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…

GirlReaction Reads: Favorites of 2005

My Top 5 books of 2005 were (in this order):

  • Paradise, by A.L. Kennedy
  • History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
  • Mothers & Other Monsters, by Maureen McHugh
  • Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Closed Circle, by Jonathan Coe

Yes, to those of you who saw that list before, I switched the order a little.
Runners Up were:
  • Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell (does what Ghostwritten tried to do, but so much better)
  • An Unfinished Season, by Ward Just
  • Specimen Days, by Michael Cunningham (can he write a bad book? Seriously?)
  • Old School, by Tobias Wolff

My favorite new discovery in 2005 was: A.L. Kennedy. Everything I read by her took my breath away. And there’s still a couple books waiting in the wings. Can’t wait!
Those were my top five, but I read sooooo many good books this year.
I read good OLD books:
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak
  • The Way by Swann’s, by Marcel Proust

I read a truly shocking (for me) amount of non-fiction:
  • Sixpence House, by Paul Collins
  • A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
  • The Lives of the Muses, by Francine Prose
  • Wine & War, the French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure, by Don & Petie Kladstrup
  • Foreign Babes in Beijing, by Rachel DeWoskin
  • Travels with a Tangerine, by Tim MacKintosh-Smith
  • Why Are We at War?, by Norman Mailer
  • Silent Bob Speaks, the Collected Writings of Kevin Smith
  • The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty, by K.C. Cole
  • In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson

I read historical fiction that only added more things to my ‘must’ lists:
  • Author, Author, by David Lodge (must go back and read some Henry James. Haven’t read any since undergrad!!)
  • Neighboring Lives, by Thomas Disch and Charles Naylor (need to read some pre-Raphaelites again. And look at their paintings. It’s been ages…)

Duff’s Favorite Albums 2005

Well, here, finally, are my “Listenin’ Favorites”. If you’ve been reading me all year, then I don’t think you’re going to find any surprises here. As I’m writing it out, I think “yeah yeah, who DOESN’T know how I felt about this one?” but perhaps you will enjoy it anyway! (And if not – keep it to yourself, y’hear!)

And if you can’t figure it out in context, some of my favorites were released in 2005, and some may have been released a different year, but turned out to be something I listened to in 2005…

Favorite Albums of the Year
Lou Barlow “Emoh” – I’ve been a Lou Barlow fan since the first time I heard “Together or Alone” (Sebadoh)…but I never expected THIS. Emoh was by far my favorite album of 2005. I got it in April and listened to it over, and over, and over again. Hey – I’m STILL listening to it! Amazing lyrics, simple yet unforgettable melodies, a mix of happy/sad, slow/fast. Honestly – what more could a girl want? Now you have to wonder: Why haven’t I checked out Dinosaur Jr.? There must be something wrong with me. Favorite songs “If I Could”: “But I know my lack of grace continues to turn you off, and this could be my fate here: never to be touched…”; “Mary”: Immaculate conception, yeah, right! Crazy Mary, good that you lied!…”; and “Puzzle”: I think you’re funny and you love my smell… That inbetween my shadow and your light, I did lose you…”

Athlete “Tourist” and “Vehicles & Animals” – Both these albums are great, and it was impossible for me to choose between them. I got the first one from my No. 1 UK music source Michelle (You rock, Lady!), and bought the second on iTunes a few days later when I wondered how I had lived without this band in my life. (I am sooo not dramatic!)

Death Cab for Cutie “Plans” – In the past, I was only “vaguely” a Death Cab fan. Sure, I knew Seth Cohen loved them, and I knew a few select songs, but nothing had grabbed me to the “listen to this over and over” point. Nothing, until Plans, that is. Holy crap. Some albums are great even if they don’t work “as an album” because they have 5 or 6 great songs; this album is great AS an album. “Marching Bands” may be the best “first song”/CD opener of the year, and the lyrics to “Someday You Will Be Loved” and “I Will Follow You into the Dark” both literally take my breath away.

James Blunt “Back to Bedlam” – Every year, there’s a melancholy boy in my life. One year it was Damien Rice. One year it was David Gray. Sometimes it’s Ryan Adams. This year it was James Blunt. (Thanks again to Michelle. Can I ever repay you?) A couple of the songs have gotten so much radio/TV play that one might begin to get sick of them (“one” very much NOT being me). But listen to them on their own merits, not on the “how sickeningly popular are they” scale, and I think you will see their merit. My favorite, if you’re wondering (come on, now, people, give me some love) is “Wise Men”: Look who’s alone now, it’s not me, it’s not me… Gotta ask yourself the question ‘Where are you now?’…; with “Tears and Rain” a close second.

