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Les and the Copper Canyon

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Time for a report on Billy’s wild weekend adventure! Well, my cell phone started working when I was about an hour away from Salt Lake City. Apparently the Sprint network in the whole state of Utah had a problem for over 12 hours. Awesome. I think my contract runs out here in a few months, I may let that happen and shop around.

I made it up to Layton and met up with Bill Sr. We went to Marie Calendar’s for lunch, that was some tasty food! Before our food arrived, I called up Pete, our hang glide instructor. He had just landed from a tandem flight, during which the wind was a little uncooperative, which led to getting crossed up on the landing and ultimately breaking part of his glider. Nothing serious, but to fly he needed to repair the wing, and he had no spare parts on hand. So we couldn’t fly, blast!

After a little moping, we decided that the copper mine might be fun to go ogle. After finding directions online, we headed out. It took almost an hour to get there from Layton, but it was only $5 to get in. We went way up the hill, then down into the pit, where the visitor’s center is nestled. We watched the little intro video, got blown away by the massiveness of the numbers and stats, then went out and just stared at the whole thing for over an hour. We didn’t even realize how long we’d been there, the place is mind blowing. The most impressive thing to me was that the trucks can carry a load of just over a half million pounds! And each truck is a little bigger than the condo I live in.

Now it was time to meet up with my kid sister, go eat dinner, and go rock. We went to Lonestar Steakhouse, and it was wonderful. I had the sweet bourbon salmon with a sweet potato, it was delectable. Off to The Depot to see Les. The Two Gallants were the opening show. Just two scronny white kids that could rock with a very original style. The guitar player/lead singer played a Les Paul guitar and played it well. It sounded like there was a bass guitar hidden on stage somewhere. They started off with at least 5 minutes of jamming that sounded kind of distant, which reminded me of other music I’ve heard, and my sister nailed it on the head. She mentioned that they kind of sounded like Explosions in the Sky. Then the guitar player started belting out vocals and totally surprised me at how he sounded. His voice kind of made me think of a higher, raspier John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The drummer had about as much energy as a hyperactive 3 year old with ADD who had just topped off a box of sugar cubes and washed it down with a cappuccino. They were quite entertaining.

Then Les Claypool came out with his bass guitar, Gabby La La (who I’d seen with him on his Bucket of Bernie Brains tour) on the sitar, the drummer of Cake in the back, and 2 guys I was unfamiliar with, one on baritone sax, and a utility guy in the back on xylophones and other various percussion instruments. It was an awesome show that I’d describe as power funk/jazz. No traditional lead guitar was ever on stage during that part of the show. Just a bass guitar and sitar were the closest, although the sax player had some awesome riffs that rivaled many a guitar riff.

The only downside to the show was “the lovers.” A grimy couple had apparently gotten all hopped up on ecstasy (however it’s spelled, the drug) and couldn’t get off of each other. Somehow they ended up migrating over to where we were comfortably watching the show, and stayed there for probably an hour. I’m tall enough to just look right over their heads and block them from my view, but my Dad and Sister had to witness their every move. We could have moved, but the place was crowded and we figured we couldn’t get a better view.

All in all it was a great weekend. Here are a couple pics from the mine:

A shot of the main hole of the mine. It’s the largest excavation site in the world. You can see it from space!

Here’s a great perspective shot. This shows the size of the load trucks, a water truck, a normal pickup, and a bus. Click on either of these pics for more of the mine.

Mosh Pits

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I am an avid concert goer. Well, I have been over the years. Lately, not so much, I’m not too sure why. Anyway, on occasion one may find me at a hard rocking concert where quality mosh pits may be found. I will typically participate in said mosh pits. I find they are a great way to release any stress or frustration that I may have at the time. They’re also just plain fun.

Certain bands have great songs to get people going in the pits. The best bands I’ve seen live for the pits that come to mind are Disturbed, Stone Temple Pilots (yeah, surprised me too), Godsmack, Nine Inch Nails, and Saliva (not so much a fan, but saw them at a festival). I’ve also been to some concerts that are more punk type of music, which is good sometimes, but no good for mosh pits. I think it’s mostly due to the fans that those concerts attract. The hard rock and metal has bigger, more physical fans. Typically punk music has more scronny fans, so their pits end up being those circles of weaklings jumping up and down; no good.

