Lots of stuff in the Burgh this weekend. I zipped up to Gigi's around 4pm. We gathered our wits, filled our plastic bottles with the best, ultra-cheap wine ($2.99 - Bay Bridge Cabernet) and headed down to the North Shore. It would be an evening of contrasts.
The weather was perfect but the traffic was horrendous. Likely a combination of the Pittsburgh Marathon prep, the usual casino vidiots, Bucco fans and Manson fanatics. Fortunately, we squirmed around the madness with a Gold Lot 1/backdoor approach. In the future, I highly recommend entering from the Heinz Field North End Zone. It saved us about 45 minutes. But the "potential frustration endured" could have lasted well into 2016.
Gig brought some salsa, chips and spring rolls from Nikki's Thai (always recommended) and her friend Shelley had a Tupperware container of "boiled boneless chicken fragmented nuggets" and pasta salad. The "boiling of meats" is a proud tradition dating back to the OMP (Old Man Prettyman) days of 2002. Some will boast of their journeys to Pampalona, Spain where they witnessed the "running of the bulls." I would rather brag about the "boiling of the meats" in the restricted picnicking confines of North Puke. But I digress...
Contrary to popular belief, I was never a big Marilyn Manson fan. During his heyday in the late 90's, he really didn't register on my musical radar. Back then, I had abandoned my high school/early college thrash metal roots. I was still transitioning from my years with the Dead (ironic... considering Manson invokes so many images of death and imbalance). At the time, I was ensconced in Phish and mostly DMB related jam band stuff. I had listened to some of the Manson releases and they all struck me as "a couple of killer tunes, and then the rest of it was really annoying, morbid filler/screeching/techno crap. But around 2009, I heard the single "We're from America." That pretty much changed everything.
We're from America, we're from America, where we eat our young
We're from America, we're from America, it's where Jesus was born
We're from America, we're from America, where they let you cum on their faces
We're from America, we're from America, we speak American
We don't believe in credibility, because we know that we're fucking incredible (x2)
Now if that doesn't sum it up, I don't what possibly could.
So we all scored freebies and customarily skipped the opening act "Pretty Reckless." The tailgating scene was unusual but consistent. Manson fans actually have a lot in common with the Pirates. Both embrace unusual makeup, piercings, tattoos and wear bizarre garb. I'm talking about actual, mythical Pirates, not the diehard goatee yutzes from Monroeville. However, Bucco fans are among the most beaten, downtrodden, victimized and misunderstood members of society. Manson fans too. Add some layered nose rings strands, an inverted swastika on your forehead and walk around carrying a plastic lunch box filled with Purina dog biscuits... and presto bingo... you're now a Marilyn Manson fan!
So what did you think of the concert? Ahhh, the million dollar question. Well, I just happen to be a huge fan of androgynous satanists. How would anyone have guessed my proclivity for this fringe milieu? Considering the shortage of qualified performers that carry this ignominious distinction... yes, I thought it was a strong show. But I did have some misgivings about the set list (Gig snagged me one from the stage after the show ended - supercool).
I could have done w/o the 2 overplayed covers (Sweet Dreams and Personal Jesus). Personal favs were Disposable Teens, Mobscene and Dope Show. And I liked two of his new songs - Pistol Whipped and Slo-Mo-Motion. Here's a decent version of "Pistol Whipped" from last weekend in Rhode Island. Sometimes, I enjoy a reflective, subdued Manson. You just can't gutter-scream your brains out for over an hour straight. Even though he usually does...
I normally don't post bootleg links, but I did come across this website specifically devoted to Manson and a few others.
The Download Festival concerts from England are really strong (old school rock stars like myself call these "Castle Donington" shows - if you're from Ohio or West Virginia, it's the equivalent of referring to The Buckeye Lake Music Center as "Legend Valley"). I also like the 2007 Buenos Aries, Argentina concert. All are fm broadcasts. If you want some burned cd discs for your music machine, just lemme know.
So we made it back to the lot and I accused Gigi of locking her keys in the car. But they were in my pocket the whole time. The "whole time" lasted about 22 seconds. Still though, my bad.
Gig got up early for work. I joined her and Brandon filming the Pittsburgh marathon. Downtown was a madhouse, so I parked on the North Side and hiked over. People who run these marathons are a different breed. The term "breed" meaning "absolute bad ass." Here's something to think about. Any douchebag can go out and buy stuff - a gun, a sports car, a mansion, a diamond necklace... But it takes someone with real guts and courage to run one of these things. So a shout out to my friends who are the epitome of true bad asses...
Scottie T. and Bobbie L. - both did the full 26+ miles.
Stacey C. and Sandy K. - 13.1 miles ain't for no slouches either.
I hung out for a while and then walked over to PNC and scored a ticket for the afternoon Pirates/Reds game. I went for a complete laid-back, non-speaking approach this time. I sat next to the Honus Wagner statue outside the entrance to home plate. I carefully hoisted my finger and gave everyone entering the ballpark my patented "I'm not a bum, but I play one on tv. Will you do your part in helping me obtain a free ticket" look. Sure enough, some guy handed me a ticket along the 3rd base line. I ended up sitting in the more comfortable shade around first base and consumed a non-enchanting Primanti's. By the way, Nakama opened a stand in the ballpark this year. But nobody was in line. I love sushi, sashimi, all of it really. But I just don't think the demand for "oriental cuisine" will ever consistently work at PNC Park. Call it a hunch.
I left during the 6th inning. I think they were down 4-0. They would end up losing 5-0. Incidentally, if you're one of "those" people... You know, the kind of people that bitch up a storm about losing a regular season baseball game. The kind of people that make everyone's life miserable and awkwardly uncomfortable until the evening ends. The kind of people who remain obsessed with every ball, every strike, every questionable call from the umpire... you may want to rethink the purpose of your existence. I'd offer up some advice but I think it would fall on deaf ears.
You know something. I will offer some advice after all. At the concert, Gig and I were offered 2 freebie promo bottles of something called:
THE ULTIMATE HYDRATION BEVERAGE
On the label it reads
ALL GOOD STUFF. NO BAD STUFF.
NO SUGAR. NO CARBS
NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.
NO CAFFEINE. NO CALORIES.
I just took a sip. It was absolutely disgusting. So here's my advice. Don't buy this shit.
One last bit of advice. On a completely unrelated note, if you wish to name your infant daughter "Treasure," that's entirely up to you. But when you choose to name the girl "Treasuria"... well, you just crossed that thin line. You may not think this impacts others, but it actually does. In one swift move, you have taken away a "chunk of normalcy" from the human conglomerate. As a member of society, I have a moral obligation to vociferously state my objections. I beg you to reconsider "Treasuria."