hammer of the gods!

so the reviews are in, the setlist has been analyzed (by me below), and the verdict is in – led zeppelin have proved once again why KISS sucks.

but seriously, everyone’s clamoring for a full tour, and i’ve got very mixed feelings about it. i’m old enough to have been awaiting the 1980 tour that never happened, but too young to have seen them play on previous tours. so i’m not gonna pass up the chance to see them, even without bonzo.

but at the same time, i have an admiration for the fact that they’ve managed to resist so far. for the preening rooster he was in their heyday, robert plant turned out to have a lot of class, refusing to play zeppelin numbers on his solo tours for years. and he definitely seems to be the one most resistant to a full-scale tour, though he’s hinted he doesn’t intend this to be their Last Show Ever.

the only good thing about being so torn about a tour, i guess, is that i’ll be good with whatever they decide. especially if/when a dvd of last night’s gig comes out.

anyway, here’s the setlist, first in a plain list, second with comments, just in case you don’t really give a shit. which is okay. really.

‘Good Times Bad Times’
‘Ramble On’
‘Black Dog’
‘In My Time Of Dying’
‘For Your Life’
‘Trampled Under Foot’
‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’
‘No Quarter’
‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’
‘Dazed And Confused’
‘Stairway To Heaven’
‘The Song Remains The Same’
‘Misty Mountain Hop’
‘Kashmir’
‘Whole Lotta Love’
‘Rock And Roll’

overall, a pretty decent setlist. with so many classics, there’s no way a hardcore fan could ever be totally satisfied with a show less than three hours. but besides being denied the acoustic set that had been rumored, my chief complaint is the smackdown on ‘in through the out door’ – i’m not shocked, page isn’t a big fan of it (that’s what he gets for being too smacked up to stop john paul jones from dominating the record), but it’s a disappointment that it gets so dissed so often.

‘Good Times Bad Times’

a bold, two-pronged statement for an opening number. first, it represents the very beginning of their career. second, it set up an opportunity for jason bonham to both evoke his father’s best work (bonzo’s lightning-fast right foot on a single bass drum kit) and prove he was up to the task. obviously haven’t heard it yet myself, but all accounts state he was.

‘Ramble On’

essential tracks are obviously arguable, but while i might not put this on my personal favorites list, it represents much of what zep is about – the dynamics, the ‘lord of the rings’ references.

‘Black Dog’

unavoidable. as a superfanboy, i’d certainly have rather heard ‘in the light’ or ‘four sticks,’ but there’s no denying that this one is huge for the average fan.

‘In My Time Of Dying’

great choice, not just for its place in their canon of work, but because of the legend surrounding the track. according to myth, after being in a car accident which forced the cancellation of the ‘physical graffiti’ tour and created the ‘presence’ sessions, plant disavowed the track, saying it had created some bad mojo.

if this is true, its resurrection means much. at the same time, one could argue its inclusion proves the legend was bs.

‘For Your Life’

this was the track page had teased about a couple of weeks ago when he said they were going to play a track which had never been played live before. makes sense, given that the two previously played the ‘presence’-era ‘coda’ track ‘wearing and tearing.’

‘Trampled Under Foot’

again, when i first saw they played this, i was a little “eh.” the more i thought about it, though, the more convinced i became. i bet it rocked.

‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’

good solid choice. can’t wait to hear it.
‘No Quarter’

one of my very favorite tracks of theirs, in live and studio versions. i’m curious how jones played it, given the evolution of keyboard sounds and technology over the years.

‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’

essential. not unavoidable, but of the fm radio staples, this one’s as good as any.

‘Dazed And Confused’

the bow! nobody knew how far back zep would go in terms of their ’70s excesses, and i’m glad they chose to indulge and acknowledge what they were about at their peak rather than some contemporary (old) rethinking.

‘Stairway To Heaven’

unavoidable. nuff said.
‘The Song Remains The Same’

maybe the boldest choice on the list. then again, page HAD to trot out the doubleneck for ‘stairway,’ might as well use it again.

‘Misty Mountain Hop’

they must love this, because it’s been played in every post-bonham config (reunions, page-plant). good enough, but once again, i’d trade up for ‘down by the seaside’ in a heartbeat.

