Friday, November 30, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 746

Today's song is...


I can't be the only one who really wishes that lessons with Professor Flans were a real thing right? I enjoy a lot of the weird noises and effects going on in this song, especially some of the percussion at the end.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 745

Today's song is...

No Left Turn

Whoa, country! That is some serious twang twang going on there. But what is up with the weird vocal?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Triumphant Return

September 29, 2011 - The National - Richmond, VA

Hello all! Remember me? You know how I used to write up recaps of all the shows I went to? You may have noticed that I just kind of stopped partway through the tour last year. So here's what happened. I got behind in recaps at the end of the tour because the shows were coming too fast and furious and I was dealing with Dan's birthday card while I was waiting in line when I would normally be working on recaps. Then I had a busy couple of weeks at work before the next chunk of tour and I just didn't get back to them. And then there were more shows and then more. And somewhere in there my real life kind of blew up for a bit. I broke up with my boyfriend. I started going to shows alone. And then there were so many unwritten recaps it was intimidating to even think of going back and working on them. 

And now a lot of the details are lost in my memory. But there are still some great pieces of those shows I didn't get to that deserve sharing. So I'm gonna attempt to go back and fill in some of the blanks. These recaps will be shorter than usual and not as detailed but at least they will exist. So let's travel back to September and pick up where we left of shall we? This first recap was actually half written very shortly after the show and then completed now, so the beginning is quite detailed and then it fades out with my memory. It also fully assumes you read the preceding recaps, so if you haven't or you don't remember them, you should go back and read/reread the recap from The Orange Peel on 9/28/11 to get yourself up to speed. 

This was without a doubt, the most stressful pre-show experience of this leg of the tour. This was the show Gary had used his IFC tickets for, so we were supposed to be collecting our tickets from will call before the show. But we had heard (and even been there for) some nightmare stories from other friends about troubles with the IFC guest list and the box office not getting it in a timely fashion. Adding to this worry, this theater has an early entry deal with the restaurant next door where if you eat there and buy $20 worth of food you can get in to the theater ten minutes early. 

When we arrived, the box office was not yet open and no one else was there. We got to hear sound check through the walls which was quite exiting as they ran through Take Out the Trash, Subliminal (yay!) and XTC vs Adam Ant, which I had only ever heard once. This was also a pretty good sign to me that Danny had been right and Dan was back because I was pretty darn sure that was NOT Flans playing that guitar solo. I assumed they were probably running all these songs in preparation for the Boston shows on Saturday which turned out to be more or less true. 

There was no indication anywhere of what time the box office was going to open and as it got later and later we got more concerned because not a soul had turned up to stand in line. Every single potential fan we saw went straight into the restaurant to eat and get in early. The last time we went to The National we didn't do the early entry and were first in line outside. There was a small crowd inside when we got in but we were still able to get front row. This time that seemed highly unlikely given that zero people had thus far opted against early entry. And making things worse, when the box office did open, they didn't have the guest list. We were told to check back in 20 minutes (a mere 15 minutes before the doors were to open to the restaurant crowd). We opted to go eat in the restaurant so we could get in and have Gary run back out to get tickets during our meal. It turned out we were nearly too late to be served for early entry by that point too. The waitress had to rush our order and we paid before we even started eating. That was the fastest I have ever scarfed down chicken fingers in a sit down restaurant. 

Gary did successfully run out to grab our tickets during the meal and we just finished in time for the early doors. Only to discover that the doors had been delayed because JoCo was still sound checking. Gah.

Once inside the theater, Gary went to grab his swag bag while I picked a spot. After confirming that yes, Dan's pedal board was definitely back on stage, I picked a spot at his feet so as to best appreciate his triumphant return. I doubt I will ever again be so glad to see the Dan-Tone 3000 (and I am always glad to see the Dan-Tone 3000).

I chatted a bit with the couple next to me about past shows we had both been to and favorite opening acts of the past. A lot of the discussion was about Oppenheimer but I think they liked JoCo quite a bit after his set.

I only remember two things of note from the JoCo set. First that he broke a string in one of the first songs and had to switch guitars. And second that Christian accidentally started I Feel Fantastic a song too early which made JoCo and Brandon laugh pretty hard. 

