Monday, March 12, 2007

Brad Delp 1951-2007

There's so much I could say. There's so much I want to say. Yet, I'll just say this....

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

You were loved by many people and fans everywhere.

Goodbye, my friend. May you jam with the Beatles in heaven.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day - Howard and Beth Engaged

Shock jock Howard Stern says he's engaged

NEW YORK -- Howard Stern is engaged to Beth Ostrosky, the veteran shock jock announced on his radio program this morning.

Stern, who divorced his first wife Alison in 1999 after some 20 years of marriage, has repeatedly said he would never get married again.

He denied rumors of marriage as recently as last week.

Stern, 53, left commercial radio in 2005 and joined Sirius Satellite Radio, where his morning radio show is aired "uncensored."

He starred in the 1997 motion picture "Private Parts," based on career, which launched in Hartford. Much of the film focused on his relationship with his first wife.

In typical Stern fashion, he joked today that he removed Ostrosky's uterus to guarantee the couple will not have children.

"I see my married friends with children and it seems like absolute torture to me," Stern said this morning.

Callers to the Stern show are ridiculing the shock jock because of the announcement.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

One hour of the Grammys is enough

Random thoughts while thinking about switching over to OnDemand or FuseTV ...

And the "Can life get any better?" award goes to:

Justin Timberlake gets to suck face and be in a pool with Scarlet Johansson in his new video in otherwise horrible MTV pre-show.

The Police - repeat, I never need to hear Roxanne ever again, especially jazzercised. I actually thought this might transition into a medley. Sting looking great and ready for sequel to Dune (worst movie of all time?) - Andy Summers ready for a nap.

What happened to "Little" Stevie Wonder? He's huge! I was touched that Stevie mentioned memory of his mother, but what the heck is Tony Bennett doing thanking Target as "best sponsor he's ever worked with"?

Probably my only chance to know a Grammy winner is ruined when Deborah Henson Conant gets shafted in category #106 Best Classical Crossover.

Joan Baez on stage and looking great. First time Woody Guthrie's name ever referenced at Grammys? This land is your land = three brave women not ready to make nice. OK, but for me to really like the Dixie Chicks, I'll need a medley w. Neil Young on "Impeach the President."

A break for our sponsors ... Did I just hear Pharrell on Heineken Light ad? Apple ad didn't reference DRM or availability of Beatles songs. Missed a great PR opp there Steve Jobs!

Prince is dried off from Purple Rain and lacking a do rag for three word intro of Beyonce (he's pissed she's with Jay). Anybody else imagine Whitney Houston scowling viciously at the TV set during Beyonce?

Note to self: Fergie looks hotter in Kohl's Candys shoes ad than she does on stage.

Black Eyed Peas on stage and I swear the cool guy in the hat has ear bling - really, it looks like caps have moved up the face. Speaking of, India.Arie has the biggest earrings on the planet.
Mary J. Blige wins making former Topazer and current Universal Music diva Ashley Gagnon and Bono happy. Ashley because she gets to have fun at her glitzy post-party Monday night and Bono because I think I heard that horrible "One" song sampled. Does the "J" in Mary J. Blige stand for Jesus? She managed to squeeze in 200 people in her thanks, the last 15 just as background music got really loud.

What have we become award winner: Grammys competes with "American Idol" (Topaz fav in the past) with voting in non-descript duet singers by texting to 81818. The winner gets to be on stage with I heart JT later in the show and never be heard from again.

Worst ad of the night co-winners: Goodbuy = "Hello Goodbye" by the Beatles for Target. InaGardaDaVida opus is featured in a Fidelity ad. Great, now I finally understand what the song means - no load or IRA fees.

Justin has a new song, "What goes around." Comment below if I'm way off in my interpretation, but is I heart JT still obssessed about Britney or was it really the "experiences of a best friend" as he got to intro on stage? Justin has a hand-held camera for the YouTube effect - Where else could he put the camera that would really make his fans happy? In a related development, The Doors get a life time achievement? "I am not my hair" is a song India.Arie song - doesn't that defeat the purpose?

Mary J. - more Jesus and short discussion about high and lows in her life. On theword crawl at bottom of screen I notice Slayer won a Grammy thereby proving that the Devil is making a big comeback.

