30 November 2008

Kissing the Ceiling

"I love strange choices. 

I'm always interested in people who depart 
from what is expected of them and go into new territory."
- Cate Blanchett, Australian Actress, (1969 — )

Found a website by an Canadian artist that I previously hadn't heard of - but very much like. He has some great photographs and interesting videos. Strange stuff. The above is my favorite, from a collection he calls "Kissing the Ceiling." Artist is Fred Muram, now living here in Seattle.
Check it out: Fred Muram (link)
KJT - Seattle (2008)

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27 November 2008

Journey to Verdun, part 1

"Ils ne passeront pas..." 

("They shall not pass..." - from the Order of the Day, 23 June 1916)
- Robert Georges Nivelle (1856 - 1924), 
French artillery officer and Commander the French Second Army at Verdun

I rolled over and stared at the window. It seemed awfully light out. I could hear cars and trains and people talking on the street below. I grabbed my watch and looked at the time. 7:55am. My heart missed a beat. I was supposed to catch the 8:18 train. I jumped into my clothes, grabbed my backpack and shot out the door. Luckily our hostel was just across the street from the métro stop Barbès-Rochechouart. I could hear the Metro pull into the station as I ran up the steps. I scrambled onto the platform just as the warning buzzer sounded and I leapt on as the doors closed behind me.

Gare de l'Est was only two stops away, and that was made in good time. I ran through the station, dodging people, jumping to the next platforms, scanning the boards for the train I needed heading east. The decidedly 19th-century mechanical "tick-tick-tick" sound of the destination board updating added to my anxiety. I saw my train just as it started to rock, shudder, and move forward. I grabbed a handle and pulled myself aboard as it began to pull away. If I had needed to stop and buy a ticket I would have missed it, but I had my Eurail pass and so I settled back to catch my breath and enjoy the journey. So much for my plans of getting up early, having a nice breakfast with lots of espresso, and then making my way to the train station at a leisurely pace.

We made our way out of the capital, the tracks playing out under the avenues and beneath the ancient buildings, eventually leaving Paris proper and then the suburbs behind. I bought a coffee, a Toblerone, and a baguette from the man with the food cart. After a brief stop to switch trains at Châlons-sur-Marne (today called Châlons-en-Champagne) I was soon headed toward my destination.

The French countryside, between the Marne river and the German border, was rolling hills. Vast fields of deep blue-green grass and endless stretches of bright yellow field-flowers broken up by intermitent waterways and canals that followed beside us, chasing the tracks and crossing under and back. The hills rose to high bluffs and then dropped into low valleys of geometric farmlands. The sky was overcast and a misty rain fell, wetting the grasslands and the windows. To the north were the vestages of the Ardennes forest, and to the south the forest of Argonnes. Some of the deeper valleys were cloaked in a low fog, wisps snaking between the trees, giving the landscape an ethereal, dreamy quality. In the distance an old, stone farmhouse had a light in one window and smoke curling from the chimney.

I had decided to leave RJ in Paris while I made a day-trip to a place that had held morbid fascination to me for years. Being a history buff I was particularly enamored of the period at the end of the 19th century through the two world wars, and especially the World War I era. The battles of the Marne, Ypres, Passchendaele & Flanders Fields, and the Somme had captivated me from reading about them as a young boy through studying them in college. The most terrifying battle of the war could be summed up by one cryptic, chilling word:
"Verdun." Known as the 'Mincing Machine of Verdun' or the 'Meuse Mill', the battle of Verdun came to symbolize both the atrocious waste of the strategy of 'war of attrition' and the indescribable horrors of what would become known as The Great War.

Straddling the Meuse river not 50 miles from the German border, Verdun was 139 miles east of Paris and had been a key strategic city for over a thousand years. Attilla the Hun had been foiled at the gates of Verdun in the 5th century as his horde swept through Gaul from the Central Asian steppes. It became part of the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne in 843 A.D. In the 1600s it became the possession of the French, and was an important part of their defensive line after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.

