Monday, March 17, 2008

Drive-By Truckers, Newport, KY 3-16-08

Random notes on Sunday night's Drive-By Truckers show at Southgate House in Newport...

  • Con: lucky me was fortunate enough to have the mouthy-est drunk in the whole place standing right next to me. Maybe standing isn't the right word. He was sometimes leaning on me, yelling in my ear, and otherwise just being a general thorn in my side.

  • Pro: he was only present for the opening act (The Whigs) as the same blood-alcohol level that caused him to shout expletive-laden admonitions at bloodcurdling volumes at the band (and swipe one of their shirts off the stage) also, in one incredibly fortuitous twist of fate, caused him to climb up on the stage, stumble down the backstage steps, and finally get dragged out the door on his back by security.

  • I came better prepared for archiving this time, packing three flash memory cards for the camera and reading up on how to do video. I considered bringing my HD camcorder but didn't want to lug it around, not to mention its relatively poor low-light results. A couple of other people did bring theirs though, so maybe they'll share.

  • The setlist was quite a bit different from the Louisville was great to hear "One of These Days" and a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Rebels."

  • Regular readers (or those willing to read the archives) are well-aware of my affinity for "Zip City." I purposefully didn't record video of it...all attention was focused on my ears. It sort of reminds me of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. You can look but you can't take pictures. Recording it doesn't do it justice.

  • My spot was slightly improved from the Louisville show. I was again in front of Cooley but more toward the center. Nothing between me and the stage this time.

  • My location paid off, as I got to shake hands with Cooley, Shonna, and EZB, in that order, after the encore.

Here's a link to my pictures (of Louisville and Newport).

I'm currently uploading my videos to Youtube (6 in total). Here's "One Of These Days" can find links to the others on my Youtube channel.

Please to enjoy!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How I Spent My Saturday Night

The Drive-By Truckers, current titleholder of My Favorite Band, played at Headliner's in Louisville Saturday night. I was there as well.

The biggest difference between seeing a famous arena rock band versus a less-famous rock band is the intimacy of the venue. Instead of packing binoculars to catch a glimpse from the nosebleed section you have nothing but about 5 feet of air and smoke separating you from the band. Such was the case Saturday night, as I got there early enough to stake out my spot right at the foot of the stage.

This also meant that my head was about two feet from some humongoid speakers. Thankfully I had the foresight to bring earplugs or the world would no doubt still sound like my head was under water.

After the spirited and slightly enjoyable music of the opening act of The Felice Brothers (I've never heard of them either), the Truckers came out about 10:30. You can listen to a band for years so that you know their songs up and down, but it's always surreal that first time you see them right in front of you with your own eyes.

All of a sudden, an arm's length away, right in front of my face, was Cooley's left knee. The left knee of the guy who wrote Zip City. One of The Greatest Songs of All Times.

Here's your "my-eye's view" of the first song, "That Man I Shot", off of Brighter Than Creation's Dark. The audio is not the best, but it's about the thoughts of a soldier in Iraq who shot a man who may or may not have been a civilian. Lyrics here. The anonymity and depersonalization of war.

Yes, this is from that very show that very night. The guy who filmed this must have been standing just to my left.

You can see a slideshow of some of the pictures I took in the right margin of this page.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Study confirms what I've known all along

Excellent Reuters story I read today on Yahoo (direct link).

Love that last quote.

Tue Mar 4, 4:02 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Want a sugar pill to work really well? Charge more for it.

A study published on Tuesday shows the well-known "placebo effect" works even better if the dummy pill costs more.

Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University in North Carolina, and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tested 82 volunteers.

All got a light electric shock and were offered what they were told was a painkiller.

Half were given a brochure describing the pill as a newly approved painkiller that cost $2.50 per dose and half were given a brochure describing it as marked down to 10 cents.

Writing in a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Ariely and colleagues said the effects were unexpectedly strong.

Eighty-five percent of volunteers who thought they were getting a $2.50 pill said they felt less pain after taking it, compared with 61 percent of those who thought they were getting a discounted drug.

The results fit with other studies that show charging more for something makes people value it more. But Ariely said the combination with the placebo effect was especially interesting.
"The placebo effect is one of the most fascinating, least harnessed forces in the universe," Ariely said in a statement.

The word placebo comes from the Latin word for "I shall please." Placebos, or sugar pills, are routinely used in trials of new drugs to see if they really work.

"How do we give people cheaper medication, or a generic, without them thinking it won't work?" Ariely asked.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Will Dunham)