Duff Does Live Music pre-2007

Note that some of this goes back as far as high school (Bryan Adams, Corey Hart) and college (Rolling Stones, U2, UB40) and my very early years in New York (Cocteau Twins, David & David). I’m sure there are some things missing/some concerts I have just completely forgotten about, (as I found several I had forgotten about just digging through old ticket stubs, and I only have those going back so far) and that will drive me crazy to the end of my days.
Ambulance LTD – x2
Arcade Fire
Badly Drawn Boy
Barenaked Ladies – x4
Barry Manilow
BB King
Beastie Boys
Ben Kweller
Beth Orton
Blue Merle
Bob Dylan
Bob Mould
Bob Schneider
Boy Least Likely To
Broken Social Scene
Bryan Adams
Chris Smither
Chuck Berry
Citizen Cope
Clearly and the Mainstream
Cocteau Twins
Corey Hart
Corinne Bailey Rae
Counting Crows
Damien Rice – x2
David & David (Baerwald “Welcome to the Boomtown”)
David Gray
Death Cab for Cutie – x2
Drive by Truckers
Duran Duran
Eliza Carthy
Elliott Smith
Elvis Costello
Erin McKeown
Etta James – x2
Fabulous Thunderbirds
Figdish/Caviar – x7 or 8
Fiona Apple (never again.)
Foo Fighters
Franz Ferdinand
Gnarls Barkley – x2
Hold Steady – x3
Hot Hot Heat
Imogen Heap
Indigo Girls – x7
In Living Color (opened for the Stones. Ugh.)
James Taylor
Jason Mraz
Jenny Lewis (with the Watson Twins)
Joan Baez
John Lee Hooker
John Mayer
John Mellencamp
Josh Rouse
Kaiser Chiefs – x2
Kaki King
Kanye West
Kasey Chambers
Katie Reider
Katie Todd
Kim Taylor
KT Tunstall
Lady Sovereign
Liz Phair – x4
Louis XIV
Local H
Lyle Lovett – x2
Maceo Parker
Macy Gray
Maroon 5
Mary J. Blige
Matchbox Twenty
Matt the Electrician
Matthew Sweet
Mike Doughty – x3
Modest Mouse
My Beautiful Diamond
Neil Finn
New Pornographers
Norah Jones
OK Go – x2
Over the Rhine
Peter Mulvey
Poi Dog Pondering
Psychedelic Furs
Queens of the Stone Age
Rachael Yamagata – x2
Rachel Ries
The Raconteurs – x2
Ray LaMontagne
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rhett Miller
Robbers on High Street
The Roches
Rolling Stones
Ryan Adams – x2
Scissor Sisters
Secret Machines
Shane Nicholson
Shawn Mullins
Sheryl Crow
Shins – x2
Smoking Popes
Snow Patrol
Sondra Lerche
Spank 1000 (100?)
Strays Don’t Sleep
Sufjan Stevens – x2
Tear(s) for Fear(s) (post departure of other member)
Three Five Human
Tom Jones
Veruca Salt
Multi-Artist Fests
Newport Jazz Festival 1991
BB King’s Blues Festival 2002
Field Day Festival 2003
Lollapalooza 2005
Lollapalooza 2006
Some of the acts heard/seen at these Fests may be missing from above list due to lack of my serious lack of long-term memory. For example, according to press reports, My Morning Jacket and Bright Eyes both played the Field Day Fest. I have no memory of their performances, although I know I saw every performance that day. Oh well…

