Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne! For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne. We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne." ~robert burns

Happy New Year to all my friends/readers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Words are falling from your lips like Christmas to my hips. So dangerous, the strangest feeling of being. I want willow trees and melodies, and flowers, counting hours till he's breathing, leaving the rest behind." ~leona naess

I've made this a yearly tradition, so here we go. I'm not sure why, but it was difficult to come up with my 10 favorite albums of 2009. Did I listen to less new music? Was 2009 just not a great year for new music? I'm not sure. But I managed to come up with 10 solid albums that I enjoyed. It was impossible to put them in order, but I tried. It may seem like a weird list, but I guess I have eclectic taste in music.

Claire's Top 10 Albums of 2009

1. U2 - No Line on the Horizon

2. Doves - Kingdom of Rust

3. Dashboard Confessional - Alter the Ending

4. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young

5. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

6. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

7. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg

8. The XX - XX

9. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

10. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

And here's last year's list, just because it's fun to revisit. I think last year's is a much better group of albums.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"We’ll stay inside 'til somebody finds us, do whatever the TV tells us, stay inside our rosy-minded fuzz for days. We’ll stay inside 'til somebody finds us, do whatever the TV tells us, stay inside our rosy-minded fuzz. So worry not, all things are well. We’ll be alright, we have our looks and perfume." ~the national

Since the year is almost over, I think it's time to think back on some of the highlights of my 2009. The year has had it's ups and downs, and it's not over yet, but here are some of the ups:

1. Visiting friends
In April, two friends from Europe (whom I had never met before) came and stayed with me for a week, and I loved every minute I spent with them. A friend from Texas was also here, along with a few other girls from various places. Basically it was a great big FF meeting. We saw Guys and Dolls on Broadway together, got some great stage door stories, and just had a lot of fun. This year I met eleven different FF friends who came to New York. Eleven! That's a lot. And it was so cool to meet them all in person, because I've gotten to know some of them well and feel close to them. Here are some of us (thanks to Denise for photoshopping the holiday spirit into the photo!) (and if any of you in the photo object to it being posted here, let me know):

2. My teacher friends
In the past two years I've became really close with two teachers at my school who are my age. Roseann and I obviously see each other at school every day and then we end up talking on the phone a few nights a week. I just got off the phone with her after having a 2-hour conversation. And that's normal. We talk about school and guys and just about everything. She knows exactly what I'm going through at school, and I need someone to talk to who understands. Lauren is my other close school friend; she's my literary buddy. We lend each other books and talk about Margaret Atwood and Michael Chabon and other favorite writers of ours. We see movies together because we have similar tastes. And she's another person who understands. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have these two girls at school with me. All I know is that I would not be happy at all. I'm so thankful they're in my life. There are also other teachers at school with whom I'm close and on whom I depend. It's funny, but I'm good friends with a few of the older male teachers (there are no young male teachers). They've become mentors to me. So although I have big problems at my school, I have people who support me and who understand and who sympathize with me. And I'm very grateful for them. It's been wonderful getting to know them.

3. Concerts
Wow, what a year for concerts. It was simply amazing how many fabulous bands I got to see. Highlights (I'm limiting myself to five, although there are more):
1. The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts - Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck, Metallica, U2, Mick Jagger, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, John Legend, B.B. King, Sting, Billy Joel, Sam Moore, John Fogerty, Darlene Love, the Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz, Buddy Guy, Lou Reed, Ray Davies. Yeah. All in two nights. I know. Unbelievable, right? And I got to meet Bono after night 2.
2. Saturday Night Rebel Rockers Traveling Circus & Medicine Show - Counting Crows, Augustana, and Michael Franti & Spearhead. 20 people onstage together in what was the highlight of my summer. Seriously an amazing night.
3. U2 - Giants Stadium. GA. What else is there to say, really?
4. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - I saw the last three shows at Giants Stadium. Three shows in one week, and I got to see him play straight through two of his best albums ("Born to Run" and "Born in the U.S.A."). I went once with Nic, once with Bill, and once by myself. Every night was different and special in its own way. Truly a magical week.
5. Snow Patrol - the Beacon Theatre. I met my friends Bill and Amy that night and had a great time with them. Snow Patrol played all my favorite songs of theirs.

That's all for now. I may add more, but right now I need to get ready for bed. I need to remember this list tomorrow because I'm sure it will be a long day and I will lose my patience. But I am lucky and I have had some great experiences this year and I hope that next year will bring more.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"The snow's falling down, it's colder day by day. I miss you. I can hear people singing, it must be Christmastime. I can hear people singing, it must be Christmastime." ~the pretenders

Picspam post because it's after 1am, I'm tired, and I have to be up for church tomorrow.

Saturday afternoon, before the storm hit, with Kim and Betsy in front of the tree at Rock Center:
I went to my friend Lauren's choir concert in Brooklyn at night. There were a few of us who went, and we all went to get dinner after the concert (Lauren took us to her favorite restaurant). Someone thought it was a brilliant idea to walk the 22 blocks to the restaurant. In the middle of a blizzard.
Lauren's snow-covered feet:
Waiting for the subway home. Val said you could see the snow on my eyebrows so I took a picture, but I still can't really see it. Maybe if you click on it for the larger version? John (in the background) looks much snowier:
Central Park when I finally got off the subway at my stop:
Central Park again. Finally found a good setting on my camera. I love this one. It's my new desktop:

Friday, December 18, 2009

"And this ain’t no place for the weary kind. And this ain’t no place to lose your mind. And this ain’t no place to fall behind. Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try." ~ryan bingham & t bone burnett

I know I already posted once today (scroll down to read), but I wanted to add this. I loved Crazy Heart, because of Jeff Bridges (just like I expected). His performance is amazing; he completely becomes the character. I really hope he wins the Oscar this year (although I won't get my hopes up). Colin Farrell also gives a surprisingly wonderful performance. And both men have great voices. Oh, and I love T Bone Burnett. I have for awhile, and his music in this movie further cements that love. Here's the stand-out song from the film performed by Ryan Bingham (who co-wrote the song with T Bone). It's performed beautifully by Colin Farrell in the film.