The TMBG setlist: When Will You Die - We Live In A Dump - The Mesopotamians - New York City - Don't Lets Start - XTC vs Adam Ant - Cant Keep Johnny Down - Celebration - Birdhouse in Your Soul - Clap Your Hands - Withered Hope - Battle for the Planet of the Apes - Cloisonné - Crazy Train - Spoiler Alert - Free Ride - Alphabet of Nations - You Probably Get That A Lot - Los Angeles - Fingertips - Judy Is Your Viet Nam - Old Pine Box - Ana Ng - The Guitar. Encore - Careful What You Pack - Band Intros - Istanbul. Encore 2 - Lie Still, Little Bottle - Particle Man

Flans started the show by welcoming back Dan. He was calling him all sorts of silly things, the only one of which I specifically recall was "delicious.". But it was really great to see that the band was so obviously just as excited about having Dan back as I was. I always appreciate and admire the camaraderie that is evident between the members of the band while they are on stage, but never more so than here, when they were we so clearly enjoying being a complete unit again. They were laughing and joking together more than usual. Flans kept calling attention to Dan's presence.  Dan and Marty were miming things at each other across the stage, and Dan and Danny, well, you'll see. 

I came to the conclusion after this week that TMBG without Dan is like a Michelangelo painting where the artist was forbidden to use red. It's still a nice painting because it's a Michelangelo. But it's not everything it could be had the artist been allowed a full pallet. Dan's playing adds a dimension to the music that can't be replicated, whether he's playing subtle rhythm guitar or a blazing solo. And you never realize how used to his backing vocals you are until they aren't there. Sometimes, when I wax lyrical about the band, I think I take Dan a bit for granted. But what's that they say about absence making the heart grow fonder? 

When Will You Die with the full band name check was a perfect way to start this show. But my favorite moment of the whole show and possibly the whole tour came during We Live In A Dump. You may recall that Danny had been filling in on the backing vocals in Dan's absence. And I was very curious to see if he'd just go back to his old habit of singing along with no mic in the background upon Dan's return. What I wasn't excepting was the first chorus of the song to come along and both guys to step up to the mic to sing. They stood side by side both singing "ba ba ba baaaa ba," looking for all the world like Paul McCartney and George Harrison huddled around the same mic. And Danny was balanced on tip toes craning his head up to sing into Dan's too tall microphone. It was, no joke, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in the 90+ shows I've attended. 

And as if once wasn't enough they reprised it during Celebration, in even sillier fashion. As the song began, Dan deliberately tilted his mic down so Danny could reach it and then as the chorus began, nodded at Danny to join him at the mic. Which he did, only to have Dan fake him out by stepping back away from the mic just as Danny started to sing, leaving him going "ooo ooo ooo" alone while looking over his shoulder at Dan and nearly cracking up while he sang. Dan meanwhile just grinned and looked ridiculously pleased with the joke he had played. Danny stepped back to allow Dan a solo turn on the second chorus and then they took a turn together on the last one. I'm telling you, it was a beautiful, beautiful sight.

TMBG 9/29/11 #2

I was surprised they included XTC vs Adam Ant here. I fully expected them to save it until Boston. I seem to recall I even lost a bet over it. But it was a very nice surprise. I do miss some of the production from the recording when they play this song live, but it is a wonderful showcase for some of Dan's superb guitar playing which I was appreciating more than ever.

Flansburgh instituted another audience dance contest before Celebration. I can't remember if the prize was the signed Join Us record or the giant poster, but Flans appointed Marty as the judge and told the crowd that Marty would be watching them while he played. I can't imagine how he managed this while playing but then again, I suspect Marty may have super powers even greater than spotting crazy dancers in a crowd while keeping a beat. The contest lasted several songs, then Flans called Marty down to declare the winner. But instead of handing over the mic, Flans dictated everything Marty said to the audience as if he was translating for someone speaking in a foreign language. Personally, I found it hilarious. Marty does so much silent communication on stage, being mic-less and segregated from everyone else on the drum riser, and this fit right in with that in a way that really tickled me. 

