1. After a couple of COVID-related fallow years in terms of live music-going, Marcia and I have slowly returned to attending concerts again in recent months, though living in relatively rural Northern Arizona, that generally implies trips to various other cities. We’ve recently acquired tickets to see The Who (in Las Vegas) and Paul McCartney (in Knoxville) in the months ahead, and I am eye-balling a few other shows that might rock our worlds around those. Should everything go forward as planned, 2022 will mark the year when I first see Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, and Sir Paul Himself in the flesh, after being a devoted fanboy of their work for most of my life. That’s exciting! Something to look forward to, if we’re able, collectively, to continue moving back closer to normalcy in a post-COVID world.
2. Since moving to Arizona, we’ve done trips to Northern California (plus Oregon and Washington), Southern California (L.A. to the Mexican Border), and Eastern California (Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Death Valley, etc.), and have enjoyed those trips tremendously. So for our 2022 Summer Vacation (we’re still not feeling confident enough to travel abroad), we recently booked flights, cars, and houses for a trip that will take us from Los Angeles to Marin County, just north of San Francisco. One of the nice things about moving to different parts of the country every so often is the ability to explore other new parts of the country without too much effort or strain. We’re really enjoying our (relative) proximity to the West Coast, and are glad to fill a gap in our experience on that coast with this trip.
3. I was delighted to discover that long-time favorite band Napalm Death released a new mini-album recently, entitled Resentment is Always Seismic (A Final Throw of Throes). It’s tremendous on early listens, a fine appendix to 2020’s Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism. If you dig the heavy stuff, then I commend it to you highly. Here’s the lead single, if you want a taste up front:
4. When we visited Katelin and John in Las Vegas last month, we were most impressed with the “Media Room” in their new house; they have essentially created a movie theater experience in their own home, frankly better than most of the movie-going experiences I had had prior to theaters shutting down for COVID. Amazing big-screen views, incredible sound, comfy chairs, and no assholes sitting in front us talking, or playing with their cell phones. Perfect! We have a large (though not as large as theirs) screen TV in our own home, but we’ve just been using the TV speakers for sound since we installed it. Inspired by Katelin and John’s set-up, I acquired a fairly robust sound-bar and subwoofer system, and installed it all yesterday. We watched the final two episodes of The Tourist (amazing show, highly recommended!) on the new system last night, and it was incredible. We also set up Marcia’s Spotify account to play over the system and, well, it is also incredible. I’ve written at length on my website (here’s the best example, I think) about my strenuous reluctance to embrace streaming music technologies, but I’m sorry to report that this sound system might be the thing that drags me into that world, kicking and screaming, just because the music sounds so, so, so good, compared to the system I’ve been using with my various vintage iPods. Grumble, grumble, grumble. I hate it when I have to learn new tricks.
5. A month ago, exactly, I was driving 60+ miles to Prescott, Arizona daily for jury duty, and I posted a photo taken on the drive of the most cool full moon I was seeing in the morning on my way over; it’s item #3 here. This morning, while driving home after getting my coffee from a shop in our village, I got to enjoy a similar scene, but closer to home. As always, cell phone cameras do a terrible job of snapping the moon (or any other celestial objects), but I did stop to capture this image, just to share a sense of how cool it was to see this, in my own neighborhood . . .