July 12

Just a few goals: Finishing a story, finding someone to buy a concert ticket, meeting up with the busy friend who could not make time for the concert. They were met in that ascending order of difficulty.

The story had come from an editor, who realized that the grumpy recalcitrance of Republicans toward the “Black Lives Matter” movement had been absent (or at least underplayed) in our coverage. Putting that together was easy, mostly involving sources from my coverage of criminal justice reform. Around 1, however, I decided everything would be improved if I went to the Hill and grabbed some senators after their weekly lunch. (Their last, for a while.)

No holes in that plan until around 4, when I slowly made my way out of the Capitol and saw a police officer running to the floor of the House.

“What’s up?” I asked Billy, an old colleague from Bloomberg.

“I’m trying to figure that out,” he said.

For a reporter, I remained uncurious, and walked toward the exit. From Twitter I learned that the Capitol was “on lockdown,” or as the news chyrons would put it: “ON LOCKDOWN (SIREN SIREN SIREN).”

Fucking lockdowns. I enjoy weird danger as much as anyone, but the “lockdown” is usually a feature of the security state mingling with the media’s fear complex. If anything threatening or unmonitored approaches the Capitol (or any federal building)

“Some guy had a gun on 3rd Street.”

“Lost Themes,” the album, is perfectly produced – so much so that you wonder if more could have been unlocked from the melodies Carpenter wrote when he was throwing them onto soundtracks. Live, the only flaw was Carpenter’s guitar player. Most of his task involved windmilling, which he pulled off so barely that we waited for the inevitable flub. It never came, but the sound never clicked, either, and the riffs that were tyrannosauric on vinyl sounded like the gasps of a fuzzbox.

The crowd made up for that. I’ve never actually sought out one of those “Everytown Philharmonic Plays Themes from Blow-Em-Up” movie revues, but I can now imagine them, with the ordinary thrill of the familiar amplified by a frenzied audience. An establishing shot from “They Live,” a smoggy bridge with a pick-up truck parked on it, elicited fist-pumping and ovations. (I joined at the sight of Rowdy Roddy Piper.)

“Horror movies will never die!”