Friday, October 17, 2008

Is anybody listening to me?

You know who I'm a fan of? Clerks, attendants and the like who ask you questions and then immediately stop listening.

Here's a conversation I had at the Fry's pharmacy recently:

Clerk: "How may I help you?"
Me: "Hi. I'm here to pick up a prescription for Johnson. It's a canine prescription."
(She moves towards the shelves with all the prescriptions and starts to look around.)
Clerk: "What was the name?"
Me: "Johnson."
(She rummages through the prescriptions. Eventually she grabs one and starts to look at it.)
Clerk: "Is it a canine prescription?"
(Double beat.)
Me: "Yyyyyep."


What do I do with that? She asked me 2 questions and 2 questions only. They weren't follow up questions or extra necessary filters to help her. She asked me for the only 2 pieces of information I had already supplied her! Johnson. Canine. Johnson? Canine? Johnson. Canine.

Maybe next time I should say "Hi. How bout you wander over to the prescriptions and guess randomly at my prescription. If you need clues, just ask and I'll answer."

Here's another example that happens probably 80% of the time I go to Chipotle.

Clerk: "What would you like?"
Me: "Chicken burrito with rice and black beans."
(She plops the tortilla in the little warmer do-hickey. Moments later she plops the tortilla back on the counter.)
Clerk: "Rice?"
Me: "Yes, please."
Clerk: "What kind of beans?"
Me: "Black, please."
Clerk: "What kind of meat?"
Me: "Chicken, please."


Once again. I've delivered the exact information the clerk clearly needs. I've been to Chipotle a couple times. I know what they're going to ask. It's not like I'm just firing off random burrito ingredients.

"Yeah, can I get medium salsa, black beans, guacamole, a burrito, cheese, a diet coke, chicken, rice, side order of chips and salsa ... oh and lettuce ... on the burrito that is."

I'm not a Navajo code talker here. I'm giving my order in the most logical way I know how. And still I'm forced to deliver all of it twice. I guess maybe I'm just asking for too much competence in the clerks of the world.

Wait. Let me rephrase.

Me: "Am I asking for too much here?"
Clerk: "You wanted too much?
Me: "Yyyyyyep."


Monday, October 13, 2008

Kings of Leon at The Joint, Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas

So I attended the Kings of Leon show at The Joint at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas this last weekend. Before I get to the show I'd like to say I'm proud of myself for powering through one of the most obnoxious concert going couples that I've ever been exposed to. Some highlights:
  • They had at least 10 rounds throughout the 3 sets of music that night. And no less than 3 drinks were immediately knocked onto the ground. Immediately. Not a drop imbibed. And one of the drinks spilled all over drunk mom's leather jacket.
  • Drunk mom put on and took off her awesome leather jacket at least three times.
  • I call her drunk mom because she mentioned that she was a 33 year old mom many times. One time, she slipped and said she was 35. And then collapsed into a pile of laughter on her companion, drunk dude.
  • Drunk dude managed to both slow dance and dance in a hip hop fashion to many KoL songs including Milk and Revelry.
  • Drunk dude recorded the first 30 odd seconds of most of the songs on his digital camera. Who the F re-watches 30 second clips of concerts? And that's not even considering how horrible the sound is on all videos recorded via digital camera.
  • I hijacked at least 5 of their arm-outstretched self photos. My smiling mug is all over their KoL pics. They noticed one of them and then drunk mom could not stop laughing about it for at least 2 songs.
  • I'm proud of my hijacking efforts, but I'll never out do the gentlemen in this photo. Flawless victory.
  • Drunk mom and drunk dude eventually decide they're best friends with the couple to their left. Why? Because one of them is from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. They even take a foursome pic to commemorate the evening. Scratch that, it was actually a fivesome pic ifinyaknowwhatimean! [cough]hijacked again![cough]
I mention all this as a means of pointing out how awesome the show was. I had a great time and of course have been rolling KoL uninterrupted since.

The first opener was The Stills. They played for 30 minutes. They should have played at least one song from their old albums instead of non stop new biz. I look forward to checking out their new album. And I like their guy on keys who wears a fedora or a bowler hat without fail.

I had no idea who the next opener was until they began playing. The bass line of Inaction kicked in and I rejoiced. We Are Scientists played a good set of old and new stuff. I think it's fair to say their older stuff is stronger. The Great Escape FTW! Also their drummer did anything but mail it in. Guy was killing it, especially during the first album songs.

Next up ... Nacho! Nacho chants filled The Joint during the set break.

