Tag Archives: gig

Dylan

Last Saturday the O2 Arena played host to the latest leg of Dylan’s never-ending tour, and I happened to be there, quite by chance.

Well I say that, it was actually quite difficult to get there, because over the weekend the Jubliee line was undergoing upgrade works; this is quite a problem, as the Tube is pretty much the only practical way to get to the O2, otherwise it has pretty much the worst transport links in the world.

In the end, we had to get a Tube, a train, and a rail replacement bus service, and it took probably the better part of two hours. Getting back was equally as difficult, but there we go.

Once we’d all met up and taken our seats, we waited for the show to begin. Dylan was announced by someone saying that he released some of his greatest works in the 90’s – not an ausipicious start.

He came out and launched into Maggie’s Farm. This is where things started to go rather downhill; there were no video screens, so Dylan was rather an indistinct blob in the distance. Also, at some point in the last few decades he seems to have lost the ability to sing; rather the lyrics were growled out, a short phrase at a time. This lead to a curious effect where there quite a few times where he was actually out of time with the music. The lyrics also suffered from some pretty bad intelligibility problems, so I had a hard time understanding what he was, erm, growling.

Then there was the music itself; often he’d be halfway through the song before I recognised it from the lyrics. What was performed bore no relation to the songs I knew and loved. Also he talked to the crowd exactly once, to reel off the names of the members of his band. Because apparently he doesn’t play the guitar himself any more either.

I can understand that maybe if you’ve been playing and touring as long as he has, you’d get tired and sick of the whole business; I could understand that, but do it on your own time. Sir Paul McCartney is from the same era, and he still manages to put on an incredible show.

Honestly, to play the Devil’s Advocate, I had a lot more fun going to see Coldplay at the O2. They must be sick to their back teeth of playing Yellow, but you bet it comes out at every show, and they make it look they’re actually enjoying themselves. Also, Chris Martin just seems like a nice guy, whereas Dylan just came over as a bit of a twat.

Random Stuff: Coldplay And Live Mesh

Oh, apparently Coldplay will be playing a free show in Brixton on June 16th to promote their new album. I want to go, but I doubt anyone will come with me. Regardless, I will attempt to score tickets. If you do want to (try to) come with, please get in touch.

Also, have a look at the new announcement out of Microsoft, Live Mesh. It looks extremely interesting, and the hardest part about it is actually saying what it does. In a nutshell, it provides a platform that automatically pushes data around between endpoints, be they devices or some kind of service.

It sounds kinda dull said like that, but the implications are pretty huge. Basically, it’s a tool for keeping your data in sync. If you have a desktop computer and a Laptop, for instance, you can set up Live Mesh to share the folders. When you add a photo to the folder on the laptop, it’s automatically replicated to the computer. What makes it even more useful is that Microsoft provides a large (5 GB-ish, I think) glob of storage, so even if your desktop is turned off, the photo will replicate up to the service, then down to your desktop when you switch it on.

You can also access all the data stored on the service straight from a browser. And it’s not hard to create your own kinds of custom endpoints. One example is creating an interface to Facebook, so the moment you load photos onto your computer they could start replicating up to Facebook, automatically, in the background. And vice-versa, any pictures of you that appear on Facebook are automatically grabbed into your mesh.

Absolute tip of the iceberg. The platform is pretty much completely general. This is going to be huge. Sadly, it’s in private beta right now, so it’s not so much possible to use it unless you get invited, and then only with some difficulties (there’s a silly country lock) but I’m itching to get my hands on it.

If only he’d played in Soho.

Then I could have titled this post “JoCo rocks Soho” which would have been awesome. Alas, instead he rocked Camden while I drank SoCo, which has much less dynamic flair to it.

It’s taken me just forever to get round to writing this, because as everyone knows, I’m pretty terrible and disorganised. And it’s going to be a pretty terrible blog post anyway, because I’m think I’m already starting to get typing-fatigue. Anyways, the show was fantastic, I kinda wish I’d thought to take a camera because there are pictures I’d love to show you, but I can’t. So I’ll have to resort to pushing you in the direction of Youtube and Flickr, which are no doubt full to brimming with media by now.

Anyways, the attendees were Dickie, Josh, Sarah, Samir, and myself.

