing lighters, beer cans, dirt clods, coins and whatever else they could find onto the stage. “It was the largest display of sexism I’ve ever seen at once,” Kurt says.

Chris knew what Kurt was going to do and tried to calm him down. But Kurt was determined to sabotage the show. The first thing they played was an improvised jam, which deteriorated into a fifteen minute feedback fest from Kurt, with brief breaks when he would stop to glare at the crowd. Between songs, Kurt would tease the crowd by beginning to play “Teen Spirit” and then stopping. After a perfunctory set, they played a definitive version of “Endless, Nameless. “ It was so intense, “ Kurt says. “There was so much emotion in it and feedback was coming out of my guitar just perfectly. I was manipulating it better than I ever had. It was really a great experience. It was really fun.” They never did play “Teen Spirit.”

A great recording and the story behind it made it even more enjoyable. It was clear they were having fun on stage messing with the audience. Other things to note about this recording: for the first verse of "Come As You Are," Kurt just said "hey" over and over instead of singing the words; during "Polly," Dave played a toy drum kit; after "Polly," a fairly long, bass-driven jam was played.

This time like water
Summers flow by in the stream
To be washed away

A nation chooses
White haired old men with vision
Looking to the past

Tasked with a mission
His heart overrules the mind
That he can't complete

Download it here:

Late this same night I listened to Echo and the Bunnymen perform an excellent show at the London Royal Albert Hall on July 17, 1983, a second audience version of the show.  At their peak in terms of performance while they were still rising in their career as artists.

I made it back into the house well after midnight.  I always wonder when the neighbors are going to call the county sheriff on me.

Download it here:
SORRY!  The megaupload link is dead!

Saturday night, a very mild winter evening, was spent with Public Image Limited, their show at the Brooklyn Zoo in New York on January 29, 1983.  The audience seemed to be at a fever pitch and even though it was in the winter, John Lydon complained several times about the fact there was no air conditioning.  Towards the end of the show he asked the audience to take a couple steps backward, calling in the bouncers, delaying the end of the show until they complied.  Very good recording with a different set list.

Download it here:
SORRY!  The megaupload link is dead!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A short week, Friday arrives and I go see Jack at his bookstore/gallery/coffee shop, Mutiny Now! to say hello and find out what's happening in the neighborhood.  Although I vowed to reduce unnecessary spending in 2012, I fell in love with his latest piece of art, hung up on the wall only a day earlier.  As I finished paying and I was attempting to figure out how I would carry the painting back to the office on bicycle, he got a phone call telling him the time had come to put their aged dog Pinky to sleep.  Saddened by the news, he locked up the store and departed.
More pictures from last weekend, including a shot of the only real "skiing" I did the whole time at the cabin.

Out there all alone
A place where no one listens
Stands against the world

Late Friday starts off with the second of three nights Fugazi performed at Irving Plaza, on April 4, 1995. "Fugazi have been around since 1988, currently on hiatus, and they rock. They have a very cool attitude to the business of music, sticking to their indie label when majors came-a-courting, as they felt they were selling enough albums without having money to promote them, and also treat their fans with great respect. They've always tried to keep tickets prices at a reasonable cost, $5 in the US, and have a no 'slam-dance' policy, a relic from the punk/hardcore days, 'cos these people just get in the way of an enjoyable gig."

Send them to invade
Armed boys in camouflage
Shoot at the shadows

Download it here:

Canned speeches promise
Claim to be the masters, at
Not telling the truth

The first show up Saturday night was Nirvana on November 26, 1989 at Bloom in Mezzago, Italy. After "School," Chad had problems with the snare drum, prompting Krist and Kurt to improvise a jam and then jam on Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused" with some vocals by Krist. "Ah, guess the snare drum broke." "I'm gonna fix it!" Another great show in a small venue before an Italian audience. "Por favor espanol?"

Their lying exposed
People who have grown tired
The party's over

Download it here:

Think like an arrow
They see light in the darkness
Kamikaze dreams

Here's Fugazi again, the third night at Irving Plaza back on April 5, 1995.  Another superb recording and performance by the band.  I ran across a poster of the bands performance at the Ogden Theater here in Denver.  I must have been asleep in 1995.

On April 8, 1995 the New York Times wrote:

With integrity as important to alternative-rock as heartbreak is to country music, Fugazi should be king. The hard-core rock band, which grew out of the ashes of the influential Washington, D.C., band Minor Threat, sells concert tickets for no more than $5 (a third of what bands of their stature usually charge), refuses to make videos, declines to sell T-shirts and other merchandise at its performances, has not signed with a major record label, sells its self-pressed CD's for less than $9 and performs only at all-ages shows. At its sold-out performances at Irving Plaza on Tuesday and Wednesday, the band showed that even with a punk revival in full swing, it isn't afraid to chastise the fans to their faces ("Sir, do us a favor and don't roll on people's heads," the singer and guitarist Ian MacKaye said to one crowd-surfer on Tuesday) or to break down the boundaries of hard core.

Download it here:

Public Image Limited at the Coachella Music Festival on April 16, 2010.  I was there in the crowd.  After a fabulous show by Echo and the Bunnymen, followed by Vampire Weekend, I was blown away when John Lydon and his band were the last guys to take the stage that evening and upped the ante with their hypnotic performance.

This is an excellent audience recording from another source.  See my earlier post of this concert, along with my recording of the event:

I still get a thrill from this recording when at the very start of the show he calls out "Turn up the volume Walter!"

