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Entries from June 2005
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You're at the CONCERT? Do they have a SMOKE MACHINE? (10 Jun 2005 at 17:35)
Last night I went with Heather and Stephen and Rachele to see the Pixies on their Reunion/Sellout tour at the "Chevrolet Ampitheatre" in Station Square. Since this is called the Chevrolet Ampitheatre and is in Station Square and sells corn dogs and $7 plastic cups of pee-pee beer and was part of the "Miller Light Concert Series," I was deliberately de-psyching myself for this concert so that I wouldn't be disappointed. This appeared to have worked!

I found it remarkable that for a band of this importance, we were able to get up almost right in front of the stage (by the end of the concert, there was just one row of people ahead of me), even though we arrived only about 15 minutes before the concert was scheduled to start. I guess that a lot of people go to concerts for different reasons than me (e.g., pee-pee beer, bumping elbows in a huge sweaty crowd far back from the stage, etc.) after all. I was also surprised at how well-behaved the crowd was, for the most part. There was more drunken moshing and crowd-surfing at The Shins (memorably, during the extremely sedate New Slang?!?!) at CMU!

The opening act, a "rock and soul" outfit called "The BellRays" were exactly appropriate. I mean this in an unflattering way: with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, they provided an experience that is critical to a great concert, i.e., some element of suffering in order to reach the rock climax. (For comparison, think of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," which is in no small way strengthened by the fact that the verse part sucks so badly in contrast to the chorus. Or, imagine walking two miles to see Fugazi play a concert. Now imagine walking two miles in the sewer to see them—which is better?) They did not play for any longer than was necessary to achieve this purpose. But let me go on nonetheless, for it is oh so more indie rock to complain about bad music than to gush about good. As you can guess from their tagline, the band is composed of "rock", i.e. two guitarists who looked comically like Wayne and Garth (Garth would extend his finger into the air to apparently indicate "number one" at the end of every song) and a drummer with ridiculously overwraught facial expressions; and "soul", i.e. a bizarrely hypersexualized diva, who at one point informed us of the conspiracy: "They go on telling you that everything should feel good. That's what they want you to believe." Whaaa? Did she miss the Just Say No campaign or what?

It was one step up from a bunch of guys paid to cover Hotel California in a bar, in that they were clearly putting a lot of energy into it, jumping up and down and sweating all over their guitars and high heels, but being impressed with that would be rather like being impressed by someone who plays tic-tac-toe really really hard.

The Pixies were great. I'm sure this has to do mostly with growing up owning relatively few albums, a small set that included every Pixies album, but I realized during the show that I basically like every Pixies song. This is something I can't say for many bands, even for bands I like better than the Pixies in general. (I will admit to getting a bit annoyed by "Nimrod's Son" by the second verse, but I think that was more because I was thinking, "Why are they playing this instead of Alec Eiffel?") Joey's guitar playing was tight as hell, and I was really happy that all the little things I remember from the recordings were replicated on stage; when Frank encouraged "Rock me, Joe..." in Monkey Gone to Heaven I almost shed a tear (though it may have been sweat). Aside from a few surprising omissions from Tromp le Monde, they played everything I had hoped for, including "The Holiday Song" from the Come on Pilgrim EP (!).

In conclusion, although it is quite possible that this reunion is a sham that may implode at any moment, if you are or were a Pixies fan then I highly recommend seeing them on this tour before that happens.


Now, I just need Polvo and The Beatles to reunite, and...
Category:  favorites (9 comments)   [ comment ]
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UPD: midimml/t7es (09 Jun 2005 at 00:00)
The Famicompo Mini vol.2 is over (with no surprise to myself, I lost badly). I therefore posted my two entries, in NSF format, on my midimml page. My entry "Star Crystal Journey" (the name is my attempt to conjure up an extremely generic, but legitimate sounding NES title) suffered from a bug caused by midimml. The bug is fixed in version 2.1, and the version of the song on that page is fixed as well.

Next up, a T7ES web page, since I currently have essentially zero web presence for this project.
Category:  t7es (13 comments)   [ comment ]
Entries from May 2005
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Project Punctuation (19 May 2005 at 17:10)
I made a project on Wikipedia (a free online encyclopedia) to fix the unreasonably popular mistake of leaving off punctuation at the end of paragraphs. It's called Project Punctuation, and it's a good way to spend time doing something easy and useful in order to, say, avoid working on your thesis proposal. It's based on my wikipedia-analyzing "periodbot" (source), which is written using a basic interface to mysql for mlton (source).
(2 comments)   [ comment ]
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Paper accepted! (15 May 2005 at 09:55)
My paper Distributed Control Flow with Classical Modal Logic was accepted to CSL 2005. This means I'll be visiting Oxford to present it in August. Hooray!

I'll put up a final version when I submit it, but you could look at the tech report version for now, if you want.
(4 comments)   [ comment ]
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Highly Recommended (10 May 2005 at 18:48)
Highly Recommended
I think that the text "Highly Recommended" in quotes here is about the funniest piece of lawn-punditing I've seen all season.
(5 comments)   [ comment ]
... May 2005 continued
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