autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

For Larissa and me, 2012 was the year of stasis.  We had big plans, and we worked towards them diligently, but a great deal of it felt like marking time until we could pull the lever that would propel everything into motion.1

A year ago, we threw that lever and began the adventure.  Leaving our jobs, packing the car, and driving west to Seattle was a carefully orchestrated gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

2013 was the year of transitions.  We moved across the country and set up house with a dear friend who needed roommates.  Six months later, we introduced her to another dear friend, with whom she promptly fell in love and moved to Boston.  We left our landing spot in the suburbs and moved into the heart of the city, in the shadow of the Space Needle and just blocks from the scenic waterfront of Elliot Bay.

I found a new job.  Larissa found an old one.

One romantic relationship came to an abrupt end, to my dismay.  Another unexpectedly came into being, to my delight.

I left one podcast, and began the work of reviving another.

I wrote several new songs.  I performed a concert at OryCon.2  Just recently, I started taking guitar instruction for the first time in over 15 years.3

Darling, I’ve always tried to find the road not taken
From Monterey to Macon, two lanes have been my friends
Coastal highway, bayou byway, out and back again
But if you say you’re lonely, you know there’s only 40, 80, or 10
–Tanya Savory, “40, 80, or 10″

I drove the entire length of the country, from Georgia to California and up to Washington.4 I saw the Grand Canyon in all its glory, and traversed the Great Divide.  I travelled to destinations old and new:  Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Columbus, OH.  I explored my new city and it’s surrounding lakes and mountains, the place I had chosen at long last, to call home.

Over the course of this year, I’ve not done some things as well as I would have liked.  I have been a terrible correspondent, relying much too heavily on social media to keep in touch.  I’ve done an even worse job reaching out to newly local friends.5 For various reasons, I’ve done very little podcast recording this past year, though that was almost entirely not by my choice.  This blog has been too too neglected, though I made a couple of efforts to remedy that, and I hope to do a better job in the coming year.  And it will probably take most of the next year for our finances to adequately recover from moving all the mountains we had to shift in order to make it to where we are.

But where we are, I have to say, is pretty damn good.  As the year draws to a close, we are finding a new equilibrium, and settling into new habits and routines.  There will always be change; the wheel will always turn.  But I feel as though the great transition we set in motion a year ago is complete.

We are home.

This is my ghost, this is my home — millions of miles my mind can’t own
No one’s seen it all; no one will
But I want to memorize it, every inch, want to remember where I’ve been
I bless these waves, I bless this wind, bless this grace & all my sins
–Marian Call, “Highway Five”


  1. I remarked to Kathleen Sloan in July of that year that I felt like we were turning our entire world upside down in slow motion. 

  2. Where I also was a program participant on a wide variety of panels. 

  3. Aside from a 12 week introductory group class in 1998, I’m entirely self taught.  Many of you are now nodding and thinking “Ah, that explains it…” 

  4. I’ve now driven pretty much the entire length of I-40, most of it on this one trip. 

  5. Social anxiety is awkward. I really do want to spend time with all of you.  I’m just really really bad at actually saying that. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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The Friday Five Digest is a day late, so you get a bonus item this week! It's all about Christmas and the holidays, including my annual revisit of Tris McCall's brilliant Christmas Abstract.

Saturday Six: Christmas Time Is Here | Home of the Autographed Cat
autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

(This is a repost from an entry I made 10 years ago, because it’s a fun topic to revisit periodically, and a good way to discover new music.)

Music is a constant in my life. It’s a rare day that I go through without listening to or making music in one form or another.

And it occurred to me on the way back from lunch with kitanzi this afternoon, as I cranked up a particular song, that there are some tunes that just never fail to make me happy.

Here are five of those songs, in no particular order:

Love Shack, B-52s
Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
Every Day I Write The Book, Elvis Costello
Got To Get You Into My Life, The Beatles
Linus and Lucy, Vince Guaraldi Trio

What are some songs that always leave you more cheerful than before? That make you dance in your seat? When you’re down, what music do you turn to to pick yourself up? What songs make you instinctively reach for the volume control to crank it up?

Share in comments. :)

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Default)
This week's Friday Five digest is about art in its various forms.