The whole reason I’m posting this is because I found a kind of funny page. It’s all about how to mosh in a mosh pit. The author of the article did a great job actually, I was impressed. If you’ve ever wondered what mosh pits are like, give it a read. Then find your nearest metal show, buy tickets, and go tear it up! I had thought of going to a Static-X concert in Vegas tonight, but I kind of lost interest.

How to Mosh in a Mosh Pit

Biggest Eels Fan?

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Eels FanHere’s one for the books.

Tonight I hopped on to the site of one of my favorite bands: Eels. They had posted a recent video from an appearance on the Carson Daly show. I watched one of the two videos, it was the song “I Like Birds.” As the camera is jumping back and forth (somewhat annoying, but it made this story possible), I noticed something.

Now for some quick background. I’ve seen Eels perform live four times I believe; three of those have been in Hollywood, CA. Two of those trips I noticed the same guy (if you’ve been to many concerts in the same general area, this is known to happen, seeing the same memorable person multiple times). Anyway, he’s one of the only people I’ve thought actually pulled off the face-pierced look. So naturally, that stuck out in my mind, and I recognized him the next time I saw him.

Back to the story. In the audience on the video I spot that same dude! He’s rocking out singing along with E. It’s a small quicktime file, so I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m pretty blasted sure it’s the dude.

This is the first time that I can remember recognizing some random person that I remember seeing in person while watching a video online. Pretty unique thing that was to stumble upon late this good eve.

Pink Floyd Pulse On DVD!!!

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Pink Floyd Pulse DVD
Finally! I have been waiting for this concert to be released on DVD for many years. My Dad has it on Laserdisc (yep, he’s still got the player), and I’ve had it on VHS for a while. Finally, on DVD, I love it! Probably the greatest concert I’ve ever seen in person or on television.

This concert took place at Earl’s Court in London, England. The size of the stage, the elaborate lighting and theatrics of the show are unmatched by any other performance I’ve seen. There are moments in this concert that seem to be musical and performance perfection. I just can’t build it up enough. It runs a good three hours, so clear an evening to turn out all the lights, pop in the DVD, crank up the volume, and get taken away to the best concert performance ever…that will have to wait til this fall (release date is September 12, 2006) of course.

Go get it!

A Glorious Event

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The concert was the best I’ve attended in roughly two years. It had been a while since going to a large-venue hard-rocking concert – that was just what I needed. I quickly located myself near the mosh pit roughly 40 feet from the stage. The mosh pit is a great area from which to watch a concert. It’s close, but you can still get fresh air, when all the other people close to you are packed like sardines breathing in the fumes of the back sweat from the person in front of them.

I’m a decent sized guy, about 6’3″ and 190 lbs, so I like to do a little moshing. I got in there and had some fun. This was a good mosh pit, not great, but good. I got a good sweat going and then some nearby girls decided to make the surroundings much more enjoyable to look upon by removing some clothing. This I hadn’t considered happening, and was a total bonus to an already near perfect concert.

About halfway into the show, Nine Inch Nails played Wish, which I’ve realized within the past year is possibly the greatest song of all time for a mosh pit. I was rather excited, and stayed in the pit for the entire song, it was incredible.

During the physical contact in the pit, I took some good shots to the face. The first was an elbow from a shorter robust girl – that got the adrenaline flowing. I took a number of good injury-free hits. Toward the end, my mouth got a pretty good head or elbow or something and I bit into my lip enough to bruise it and tear it open a bit. All in all, a great pit experience.

The performance itself was amazing. Nine Inch Nails has been around long enough to really understand the aspects of a quality show. They had a simple set up on stage that was very intriguing. During about one third of the songs, the stage was draped with a mostly transparent curtain that was used for video projection. Lighting was used behind the curtain to bring the band into sight through the curtain. It was a great visual and audio experience. The great cap to the show was that there was no encore trickery. I don’t mind encores from time to time (Eels do them the best), but I respect a band who feels the need to respect the audience by avoiding the cat-and-mouse game of encores. I highly suggest attending a NIN concert.

Late Night Journey

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Tuesday night at 7:30 pm I will be at the E Center in Salt Lake City for the Nine Inch Nails concert. I will drive 4½ hours straight to the concert, go eat at The Pie, an awesome pizza parlor, then drive another 4½ hours back for a couple hour nap before going to work at 7 am. Should be lots of fun!