Friday, April 29, 2005

Smell the Glove

I saw Styx at Cactus Canyon the other night. The real Styx, not a tribute band. Journey opened for them. Not the real Journey, a tribute band called Escape. Actually, they're only a part-time tribute band; they do their own stuff when they're not pretending to be Journey. And they're quite good.

But back to Styx. I'd always thought of Styx as sort of a wiener band. And by "wiener band" I mean the type that seems like they want to be real rockers, but are too slick and poppy and sappy to pull it off. REO Speedwagon is, in my opinion, the paradigmatic wiener band.

But being a wiener band isn't necessarily a bad thing. Or at least it doesn't mean they can't be entertaining. And they were huge back in the day with lots of stuff I'd heard lots of times on the radio, and now they're playing in places small enough for me to enjoy. So what the hell. Why not have a look.

And I'm pleased to say that they were well worth the time and the $25. Not a whole lot of bands can pull that off. They played well and with enthusiasm and interacted well with the crowd. They seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, as did pretty much everybody in the place.

But I'm sure you're wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post. "Smell the Glove" is, of course, a Spinal Tap reference. There was something about the whole thing that made me think of them. And not at all in a bad way.

The one really disappointing thing about the evening was that they played only a snippet of Mr. Roboto in a medley of other stuff. Since I consider Mr. Roboto to be the dorkiest song of the 80s, I was really looking forward to hearing it live. But it was not to be.

Maybe next time.

Yes, I can see there being a next time.

I wonder what REO Speedwagon's up to these days?

Edited to add:

They said they were going to do a song off their new album-- "The Big Bang Theory"-- and them proceeded to play a kick-ass version of the Beatles' "I am the Walrus." I thought it was a joke. But I just looked at "The Big Bang Theory" on Amazon and there it is. Track 1. Along with a bunch of other titles I've seen before. I guess maybe Styx is turning into a cover band in their old age.

Edited again to add:

For photos of the event, visit Mark Hancock's Bolg. And for her always amusing take on things, check out what Miss New Orleans had to say about it.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 15, 2005

It's time for the pendulum to swing back.

Just got back the latest nonsense from the Texas Supreme Court. Okay, not just back, but just got back last week. It was their opinion in Diamond Offshore Management v. Guidry.

The issue on which the Supreme Court reversed this case involved the way the questions and instructions were submitted to the jury. The Supreme Court of Texas said the instructions given were no good, but in doing so couldn't bring themselves to mention that the instructions given in the case came virtually verbatim from the Fifth Circuit's Pattern jury Instructions.

Did I mention that this was a Jones Act case? The Jones Act is a federal law covering injuries to seamen. The Fifth Circuit has long been recognized for its special expertise in maritime law. It's also among the most conservative of the federal circuit courts.

Did I mention that this case was submitted according to the Fifth Circuit's Pattern jury Instructions? And that the Supreme Court of Texas couldn't bring itself to acknowledge that fact when it reversed based on the jury instructions?

I really don't think anything matters in that court anymore except the identity of the parties. Corporate and insurance interests win; real people lose. The facts and the law are just things to be twisted and manipulated to make sure the "right" side wins.

I suppose I should probably start using a pseudonym if I'm going to post things like this.