After 1914, once the war had bogged down into the stalemate of trench warfare and both sides dug in for the long haul, Verdun would again play a crucial role. In late February 1916 the Germans began a bombardment at Verdun that was to last through almost to the end December. Just in those short months almost half a million French and German lives would be lost in and around Verdun. The city's forts would be lost and recaptured, and by the end of the battle, as the guns finally fell silent for a time, the front lines had moved little. Because of the system of French troop rotation, nearly 75% of all French soldiers fought at Verdun at some point during the war. Heavy artillery, poison gas, and for the first time flamethrowers were put in use during the battle.

My train was taking me toward a city shrouded in history and steeped in human suffering...

To be continued...  Click here to see "Journey to Verdun, Part 2"

KJT - Verdun, France (1998)

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21 November 2008

Fat Roll

"Look at that belly, slippin' over the edge...
Is that my belly, slippin' over the edge?"
- Wordblender, "Fat Roll" (2007)

Some good friends of mine have a unique music/spoken word collective that they call "Wordblender." It's a strange conglomeration of rock, funk, soul, alternative, dark poetry, a little metal, a pinch of a psychedelia, a whiff of latin jazz... it's a strange beast - a madcap whirlwind of trumpet, guitar, keyboards, bongos, shakers, bass, drums, percussion, saxophone, and flute...

I've done quite a bit of the artwork for Wordblender, from creating their logos, to working on most of their album covers, show posters, stickers, etc.

Their sound can be somewhat of an acquired taste - but I love it. I've been jamming it all day at work today, and thought I'd share one of my favorite songs with you.

The above 'video' (and I use that term extremely loosely - as it is more just a mish-mash of images I threw together quickly to go with the song) is for the tune "Fat Roll" off of their 2007 release, Anatomy. That disc and another, is available on iTunes, and all five of their albums are available through CD Baby.com - in fact 'Anatomy' is only $5.00 right now - for 17 songs!

So if you want to support some independent art & music, 
here's your chance. 
If you just want to listen to some groovy Seattle nuttiness, 
click the above video.

Behold, the madness of Wordblender...

And let me know what you think in the comments below.
KJT - Seattle (2008)

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20 November 2008

80% Man

“As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag.”
- Patti Smith, American poet, singer and songwriter (1946 -)

Another website (Genderanalyzer) claims it can tell you whether a particular website is written by a man or a woman.

They picked right for APROPOS OF NOTHING, with what I guess is an 80% chance of being correct. Perhaps the 20% they weren't sure of was me getting in touch with my feminine side?

KJT - Seattle (2008)
(Image from Genderanalyzer)

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A Feeler, Not a Thinker

"Don't ask me what I think of you,
I might not give the answer that you want me to... Oh Well."
- Fleetwood Mac, "Oh Well" (1969)

There's a new website (Typealyzer) that claims it can determine your 'type' of blog by analyzing it. Apparently I use the Feeler part of my brain, rather than the Thinker part of my brain - something I believe my wife would agree upon, the not using the Thinker part...

Here's what else they had to say about APROPOS OF NOTHING:

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don't like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

KJT - Seattle (2008)
(Image and info courtesy of Typealyzer.)

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18 November 2008

Simple Pleasures, part 2

“Lots of times I feel like I don't belong to this place.”
- Jeff Buckley, American singer, songwriter, musician (1966-1997)

Simple pleasures: awake in the still and the dark of a cold November morning. A melancholy morning - but in that good, haunting way. A warm, strong espresso and a bit of dark chocolate at my hand. The dogs curled up next to me on the couch. Outside the window, low fog tendrils creep amidst the naked branches and forlorn street lights. Excited & anxious about impending fatherhood. Jeff Buckley's other-worldly, heartbreakingly beautiful cover of The Smith's "I Know It's Over" washing over me. So glad to be alive at this instant that it hurts.

