Must See: Pink Floyd’s The Wall Performed Live

Like many others, I shrugged off the idea of another Roger Waters tour, bringing the music of Pink Floyd into arenas nationwide sans David Gilmour. As much as Floyd meant to me in my high school years, I haven’t listened to their music on my own volition for at least a dozen years. It would be nice to hear an album that I had loved straight through in concert.

Then I heard about how full bore Waters was going with the production — recreating the spectacle of The Wall on its 30th anniversary and then some — on this Sound Opinions podcast in October. Yeah, I can dig it.

Only top top bands with a serious legacy can truly demand $250 and up for a top ticket and still manage to fill arenas nationwide (often for multi-night runs). But there sure as hell better be some spectacular video / light show / side show to go along with the tired greatest hits nonsense. Regardless, Waters will have absolutely no reason to work again after galavanting around the world for 10 months on the strength of his 30-year old magnum opus. Look for his name near the top of the next weekly Pollstar Top 20 Concerts list.

In this case there was amazing video — the wall featured a steady stream of motion graphics and video, many from the original The Wall, projected onto a huge wall — about 240 feet wide and 33 feet tall. The story of The Wall holds up very well, all the way to The Trial, even if it can get a little tiresome looking at Waters parading in front of the wall alone in love with himself as the lead character in the story as his presumed alter ego, Pink Floyd. A 12-piece band including horns and a childrens choir comprised of kids from the Heart of Los Angeles after-school program took the stage for the cockneyed refrain on “Another Brick in the Wall” and probably the most elaborate and crisp sound I’ve heard in an arena. There were monster speakers in teh back of the house and from the floor, you could literally feel the helicopters closing in from all sides at some points. Holiday season — maybe I was feeling sentimental, but I got major chills a few times.

I definitely recommend seeing this show if you can, tickets were going for below face value for the Staples Center (I got lucky and was whisked in on a friend’s last-minute extra ticket, thanks Gretchen!). The remaining U.S. tour dates are listed below along with a clip from “Hey You” which opened up the second part of the show from behind The Wall.

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Crooked Fingers Afternoon Set at Old Style Guitar Shop, LA, 9/7/2010

What a treat it was to catch Eric Bachmann and Liz Durrett of Crooked Fingers just a half-block from the coffeeshop where I was drinking and WiFi-ing yesterday! I never knew of this shop — which is a tiny walk-in with old wood floors — basically a studio for Reuben Cox, who makes the super-old style guitars by hand. Got some great photos and took a couple videos with the Blackberry Torch (9800). AT&T gave me the latest and greatest Blackberry to mess around with so you’ll see me posting more and more content from and with it. This also resolves my which-Android-phone-should-I-get dilemma for the time being 😉

Crooked Fingers at Old Style Guitar Shop 9/7/2010
Reuben Cox, Liz Durrett, Eric Bachmann (photos taken with Canon PowerShot S90)

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Public [Dis]service Message: Regular People Use the Library for Internet Access EVERY DAY!

la public libraries are closed on sundays andn mondays. this is beverly hills public library on a monday
Beverly Hills Public Library is open seven days a week. Some spaces are exclusively for public internet use. No books on these shelves. | Photo by Andy Sternberg/LAist

LA Public Libraries are closed on Sundays and Mondays due to unruly budget cuts. This includes the historic Central Library – a downtown landmark and one of the largest libraries in the country – in addition to all 70 LAPL branches. Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Burbank patrons can access their library’s resources 7 days a week.

How do we fix this? LA City Council President Eric Garcetti told me last month (in a Twitter reply) that the library cuts signify about $10 million in savings for the city “…and I am working to see if this 15% cut can be mitigated as soon as economy/receipts pick up.”

This is an issue that should irritate everyone who feels part of the community as it affects education, jobs, and the digital divide, not to mention the amount of waste contributed to people who are forced to buy new books because the library is closed on their day off.

As long as our elected officials are corrupting our tax dollars for personal and professional gain, we should not allow them to take away our communities’ most precious resources (a far more valuable allocation of taxes, dontcha think?). This shouldn’t require a costly amendment that, if passed, would add a $39 parcel tax to our plate.

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Love it Live

tokimonstaAnyone who knows me quickly finds out that I am a live music junkie. I don’t have a problem, per se, but I do go out to see bands perform multiple times each week. Last night was one of those excellent, multiphonic nights that reminds me why it’s so important to live in a large cultural hub such as Los Angeles.

Over the course of a couple hours I saw two bands and three electronic beat mixer-uppers (DJs, I guess we call them) all within a couple miles of my Echo Park home. Money well spent on a broad experiential night. Everest tore up the Bootleg Theater, and later I caught the final three beatmasters at Proximal Records Proximity One: Narrative of a City (listen below) Release Party: Sahy Uhns, TOKiMONSTA, and Daedelus. I was torn between going to one show or the other and was ecstatic to have the timing to get the best of both worlds. It helped that a small lighting fire at The Echo set the show back a half hour or so.

I got a few decent photos. Plus see below for a list of podcasts and websites that I check regularly to get my fill of live music (video and audio) when I’m not at the show myself. People talk about digital downloads and physical music. Physical music for me means hearing it live. Feeling it.

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