Archive for July 2009

Peter Gabriel at WOMAD 2009

Friday, 31st July 2009. Filed in Crunchy grooves, Photography4 Comments »

San Jacinto, Peter Gabriel @ WOMAD, 25/07/09

One evening when I was in high school, I remember sitting in our living room after dinner. My dad had some music on in the background and all of a sudden I was like, what IS this? I am sure I had heard “Sledgehammer” or “Big Time” previously, but my earliest actual memory of Peter Gabriel was the emotional cry in “Blood of Eden” shooting through me as I sat on the floor in front of our couch. For whatever reason at the moment of time, it just got me. (I had a happy childhood, I swear!) From there, I worked my way backward and then forward through his catalogue, and he’s been one of my all time favorites ever since, despite the fact that none of my friends listened to him, and in fact one of my best friends had a complete aversion to him. I’ve always liked how his music sounds, and I’ve always liked what it says, how it paints pictures in my mind, how it makes me feel.

So, when Peter Gabriel announced last month he was going to play WOMAD as a benefit concert for Witness, an organization he co-founded to promote the use of technology to document human rights abuses, it didn’t take long to find a way through work schedules to get to Saturday WOMAD this year. 

I thought I knew what the set list was likely to look like, as I’d seen what he recently played in South America. So, I was intrigued as we watched the crew set up for a string section center stage (all the while Crunchy husband excitedly whispering, “do you think he’ll do ‘Growing Up’, do you, do you?” I just shook my head, “dude, no. You missed your chance on that one.”)

Lucky us, first song out, as a surprise to me, we got a peek into the Scratch My Back covers project with his version of “The Boy in the Bubble”. (I can’t wait to hear what Paul Simon has covered of Peter Gabriel’s for the album.) I still prefer the faster-paced original, but this slow version was not bad. He continued with the string section for a couple more songs before getting into the more familiar formation with the ever-cool Tony Levin & Co. to knock out some “Steam” and “Games Without Frontiers,” etc.

Like I felt at David Byrne a few months ago, it’s interesting listening to the music of your life live, and feeling so much connection to so many different parts and times and what they mean – what they meant then and what they mean now. The imagery in “San Jacinto” always makes me think of traveling across the western part of the United States and Canada with my family on summer vacations, dusty hot air beating through the window, my sweaty legs sticking uncomfortably to the seat in our van. “Solsbury Hill” always takes me home – that jolt of excitement and relief when the airplane finally reconnects with earth and you know you are back where you belong.

The only fault of the show was that it felt way, way, way too short. (No “Sledgehammer” or “In Your Eyes”.) But then, I suppose the guy would have to play his full catalogue before I might begin to be ready to go home.

Steam, Peter Gabriel @ WOMAD, 25/07/09

Peter Gabriel @ WOMAD, 25/07/09

Melanie Gabriel, Tony Levin @ WOMAD, 25/07/09

Biko, Peter Gabriel @ WOMAD, 25/07/09

Views from the Lovebox 2009

Wednesday, 22nd July 2009. Filed in Crunchy grooves, PhotographyNo Comments »

Rokia Traore @ Lovebox, London 19/07/09
Rokia Traore and her beautiful guitar

Noah and the Whale @ Lovebox, London 19/07/09
Noah and the Whale (I think there were drugs involved)

Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Lovebox, London 19/07/09
Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Lovebox, London 19/07/09
Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Lovebox, London 19/07/09
Rodrigo y Gabriela

Summer music is rockin’

Monday, 20th July 2009. Filed in Crunchy grooves1 Comment »

Ah, music is in the air.

Summer festival music is most definitely here, and it is sweet. It started with some rocking sets by Ben Harper and Neil Young at Hyde Park at the end of June, with an added ‘wow’ factor appearance by Paul McCartney for “A Day in the Life”. The Fleet Foxes also played at the show, but I was disappointed. The sound kind of sucked for them, so I’d like to see them another time, possibly indoors. I think that would be better. At one point during the day, we found ourselves sitting behind a guy with a Peter Gabriel Warm Up tour shirt, and began reminiscing about the deluge that soaked us on that very field two years ago.  It could have been a bittersweet reminiscence, except for the fact that someone has her Saturday WOMAD ticket in her hot little hands, so life is good.

Oh yes, we are, once again, in countdown mode. Six months ago, Crunchy husband and I decided that this would be the year we finally made it to WOMAD. I’ve wanted to go to a weekend festival, and that’s one of my top choices. Three months ago, I started a fab new job that makes attending the festival a bit difficult considering it’s during school holidays. So I told myself it wasn’t to be, and quit checking the line-up additions online. And then about a month ago, Peter Gabriel announced he’d be playing Saturday for the Witness organization. So, about three weeks ago we bought our Saturday tickets.

I’m excited.

But, I was still a little disappointed because we’re missing Rokia Traore, who’s playing Friday night. (I stumbled upon her somewhere earlier this year and have never looked back. Her music’s beautiful.) However, as I mentioned, life is good. We trekked  it in to London yesterday to catch Rokia Traore and Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Lovebox festival. Both acts – amazing. So talented! It was great!

So, if you’ve been following this crazy train of thought, you might see that I still have yet to have my camping festival weekend. But, we’re piecing the music together and it’s been mighty fun!


Thursday, 2nd July 2009. Filed in Random foliage1 Comment »

Blog? I have a blog? What?

It’s been a bit busy lately. But since Crunchy husband is out for the night at Blur, I figure it is the perfect time to blog. Except really, I lack any creative impetus to do it.  Instead I eat my chicken pie Crunchy husband so nicely purchased for me this morning before he went to London because we were far too irresponsible last night to grocery shop. (It had been too long since we took advantage of 2 for 1 Orange Wednesday and “The Hangover” turned out to be pretty funny.)

So here I eat my chicken pie and think. There have been a few “I should blog this” moments lately. Now, if only I could think of them.

Andrew Bird once said in an NPR interview/chat that he never writes anything down, if it’s good enough and worth it, he’ll remember it. I’m not so sure that’s how I operate. In fact, I am pretty sure it’s not, but we’ll just assume for these purposes you are not missing anything worth missing.