I didn't post over the 4th of July weekend. But I have a multiple of excuses.
There was Hootenanny '05, a day-long festival next to Irvine Lake on Saturday, July 2nd. I got there early, so I could park next to the gate. And I was there all day, getting in early enough to check out Social Distortion's 30-minute soundcheck that kicked off at 11:45 or so, and was there until the Orange County band's actual set ended around 7:30 p.m. It was a long day and the music was generally very strong. And it was a hot one! Those energy drinks were a lifesaver.
In addition to the strong performance from Social D (highlights came off the band's latest album, notably the songs "Reach for the Sky" and "Highway 101"), I really enjoyed Lee Rocker's set. He delivered some great moments across 30 minutes, particularly a reworking of his old band, the Stray Cats, "Rock This Town" and a song titled "Runnin' from the Hounds" that really rocked.
Ever heard of Ricky Warwick? I hadn't either until I saw him perform at Hootenanny in 2004, and the Irish singer-songwriter returned this year. I enjoyed his set even more this weekend. He has that Steve Earle-John Mellencamp element and put on a great show.
Other great moments came courtesy of punk-styled Throw Rag, James Intveld and Deke Dickerson.
What about Live 8? Because I was at Hootenanny, I taped the day-long broadcast from VH1 and caught the ABC highlights special live that night. I also caught part of the CMT hour special last night. I was disgusted by the coverage. The stupid veejays injecting penny thoughts in the middle of songs. No Neil Young, no Cure, no Bruce Cockburn? I understand Paul McCartney played "Helter Skelter," but never a second of it on the tube. MTV is about anything but music these days.
Hopefully, some of the performances will be released later on DVD minus the chit chat...