Much of the rest of the show is a blur in my memory but there are a couple of things I remember from the end. There was a point at which Linnell messed up which song was supposed to be next and blamed it on the fact that John Carter, the monitor technician, had not informed him of the next song in his earpiece. He went on to explain that he had gotten used to John Carter feeding him helpful information in his ear, like the next song on the setlist, or to pick-up the accordion, or that fact that his fly was down. Flansburgh then complained that John Carter never told him that his fly was down and Linnell said that was because it wasn't. And Flans made some sort of reply along the lines of "That's right John, it isn't," the tone and delivery of which had me in stitches. And in hindsight, the entire exchange became even funnier the following night, when Dan came back on stage for the encore, clearly in need of that in ear memo from John Carter if you know what I mean ;-)

When they did the band intros, making their weird noises, Dan picked up a different guitar from the one he was currently wearing and held it by its neck, making some sort of sound with it by moving his hand on the frets while manipulating a pedal with his foot. It added wonderfully to the cacophony.

TMBG 9/29/11 #25

The only other thing I remember about the show itself, was one of my other favorite moments of the whole night. When they came back for the first encore, Flansburgh proudly announced to Dan that he had learned how to play Dan's part on Careful What You Pack while he was gone. Dan indicated that Flans should continue to play it so that he could hear it. Flans said no, that he didn't want to step on Dan's toes. In the end they agreed to play it together. So the two of them stood side by side and, in unison, played the introduction to Careful What You Pack, with Flansburgh obviously concentrating hard on getting it perfect for Dan, and Dan glancing over at him with a smile. It was beautiful and perfect.

After the show, Gary and I were walking down the street next to the venue, back to the parking garage, when we suddenly heard someone yelling "Hey! Are you gonna be at the show tomorrow too?" I turned around, startled, to see JoCo's bass player, Brandon, hollering at us from the back of their van down the street., where he was loading up his gear. I yelled back that yes, we would be there tomorrow and he said "See you there!" or something along those lines. It was highly entertaining. 

So there you have it folks. That's the best recap I can produce a year and a few months late. Sorry so much of it has gotten lost in my brain. My goal is to eventually get back to all the shows I missed, though some of them will be very short, as my memory is minimal on some of the spring shows. But the next three  shows after this one, I have recordings of, and the two after that I took notes on, so I should be able to produce some pretty decent recaps of at least some of the shows. The trick will be finding the time. If you all will stick with me, I'll give it my best shot. 

Song of the Day - Day 744

Today's song is...

What's That Blue Thing Doing Here?

No, seriously. What is it doing here? Where did it come from and why is it here? This has been a mystery for far too long. I need answers, people!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 743

Today's song is...

Broke In Two

Fantastic rhythm. The syncopated sort of beat that drives this song, makes the whole thing. This is one of the few songs where I can honestly say the guitar part is my favorite. That doesn't happen very often.  But it is true of a couple of my favorite songs on The Spine, including this one. And the lyrics are so very Linnellian. I can always appreciate a good clever/oddball Linnell turn of the word. And the end of the song is great, with those rising spacey effects. Just very good mixing all through.

Probably the first thing I was ever told about this song was that popular opinion held that it could never be performed live. And I have never understood why not. Yes, the guitar part is a little complicated, but I am sure that Dan could manage it. Sure, the effects would be a little different but aren't they always in the live version of anything? I just never got what the big publicly perceived stumbling block was here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 742

Today's song is...

Radio Peace

If my memory is correct, there was a blog post from Madeline Brand accompanying this song that expressed worry that the potential theme song was not appropriate for a news show. I kind of have to agree. I quite like it as an instrumental. It's fun and light hearted and I like the beat of it, and it does feel very theme song-esque. But I imagine a news theme to be more serious. This sounds more like a lighthearted human interest program or subtle comedy show. Maybe we can build a new show just for this theme song?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 741

Today's song is...


My love of this song began early and was cultivated over hours and hours spent listening to muddy recordings of the early live performances, trying to determine the lyrics. There are a few songs, like this one, that hold a very special place in my heart because of the amount of time I have spent on them. It is kind of hard to explain but these songs feel like "mine" somehow.

There was a period of time when I had a video of every live performance that had yet been done. And I ran a very great risk of being disappointed with the recorded version after listening to it live so often. So imagine my delight when the recording was even better! The accordion bridge. That skippy guitarish sound that runs through the choruses. The fade out at the end that sounds like a tape running off it's reel. And my very favorite part is the way Linnell slurs over the line "exploded on the launching site" because I can perfectly picture how his head would tilt and his eyes would squint as he delivered it. Songs like this one, I feel like I could write a book about and then at the same time I can hardly write anything because I can't put my feelings into words. They are too strong. Suffice it to say I have a strong personal attachment and a lot of love for this tune.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 740

Today's song is...