Great Lake Swimmers “Great Lake Swimmers” and “Bodies & Minds” – Ah, another “twofer.” So thinking of melancholy music that I can’t get out of my head leads me right to Great Lake Swimmers, crazy Canadians who I have now TWICE MISSED at Schuba’s. (Where in the fuck are my priorities, I ask myself.) Once, I didn’t buy tickets because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get there due to work schedule that day. And once I had tickets but was leaving for NY at 6 a.m. the next day, didn’t get home until 10 minutes before the concert, and still had to pack. IDIOT. This is slow, melancholy, thickly layered music… Think Low. Or cast your mind back, back in the day to “Automatic for the People”. Very orchestral feeling. Dense sonic clouds. Lovely, lovely, lovely music. Sad, perhaps. A little lonely. Unforgettable.

Sufjan Stevens “Come On Feel the Illinoise” – Sufjan Steven is crazy. Item No. 1: He’s doing a 50-state album arc. He’s two albums in. You may ask yourself some logic questions, such as: “If he is x years old now, then what age will he be when he finishes?” Item No. 2: He (and the band) do cheerleading chants between songs. Item No. 3: Hello, there is a song about Jacksonville (my birthplace, dudes) on this album. And a song about Mary Todd. And a song about Casimir Pulaski day (Go polacks everywhere! I’m a polack, so I can say that, right?) He is crazy, but he is sooo good. Despite the obvious many moments of humor on this album, it is really lovely and lyrical, and sweet. Very very sweet. AND – if that’s not enough – his was the BEST concert I went to this year. It was like getting a big shot of HAPPY right in the ass. Walking home in a smiley glow…

Carla Bruni “Quelqu-un M’a Dit” – Maybe if I wasn’t in my you-would-laugh-to-know-based-on-my-abilities semester of studying French, this wouldn’t have made the list – I can’t be sure. She’s got a soft, husky voice; as if someone was whispering soft French secrets in your ear… There’s a “you say tomAHto, I say tomAYto” offering (Le toi du moi), there are slow ballads, there are upbeat “jazzy standards”… It’s quite nice. And even if you knew no French at all, you might enjoy the overall sonic experience.

Uh oh…only one spot left…

This is a tough one…but I’m gonna go with…A THREE-WAY TIE! Ringside; Youth Group “Skeleton Jar”; and The Magic Numbers. I started listening to Youth Group around the same time as Death Cab “Plans”, and in some ways it’s always sort of a “companion album” to it in my mind. A couple weeks after I got this album, they had a cover of “Forever Young” on the OC and it’s quite nice, I recommend it as well. Ringside’s amazing “Strangerman” was (also! Surprise surprise!) on an episode of the OC (and I also really love “Miss You”). Ringside and Youth Group both fall more on the “rock” side of the equation – say, with Athlete. They’re not as quirky as Sufjan or Death Cab, not as melancholy as James Blunt or Great Lake Swimmers; in fact, sometimes they are even reminiscent of 80s rock bands. Shocker! The Magic Numbers, on the other hand, is a much “pop”pier band/album… Beatles/Oasis/Mamas and the Papas/Beach Boys-esque. I listen to this all the time.


Runners Up
I really loved these albums, too, so technically I probably should have just gone for 15 instead of 10…but then I would have had to settle on one more…and no, I could not solve the problem the easy way and commit to a list of “14” favorite albums. That’s crazy!

Hold Steady “Separation Sunday” – A far more than “satisfactory” sophomore album. Every bit as crazy, ranting, and awesome as their first effort. And they are AWESOME in concert. Totally nuts.

Mike Doughty “Haughty Melodic” – Wow, I spent a LOT of time listening to Mike Doughty this year. I saw him…in…April? Eh – spring sometime. I’m going to see him again this March. He’s really a great musician. And so much more alone than Soul Coughing really ever came to. (And he did an encore of “The Gambler.” Hilarious cover encores are one of my favorite things. [Like the time FigDish did “Big Balls” with the bunny on stage, ‘member that, Nanders?])

Fall Out Boy “From Under the Cork Tree” – I’m not happy if I don’t have a little PUNK ASS-KICKIN’ in my life and these boys fit the bill quite nicely. AND they’re from Chicago. AND 12-teen, living at the ‘rents, yet ROCKING OUT. Awesome.

Franz Ferdinand “You Could Have It So Much Better” – The only reason this one didn’t make the favorites list was I got it in October and I just didn’t listen to it enough before year-end. I’ve probably listened to it more in January than in Oct-Dec combined. I think it’s a great sophomore effort. There are a couple songs I can’t get out of my head. Maybe that’ll make it one of my favorites in 2006!

Close…but No Cigar
Kanye West “Late Registration” – Liked it. But just didn’t listen to it THAT much. Not as much as his first album. I do, however, really like a lot of the singles..

Twin Atlas, of which I listened to a bunch of different albums – I’ve become a big fan of this band this year. But couldn’t really pin it down to a particular album. Or even two.

Favorite Singles
You may notice a trend here… A melancholy trend… A) Do you not know me at all? (And if not, why are you reading this?) And B) 2005 = not one of my favorite years, yo. Better luck next time.

  • “Hide and Seek” Imogen Heap – if you don’t have this yet, what the fuck is wrong with you. Best song of 2005. Hauntingly beautiful.
  • “No Illusions” 78 SaabI’m under no illusions now, how can I see when I am blind to all the same old faults now? You sure do make it kind of tough – [but] you’re not going to make me change my ways, I’ve come too far for that now…
  • “You Are My Joy” Reindeer Section – Don’t have anyone to say this to. But love it just the same. It makes me dream about who that could be.
  • “Salvation” Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Insistent. Heart…pounding. Demanding. Thundering, softly.
  • “Wandering” Ben Folds – Why didn’t I listen to Ben Folds before 2005? Got his new album, then got some old stuff too. And all this wandering…got you nothing…
  • “Circles” Bob Mould – New Bob Mould. And it’s damn good.
  • “On Your Porch” The Format – Be careful with this one: brings tears to my eyes EVERY TIME.
  • “Exodus Damage” John VandersliceSo now we’re talking about this, I’m starting to lose my confidence, and no one ever says a word about so much that happens in the world…
  • “Something in You” the Orange Peels – Oh! Here’s a happy one! Goofy happy shiny people!
  • “I Burn Today” Frank Black – Over and over and over.
  • “Into the Fire” Thirteen SensesCome on, come on, put your hands into the fire…
  • “Faded Beauty Queens” The Thrills – Love all their songs. But listened to this one the most.
  • “Scar” Missy Higgins – Painful. But good.
  • “Someday” Flipsyde – So fun. How fun? They’re-using-it-in-Olympics-commercials fun.
  • “Heartbeat” Jose Gonzalez – Love this song. But the rest of the album? Eh.
  • “A Day” Inara George – same issue here. Like the song – Eh the album.

Favorite Covers
“The Gambler” Mike Doughty
“Wildwood Flower” Reese Witherspoon
“It Ain’t Me Babe” Reese & Joaquin
“True Love Will Find You in the End” Beck

Most Beatlesque (And that’s the way I like it)
The Bees “Free the Bees”
The 88 “Kind of Light”
The Magic Numbers
Franz Ferdinand (ESPECIALLY “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”)

Sounds of the ’70s
Josh Rouse “Nashville”
Kings of Convenience “Riot on an Empty Street”

Music to Cheerlead To
So occasionally I listen to happy music. Sue me.
The Go! Team “Thunder, Lightning, Streak
Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah! “

Still Getting to Know You
Antony & the Johnson’s “I Am a Bird Now” (and his name really is ANT-ony)

Definitely Disappointed
David Poe “Blood is Red”
Jason Mraz “Mr. A-Z”
Black Mountain

Tried…But Couldn’t Commit
Luke Temple “Hold a Match for a Gasoline World”
Thomas Dybdahl “That Great October Sound” – he was hyped to me as Damien Rice/Ray Lamontagne/etc. I’ve never felt “it” with him.

Do NOT Understand the Hype
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead “Worlds Apart”
My Morning Jacket “Z”

Trying to Fool Myself
I was pretty sure these “weren’t for me” when I bought them…but for some unknown reason I felt the $10 need to give them a chance… In the end, however, they are not for me.
Leela James “A Change is Gonna Come” – Fluff, you might like this. Very “Ring my Bell.”
Masha Qrella “unsolved remained” – too “electronica.

Books Read in 2005

(In descending order this time around!)