KJT - Seattle (2008)
(Buckley picture from his website)

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17 November 2008

Lamb Souvlaki

"Show me another pleasure like dinner 

which comes every day and lasts an hour." 
- Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, French diplomat (1754-1838)

This evening's repast: Lamb Souvlaki, Greek salad, fresh made tzatziki, fresh made tyrokavteri, Trader Joe's hummus, Retsina wine.

I'd been marinating the lamb cubes since yesterday afternoon: olive oil, diced red onion, crushed garlic, fresh rosemary & thyme, a bay leaf, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, ground pepper. Skewered them and roasted them on the grill so that they had a bit of char on the outside but were still quite rare inside.

Bought some Greek yogurt and mixed it together with some lemon juice, crushed garlic, English cucumber, a bit of dill, pinch of salt to fold together for the tzatziki.

To make the tyrokavteri I put some roasted red peppers into the food processor along with fresh Feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, one jalapeno, and pureed until smooth & creamy. (I just realized I hadn't taken a picture of... which is fine, because it somewhat resembles pink hummus.)

The Trader Joe's hummus is so good, I decided not to concoct that particular dip tonight. They didn't let us down - a great hummus (for store-bought).

A fresh made Greek salad (a bit of Romaine, chopped green pepper, red pepper, red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, and Kalamata olives, Feta, sea salt & ground pepper) and sesame pita rounded out the meal. 

Topped it off with a few glasses of Retsina - a special, resinated Greek wine that can only be made in certain areas of Greece, to the established recipe which goes back to the traditions of 5000 years ago. They used to store this wine in vessels sealed with pine resin. The wine picked up a bit of the distinctive flavor of the resin and voila, Retsina. A unique and wonderful taste addition to a great dinner. Takes me back to Ios... the only thing missing was dolmathes. Next time.
KJT - Seattle (2008)

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16 November 2008

Shrimp Scampi

"After a good dinner one can forgive anybody,
even one's own relations."
- Oscar Wilde, Irish poet, author, playwright, critic (1854-1900)

A good dinner: Angel hair pasta with caramelized onions & Chanterelle mushroom tomato sauce. Shrimp Scampi, fresh bread, fried eggplant, vino.

Began by caramelizing a whole onion for over an hour. Then dropped in the Chanterelles. Sauteéd for bit longer, then added crushed tomatoes, some tomato paste, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh basil, sugar, ground sea salt, ground black peppercorns, a bit of the wine. Simmered.

Meanwhile I had shrimp marinating in crushed garlic, finely diced red onion, olive oil, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne. Before cooking I added a dollop of real butter, a splash of dry vermouth, and a squeeze of lemon juice along with a bit of the zest.

Sliced the eggplant lengthwise into strips, salted, let sit in colander for an hour, rinsed, dried. Eggwash and breaded and fried in vegetable oil, sprinkled with Asiago. Served with some of the tomato sauce for dipping.

Quick-cooked the shrimp under the broiler.

Topped off with red wine and a loaf of fresh bread I bought at the bakery at the bottom of the hill on Madison (along with olive oil & balsamic vinegar). Stacie had to forgo the wine, for obvious reasons.

KJT - Seattle (2008)

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Boy or Girl?

"I never had long hair before I got busted.
I never had a beard before I got busted."
- Charles Manson, American criminal lunatic (1934- )

During the late 1980's I was sporting quite a plumage of long, rocker hair, and during the winter & spring (ski season) I also grew quite a thick beard. (See above picture)

One day I was at a gas station and I noticed two young kids staring at me intently. Their mother was also getting gas, but she was around on the other side of her car. The little boy must have been about 3 or 4 and the little girl was probably about 7 or 8. They were just staring at me.

I finally said, "Hi, how are you guys doing?"

The little boy turned and whispered something to his sister. She turned to me and said, "He wants to know if you are a boy or a girl?"

A bit flummoxed by this forthright assault on my obvious manliness, I stammered, "Uh... I'm a boy..."

