Contact points

Why is it that my hobbies punish me for neglecting them? Too much time off the bike means a sore ass as I start to ride more. Playing my mandolin too infrequently means seriously painful, bordering on blistered fingertips upon picking it back up. I really need to get busy building up (and maintaining) some calluses.

I’m not sure why, but this still moves me.

I know this video is old-hat to the majority of my fellow netizens. But the MP3 player just shuffled up the song that the video is set to and I was moved to post this. Hopefully the one person out there who hasn’t yet seen it will, and will enjoy it as much as I do. The song, if you’ve ever wondered is “Praan” by Garry Schyman. One translation I’ve seen goes thusly:

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

If you’d like to purchase an MP3 of this magnificent tune, you can do so here: Praan.

Anyway, for whatever reason this really resonated strongly with me today, so I thought I’d pass it along.

MTV Music Site has [gasp] Music Videos!

If you remember and miss the days when MTV actually played music videos, this is great news (originally spotted at Gizmodo). MTV is making their collection of music videos available online. Right now there are a lot of videos unaccounted for, but they did just go online with this today, so hopefully it’s a work in progress.

Here’s one of my all-time favorites, “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters. It’s got the Foo Fighters playing various roles (I’ll admit to being a bit disturbed by what a hot stewardess, the drummer, Taylor makes) and the boys from Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) appear as bumbling drug smugglers. Plus, it’s a great song. What’s not to like?

MTV Music – I want my MTV

Steve Earle at the Southern Theater (05/06/08) Review

Last night it was Steve Earle at the Southern Theater in Columbus.

I’d never been to the Southern Theater, but it looks lovely on the website. Upon arrival I’m quite pleased that there’s a parking garage directly across the street which is offering $3.00 “Special Event” parking. Can’t beat that. I park, walk across the street, pick up my ticket at Will Call and make my way in. The place is gorgeous! My seat is in the front row, almost uncomfortably close for an intimate acoustic show such as this.

Allison Moorer was amazing. I’d have to say that she’s probably the most technically gifted of any of the singers I’ve ever heard live. She really showcased her voice on her version of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot”, as well as on Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”. I think I may have to pick up her new album, Mockingbird, whereupon she pays tribute to some of her favorite female singer-songwriters. Thanks to this performance, I think Allison Moorer has earned a place on my ‘favorite female singer-songwriter’ list.

When the lights went down for Steve Earle, Steve wasted no time, bounding to the stage and immediately launching into “Steve’s Last Ramble”. What we have here is a quieter, dare I say, gentler Steve Earle. Through the course of the night he spoke of politics only briefly. I loved his line that he knew that if there were a candidate he supported the best thing he could do for them was “stay as far the fuck away as I can from ’em”. You can tell that the angry young man still dwells within (which Steve alluded to, saying he’s “working on a bunch of shit”), but for now he’s been pushed to the background by a Steve Earle who seems very much in love with (his wife) Allison Moorer, his adopted home of New York City, and of course, just playing music.

He played much of his set unaccompanied, then was joined by a DJ (yes a DJ, dropping beats and what-not) for a few songs. There has been some pretty heated discussion regarding Steve’s choice to use a DJ, but I really felt like it worked. I don’t know that I’d want the DJ out there for the whole set, but for the songs he played on (such as “Satellite Radio”, “Oxycontin Blues”, “CCKMP” and “Transcendental Blues”) it worked perfectly, to my ear.

Allison Moorer also came back out, lending her guitar playing and beautiful voice to a few tunes, including the lovely duet “Day’s Aren’t Long Enough” from Washington Square Serenade.

One of the highlights of the night for me was when Steve (unaccompanied) played the powerful “Billy Austin”. The intimate venue, being so close to the stage, it was truly transcendent. Another high point was Steve’s amazing guitar picking on “Tom Ames’ Prayer”, the constant touring has definitely kept his chops honed. I also got a good laugh when, after playing “City of Immigrants” Steve said; “In case you’re wondering, this instrument is called a bouzouki everywhere except airport security. There it’s ‘a banjo or something’.”

All in all, a fantastic show; 3 hours well spent.

I hit the Waffle House on the way home for some coffee, hashbrowns, and a ham & cheese omelet. The perfect ending to a great night.

Here’s another review, by Joel in Columbus.

Steve Earle Update

If you’ve really been paying attention, you might remember me mentioning that I bought tickets for the Steve Earle concert in Columbus during the ‘pre-sale’.

I just got confirmation on my seat assignment.

Pit Section
Row AA
(I’m not telling you which seats; army of web-stalkers).

Southern Theater seating chart

That’s right, just like the great Bob Uecker, “I must be in the front row!” (How many times do you think I’ll use that line that night?)

Except I really am in the front row!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

You know how now they’ve got those musical greeting cards that actually sound “musical”? Well, my mother, always one to embrace our Irish heritage (she hoped I would be born on St. Pat’s day; my middle name would have been Patrick) sent me a St. Patrick’s card that plays music. Imagine my surprize when I realized that it was playing a Dropkick Murphys song.

More specifically, this one:

There’s also a really good live performance here, it’s a Live on Letterman Web Exclusive!