And the trailer for the film:
"Tired and wired we ruin too easy, sleep in our clothes and wait for winter to leave." ~the national

Random Thoughts on Kids/Teaching
*Kids are crazy. Especially mine. You honestly would not believe some of them. Sometimes there are stories about teachers doing crazy things and people can't believe it, but normal people cannot imagine what being in a classroom surrounded by hormonal, needy, angry, self-conscious thirteen-year-olds is like. Seriously. You cannot judge, because you do not know. I read an article last week about a teacher who cut off a girl's braid. My teacher friend read the same article and mentioned it to me. She said, "You know the first thing I thought? I bet the kid had it coming." And I was so relieved, because that had been my first thought as well.

*I had a conversation with a boy today. He kept going on about how I don't like him, and I finally snapped. I said, "You constantly throw paper balls at other people. You play marbles during my class. You regularly curse at me and at the other kids. You start fights. You tell me what an awful teacher I am nearly every day. You are always incredibly rude and disrespectful to me. You don't listen to me, even when I try to be nice and when I try to have serious conversations with you. You take absolutely no responsibility for your actions, you just blame everything on your anger management problem or on other people. So why exactly should I like you?" I just can't get through to some of them, and it's incredibly frustrating. I try to be nice and it does absolutely nothing. Luckily I have some great kids whom I love. One boy sent me an email today telling me I'm a good teacher. Those things make me happy.

*Kids are incredibly honest. They have no filter; they just say whatever comes to mind. Here are some questions I've been asked recently:
"Do you live alone?"
"Don't you get lonely?"
"Don't you even have a pet or something?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Your forehead is shiny."
"Why don't you have kids?"
"Don't you want kids?"
"I liked your hair better last year when it was long. Why did you cut it?"

Okay, enough about kids. It's the weekend, which means I can think about something else for a very short while.

My Weekend
Tonight Nic and I are going to see Crazy Heart, with Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I can't wait, mostly because of the amazing things I've heard about Jeff Bridges' performance. I love him. I think he's fabulous. He's one of those older guys on whom I have a bit of a crush. He needs an Oscar already (he's been nominated four times). Maybe this year (fingers crossed).

Tomorrow Kim and Jeff are coming into the city so I can see her before Christmas and we can exchange gifts. We'll go out to lunch and maybe go see the tree in Rock Center, although it'll be snowing so I'm not sure how much we want to wander. Then tomorrow night I'm going to my friend's choir concert, and we're going out to dinner afterwards.

On Sunday I have church and then I'm going to my aunt and uncle's to decorate cookies. I've been loving the Advent services at my church. The music is always a highlight for me at this church; they have a great band. There are always a bunch of musicians onstage, including multiple guitarists, a drummer, a trumpet player, a saxophone player, a cellist, and singers. The Christmas hymns sound particularly amazing when they're backed by that fabulous band. Last week we sang "Joy to the World" like I've never heard it before; it was incredibly funky with a great sax solo in the middle, and the whole congregation was completely into it. It's wonderful to be moved by these songs and to be surrounded by others who feel the same way.

There's a Christmas tree business directly across the street from my apartment. I like looking at it whenever I leave my building. The lights are always on in the morning when I leave for school. Here's the view from my front step:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"They don't even know what it is to be a fan. Y'know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts." ~almost famous

The newest issue of Rolling Stone recently arrived in my mailbox. It is devoted to the best of the 00's: the best songs, the best albums, the best I decided to make my own list. Not of the best songs of the decade, but of my favorite songs of the decade. Because I think it's impossible to determine the best songs; music is completely subjective. Rolling Stone is allowed to say Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" is the best song of the decade, and I'm allowed to want to hurl when I hear that song.
This was not an easy list to make. There are songs that I wanted to include but couldn't because I limited myself to 50. I may edit it if I think of some songs that really should be on the list but somehow temporarily slipped my brain. And I may try and make a playlist for you to listen to if I have time (ha!). At any rate, here's what I have, listed alphabetically by artist:

Claire's 50 Favorite Songs of the 00's
The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight
Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky
The Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
The Arcade Fire - Wake Up
Band of Horses - The General Specific
Bell X1 - Eve, the Apple of My Eye
Bishop Allen - Things Are What You Make of Them
Bright Eyes - Lua
Coldplay - The Scientist
Conor Oberst - Cape Canaveral
Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On
Counting Crows - Cowboys
Counting Crows - Holiday in Spain
Counting Crows - Miami
Damien Rice - Gray Room
Dashboard Confessional - Vindicated
Death Cab for Cutie - A Lack of Color
The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun
The Felice Brothers - Wonderful Life
Frightened Rabbit - Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
Glasvegas - Geraldine
Gomez - Notice
The Hold Steady - Lord, I'm Discouraged
Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek
Jacob Golden - On a Saturday
Joseph Arthur - In the Sun
Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
Mat Kearney - All I Need
Matt Pond PA - New Hampshire
MGMT - Kids
Modest Mouse - Custom Concern
Modest Mouse - Float On
The National - Apartment Story
The National - The Geese of Beverly Road
The National - Slow Show
The Old 97s - The New Kid
The Postal Service - Be Still My Heart
R.E.M. - Supernatural Superserious
Ryan Adams - Answering Bell
Ryan Adams - Come Pick Me Up
Snow Patrol - Chocolate
Snow Patrol - The Finish Line
The Strokes - Is This It
The Swell Season - Falling Slowly
U2 - City of Blinding Lights
U2 - In a Little While
U2 - Kite
Vampire Weekend - M79
The Wave Pictures - Now You Are Pregnant

I have more to write about (my movie reviews of The Lovely Bones and Invictus, recent fun events) but absolutely no time in which to do so. My Master's thesis is due on Wednesday. I've been working on it for a year and it's a disaster at the moment. So maybe later this week?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

"If you should ask then maybe they'd tell you what I would say. True colors fly in blue and black, blue silken sky and burning flag. Colors crash, collide in blood shot eyes. If I could, you know I would, if I could, I would let it go. This desperation, dislocation, separation, condemnation, revelation, in temptation, isolation, desolation. Let it go, and so fade away. To let it go, oh yeah, and so fade away. To let it go, oh no, and so fade away. I'm wide awake. I'm wide awake. Wide awake. I'm not sleeping, oh no no." ~u2

Here is my favorite performance of my favorite song. It's U2 performing "Bad" at Live Aid. Oh, how I wish I had been there to see it. Unfortunately, I was less than a year old and my parents never took me to rock concerts as a child. I've seen U2 perform this song live, but not with these snippets. It doesn't get any better than this. Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" and "Walk on the Wild Side" and The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" and "Sympathy for the Devil" are all thrown in there. When you're going to cover songs, you've got to draw from the best, and Lou Reed and The Rolling Stones are definitely among the best (I'm still amazed I saw Lou Reed and Mick Jagger perform at the recent Hall of Fame concerts, along with U2 of course). One of the main reasons I love U2 and Counting Crows is their ability to make every performance of a song unique, largely by adding snippets of other songs. Counting Crows is brilliant at it, and U2 isn't bad, either. I could listen to this nonstop forever.