She said, by way of explanation, "He's never seen a boy with long hair before."

"Well, some boys have long hair," I replied, a bit defensively.

"I know," she said. "I've seen lots of boys with long hair."

"Really," I replied. "Where?"

"Oh, places like the dump..."

KJT - Ft. Collins, CO (1989)

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15 November 2008


"An unjust law is itself a species of violence."
- Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader (1869-1948)

Decided to exercise my right of free speech and of assembly today, along with roughly 3,000 other people. We all met up at Volunteer Park in Seattle and then marched downtown. Part of nationwide protests against marriage inequality measures, and specifically the passing of Proposition 8 in California, Proposition 102 in Arizona, the Anti-Gay Marriage Bill in Florida, and the limiting of adoptions and foster care to people who are 'legally married' in Arkansas. 

I still have many gay friends from my time working at the Broadway Grill and Coastal Kitchen, and it pains me that we would pass laws denying them any of the same rights we 'breeders' have. 
It still surprises me in this day and age that some people are so scared/angry/bigoted when someone doesn't pray, love, look, or live the same way they do.

The election of Obama to the presidency was a huge step in the right direction, but the passing of these other measures shows how far we still must go.

Equality. For all.
- KJT, Seattle (2008)
(That third picture of the crowds downtown by Darrell Seeger.)

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13 November 2008

Il Bambino

"Kid, my only kid
You look so small..."
- The Pretenders, "Kid" (1980)

Our kid. Just a blip on the radar screen...
The first of what I'm sure will be many 
(pictures, not kids!) 

See previous post for full details.
- KJT, Seattle (2008)

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10 November 2008

Changed Priorities Ahead

"I don't care what nobody says,
We're gonna have a baby..."
- Kings of Leon, "Knocked Up" (2007)

Sitting here in the dark, a glass of scotch in hand (two cubes), rain lashing the windows. The lights of Seattle are lit in refraction through the drops sliding down the outside of the pane. The trees are being tossed in the wind. High clouds sail past the waxing moon. King's of Leon pumping out some grooves on the stereo. The dogs are resting at my feet. Stacie's asleep upstairs. I have a warm feeling inside, much deeper than the scotch can ever reach. My life as I know it is about to change. For the better? Yes, I believe it will be. Going to be difficult, to be sure - but I have a feeling the rewards will be worth it.


Changed priorities, indeed. We're having a baby. Projected due date: June 13, 2009, six days before our 5th wedding anniversary.
We decided to start trying a couple of months ago after some long conversations. We had hoped we might get pregnant by the spring - so much for that. Didn't even take a month.

Some words associated with this: excitement, terror, anxiety, joy, anticipation, expectation, worry...

So now we take a deep breath, cross our fingers, and jump into the deep end.

A thousand thoughts ricocheting around the inside of my melon: 
How will I ever live up to the example my parents gave me as, well, parents? Wish my dad was still alive. Where can I buy Dr. Suess books? How soon can the kid start eating broccoli? Will I ever figure out how to text on this damn cell phone? Will we have to watch Barney? How soon can we all go camping, or hiking, or swimming? When is too soon to read The Old Man and The Sea to a baby? Or exposure to The Clash? Will the kid like metal, or rap, or alternative, or (gulp) country? Surely not new country. (Johnny Cash or Hank Williams is acceptable). Will the baby be an artist, a writer, a musician, a rodeo clown? What will the dogs think? I know Stacie will be a great mother, I just hope I'll be a good father. Should we look into an Ivy League school or a state university? Is Tom Waits appropriate for young ears? Miles Davis? Monk? Coltrane? Mingus? Will we still be able to travel? Will the kid like Peru? I bet he/she would dig Machu Picchu. How do you say 'baby' in Portuguese? Wait, they speak Spanish in Peru. So that would be 'bebé'. I like bambino better. So Italian it is. The kid will definitely learn foreign languages. 
I think my head is going to explode...

