Archive | Lists RSS feed for this section

An “A Fair” to Remember

8 Sep

Here’s what I’ve been up to in recent weeks.

I took a bike ride down the Greenway here in Minneapolis and hit the river. It’s a good ride and I may have to do it one more time before the season for biking ends and winter starts to kick everyone’s ass. This is the Lake Street/Marshall Ave bridge. Pretty good scenery on a beautiful day.

Midtown Greenway - Bridge

Midtown Greenway - Bridge

Midtown Greenway - Bridge

Midtown Greenway - Bridge

Mississippi and Minneapolis

Mississippi and Minneapolis

Then this oddity. Those are people. Many people. Many people doing yoga. It was a good sight… with the exception of all the dudes who were there only because A) they got roped into it, B) they wanted to see some hot yoga pants action up close or C) they are gay. Let’s be honest here, those are the only three reasons any dude would do yoga. If you can think of another (and I’m almost sure you can’t) leave a comment.

Yoga on the Patio

Yoga on the Patio

Yoga on the Patio

Yoga on the Patio

Then, as is the end of summer tradition in Minnesota, I went to the State Fair. Forget Texas because everything is not bigger in that good-for-nothing hell hole. Our State Fair is the biggest, bestest, most food-on-a-stick laden beast ever to be invented. You can’t get better than this… unless you have RUSH playing at the Grandstand! Not only would this be my first ever RUSH concert, it would be my first ever time seeing a concert at the Grandstand. And you know what, it was awesome. They played for almost three and a half hours and still didn’t hit all of the songs they are known for. Highlights of the show included YYZ, The Camera Eye and of course, the 10 minute drum solo from Neil Peart. In fact, here is the full setlist:

First Set
“Spirit of the Radio”
“Time Stand Still”
“Presto”
“Stick it Out”
“Working them Angels”
“Leave that Thing Alone”
“Faithless”
“BU2B”
“Freewill”
“Marathon”
“Subdivisions”

Second Set:
“Tom Sawyer”
“Red Barchetta”
“YYZ”
“Limelight”
“The Camera Eye”
“Witch Hunt”
“Vital Signs”
“Caravan”
Drum Solo
“Closer to the Heart”
“2112 – Part 1: Overature”
“2112 – Part 2: The Temples of Syrinx”
“Far Cry”

Encore:
“La Villa Strangiato”
“Working Man”

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair - Myself

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

RUSH at MN State Fair

As you can see from the pics, the seats were sort of far away, and my camera on my phone does not take great night shots, and does not have a good zoom, but it is what it is. And then, there was this guy. As you can see from the bottom picture, I was not the only one to find this overall shod man a weird distraction.

RUSH - overalls

RUSH - overalls

RUSH - overalls

RUSH - overalls

I don’t know who wears that outfit to a RUSH concert, but he was certainly not pulling it off. He reminded me of Augustus Gloop from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, if he were to don giant blue overalls. Other sights of the fair included the slide, the Space Tower, the DNR fish pool, a very racist metal sign, a lumberjack competition and people. Tons and tons of people (literally tons to as there were some whales out there). All in all, a good get together for MN.

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - The Slide

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - DNR Fish Pond

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - Midway background

MN State Fair

MN State Fair

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - Lumberjack face off

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - racist poster/sign

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - Space Needle

As for the food, which I normally would have gorged myself on, I tried to stick to stuff that was more healthy this year. This is why I went with some marinated lamb as well as these here. These are called “Porcupine Bites” or something, and are meatballs made of elk (Why not porcupine? Who knows). They were mixed with spices, mushrooms, rice and a small amount of beef and then were placed on top a bed of baby red potatoes and covered with a delicious red wine and mushroom gravy. Damn were they good.

MN State Fair

MN State Fair - Food

Next post: probably gonna be about cars.

Advertisements

Ten Epic Songs of Epicness

4 May

What makes a song epic? Does it simply have to be long? Convoluted? Perhaps have a profound backstory to its conception? Possibly. But for the purposes of this list, I have come up with ten epic songs that I feel are both epically long and epically rocking. How did I come up with this list you may ask? Well, it all started from this picture…

Three Men in a Lobby

Check out those sweet moves!

Ok, so not really. But it is an interesting picture isn’t it? For those who don’t know, which is many, this picture was taken on the day of the home opener of the Twins in celebration of their new stadium. CAN YOU GUESS WHICH CITY I WORK IN?!!!?? Anyways. I like the picture and these guys were really cool. They were very entertaining and had to be so for a long time, much like the songs on this list. Of course, the real culprit for getting me thinking about this list is this other list here. As you can see, assuming you clicked the link, is that many of those songs can be found on my list as well. The reason for this is that the author of that site and myself both have similar tastes in music. You will probably be able to decipher from my list that I really enjoy rock music, and, more specifically, a genre called Prog Rock, which is filled with the Pink Floyds and Rushs of this earth (as you can see, I’m especially fond of Pink Floyd). Anyway, on to my list, which is in no particular order. Also, pretty much all of the videos can be found as hyperlinks attached to the artist and song title at the top.