It's funny when you don't want to talk and then somehow in the middle of a conversation you just open up. If someone asks me specifically about how things are going and I'm in a bad mood, I'll usually just get frustrated at them. If I don't want to talk, an interrogation will just piss me off. So don't keep asking me questions. But I was talking to Alex tonight and he was talking and it made me want to talk, too. It's nice when that happens.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

"It's been a long December and there's reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last." ~counting crows

I uploaded a new video on youtube. Watch it, because it's such a beautiful, beautiful version of this song. It's Counting Crows' performance of "A Long December" from their Abbey Road Sessions. Adam is incredibly sick, which, to me, makes his voice sound particularly gorgeous in this song. And they add the "I am feathered" alts (from "A Murder of One"), which makes me so incredibly happy. Those lines inspired my feather tattoo. AD keeps stretching out the song as if he doesn't want it to end; I love it when he does that, because I never want it to end, either.

I have movie reviews, but I don't really have time to go into detail. So I'll be quick.

1. Brothers
Two things really made this film for me. #1 is the use of U2's music. Two characters bond over the U2 song "Bad," which is probably my favorite song of all time. Jake Gyllenhaal's character says something like, "I used to listen to this song all the time when I was 17 or 18" and Natalie Portman's character says she did, too. I got chills, because so did I. I remember lying in bed when I was in high school just playing it over and over and over before I went to bed. Every night. I was obsessed with it. So any movie that asserts it's brilliance is okay by me. The U2 song "Winter" plays over the closing credits, so of course I had to stay until the very end and listen to the whole thing. It's a great song. It's a Jim Sheridan film so I wasn't surprised by U2's presence, but I was happy.
The performances are the other brilliant aspect of this film. The three leads (Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman) give very solid performances. Tobey Maguire really, really surprised me (in a good way). He's a strong Oscar contender; he makes an unbelievable transformation. He scared me. And I'm in love with Jake Gyllenhaal. He's just so charming. Oh, and the girls! The two girls in this film, especially the older one, were so good!
"Bad" is the U2 song playing in second half of the trailer.

2. Up in the Air
You can't help but be charmed by George Clooney. He just has that certain something, that je ne sais quoi. I had a couple problems with the movie (the main one I won't write about here because it would give away part of the plot), but overall, I enjoyed it. I'm not so sure it deserves the best picture honor it just received from the National Board of Review (that honor goes to "Nine" in my mind right now). But it definitely has a great shot at the Oscar for best song. Sad Brad Smith's "Help Yourself" is beautiful. It's in the trailer and you can listen to it here.

3. When in Rome
This was an advance screening. Is it a good movie? No. It's predictable and conventional and mostly nothing special, except for it's leading lady. I love Kristen Bell. She needs to get offered some meatier roles! The movie did have its moments, though. There was one car scene that I loved. And it made me smile, so that's a good thing, right?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

"I am the one who loved you. I am the one who stayed. I am the one and you walked away. I am the one who waited. And now you act like you just don't give a damn. Like you never knew who I am." ~next to normal

The reprise of "I Am the One" is one of my absolute favorite songs. It's from Next to Normal, my favorite musical. Every time I hear that song I cry. Really. For some reason it just popped into my head, and I started crying. I cannot listen to it without tears welling up. It breaks my heart. And I love it. Why are we drawn to things that make us feel pain? I guess sometimes feeling anything is a good thing. But anyway, for me, this song has to be sung by Bobby Spencer and Aaron Tveit for it to really pack a punch. Speaking of Aaron Tveit, why is he wasting his time on Gossip Girl? I watch the show and I find it entertaining albeit sometimes annoying, but Aaron Tveit is way too good for it. Go see him in Next to Normal and you'll see what I mean. I don't think he should be missing performances of it to film Gossip Girl (although I know he doesn't miss very often, and luckily he's been on every time I've seen the musical).

We went on a field trip today to the Liberty Science Center. I always loved going there as a kid. I remember my Girl Scout troup went there and stayed overnight, and that sleepover was just so exciting to me. It was a fun field trip, although of course it was exhausting. It helped that I only brought half of my homeroom class (the other half had to stay at school because they can't behave). We saw an Imax movie in the giant dome, and even though I'm older now, that experience is still thrilling to me. My kids were overwhelmed by it. One of my boys (the recent arrival) cried because he was scared. Here are some of my kids:

My class is mostly made up of boys. On the trip I brought 9 boys and 3 girls. I have a total of 7 girls in my class (and 18 boys). I'm not sure why it's so unbalanced.

I just finished reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog (I had it on hold at the library for at least five months and finally received it last week). I loved it because it's so beautifully written. I kept stopping and writing down quotes that jumped out at me. Here are a few gems from the character of Paloma, a brilliant 12-year-old who seems to be reading my mind:
"Personally I think grammar is a way to attain beauty....Pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language."

"In the end, I wonder if the true movement of the world might not be a voice raised in song."

