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Category Archives: Lifelist

I ended up finishing this with what I think is the easier of the two, a Led Zeppelin cover band. We’ve had 15 shows so far, and after this Saturday, we will have had 18 in the 6 months we’ve been playing together. I, of course, play the part of Jimmy Page, and we’re bringing in more production value each show. I’ve got the double neck for The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, and Stairway. I’ve got a bow for Dazed and Confused. It’s a total pain, but we definitely want to bring the theremin in for Whole Lotta Love at some point. Anyway, while I love Led Zeppelin, I’ve still got a lot to go if you look at the rest of my lifelist. I’ve learned the entire ballboy catalog too, but there are 12 other bands on my lifelist that I haven’t finished (though I’ve made a huge dent in some of them), and, if I keep going the route I’m going, there are at least 6 other cover bands I could be in.
May want to remove Muse from that list now considering how terrible I think their new album is. May just add The Beatles since I’ve become a bit more than in love in the past few years. Hmmmmm


So at some point, I decided this would be fun to get good at. I’ve accumulated a bunch of stuffed animals for Julia. At one point, in the course of about 6 or 7 dollars I spent over a month, I got 7 stuffed animals.
That said, I’ve been on a terrible losing streak lately, but I still contend that this is a game of skill and I’m good at this. I think I’ve just been too damn cocky about it that I’m willing to put in too much money into every machine I walk by. I’m no longer careful now that I’ve achieved the goal I wanted to go after (a bunch of stuffed animals out of a small amount of money). Not sure what’s next in the saga or if it will go back and forth between careful and daring. Not sure if it’s about knowing when to hold them and fold them, but man, every single time I walk past a machine, whether the odds look good or bad, I want to put money in, and I find myself wanting to go to stores and places that have machines versus ones that don’t. That’s where I am now.

I wanted to make sure, since this has been on my lifelist for a while and, as my memory recalls, possibly incorrectly, I’ve missed a few eclipses in my region for stupid reasons, that this wasn’t just something mundane. I didn’t want to just stay at home to see part of the eclipse and do the stupid cardboard pinhole box bullshit.
So we drove up to Sedona, some friends and I! It was a fun day trip. We went up to the Lowell Observatory, looked through a telescope, and looked through some crazy sunglasses at the sun being partially covered. Maybe this was just me being stupid and naive, but I really thought it might affect the actual amount of daylight, but it did not whatsoever! I guess only a total solar eclipse would do that. So that was a bit disappointing. Either way, it was a fun trip, and I’m glad to cross it off the list!

So we went to see a psychic the same day that we saw the eclipse and I must say, though it was fun, it was a bit disappointing. I was really hoping for a big black woman with cloudy eyes and giant dreads and a crystal ball… Maybe some tarot cards. I should have really done this in New Orleans rather than Sedona.
This guy was upset that our group didn’t have any questions, and he didn’t predict a whole lot. Most of what he said came down to that we should crack jokes, drink water, and not eat/drink any milk products. Hmph. I finished this item, but it was really quite disappointing! I think the next time I am in New Orleans, I may have to retry this one.

The full item on the lifelist was this: “Attend a giant music festival (Something like Bonnaroo or Glastonbury or Coachella or Lollapalooza or Summerfest… I’d prefer it to take a few days and be an overnight thing, not something crappy like Edgefest!)”
Well I did! Not only did I attend a festival, I played in one! I played at Hammerfest IV: Hammer of Thor. We did tons of press/interviews so go look up Chemicals of Democracy at Hammerfest on Google or something if you really want to. You’re going to get a huge writeup from me here! I’m just checking off the lifelist item.

Olga Kern Rachmaninoff Festival Tickets

I believe I’ve seen the Phoenix Symphony perform one of the concertos with a pianist before, and I’ve definitely seen them perform the Symphonic Dances before.
What a treat to be able to see all of them in two weeks! Here is the full program:

Thursday, May 3 (Symphony Hall):
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 1
Aram Khachaturian – Selections from Gayane (Lesginka, Dance of the Young Maidens, Ayshe’s Dance, Sabre Dance, Mountaineers’ Dance)
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Rhapsody on a Theme of a Paganini

Sunday, May 6 (Scottsdale Center for the Arts):
Aram Khachaturian – Selections from Gayane (Lesginka, Dance of the Young Maidens, Ayshe’s Dance, Sabre Dance, Mountaineer’s Dance)
Miecyzslaw Weinberg – Sinfonietta No. 1
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 2

Thursday, May 10 (Symphony Hall):
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Vocalise
Alexander Borodin – Symphony No. 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 3

Saturday, May 12 (Symphony Hall):
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 4
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Symphonic Dances

A few notes. Borodin is one of my heroes, so I absolutely loved that I got to hear some of his music performed live. I also was surprised at just how much I enjoyed the Khachaturian, and thought it would be a pain to hear it twice. After the Weinberg, Julia and I were the only two in the audience standing, and it was really neat, because Michael Christie acknowledged us by nodding to us! It was SO COOL. In terms of the Rachmaninoff, the 3rd concerto was my favorite, but the Symphonic Dances were definitely my favorite overall and I loved that that ended our two-week festival.