Shows of the Day: May 30, 2023

Happy Jerry Wednesday to everybody. I hope you enjoy it.

I also hope some of you have been enjoying my old adventures in France. It is funny to me because I haven’t read those old posts since I wrote them over 18 years ago. Some posts bring up wonderful memories. Other posts I don’t remember at all.

Reading them now, with many more years under my belt, and a whole lot more world-traveling experience, I sound very young, very naive, and I seem to complain a lot. At the time I didn’t feel like I was really experiencing culture shock, but looking back I can see that I clearly was. I think back then I thought culture shock was something much more overwhelming – something that would bring me to tears every day or keep me curled up under the covers. But that isn’t me. I always get out of bed and do my best to plow ahead.

But reading these old posts I can see how I was being overwhelmed almost every day by all the differences in our cultures. Certainly, the language barrier was difficult.

I’m almost embarrassed by some of the posts. But I also realize that I wasn’t writing to anyone reading this now. I was writing to a handful of friends and family members. I was writing in a familiar way to people I knew. I was often trying to be funny and sarcastic, which comes off to me now as whiny and annoying.

Anyway, I do hope you are enjoying the posts, even if I do sound like a dumb little kid lost in the big world of baguettes.

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.12 – Scranton, PA

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.13 – Washington, DC

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.18 – Chicago, IL

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.19 – Milwaukee, WI

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.20 – Madison, WI

Shows of the Day: May 28, 2023

Paul Motian – 2010.08.26 – New York, NY

Pink Floyd – 1972.02.17-20 – Complete Rainbow Tapes

Pink Floyd – 1994.06.02 – Philadelphia, PA

Pink Floyd – 1994.06.03 – Philadelphia, PA

Quicksilver Messenger Service – 1968.04.06 – San Francisco, CA

Quicksilver Messenger Service – 1971.07.03 – San Francisco, CA

Robert Plant & Jimmy Page – 1998.09.16 – Morrison, CO

Shows of the Day: May 27, 2023

Bob Marley – 1978.05.31 – Miami, FL

Hank Williams – 1952.07.13 – West Grove, PA – I recently made this one public after sitting in private mode for years. It had a working Mediafire link and now it has a good Google one too.

Jason Isbell – 2023.04.06 – Melbourne, Australia

The Rolling Stones – Ultra Rare Trax Vol.1

The Rolling Stones – Ultra Rare Trax, Vol 2

The Friday Night Horror Movie: The Pope’s Exorcist (2023)

the popes exorcist poster

I love going into a movie completely blind. Not knowing anything about a film before watching it can lead to beautiful surprises. It can also lead to utter befuddlement and disappointment.

The only thing I knew about The Pope’s Exorcist before watching it tonight was that it starred Russell Crowe. Well, I knew it was a horror movie, and I was pretty sure it was going to involve some exorcism, but that’s it.

Honestly, I kind of thought it was going to be about the Pope getting demon-possessed and Russel Crowe was going to save him. I didn’t really think about the details of how that might work – how the head of the Catholic Church could get possessed – but it sounded kind of cool. It still does.

But no, the title refers to the fact that Russel Crowe’s priest – Father Gabriele Amorth, who was a real person – was hired directly by the Pope and would, in fact, be his personal exorcist were he to be possessed. But that doesn’t happen here. Instead, a demon possesses a little boy (Peter DeSouza-Feighoney).

Though Amorth was a real person and he was the official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome, the actual story is completely made up. Although one could easily argue it was mostly stolen from The Exorcist (1973). The boy does all the things demon-possessed kids do in these types of movies. He curses, he blasphemes, he sexualizes his mother, turns crosses upside down, etc.

There is also a mom (Alex Essoe) and an older sister (Laurel Marsden) and a tragic backstory (the dad was killed in a car accident, the boy saw it happen). But all of that is very bland and the film doesn’t really care about any of it.

Russel Crow plays Amorth like a jokester who carries a lot of pain. His performance reminded me of his character in The Nice Guys (2016). He periodically, though not often enough, lays down these great little sly jokes. I wish they’d leaned into that aspect a lot more. I rally wish I’d watched The Nice Guys again, that movie is terrific. Mostly this film is a very serious slog.

They don’t do anything new with the possession angle, but do spend a lot of time having Amorth and his newfound buddy Priest Esquibel (Daniel Zovatto) dig up the church’s sins (the Spanish Inquisition and the child abuse scandals) and blaming them on the devil.

It all concludes in a big sloppy, CGI mess that is as incoherent as it is dumb.

Shows of the Day: May 26, 2023 – Van Morrison

It is a good day to be a Van fan. I’ve got new to the blog shows, new sources, and old shows with new links.

