Tuesday, December 30, 2008

so this is the difference between living and not living...

the title of this post is taken from a minus the bear song - my new obsession.

i have figured out that this is how my mind works: i find something i like (be it a band, a book, a movie, an actor, even a tv show) and i become completely consumed by it for an indefinite period of time. i cannot stop listening to minus the bear - and, except for making a copy of vitalogy as a christmas present and a mixed CD of some of my favorite songs by seattle bands as another gift, no other bands have seen the inside of my CD player since thanksgiving time. i've even started taking a longer bus to work (i.e. one that takes 45 minutes to get me to my destination vs. my normal one that takes me 20 minutes) just so i can listen to minus the bear a little bit longer on my ipod. i'm not entirely sure what it is about this band but i don't really want it to go away. and i'm super excited to see them at the showbox on january 9th (with rocky votolato!). counting the days. eagerly. 10.

i came across an old interview with jake snider and this kind of cracked me up:
Q: Someone wrote that your voice is so passionless, you might as well be singing about the ham sandwich you had for lunch. Does that make you want to belt out a song about a ham sandwich?
A: No, not really. I'm a laid-back dude in reality. My personality is mellow and not in-your-face and not aggressive. When we're playing, I'm not like, "Hellooo, New Jersey!" If it sounds like I'm singing about a ham sandwich when I'm not, then oh well. Maybe I'm singing about a ham sandwich and I just don't know about it.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

run run rudolph

i have been meaning to post about this all week, but i never quite got around to it. on tuesday, i went to see shadow (mike mccready's first band), kim virant, star anna and kristin ward at the tractor tavern in ballard. it was a benefit for treehouse, an organization that provides toys to foster kids in king county.

i'll start at the end. mike played yellow ledbetter again, and asked the crowd to sing along because he said he didn't know the words (haha, does anyone?) and, for some reason, this time i found the singalong even funnier than last time. everyone was singing something different - it was like yellow ledbetter in the round. as a finale, everyone came back on stage to sing run, run rudolph
, hence the title of my post.

it was an early show, which i loved, since i'm like an old lady and i hate staying out late. first, mike came out by himself and played a few songs, one of which was a cover and the other of which was a song he had written. it was pretty good, although i am biased. he also said that pearl jam is currently working on thier new album and that "ed brought in a song that was pretty punk-sounding." what a surprise.. but that makes me happy! new pearl jam!! now play a show in seattle, please!!!!

once again, i found myself standing in front of rick, which i liked since he is so fun to watch. he just seems so.. happy while he plays. like a kid. and he's obviously really good. i'm a dork - at one point, mike stepped out onto the table in front of me to play and he put his foot on my jacket which was laying there and i just thought, "oh my god, mike mccready is standing on my coat. i will never wash it again." hehe. just kidding about that last part, although the whole thing was pretty surreal.

other notes: shadow is really LOUD - even with earplugs, my ears were kind of hurting. i really like kim virant more and more every time i see her. she has a great voice, and she's kind of funny. and the tractor is a cool place to see a show.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

favorite things, part I

oprah has a list of her favorite things. i thought i'd try one.

twilight - a friend gave me this book in october, and i remember calling my mom and saying, "it's a book for teenagers! i'm sure i won't like it, but i have to read it because i don't want to offend her." that was on the friday before i went to LA (to see the swell season), and by monday morning, i had finished twilight and its sequel, new moon. i don't know what it is exactly about these books (there are 4 in the series, but i don't recommend the last one) that make them so hard to put down. they're not always well-written, but the story that stephanie meyer tells is interesting, funny, sad and happy all at the same time. it's like a fairy tale with some fantasy and mythology thrown in. and, really, what woman does not want edward to come sweep her off her feet? i realize he's fictional, but he's ten times better than any man i've met in real life. speaking of, if you by any chance agree with me about the wonder that is this book, you should read midnight sun on stephanie meyer's website. it is twilight told from edward's point of view. sadly, only chapters 1-12 are online, but it is fascinating (seriously. i think i like it more than twilight. almost)

although the movie based on the book is not great, the line i had an adrenaline rush, you can google it has provided me with endless amusement. also - cue teenage girl reaction - rob pattinson, the actor who plays edward, is GORGEOUS. i wonder if he will marry me? hehe.