"Teenagers think they're adults when in fact they're imitating adults who never really made it into adulthood and who are running away from life. It's pathetic."
And the excerpt from which the title is derived:
"Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside, she's covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary - and terribly elegant."
It's a beautiful book.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"There's diamonds in the sidewalk, the gutter's lined in song. Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long. There's treasure for the taking, for any hard-working man. Who will make his home in the American Land." ~bruce springsteen

Oh, Thanksgiving, how I love thee. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In fact, yes, it is my favorite holiday. Every Thanksgiving we gather in my aunt and uncle's apartment in Manhattan. There are always a ton of people there, but we all manage to fit. I get to see cousins whom I only see once a year. This year my parents flew in from Colorado. My grandparents from South Carolina were here. My brother drove down from Colgate. We have tons of food, and I always end up stuffing myself. This year I stayed at my aunt and uncle's apartment for a couple of days just because it was easier than going back home to mine, so I got to spend even more time with my cousin Bess. On Friday we all headed out to Chatham, NJ to have a chili dinner at our relatives' house (as if we hadn't eaten enough the day before). It was a great few days. Some random pictures:
Me and some of my cousins (and my brother on the far right):
Again, on 6th Ave. (still blocked off from the parade):
Bess, Aisling, and Colleen:
Maureen, D.J. (background), & Aisling (and Colleen's foot):

It's always a strange feeling when something you've been looking forward to for so long passes. It leaves you with a sort of void. I guess it's time to start looking forward to Christmas now.

Ooh, totally random, but I love it. I cannot wait for this show. And not just because I love Lauren Graham. Parenthood promo:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Well, I've been out walking. I don't do that much talking these days. These days--These days I seem to think a lot about the things that I forgot to do..." ~jackson browne

I love Jackson Browne. I was so excited that he was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts I attended last month, even though he didn't get to sing much. Just to get the chance to see him perform at all was wonderful.

If you watch Chuck, you're going to love these season 3 promos. If you don't watch Chuck, go get the first two seasons and catch up before season 3 begins on January 10th! They started with an order of 13 episodes for season 3, but it's already been upped to 19. It's my favorite show on television. It's a blend of comedy, action, drama, romance...basically it's everything you could hope for all rolled into one awesome show. Seriously, take my word for it and start watching.
Season 3 preview:

Promo 1:

Oh, by the way, go here to watch Live from Abbey Road featuring Counting Crows. Adam is so sick that it hurts me just to listen to his voice during parts of it, but "A Long December" is absolutely beautiful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Strung out like some Christmas lights, out there in the Chelsea nights. Strung out like some Christmas lights, out there in the Chelsea nights. Strung out like some Christmas lights, out there in the Chelsea nights. Strung out like some Christmas lights, out there in the Chelsea nights." ~ryan adams

Movie reviews. Because I don't have the energy for anything else. I am so drained right now, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The Blind Side
I cried at the end. I didn't cry during Precious, but I cried during this; I never know what's going to set me off. The fact that it's a true story got to me during the credits. Oh, how I love Sandra Bullock. She's absolutely wonderful. Go see this movie just for her performance.

New Moon
I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a Twilight fan. And I liked the movie. More than I liked the first one. Kristen Stewart is good at angst. Is the film groundbreaking cinema? Of course not. But I love the story so I don't care. And those guys are definitely worth looking at for a couple of hours.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Did I sleep? 'Cause I must have been dreamin'. Did I weep? 'Cause I cried like hell..." ~ryan adams

I love Ryan Adams. He's such a character. It's particularly entertaining to read his interviews. There was one hilarious Rolling Stone gem where it was a phone interview and he got angry so he handed the phone to someone else for, like, an hour; the interviewer stayed on the line waiting for him to come back, while Ryan went and did something else before he finally decided he would talk again. I've been listening to him a lot lately. My family and I saw some of his free Battery Park concert on July 4th, 2003. That was a long time ago; he wasn't really all that well known. Adam Duritz is really good friends with him; they lived together in L.A.. There's a verse in the song "Los Angeles" by Counting Crows that's about Ryan, and Ryan cowrote the song. AD contributed to Ryan Adams' song "Answering Bell," which I love.
Okay, for two days I've been trying to post a video of a live performance of the song (featuring Adam Duritz), but it hasn't been working. Hopefully this does work (or just click on the link below to watch it on my webshots page):


Life has been super crazy lately. Over the weekend I went to see my cousin D.J. perform in My Fair Lady at Princeton, and I loved the production. It was good to spend some time with my aunt and uncle. I had parent-teacher conferences yesterday and had over 50 parents come visit me. I didn't get a break at all; it was four hours of solid conferencing. I had a huge grad school assignment due today. Tomorrow I have my student-teaching interview. I have way too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. But I need to take some breaks from the craziness or else I would go completely insane.

On Sunday I went to the dress rehearsal of David Mamet's new Broadway play, Race. The plot had been kept secret and I was in the first audience ever to see it, so that was cool. I really, really enjoyed it. It's the best Mamet play I've seen performed. I won't say too much because it's not really fair to talk about a dress rehearsal (it's not a performance that's supposed to be reviewed), so I'll just say that if they clean a few things up it will be fantastic.

Back to Rolling Stone: check out the current cover.

Aren't they just gorgeous?? What a trio: Bono, Mick Jagger, and Bruce Springsteen. I still can't believe I saw them all on the same stage.
The magazine focuses on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts, which I was lucky enough to attend. It's a good issue.

was an op-ed guest columnist in The New York Times this week. He wrote a wonderful piece, so check it out.

Okay, now back to work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Superboy and the Invisible Girl, Son of Steel and Daughter of Air. He's a hero, a lover, a prince, she's not there. Superboy and the Invisible Girl, everything a kid oughtta be. He's immortal, forever alive, then there's me. I wish I could fly, and magically appear and disappear. I wish I could fly, I'd fly far away from here." ~next to normal

I saw Next to Normal on Broadway tonight for the third time. I'm in love with it. I've seen it from the front orchestra, rear orchestra, and now front row of the mezz, so I'm working my way around the theatre. Here's my review from last time. The last time I saw the show Michael Berry was in as Dan, and I liked him, but I was so glad that J. Robert Spencer was on tonight. I am in love with Bobby Spencer. Seriously. He is amazing. I cried during the reprise of "I Am the One" tonight (along with most of the audience). I cry just thinking of it. I'm angry that Bobby Spencer didn't win the Tony this year; I think he definitely deserved it instead of the Billys. His performance is so incredibly moving, and it's often overshadowed by Alice's. Of course Alice is amazing, this seems like the performance of a lifetime for her and I'm sooo glad she won the Tony for it, but I think Bobby needs to be recognized as well. Of course the entire cast is incredibly strong.
Here's a tiny clip of Bobby's "I've Been:"