Friday Five: Art | Home of the Autographed Cat
autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

As I wrote about over the weekend, I’ve finally done something I’ve needed to do for some time, which is find someone to sit down with who can help me expand my guitar toolkit.  Tonight was my first meeting.

They have a nice little setup in the basement of a marina on Lake Union, with two small studio rooms.  I met with my instructor, Mike, and spent a lot of time discussing my background, how I learned, what I was already good at, and so forth.1   Mike is a curious mixture of laid-back and hyper-focused, but I think I’ll get along with him.  He had me play a song for him2 just to watch my current style, and then we got down to the brass tacks of what I wanted to learn and how to get there.

We’re starting out by refreshing on theory.  Now, I know a bit of theory, because you can’t hang out with folks like Gwen Knighton and Mary Crowell without absorbing some stuff just through osmosis, but I’ve never made a formal study of it.  The last time I had any formal music instruction, I was too impatient to get to the “I wanna play a SONG” stage to really focus on it.  I think I’ll be a slightly more disciplined student today.

We did have an entertaining digression talking about how my personal guitar idols are.3

My homework for next week, aside from making a list of five “desert island” songs to send to him as background, is to play the note C.  More specifically, to play all of the C notes on my fret board.4   I’m looking forward to Wednesdays for the next few weeks!


  1. Actually, the very first thing that happened was I opened my guitar case, and Mike immediately gushed about what a lovely instrument it was, and took it to his partner’s studio to show it to him. Because it’s that nice. 

  2. I randomly pulled “But The Days And Nights Are Long” by Cheryl Wheeler out of the air 

  3. The Two Richards: Thompson and Shindell, Paul Simon, Robbie Robertson, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour… 

  4. I do actually understand the point of this exercise, but I’ve still been humming Beethoven’s ”Minuet in G” over and over since I left. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

When I was 16 years old, I bought a guitar.

It was a bit of an impulse.  I’d been working all summer as an inventory clerk for the county Board of Education, and having very little to spend my first real wages on, I’d just been putting the money in my savings account.  I was visiting a friend in Greenville, and we stopped by a music store because he wanted to look for something.  And there was this guitar.  It was a black Rickenbacker solid-body six-string,1 and the guy who was selling it needed exactly $250 to buy a keyboard for a gig, so that’s what he was selling for.  I didn’t know a lot about guitars, but it seemed like a pretty good deal, so I decided on the spot to buy it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to play it, and I turned out to not be very good at figuring it out for myself.  A few years later, needing money to move, I reluctantly sold it to a friend.  But I always regretted it,  ((I’ve happily in recent years, thanks to Facebook, reconnected with the friend, but sadly she sold it to someone else some years ago, so there’s no chance of getting it back.  Alas.)) and told myself that one day, I was going to buy another guitar and learn to play it.

Ten years later…

A near-death experience has a remarkable ability to bring your future plans into sharp focus.  I decided that I should consider doing those things I’d always meant to get around to sooner rather than later, and so I began looking for an instrument to suit me.  I finally purchased a Fender 12-string acoustic2 from a shop in Alpharetta, and signed myself up for a 12 week group class at Mars Music.  Once I’d completed that, I borrowed song books from anyone I could, and leafed through them looking for songs I knew the chords to.   These I copied into a binder, which I then played through as much as I could, trying to develop at least enough technique to accompany myself.  I’ve kept at that over the years, adding new songs as often as I can and trying to improve my playing.

I haven’t done too badly at that, I suppose.  I’ve played on stages in front of tens of people from time to time.  But a long time ago I found the plateau of where I could push myself, and I’ve been stalled there ever since.  Good enough to do what I’ve been doing, but not where I wanted to be.  I’ve known for quite some time that to get to the next level, I need an instructor.  For one reason or another, I’ve not actually taken the  step of finding one.  There was always a good reason.  I didn’t have the money, or I didn’t have the time, or we were going to be moving soon3

But there was also fear.  For all that I seem gregarious and outgoing, I hide a lot of shyness and social anxiety, and the truth is that part of what I had to overcome was my own mental blocks.  I knew going in that I was going to have to say to a potential teacher:  ”This is what I have.  15 years of bad habits, cheats and short-cuts that have kept me from stepping up to the next level.  I will have to unlearn those before I can move forward”, and that was a harder thing to do that I realised.