minus the bear - this is the band that i first saw at bumbershoot and was blown away by. three months later, the love affair has not ended - in fact, it has grown. i even have a minus the bear sticker on my water bottle sharing space with eddie vedder. their new ep of acoustic songs is, as i discover every time i listen to it, beautiful. and i think i have decided that pachuca sunrise has got to be one of the prettiest songs ever. (well, i'm sure that's an exaggeration, but let's go with it anyway)

pearl jam - of course. the highlight of my year was my vacation to boston, and that would not even have happened (i'm sure) if it had not coincided with a pearl jam concert. my next goal is to see them play in europe. it WILL happen... better yet, a joint pearl jam and frames show in dublin. where both bands play two hour sets. please??

eddie vedder - he gets his own category, because seeing him in vancouver last april was one of the best shows i have ever been to. and i just realized that he can be connected to twilight (which i'm sure thrills him), since kristen stewart (bella) was in into the wild. hee!

the swell season - last on this list, but certainly not least. i saw them three times this year, and every time was better than the last. i love it when i can combine a concert with a trip to another city - if seeing pearl jam in boston was the highlight of my year, seeing the swell season in san francisco is probably the second best.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

last stop on the west coast line

(i call this picture "cliff diving in la push." if you understand that, you have probably read new moon)

my parents and i went to friday harbor for thanksgiving. they rented a little house on the coast, and we saw deer and foxes. it was fun and relaxing and i didn't want to come back.

click on the picture below to see the rest.
Friday Harbor

Sunday, November 23, 2008

mike mccready

hehe. look what i'm going to on december 9th. yay!


Patrons Donating a New Toy to Treehouse at the Show Will a Receive Free Drink Voucher

WHAT: Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and his band Shadow '86, a Jimi Hendrix Tribute band, join Kim Virant, Star Anna and Kristen Ward for an evening of music to benefit Treehouse for Kids. Filling an important need in the community, Treehouse for Kids provides vital services for children throughout Washington in foster care.

Volunteers from Treehouse for Kids will be on-hand to collect toys for children of all ages. For a wish list of wanted toys, please visit treehouseforkids.org.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Doors at 6 p.m. and show at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Tractor Tavern
5213 Ballard Ave NW (at the corner of 20th Ave NW and Ballard Ave NW)

TICKETS: Tickets for the event can be purchased for $15 at ticketweb.com. A service fee of $3.43 will be added to each ticket price. Event is for ages 21 and over.

what a difference it would make if we were finally awake

to borrow a word from one of my favorite men, i had a BRILLIANT time seeing minus the bear at the showbox last night. seriously, if you are reading this blog and you have never heard this band, what are you waiting for?? i think you'd like them. i counted at least four people wearing pearl jam hats and/or shirts. me approve.

as we left the showbox, i said that the reason i like minus the bear so much is that many of their songs end in a totally different place than they started - like they become entities of their own, if that makes sense. i really enjoy that unpredictability. last night, i was hard-pressed to think of a better show in my recent memory. (i know, i know, i always say that when i enjoy a concert. sue me).

highly refined pirates, which came out a few years ago i guess, is my favorite minus the bear album and i have to admit that i am not a big fan of planets of ice, their newest cd. the songs just seem, i don't know, bland. kind of lifeless on the album, and it kills me to say that - but live, they absolutely blew me away. a couple of the songs had different arrangements - they released an 8-song acoustic EP on itunes and printed some copies for their tour. it's very good. i especially was impressed with lotus, their first song. it's the last song on planets of ice, and it sounds like three songs rolled into one, but somehow it works. and to quote glen hansard again, it is brilliant. i am always super-impressed when a band can take songs that i don't like on CD and make me LOVE (not just like, even) them live.

plus i would be remiss if i did not mention the incredibly awesome drummer. i had to crane my neck to watch him, but it was well worth it. the way his sticks fly through the air is almost mind-boggling.

last night was the end of their tour, and jake snider must have mentioned about 4 times how happy they were to be playing in seattle (they're from seattle - a fact which endears them to me even more). i'm sure that part of them saying that was to appease the crowd, but it's always nice to hear that bands like playing in this city that i have come to love. (unlike, ahem, some bands who might very well enjoy playing in seattle but haven't done it in about 4 years. seriously, would it kill them to play a show within driving distance? the gorge doesn't count).

pachuca sunrise


Saturday, November 15, 2008

the walkmen

another album i have found myself obsessed with lately is you and me by the walkmen. i saw them at bumbershoot in august, and enjoyed their set, but had honestly forgotten about them until i heard a song by them on KEXP.

