Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by tonbabydc
Aaaah, the Bridges to Babylon tour.

What a tremendously half-assed piece of shit that album was. Dirty Work might be the all time worst Stones record, but I fortunately was only 11 years old when that came out. But by the time they crapped out B2B, I full well knew what a terrible album sounded like. And this, my friends was it.

Good God, where to start? With Mick Jagger's pathetic grasp at relevance by hiring a flash-in-the-pan gimmick producer team? Or how about the limp-dicked cover art? Or maybe giving a song-writing credit to a washed up lesbian icon because you're not 100 percent sure that you didn't steal a chorus from her (...but ya decided to release it as a single anyway)? How about the embarrassing decision to have a guest rap in your lead-off single by a novelty act MC from ten years ago? (Fuckin hell, we expect those sort of coked out shenanigans on a Ronnie Wood solo record, not on a Rolling Stones venture).

Any of these are reason enough to pan this album.

But reason number one in my book will always be the inclusion of a third guitar player on a number of tracks on this album.

A third fucking guitar player (not named "Mick Jagger") in the Rolling Stones???? Since when are Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards not enough guitar players for the Rolling Fucking Stones?

(Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all about Harvey Mandell (?!?!) and Wayne Perkins being all over Black and Blue......and Gram Parsons and Ry Cooder and a half a dozen of Keith Richards' other smack buddies being all over other Stones records. But those records were mostly good, if not completely fucking awesome. But this album blew).

Regardless....Waddy Wachtel?? Best case scenario he's a corporate studio rainmaker. Worst case, he shouldn't be left alone with your kids.

Save that guy for your solo tours, Keith.

And you know, the sad thing is that "Out of Control" and "Saint of Me"......coupled to a lesser extent with "Too Tight" and the more recent "Rough Justice"....will probably be the Stones' last really good rock songs.

(I almost wrong "great Stones songs", but none of those tunes really belong in the same sentence as "Honky Tonk Women" or "Let's Spend the Night Together", now, do they?)

((((Good God, those videos suck....)))

Despite this never-ending tome of head-up-my-butt-snobbery, I did decide to see this tour (....twice). A more pure music fan would not excuse this double standard, but the Rolling Stones live performance is kind of a thing of beauty for those of us who can get past the mediocrity of the Stones' studio output for the last 25 years.

In this case, I went to the show with my best friend from college, Jason, and his wife, Becky.

I hate to say this after drooling over the Stones live show, but I don't actually remember a hell of a lot about this performance. I'm pretty sure that Blues Traveller opened, and I know that we sat on the lower level in the back of the Vet.

I also vividly remember making a beer run before the show, and getting that terrible feeling in my gut as the house lights went down when I had not yet reached the front of the line. What a terrible decision to make......be a good guest and pick up the beers, or run out into the aisle in order to at least watch the start of the show, only to surrender myself to the back of the line?

I stayed in line, stuck behind a small and very unattractive (and even angrier) Italian girl who was loudly whispering to her friend that "those people" shouldn't be allowed to handle money because they're "too fuckin slow."

She gestured her little troll hand at the two African American women operating the beer stand, lest any of us miss the subtext of her statement.

Aaaah, Philly. Nothing says classy like angry, ugly, racist white chicks.

Anyway, "Satisfaction" played as I was spilling beer all over myself trying to get back to the seats, and that's more or less the only song I can remember from the set. I know that they were doing the Internet request thing on that tour, and they most certainly ended the show with the same four songs that they end every concert with.

But the big gap in the middle has sadly been surrendered over the years to the ill effects of cheap marijuana and expensive beer. And I know that's the makings of a lousy blog post. But them's are the breaks.

Because, I'm a man of wealth and taste.

Bad taste.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Denis Leary

Originally uploaded by tonbabydc

Not a bad night, though nothing particularly exciting happened. No porn stars, no hollow apologies for my bad taste, (and certainly nothing as embarrassing as Denis Leary's own career decisions), just another night out with Pornmaster-T and Captain Sensitive.

Leary was coming off the success of his first album back in 92 or whenever, and was doing a tour in support for his upcoming HBO Special. Most of the material was about parenthood and the new (at that time) trend towards gourmet flavored coffee. Nothing really amazing....

The standout bit was probably his story about accidentally farting five minutes into a transcontinental flight (Alaska to Asia).....I'm not going to try and recreate it, but I think you get the schtick: he has a 20-minute layover, he smokes a cigarette, eats an egg salad sandwich from a vending machine and drinks a warm soda before getting back on the flight, whereupon he busts ass and pisses everyone off as the air is recycled over the course of the next 11 hours.

The real star of the night, though, was undoubtedly opener Jeff Garlan (Jeff Greene...the fat guy from "Curb Your Enthusiasm"). Garlan was absolutely kick-ass. He improvised liberally through his set, touching on his experiences with phone sex, his technique for stealing hotel PPV porn, and a completely hysterical bit about reaching 40 and realizing that your college diploma is worthless, and your wife despises you because her butt has gotten too big for her liking. (The repeated exclamation of "SHITTY PIECE OF PAPER...BIG FAT ASS!!!!!" was central to this bit, and became an annoying catch phrase for myself, PMT and the Captian for several months after this show).

I'm struggling with how I'm going to wrap this one up, so I'll just go for the easiest way out:

As you will notice on the stub, this concert took place during the summer, with an abnormally early door time. This meant that the sun was still up when we drove down and parked for the concert. But it was well into the night time when we walked out.

Now, listen, I sometimes like to embellish how much shadier and more dangerous the U Street area was back in the mid-90's, but it was never quite as bad as I like to make it out to be. (Compared to the sorrority house traffic nightmare that U Street is today, however, I think the tall tales serve an important purpose). The neighborhood *could* be a little rough back then, and my car *was* broken into that one time. And so was Joe's from the Milkomatics, as he was loading out from a gig at the Velvet, now that I think of it....Oh, and then there was that time when one of the neighborhood crackheads pulled a knife on me (well, a steak knife, to be honest) as I was trying to get in my car.

But bottom line, if you kept your wits, these incidents could be kept to a minimum.

There was no assuring PMT and the Captain of this as we crossed V Street. What we had on our hands were two very frightened white people. In fact, other than the one or two times that the Captain came out to the Velvet Lounge or the Black Cat to see my old band, I can say with relative certainty that this was the first and last time that either of them ventured into the non-Smithsonian inner-reaches of the dark city. In fact, since then PMT has moved to West Virginia.

That's right. West Virginia.

One night in Shaw made a hard man humble.


Monday, February 9, 2009

midsummer nights dream

midsummer nights dream
Originally uploaded by tonbabydc
oh yeah. here's the stub.