But after searching around, I finally decided to take that step.  I reached out to an instructor I found on the web who isn’t far from where I’m now living and inquired about availability, and have since exchanged some emails4 and set up a time to go in and meet with him.  I’m hoping that we click and that I’ll be able to expand my horizons and start doing some of the things that have felt out of my reach.

And despite all my trepidation, I’m really looking forward to it.


  1. I’m pretty sure it was a Rickenbacker 230, but since I don’t have it any more, I can’t really be certain. 

  2. I liked the wider fretboard on the 12 string.  I have large hands. 

  3. which has been the excuse for pretty much the last two years, honestly. 

  4. I told him a version of this story you’re reading, with a lot more focus on the specific skills that I’m lacking and wanting to pick up.  So at least he knows what he’s in for when I show up the first time. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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Between 2005 and 2009, I didn't play a lot of music in public. It wasn't a decision I made to withdraw from the stage. It started because of struggles with depression that caused me to withdraw from a lot of social spheres, and then after I came out the other side of that particular emotional valley, I just...didn't. No one was asking me if I wanted to, and I wasn't volunteering, and the longer it went on, the more it just became...normal. This wasn't just not doing concert sets or one shots; many have noted that I absented myself from open filk, preferring instead to spend my con time socialising or lurking around the edges.

The last couple of years, I've been making an effort to get back to playing public, because...I enjoy it. So I've made an effort at cons to make itto at least a little bit of open filk, if only to justify having brought my guitar. And when [livejournal.com profile] mrgoodwraith asked me at OVFF a couple of yearsago if I'd like to come play a short set at Confluence in 2011, I eagerly agreed. Unfortunately, just before I was to book my flight, [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi unexpectedly lost her job, and I couldn't justify the expense. Randy understood, and extended an invitation to come up in 2012 instead.

The part where I talk about Confluence )

Not much more than a month later was Dragon*Con, a convention I've largely avoided for the last several years. Not that DragonCon isn't a good convention, but it's a lot more than I typically want to deal with. This year, however, I'd decided to go, in part because a lot of my podcasting friends were goign to be there, but also because the folks running the filk track at Dragon*Con have been doing a stellar job the last few years, and they've been really supportive of Gafilk, so I wanted to give them some support in return.

The part where I talk about Dragon*Con )

And those are the summer conventions. I hope to spend some time actually playing some music at OVFF in October. See you there!
autographedcat: (Default)
Stumbled across this absolutely fantastic cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in a Popdose article last week. Thought I'd share it. :)

autographedcat: (Default)
When I was sixteen years old, I bought my first guitar. It was a 1982 Rickenbacker solidbody electric, and I got it for a steal of a price. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone to really teach me how to play it, and I was pretty useless at teaching myself. A couple of years later, in need of quick cash, I sold it to a friend right before I moved to Georgia.

I had always regretted this, and said one day I'm going to get another guitar and learn to play it. But I put it off, and I put it off, and I put it off some more. Sooner or later, I said, there will be time and money for it.

In 1998, a near-death experience reminded me that there won't always be time to get around to things, and I might want to think about not putting off those things I really want to do with my life. So once I was adequately recovered, I went out and bought a new guitar, a Fender DG10/12 12-string acoustic. And I signed up for a group class at the nearby MARS music store, and learned to play it well enough, and set about learning to play songs I liked and actually performing at filks and filkcons. 13 years later, I'm an adequate if unexceptional accompanist.

Still, there's a part of me that still has an itch for electric music. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always say "I wanted to be a rock star. In many ways, I still do." So yesterday, I went down to Guitar Centre to take advantage of a good coupon I had and picked up a cheap electric guitar and a small amp. It's an Epiphone Les Paul Studio, and it's very very pretty.

(While I was there, I also test drove a much more expensive acoustic: a Taylor 8-string baritone. It took an immense amount of willpower and a reminder of what I'd already committed funds to over the next few months not to change my plans, because dear lord I sounded good playing it. But I digress...)

