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I got back from Maryland on Sunday to find a package from aliste! Thank you so much, Alice, you rock. I haven't listened to everything yet, there's so much here.

My trip was good, culminating in the Saturday night show at the Maryland Science Center. It was a perfect day for an outdoor show. The science center offers a spectacular view of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and the late afternoon sun gave everything a very Idlewild vibe. I hung out with some fellow fans (including therealtdk, jjrrutgers, zaph) and declared it a great time before TMBG even appeared.

At soundcheck they played Experimental Film. (Everyone seems to love this song. It's hard for me to tell yet, but in general, my opinion of their songs only improves with thorough knowledge of them.) After they finished, they still hadn't soundchecked the accordion, so Linnell put it on and played a few bars of "Carrie Anne" by the Hollies, but singing it as "Hey, Marty Beller, what's your game now? Can anybody play?"

And speaking of Mr. Beller, he did a fine job. Hickey's a tough act to follow, but Marty'll be excellent once he knows the songs inside and out. Dan Miller was kind of coaching him on the Darkened Corridors crescendo, and Flans was giving him a lot of cues throughout the show. But he really got into Older, and I think that enthusiasm will eventually make him a great TMBG drummer.

I tried making a phonepost during Spin the Dial, but egad does it sound awful. The PA stomped all over my little cell phone mic like Godzilla on a gecko. But you're not missing much anyway; Flans was really struggling to salvage it from an utter lack of real songs. There was a bit of opera early on, but only ads after that.

It definitely wasn't the rockin'est show I've ever been to, but it was fun. My favorite performance was probably Robot Parade, which was full-band but not the heavy metal version. And I discovered I prefer the country version of Boss of Me. I stuck around for the laser light show after the concert, which was kind of nifty if you can embrace the cheesiness.

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