And "I Am the One" (this breaks my heart):

And "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" from the Tony Awards concert:

Oh, by the way, Fantastic Mr. Fox is, well, fantastic (ba dum dum ch!). I'm sure that's not the last time you'll hear that line. I love Wes Anderson.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"I can hardly stay up, and I can't get to sleep, and I don't want to wake tomorrow morning at the bottom of some heap. But why take it so seriously? After all, there's nothing at stake here - only me." ~nine

I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of the movie Nine tonight. It doesn't come out until Christmas Day, so it was a rough cut and we had to take a survey afterward (I guess they're still editing). I loved it, though. It's based on the stage musical, and it's a beautiful, beautiful adaptation. The performances were very strong; Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard, and Penelope Cruz were absolutely wonderful. I also enjoyed the cinematography. They can do some really cool things on film that they obviously can't do on stage, and Rob Marshall definitely took advantage of that. Go see it when it comes out.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

"We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns. Some of us are dancers on the midway, we roam from town to town. I hope that everybody can find a little flame. Me, I say my prayers, then I light myself on fire, and I walk out on the wire once again..." ~counting crows

I ushered at an off-Broadway show called Circle Mirror Transformation on Saturday. It's about an adult acting class at a community theatre, and it's hilarious and touching. Isherwood raved about it in the New York Times a few days ago in an article called "Some Plays Can Twinkle Without Stars." Like Isherwood I am often frustrated by stunt casting on Broadway, and it's great to see plays like Circle Mirror Transformation succeed without any big names. Here are some nice quotes from Isherwood's article:
"Circle Mirror Transformation, a new comedy by the young writer Annie Baker presented by Playwrights Horizons, is the kind of unheralded gem that sends people into the streets babbling and bright-eyed with the desire to spread the word....Bask I did recently, and emerged with the same giddy sense of discovery, the same almost proprietary need to ensure that this small, quirky, immensely lovable new play does not go unnoticed by theatergoers in perennial search of fresh voices and boundary-bending experiments."

Luckily people are rushing to see this show. It was sold out last night and I had to sit on the steps (which was perfectly fine; I had a good view). There were quite a few celebrities there. I tore the tickets of Victor Garber (love him!), Martin Short, and Sam Rockwell. I touched all their hands while ripping their tickets and handing them Playbills, and I am proud that I did no fangirling whatsoever. Our conversations consisted of my saying, "The show runs an hour and fifty minutes with no intermission, please turn off your cell phone, and enjoy the show" to each of them and each of them saying "Thank you" in return. Quite scintillating conversation, I know. Anyway, it was a great night of theatre and I'm glad to see a small yet wonderful show doing so well.

I was alerted to this on Crowstown and thought I'd share it here. I'm sure you know I'm obsessed with Counting Crows. One song that I love of theirs is "Goodnight Elisabeth." It's just so sad (I also love the sequel to it, "I Wish I Was a Girl"). At first it may sound like a nice song because of the melody, but it's such a bitter, depressed, angry song that happens to be couched in a gorgeous melody. I have 35 different recordings of "Goodnight Elisabeth" on my iTunes, and I know I have more on bootleg CDs that aren't on my computer. I am proud to say that I was at the concert where the band played what seems to be the longest recorded version of the song yet (clocking in at just a little over seventeen minutes). I know the song well. Really well. But trust me, you don't have to know it well to recognize what I'm about to tell you to listen for.
So, a new Son Volt album, American Central Dust, came out in July. There's a song on it called "Exile."
Listen to "Exile," then listen to "Goodnight Elisabeth" (I'm posting a few versions of it just because it's so awesome and the band always adds different alternates so each version is different). Obviously you'll see that just the beginnings sound incredibly similar. Questions:
1. Is it an intentional rip-off on Son Volt's part, or do you think it's subconscious?
2. Is it okay to write a song that sounds so similar to another song by another band?

American Central Dust is a good album, by the way.

Listen to about the first 30 seconds of "Exiles" (until he starts singing) and then move on to the first version of "Goodnight Elisabeth."

Get Your Own Player!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"Who's to say where the wind will take you? Who's to say what it is will break you? I don't know, which way the wind will blow." ~u2

I haven't written in awhile, I know, and I wanted to write about the two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concerts I attended. I'll write about them later, sometime this weekend when I have time (ha!). For now I'll just list the artists that I saw perform, though:

Simon & Garfunkel
Crosby, Stills, & Nash
Stevie Wonder
Bruce Springsteen
Aretha Franklin
Jeff Beck
Mick Jagger
Jerry Lee Lewis
Bonnie Raitt
Jackson Browne
James Taylor
Smokey Robinson
John Legend
B.B. King
Billy Joel
Sam Moore
John Fogerty
Darlene Love
the Black Eyed Peas
Annie Lennox
Lenny Kravitz
Buddy Guy
Lou Reed
Ray Davies

In just two consecutive nights, I saw so many important legends and founders of rock 'n' roll perform. I am still dumbfounded by how amazing it was. And I met Bono, my idol. Which was even more unbelievable. But I don't have time to write more about it now because I am about to collapse. I'm exhausted. Later.

I'll leave you with this adorable video. "Frank Mills" is my favorite song from Hair, and I can't stop watching this kid singing it. He is so incredibly cute. Watch it, I promise it will make you smile.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Baby, baby, baby, light my way. Baby, baby, baby, light my way." ~u2

I can't even describe how I'm feeling right now. So I'll lay out the situation and you can infer. Bono is my idol. He is the person whom I admire most and the person I most wanted to meet. I cannot put into words how much I love him. And tonight? I met him. First, he grasped my hand. And it wasn't just a short, weak, passing touch. He had a firm grip, and his fingers clasped around mine. His hand was warm and mine was freezing, and I felt like he held onto my hand for awhile to help warm it up. It worked. His warmth flowed from his body to mine. Then, for about three minutes, he rested his hand on my shoulder as he spoke. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Rested his hand on my shoulder! For a prolonged period of time! As he mused about this tour. Bono is a people person. It seems like he loves connecting with people, and that includes physical contact, and tonight I was a lucky recipient. I cannot say how much it meant to me.

