22 December 2012

The Killers Concert Review

The Killers' Battleborn US tour was by far the best concert I have ever been, or at least since the BHS Band-o-rama of '04. 2004 was a memorable year of middle and high school musicians and the holiday concert midway through the year was a great example of the talent. It would be hard to top that Band-o-rama; I was playing 1st trumpet as a high school senior in the concert band and the jazz band. I got to do the horse whiny at the conclusion of Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride and was in the last performing group out of all the elementary, middle, and high school musicians in my hometown of Belmont, MA. The more I think about it that night was probably the pinnacle of my my life. I can't think of anything of such significance that I've done since... Starck can probably back me up on that.
But the second most memorable event of my life was on Tuesday, December 18- one week before Christmas when I went to the Killers' DC concert with my brother-in-law. We are both Killers' fans and with the holidays approaching he and my sister decided to get us tickets to the show. My faithful readers have read my posts about the Killers before, and know of my fanaticism. (But if you're new, I have blogged about them in various degrees here, here, and here.) I have never heard a Killers' song that I don't like. of course there are some I like more than others, but I love every one I know (which is all of them). When I get bored I study their Wikipedia page and watch Brandon Flowers' 'I am a Mormon' video. If you haven't seen it yet follow my link. Even still, this was my first opportunity to see them live.
They began the show by coming out with all the house lights on- and they stayed on- for the entirety of their hit Mr. Brightside. WOW. What a song and what a performance. Seriously, it was amazing. With all the lights on there were no visual effects- just an emphasis on the singing, which was incredible. They then played my favorite song off their new album, called 'The Way it Was.' After those two songs I felt I could melt away and die. The closest comparison I can make would be to the time I ate smoked pineapple while water skiing through Mexican underground rivers. The two feelings were pretty much one and the same.
Brandon Flowers is definitely the front man for The Killers, but I was still quite impressed with the drummer- Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. He played percussion better than anyone I've ever seen (again, at least since 2004). He was rocking so hard I thought he was going fall over. He also took rocking to a whole new level by using a wooden rocking chair instead of the typical drummer's chair. Apparently Ronnie takes things very literally. He wasn't the only one either. During 'Somebody Told Me' they got a girlfriend who looked like a boyfriend that I had in February of last year up to the stage. During 'Spaceman' there was a guest appearance by John Glenn, who looked a little too frail to be at a rock concert. While they performed 'Miss Atomic Bomb' they set off mini explosions during the chorus (that part is true). 'Jenny Was a Friend of Mine' had flashbacks of audience members' former friends named Jenny (how they obtained the photos I'll never know. Probably Facebook and Instagram?). Anyway, the whole experience was amazing. I thought the performance was spectacular and everything I wanted. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing The Killers and I plan to see them again live in the future.
What has been your most memorable concert?

11 December 2012

What Keeps Me Up At Night

I've had a lot of thoughts on my mind this Holiday season, and I need an outlet for them. I tried talking to one of my students who stayed after school for extra help, but he thought it was a little strange when I started crying to him before even opening my mouth. When I finally did begin telling him what was on my mind- through broken sobs- he didn't seem to know what to say. He ended up calling the guidance counselor from my classroom phone, which got a little embarrassing when she showed up and found me in a heap of tears on the floor while my student quietly finished his math homework in the corner facing the wall. Basically what I'm saying is that my students are not good outlets for my emotions and feelings. Once that was discovered I moved on to the phone teller at 1-800-CONTACTS. I kept expressing my problems to him but he only seemed interested in my vision, so I launched into an hour description of my life vision and goals, when all along it turned out he was inquiring about my vision in a significantly more literal sense that I had originally thought. I told him over and over again that my eyesight was fine and that I needed a listening ear. He recommended me to 1-800-EARBUDS, which I was disappointed to learn doesn't have a 24 hour line. Now that I've been rejected by two one-eight-hundred numbers and a student, I've turned to my blog to expose and reveal my heart. So what was on my mind that caused a river of salty tears in my classroom and some massive confusion at the 1-800-CONTACTS headquarters? The following:
Why has Phil Collins never recorded a Christmas album? I'm not sure if he is Christian or not (his Wikipedia page- which I wrote by the way- doesn't specify and his mother never returned my inquisitive telegram) but either way he should record one. His soothing voice is perfect for the season. Heck, I'd even settle for a Hanukkah album at this point. Just something, Phil, please, so I don't have to listen to Andy Williams anymore. When I brought this concern up to my student he apparently thought I had said "Fill coffins" and was terrified about the subject matter. I guess when I started crying and talking about filling coffins at Christmas time he got a little spooked. All of this was explained to me by the guidance counselor later on, so hopefully I still have my job. But Phil's not the only thing that's been on my mind recently.
What's up the the word 'down?' I mean really, we have some strange words of Latin origin, but read on and you'll see why I've been driven to calling phone tellers in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. If you ever want a good night's sleep again, stop reading. Down is a noun used to describe a type of feather used in many a couch, pillow, and 'comforter' (even though it does no comforting in this house). Down is also a word used to describe a syndrome that produces some really cute kids. And then down means below or underneath. I'm sorry, but what do those three have to do with each other? If I said "I'm laying down" would you think I was prostrated horizontally, sowing a room with feathers (much like you'd lay sod), or metaphorically putting my disability to rest? Would you think I was throwing feathers around a room while lying on my back in a calm, able position? You could reasonably assume I was doing all of the above and be perfectly accurate! And why does 'down' rhyme with 'noun' and 'towne' when they end differently, but not 'grown' and 'thrown' when they are practically spelled the same way?
Usually at this point in my insomnia I've given up trying to understand Phil Collin's religious persuasions and gotten myself so confused with the word 'down' that I need a Coke to calm me _____, and I'm just about ready to fall asleep when the same reoccurring thought peeps into my mind; as unwelcome and unwanted as      Weird Al Yankovich force feeding you Fiber nuggets as he crashes your annual President's Day massage.
The thought? Could U2 be to blame for the demise of the English language? Were they the first to shorten an entire word into a single letter, and then go so far as to abandon another meaningful word to a single digit? Was Bono the first texter? How could a band that has been so good for so long have so much against an entire language? I just don't understand and unless I get some answers soon I'll be filling my own coffin with questions still on my mind as I'm brought down to the ground wrapped in down.