Any and all hints, ideas, and/or wisdom will be appreciated.
KJT - Seattle (2008)
(Sign pic by my sister in Oxford, 1996 / Stacie & I, by me in Salzburg, Austria 2005)

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06 November 2008

Live Music Memories - UPDATED!!

"...excitement blew out of his eyes in stabs of fiendish light. He rolled his neck in spastic ecstasy. He lisped, he writhed, he flopped, he moaned, he howled, he fell back in despair. He could hardly get a word out, he was so excited with life. 

Dean stood before him with head bowed, 
repeating over and over again, 
"Yes... yes.... yes... man he's the end! 
You see, if you go like him all the time you'll finally get it."
"Get what?"
"IT! IT!..."

- Jack Kerouac, "On the Road" (1957)

I've always loved that passage from "On the Road" when Jack and Neal (Sal & Dean) go to see a jazz concert and are swept up in "IT": the passion and ecstasy of live music...

I was cleaning out a drawer recently and stumbled across a stack of old concert tickets. It made me think about some of the great live music I've seen over the years. Tried to decide what my top concerts would be... easier said than done. I posted some of the tickets from these shows above, some tickets have been lost to history.


1.) PSYCHODELIC ZOMBIEZ, 1995(?), The Fox Theater, Boulder. 
I don't have a ticket for this one, but it set the standard. The Zombiez, despite their rather scary name, are a groove/funk/rock band from Colorado with an amazing horn section: trombone, sax, trumpets, alto sax, more sax - the works - think Weapon of Choice meets Fishbone. They must have had 15 people on stage playing. I've never felt that kind of power coming off a stage before or since. It was almost something tangible - like a giant wave of music cresting over the audience and physically crashing down upon us. Beautiful and terrifying all at once. I danced and jived until I was a sweaty mess - I remember thinking at the time, "This is the "IT" Kerouac was talking about." Didn't make it home until late the next afternoon. I don't think the mushrooms played any part in it.

2.) THE CURE, 1996, McNichols Arena, Denver, "Wild Mood Swings" tour. Not one of my favorite albums - but the concert was amazing. Probably because they played almost all of "Disintegration." Set included a mesmerizing 30+ minute version of "Prayers for Rain" with the band lit from behind so they were all in silhouette. I remember being entranced. When the song finished I thought, 
"Well, I guess I don't need to see any live shows anymore..."

3.) BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY, 1998, The Fenix, Seattle. 
The first date I ever had with my future-wife. I had met her just a week before. I had a ticket to the show and she didn't. I remember sliding the doorman a $20 and asking him to "look at the guest list again." He "found" her name and we were in. We danced and laughed and drank all night. A great start to a continuing romance. 
You and Me & the Bottle Make 3 Tonight!
Here's the entire story: Chance Encounter

4.) THE AFGHAN WHIGS, 1999, The Showbox, Seattle. 
Playing for SubPop's 10th anniversary party. One of my favorite bands fronted by one of my favorite singer/musicians, Greg Dulli. An amazing performance in the old Showbox, before the refurbishment - one of the best live venues I've ever been in.

5.) GEORGE CLINTON & THE P-FUNK ALL-STARS, 1996, The Fenix, Seattle. What an introduction to Seattle. My best friend, who's house I had just moved into from Colorado the DAY BEFORE, had a ticket waiting for me when I arrived. We took the bus downtown and witnessed one truly ridiculously amazing whacky silly solid show. Seriously. Off the hook.

Honorable mentions:
THE ROLLING STONES,1994, Mile High Stadium, Denver. Simply because they are my favorite band. I would have loved to have seen them in their heyday with Brian Jones or Mick Taylor, but I'll take what I can get. A 20-minute version of "Miss You" didn't hurt either...

MAKTUB, 2003, Liquid Lounge at EMP, Seattle. Local Seattle neo-soul/funk/rock band. Played their asses off that night. 
Turned it up to eleven.