I've been playing around with it for the last 12 hours. First impressions: I love the sound of it. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. Good grief, I don't know how to play it. :)

It's a whole new ride. Let's make some noise.
autographedcat: (Default)
In a thread over on Facebook, one of my friends was lamenting that alt-rock darlings Mumford and Sons (who I think are awesome) didn't win the Best New Artist Grammy, and complaining she'd never even heard of the winner, Esperanza Spalding. I commented that while I'd have been happy to see Mumford take the prize, it's no crime for Spalding to win, because she's utterly amazing, and encouraged her to check Spalding out before dismissing her.

Someone else in the thread replied, "It's probably just as well. The Best New Artist Grammy is the Kiss of Death™ for your career."

Now, that's received wisdom. Everyone knows its true. Win Best New Artist, and collect your free ticket to Obscurityville. And it struck me to wonder, is it true? I mean, everyone KNOWS that it's true, but is it, you know, factually true?

So, in one of those flashes of inspiration that always seem like a good idea at the time, I decided to find out.

Below the cut, you will find my exhaustively researched (read: I just spent the last three and a half hours on Wikipedia) report on every winner of the Best New Artist Grammy since the establishment of the award in 1959, with an eye towards determining if, in fact, the myth of career-destroying doom was justified.

Turns out, not so much... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. You might think you have an Internet, but you don't, 'cause these guys just won it.



(My only disappointment with this song is the complete lack of love for legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. That seems a grievous omission in an otherwise outstanding work.)
autographedcat: (Default)
I'm half tempted to work some of these up.

Black Lipstick Rodeo: 7 Goth Songs That Would Make Great Country Songs :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste
It’s hard to name any two genres that seem more innately opposed than goth and country. Country celebrates wide open spaces, the stylized echoes of cow culture, shared mythology and sketches a seemingly-firmly-rooted mode of simple mainstream American living that resonates with much of its wide audience base. Goth music is intentionally arch and occult in its trappings, naturally celebratory of social outliers and intensely nocturnal as it indulges in chilling introspection, and tends to draw listeners from iconoclastic corners.

Pare it down, though, and you’ve got parallel and maybe even complementary traditions of songwriting. Swap out some synthesizers for mandolins, take the vocals up an octave, kill the reverb, put some fringe on the vampire jacket, and suddenly the transformation is complete.

Here, then, are seven goth songs that would actually make great country songs:
autographedcat: (Default)
Not a bad place to start. What are some of your favourite live recordings?

10 Live Recordings That Trump Their Studio Counterparts :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste
Recording a single song in the studio is usually a full day’s work. Hours can be spent tweaking drum sounds, getting a dozen guitar takes and overdubbing vocals. It takes a perfectionist to sit in the producer’s chair, making sure every note is in its place. So when a band can press “record,” step out on stage, and capture something more spectacular in a single take, it’s an accomplishment. These 10 songs are just a handful of the many times that the magic of an audience triumphs over the most advanced recording techniques. I could have continued the list with The Avett Brothers, Frightened Rabbit, Phish, The Hold Steady, R.E.M., The Dave Matthews Band, Wilco and countless others, but these 10 stood above the pack.
autographedcat: (Default)
Ten Songs About Mondays :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste:
Mondays are rough. Whether you’re a grumpy feline or an overworked office drone, it’s no fun dragging yourself back into your weekly routine after a couple days off.

If you’ve got a case of the Mondays and need a little nudge to get things headed in the right direction, give a listen to these songs that pay tribute to the most hated day of the week. And remember: There are only four more days until Friday.

autographedcat: (Default)
I think I might have to buy two copies of this.  One for myself, and one for my Mom, who is (or was at one time) a fan of both Phil Collins -and- Motown.  (In fact, it was her record collection that got me into Motown in the first place, and finding out Collins was the lead singer of Genesis is the only reason she agreed to take me to see them in concert when I was a teenager. *grin*)

Phil Collins: 'Going Back' To Motown : NPR:
One such classic is Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' "Heat Wave." He says the song encapsulates the entire Motown sound for him.

"It's just got that optimistic [sound], and you can feel the sun coming out," he says.