Then Kings of Leon trotted out to their Gregorian chant intro music. I'm pretty sure their set list was comprised of all the songs below ... listed in descending order of awesomeness.
  • Sex on Fire - This song just does not quit and singing along was rampant on this one.
  • Manhattan - Caleb said they played this because they were mourning OU's loss to Texas that day. This was a big turning point for me on this tune. Song went from good to great for me.
  • Razz - I almost became the yessssss person on this song. I really never would have guessed Razz would make the set list.
  • Milk - Big crowd pleaser which I was happy to see. And this might be the #1 song for the Kings in terms of being very good on the album, but being completely epic in person.
  • My Party - It's tough to take your eyes off Caleb on this one. And the breakdown/come back still really get me.
  • Cold Desert - Goose bumps for me on this one. Caleb really kills the verses.
  • Four Kicks - Jared's opening bass line rules and I was dancing immediately.
  • Slow Night, So Long - Last song of the encore, still a great send off. Once again Jared rules this song.
  • Charmer - This song is a masterpiece if you ask me.
  • Revelry - You know the faint "woo hoo hooooo" that Caleb does at the end of the first verse? He pulled back at that point and the crowd was right there to fill in.
  • Use Somebody - The crowd sang the back up part on this song. Great times. And this was the final song of their encore. Don't forget my prediction about this tune.
  • McFearless - Surprisingly not a huge crowd pleaser, but one of my super favs.
  • Knocked Up - First song back from the encore. Lots of singing along.
  • Taper Jean Girl
  • On Call - Still a killer sing-along tune. And Caleb still motions "c'mon c'mon c'mon" with his hands during the break before the final chorus. Crowd responds as usual.
  • The Bucket
  • Closer
  • Black Thumbnail - singing along on the first verse of this song is really fun
  • Crawl - Show opener. Solid groove to this one.
  • Fans - The acoustic guitar makes it's only appearance!
  • Molly's Chambers - Still one of my least fav KoL tunes, but I ain't complaining.
Fantastic show for $35ish. I gotta get to seeing these guys more often than once a year.

Shout out to cousin Emily who took in all 3 bands for the first time. I'll be shipping her some CDs soon. And props for ordering a pitcher of margs and then letting me down pretty much the whole thing alone due to tequila that "tasted funny". And a shout out to the over-the-top Penn State fans that basically ate dinner with us at Pink Taco ... And then received the remainder of our pitcher when we jetted for the show.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The "Yesssss" Person and a Concert Review

So I caught the Iron & Wine / Swell Season show at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson last night. Before I get to the show, I wanted to talk about my nearby company at said show. Last night I quickly realized I was standing in front of one of my favorite types of people at the concert: the "yessssss" person.

The "yessssss" person is someone who buys a ticket to a concert, goes to said concert and then reacts as if each song on the set list was chosen by a higher power for him/her personally. And they continue to feel this way for just about every song on the set list.

It goes like this:
  • Iron and Wine starts playing "Sodom, South Georgia" - "Yessssssssssssssss"
  • Swell Season starts playing "Falling Slowly" - "Yessssssssssssssssssss"
  • Journey starts playing "Don't Start Believin'" - "Yesssssssssssssssssss"
  • Prince starts playing "Purple Rain" - "Yessssssssssssss"
  • F'ing Wang Chung starts playing f'ing "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight" - "Yessssssssss"
Guess what, over-exciteable? Every song that you said "yessssssssssss" to ... they play those songs every night. That's why they're on tour. They're on tour to play their best songs ... which are all the songs you're "yesssss"ing to.

Also, sometimes the "yessssssss" is followed by "I LOVE this song". Really? You love the song of the band you paid money to see tonight? Allow me to say it: no s. We get it. You like this song and you like this band. Guess what? So do I. That's why I bought the ticket and came to the same show you're at.

How 'bout you just enjoy wearing your t-shirt of the band you're currently seeing and cheer when the song starts like everyone else? Okay? Great.

Onto an abbreviated concert review of Iron & Wine and Swell Season at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, AZ.

Sam opened with Trapeze Swinger and then moved onto Woman King, Naked As We Came, House By The Sea, Resurrection Fern and Sodom, South Georgia among others. His buddy Ron accompanied him and played piano, slide guitar, accordian and just about every instrument known to man. Eventually, the lead dude from Calexico (Tucson's own) came out and the three of them did "Prison on Route 41". Then Salvador Duran made it a quartet and they did "He Lays In The Reins". I could have handled a longer set, but obviously I have no complaints.

After the break, Glen Hansard came out all by himself and played Say It To Me Now completely unplugged. It was fantastic. Marketa then came out for Falling Slowly which was a little bumpy because (in Glen's words) Glen's guitar just didn't know where it was. I enjoyed the mid-song guitar switch out. It felt like I was watching them in the movie. Then the band came out and they did The Moon, When Your Mind's Made Up, Happiness, Low Rising, and People All Get Ready among others. Marketa took the microphone for a couple tunes. I like her a lot. She's just like she is in the movie. Glen also took some time on his own in the middle of the set to do Leave which was fantastic. Also, Glen went guitarless for the slow-builder Happiness which was really good. They ended the night with an Irish tune about a guy in the prison on the Royal Canal in Dublin. Good times.

Also worth noting: sounds like Glen and the band really took to Tucson. They stayed at Hotel Congress and seemed to love it here since they mentioned enjoying Tucson throughout the show. Here's to Tucson ...

... and to the "yesssssss" person. Yessssssssssssssssssss.