Once we’d met up, we had trouble finding the venue. We walked all the way up the road to the Roundhouse, walking past the actual venue (Dingwalls in Camden Lock) by a heck of a long way. The moral of the story was that people shouldn’t listen to me when I say a big line of people doesn’t look like a queue. It was an amazingly huge queue, it stretched right around the corner and threatened to spill out onto the road, and it took ages for them to see everyone inside.

Finally we got in and found some (albeit cramped) seats. Which was lucky, as the show was a sell-out and thus the venue was filled to capacity. First impressions were that the place was filled with our people, our tribe, as it were. We spotted people wearing xkcd, HL2, Portal & Penny Arcade T-shirts. These people are our people. After buying some drinks, the man himself came on stage, apparently amazed himself at the number of people who’d turned out. The crowd was incredibly enthusiastic, cheering, screaming, the works.

The set started with Over There, contentious seeing as how it’s basically insulting us all, but I think we collectively took it in good humour.

According to “Tart” at http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2008/02/29/london-calling/#comments:

Set list was: Over There, The Future Soon, Ikea, Shop Vac, I’m Your Moon, Baby Got Back, Still Alive, a Billy Bragg cover called The Saturday Boy, Someone is Crazy, I feel Fantastic.

Set two was Tom Cruise Crazy, Better, Skullcrusher Mountain, I Crush Everything, Code Monkey (with new toy backing up the guitar), Creepy Doll, Drinking With You, Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed the World), Chiron Beta Prime, Millionaire Girlfriend, Mandelbrot Set, You Ruined Everything, re: Your Brains and for the encore: First of May.

Highlights included Code Monkey featuring his brand-new Tenori-on, the impromptu Bandaid cover with riotous audience participation, the sweet-as-heck introduction to I’m Your Moon (it’s Charon singing to Pluto!), and general laughing and singing along all evening.

Everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely, and I have to say I’ll be first in the queue to buy tickets for another show in London. And I’ve been listening to pretty much nothing but Jonathon Coulton music since the gig, so that pretty much says all that’s required.

FYI, You’re All Gonna Die Screaming

So lots of stuff happened that I pretty much forgot to blog about. Whoops. So I’ll have to perform some kinda compressed info dump, which is not necessarily in the right order:

Went to RCSU RAG ball. Nice venue, alright food, alright company from everyone not called Sarah (ah, I jest), drama, a DJ mashing up “By The Way” (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY!?!), freezing cold winds on the way home… it had it all.

Drank some Fairtrade wine at a wine tasting. Nice.

Handed lab report in a whole 24 hours (!!!) early. Double nice.

Had cheese and wine party at Rowan’s. Lots of wine consumed, with predictable results. Then someone produced a bottle of port, and one of sambuca. More predictable results.

Installed IE8 beta. Buggy. Do not recommend yet.

Bought tickets to aforementioned gig, and which acted as a catalyst to get me listening to JoCo’s music. Which is awesome, so you should all do it.

Continued staying off MSN for unknown reasons even to myself. Probably should go back on before everyone thinks I’m dead!

Thought the Hawking thing that was on tonight was actually kinda lame. They used the same clip of a sphere exploding over, then the same clip of some points of light on these funny planes over and over, and they had to keep saying “Other people got to it first…” because Hawking’s famous, but hasn’t exactly done anything ground-breakingly interesting for ages. I guess saying physics is a big collaborative effort isn’t as sexy as a race to be first to create the theory of everything.

No wonder people think that physics is an impenetrable subject practiced only by geniuses in their ivory towers if this is face being presented to the public at large.

Oh, and they kept presenting string theory and supersymmetry as basically facts, which they’re not. There isn’t a single shred of evidence to support either. If the LHC doesn’t detect any of the predicted supersymmetric partners of fundamental particles (like the electron should have a partner known as a selectron) then it’s going to put a massive nail into the coffin of these theories. Or hypotheses? Theory is surely a term reserved for something that’s actually supported by data and not a theoretician’s appeal to mathematical beauty.

Hmm. That wasn’t compressed.

Bought a Stanley Kubrick box set, which includes: Full Metal Jacket, 2001, Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, & The Shining. Personally, I’m none too keen to ever see a movie with Tom Cruise in ever again, but hell, the others are worth seeing. Also part of me wants to play a GlaDOS / Hal duet