Collins' versions stay true to the original arrangements and instrumentation. He says he never lost track of the fact that he was trying to emulate these songs rather than change or update them.

"The most important thing to me was actually getting them to sound authentic," Collins says. "I didn't really want to mess with the arrangements. I didn't really want to mess with the kind of instrumentation. For me, I just wanted to see if it was possible to re-create a feeling that I had when I first heard these records."
autographedcat: (Default)
Wow, what a cool little video.

Vanishing Point from Bonsajo on Vimeo.



(tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic)
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"I belong to a gospel choir. They know I am an atheist but they are very tolerant. Ultimately, the message of gospel music is that everything's going to be all right. If you listen to millions of gospel records – and I have – and try to distil what they all have in common it's a sense that somehow we can triumph. There could be many thousands of things. But the message… well , there are two messages… one is a kind of optimism for the future rather than a pessimism. Gospel music is never pessimistic, it's never 'oh my god, its all going down the tubes', like the blues often is. Gospel music is always about the possibility of transcendence, of things getting better. It's also about the loss of ego, that you will win through or get over things by losing yourself, becoming part of something better. Both those messages are completely universal and are nothing to do with religion or a particular religion. They're to do with basic human attitudes and you can have that attitude and therefore sing gospel even if you are not religious."
--Brian Eno
autographedcat: (Canadian Borg)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj. the funniest thing I've seen today.



Whattya say, Canada? Think there's room for me?
autographedcat: (hmmmmm - rayne (LICD))
Following up to the concert, some musing on a specific song. On Twitter, [livejournal.com profile] sfeley writes:
One concert annoyance: why do people laugh and shout out during "Shop Vac?" That song is TRAGIC. It's a tearjerker. Does nobody else get it?

Which got me to thinking about the song, and the nature of comedy...or, more specifically in this case, satire.

"Shop Vac" is a very bouncy pop tune, with a catchy sort of Fountains of Wayne vibe to it. It tells the story of a couple who has moved into their little suburban castle, with their two kids and the yard and the basement workshop and the convenient shopping nearby. But if you listen closely, its obvious that they are utterly miserable. As Steve notes, it's a tragedy set in a pop song.

I've complained in the past about songs where the emotional centre of the song and the tenor of the tune felt at odds to me. Most famously, the Beatles "Ticket to Ride", which I've always thought was a terribly jaunty tune for a song about losing love. (I much prefer The Carpenters' melancholy cover.) But sometimes, the dichotomy is part of the point -- it creates a dissonance between what we're feeling and what we're being told.

"Shop Vac" is satire, and it's target is the American DreamTM -- or at least the ideal of it presented by our current culture. The couple in the song has everything that we're all told we're supposed to want, but everything we've been told we're supposed to want turns out in many cases to be empty and unsatisfying. Somewhere on the way to "success", they've found that along the way they've lost their dreams. Lois McMaster Bujold expressed it best: "The one thing you cannot trade for your heart's desire is your heart."

So....why is this funny? For some, it may be a measure of shadenfruede, because the person laughing may think "Ah-hah, but I didn't fall into that trap! I reject that lifestyle and all it represents!" (This is a very geek attitude, and geeks are Coulton's primary audience.). For others, it's the hollow laughter of recognition. Coulton is certainly not the first to mine this notion for humour. Erma Bombeck wrote a dozen best sellers by extracting comedy from the soul-crushing ennui of suburban life. In the 1960s, The Monkees had a huge hit with Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Pleasant Valley Sunday", which had a slightly more detached air, but lampooning the very same ideals.

This is why it's one of my favourite Coulton songs, and why I requested it. Because it's complex, and thought provoking, and more than meets the ear on first hearing. I don't think that it's funny because I don't get it. It is funny (and tragic) because it is revealing a truth in a way that only the court jester can. Dry black humour, indeed, but humour none the less.
autographedcat: (triple nerd score)
The last time Jonathan Coulton swung through Atlanta, I bought four tickets, expecting we could find someone to go with us. I figured if we failed to find someone free to go, I would just gift the tickets to a couple of random people standing in line (probably based on my perception of their cuteness, but that's another show...) Unfortunately, the night the show came up, I came down with the flu and ended up unable to attend. I forwarded my tickets to [livejournal.com profile] thatcrazycajun, who had planned to attend, and told him to give the tickets away to anyone who wanted them, either that he knew or just to people on line.