  1. Led Zeppelin – Achilles Last Stand 10:25
    I found this song by happy accident and loved the drums and guitar. Not only do I think it is one of Zeppelin’s better songs on an album that is not given enough credit, it would be badass on either Rock Band or Guitar Hero! Dammit Led Zeppelin, get with the times already. I chose the live version of this song for the video simply because you can watch Jimmy Page shred that guitar hardcore.

    Led Zeppelin Presence

    Led Zeppelin Presence

  2. Metallica – Outlaw Torn 9:59
    I don’t know who did it first, but when you add an orchestra behind a major rock band, the results are spectacular. Outlaw Torn is from the 1999 live album Metallica recorded using the backing of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. Though I love a good, simple hard rock song, adding the orchestral score pumps it up even more and gives it a thoroughly epic feel.

    Metallica S&M

    Metallica S&M

  3. Pink Floyd – Dogs 17:06
    This song is 17 minutes of bliss. It is typical Floyd as well, starting off with a faster section, accompanied by a driving guitar solo in the middle and then slowing way down for the middle interlude before picking up again at the end with a flurry of lead guitar and drums. I’ve heard this song many, many times and it never ceases to get me going.

    Pink Floyd Animals

    Pink Floyd Animals

  4. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain 10:21
    Look no further for your epic lead guitar solo. You can actually feel the emotion running through the fingers of Eddie Hazel. It seems to encapsulate exactly what he was told to think about while playing, namely that his mother had died in the first half, and then came back to life in the second. It plays out beautifully and is even more spectacular when you consider it was all done in one take.

    Funkadelic Maggot Brain

    Funkadelic Maggot Brain

  5. Rush – 2112 20:34
    The simple fact that I could only find this song in three separate parts is testament to the epicness it embodies. The fact that I am going to witness this band’s awesomness in person later this year makes this song even better (though I doubt they will play it, but I wish they would).
    Part 1

    Part 2
    Part 3

    Rush 2112

    Rush 2112

  6. Dream Theater – Octavarium 23:58
    This is another band that I had never heard of before seeing the original list. I know nothing about them, or their music outside of this song, but I really appreciate this song for making me get lost in its entire length. A rare quality. In fact, this song starts off in a Floydian tone before delving into something akin to hard rock before taking that epic Floyd departure at the end again. Great stuff.

    Dream Theater Octavarium

    Dream Theater Octavarium

  7. Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1 and 2) 26:00
    Another Pink Floyd song, and this one is split into two parts. It is actually a nine part composition in tribute to the former leader of Floyd, Syd Barrett. This is one of those classics that most people will know the instant the first chord is struck. If I could, I would probably listen to this all day long.
    Part 1
    Part 2

    Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here

    Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here

  8. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird 9:06
    Ah yes. Skynyrd. This is the song that is constantly being politely suggested – by which I mean drunkenly yelled out – for every band in the history of the world to play. Right now, there have been 2,174 instances of this happening. However, the song itself is a rocking epic that is nine minutes long and one that, once again, pretty much everyone knows the tune of. Here it is, in its entirety, for your listening enjoyment.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

  9. Iron Butterfly – Inna Godda Da Vida 17:05
    You can almost hear the psychedelic drugs coursing through their veins. And that bass line! Its hypnotic in its simplicity, yet makes everything about this song work. and makes the song come alive. And with a song being this long, it makes for fantastic solo work as well from every member of the band. I would love to see this video in full color, just to see the funk and colors and what their dreams must have looked like every night. Bonus: the Simpsons take on the song as well.
    The Simpsons Version

    Iron Butterfly In A Gadda Da Vida

    Iron Butterfly In A Gadda Da Vida

  10. Pink Floyd – Echoes 23:28
    Echoes is one of those tunes that is not known by many people. This is mostly because they have such a huge catalog of other hits that this one tends to get lost in the shuffle. It is also because it was not on a record of theirs that sold in huge numbers. This song was before they really took off after Dark Side of the Moon, but is one of their better tunes. This is another one of those that is normally broken into two parts, but I found it in its entirety, although it is synched up to the final part of 2001: A Space Odyssey for some reason. I recommend simply listening to it without the visuals, as they are distracting.

    Pink Floyd Echoes

    Pink Floyd Echoes

So, in this list alone, should you actually sit down and listen to all of the songs here, you will have a grand total of 167 minutes of music! How awesome is that? For some, not very; but for others, it is a great way to get into the rhythm and spirit of some grandiose songs that are too long for conventional radio, but perfect for making the day fly by. If you have any suggestions for anything that you feel would best be on this list, let me know. Or, perhaps you hated every selection. Either way, drop me a line and let me know.