I have a LOT to write about (Bono is just one small highlight), but I'm not sure when I'll get to it. Hopefully soon.

Here's a photo I managed to snap directly before my encounter with him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"I've been roaming around, I was looking down at all I see. Painted faces fill the places I can't reach. You know that I could use somebody. You know that I could use somebody." ~kings of leon

I've been listening to Kings of Leon for about five years now, which is a lot longer than most people have. I saw them open for U2 in 2005, and I was familiar with them before that. My friend Dave tried hard to get me to like them. I was never really crazy about them, but I must admit that I love some of the songs on Only by the Night. "You know that I could use someboddddyyyyy....Someone like you, somebodddyyyy" I love it.

I love my family. Love them. And I'm so glad to have family here in New York. Really, really happy.
Yesterday was Bess's birthday. We had a lovely family birthday dinner. Being with them just fills me up.

It sure sounds like I'm full of love, doesn't it? I don't usually write about the crappy stuff on this blog, but it's definitely there. Teaching is really, really hard right now, for a number of reasons. I'm trying to hang in there, but it's not easy.

On Thursday and Friday are the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts at Madison Square Garden. Nicole and I are going both nights, and I cannot wait. Here are some of the artists that we'll see perform:
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, U2, Paul Simon, Metallica, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Friends, Simon and Garfunkel.
Can you imagine seeing so many musical legends in two nights? I cannot wait. I need this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Into the light of a bridge that burns, as I drive from the city with the money that I earned. Into the black of a starless sky, I'm staring into nothing and I'm asking you why." ~the arcade fire

This past week was insanely busy, and unfortunately not because of fun stuff. I had a LOT to do for school. I was observed, so I worked really hard on planning lessons and fixing up my classroom. Grad school has also been keeping me really busy. Just having class twice a week for three hours is a big time commitment, but all the homework for the classes is not easy to keep up with. I love the educational theatre program, I have fun in class, but it'll be nice when I have my Master's and don't have all that extra stress from the work. It is not easy to work full-time and be a student.

I have taken some time in the last couple of days to have fun. I went to the first preview of Sarah Ruhl's new play on Broadway, In the Next Room or the vibrator play (yes, that is the full title). I got a free ticket. I really, really enjoyed it. It takes place in the late 1880's, after electricity was just invented and doctors began treating women suffering from hysteria with the vibrator. The cast is amazing. Tony winners Michael Cerveris and Laura Benanti headline the cast, and they're wonderful. Even though it's a play, it was nice to hear Laura Benanti sing a little bit (I love her voice; I often watch the concert version of The Secret Garden and love her as Lily). And she was surprisingly very funny. There was some full frontal nudity on Cerveris's part, although I wonder if that will be cut (I saw the first preview, so they'll make changes). It was a funny yet moving play.

This morning I went to the movies and saw A Serious Man. Oh my goodness, I want to marry the Coen brothers (both of them) they're just so brilliant. Michael Stuhlbarg stars in it, and it was great to see him doing well in film. I've seen him onstage before, in The Pillowman on Broadway and as Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park last summer, and I think he's a great actor. I met him after The Pillowman and he could not have been nicer. He was so kind, and it's nice to see nice people succeed.

Tonight I'm going to try the Ragtime lottery, and if I don't win (which will probably be the case) I'll head out to Brooklyn and meet my friend Lauren for a bookstore opening. I'm so glad to have a friend who loves books!

Speaking of books, I'm reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett right now and I absolutely love it. I can't put it down. Seriously, go read this book. I'm fascinated by the South and so this book is particularly interesting to me, but I promise you'll love it even if you're not interested in southern history. It's lovely.

Finally, I'll leave you with some Glee goodies.

Will and Sue's swing dance was my favorite part of this week's episode, hand's down. Behind the scenes:

Sweet Caroline (swoon!):

Matthew Morrison performing Bust a Move!:

They're all worth watching. Matthew Morrison can definitely bust a move.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Children, wake up, hold your mistake up, before they turn the summer into dust. If the children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up. We’re just a million little gods causin rain storms, turnin’ every good thing to rust. I guess we'll just have to adjust." ~the arcade fire

I've had a great past couple of days. Last night Nic and I saw Oleanna on Broadway. It's a two-person play written by David Mamet, and it is an intense 85 minutes. Very intense. It stars Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman, both of whom I love. I've liked Julia Stiles since 10 Things I Hate About You, and I've been crazy about Bill Pullman since While You Were Sleeping (which I came home and watched last night after the play). I thought they both gave strong performances, and I enjoyed the production. It's about a power struggle between a professor and one of his students, and it's a show that you keep debating long after it ends. There was a talk-back afterward, and it was interesting to hear people from the audience talk about the show because the show inspired such a vast range of opinions. Here are a couple of quick looks at the play:

This morning, Lauren and I went to see Where the Wild Things Are. Oh my goodness, it was wonderful. It was magical and heartbreaking and I loved it. We both had tears in our eyes at the end. I loved the music, I loved the cinematography, I loved the story. It was just a beautiful film.

And trailer #2:

Lauren Ambrose played my favorite Wild Thing, KW. It was nice to hear her voice. I think her line "I'll eat you up, I love you so" (you can hear it in trailer #2) was my favorite line of the movie.

School is exhausting. Is Thanksgiving here yet?

Monday, October 12, 2009

"For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside, that it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive. I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me, I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these Badlands. You gotta live it every day. Let the broken hearts stand as the price you've gotta pay. Well, keep pushin' 'til it's understood and these badlands start treating us good." ~bruce springsteen

It was a long weekend, so yesterday (Sunday) I headed home to New Jersey (because NJ will always be my home) and stayed with my friend Kim's family. It was nice to be back in my hometown and to drive past my old house (it looks the same) and hang out in my friend's house, where I've spent so much time over the past 20 years. Her mom made a fabulous dinner. Today we went to see Couples Retreat. Even though it didn't get the best reviews, I will not pass up an opportunity to see Kristen Bell on the big screen. She's such a talented actress, and I wish she would start getting better material so more people can see what she can do. She keeps talking about trying to get the Veronica Mars movie made, and I soooo wish that would happen. I'm afraid she'll never get as good a part as Veronica Mars again. I love that she's still holding on to that. Even thought she wasn't able to showcase all her talent, she was good in Couples Retreat, and I loved seeing her and Jason Bateman interact, because I think they're both great actors. It was a fun afternoon at the movies. Now I'm back in New York, dreading going back to school tomorrow.