i love the singer's (whose first name is hamilton, like my last name. ha) voice. and i always like when i find bands that have big back catalogues that i can discover. it's fun. and that's all i have to say about that.

next week will be awesome. on thursday, a bunch of us from work are going to see the midnight premiere of twilight (and i'm going to go to work the next day, which will be it's own kind of excitement, i'm sure). on friday, my mom and dad are coming to visit, and then on saturday, kristine and i are going to see minus the bear at the showbox!! i have been looking forward to that since september.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

lovesick vampires - or, kings of leon

so, i recently got kings of leon's newest cd, and i think i am in love with a new band. again. i don't know why i never paid attention to this group before now, but ah well, at least i found them. and this might be my new favorite video on youtube. who IS that awesome tambourine player?? :) every band should have one of those. (i think that it's funny how most of the bands i like are somehow connected to pearl jam).

i was reading a little bit on their website and i'm sure that my twilight-obsessed friends will be interested to hear that closer, the first track on the album, is - honest to god - about a lovesick vampire. 2000 years of chasing has taken it's toll. ha. could be from edward's perspective, no?? (kristine, you were right, everything i think about somehow relates to twilight. i am very sick).

cold desert is my favorite song on their new album. i have been listening to it over and over this past week, so much that it'll probably quickly become a song i skip over (or, maybe it won't. we'll see), and it occurs to me, seeing them play it live, that it could easily become one of those cheesy power-ballad love songs, but i can't resist caleb's voice or that intoxicating bass. LOVE.

i REALLY REALLY regret not going to see them when they were in seattle in september. looking at their tour schedule, it doesn't look like they'll be anywhere near here anytime soon:(

Sunday, November 9, 2008

it seems that you live in someone else's dream

death cab for cutie!

wow, ben got a haircut, i think. i liked the way he looked before. he looks.. less nerdy now, i suppose. but that's what i liked about him before. he looks a little too much like a model in this video and it's creeping me out. but this is one of the only songs i like from their new album, so here it is.

i spent a good part of the afternoon today looking for an mp3 player to replace the one that got wet when my water bottle leaked the other day. i hate buying stuff like that because sales people intimidate me and i usually end up buying more than what i want and then feeling bad about it afterward. one of the salesmen at best buy was babbling on to me about ipods and bluetooth until i looked at him and said, "i have no clue what you're talking about." and then he went on about video games for about 5 minutes and i didn't want to interrupt him and tell him that i STILL had no idea what he was going on about.

but i managed to get something and i'm looking forward to being able to listen to music on the bus tomorrow morning. the first thing that i downloaded was a bunch of ray lamontagne songs because i have discovered a fondness for him. and i thought that it was awesome when i read that he's from maine. ha! we already have something in common. i also am completely IN LOVE with the new kings of leon album. wow! i love the singer's voice, the music.. everything about this band. listening to them almost makes me feel the way i felt when i first heard pearl jam. they're THAT good. wow. listen to cold desert. that song is completely owning my world right now.

pearl jam's newest newsletter has a look-a-like contest. you're supposed to dress up the way that one of the members looked in the early 90s. i'm tempted to try to be jeff. not that i'd win or anything, but i think it might be fun to try to find some wacky hats and crazy outfits to wear. i bet i could do it.

oh! speaking of fashion, i saw the cutest shirt in the mall today that i think i want to buy. it said, i'm a caffeine craving, flannel wearing, raindrop dodging seattle girl. do i look like i used to be in a grunge band? LOVE.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

i love seattle

from an article on komotv.com:

A crowd spilled into the streets near the Pike Place Market and on Capitol Hill Tuesday night. Perfect strangers were hugging and giving high-fives. Fireworks were going off, and people were crowd surfing.