Van Morrison – 1974.04.06 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Van Morrison – 1974.11.16 – Anaheim, CA

Van Morrison – 1993.07.30 – Rudkobing, Denmark

Van Morrison – 1997.05.29 – Dublin, Ireland

Van Morrison – 1997.11.08 – Aalen, Germany

Van Morrison – 1998.11.06 – York, England

Van Morrison – 1998.11.27 – Bristol, England

Van Morrison – 1998.12.05 – Zurich, Switzerland

Van Morrison – 1998.12.06 – Zurich, Switzerland

Van Morrison – 1998.12.18 – Nuremberg, Germany

Van Morrison – 2007.10.27 – Madrid, Spain

Van Morrison – 2015.03.25 – London, England

Van Morrison – 2015.06.06 – Brescia, Italy

Van Morrison – 2015.12.30 – London, England

Shows of the Day: May 25, 2023 – Neil Young

It has been a long time since I posted a new to the site Neil show, but today is the day. The Berkeley gig has a new source and the Tucson and Los Angles shows are completely new to me. Enjoy.

Neil Young – 1971.01.31 – Berkeley, CA

Neil Young – 1978.10.04 – Boston, MA

Neil Young – 1986.11.13 – Tucson, AZ

Neil Young – 1999.03.23 – Los Angeles, CA

Neil Young – 2016.04.29 – Memphis, TN

Neil Young – 2016.06.05 – Glasgow, Scotland

Neil Young – 2016.06.08 – Dublin, Ireland

Neil Young – 2016.06.13 – Lille, France

Life in France, And Other Things

I started this blog on May 29, 2004. That’s almost 19 years ago. When I started it I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I certainly would have never guessed I’d still be blogging all these years later.

My wife and I moved to Strasbourg, France in September of 2004 and stayed until June of 2005. This blog was started as a way of journaling my experiences there. I knew I’d want to keep a record of our adventures and blogs were just really becoming a thing back then so it seemed like the perfect way to take notes. I wasn’t even sure if I’d make the blog public, or rather, if I would send anybody the links to what I was writing.

Eventually, I did, then I got to where I wanted more and more people to visit. At first, all I did was journal our time in France. In time I started writing reviews. Then it became a full-fledged pop culture site. Soon enough I was talking bout bootlegs, then sharing them, and then they overtook the site altogether. And here we are.

As most of you know a few years ago I started getting nasty letters from lawyers claiming violations of one thing or another. That got me scared and I turned the blog private. Actually, I made every single post on the site private and then I turned the entire site private. Eventually, I started inviting people to my private site, but even then most of the old posts were hidden from everybody but me.

For a long while the only posts I allowed anyone to see were bootleg related. Now the site is public again but those old private posts have remained hidden. I’ve slowly been making them visible again, but I’ve been very selective about it. That is about to change. I’m ready to start working my way through the site, from the oldest posts to the newest and making everything public.

I’m going to be slow about it. I want to read each post, make some light edits, and then make them public. Before I do that thought I want to explain France a little bit.

Back in 2004, my wife was a graduate student at Indiana University in Bloomington. She was studying French Linguistics. I was a working schlub. Her department had an exchange program with a university in Strasbourg. Basically, Indiana students would go to France and teach English and some French student would come to Indiana and teach French. She signed up and we lived in Strasbourg for roughly ten months.

It was an amazing time. It was a long time ago. I read some of those old posts and I hardly recognize myself. I spread a little caution here to note that as you read those posts, recognize some of them are almost two decades old. The man that I was is not the man that I am. I’ve changed. I’ve grown. My beliefs have changed and grown too. Also recognize that in the beginning, I was writing to a small audience. Mostly my family, my wife’s family, and a few close friends. I had no idea I’d eventually open this up to the world or that music nerds would be reading my thoughts many years later.

I grew up in the Church of Christ. That’s a very conservative, evangelical-esque Christian church. I was still very much a member when we lived in France (like I said I was a different man back then). Before we left we made contact with a Church of Christ missionary from Belgium who was working in Strasbourg. He and his amazing wife picked us up from the airport and allowed us to stay with them for a couple of weeks while we got ourselves sorted. We attended his church the entire time we lived in France.

I say church but really we gathered in his house and some of the other member’s apartments. The Church of Christ is not very big in France. France has an odd relationship with any church that isn’t Catholic. While we were there a group of college kids from America, who were part of a missionary in-training program called Adventures in Missions, also attended the little church. They were young, nice, and very naive. My wife and I became friends with them.

I mention all of this because as I’m making all of my journal entries from France you will hear me talk about church and those AIM students quite a lot. I don’t talk about politics or religion much on my blog anymore (intentionally so as I want the blog to be about music and movies and art – things that gather us together not divide) so I expect it may be a little jolting to hear me talk about it so often in those old posts.

Like I keep saying I was a different man back then, but that is who I was, for better and for worse. I’m making it sound like I’m writing sermons in those old blogs and that isn’t the case at all. Mostly it is my experiences in a foreign land. We also often hung out with my wife’s British coworkers and drank ourselves silly. You won’t read so much about that as, well my mother was reading and she would have had a fit.

My plan is to make several of these old posts public every day. Some days there will be more than others. So prepare yourself for random e-mails from my blog. Also please notice the dates these posts were originally published. It may be rather confusing to get an e-mail about me adventuring in Europe when in reality I am stuck here in dreary Oklahoma.

I do hope you enjoy ready about my life all those years ago. My apologies if you do not.