02 December 2012

Christmas Trees and Dating

On Saturday, 12/1/12, I went to cut down a Christmas tree for my sister and for my sister. Or rather I should say I sat in the car and ate Christmas cookies while they both looked for acceptable trees and then their husbands cut them down while their babies oogled, ahhhhhed, and got their photos taken. I then helped secure the trees to the respective cars by providing a nice beatbox for my brothers-in-law-only to tie the knots to. I think it really helped. This thinking was confirmed by my sister's comment "Hey Dave, can you please stop attracting ducks with your mouth noises? They're starting to crowd your niece and scare her." On a more serious funny note (serious in that it actually happened, funny in that it's comical) we rolled down the windows and ran the twine though the car to secure the tree on top. When it was done and we were satisfied, we realized that in the process we also tied all the doors shut. Dang. We essentially sacrificed our car for the tree. You could still get in and out of the car, you just had to crawl through the open windows.
But back to dating. Where we ever on dating? I think I was on dating because I went on a date the evening previous. I was thinking about the date, and thinking about Christmas trees, and then my brother-in-law said the two were similar, so I thought about it some more will eating those cookies in the car, especially given that I was now locked into the car. Here are some ways that cutting down your own Christmas tree in Maryland and dating are similar:

  • They both require similar tools- like saws, Newfoundlands, and twine. On my aforementioned date we saw a very large Newfoundland (do they come any other way?) being walked by a man with a twine leash. The date would not have been the same without that spectacle. As for the saw, well I suppose it wasn't technically necessary for the evening's success, but I did bring one along in case it might come in handy, which it did when my date couldn't get her seatbelt off. In relation to Christmas trees- we needed the twine for securing the tree, and the dogs were there to pull the trees back to your car. I can't exactly remember how the saw related to the Christmas tree cutting experience, but I do recall wishing we had one as the Newfy broke two teeth trying to gnaw our chosen Douglas fir free.
  • Dating and Christmas tree shopping both provide many excellent choices. My readership in prison may choose to disagree, but I cannot with a straight face claim that there are no dating options for me. My only complaint would be that I haven't found very much variety in the motorcycle driving, math loving, rap-music-listening population. As a motorcycle driving, math loving, rap-music-listening club we have been holding meetings once a week for 9 straight weeks in an effort to set people up, and so far we have an enrollment of one. (On the bright side at least I don't have to chase anyone down for dues.) It's hard to pick the right person to date and marry. While Christmas tree procuring, we also ran into this problem. There were so many good options it was hard to pick just one. But once we did, we gnawed it off, tied it to the top of the car, and then presented it to the living room. I tried this with my October date, and ended up with a rap sheet as long as Rapunzel's hair after extensions and a good wash.
Dating and Christmas tree shopping are also very different in many ways. Many being defined as one:
  • Christmas tree shopping is very enjoyable with your family. Dating... not so much.
Yes, these two activities were a great way to spend the first weekend in December.  Next time I go on a date I'm going to try and not cut her off entirely, like I did with the Christmas trees.