This happened less than six hours ago, and Nick and I were maybe 15 yards to the left. How did we ever live in a world without YouTube?
(PS: I may write up a little something about this weekend in a day or so. But it was draining so I am fairly beat. But, quickly: Bottle Rockets, So Many Dynamos, Titus Andronicus, Built to Spill, Broken Social Scene, Fruit Bats, Jeff Tweedy, She and Him: All good. Airborne Toxic Event: Kept making stage banter about the "existential crisis". (Bad, obviously.) Also: Shafley beer on tap for 5 bucks and an entire Euclid Records tent.)
Listening to the fantastic new Arcade Fire album got me thinking about how much they've changed since that first album. Doing some YouTube searching dug up this old vid, which I'm sure made it on Tony's Music Tape (RIP):
The performance styles aren't different, really (like this one, which is sweet), except the feeling is for me.
A scene: Fall 2004, fourth floor of Galloway Dorm, Hillsdale, Mich. A few of us are sitting on the floor, another is perched on one of those crappy rocking office chairs they gave us and Tony is on his blue "Captain of the Camping Trip!" fold-up chair. The smell of Ramen (spiced with Noodles and Co. seasoning) wafts down the hallway as we watch a man wearing a crash helmet drum the shit out of another man in a crash helmet during a giant group sing-along.
I was lucky enough to get the window seat on all my flights.
Some people close their window shades on the airplane, a phenomenon I've never quite understood. Leaving mine open, I caught a glimpse of the Mississippi River on the way to Phoenix and back. I saw barges, cattle, rectangular countryside, sand and the blinking red light on the wing of the plane at night.
Landing into the Phoenix airport (Sky Harbor (awesome)), it amazed me again to see just how much space the city encompasses. It takes about three-and-a-half hours to drive around its circumference. Stretch across a gridded canvas, the city streets reach far enough in the cardinal directions you lose sight of their ends in the haze.
I stayed with a (newly) Phoenician friend my first night and spent all of the next day talking with editors at the city's main newspaper.
Mark came to the city to pick me up and drive me down to Tucson (roughly two hours southeast), but before our trip we polished off some In-n-Out Burger – one of the great pillars of "out West."
It was my very first paid vacation, a concept I still have trouble wrapping my head around. I used the time wisely -- lounging, drinking, watching copious amounts of 30 Rock, eating omelets and desert driving.
I reconnected with editors (of whom I've grown quite fond), met some new ones and talked with Silliman for more than an hour via phone. I made a journalism decision that may greatly alter where my career goes next.
Mark and I left Tucson for Phoenix Friday evening. We listened to Wolf Parade and The Arcade Fire:
There's something about leaving a small place and plopping down in the middle of cosmopolitania. Just the change in pace -- hearing people all around you all the time -- it makes a major difference. I like it a lot.
Phoenix was different this time around. Younger, energized, hotter and more eye-catching. It's a real city, too young for its space and still growing into itself.
I landed in the Shenandoah Valley, back in Virginia, without regrets and ready to get back into my routine. On the drive home I blasted The Hives.
A half-ass mid-week mix that's neither mid-week nor a mix. This is simply just a straightforward post of random songs of the moment from various anonymous SadBears. Have fun. (I do not feel up to making a YouTube mix for three songs, but if any readers feel like they have to in order to keep up the "experience", have at it.)
Titus Andronicus - "A More Perfect Union"
Arcade Fire - "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"