But police say the scene was very peaceful, and when the party began to wane, people grabbed brooms and starting sweeping up the mess, with officers thanking them as they drove through.

how civilized.

guess you don't want me to repeat it

well, my day sucked. my water bottle somehow leaked in my bag and now my ipod is very unhappy about floating in an inch of water for who knows how long. who would guess that ipods don't like water?!? how am i supposed to survive my morning bus rides without the frames or pearl jam?!?? someone at work told me i let it air-dry for a couple of days and it'll magically start working again. i'm not going to hold my breath, though.

plus, today was parent-teacher conference day (as is tomorrow). i enjoy those, for the most part, they're just really draining for someone like me who is not very good at talking. i don't like to talk about work on here much because that's something i like to (theoretically) leave behind at 5:30, but today i didn't have my ipod to calm me down on the bus ride home and that's thrown off my entire night i think.

this is another thing that sucks: ray lamontagne is playing in seattle on sunday and i didn't buy tickets and now the show is sold out. i do that a lot. i think of a show i want to go to but not enough to buy tickets to right away, and then i just forget and forget about it and when i finally remember, tickets are sold out. i'm really irresponsible, i think sometimes. this video is awesome:

i love his voice, and this song just seems to fit with the weather and my mood tonight. much as i love this time of year, i also hate it. it gets dark so early, and it seems like my bus has been late every night this week. and i don't even have my freaking ipod to entertain me. and i can't read my book because it's dark.

2 weeks till twilight and minus the bear! not that those two things have anything at all to do with each other - i'm just excited about both. in fact, i think i'll go to bed and read twilight right now. that sounds like fun.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

i fell into a burning ring of fire

..or a happy days rerun.

last night at the showbox was.. different. i was wondering how all the opening bands were going to fit into the show without it running four hours long, but the show was structured kind of like a musical revue, which was interesting. first, vince mira came out and played a couple of songs, and then a duo made up of a man and woman named the antiques came on. the guys behind me were joking that they looked like the white stripes (the man did resemble jack white in passing, i suppose) and that they were going to say, "our first song is called seven nation army." ha. they were alright.

then stone gossard and his "hank williams khoir" (which i guess consists of a female singer and vince mira's backing band?) did some songs. for some reason, it always cracks me up when i see a member of pearl jam on stage in something other than pearl jam. especially here. for the last song, he played 1999. party over, whoops, out of time/tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999. that alone may have been worth the price of admission.

(excuse my crappy picture. but it's stone!)

one of the last bands to come out was called the dusty 45's. they played some songs, some of which were alright, some of which were a touch annoying. i think the singer described them as "honkytonk." uh, alrighty. however, for the grand finale, the singer nodded to some woman in front of me and she lit his trumpet on fire. he played the end of the song - with his trumpet blazing - standing on top of the stand-up bass. it was cool, but i was a little bit afraid that he would fall and set the stage on fire. that would have been exciting, i suppose, but nothing i really wanted to see.

i enjoyed vince mira. he, if you don't know, is a kid (16? 17? something like that) who sounds uncannily similar to johnny cash. he got his start playing around pike place market, and it was pretty impressive that the showbox was almost full for him last night. i'm no johnny cash fan, but, judging from the women down front who were screaming like they were on the ed sullivan show or something, he must be alright.

i'm a dork

i want this shirt:

in case you can't tell, it's from twilight and underneath the apple, it says "bite me." heh. i wouldn't ever wear it in public, but that's not the point. i'm a 28-year-old teenager. no shame in that, right? maybe edward will be my boyfriend.

as if anyone needs further proof that i'm a dork, i now have a ticket to see the midnight premiere of twilight.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

did you fall on your way?

things that i like...

this video

i love his voice. doesn't it look like the veins in his neck are gonna pop out?

speaking of glen hansard, i read about this a few weeks ago:
'Once' musical headed for Broadway
The Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová-starring movie 'Once', which won the Oscar for Best Original Song with 'Falling Slowly' in 2007, is to be made into a Broadway musical.

i'm not actually sure if i like that news or not.. i wouldn't want once the musical to become like rent the movie. now, THERE is a play that i love and have seen 4 times and now have memorized - but, man if the movie doesn't suck. i can see that happening with once. much as i adore it, i think there comes a time to let something go and move on. this smells of people just wanting to make money for money's sake rather than for art's sake. i wonder how much glen and marketa have to do with this... the article goes on to say that the musical will include some songs that didn't make the cut for the movie, which is interesting to say the least.. but i'm still skeptical.

christmas music
now that it's november, i can start playing this, right? i heart my transsiberian orchestra cd. heh.

the cost
as in, the frames album. i have never really cared for it (and probably haven't listened to it all the way thru more than a handful of times), but i've been playing it nonstop for the past week. maybe it's something to do with the weather - some music just seems to go better with cold, rain and wind. and heaven knows we have plenty of that this time of year in seattle.