Duff’s Favorite Albums 2003

Oddly, at least to me, I really didn’t write that much about what I was listening to in 2003. Since I seem to sometimes spend entire weeks obsessing over new CDs, rearranging playlists in iTunes, and listening to certain songs over and over, I don’t know why I didn’t have more to say about it. Although when it comes to books, I definitely refer to my list as “Best” of the year, here I have to call these instead “Favorites” as I am much narrower in my listening than in my reading, and certainly not as up to date in this category either.
My Six Favorite Albums of 2003
Ryan Adams “Love Is Hell, Part 1”, “Rock ‘N Roll” and “Love Is Hell, Part 2”
When isn’t Ryan Adams one of my highlights for the year? (Although I will admit, the time I saw him live probably doesn’t make my Top 10 concert list, but at home on the stereo, he blows me away.) The boy came out with three albums: a 8-song EP, where I have to point out that 8 songs is a full album for some losers!!; the album his label was happier with; and a 7-song EP. Wow. It’s annoying to me that the label will make any money off the EPs since they rejected them as the official album and sent Adams back to the drawing board which is when Rock ‘N Roll came into being. “I See Monsters” (I play it over and over) and “English Girls Approximately” are my favorite songs off Part 2, and the “Wonderwall” cover on Part 1 is beautiful. I did enjoy Rock ‘N Roll as well, so I’m glad he put it out anyway. It’s a fun, guitar-playin’ drums-crashin’ rock record. But nothing on that album really drags me into it the way the EPs do.
Damien Rice “O”
Is there anyone left on earth who doesn’t already know how much I love this album? I’ve sent it to at least five people; I’ve quoted it on two web sites; I’ve emailed lyrics ’round the world… I don’t know what else I can do to convince you!! This won the 2003 Mercury Prize, if you need a recommendation other than mine. I just think the entire album is achingly beautiful; I listen to it over and over and over again. And thank God I’m not in the middle of a break-up or it’d probably be making me cry every time, and there’d come a day I wouldn’t be able to listen anymore for all the pain it was dredging back up. “Cannonball” has leaped into my all-time favorite songs list, amazing lyrics.
Jason Mraz “Waiting for My Rocket to Come” and “Live at Java Joe’s”
You’ve heard “The Remedy” or “Curbside Prophet” on the radio. Put this album on, and it’s virtually unstoppable, your finger will hit the ‘repeat’ key without you even noticing it! A little jazz, a little blues, a twang here and there, great guitar work, sassy lyrics, a boy and his band havin’ a good old time. Who could resist? I just start grinning whenever I’m listening to this. What’s up with M-R-A-Z? I saw him live in December and although he only had a six-song set, he was the highlight of the show pour moi. As I’ve seen others do in concert less successfully (C. Crows for one), he played new arrangements on almost all the songs; the boy has creativity just bursting out doesn’t he.
Albums I Like No Matter What Anyone Else Thinks
Evanescence “Fallen” For some reason, admitting to loving this album makes me feel like a teenage girl being found out by her folks. I know it’s “nu-metal”. I know the majority of their fans are at least, what, fifteen, if not twenty, years younger than me. I am so not into the black nail polish, goth image. But I can listen to this entire album without fast forwarding once. That’s not all that common.
Madonna “American Life” She’s not for everyone. That’s fine. But this album is better than anyone wants to give it credit for. I knew there’d be some backlash after all the critical acclaim of her last two releases, but I think she hurt herself most by yanking the awesome original video where she throws a grenade at Bush, but as his administration has done all along this past year he manages to turn it to his own sneaky advantage. “Intervention” and “Nothing Fails” both really grab me. A lot of the album sounds like a love letter to Guy Ritchie. Can you blame her?
Liz Phair “Liz Phair” She wrote a pop song. She wanted to be on the radio more. What? Are you kidding? The nerve!!! Yeah, I think the primary criticisms of this album (she sold out, she’s an Avril/Britney wanna-be, etc., etc.) are stupid bullshit and I could care less. I like the single, I LOVE “Why Can’t I” and I think all in all it’s a good album, certainly as good as some of her previous ones. On the other hand, she did annoy me at the Barenakeds/Jason Mraz concert I went to where she was supposed to be the middle headliner, but showed up with laryngitis. Why come, sing one unhearable song, and make us waste 1/2 hour of them setting up your set, when they could have just been setting up for BNL? Just cancel if you can’t sing, don’t show up and be the one boring downpoint of the entire evening. That aside, was it worth it to her to have a huge portion of her fan base turn on her new radio-friendly self? This album is worth listening to whether they like it or not!
Honorable Mentions
Laurel Canyon Soundtrack Great movie. Great tunes. Particularly the two sung by lead actor Alessandro Nivola. Somebody give him my phone number, please.
Flaming Lips (any album) I just got introduced to this group. Some songs, I think “is that Cat Stevens?”; others “Am I listening to CSNY?” Very melodic and fun. And very different than the punk-ass sound I was expecting due to their name!
Freaky Friday soundtrack An album of great covers: “What a Wonderful World” (Joey Ramone), “…Baby One More Time” (Bowling for Soup, this is sooo much better than the original!) “Happy Together” (Simple Plan), “What I Like About You” (Lilix). As a karaoke-loving fool, how could I not be down with this?
Lyrics Running Through My Head Tonight
Josh Rouse “Sunshine”: Come on lady, take this bum and make him right… Come on lady, give this bum a sense of pride…
Pete Yorn “Crystal Village”: Take my hand, come with me, into this crystal scenery, the way in to [???] the ticket. You will never have the time, I would love to change your mind, you were there and it was good in the beginning…
Pancho’s Lament “Promise Me This”: Lord, I’m tryin’, tryin’ to let you in… I’m learning how to begin again…
David Gray “Easy Way to Cry”: Faith, gone from your eyes, each word that flies, taking you further away, then come that day, there ain’t no easy way to cry…
Hopefully this year I’ll find the time to say more about what I’m listening to. Then again, maybe I’ll just be too busy listenin’!