Another bad ad with "Fire" on Cingular/AT&T/Death Star - Hendrix vocals and solo edited? Lil' Jon delivering beer by way of a Gulfstream? Heather Locklear ad - wait, no Richie Sambora voodoo doll on set for that one? However, John Mayer is evil.

In conclusion, why is there no Grammy for best MySpace or YouTube performance? The sites are in better shape than the entire music industry.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Will anyone be watching tonight? Will there be any answers? Or just more confusion?

Tune in tomorrow...

I have a sneaky feeling there will be no answers and just more confusion.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An open letter to Sarah Silverman

Dear Sarah: my name is Dave (not my real name). I don’t know much about you, but what I do know, I like.

That being the case, I would like to take this opportunity to ask you on a date. I think we have a lot in common and would hit it off.

I enjoy a woman who’s not afraid to speak her mind. I loved “Jesus Is Magic,” your recently released comedy movie, because it demonstrated your strong sense of humor and your sturdy intellect. You touched on AIDS, teenage pregnancy, the current political landscape and your vagina with sensitivity, intelligence and thought-provoking commentary. I, too, am deeply concerned about these topics.

I must admit, while I hold your obvious intelligence and sensitivity in high esteem, my motives for meeting are somewhat based on your good looks. I love your dark hair, your dark eyes, your slender neck, your pert, sparkling-clean breasts, your curved torso and your long legs. I haven’t seen them (yet), but I bet your feet are cute, too.

I know you’re currently involved with some comedian guy who has a show on at 2:30 in the morning, when the only people watching are the criminally insane and the chronically unemployable, but I feel I am the better man. As an example, I am a musician. I have toured the country and have met such celebrities as the guy who used to play Urkel and one of the Brady kids. I am not up to your level of star power, of course, but if we bump into any of your Hollywood friends on our way to dinner before we burn off those calories together, I could smile and relate.

I know you’ll be busy with your new television show, which I’ll be watching, but I hope you take time to consider my offer.

I’m looking forward to your response. I just love a woman who lets it all hang out.



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CSRs are an important customer-company touchpoint

I purchased a Dell Laptop last week after my previous Dell laptop was stolen. I made the purchase online and inadvertently added an $80 car adaptor. I have no use for a car adaptor, other than throwing it at another driver, and I could find cheaper substitutes for that, so I called Dell the other night to set up a return.

“My name is Mary,” said the Dell customer service representative from India. “How may I help you?” Her name is Mary like mine is Nipeadooleepasling.

“Mary, I’d like to return a car adaptor.” She told me she could help me, and after ten minutes of providing information that she painstakingly repeated back to me in her adorable, chirpy, heavily accented voice from thousands of miles away, we got disconnected.

I called back, this time reaching “Susan.” I was making the call from my cell phone, wearing an ear piece while eating frozen yogurt at Costco. I finished my treat, and judging by the repetition and confirmation of every word I uttered, I figured the call was going to take a while. Spying a guitar on the far wall, I grabbed it, tuned it, sat on a piano bench and started playing. Twenty minutes later, Susan, in her adorable, chirpy, heavily accented voice said, “I don’t know why we’re getting that hold music, Mr. Robert.” I laughed and told her I was playing guitar. “Really? Huh.” was her response. Bored out of my mind, I asked her if she had any requests. “I do not understand. I am helping you resolve your issue. Do you have a question?”

After ten more minutes of her tapping at computer keys and me strumming guitar strings, Susan told me she had to transfer me.

Enter “Diane,” and a repetition of the entire process. I had no patience at this point. “You’re in India, Diane?”


“Doesn’t it blow your mind that I’m thousands of miles away, strumming a guitar and we’re talking? We’re worlds apart, yet we hear each other.”

“Yes. I can help you return your item.”

“Diane, are you married?”

Pause. “I need your full phone number, area code first.”

“Diane, are you married?”

Suppressed giggling. “No.”

“If we weren’t so far apart, we could go bowling. Do you bowl, Diane?”

“No. Do you have your order or customer number?”