Demarais Parker

Of the three songs that go in this set, this is definitely the least interesting lyrically. It reminds me very strongly of one of the Venue Songs, though I can't specifically place which venue I am thinking of. One of the ones out west I believe. It makes a good excuse to pull out some hard rock guitar, but over all I much prefer Scott Bower.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 739

Today's song is...

Weep Day

I talk sometimes about songs that I feel like Flansburgh put together because they just appealed to him sonically. Well, here is a song that just appeals to me sonically. The melody and the sounds of the instrumentation are very appealing and the way the lyrics run to together, a little hard to distinguish but with a wonderful flow, is lovely. I thoroughly enjoy the instrumental break towards the end, and there is something about the end of the song, with the guys just repeating "weep" over and over that is very aurally pleasing. I have to admit, I never paid too much attention to the lyrics until now and they are more interesting than I expect. Reminds me a little bit of Purple Toupee. In a very good way.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 738

Today's song is...

The King Of Wingo

There is something about this song that I find very adorable. It is a tiny bit creepy, but overall it just strikes me as cute. And I like the way some of the words in the lyrics flow. Good use of vocabulary. It is songs like this one that make me sorry I missed the Dial-A-Song experience entirely.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 737

Today's song is...


I am a fan of the guitar solo in this venue song. But I have to say, I can't decide if Linnell's attempt at sounded like Nick Cave really sound like Nick Cave or a bad Elvis impersonation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Song of the Day -Day 736

Today's song is...

My Other Phone Is A Boom Car

Oooo, those chords! This one packs a punch. Perfect voice for it too. I love the way it fades out at the end. I always forget this was intended as a ringtone, but it really would make a good one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 735

Today's song is...


I had forgotten about this one in the world of ringtones. It's kind of funny because, where most of the ringtones reference phones, or make some small amount of sense as a ringtone, this one is more making a reference to the fact that it is a very short song. Not sure this would ever me my ringtone pick. A little too dark for my daily ringtone tastes. But the musical mix is quite interesting as a short little song.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 734

Today's song is...


Bad news is, its another Partly Cloudy Patriot song that I can't listen to to comment on for this post. But it does hold a distinction. As of this post, I now have fewer than 100 songs left on the list that I haven't used yet. It's a little bittersweet but I can see the light at the end of a very, very long tunnel.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 733

Today's song is...

Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order?

I once read someone's negative comment on Amazon, that criticized Here Come the ABCs for not having enough songs on it that actually taught the alphabet. Seriously, were they not listening to this one? Not only does it feature the alphabet it has the history of the alphabet too! And puppets! How could you go wrong?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 732

Today's song is...

Confusing The Mind

Interesting.... I have to admit, I tend not to be a huge fan of songs that heavily feature samples of spoken word as a main element, so I can't say this is my favorite thing I have ever heard. But it is certainly interesting.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 731

Today's song is...

Authenticity Trip

Here is an example of a song I don't really "get". Usually not getting a song doesn't really bother me, if I can accept that it is mostly nonsense. But when I feel there is actually, probably some deeper meaning I am just missing, it tends to irk me. However, in this particular case, the song is so much fun and the lyrics so wacky that I can't help but like it, even though I still feel like I am missing something. Plus I enjoy songs where the singer incorporates a message to the actual musicians playing into the lyrics like Flans does yelling, "Go!" at the band before the chorus (Cyclops Rock, with its built-in "Dan!" before the solo, is another great example). I also admit, that one of my first thoughts on hear this song, was that they would never be able to play it live because Flans could never remember all those lyrics to sing it right night after night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 730

Today's song is...

Gloria Say "Blast Her Out"

There are situations in which I think Gloria's advice is quite sound. I have had upstairs neighbors who were obnoxiously loud at all hours of the day and I was sorely tempted to blast them out. Lately it is the next door neighbor's yappy little dog that has been driving me crazy barking outside for an hour straight every time they but her out. I wonder what Gloria's advice would be for that situation?

Song of the Day - Day 729

Today's song is...