Books Reviewed in 2003

because I was a dork and didn’t actually keep track of everything I read!!
(In opposite order, last read up top)

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Learning to Bow, Inside the Heart of Japan, by Bruce Feiler
  • A Landing on the Sun, by Michael Frayn
  • Looking for Class, Days and Nights at Oxford and Cambridge, by Bruce Feiler
  • Instances of the Number 3, by Salley Vickers
  • And Now You Can Go, by Vendala Vida
  • Kingfishers Catch Fire, by Rumer Godden
  • Double Vision, by Pat Barker
  • Astonishing Splashes of Color, by Clare Morrall
  • Vernon God Little, by DBC Pierre
  • What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal], by Zoe Heller
  • No Angel, by Penny Vincenzi
  • China Court by Rumer Godden
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  • Scissors Paper Rock by Fenton Johnson
  • Red Ant Hill by Ann Cummins
  • Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelley
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • In Cuba I was a German Shepherd by Ana Menéndez
  • Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy
  • Mortals by Norman Rush
  • Three Junes, by Julia Glass
  • A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin
  • High Hearts, by Rita Mae Brown
  • Straight Man by Richard Russo
  • Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Crimson Petal and The White by Michael Faber
  • Skating to Antarctica by Jenny Diski
  • Shooting at Midnight by Greg Rucka
  • Critical Space by Greg Rucka
  • Shopgirl, by Steve Martin
  • The Early Arrival of Dreams: A Year in China by Rosemary Mahoney
  • Atonement, by Ian McEwan
  • The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate
  • Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
  • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  • A Virgin in the Garden by A.S. Byatt
  • The Blue Hour, by T. Jefferson Parker
  • The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
  • A Whistling Woman, by A.S. Byatt
  • Keeper by Greg Rucka
  • Finder by Greg Rucka
  • Smoker, by Greg Rucka
  • A Cook’s Tour; Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, by Anthony Bourdain
  • Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Caramelo, by Sandra Cisneros
  • Outfoxed, by Rita Mae Brown
  • Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
  • Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters
  • The Slynx, by Tatyana Tolstaya
  • Winter Journey by Isabel Colegate
  • Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron
  • Miss Garnet’s Angel by Salley Vickers
  • Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker
  • Fire and Sword by Henry Sienkiewicz

Duff at the Movies 2003

  • Two Weeks Notice
  • Narc
  • Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
  • 25th Hour
  • The Hours
  • Chicago
  • Far from Heaven
  • The Recruit
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • City of God
  • Irreversible
  • Laurel Canyon
  • The Good Thief
  • A Mighty Wind
  • X-Men 2
  • Matrix Reloaded
  • Bend It Like Beckham
  • Bruce Almighty
  • Finding Nemo
  • Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle
  • Seabiscuit
  • 28 Days Later
  • Freaky Friday
  • Tomb Raider 2
  • Secret Lives of Dentists
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico
  • Thirteen
  • Lost in Translation
  • Pieces of April
  • Kill Bill Vol 1.
  • Matrix Revolutions (IMAX)
  • Love Actually
  • Master and Commander
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  • Something’s Gotta Give