lazy saturdays
i have spent the day watching the west wing marathon on bravo (i love that show), baking pumpkin bread (trader joe's has a yummy mix. there's nothing better than the smell of bread baking), and reading. i'm just relieved that halloween is over, and enjoying the peace and quiet - much as i love the kids in my class, there definately is such a thing as TOO much candy and i think they passed that point at 10:00 yesterday morning. heavens. my mom will love to read me admit this, but sometimes i think that i'm being punished for whining so much when i was a kid.

i am going to see vince mira tonight at the showbox, so maybe i'll have something more interesting to write about tomorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


i'm sorry, i am completely obsessed with these books. i have crossed over to the dark side, and last night i even had a dream about edward. and i can't believe i admitted that.

if you've never read these books (there are 4 in the series), they are basically about a vampire and a human who fall in love with each other. the books were written for "young adults" (i'm still one right?) and they are by no means great literature (you can easily read 500 pages in two days), but the heart of the books is the love story between edward and bella. and it's so great because it's unconditional; they'll do anything for each other. they sacrifice everything to be together, but somehow it is worth it. i don't think anything close to that exists in real life (or at least, not in my life), but it's fun to read about and let yourself be immersed in for hours at a time.

what woman, no matter her age, wouldn't want a boyfriend who opens doors for her, writes songs for her, sings her to sleep, and generally goes out of his way to protect her while asking for nothing in return (seriously, nothing). not to mention kills vampires who threaten her and flies into her bedroom window to watch her sleep.

anyway.. this video is hilarious. it's an interview with the actors who play edward and bella, and i guess that they are being asked about the kissing scenes (it's an mtv interview, after all), and the guy who plays edward says "there's always the elephant in the room of i want to kill her. all the time." haha. i do think there is a point when he gets past that feeling, robert.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i pledge my grievance to the flag...

everyone should go to REM's website to watch the documentary about pearl jam's vote for change tour in 2004. (why that is on REM's site instead of pearl jam's, i don't really understand). it's long -over an hour - but pretty interesting. there are a couple of really cool moments - masters of war on letterman (i don't think i had ever actually seen that before), all along the watchtower with neil young, and eddie voting (!!). hehe. i really want to see pearl jam again now.

speaking of voting, my ballot came last week (i'm a permanent absentee voter). this will be the third time i've voted for a president, and hopefully, the first time the person i vote for will actually win.

also speaking of pearl jam, i must note that eight years ago tonight (holy moly, that seems like a long time ago), i was in las vegas seeing their tenth anniversary show. if you are reading my blog, you most likely know me and know that PJ is a huge part of my life - i have spent unknown sums of money on them (but wouldn't want a cent of it back), and have traveled around the country to see them and had some memorable experiences along the way. even though i don't listen to them every day - sometimes i go months without listening to a pearl jam album - when i do finally hear a song like given to fly, it feels a little bit like meeting an old friend again. anyway.

.. but watch the video. it's cool.

*edit: whoops, i guess they took it down. maybe the tenclub is planning to release it as a DVD?

Monday, October 20, 2008

it's okay, you don't have to run and hide away

here's a completely pointless post...

coming home on the bus tonight, my ipod decided to play a pearl jam show from 2006, and daughter/it's ok came on, and on a dreary, cold evening this song made me remember one reason why i love this band so much:

speaking of pearl jam, it was so helpful that their fan club sent an email about the tom morello/mike mccready/stone gossard show after tickets had already gone on sale and sold out. rock on. of course, if i hadn't deleted my email from the showbox announcing the show i might possibly have a ticket now, so i should probably shut up. but i hate going out on week nights, so it's all for the best i suppose. i can be zen about it.

the other day, carrie brownstein (who has an awesome blog at NPR's website, but i'm too lazy right now to look up the link) made a post about cassette tapes, and i was surprised to find that i still have some - mostly pearl jam shows. i also found my tape of pearl jam's radio show, self pollution radio, in 1995 (?). so, then, of course, i started listening to it and got hit by a wave of nostalgia when i remembered staying up late the night when it was on. since i was in maine and the show was live from the west coast, i was up until 2 or 3 in the morning, keeping the radio low so that my parents wouldn't hear. to this day, every time i hear corduroy, i imagine hearing "WKIT" (the name of the radio station in bangor) in the middle, because during the show, they cut into that song with their station name.