‘Kashmir’

of the unavoidables, the one i’d most likely agree can’t NOT be played. and i’ve no doubt that if i was watching it live, i’d forget about the 300,000 times i’ve heard it.

‘Whole Lotta Love’

the only good thing i have to say about this unavoidable is their propensity to reinvent it makes me curious to hear what they did with it, particularly as some have commented on jason’s funkiness!

‘Rock And Roll’

okay, not much good to say about this old warhorse. maybe i wouldn’t run out of the exit, but i might position myself to avoid the herd.

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led zeppelin piece on 10 zen monkeys

i wrote a kind of “led zeppelin for dummies” piece on 10 zen monkeys for those of you who haven’t been obsessed with the band since the age of 13.

tonight’s the big reunion show, and because the instant gratification freak in me will be denied seeing or hearing it in real time (i’ll have to wait till the dvd comes out, i hope), i’ll focus instead on the setlist, which as of this moment hasn’t been leaked onto the interweb, an impressive feat.

the online version of britain’s nme, tho, managed to wrangle a couple of tracks, all of which give me a boner to one extent or the other. they’ll also be the first opportunity to see what the band plays, through a song-by-song blog.

i respect zeppelin for not turning this into a pay-per-view spectacle, but at the same time it pains me to have to resort to the contemporary media equivalent of my dad huddled around the radio to hear play-by-play of a sonny liston fight. jeez.

dickhead enforcement agency’s latest tactic

once again, old school journalism proves its relevance in the form of sfgaters matier & ross, who have uncovered the federal government’s newest display of telling residents, patients and voters in san francisco and california at large to go fuck themselves.

i’ve harped on the need for sf to once again be on the vanguard of the medical marijuana issue and take over the process of dispensing cannabis to patients. i’ll admit that ultimately i trust newsom and the board of supervisors to do the right thing. at some point.

but when will that be? how many convenient neighborhood dispensaries will be strongarmed out of business by d.e.a. stooges before we defend the rights we’ve already fought so hard for?

why is a municipality that practically prides itself on pissing off bill o’ reilly with its proactivist agenda waiting around to be reactionary? while i’m at it, where the fuck is our former-moonbeam-now-badass attorney general?

why am i asking you?

and the nominees are …

avn has announced this year’s nominees for their prestigious awards to honor achievement in the field of adult entertainment.

and wouldn’t you know it? just like the oscars, i haven’t seen ANY of these best film noms!

i’m happy to see that my girl hillary is up for female performer of the year, tho not a bit surprised.

still waiting on word that the AMAZING people at avn will allow me to cover january’s awards show. last year i almost froze my nuts off (18 degrees and snow in vegas! wtf?), but it was worth it.

life imitates art (real-life ‘weeds’)

i was mildly appalled (is that possible?) that our former governor moonbeam, a guy who was no stranger to pot when he was bangin’ the likes of linda ronstadt when it <i>meant</i> something, is bragging about record pot busts in california.

what’s interesting is the natural resilience of the grower – kinda like a weed, yeah? and speaking of kinda like ‘weeds,’ authorities are seeing that growers are acting a lot like mary-louise parker’s character on the acclaimed show.

no, they’re not running around in their underwear and looking hot.

instead, they’ve taken up in the suburbs, trimmed the crabgrass that screamed “something not ordinary is going on here!” and otherwise taken steps to make these dwelling blend in with their respective neighborhoods.

bad news for cops. again, i’m not convinced all of these growers (especially in shady-ass elk grove, for fuck’s sake) are doing the lord’s work, but when authorities are jumping up and down bragging about spending valuable state resources on a bunch of plants, it’s good to know there’s someone out there confounding these buggers.

ending the war on … rope

whether you’re the biggest stoner on the planet, the kind of guy who clutches a bong as if it’s his tether to this physical plane of reality, or you think pot-smokers should have their balls cut off to prevent them from procreating, there’s not a reasonable human being on the planet who can possibly think the government’s stance on hemp makes any sense.

thank god american farmers are challenging this unfathomable stupidity. in a world where more teenagers have access to potent drugs through their parents’ relationships with pharmaceuticals, what moron who <i>isn’t</i> a pundit on the fox channel thinks that someone is going to smoke a whole bale of hemp to get half the high you’d get from a couple of st. joseph’s? (mm, those were tasty.)

