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Upcoming Concerts You Will Be Attending

brian

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Belle and Sebastian at the Minnesota Zoo. I almost skipped this show because it would be difficult to get to, so glad I didn't. I bought my ticket last minute, and my timing couldn't have been better. Front row center section. It would be difficult to get a better seat in the house. It's hard to put into words, because this ended up being the perfect show for me, so much that this probably reads like bullshit.

1 - The great seat. It was sold as an "obstructed view" - nothing was obstructed. There were times where Stuart, the lead singer, would leave stage and be singing just a few feet in front of me
2 - I got my vinyl copy of If You're Feeling Sinister signed by Stuart
3 - Stuart made reference to an emailed request song he received, and said it was an earnest message. He said they may play the song later in the set. It ended up being my request, Modern Rock Song, a track they've rarely played live.
4 - I got to go up on stage and awkwardly dance for two songs
 

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brian

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So my new dorky thing is trying to get a single favorite LP from my favorite artists signed. I've had mostly good luck so far, only struggling with the older acts. Most of them are personalized, which I know kills the resale value but it's kind of fun having them all addressed to me. I ultimately just want to have some cool wall art and maybe a nice interaction with creators of some of my favorite music.

So far, I've gotten:
The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree (signed by John Darnielle, John Vanderslice, and Peter Hughes)
Joanna Newsom - Ys (Joanna Newsom)
Andrew Bird - Break it Yourself (Signed by Andrew Bird, Martin Dosh, and Jeremy Ylvisaker)
The Zombies - The Odessey and the Oracle 2 copies - one signed in person by singer Colin Blunstone, and one copy from the merch table with Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent, Hugh Grundy, and Chris White
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Justin Vernon)
Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister ( Stuart Murdoch )

My failures:
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds - Brian Wilson is wheelchair bound, and not really in a great spot to be interacting with fans. Al Jardine kind of waved us off both before and after the show.
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - Nick Mason. He'd been signing at other shows, but I think the crowd was a little too large and scared him off. They snuck him out of the venue.

Considering I've been doing this since May, I think I'm doing alright.
 

SilentBob

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Well looks like I’m seeing FOO FIGHTERS again in May. I had no idea last week they were going on tour, but my sister did. So she surprised me with a very early Bday present for this Red Van Tour 2 to celebrate their 25th anniversary as a band. So they will be in 11 cities only and my night happens to be a) the only Canadian city included and b) it’s the last city on the tour so I wonder if they will go out big, with potential guest musicians. It is the hometown of the late great Neil Peart :bow:
 

tomdkat

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Well looks like I’m seeing FOO FIGHTERS again in May. I had no idea last week they were going on tour, but my sister did. So she surprised me with a very early Bday present for this Red Van Tour 2 to celebrate their 25th anniversary as a band. So they will be in 11 cities only and my night happens to be a) the only Canadian city included and b) it’s the last city on the tour so I wonder if they will go out big, with potential guest musicians. It is the hometown of the late great Neil Peart :bow:
Awesomeness! I wanted to see Primus, in a couple of months, but I think the show is already sold out. They're performing at The Greek Theater in Berkeley (another chance to see Primus "at the Greek" :) ). I missed my chance to get tickets to see Pearl Jam (sold out) and Metallica perform with the S.F. Symphony (back in January of this year). I think TOOL is going on tour, so we'll see if I can get tix. Otherwise, I'll probably attend a symphony performance, of some kind, in the next month or so.

Peace...
 

brian

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Aforementioned dorky hobby is probably dead for a long time. I guess I need to be thankful that I had a really good year of live music in 2019. A couple highlights - met Bruce Johnston from the Beach Boys back in November. Probably one of my more bizarre interactions. A couple Beach Boys fans were waiting in the hotel adjoining the casino where Bruce and Mike Love were playing that night. They were seeking signatures, and hey, so was I, always good to have company. Nice people. After an hour or so of waiting, Bruce sees us, points, and approaches us and offers to sign 1 thing each. I only had Pet Sounds with me, and was happy to get that signed. He told the guy next to me the thing he wanted to get signed "sucks", and told me "Paul McCartney says that Pet Sounds has the worst artwork to the best album" - can't say I disagree.

