Monday, August 25, 2008

Ed Robertson survives plane crash

You may have heard some more news today about Barenaked Ladies. Singer/guitarist Ed Robertson piloted a stalled plane into a crash landing that everyone survived. News reports claim that all passengers emerged without a scratch. Ed is an old friend, someone I love and admire, and I was initially shocked when reading his name and "plane crash" in the headline, then ultimately relieved that everyone was OK. Apparently Ed's wife and another couple were in the plane. I can't imagine the sadness had the situation turned out differently. Ed started flying in 2005, and has been the host of a Canadian TV show Ed's Up, that chronicles his adventures flying around the country.

Ed is a lovely person, to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude. He was always kind and friendly to me, one of the most interesting and genuine people I have ever met. I learned a lot about kindness from the time I spent hanging around him. He just has a way of making everyone around him feel happy and special. It is a rare gift, and I'm lucky to know him. I have already chronicled some of my BNL memories in the post I did about Steve a few weeks ago, so I won't go on. I'll just look forward to the next time I get to see BNL, and hopefully I'll be able to give everyone in the band a big hug! Be careful and stay safe guys. The only press I want to read about you from now on is about a new album, a big tour, or general world pop domination. OK!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Slideshow from my Chicago Trip

Here's what I did post Lolla:

Here's a short video of what it was like while we were waiting for the storm to pass.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Moving over to tech blog now

I'll be doing most of my blogging for the rest of the week on my tech blog Twitter is embedded there, too. Thanks for reading.

I'm at the Apple Store on Michigan Ave now. Very happy here!

Then the rain...

A major storm passed, though not a tornado. We had to cram on the
concourse. We left after, but the game continued for one inning after
a 3-hour rain delay. Then it was called. Cubs lost 2-0 to Houston.

Lovely night at Wrigley

Monday, August 04, 2008

Last Day of Lolla

The final day, and I'm exhausted. But, the whole festival was fun. Here are my pix from Sunday. Like ACL, Lollapalooza is a good chance to see bands you love as well as those you may not have seen or heard about before. I wanted to catch a glimpse of both headliners, NIN and Kanye West. Looks like both were strong shows. There was a huge crowd for Nine Inch Nails. I stayed near the back, looked like a high energy performance.

Then, I had planned to drop by Kanye West before I left the park. Not as crowded as NIN, but still several thousand people out there. I was able to make it up reasonably close to the front, so I decide to stick around for most of the show. Wow, was that a great performance. He's got lots of charisma, the light show was amazing, and people there were really into it. I definitely want to catch another of his shows again. Dear ACL: book Kanye West to headline next year.

Tally Hall - quirkly band from Ann Arbor, they all wear different colored ties. Reminded me of Barenaked Ladies, Weezer, They Might Be Giants.

Nicole Atkins and the Sea

Iron and Wine, another TX act

Tally Hall is interviewed in the Dell Lounge. Sad to say, but the Dell Lounge saved my iPhone. I had to run in there and get online to find out how to unfreeze the thing.

Love and Rockets

The National

Some images from Nine Inch Nails show.

Approaching AT&T stage for Kanye West.

Many of the stages featured people doing sign language. They danced and sang the lyrics while they signed!

The End!
So, that's a wrap from Chicago. Now for something completely different: the AEJMC conference. I'll be blogging that at, but I doubt the pix will be as interesting.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tally Hall

Better photos to come later

Lolla - Day 2

Day 2 was great. I learned the layout of the festival, figured out how to walk across the grounds maximizing shade, and took a much more laid-back pace than Day 1. It is really best to view it as two festivals, each side. Just focus on one or the other. It is a good mile between each of the main stages. But, the park is beautiful, Buckingham Fountain and the Chicago Skyline all around. It was a little cooler, breezy and was a perfect 60 degrees by the time Wilco took the stage at 8:30pm.

Here are the things I saw on Saturday:

Dr. Dog

Whole Foods at the Green Store

Mason Jennings

Gutter Twins


Explosions in the Sky (from Austin), didn't know they were an instrumental group

Okkervil River, also from Austin. They rocked. Love their sound, cross between Spoon and the Cure. Definitely something to watch in the future.

Jeff Tweedy on the big screen, very intense

Wilco rocked, best show I've seen from them. Dear ACL: Wilco definitely needs to headline in the future. Check out their fancy, sequined outfits. Tweedy's first words to the crowd: "We've been doing a lot of sewing."

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wilco - simply amazing

My Olympic story in program guide

Check out the new, smaller format. Nice job on the whole thing
Stewart, Richard and team.

Media area

No big deal, but nice and cool, places to sit.

Gutter twins

One of two food courts

Food not quite as special as acl. They have hot dogs.

Lollapalooza - Friday

Greetings from Lollapalooza. I made it to Chicago by noon yesterday, and got to the festival around 3pm. After checking in at the media area, I attempted to catch a bit of Jeff Tweedy's kids' set, but didn't make it in time. I heard that he played some regular Wilco tunes, Hummingbird, I'm the Man Who Loves You, Heavy Metal Drummer. Would have loved that. But, the big Wilco show is on tap for this evening.

So, back to the festival...Grant Park is GIGANTIC. It is easily twice as big as the area at Zilker for ACL Fest. It takes a good 20 minutes to go from one end to the other. There were probably, I'm guessing, about 100,000 people there. It was pretty hot yesterday, felt as hot as luck...Chicago's first heatwave of the summer.
AT&T service was crap in the park. Couldn't get any Internet connection, although the park supposedly had open wireless. 3G didn't work either. Phone calls and texts were spotty, too. I had hoped to be able to post more photos right from the fest.

Stages are very crowded. I couldn't get close to anyone, but will try a little harder today.

Louis XIV


Gerri is happy!

Gogol Bordello from afar

Mates of State

Lots of shady areas in Grant Park, but no folding camp chairs. They had a few of those chairs like they had in the Heineken area (Basecamp) last year. I spent a lot of time sitting on the ground.

Cat Power throws some paper to the crowd...set lists? People seemed pretty excited about it.


Does It Offend You, Yeah interviewed in the Dell Lounge.

CSS, crazy Brazilians.

Pics from Radiohead. I have never seen a crowd as big at any outdoor festival.

Ready for Day 2!