MACEO PARKER, 1997(?), The Showbox, Seattle. 
Again, before the refurbishment. The guy had to be what 55 years old at the time? I was in my twenties (OK, late twenties) - and he wore me out. He blew the hell out of that horn for almost four straight hours. I was exhausted, delirious, and enraptured by the end of the show.

JAMES BROWN & MACEO PARKER, 2000, Key Arena, Seattle. 
The Godfather of Soul along with maybe the greatest sax player of all time. Enough said. Period.

JANE'S ADDICTION, 1990, Mammoth Events Center, Denver. 
Just after the release of "Ritual de lo Habitual." Primus opened for them. It just doesn't get any better than Jane's.

THE THE, 2000, The Showbox, Seattle. One of my favorite bands from the 80s/90s hitting the concert scene again. Oh yeah. 
"Mind Bomb" is still a favorite album.

THE TWILIGHT SINGERS, 2000, The Showbox, Seattle. Greg Dulli 
(of Afghan Whigs) returns with his new band. Hits another home run.

JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO, 2007, The Triple Door, Seattle. 
My new favorite place to see a show. The ex-lead singer of Concrete Blonde (another of my fave bands) put on an intimate, acoustic/piano show that still haunts me.

IRON MAIDEN, 1983, McNichols Arena, Denver. My VERY FIRST concert. "Piece of Mind" tour. My mom drove me and a friend up from Fort Collins. Scrawny little eighth-grade kids headbanging in the upper deck, getting a contact high from all the pot-smoking going on around us, and loving it. Total Bevis & Butthead moment.

OZZY OSBOURNE, 1984, McNichols Arena, Denver. 
My SECOND concert ever. My mom drove me and a friend up from Fort Collins. Again. Motley Crue opened. "Bark at the Moon" & "Shout at the Devil" two-fer. Can you say "Metal Rules!"

CONCRETE BLONDE, 1990, some shitty little club in downtown Denver. Excellent, dark, moody show. From the "Bloodletting" tour. 
I love her.

ELVIN JONES, 2000, Paris Jazz Festival, Bois de Vincennes, Paris. Amazing jazz drummer who used to play with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker. A legend. Glad I got to see him before he passed. And what better venue than the sprawling city park on the outskirts of Paris on a warm summer evening.

ANI DiFRANCO, 1998, Pier 62, Seattle waterfront. 
Summer Nights At the Pier. Sun setting over Puget Sound. Concert set up out over the water on the pier. High-rises of downtown behind us. Stacie and I still in the courting phase.

MICHAEL FRANTI, 2003, The Showbox, Seattle. 
"Everyone Deserves Music" tour. My calves were sore for weeks after this one - OD'd on jumping and dancing.

OK, that's about it. I'm probably forgetting a few that I truly loved, like Prince at the Paramount, Mazzy Star at the King Cat Theater, and Charlie Hunter at Jazz Alley, but oh well...

UPDATE, NOVEMBER 8: Thanks for all the great concert memories posted to the comments - sparked a few that I had forgotten about (which I knew would happen...) A few are important enough I wanted to list them:

P.J. HARVEY, 2007, The Showbox, Seattle. 
One of my favorite singers - haunting, scary, brilliant. 
Unforgettable show, that I promptly forgot!

REBIRTH BRASS BAND, 2005(?), The Tractor Tavern, Seattle. 
Phenomenal live brass/second line/jazz/funk/party band from New Orleans. Another dance-a-thon. They are coming back to the Tractor this January. I'll be there...

B.B. KING, 2004, Jazz Alley, Seattle. 
The king of the blues brought his Lucille up to the Pacific Northwest and lit it up. Pretty much brought the house to tears.

SOUNDGARDEN, 1991, some small club, Denver. 
"Badmotorfinger" tour. Segued into a bit of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" right in the middle of one of their songs. 
Chris Cornell has one of the best voices in rock.

SMASHING PUMPKINS/RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS/PEARL JAM, 1991, Denver Coliseum, Denver. No one knew who Pearl Jam was yet (except for us, since we worked in a record store), Jeremy hadn't been released as a single yet, and we went to the show with an enigmatic man we knew named Hugo. He claimed he knew the band, new the Chili Peppers, and could get us back stage. Yeah right, we thought. Well, we watch the concert - which was great, all three bands ON FIRE. Then Hugo leads us around behind the stage, security lets us all through, Eddie Vedder spies Hugo and gives him a shout and a big hug. We were speechless. We got to talk to everyone in the band, discussed Freddie Mercury's recent passing, and met Flea and Anthony from the Chili's as well. Surreal evening.

LOLLAPALOOZA (Pearl Jam/Soundgarden/Ministry/Lush/Jesus & Mary Chain/Ice Cube/Red Hot Chili Peppers), 1992, Fiddler's Green, Denver. Went down to my friend's house in Denver before the show for some illegal pre-partying. The entire concert was one big blur - but we had a blast. The fans during Ministry's set terrified me.

STEVE MILLER BAND, 1990, Red Rocks, outside of Denver. 
Great, smooth show, highlighted by a half-hour version of 
"I Want To Make The World Turn Around."

METALLICA/THE CULT, 1989, Red Rocks, outside of Denver. 
Two great bands on one bill in an epic concert setting. I caught a drum stick from Matt Sorum of the Cult and a guitar pick from Kirk Hammett of Metallica during this show (we were fifth row.)

WARRIOR SOUL, 1990, Bangles Bar, Denver. 
Another great show, just had to mention it.

So my question for you is this, what are YOUR TOP FIVE CONCERTS?
Leave your own list in the comments section below:
KJT - Seattle (2008)

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05 November 2008

Historically Happy

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
- President-elect Barack Obama, 4 November 2008

Humbled. Proud. Hopeful. Relieved. And just so damn happy.

Those are just a few of the emotions I'm feeling this morning after the historic win for Obama. I feel like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland - I can't wipe this big grin off my face. Even the coffee tastes better this morning.

I waited until they called Washington, Oregon, and California and pushed him over the 270 mark before I opened the Jameson. I stepped out on our back deck, took a sip, and looked out over the cityscape of Capitol Hill and downtown Seattle. I could hear cheers and yelling, laughing and celebrating echoing from many different neighborhoods. Impromptu fireworks were being shot off. People were pouring joyously into the streets. Inside, my wife was crying. I asked her what was wrong and she shook her head and said simply, "I'm just so happy." 

I'm just so happy. Yes, that's it in a nutshell. After the disappointment and anger of the 2000 election, and then the feeling of being gutted and assaulted by the 2004 vote, I feel proud of my country again. No one knew just how bad Bush would be in 2000. I was disappointed, and angry that it seemed like he stole the election - but no one knew. The 2004 election was the one that really hurt - to elect him again vindicated all the vile, evil, reprehensible, and stupid decisions he had made up to that point. I felt devastated and betrayed - did that many people really not get it? Or did they not care? I was utterly bewildered.

So now here we are, November 5th, 2008. My president-elect is someone I feel extremely proud to have voted for and I look forward with hope to his presidency.

Again, I must re-iterate my feelings 
on my country here: My America (link)

I think this grin will stick around for a while...
KJT - Seattle (5 Nov 2008)

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03 November 2008

Comedy Relief

"Time marches on
For whom the bell tolls."
- Metallica, "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (1984)

I dug out another picture from my damp, dark past.
Another shot of a random day-in-the-life of music store slackers.
That's me, third from left, in all my long-hair plumage glory.
Please note the reflective Gargoyles sunglasses and 
requisite "Metal Up Your Ass" Metallica t-shirt & faded jean jacket.

Walking cliche. 

Ah, but they were fun times.
KJT - Colorado (circa 1988-89)

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