Went to one of the only really enjoyable outdoor concerts I can remember (maybe I didn't enjoy it enough). The finest in dirty hillbilly music: The Cross Canadian Ragweed Red Dirt Roundup. For those ignorants, Cross Canadian Ragweed is a horrendous allergan in Texas, and it's also a band. In a great show of humility, CCR was the worst major act in their line up. Fortunately, they have talented friends.
Ray Wiley Hubbard turns out to be every bit as good live as his reputation purports. His new song "Snake Farm" is plenty worth a listen on its own, but all the more so if you grew up seeing Snake Farm billboards around South Texas and hearing the rumors that it was a whore house. The concert was also my first chance to see Drive By Truckers live (out of two attempts; a story for another time). Every thinking person should be a Drive By Truckers fan. They have an entire song dedicated to Steve McQueen that contains the only sucessful poetic incorporation of the word "mesothelioma" of which I am aware. If there were any justice or rationality in the world, we would all know the words to their anthem "The Company I Keep" instead of having our sleep disturbed by the Bon Jovi lyrics that must have been burned into our brains by satellite transmission (because you KNOW you know those words, but you must never admit having listened).
But of course, there's no justice, no peace, and no chance I'm going to be satisfied with the choice of Bud or Bud Light at the former feed lot on which the concert took place. The smell alone would have overpowered the strongest beer. And that eternal truth led me to the Cazadores Tequila/Jack Daniels tent to get me a real drink.
So they had a makeshift cattle pen set up around the tent to keep the beer drinkers out and keep the liquor drinkers in (a lamentable curse of Texas liquor regulations and also a story for another time). This pissed me off a good deal because the placement of the tent meant I was getting the muddiest sound possible from the twin stages at the venue, but shortly, that muddiness moved to the interiors of my ears; so my quibble with the location is really minor in the overall scheme of things.
The bigger problem was that, as patrons approached the Jack Daniels stand, their orders of "Jack and Coke" were met with Jack and Pepsi. Fear not; your humble narrator stuck with Jack and Jack, as is his wont. And really, the addition of Pepsi to Jack Daniels can hardly be called an abomination when the whole point is to cover up the strange banana aftertaste of the ubiquitous near-bourbon. The real problem was the bartenders' explanation of why they were stuck with the Pepsi. Apparently, Coke had not offered enough incentive to have its product represented at a venue at which its fans were literally asking for it by name. Viewed the other way, the concert promoters may have gone with the highest bid from a vendor at the expense of having 10,000 rednecks pissed off that their drinks turned out not quite as called.
Now Lord knows I'm not one to meddle in markets or favor cooperation over competition, but for Pete's sake, how hard is it to see the mutual benefit of having Coke available to mix with Jack? Can I get my PhD for writing that up with a regression table because I am here to tell you that white trash country music fans will for damn sure pay extra to have Coke with their Jacks (and who doesn't instinctively suspect that?). I think there's some kind of externality working there, but I'm halfway through a bottle of real bourbon; so it's a little harder for me to articulate at the moment.