I'm loving Brothers and Sisters this season. I wasn't sure that I liked Kitty's storyline when I first heard about it over the summer, but I have to admit that it's bringing some good drama. Calista Flockhart, Rob Lowe, and Sally Field have some great material because of it, and I love seeing them dig into it. The last minute of last night's episode really got to me. I missed Sarah. A lot. She's my favorite character. And I know Kitty missed her, too. I'm so glad she's back. That hug, with that music playing in the background...*tear*.

I don't think I mentioned how happy I am that Lauren Graham was cast in Parenthood. So I will now. I'm absolutely thrilled. That show has such an awesome cast (Peter Krause! Mae Whitman! Monica Potter!), and I can't wait to see Lauren act with them. I'm very sorry that Maura Tierney had to drop out, and I hope she's okay, but I can't think of anyone better to replace her. I can't wait to see my favorite actress back on TV.

Here's one of Bill's photos from Thursday's Bruce Springsteen concert. I was standing directly to his left, so this shows you how lucky we got.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago. Through the mud and the beers, through the blood and the cheers, I’ve seen champions come and go. So if you got the guts mister, ff you got the balls, if you think it’s your time, then step to the line, and bring on your wrecking ball. Bring on your wrecking ball, bring on your wrecking ball, let me see what you got, take your best shot, bring on your wrecking ball. Bring on your wrecking ball. Bring on your wrecking ball. Take your best shot, let me see what you got, bring on your wrecking ball.
My home is here in the Meadowlands, where mosquitoes grow as big as airplanes. Here where the blood is spilled, the arena is filled, and Giants play the games. So come on raise your glasses, and let me hear your voices call. Tonight all the dead are here, so bring on your wrecking ball, bring on your wrecking ball, bring on your wrecking ball. Yeah, take your best shot, let me see what you got, bring on your wrecking ball. Bring on your wrecking ball, bring on your wrecking ball, you take your best shot, let me see what you've got, bring on your wrecking ball (One, two, one two three four!).
Now we know that come tomorrow, none of this will be here. So hold tight to you anger, hold tight to your anger, hold tight to your anger, and don't fall to your fear.
When all this steel in these stories, been drift away to rust. And all our youth and beauty, been given to dust. The game has been decided, and we're burning down the clock. And all our little victories and glories have turned into parking lots.
When your best hopes and desires are scattered to the wind. And hard times come and hard times go, and hard times come and hard times go, and hard times come and hard times go, and hard times come and hard times go, and hard times come and hard times go, just to come again bring on your Wrecking Ball. Let me hear your voices call. Take your best shot, let me see what you've got, bring on your wrecking ball. Bring on your Wrecking Ball, Bring on your Wrecking Ball, Bring on your Wrecking Ball. Take your best shot, let me see what you've got, bring on your wrecking ball. Bring on your Wrecking Ball." ~bruce springsteen

That may be the first song ever written from the point of view of a stadium. Maybe. I kind of love it.

Somehow, out of sheer luck, I was able to go to the final three concerts at Giants Stadium. Bruce Springsteen played five shows there to close it down, and I went to the last three, all within a week. And I paid a total of $25. I still can't believe my luck, and I'm so glad I was there to see him shut the place down.

I already wrote about my night 1 (scroll down if you missed it), so here I'll write about the last two concerts.

On Thursday morning, my friend Bill offered me a free ticket to Friday's show that he couldn't use. So of course I accepted. When I met him on Thursday afternoon to pick up the ticket, the friend whom he was taking to Thursday's show called him and canceled, so he had an extra ticket. I hadn't been home from school yet, I was wearing my teacher clothes (including a nice skirt) and had my big teacher bag and lunchbox, but I didn't care. I hopped in his car and we headed out to Giants Stadium. Luckily I could store my stuff in his car during the show (although I still had to wear my teacher clothes). We had GA tickets that night, and we got a fabulous spot in the pit. I couldn't believe we got into the pit. We stood along the back rail, and no one stood directly in front of us (it was much less crowded in the pit than at the U2 concert). When Bruce came into the crowd for "Hungry Heart," he stopped to sing a mere few feet away from me. I could not believe how close I was to him. Seeing him crowdsurf from the back of the pit to the stage from the floor was amazing. Of course I didn't have my camera, though, because of the impromptu situation. But Bill took pictures, so when I get those I'll share.

Thursday's show was unbelievable. One of the best concerts I've ever been to. It was a Born to Run show, so he played through the entire album. That's my favorite album of his. The energy in the pit was insane, especially during "Born to Run" and "Badlands;" you couldn't not go crazy. It was pretty freakin' awesome. I was exhausted, but I found myself jumping up and down constantly, waving my hands in the air, raising my fist...the energy in there made you forget everything else. "Badlands" and "Backstreets" were highlights for me. I can't describe it; you just had to be there, in the pit, feeling that energy.
Thursday, 10/8/09 Setlist
Wrecking Ball (with Curt Ramm)
Out in the Street
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Jake Clemons, Ed Manion, Curt Ramm)
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River (with Curt Ramm)
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Raise Your Hand (instrumental)
It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Because the Night
Human Touch
Lonesome Day
The Rising
No Surrender
* * *
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Bobby Jean
American Land (with Curt Ramm)
Dancing in the Dark
Twist and Shout

