Final stretch of a great year coming tomorrow night at the storied Auditorio Nacional, where some of us saw Coldplay on their last tour. Last night’s show outside Caracas was on the hillside campus of Simon Bolivar University and featured a raucous crowd for which the band put the rock back in Caracas . . . . and played a solid set of hits and favorites, including for this South American leg Everybody Hurts and End of the World, as well as a particularly crackling version of Supernatural and Reckoning-era chestnuts like Rockville and Pretty Persuasion. The first time here was a lot of fun, and we are all glad to be heading home but wistful about the end of a fantastic year. The South American part has seen some of the best shows and definitely best audiences of the entire tour, so it is always ideal to end on such a positive strong note. We all feel that way, and I think it will not be long before we get back to this part of the world, both to places we have just been as well as a few we still haven’t made it to yet.

Imitation of Life from Caracas




Stateside, we are heartened by the Murmur re-issue being put together by Universal–the live show bonus disc from Toronto 1983 is a real keeper and a fine recording, and having Mitch and Don, along with many of our oldest friends in the world– IRS people from those years, shepherding the project, has added a real sense of intimacy and warmth to the project. It is a nice way of commemorating the passage of a quarter century since Murmur first came out and we are excited about getting some copies in our hands. And some fine people in Athens have once again paid the band the honor of organizing a “release event” with many of Athens’ talented musicians playing songs off Murmur on the day of the release, November 25th.

Back home. . . tomorrow we land back in the land of our home and get to finally experience first-hand, the feeling of being in the US in the era of Obama . . . Go World!

Bye for now,


p.s. Among the many things I love about living in Georgia, being embarrassed by some of the knuckleheads in elected office is not among them. If it isn’t the latest shenanigans of some of our elected or appointed state officials, we have the ever-so-tactful Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA 6) calling the Obamas “uppity” (then denying he knew it was a term with a lot of racial baggage). The latest of this line of fear-mongering from our current Republican House delegation comes from Athens’ own US Rep Paul Broun(R-GA10). Just after the election, in a speech to a local Rotary Club, Broun referred to Obama with all sorts of scary words like Marxism and Totalitarianism, saying essentially that Obama just might be up to no good for our nation, even going so far as to compare him to Hitler: (click here to hear Broun’s remarks). Nice touch that. Of course, Broun has every right to make these ridiculous statements and people who are in touch with reality (like Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker) have every right to point them out, as Jon Stewart recently did with a little help on The Daily Show:p.p.s. The timing for Broun’s attacks come at an interesting time for Georgia’s sitting Senator Saxby Chambliss, no stranger to divisive and fear-inciting campaigns in winning his seat (click here to view the 2002 campaign ad in which Chambliss “swiftboats” Vietnam war hero, Max Cleland, by linking him to Osama Bin Laden and here for some perspective on the fallout from the ad). Of course. Chambliss immediately denounced Broun’s outrageous comments about Obama, but you can bet he will happily take all the votes he can get in his upcoming surprise runoff election against Jim Martin. Sure Saxby, denounce and distance yourself from your fellow right-wing Republican all you want, but since you and he vote the straight Republican party line– well, maybe that is why you are in this runoff race in Georgia anyway. Meanwhile, if anyone is so inclined to help out Jim Martin, he is running a a Real Democrat and one thing that means is he is outgunned in financial resources. We are all doing our part– to find out more, check out his site. President Obama is going to need all the help he can get in enacting his legislative agenda, and Jim Martin will be a great ally if he can win his uphill battle. Do what you can–we need Jim Martin in the Senate.