more problems with california’s medical marijuana law

i always wondered (fantasized in a sick way?) whether i’d be the poster boy for this issue. i mean, this guy should have every right to medicate himself under california law, but 215 simply never provided for this inevitable scenario, just as we saw earlier this week.

so even if the california supreme court <i>is</i> in tune with the will of california voters, they may have no choice but to rule against this poor slob. i mean, as if living in excremento isn’t enough of an insult.

the good, the bud, and the ugly

the case of u.s. vs. the guys who gave “budderfinger” candy bars to the bay area medical marijuana community has been gearing up for a while, and sfgate columnists matier & ross laid it all out today.

the reason the story of the feds’ prosecution of the bud brothers is so important is that it points up all the varying aspects (and liabilities) of california’s present 215 law, which decriminalized medical marijuana. while mm proponents like ed rosenthal insist that the law should work as is, the fact of the matter is that it was a poorly written proposition that doesn’t account for guys who may be interested in profiting more off of the legitimate movement than good ol’ ed.

there are two reasons why 215’s allowance of medical marijuana to be distributed using free market forces was a bad idea – first, it leaves these forces vulnerable to federal buggery, as with the case against rosenthal, and now with the bud brothers; second, and more destructive to the medical marijuana movement, is that there is little now to allow authorities (both locals who are sympathetic to the cause and federalis who could give a rat’s ass and are just looking to nail people) to distinguish between people who are looking to provide a service to the community (like my friend martin from the vapor room, one of the most reputable and respectable dispensaries in the city, and therefore on the planet), and those who are basically “legitimized” drug dealers.

i’m not saying the bud brothers, who simply by the fact they put themselves in harm’s way technically qualifies them as medical marijuana martyrs, were the latter, but it’s hard to reconcile my image of politically motived pot crusaders with two guys in Lafayette driving around brand-new Mercedes-Benzes.

and the real joke of it is that 215 never accounted for what even the most red-eyed optimistic medical marijuana activist should have seen as an inevitable result of the dynamics of distribution.

i’d love to believe that on a national scale we’ll see any legislation regarding medical marijuana anytime soon. but it’s pretty likely we won’t, and the only way this federal harrassment will stop is for the state or local governments to take over the process of distributing pot through dispensaries. i know people hate the big brother aspect of this, but it’s the only way to force the state vs. federal battle that would not only solve this issue, but put the whole thing on the national table.

and considering all the bullshit that’s on our table as a nation (mcgriddle, anyone?), would “budderfingers” be so bad?

earthquake reveals need for new slippers

so i was totally nerding out and taking out the bonus materials dvd of ‘spider-man 3’ when i heard the building groan and felt the earthquake last night.

and while i had just recently stated my views on this matter, i have to admit that the very first thing i thought of was the “ironic” pink fuzzy slippers with a big blue flower on them that i was wearing at the time. they were bought as a joke for me, but when my main manly slippers finally gave out, i was forced to resort to these.

sure, this one wasn’t very strong, but we’re not through this yet. luckily, christmastime is a good time to buy slippers.

Published in: on October 31, 2007 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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fuck president – schwarzenegger for f├╝hrer

i’ve been over making fun of the whole “governator” thing for a while. at this point, knee-jerk reactions to arnold’s initial foibles are just uninformed.

and today’s news is a good example of why. sure, his spinsters are gonna clean it up stateside, but whatever.

not to mention the way he looked during last week’s fire disaster. in one press conference, he loomed over scrawny girly-man michael chertoff with massive arms folded and a potent scowl, as if saying with his body language, “do this right or i will hurt you.”

and i could swear by the look on chertoff’s face that he’d be thankful to get outta there with his ass intact, let alone his lunch money.

having just seen ‘300’ again, it got me thinking about ancient times when those with power actually HAD physical power. when i saw that press conference, i had no shortage of confidence in the state’s leader to get shit done lest someone end up getting their head popped like a pimple between the governor’s mighty thumb and index finger.

maybe louisiana should have had apollo creed when katrina hit.