Thursday was so fabulous (just look at that setlist!) that I knew it would be difficult to top. Because Friday was the last concert ever at Giants Stadium, there were lots of rumors about special stuff that would happen (lots of special guests were discussed). In the end, though, it wasn't really anything special. It was a Born in the U.S.A. night, and the setlist was pretty similar to the other Born in the U.S.A. night I went to. One notable addition was the Rolling Stones song "Last Time." The last song ever played at Giants Stadium was "Jersey Girl," one of my favorites. No one thought it was over after that song, though. The lights stayed off for awhile, leading us to believe that the band would come back on, but they didn't. The crowd stood there for a few minutes waiting. I thought they would come back out and do "Thunder Road" or "Rosalita" or something upbeat, but they didn't. It was still a great night, though, and I can't believe I was there for the last three shows.
Friday, 10/9/09 Setlist
Wrecking Ball (with Curt Ramm)
Spirit in the Night
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Born in the U.S.A.
Cover Me
Darlington County
Working on the Highway
Downbound Train
I'm on Fire
No Surrender
Bobby Jean
I'm Goin' Down
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark
My Hometown
Tougher Than the Rest
The Promised Land
Last to Die (with Curt Ramm)
Long Walk Home
The Rising
Born to Run (with Jay Weinberg)
* * *
Raise Your Hand
The Last Time
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Seven Nights to Rock
Kitty's Back (with Curt Ramm)
American Land
Jersey Girl

The New York Times has a nice review of the final show on the front page of their website; here it is.

I was surprised at how many kids I saw at all of the concerts, kids even younger than five years old. There were a lot of kids in the pit; they must have lined up early. I remember being surprised seeing them at U2 as well. And the kids always get special treatment. Every night Bruce had a kid sing "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" with him. At most concerts, U2 brings a kid from the audience onstage. How amazing would that be, to be onstage with Bruce Springsteen or U2 and sing along?? I wish my parents had taken me to concerts when I was younger.

Here are some photos from Friday:

And a couple of videos:

Jersey Girl (last song ever performed at Giants Stadium):

I went to two Broadway shows today (Saturday), HAIR and Hamlet. Funnily enough, they're the two shows from Shakespeare in the Park last year (though a different production of Hamlet). I'll probably write more later about them, but for now I'll just say I was so lucky to be able to stare at some gorgeous guys for most of the day. Will Swenson in HAIR (oh, how I love him) and Jude Law in Hamlet. Not bad, right?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"With a chance to make it good somehow, hey what else can we do now? Except roll down the window, and let the wind blow back your hair. Well, the night's busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere. We got one last chance to make it real, to trade in these wings on some wheels. Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks. Oh-oh, come take my hand, we're riding out tonight to case the promised land. Oh-oh, Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road. Lying out there like a killer in the sun, hey I know it's late, we can make it if we run. Oh Thunder Road, sit tight take hold, Thunder Road." ~bruce springsteen

Last night I went to see Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium. My dad and brother have seen him live before but they never invited me, and I'm glad I finally got my shot to see him. I'm from New Jersey, I grew up there, spent almost my entire life there, and it will always be my home, even if my parents decided to abandon it, so I think I'm obligated to feel something for Bruce's music. Nicole and I got $80 tickets for $25 each from someone selling them at the last minute. As you'll see, of course our view wasn't as good as it was for U2, but we waited 12 hours for our U2 spot and it was cool to see the stadium from a different perspective last night.

Seeing the Boss play in New Jersey, especially in a venue like Giants Stadium where you're surrounded by about 80,000 fans, is an experience unlike any other. It's indescribable. Bruce has achieved something akin to godlike status in New Jersey. And he sure puts on a good show. He's playing a bunch of concerts at Giants Stadium, and at each one he's playing one album through it's entirety. At my concert it was Born in the U.S.A. It's one of the best selling albums of all time, it's Springsteen's most successful album, and it has seven top-10 singles (the most for any album in history). So you'd think we picked a good night to go, but I think I would have actually preferred hearing the "Born to Run" night instead. I think there are some clunkers on "Born in the U.S.A." The first Giants Stadium setlist (a Born to Run show) looks perfect to me.

The main song I really wanted to hear but didn't is my favorite song of his, "Atlantic City." There are a few others I wish had been in there as well. This was the first time on this tour and the first time in over 10 years that "Badlands" wasn't played at an ESB show, and that really bummed me out because I love that song. It's really unimaginable that it was omitted. But overall it wasn't a bad setlist. He opened with a song called "Wrecking Ball," which he wrote about the destruction of Giants Stadium. The addition of "Jersey Girl" to the setlist made me really, really happy. Even though I love the song, "My Hometown" made me sad because it made me miss my hometown. They didn't pull me out of that depression until they got to "Born To Run." I was so glad they closed with "Thunder Road;" I was afraid they wouldn't play it. It's one of my favorite songs, and I loved screaming all the words (because I know every single one) along with the crowd. Overall it was a great night.

One highlight that needs to be mentioned is Bruce crowd-surfing from the back of the pit to the stage. It was at least 30 yards, and it was amazing to see. The view from above was so incredibly cool. Here's a video from the pit (obviously not mine). The crowd-surfing begins around 2:30:

Here are a few (not-so-good) pictures of mine:

And here are some even worse videos of mine, but they have good audio (and surprisingly you can't really hear me singing, except for maybe on Thunder Road!). The last two are the best.

Dancing in the Dark (ends partway through because the girl from the row behind me was pushed down into my row, nearly knocking me over):

Born to Run:

Jersey Girl(!):

Thunder Road (cuts off at the end because I ran out of memory):


Wrecking Ball
Out In the Street
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working On a Dream
Born In the U.S.A.
Cover Me
Darlington County
Working On the Highway
Downbound Train
I'm On Fire
No Surrender
Bobby Jean
I'm Goin' Down
Glory Days
Dancing In the Dark
My Hometown
The Promised Land
Last To Die
Long Walk Home
The Rising
Born To Run
Raise Your Hand (instrumental)
Jersey Girl
Kitty's Back
Detroit Medley
American Land
Waitin' On a Sunny Day
Thunder Road

Friday, October 02, 2009

"Another head aches, another heart breaks. I am so much older than I can take. And my affection, well it comes and goes, I need direction to perfection, no no no no..." ~the killers

Mostly just here to post what I promised yesterday. They're awful quality; the lighting in there was not good. So they're mostly useful for the audio. Drew Barrymore speaking after the Whip It screening:
Discussing the values behind the story:

The interviewer asked about a stunt that Ellen Page did:

The interviewer just asked about shooting food fight (Drew goes on to talk about shooting on a low budget):

A really nice ending to the interview:

Tomorrow I'm seeing Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium!!!