  • An Unfinished Season, by Ward Just
  • Author, Author, by David Lodge
  • The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters, by Elisabeth Robinson
  • Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson
  • She Is Me, by Cathleen Schine
  • The World According to Mimi Smartypants
  • Neighboring Lives, by Thomas Disch and Charles Naylor
  • The Shape of Water, by Andrea Camilleri
  • Home Land, by Sam Lipsyte
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson
  • The Devil’s Tour, by Mary Karr (poetry)
  • Criminals, by Margot Livesey
  • Samaritan, by Richard Price
  • A Changed Man, by Francine Prose
  • Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
  • Dreamer, by Charles Johnson
  • Camp Concentration, by Thomas Disch
  • The Translator, by Ward Just
  • Blue Hour, by Carolyn Forche (poetry)
  • Paradise, by A.L.Kennedy
  • Sixpence House, by Paul Collins
  • Saturday, by Ian McEwan
  • A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
  • Oracle Night, by Paul Auster
  • The Lives of the Muses, by Francine Prose
  • Hamlet, by Shakespeare (reread)
  • The Preservationist, by David Maine
  • Monkeewrench, by P.J. Tracy
  • Live Bait, by P.J. Tracy
  • The Company of Strangers, by Robert Wilson
  • Dead Run, by P.J. Tracy
  • The James Joyce Murders, by Amanda Cross
  • The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
  • Wine & War, The French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure, by Don & Petie Kladstrup
  • Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
  • Rhapsody, by Elizabeth Haydon
  • Prophecy, by Elizabeth Haydon
  • Destiny, by Elizabeth Haydon
  • Across the Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearn
  • The Falls, by Ian Rankin
  • Nam-A-Rama, by Phillip Jennings
  • Sidetracked, by Henning Mankell
  • Bankok 8, by John Burdett
  • Foreign Babes in Beijing, by Rachel DeWoskin
  • Travels with a Tangerine, by Tim MacKintosh-Smith
  • The Closed Circle, by Jonathan Coe
  • Wish You Were Here, by Stewart O’Nan
  • The Wonder Spot, by Melissa Bank
  • Dragon’s Winter, by Elizabeth A. Lynn (re-read)
  • Dragon’s Treasure, by Elizabeth A. Lynn
  • Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak
  • Why Are We at War?, by Norman Mailer
  • Sleep With Me, by Joanna Briscoe
  • The Ha-Ha, by Dave King
  • Specimen Days, by Michael Cunningham
  • Echo House, by Ward Just
  • Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
  • Crossing California, by Adam Langer
  • The Dreams, by Naguib Mahfouz
  • The Blackbird Papers, by Ian Smith
  • Here is Where We Meet, by John Berger
  • Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Birds of a Feather, (Maisie Dobbs #2) by Jaqueline Winspear
  • Indelible Acts, by A.L. Kennedy
  • Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear
  • On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
  • A Gentleman’s Game, by Greg Rucka
  • Nobody’s Warriors, by Maurice Shadbolt
  • Mothers & Other Monsters, by Maureen F. McHugh
  • Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time Book 11), by Robert Jordan
  • Digital Fortress, by Dan Brown (blech. Airport reading. ’nuff said.)
  • (half of) Henderson the Rain King, by Saul Bellow
  • Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender
  • The House of Sleep, by Jonathan Coe
  • Silent Bob Speaks, the Collected Writings of Kevin Smith
  • Burr, by Gore Vidal
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • Birthmarks, by Sarah Dunant
  • The Way by Swann’s, by Marcel Proust
  • In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson
  • The Whore’s Child (and Other Stories) , by Richard Russo
  • The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty, by K.C. Cole
  • Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, by Helen Wells (reread)
  • Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse, by Helen Wells (reread)
  • The Philosopher’s Demise, Learning to Speak French, by Richard Watson
  • Cherry Ames, Army Nurse, by Helen Wells (reread)
  • Cherry Ames, Chief Nurse, by Helen Wells (reread)
  • The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis (reread)
  • Thank You for Not Smoking, by Christopher Buckley
  • Old School, by Tobias Wolff
  • The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
  • Siren Song (Royal Dynasty, Bk 1), by Roberta Gellis (reread)
  • To the Castle, by Joan Wolf
  • The Diamond King, by Patricia Potter

Duff at the Movies 2005

  • The Aviator
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • A Very Long Engagement (français)
  • In Good Company
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Constantine
  • Sin City
  • Comme un Image (français – called “Look at Me” en anglais)
  • Masculin/Feminin (français) (rerelease)
  • The Interpreter
  • Fever Pitch
  • Unleashed
  • Crash
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith
  • Layer Cake
  • Batman Begins
  • Fantastic Four
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Wedding Crashers
  • March of the Penguins
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • Serenity (!!!)
  • Good Night, and Good Luck.
  • Capote
  • The History of Violence
  • Walk the Line
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Jesus Loves Magic: Sarah Silverman
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • King Kong