Alphabet Lost And Found

I can't believe I forgot to post today's song until the middle of the night, on a day featuring one of my absolute favorite songs!! This was one of the first songs I saw live (or at least I think it was, as I actually have no memory of it, but I am pretty sure it was played at that first in-store I attended) so it has some sentimental value. But mostly, there is a cleverness and humor to it that strikes a very true chord with me. I will never cease to find "Slang words, you're in the wrong building" to be one of the funniest lines I can imagine. The whole concept of a place where objects go to find missing letters is very PBS, children's television in my mind, and that is what I grew up on (and actually even what I studied in college). And when that is mixed into a pop song with a super catchy beat, it is just a win-win situation. I love all the songs that Marty has written for the band, and the man knows how to put down a drum beat like no other, but this is by fair my favorite. The beat and melody are among my favorites, kid's song or otherwise. You can not help but bop around listening to this music.

And of course, one can't discuss Alphabet Lost and Found, without talking about watching Marty perform it live. I have never seen a human being put so much energy into performing a single song in my entire life. He's like a tiny cyclone, running around, and jumping off of things and spinning in circles. And the rest of the band just stands there doing their thing while he ricochets around them like a pinball. My favorite part is always when he runs up to each of them in turn to ask "Where they gonna go to find their letters? How can they survive without their letters?" at the end of the song and they all either just shrug with indifference or turn away and ignore his pleas completely. I have so many good memories of this song at shows. I have said it before and I will say it again. I will never tire of watching Marty dance. True fact: probably at least 50% of the reason I flew to California for the shows last year was to see Marty break out the dance moves again.

(The appropriate end for this post would be for me to collapse on the floor, but since you all can't see me do that in writing, please just assume that is what has happened.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 728

Today's song is...

Integrity Project

It has been an awfully long time since I saw the Apollo 18 promo video so I don't entirely remember this one. But I've kind of got the gist in the back of my head somewhere.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 727

Today's song is...

Mysterious Whisper

One of my favorite parts of Fingertips, because there are so many things about its live performance that I love. It never ceases to amuse me when everyone is rather loudly singing along to the song and they get to this part and the audience plunges forward, while Linnell deliberately pauses. So there is always this distinct echoing sound of the audience going "Myst...." before they shut up because they realize they have all come in too soon. And Linnell has got this smirk on his face because you know he does it on purpose, just to mess with them. And then he puts that big pause between the first two syllables, for increased dramatic affect. I never get tired of that, and I stand there listing for that too soon sound from the audience with glee every time.

And then watching Dan and Marty with their hands in the air swaying to music with such serene looks on their face. Marty always make me smile with his sticks in his hands, but it is Dan who rarely fails to make me giggle out loud. Like the show last spring where he shot his arms into the air so fast and with such force that it looked like he was doing an aerobics move. Or my personal favorite, the show were he attempted to get Danny to participate in the swaying. "Put your hands in the air!" Dan mouthed over to him. Danny, shook his head indicating that he was still playing and could not. Dan tried again to get him to do it anyway and Danny kept shaking him off. But Dan kept goading him, so Danny started adding notes into the rhythm and playing a more and more complicated bass line to justify the fact that he really needed his hands, until both of them were laughing. I love moments like that, and this song has created more than its share :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 726

Today's song is...

Higher Ground

A song whose lyrics are lost in time. But having experienced another of these second generation venue songs from this same week myself, I can only imagine it was brilliant and hilarious.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 725

Today's song is...


Just the piano part of this song is super creepy, but the addition of the bass and drum make it...creepy but snazzy? Is that even a thing? It's an odd tone for a song. I would be curious to see in what context it was used on MITM.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 724

Today's song is...

There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Wow, what a huge mix! It's like this song has the entire force of Disney backing it. It gives me strong flashbacks of riding on the Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland. Wonder if the Johns got to ride on it  at the World's Fair in '64? And if so if that made it rather surreal for them to be re-recording the song forty years later. Incidentally, Meet The Robinsons is a great movie. You should watch it is you haven't already (even though the song doesn't actually appear in the film).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 723

Today's song is...

Figure Eight

I would like to give a big thumbs up to the music in this song, just like the little cartoon characters in the video. So much body and rhythm and rock in a song for children. Proof that children can and will rock out and do not need to be coddled with their music. I've always appreciated that the lyrics focus on figure eights in an ice skating sense too because that is what I always think of when I think of figure eights. The first time I heard this song live was at a regular rock show and it fit right in with the rest of the rock music. It is a really fun one live, very full of energy. and it makes me want to spin around in little figure eights but I am prevented form doing so by the crowd, which is probably for the best as I would get so dizzy my head would fall off.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 722

Today's song is...

No Answer

While I agree with the popular opinion that this is a beautifully phrased song, it is just too morbid for my taste. I don't think I could listen to it repeatedly. One of the things I appreciate about TMBG is that the downer lyrics are usually set to really peppy music, so you almost don't realize what a downer they are. But here, even the melody is sad as I just find it too overwhelming.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Song of the Day - day 721

Today's song is...


I don't speak French. What is he saying anyway? Is it even real French?

Side note: Linnell has the perfect voice for singing in French.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 720

Today's song is...

Cast Your Pod To The Wind

This song always makes me picture those little wing shaped seed pods that come off of trees in the fall, which is exactly what I think it is supposed to invoke. The song is super effective! Also, I kind of love that electronic bagpipey sound. It is so perfect for this tune.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 719

Today's song is...

It Never Fails

If I didn't know better, I would swear this was a cover of some 50 year old song, made famous for some long gone comedic crooner. It is definitely entertaining (though I find that high pitched voice Flans uses a bit grating after a while), but what I really enjoy is the music. Those horns are great!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 718

Today's song is...


Not really the most inventive of the venue songs, but the band introductions are entertaining and I like the melody. But compared to the songs some of the other Texas venues got, this one is a little lacking.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 717

Today's song is...

Epic Fail Baloney Sandwiches Jingle

Here we have a very short song that is very near and dear to my heart. I don't think I was actually there for its first performance, but I was definitely there for the second or third in Chicago last fall. And from that point on, it was firmly linked to my whole experience on that fall tour. It was the running gag, that most of the audience didn't realize was a running gag, but I saw night after night. Which is one of my favorite things about going to so many shows; that feeling of being "in on the joke."And to see that joke actually appear on a slightly inexplicable YouTube video was even better.

But the real reason this song is so dear to me can been seen in the following picture.

TMBG 10/30/11 #83

This is my own personal, authentic, original, one-of-a-kind, brand name Epic Fail Baloney Sandwich. If you follow my Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard some of this tale before. If not, here's my story.

So I'm at the show in Iowa City just about a year ago. It was the last show I was attending for a while, as the tour was heading west and I had to go back to work to prep for the holiday season. After retiring it for a while, the Avatars had once again pulled out their Epic Fail Baloney Sandwiches routine. It was a fantastic show, all in all. I think some of it even made it onto the At Large live album. Anyway, after the show, I am hanging out by the stage, as usual, waiting to snag a setlist. Victor, the stage manager, had been very good about supplying me with set lists the whole tour and tonight was no exception. But this time, after several years of silent setlist supplying, he actually said something to me. Having never heard him speak before I didn't even realize he was talking to me and he had to repeat himself, asking if I had gotten a setlist the day before (I had, but it had been supplied by Mr. Brunette). I told him as much, and he paused for a minute, before telling me he had something for me and then disappearing back stage. I waited for several minutes while most of the crowd cleared out and had a few awkward moments when Marty came out to hand out drum sticks at the front of the stage (oddly, he had a hard time finding people to take them), and I was still standing there with my setlist, looking more like a creepy hanger-on than usual. Eventually, Victor returned, taking a rather circuitous path around the stage before finally coming back over and presenting me with something in a white plastic bag. He turned back away, without so much as a glance back to me, as I was left puzzling over this package in my hand. The first thing that I noticed was that it was oddly cold. And the second thing I noticed was the "Epic Fail" label showing through the bag. It didn't take me long to figure out what it was and start laughing so hard I could barely stand up straight. Because of course, I had been presented with my very own Epic Fail Baloney Sandwich. The one and only.

As an afterward, I later learned that Victor was so nervous about how I would react to this "epic" practical joke, that he never even looked to see my reaction, and didn't know how entertained I was by it until weeks later. Trust me, I loved it and I don't think I will ever get a more perfect present. And in case anyone was wondering, no I didn't eat it. It is actually still in my freezer, probably long since turned to a block of ice, but I just can't bear to throw it out.