He was on his way, but on the way back he came back, and was showing off a Beach Boys shot glass, telling us how much it costs and suggesting we get it at the merch table. Kind of weird, but whatever. He offers to sign more stuff, I didn't have anything else but he obliged to do a selfie. As he walked away, he asked "Do any of you know what an Israeli police siren sounds like? It sounds like this? EEEE OOOO EEE OOO" and he made that sound as he walked away. It was just a little bizarre. Mike Love hid from us. We waited after the show for a couple hours as well, nothing. I got stranded at that casino. Kind of sucked but it was a good memory overall.

bruce johnston.jpg
 

brian

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Also back in November. Wilco. The security guy at the venue remembered me from trying to meet Andrew Bird a couple months earlier, and was really nice. He said the band was kind of shy about meeting fans because they're tired of autograph seekers flipping their records on ebay. I asked if I looked like I was there for flipping records, he said "No, I can tell you're not the type. We spoke for a bit, and apparently he put in a nice word for me with Wilco's manager. Only one other guy was hanging around, the security guy told me he's one of the ebay resellers.

So it was kind of bizarre. The security guy discretely got my attention to get off the street and into an alley next to the venue, and Jeff Tweedy came out. I shook his hand, and he signed my copy of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and I got a photo with him. Anyways, just a nice story from a stranger helping out. The band manager came out and yelled at the other guy and said "We're not signing anything for you!"
 

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brian

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December:
Andrew Bird - attending his Gezzeligheid shows in Chicago. It's been my off and on Christmas tradition since 2010 to head to Chicago to catch Andrew play in a beautiful church.

A fan and I waited around for Andrew after the show. I previously met Andrew in September, and got a signature. I asked for a photo this time around. He's one of my favorite musicians, and I'm happy to have it.

I taped the show, and have it on archive.org if that's your sort of thing:
https://archive.org/details/abird2019-12-09/01-Intro.flac
 

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brian

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Polica -not sure if anyone here knows of them, they're local and I know they were all over the college radio stations some years back. The main songwriter fell off her roof this past winter and messed up her back. They were playing a couple small gigs here to warm up for proper touring, and I was fortunate to see them play in Eaux Claires Hiver winter music fest, two nights at a 250-person venue, and then this past January for their new record's release. Also shout out to The Electric Fetus, the local record store for doing stuff like this - the deal was pretty sweet. Preorder the new album through them, get a ticket and meet & greet for the performance. It bums me out how much musicians, event staff, and independent record shops are all hurting now when they've been such a positive part of my life.
 

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brian

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I made it out for the Eaux Claire Hiver festival back in November. Between this festival and all the shows back home, I was seeing a band or two pretty much every night for a week straight - exhausting but I'm so glad I got to.

Some highlights:
Two nights of Bon Iver performing "Come Through" - It's so hard for me to put this into words. I caught one of their earlier performances the year before, and it might be the only show that brought me to tears. Video or audio recordings can't do it justice. They didn't play any of their known music, the band was in the background, with either interpretive dancing or projections to get your attention. And the music and imagery touched upon the Parkland shootings, Treyvon Martin's death, and other shitty memories and it all just hit me. Fucking hard, in a cathartic way. I'm thankful I was able to see it again.

I also got to see Justin Vernon (from Bon Iver) + Ani Difranco - They did a talk, intermixed with music, each covering the other's songs. Kind of neat.

The aforementioned Polica played - The room was drenched in lasers.

No photo with me and the bands, but got to visit the Bon Iver album murals. Despite living in Wisconsin for much of my life, and being just a bit over the border in Minnesota, this was my first time in Eau Claire, WI. I had a good time. Pretty chill town.
 

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brian

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Ok, last one I think - I caught the Beach Boys again in February. One of those weird opportunities where work sent me to Orlando and they were in town, can't pass it up.

I camped long, hoping to get some signatures again. I think I got to the venue at 2PM, but Bruce Johnston and Mike Love showed up separate from their band members closer to show time. A couple non-fans were hanging out to get autographs but eventually gave up. Odd group, and not as fun to talk to as actual fans.

Around 6, Bruce Johnston pulled in. He saw me waiting with records, and waved for me to approach, so I did until security yelled at me, but Bruce told him it's alright. I was wearing a vintage Beach Boys ballcap which is older than me, Bruce took it off my head and asked me about it. I held his show clothes while he signed my copy of Surf's Up and Smiley Smile. I've heard from some fans that he can get moody, but I was fortunate to have 2 pretty good interactions with him.

That hat got me attention at the show too, when it started, Mike Love pointed to me and tipped his hat to me. I was kind of nervous I'd miss out on getting Mike's signature again, but a friend advised me to just hold up my record when Mike is walking around on stage. If he acknowledges you, you're pretty much set and he'll come by and sign for you. Sure enough, during the encore break, he came by and signed my Pet Sounds.

I hung out after the show, and a small crowd amassed outside near the back. Bruce was over the shit, but Mike came out and signed for people, and I got him on my Smiley Smile.