Ten minutes later, Diane asked if I could hear the hold music. I told her I was playing guitar. She laughed. “You play very well.” I told her I practiced a lot that night. She then told me she had to transfer me to the right department.

Next up: Tina. We straightened everything out in three minutes, and she told me anyone I spoke to previously could have set up a return. I told her about my long wait, and she offered me a Dell coupon. I got $150 and a good amount of work in on Ionian scales. Dell’s a great company. They care about their customers.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I must have watched too much Bowl TV - Statue of Liberty play & Led Zeppelin?!

This will not be another tired blog post dissecting Bowl games tactics, stars or debating a playoff system. Instead, this will be another tired blog post looking at the popular culture significance of said Bowl season.

Some New Year's Eve Bowl: U of Miami wins a bowl game on a blue field. Didn't Miami used to be pretty good in the Big East? By the way, blue is so cool, but I now want tie-dyed field at Cal-Berkeley; geometry and algorithms patterns at Georgia Tech; and SU basketball and lacrosse schedules at the Carrier Dome.

Gator Bowl: What did I enjoy more - Rita Rodriguez' (hot wife of Coach Rich smell my fingers) "abundances" or the huge "Thank you Gay Employees" sign in Jacksonville?

Toss up, but I'm going with that amazing sweater. Speaking of, I liked this quote from Boston Globe article by Mark Blaudschun about how they met in college:

"She was blonde, dressed well, and we got to talking," said Rodriguez. "And I asked her what kind of car she drove. She said, 'A Vette.' I thought to myself, 'Man. I've got it made. Blonde, dresses well, and she drives a Vette. She's probably got some money, too.' "When I went over to her apartment, I saw that it was a Chevette," said Rodriguez, laughing at the memory. "And it had a broken stick shift. But her father was pretty handy and he had fashioned a stick from an old furniture leg. When I went to her apartment, I sat down on a couch missing a leg."

I love West Virginia, Sarah, really I do!

Rose Bowl: Michigan band doing Led Zeppelin songs at halftime was cool. No actually it was really troubling. By the way, shouldn't USC be required to do Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" every year, every song?

Special note from earlier Rose Bowl parade: George Lucas was Grand Marshall. Thankfully I saw no Jar Jar Binks walking near the Star Wars floats, but way too many friggin' Ewoks.

Fiesta Bowl: OK I lied, this is a football post. Here is the greatest play in the history of America Football (happened shortly after the second greatest play in history - Hook and Lateral on 4th and 18!?)

Here's the last play of the game.
SHITE, YouTube is so 2006! -
"This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Collegiate images, LLC because its content was used without permission"
- Oh just find the clip on some decent pirate ship site.

This was pretty good post about significance of the game:

To bring Boise State's national championship coronation game back to popular culture - what the f%#$ is with the Chair of the Bowl Committee exclusively reading a note card at the trophy presentation?!

Louisville vs. Wake Forest: Skipped this until NCAA regional semi-final hoops in March.

Sugar Bowl: I slept through this game, so I'm turning this post over to good buddy and sports guru John MacKinnon ...

Glad Charlie Weiss upholding the Ty Willingham and Bob Davie tradition of Bowl Excellence.

Don't blame ND. Chambers of Commerce created bowl games to attract tourism during an otherwise dead week.

Notre Dame and Navy sell tickets and travel at least 20k annually spending multiple hotel room nights, multiple meals and lots of libations. They attract eyeballs both from domers and haters like me reveling in some school treating them like a pinata without a blindfold.

In conclusion and in case The Optimist/Traitor, I mean Terry, still reads this blog ... next year's Meineke Car Care Bowl halftime show star is ready to parrrhhhty.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Co-branding works for me!

I’m sure everyone has seen the Volkswagen commercials promoting the company’s tie-in with First Act guitars, a Boston-based guitar company headquartered on Boylston Street. If you haven’t, here’s the deal: buy a $20,000 Volkswagen, get a $600 guitar.

The guitar is special for a few reasons. First, each one is custom built to match the car it comes with. This includes color coordination, a VIN label, Volkswagen dot inlays and a guitar strap made from a seat belt. Perhaps the coolest feature of the guitars is a built-in preamp which enables the guitar to be plugged into the dashboard of certain Volkswagens and played through the car’s speaker system. (Through a normal amplifier, the preamp adds overdrive, or distortion.)

This promotion has mainly created two things.

  1. The idea that the guitars will become highly collectable
  2. A lot of people with guitars but no desire to play them

The best possible mix of the above two points is an individual who possesses number two and is unaware of number one. I found such a person on Craigslist, sort of. “I bought a new car, and a week later there’s this package at my door,” he told me after I responded to his ad. He was asking $300 for the guitar. “I opened it up, and I was like, huh?” We talked for a while. I told him I loved First Act guitars, that his guitar could possibly become collectable in the future (What would Jesus do? He’d probably play a PRS.) and that I would give him cash. He said he had to think about it now, and that he would call me back. “Me and my big mouth,” I thought.

I stopped looking at pictures of the guitar on the Internet and forgot about hearing back from the guy. A few days later, my phone rings. It was him. “Are you still interested in the guitar?” he asked. I said yes, and he told me he would sell it for $400. I couldn’t complain—they sell on eBay for upwards of $800 currently. When we met and exchanged cash for instrument, I asked why he chose to sell the guitar to me; he must have received a ton of emails. “I did,” he said. “And a few people offered me more money, but you know what?” I gave him a quizzical look. “You were the only person who seemed excited about actually playing the damn thing.” And I must say—it plays great!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I must have watched too much election TV - Congressman John Hall?!

Congressman John "Still the One" Hall (D-NY)? AKA the guy in the middle pleading with his bandmates to take this cover concept in a new direction

A few of my favorite moments from channel flipping (BTW, thank the programming gods at ABC didn't sacrifice 90 minutes of "Dancing with the Stars" for this inconsequential, meaningless election)

The Santorum kids crying - OK I'm a bit twisted, but the 8-year-old bugs me.

6. Deval Patrick's endless walk to the victory speech stage - Vintage Spinal Tap lost under the stage with the new benefit of huge video screens in the ballroom documenting the walk

Tony Snow's masterful PR speak that prefaces the end of Rumsfeld's reign of terror by saying it's natural for some officials to step down after an election (hint hint)


As Kerry Healey left the stage the DJ playing Boston's hilarious:
I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

3. John Kerry looking wistful that his quest for any higher office was done while introducing new Mass. Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray

2. Live report from DNC party in D.C. where the young politico dudes and babes were drinking too much Red Bull and vodka and about to "know" what it means to be the party in charge - that's know in the Biblical sense as they were all hooked up by 3 a.m.

1. Steven Colbert's "Congratulations Terrorists" cake for the Democrats' big night, followed by him walking out of the studio, followed by his realization that the new Democratic House had been in charge for a minute and were ruining the nation and Iraq!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is Borat the next Topaz movie outing?

No great new thoughts to add (besides didn't we just get finished with our 8-month interoffice hype of "Snakes on a Muthaf#@*ing Plane") but I'm darn excited about this movie.

Here is a print recap/preview from one of our target media publications - Digital Media Wire's Buzz Watch: Borat Wants To Meet "Fearless Anti-Jew Warrior" Mel Gibson.

In the meantime, here's the obligatory link to YouTube: Night of Too Many Stars benefit for Autism.

Actually the funnier video is Borat's appearance (check out the video boards) as England blow another European match with an amazing own goal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Flaming Lips: Saving the World, One Balloon at a Time

I meant to post something right after this concert- back on September 10, but better late than never:

Saw the Flaming Lips at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, and without question it was the best concert I have ever seen. Simply put, it was the most fun, joyful concert a person could expect. Evidence?

Item 1: As the Lips hit the stage, about 2 dozen giant green balloons hit the audience. A brilliant strategy for audience participation, it kept us up on our feet throughout the entire concert. Later, 3 even more gigantic white balloons joined their cousins in the crowd.

Item 2: Appearing alongside the stage, were about a dozen Santas stage left, and a dozen or so aliens stage right, all dancing throughout the concert. But of course-- here is a photo diary of one of the Santas from that show.

Item 3: Confetti guns? Check. Confetti cannons? Check. Brightly painted amps and keyboards? Check. Stobe lights and megaphones? Check. Giant foam hands and sing-along puppets? Check-check. All cheap but marvelous effects.

Item 4: Stage hands dressed in black to be inconspicuous? No way-- we got Captain America, Superman, Space Ghost, and Wonder Woman (singer Wayne Coyne's wife, I believe) taking pictures on stage.

Item 5: "Happy Birthday, Emily" sung by Wayne Coyne and crowd to one of the Santa/Aliens or one of their friends- -not quite sure there, but wouldn't you want a band to sing Happy Birthday to you from the stage?

Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, and Michael Ivins put on a most entertaining show, all under the philosophy espoused by Coyne that music itself can't change the world, but maybe a lot of people thinking, doing, saying the same thing at the same time can make a small difference, if only in their own lives.

A remarkable thing about the Flaming Lips is that they have been around for nearly 25 years, but their concerts revolve almost exclusively around their last 3 albums. This is not an oldies band reliving grunge-era glory (though "She Don't Use Jelly" remains a concert staple), but a vital band making their best music now. Thus, we got to hear highlights from: "The Soft Bulletin" (the opening "Race for the Prize" and the first encore, "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton," accompanied by Teletubbies on video); "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" (title songs and "do You Realize" finale); and several selction from the new album "At War With the Mystics."

I would love to hear the band's take on some of their mid-90's tunes, but no complaints here.

All in all? The Feel-Good Hit of the Summer.

A note about my long-gestating admiration of the Flaming Lips-- I had heard them here and there for years ("Jelly," "Bad Days" in a Batman movie soundtrack, and "Christmas at the Zoo" in particular), and always loved their bent, crazy sound, even when I was busy being a jazz snob.
But I didn't really get into them until "Yoshimi.." a few years ago, and I was hooked but good.

Interesting side note: Steven Burns, seen every day for years in my house as "Steve" from Blue's Clues, was knocked out by the 1999 "Soft Bulletin" album, so much so that the Lips' producer and band members produced an album for him, and he will make an appearance in the long-in-production Flaming Lips film, "Christmas on Mars" (info here, click on "Film" tab).

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rock ‘n’ Roll Memories

When I was in my twenties, I played in a rock band. I sang, played guitar and wrote all the songs. I took the band very seriously, as did every other member. There were plenty of shows where band members outnumbered audience members, especially in the early days, but we had many great shows, too. The drummer and I have been playing together recently after a few years off, and talk of possibly playing shows again is bringing up memories. Here are a few.

  • I remember when my band played my college while I was a student there. It was our first show ever. I remember being so nervous right before going on that I felt I could not control my limbs. When we got onstage and I looked out at everyone looking back at me, an odd calm covered me, and we played just fine. The next few weeks at school were a bit uncomfortable. People I did not know suddenly knew me, and I was constantly stopped in the halls with questions and congratulations. I noticed my band’s name written in marker on girls’ Converse Hightop sneakers. That was cool, but then there were a lot of people I did not know who suddenly hated me. I got shoved frequently. I got a football thrown at me. My car got scratched. I much preferred being invisible.
  • After my band released our first CD, we were doing well in the local clubs and could count on a good amount of people we did not know to show up. Then we took some time off to record our second CD. During our performance hiatus, I received a phone call from some girl I did not know, crying on the phone, telling me that my band meant everything to her, begging us to play again. I was not flattered; I was creeped out. I kept thinking, “Next time, we have to use a PO Box instead of my phone number on the CD.”
  • After my band released our second CD, it did OK on the national college charts. We started playing tours up and down the East Coast. I remember playing CBGB and looking out into the crowd and seeing three rather attractive girls I did not know each wearing my band’s T-Shirt. I strolled over to them after our set, feeling at that moment every bit like a rock God, bestowing his presence upon his followers. Then one of them said to me, “You look much better when you’re singing.” Thud! Back to Earth!
  • One time, my band played an outdoor gig with Sophie B. Hawkins. (She mentions The Rolling Stones in one song, so I always liked her for that.) I remember sitting on stage behind her on a milk-crate during her set (I always do that when I can), watching her play. She was barefoot and had dirty feet and sweaty underarms and had the crowd in the palm of her hands. All I kept thinking was, “She’s fooled around with Madonna.” She was very nice when we chatted backstage after, but she was a bit ripe. (I probably was, too!) I remember that during that show I played guitar with another female singer that did a cover of “You Shook Me All Night Long.” I was drafted to play the guitar solo. I remember standing there on stage during the song, feeling like a moron until the solo. Was I supposed to dance or something?
  • During one tour, we found ourselves onstage at The University of Pennsylvania playing an outdoor gig for Amnesty International. It was a beautiful late spring evening. Stars peppered the sky. I could see my breath as I sang. Before the last song, receding adrenaline and lack of sleep suddenly hit me. As the bass player played the song’s opening repeating pattern, I closed my eyes and involuntarily tilted my head back, spread my arms and swayed back and forth. My mind was a million miles away. I was lost in a moment of peace and over-exhaustion. During that time, I was not on stage, I was completely alone. After a while, I slowly opened my eyes and let my surroundings back in. Everyone I could see had their head back, their arms spread, and was swaying back and forth. My private withdrawal was being mimicked. I freaked out. I felt like everyone had read my thoughts. I blew all the lyrics, fumbled through the guitar solo, and left the stage. Later, backstage, I sat slouched in a corner on a chair. I saw the bass player push through the crowd straight toward me. He leaned down and said, “If you make me play that intro for that long again, you’ll have to have a bass removed from your ass,” and started laughing. I started laughing, too. Ah, rock ‘n’ roll.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Boz Scaggs is Cooler Than You... Think

Well, it happened-- the night most of us at Topaz Partners were primed to see "Snakes on a Plane," my wife broke the news to me-- we were invited to see Boz Scaggs in concert, by a friend we could not refuse. Crushed, I let the Topazers know the news, and after the requisite questioning of my manhood, and my witty and whithering replies (that I will not relate here), I resigned myself to my fate.

Gritting my teeth and girding my ears, I prepared for the worst. After viewing a parade of people that would best be served by remaining sexy on the inside only (you can be 50 and sexy, but you could not tell by this crowd), the worst happened immediately. Boz opened with "Lowdown."

But before you could say "I'm sick and tired of m****f*****g Boz Scaggs on a m****f*****g stage," he said these words: "Here's a song by Allen Toussaint." He repeated those magic words twice, the second time introducing the song "Hercules," the Aaron Neville hit also covered well, but not as well, by, well, Paul Weller. (Yes Adam, I stole the title of this post from your Paul Weller review last fall)

That, coupled with a lengthy blues jam, made it a surprisingly tolerable evening. Not "Snakes on a Plane" enjoyable, but not bad in the least. Well, except for the inevitable "Lido Shuffle" and the wobbling flesh-fest of the dancing middle-aged masses that its opening bars signaled.

Yes, I'm old. Shut up. I'm seeing the Flaming Lips September 10.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Do you Wu?

A brief recap of Wednesday's Wu Tang Clan show at Lupo's in Providence with my soul (and real) brother Nate and his friend Derek.

Arrived late which is just about early for a hip hop show. On arrival, witness the obligatory objectification (self-imposed) of women from the crowd putting their backfield's in motion. Endless presentation gave me opportunity to meet Ghostface Killah (Mr. Killah?) at the merch table - I think we "chilled" and I bought 2 of his shirts.

Again, way too much hyping up of the crowd by some friends of the group or local hangers on. Should be a very simple pre-show system - keep the piped in music playing until the band of gypsies are ready to play.
One at a time entry - the amazing Method Man was first to mention ODB, a 40 and really demonstrate the most energy. Ghost clearly understood that a break for the group should focus on his ability to orgainze private dances from da ladies. At least he worked for it by rapping and moving on stage. ODB tribute provided opportunity for me to "put your BlackBerries in the air." Wait, in memory of Station night club tragedy shouldn't lighters be banned in RI?

Followed by Method Man crowd-walking with impeccable balance. Last cut we stayed for (it was after 1 a.m. on a work night) was the amazing

Surround sound rap lyrics throughout the night (and ID for the different guys on stage) thankfully provided by my bro -

Remember y'all, Wu Tang Clan ain't nothing to fuck with