Download it here:

"Hey Ho Let's Go" Monday night with a cigar after dark.  This bootleg was recorded at the Palladium in New York City on January 7, 1978 and has amazing sound quality. Originally recorded for a King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show and taken from a decent stereo board mix, this set chronicles The Ramones at their peak before an adoring home audience. The group had just returned from a triumphant European tour during which It's Alive had been recorded at the Rainbow Theatre on New Year's Eve just a week before. Tommy Ramone is the drummer on this recording. He left the band soon afterwards, although he continued to work with them as a producer and manager. This is his last album as the Ramones' drummer.
Here's a comment left by someone on another site that was offering the recording for sale:

Blazing through twenty-three cuts in under an hour, Live, January 7, 1978 at The Palladium, NYC documents The Ramones at the peak of their powers. Ask me who the greatest Rock and Roll band that ever took the stage, eight days of the week I’ll tell you it was The Ramones. Their peak as a live act - the late seventies through to the mid-eighties - scale heights most bands are not able to dream of reaching. This album is so penetrating it rips a hole through my skull every time. It’s similar to the It's Alive LP, recorded a week previous - excluding ‘Judy is a Punk’, the set list is identical – but the performance may be a tad more intense. I know, that doesn’t sound possible…

The Ramones are probably the most definitive Rock and Roll band the world will ever have the pleasure of knowing. So enjoy. This is all we have left.

Download it here:

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The first of several hut trips had arrived, this one being to Francie's Cabin just south of the ski town of Breckenridge.  This trip set two records for me.  The first was how easy the ski into the hut was, two miles and only an 800 foot climb.  The second was how little snow there was, especially considering it was early January.  This time last year we did Vance's hut during which the snow was coming down daily, the powder measured in feet.  This time there was enough snow on the trail to get us up but very little in the way of being skiable without threat of hitting rocks.  The majority of people seen up around the hut were either on snowshoes or simply walking in hiking boots.

Our party, including myself, consisted of 8 people, sharing the cabin with a slightly larger group of other visitors.  No matter what the snow conditions are, hanging out with a fun group of people in such a scenic location beats any day down here in Denver.  I had a great time.  Watched the sunset from the flank of Peak 10 the first day.  On the second day a group of us climbed up to the saddle below Peak 10, traveling mostly on foot across the brown grassy meadows and patches of snow.  Very windy up on top, a quick lunch followed by taking a different route back to ski what appeared to be the best snow patch on the mountainside.  A crusty sun baked and wind scoured snow patch yielded a few turns and falls.  About a half inch of fresh snow fell over night, making for a smooth exit back to the parking lot Saturday morning.

The next ski trip happens in less than three weeks.

As always, nights were spent listening to music after most people head upstairs to bed, leaving me on the deck outside with headphones, cigar and flask of tequila.  After a couple hours standing outside, the night's chill finally works its way through the several layers of clothing.  The lightweight sleeping bag near the wood stove is all I need for a decent nights sleep.

Thought he gave it all
Things we're told mean happiness
Everything but love

Last rays of sunlight
Snatched by cold peaks of gray stone
Feel the sudden chill

Jets streak overhead
Its sunlit contrail curling
Hear the low rumble

Bull's angry red eye
Hunters shield up in defense
His happy dog jumps

Dirty politicians
Campaign words for votes to take
Lies they can't escape

Wednesday night was spent with the Sex Pistols, their show at the Brixton Academy in London on November 10, 2007.  This was the same place I saw the Bunnymen a little over a year ago.

"Notorious punk legends the Sex Pistols are reuniting again, this time to play a solitary gig at London's Brixton Academy on November 8 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their incendiary debut album, Never Mind The Bollocks. While there may be whispers of discontent in Buckingham Palace and a smattering of irate Daily Mail readers may be moved to boot in their television screens in protest, the predominant reaction will no doubt be rapture as hordes of once spiky-haired but now bald old men dig out their bondage trousers for one last time."

Read it all here:

Download it here:

Thursday night started off with Television doing a show at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, CA on April 5, 1997. 

Download it here:

Television was followed by Echo and the Bunnymen performing their matinee show at the Stratford Royal Shakespeare Theater on October 23, 1983, and excellent recording.

The Ocean Rain entry in Wikipedia says:

Echo and the Bunnymen were booked to headline a two-week youth festival at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on the evening of 23 October 1983. Due to a high demand for tickets a matinee performance was added. The matinee concert at Stratford-upon-Avon saw the live debut of "The Killing Moon", "Seven Seas" and "Silver". With representatives from the band's record company and lead singer Ian McCulloch's mother in the audience, the performance was nervous and uncertain; although the evening performance, without the record company representatives and McCulloch's mother, was much improved.

Friday night was spent dancing in the snow with Nirvana, their show at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, WA on October 11, 1990, a good audience recording, if you disregard the two boobs, Alex and Byron, talking and making a number of disparaging remarks about the band during much of the recording.

After a succession of many Nirvana drummers, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic finally lured David Grohl to join the band in 1990. This was the first show with Dave Grohl on drums.

The power went out multiple times toward the beginning of the show, causing the band to stop playing in the middle of "Molly's Lips" and "D-7," without finishing either song. It also caused them to stop in the middle of "Blew," but they finished the song when the power came back on.

Download it here:!download|59l3|18401645|North_Shore_Surf_Club__Olympia__WA__US__10-11-91___Dave_Grohl_s_First_Show_.rar|72861|R~0|0|0

Saturday night back at home I listened to my recording of Echo and the Bunnymen up on stage at the O2 Academy in Liverpool on December 18, 2009.  I'm really surprised at how good an audience recording it is, being only one row away from the barricade before the stage.  At times I can hear myself straining against the pushing crowd, knowing what I had to do just to maintain my position in the face of very physical members of the audience.  I certainly relived the moment as I stood in the cold outside, eyes closed, lost in the music.

See all the pictures here: