Today is Monday

Life: Happy Work: Indifferent
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
I had a great time. By this time, apparently the YouTube/U2 show last night was watched by lots of people so people got to see the show. The stage set was INCREDIBLE. Big tours tend to try to one-up the previous large tour with bigger and better. This will be very difficult to beat. Apparently the stage (stages, as there are three of them) cost $60 million. Look at the photos of the daytime shots here.
The night-time shots are here.
It’s amazing that four guys can put on such an amazing show. The only strange thing is that it was soooo…. mellow. A couple of songs kind of rocked out but it was fairly amazing how slow it was. I liked the setlist and they played the songs you wanted from the old days and some from the new ones. The crowd was also – how to say it – old. No kids, other than the ones who carried in their four to six year olds. Not many under 21. It was very similar to the Roger Waters show in 2007 – very old. That kind of shows that they have not been overly successful in crossing over to the next listening generation.
To basically describe it, the center, circular stage was nice with a circle of ‘fans’ around that and then another circular walkway around that – with fans in front of that. There were two moveable catwalks that could rotate around from the back to the front that they would use to cross over to the outer circle. At times, when in the ‘inner circle’ they were just three feet above us. That was cool. In that inner circle area there were SO many beer bottles you would watch where you were walking because if you stepped on a bottle wrong, you would have broken your neck. I love my height when on the floor at shows. I don’t think of myself as tall – until I get into situations like that. It works to my advantage. Bono was such a small person. Then, when he gets next to The Edge, you realize how small he is too.
President Bill Clinton was there – he stayed up in a suite next to the press room where I took most of the ‘high’ photos. Paris Hilton was there too causing a lot of hub-bub. At a time when we walked to the front of house mix position there was a lot of people around and she was walking out. I will admit that she ‘appears’ very pretty – like the photos show. There’s just a cloud of ‘skankiness’ around her. Speaking of skankiness, Gavin Maloof was there too.
All in all – the stage show was unforgettable. I’m glad I was able to see U2, sad that I had not seen any of the previous tours. Judging from the comments and emails – lots of my female friends are WAY into The Edge. One of the friends of the LiveNation crew was very impressed with the drummer. It just goes to show that they still have fans (or is it stalkers?) out there.
The neatest part of the trip was getting to see a friend from the old days. TK had already planned a trip to Vegas from Bamburg, Germany before she knew I was going to be there and she came from the airport to the show. In the middle of a crowd, we picked each other out. We both look the same, which is pretty cool after 14 years or so. She had lived in Vegas previously and had originally come into town to see some old friends. She had been awake for over 20 hours and was a trooper to make it through the show. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that I have friends. It helps me keep my sanity.
Off to work this morning, a bit later than I anticipated while writing all this.

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Today is Thursday

No scales around here so I won’t even bother!
Flight was good and uneventful – which is always a good thing. Arrived and went straight to the venue. This thing is freakin’ crazy! It is taller than the seating area which makes it look like something out of War of the Worlds. I met the guy that designed it (another Mark) and he also did The Wall set for Pink Floyd. Nice guy. Amazing feat of engineering going on here.
There are so many people working, it’s like it’s own little city. I helped out as much as I could and ended up having a few beers with Tim from Phoenix. We hadn’t really talked much and boy did we catch up!
A late night pulled pork sandwich was not good for me, but I had one anyway. I regretted that this morning. Jake brought my bike over just before midnight and I went to bed.
Morning came early and any residual beer was worked off on the five mile ride to the venue. It actually felt pretty good. I ended up working more and did not go on a bike ride to Lake Mead. Probably good as the bike broke and that would have sucked had it occurred on the way to/from the lake.
I took more photos – you can see them here.
Some late night accounting issues and all was well. I’m just waiting for the bike dude to come fix the bike.
Tomorrow should be a great day!

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today is Sunday (NOW! with more Pearl Jam)

Life: Happy Work: Indifferent
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
After the bike ride I pretty much was toast. I took a shower, had some food, and then it was nappy time. Dinner and some computer work afterwards and it was pretty much a day. Oh, and laundry….
Today has been busy already. Railee ‘forgot’ about a birthday party invite and then there’s music lessons and whatever else is thrown my way. I have broad shoulders, I can take on anything.
Maybe time for a bike ride but lots to catch up on before that.
This is my daily funny (thanks to Carolyn):

Okay, Pearl Jam time….
New Pearl Jam Album!!!Oh, here’s an interesting thing. I have been looking forward to the new Pearl Jam album – Backspacer. iTunes had it as a pre-order yesterday and it was in the top ten albums all day. After dinner, I tried to buy it. “The item is no longer available.”. It magically disappeared from the Top Ten albums. I did a search on Pearl Jam and it showed up again. Selected it and went to pre-purchase… and – no longer available. I remembered that it was something with an exclusive with Target and I was surprised to even see it on iTunes at all. I know the single was there. I was going to rant about it this morning when… it’s back! A new album page that is Target Red and includes the Target logo. Purchased and downloaded – will say more about it this week. It REALLY took a long time to download – apparently there’s a video and some other stuff included….
I think the coolest part of the new album is that I’ve seen a lot of excitement from people in their mid 20’s that truly missed the Ten, Vs., and Vitalogy albums and how much they were ahead of their time in the early 90’s.
With all the hype this past few weeks and the fact that the single “Fixer” has actually garnered a LOT of airplay it takes me back to the early days of Pearl Jam. I used to have a music geek friend (ok, I have lots of them) named Dean that even before Ten was released – would tell me to watch out for these guys. They never made it around here in support of Ten. When they were touring for Vs. in 1993 they were already huge – they played at the Convention Center. I don’t remember it being a rehearsal date, but the whole band and crew was here for the whole day before. We took them up the Tramway to the restaurant up there. Band Management, Record Co. peeps, and most everyone except for Eddie went. They wanted some company and I arranged for some friends to accompany us all to the restaurant. It was actually very fun. Jeff and the band guys – actually everyone – was amazingly nice and down to earth. I cannot say that about too many bands.
The next day, the show day was a bit crazy as the Convention Center would not allow ANY outside food or drink – everything for the bands had to come through their caterer. This means that a $3 jar of peanut butter cost $18 from the caterer. The show was obviously into percentages and everyone was making money. It’s funny when this happens how much everyone REALLY cares about costs on a show. When it’s not into percentages, the band wants EVERYTHING because the promoter is paying for it. When it starts cutting into the band’s money, they start cutting things that they know they won’t need. Anyway, everyone was very upset about the catering costs and when it was all said and done – they wrote something with peanut butter on the dressing room walls. It was kind of funny. Ah… the memories.
Here’s a crazy fact – the show was all General Admission – no seats. Butthole Surfers opened back then. The most expensive ticket was $18. With surcharges back then, the tickets ran you $21.75 each. On this tour tickets are averaging between $47 and $62 – before surcharges – $54 to $69 after. Their previous shows did not rely on a bunch of crazy lighting and sound – it was you and the band. I am thinking that at nearly $50 there will be some money spent on some video and lighting effects… They have always been a creative lot so whatever they do, I’m sure it will pulled off with class. If you are lucky enough to be near this first leg of the U.S. Tour – I say go. I bet there’s not so much moshing as in the 90’s. I’m hoping they book the 2nd leg quickly and come closer to Albuquerque.

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Today is Friday

Life: Happy Work: Indifferent
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
WOW! More sleep! After a harrowing day of freaking out over ‘new’ [read: NOT new] issues with the pricing system – I came home. Jaeden was asleep. I had that feeling that I could go to sleep right then or… I would be awake until after midnight. I opted for the early sleep and was in bed about 7:45. A brief phone call at 9:30, a wake-up-and-see-what-time-it-is at 2 am and then out until 6 am. Every now and then you just need a catch up day – mine was last night.
Today… catch up on this week’s daily paperwork. Get new driver’s license. Lunch with a friend.
Concert Tonight - See Cheap Trick
Tonight is Cheap Trick, Poison, and Def Leppard at Journal Pavilion. Cheap Trick is always good. Poison – actually is a decent band – I just HATE all their songs. Def Leppard…. I like the songs, hate the band. Partly because one time at Tingley, I brought Sunnee and they were all trying to pick up on her from the stage. Bastards. HA! Guess who went home with me. There was that 15 minutes after the show that I couldn’t find her…..
I may run up the hill to the show – at least just for Cheap Trick.

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 8:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Today is Sunday

Life: Indifferent Work: Indifferent
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
I worked in the yard – raked leaves, filled pond, picked up after the dogs, took down half of Sunnee’s garden. It was pleasantly warm so I figured a bike ride was in order. Once in motion, the wind was a bit too cold so I called that off. I should probably just be better prepared but shorts and along sleeve t-shirt did not cut it. It’s supposed to be almost 15 degrees warmer today so I think I’ll try today again.
I wrote my speech out – about 3 minutes on six pages at 24 pt type – double spaced. We all got all prettied up and went to the 6th Annual New Mexico Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Barbara Hubbard 2008 New Mexico Music Hall of Fame
We had intended to take Barbara out on the town – or at least to the Hyatt bar afterwards but she had to catch her flight back to Las Cruces so she left right after she got of stage! So we all were looking good but nobody wanted to just go hang out. Kind of a sad way to spend the evening when you are dressed up. Oh well. I had bribed the kids with the promise of late ice cream.
The ceremony went well and ended up better than I had thought it would be. The other inductees were nice: a band from the 70’s and 80’s called The Purple Haze, Barbara, local musician David Nunez and Grammy Award winner producer/musician Tom Bee. The Purple Haze was before my time and was in more Spanish-oriented clubs, I was aware of David but did not know that I knew one of his sons, and I was not familiar with Tom until last night.
I spent the last of the evening watching older CSI’s to catch up again. I still like that show.
Today I plan on doing nothing much! Just a me day. We’ll see how I do with that – the family hasn’t given me their ‘to-do’ lists yet…

Published in: on November 23, 2008 at 11:42 am  Comments (1)  

New Mexico State Fair – 2008

New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
I caved in and went to the fair this year. Luckily for me, I have been too busy with work to go the past few years – plus the kids have always wanted to go during the weekdays. No excuses today!
We opted for the Park & Ride from a nearby parking lot. For $2 an adult (each way) they take you to the fair via a city bus to a fairly nicely close lot near the entrance. The park and ride is supposed to give you a dollar off the entry for everyone who paid. The driver said that someone normally is greeting the bus giving us certificates but that we’d have no problem. We went to the gate and – of course – a problem. Everyone else on the bus was satisfied with the ‘no’ discount that everyone gave them. Not me. I found a guy with a radio and told him the situation. It didn’t look good for me when I informed him that we were the only ones left, everyone else paid and went in. Hey! It WAS $2…
A nice man at the gate gave us free entry for the kids so we got in for $12 for a whole family!
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
Sunnee needed a hat out of the gate so luckily they had one nearby. The kids went straight for the midway.
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
Whatever happened to $1 games? Everything was $5. Spend $5 and win some crap. That’s a line from Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”. I couldn’t tell if I was proud or scared of the kids’ really talking to the carnies about what they win for ‘winning’ BEFORE they paid. I can remember throwing away perfectly good money for the chance at something, then finding out that I would have to win $20 times to get what I really wanted.
First up, after some careful thought was a cork gun game.
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
The guy gave him a ‘practice’ shot so he could see how it worked. The top level were cigarette boxes that you had to knock ‘off the shelf’ – not just over. Jaeden pegged it! But it fell over and stayed on that shelf – almost like it was attached. I watched the guy pick them up, there has to be a weight in side and he can shift it up or down. Up, I bet, it tips over. Down and it just sits there. Jaeden won something at least there.
They both played different games – going through $5 bills like crazy. They actually stopped before I had to yell at them to stop.
Jaeden found a rope ladder thing that the carny dude was – I’m guessing – hung over because he did not want to be there and didn’t care. He let him do the climbs for $1 each – so Jaeden took two. Nothing.
It used to be that the big stuffed animals were the big thing to win. This year it was mini-gas powered-motorcycles. That and Wii’s and Electric Guitars. Very strange. I guess at $5 a pop it made sense. The kids still had a hard time understanding that if the game was easy, they would go out of business offering Wii’s.
They had tickets that you had to purchase for the rides. $1 a ticket, or an all day wristband for $25. Again, the kids actually thought it out and looked at the rides they wanted and then added up the tickets $18 and $10. I was going to explain the wristbands more but realized that we would NEVER get out of the midway if I did….
The first up was the swing, ‘yo-yo’ ride. Railee wasn’t quite sure at first, but then she was into it.
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
The next was a crazy upside down, thing that swung all the way around. Again, not knowing whether they would go for it – they did…
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
They wanted to ride some spinning thing, but that was closed. He wasn’t so happy about that.
The next thing was a roller coaster in a ring that just went around and around, upside down. Railee wasn’t so sure about that one and wanted to see it run. Jaeden needed another ticket to make that work. After it was done, they announced that the ride would be closed for ‘fifteen minutes’. He wanted to hang around and I told him it would be longer. How would I know? I know these things. Sure enough, 30 minutes later they were still running some kind of cable all over the place. I’m kind of glad that happened BEFORE they got on.
He found another thing that best described, just raises and twists you all around. Railee wasn’t having that one. Jaeden hopped on and had a blast. They even ran the cycle on the ride twice!
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
New Mexico State Fair 2008 - EXPO New Mexico
See, I had to stay on the ground to take all these lovely pictures!!! That, plus I’m not stupid enough to get on some ride held together with bolts that I HOPE some dude woke up early enough to go tighten before his shift. No, I’ll just send my kids…. They heal much quicker than us old farts.
Speaking of the guys who work there. Wow. Everyone smoked. Everyone had not showered since the start of the fair. They all looked like they had worked EVERY hour of the day, all seventeen days. For the most part, these are people that you would not let wash your windows on the street. They all seemed and acted politely though. There’s been past years that I would feel uncomfortable for Sunnee for all the leering going on. Their shirts were clean, I bet the midway folks take care of that for them. Not a whole lot of teeth in that crowd though.
We finished up and went over to Main Street. At this point we were all getting hungry. There’s food for days, all of if overpriced. Lunch for four was $35. Great.
We saw some animals. Saw some old cars. Saw lots of people. We didn’t go into any of the buildings. I am not real sure why.
All in all we got out of there for about $150 and the kids ‘won’ about $10 of junk. It occupied our time for about four hours so I can’t complain too much. More. Too much, more.
Overall a nice afternoon. It rained for a bit once we were back at our cars. I bet the fairgrounds stunk after the rain… I’m glad we were there early.

Published in: on September 21, 2008 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where Am I?

Last chance to guess?Where Am I July 30, 2008
Guess who was at the Alamo this morning?
Phil Collins at the Alamo
I noticed him looking at some shirts, then when he spoke – it was confirmed. He looked great. He was having to wait for them to find a certain shirt in a certain size. I said ‘hi’ to him and returned the pleasantries. I just read online while finding this picture that he just announced his retirement from touring. I wish I had known that ahead of time as I would have had something more trendy to say to him!

Published in: on July 31, 2008 at 9:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Today is Friday

Life: Frustrated Work: Frustrated
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
Happy 4th of July Everyone!
I am linking to my post last year about what the 4th of July means – it still bugs me today with all the city celebrations and the local news channels. I wish I could get them all to read it!
If you are in Albuquerque today, the City’s “Freedom Fourth” is today and Brave Combo is playing – one the funnest bar bands around. They are from Denton, Texas and their mix of music is great. Check out some of these videos. It’s a buck – so if you’re into crowds today, go see them!
There’s a big fire in Goleta out by Dirk and Kat. The news said that they have shut down the power in parts of Santa Barbara. I can’t remember if Kat’s Mom is out that way still. Wherever everyone is we all hope that they are okay and that they get that fire under control! BE SAFE.
I spent the night working on the video outline for today. No sleep but lots of progress. I really think there’s a chance of getting this all done…
I had wanted to get up early and ride the bike but that’s not in the cards for me. We had some rain last night – it would be beautiful to be out there on two wheels. Oh well.

Published in: on July 4, 2008 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Strange Days

I finished my class and stopped by to see Mick. He doesn’t make it out to New Mexico much as there aren’t many shows anymore.
He was at the Tempe Center for the Arts – a $60 million city venue that is pretty impressive.
He was doing a show with Joe Bonamassa, a real cool blues guy. Mick was excited to introduce me to his friend Carmine that was on tour. Afterwards, I figured out who he was – it was Carmine Rojas!
Carmine Rojas in Joe Bonasmassa's Band
Carmine Rojas has played with: David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Santana, Stevie Wonder and tons of others. He stays very busy as both a studio musician and incredible tour guy. I can’t remember why, but for some reason I was having a discussion with someone about Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour and how awesome the players (and concert) were. Mick knew him from the Julian Lennon tours of the mid 80’s. It was fun to see two old friends remember the ‘old days. It was cool to meet him.
I wish I could have stayed for the show but had to get on the road…

Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today is Saturday

Life: Happy Work: Happy
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
Yesterday I went from all is well to crisis management. The programmers sent us a ‘fixed’ build of our catalog – with something new wrong! It was a simple mistake – he was just cutting and pasting to save time and didn’t fix the paste before proceeding. Hell, I know what he was doing. So they had to fix it and do everything again – putting our trip to Atlanta in Jeopardy. I ended the day at 4:30 not knowing if they will be able to have everything complete on Monday – we will have to wait and see.
Everything else was okay. Sunnee took Railee and a friend to see the Hannah Montana movie extravaganza. I hope that she turns out normal as she ages and not into a freak show like Britney. They said it was actually very good. This brings up a conversation that I have had with my music friend Mick. I think that people would gladly pay money to see concerts in movie theaters. Prince did a similar thing last in 2006 I believe. In the stadiums, you end up watching the show on the video screens anyway unless you pay $1,200 a seat to sit close. Even up close, you miss all the extra production stuff that goes into the video. Very few stages allow for artist/fan interaction anyway so you might as well see the show in a comfy stadium seat that reclines. The only thing that I think will make this ‘sellable’ is that the movie theaters need to be able to serve alcohol. These Hannah Montana tickets were $15 each and compared to her sold out stadium tour that were $40 to $100 (scalped for upwards of $2,000!) are a steal! The girls were overly happy to see the show and even Sunnee said it’s like being right onstage. My future of entertainment will be that the bands will play relatively small venues – like 3,000 or less and keep those tickets at a premium – like several hundred a seat because the people who can afford to pay that – will. Then they tape the concerts and broadcast it to those in other cities for around $20 a seat (including surcharges).
The artists could still do a ‘tour’ in the cities and you could still go to that ‘city’s’ show. They can still forward the merchandise, etc to the theaters – everyone still gets their cut and I think that you’ll still get your money’s worth!
Just my ideas…
Jaeden and I had sloppy joe’s for dinner – something the girls don’t particularly care for. We loved it so much we ate the whole pan-full!
It’s supposed to be warm this weekend so I’m hoping for a bike ride or two.

Published in: on February 9, 2008 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment