Operation Livecrime

If you have doubts about the currency, edge, and power of legendary rockers Queensrÿche, you may put those doubts to rest. Their show tonight at La Zona Rosa was pretty good. I bought a ticket a week ago and couldn’t wait; I was happy to finally be seeing them after being a fan for the 14 years since the 1990 release of “Empire”. After finding suitable parking and a backtracking walk to put some of the contents of my pockets back in my car, I couldn’t get inside soon enough to get a primo standing spot. However, I settled instead on a higher place towards the back of the main section; depending on how I stood I could look through the heads in front of me and see the whole stage. Otherwise, no complaints.

The evening was nothing but Queensrÿche. They did a double set. The first set was hits, misses, new stuff and old ranging from, of course, “Silent Lucidity” all the way back to the first song they wrote. The second set, however, was nothing but the entire “Operation Mindcrime” show complete with actors, props, and synchronized video entertwined in the band’s performance of the album. During the second set, they brought out the quadraphonic sound which pulled the audio out into the audience. I stood near the right rear speaker and heard some of the vocals and spoken samples clearly. Small club big bonus.

I was impressed with singer Jeff Tate. I had some doubt and concern about his ability to hit the high notes like he did in the early days of Queensrÿche; for the most part, he nailed them but tended to take artistic liberties in reinterpreting the vocal pitch, which was fine given it’s a live show and not an album take. His chattiness between songs was good; some of it was generic “always have a great time here” cheese, but he tended to keep us tuned in and told us some bits about where some of the songs came from, which was cool. A bonus. I haven’t seen pictures of him since “Empire”, so it was different to see him with his long hair cut off into something like a rockabilly/aged metalhead haircut. Comes off kinda cool. And he makes mascara and eye liner look good.

At the end of the second act, after the band left the stage, they played a video teaser for the intended 2005 release of the followup to the second set: “Operation Mindcrime II”. As I understand, it’s going to be more relevant than its elder, more current certainly, and more fully produced. It has some big shoes to fill, but they played one of the tracks, “Bound” (or something like that), which sounded good.

My ears ring now. Small club shows always do it to me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Arena gigs are cool, but they’re fraught with dealing with security, assigned seating, high-priced concessions, and you’re three miles from the stage. Small clubs, you have a chance of the band actually seeing YOU, they’re that intimate.

I’m tired, sipping water, sitting down, music off, and I am happy. I saw nobody I knew, spoke to no one other than the bartender, merch guy, and parking attendant, and enjoyed the show without extra-personal baggage. And I am happy.


Went to the opening weekend of Texas Renaissance Festival. I give my weekend’s experience a score of 65%. Friday night sucked, saturday morning sucked, but saturday afternoon and evening made up for it mostly. I hung out with my Texarkana friend Brian. We set up camp close to this group of people from Houston and San Antonio. A bunch of party animals. I made sure to get myself drunk saturday night on some of Brian’s camp-famous punch and two rum-and-cokes. Over two evenings I was able to eak out less than eight shoddy hours of sleep.

After the higher-than-expected ticket price, the flat tire made when looking most of friday night for Brian and his camp, and my expenditures on food, drink, and supplies, coupled with the lack of sleep, I made the choice to strike camp sunday morning, skip the second day of Festival, say g’bye to my new friends, and drive home where a shower and bed awaited. After unpacking and cleaning up, and during the process of getting dressed, I fell asleep. Woke up enough to transplant to the bed and stayed there for 11 hours. Got up around 2am sneezing my ass off, then went back to bed at 4 for another 4 hours of sleep before work. Sunday just did not exist.


The presidential debates are under way. Watched the Vice Presidential debate. Wasn’t as clear as the first Presidential debate last week. Both sides made good points.

Currently feeling something resembling the leading edge of a case of bronchitis. I’m in the denial stage. Feeling a little better after vacuuming my room and cooling off. Funny what a little cleaning up can do. A cluttered, unsanitary room with papers, tissues, and stuff everywhere is totally the way my room is when I’m sick. It’s not that way any more, so maybe it’ll work in the reverse direction.

Water + vitamins + cleaning = healthy Shawn

So, I got paid today. Rent is now paid, as are two of the three house bills. I got one of my breathing medications refilled. Got my three rolls of Austin City Limits film processed. I’m now certain that my camera has outlived its life expectancy. Quite a few of the shots are seriously lacking. Some are even double-exposed. I’ll have to do some creative cropping and color correction to get anything decent out of them, as most shots have the members of the various bands consisting of small blobs of film grain. I hate to admit, but I fear it’s time to get a digital camera.

I’ll see what I can do about the pictures; I’ll have to edit and decide which to post. That’ll be later. Sorry.

I got the inspiration to work on some Glass Door songs the other day. The desire waned by the time I got home from work and commenced to screwing with my music software. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it to even bother with the Glass Door venture.

Course, same could be said for Chrontium, Glyph (the planned website engine for Phaysis.com), the image gallery tool, and some other secret side projects.

Shawn, the Great Initiator.

Sleepy now. What follows is a bit I wrote a few weeks ago concerning an element currently no longer in my life. Enjoy. Signing off.


This back is broken shapeless, the bastards got it beat
hands empty to the merciless, on knees to pledge defeat.
Running from the headache, to flee from venom’s might
I could have won the battle, but I have lost the fight.

These ears are filled with sludge, from months of backstab hate
and petty bicker laughing, the faceless fools’ berate.
Holding back the bile, who cares if you are right
I know I’ve won the battle, but I have lost the fight.

Hands burning from the liars, who tempt and tease deceit
who promise love unconquered, then pull from under feet.
Bowing to the heartbreak, I’m lonely here tonight
I may have won the battle, but I have lost the fight.

Heart aching from the lesson, each passing day is learned
you think of me as nothing, your silence has me burned.
I leave your cold contempting, and make my burden light
tonight I’ve won the battle, but I have lost the fight.