This haunted me for a little bit - I started getting flu-like symptoms that night. I was kind of worried that I could have gotten them sick from our interactions, the flu* (or maybe Covid :-/ ) can be pretty bad for people their age, and I kept thinking "oh shit, what if I hand a hand in their death?"

Thankfully they didn't seem to get sick. That would have been... messed up.

Ok, doubt anyone read any of these, but that's it for my wall of text for the night. Thanks for letting me relive some concert memories.
 

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brian

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I lied. A couple more:

Low performed one of their Christmas shows. I taped it if that's your kind of thing. Recording came out so-so, but the performance was great. Got my Christmas record signed after the show. https://archive.org/details/low2019-12-13/01-Long+Way+Around+the+Sea.flac

Mount Eerie - They're one of those bands that have put out a lot of records, and I'm really only into a few of them. Fortunately this setlist was half from the new record, and half from my favorite record. Again, I taped this and you can listen to it here if you're into that sort of thing: https://archive.org/details/me2019-12-08.aud.flac16

Dosh - When I think of Minneapolis musicians, he's one of the first to come to mind. I first came to know of his work from him playing in Andrew Bird's band. He was nice when I met him in 2006, and I say hello anytime I see him around here and he's always been good to talk to. His music has been a good soundtrack for all these at-home work days. I taped this one too, and he was pretty excited and supportive for me to share this on the live music archive. Mike Lewis, plays the sax here - you might know him from playing with Andrew Bird's band years back and from Bon Iver. Also a really nice guy. https://archive.org/details/Dosh2019-12-27

Alpha Consumer - our own wrecking crew. Mike Lewis ( from Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, and a lot of local stuff), Jeremy Ylvisaker ( Andrew Bird, and shows up on countless records, amazing guitar player, super nice guy) and JT Bates ( another guy that shows up all over the place, sometimes with Bon Iver, and just about every local recording) - I caught them quite a bit this past year, and they have a couple of the sets I saw on bandcamp: https://alphaconsumer.bandcamp.com/album/black-friday-with-alpha-consumer-eight and https://alphaconsumer.bandcamp.com/album/black-friday-with-alpha-consumer-ten
 
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Taxi

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Cool. When you record bands with those in-ear mics, do you try to get permission from the band, or are they known to allow recording? I know that The Grateful Dead were pretty "taping friendly" even allowing access directly to the mixing board on some occasions. When I was a regular concert goer, taping/recording was a huge no-no, even to the point where we would get searched for cameras (And booze!) before going into the venue.
 

brian

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I'm mixed on permission. Some musicians are ok with taping, but the venues usually aren't, so I try to be discrete about it. Artists may have a taping policy. If they're on the Live Music Archive, they've given their blessing to have shows taped.

I've asked the local guys, since they're so accessible. One of them gave me this advice - "I'm a dead head, always be taping. And if you have any doubts about sharing it, just ask me, I can reach out to the musicians." Likewise, I'm the guy who set Dosh up with the Live Music archive, he was excited someone taped it and told me he loves the Live Music Archive.

The drummer from Alpha Consumer actually asked me for a copy of one of the Justin Vernon/Bon Iver performances he performed at - it felt good to be able to do that, like he helped perform it and I get to give him a memento - awesome. And he also advised me not too spread that recording around, which I'm going to respect.

So the short of it - always record if you can, the sharing part is where it gets tricky. I won't get into the morality of it, but I'm grateful for the tapers out there that recorded a piece of history.

I'm not down with bootleggers that resell this stuff though, they give us a bad rep.
 

brian

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Cool. When you record bands with those in-ear mics, do you try to get permission from the band, or are they known to allow recording? I know that The Grateful Dead were pretty "taping friendly" even allowing access directly to the mixing board on some occasions. When I was a regular concert goer, taping/recording was a huge no-no, even to the point where we would get searched for cameras (And booze!) before going into the venue.
Circling back to this one, Justin Vernon, the primary singer/songwriter from Bon Iver, recently turned to the fan community asking for early live recordings. While I've only taped their more recent stuff, I've amassed a sizeable collection and got in contact with him. I asked for permission to share the Ani DiFranco gig that the drummer suggested I not circulate, and he was cool with it, saying it's mine to do with as I please. I really appreciate artists who can recognize that it's fans taping and sharing this stuff, and that we're not a threat to their bottom line. And in this specific instance, we're helping preserve the band's history. While there are still people out there selling bootlegs, that's a pretty niche thing.

The same day, I connected with another band I like offering to do some grunt work in editing up any live shows they have and they seemed interested. We'll see if anything comes of it.