So, as you can imagine, I was excited to learn that he was doing another show at the Variety Playhouse. [livejournal.com profile] sfeley asked if we wanted to join up with a big group of folks attending, so of course we said yes.

Saturday arrived, and we headed down to meet up with our party at Front Page News, a nearby restaurant. We were the first to arrive, so we set about getting a table arranged for 12, and sat down to enjoy some appetisers. It was right about then that I had a sudden horror-struck realisation. I had forgotten to print the tickets!

I did what I usually do in such situations, which is quietly panic and then look for solutions. I could drive home and get the tickets, and with no complications from traffic get back in time for the show, but that would meant missing dinner and the company that went with it, which I didn't really want to do. A call to the theatre suggested they might be able to work something out with me, but not until we actually arrived there, which would be too late to enact a plan B should one become necessary.

So I asked our waiter, who was a rather nice young fellow, if they by any chance had an Internet capable computer and printer on the premises. He told me he would check, and came back to inform me that while his manager had one in her office, customers were not allowed into that area. However, if I were willing to give them the necessary login information, they would print my tickets for me. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I wrote down the necessary details on a piece of paper and handed them over. He returned 10 minutes later with the printouts that would get us in the door, and we gave him a 50% tip when it was time to go. The food was also excellent, and outside of heroic measures above and beyond the call of duty, the service was outstanding. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the Little Five Points area.

Once the crisis was resolved, we were able to settle in and enjoy dinner. Present were myself and [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi, [livejournal.com profile] sfeley and [livejournal.com profile] afeley, [livejournal.com profile] rslatkin and [livejournal.com profile] vatavian, [livejournal.com profile] joyeuse13 and [livejournal.com profile] abovenyquist, and some folks who may be on LJ but I don't know their handles. (Cross connecting the members of these couples to their respective poly OSOs (where appropriate) is left entirely as an exercise to the reader.)

We finished dinner, and set out to move our car to the venue's parking lot, since we were sure the restaurant really wanted their parking back, and headed inside, where we ran into other friends and enjoyed a great deal of conversation while waiting for the show to begin. Finally, the lights went down, and Paul and Storm took the stage.

Now, I'm not unfamiliar with Paul and Storm, and had even seen them before, way back when DaVinci's Notebook was still touring. But this is the first time I'd managed to catch their live show, and let me tell you, I laughed my ass off. "Opening Band" is *still* in my head (and I'm re-listening to it on YouTube. Thank you, YouTube), and the rest of their short set was just as entertaining. The faux-Gregorian "NunFight" song was hilarious, and the banter with the audience was rapid and witty. If you get a chance to catch these guys, don't pass it up.

Jonathan Coulton then took the stage and was pretty much spot on all night. He played his hits, he did requests that he had solicited on Twitter (including two of mine, though I don't know if it was *my* requests that got them onto the set list, but it made me happy anyway). One of the things I like about Coulton, both here and in every interview I've ever seen with him, is how utterly down to earth he is. He seems pleasantly bemused that he took a huge risk with his career and it's actually paid off for him, and genuinely appears to love everything about what he does. It's also a reminder that while you can do a lot of gimmicks with lighting and special effects to spice up a live show, you can still go a long way with just one guy, a guitar, and some fiendishly catchy and intelligent songs.

The show was led off with "Ikea", my two requests were back to back ("The Future Soon" and "Shop Vac"), and of course he did all the big hits like "Skullcrusher Mountain", "Re: Your Brains", and "First of May". My favourite moment of the concert may well have been his cover of Billy Joel's "Pressure", which was a very interesting and different interpretation and I completely want a recording of it right now. Paul and Storm joined him for a few songs, and everything was pretty much spot-on through the entire set.

At the end of the night, we staggered out into the warm night air, found our car, and drove home to fall into bed. I had an awesome time, and I don't doubt that I will be first in line to buy tickets the next time either act comes to town.

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