i can also remember listening to the 2 dave grohl songs - exhausted and gas chamber - that eddie played over and over. i remember that he said those songs make him want to take his car over a cliff. heh. in a good way, i suppose. oh - i also remember that krist novoselic read a chapter from a book that he was writing and i fell asleep listening to it almost every night for a few weeks (i was a pretty big nirvana fan for a while after in utero came out).

maybe i'll just go listen to the entire tape again. ha. sounds like a fun evening.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

(more) things that make me happy

kristine and i went to one of my favorite places in seattle, discovery park, today. the weather was perfect for walking in the woods - it was a great fall morning; not freezing cold, but there was definately a chill in the air. we walked in the woods to the beach and then out to the lighthouse. in the afternoon, we went to another of my favorite places in seattle - easy street records. i restrained myself and bought only 3 used cd's, which is pretty impressive for me.

i love this time of year for lots of reasons: i love wearing comfy sweaters and corduroy pants, i love walking through leaves, i love the fact that days are shorter, i love halloween movies and tv shows, i love pumpkin spice lattes at starbucks (one of my many weaknesses), i love the (all too rare, here) sunny, chilly days and i even love (well, okay, like) the rain.

something that makes me unhappy, however, is the fact that the red sox lost tonight and won't be in the world series. no good! i even missed most of the amazing race so that i could watch what i hoped would be their big comeback. i am going to cry now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

things that make me happy...

i just bought a ticket to see this nov. 1 at the showbox:

Country music's newest young star's rise to fame has captivated America. Born in Los Angles, California and raised in San Antonio, Texas the young singer/songwriter Vince Mira, was discovered by entertainment producer Chris Snell (owner of Seattle night club, Can Can) while playing for tips in Seattle's Pike Place Market. He is now on his way to becoming a household name. His first album was produced by John Carter Cash (Johnny Cash and June Carter's only son) and recorded at the Cash Cabin (built by Johnny Cash) in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to the completion of recording "Cash Cabin Sessions" the Vince Mira buzz began to spread followed by a media frenzy. First featured on KOMO News in Seattle, Washington, Good Morning America picked up the story immediately... 2 weeks later Vince captured the nation with a breathtaking live performance in front of over 5 million viewers. Subsequently, the Ellen DeGeneres Show aired his Good Morning America clip where Ellen personally invited Vince to the Ellen Show during their national broadcast the same day... two weeks later Vince received a standing ovation on the show while performing in front of millions of viewers during yet another outstanding live performance. Mr. Mira's other television appearances include Northwest Afternoon and Univision; as well as features in print media outlets such as Seattle Sound Magazine, Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, Seattle Weekly, and many others. He recently recorded with Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam for Stone's upcoming "Hank Williams Tribute" CD. Mr. Mira's "Cash Cabin Sessions" CD release was February 26, 2008 at the Tripledoor Theatre where he performed two shows to sold out audiences with his band The Roy Kay Trio.

this kid is awesome. i first saw him last summer at the pike place market 100th birthday celebration, and then at bumbershoot this summer. plus, how can i resist the pearl jam connection? (no matter how tenuous)

this song by iron and wine. i don't own any albums by him, but he opened for the swell season in LA and this song was his first. it is one of those songs that you don't want to have end.

the trailer for twilight. i cannot believe that the first movie i'm considering going to at midnight on opening night is based on a book written for teenagers.

the fact that tomorrow is friday!!

things that make me sad...

the fact that i missed this. (now tickets are long gone of course) how i can miss an email from the showbox that screams "pearl jam guitarist!!" is beyond me. i did, though. the email is in my trash folder, although i don't remember ever seeing it..

Showbox presents
Get Out The Vote Rally & Concert
Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman
with Mike McCready and Shadow '86, Stone Gossard's Hank Williams Khoir, and Boots Riley (of The Coup)

i have a dentist appointment on saturday. boo!
i'm going to cry now...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

you've gotta hear this band, they'll change your life

a friend asked me to list my favorite albums for her. first, a disclaimer: the 'classics' are woefully absent from my CD collection. so instead of trying to pretend i'm something i'm not, i'm listing the albums that *i* love, not necessarily the ones that any rock fan should own - because i, most likely *do not* own those. make sense? they're in no particular order - except for the first 2. i also tried to pick only one album per band, although i broke that rule a few times.

1. a tie: no code by pearl jam and yield by pearl jam.
i cannot choose between these two. they both changed the way i listen to music.

2. dance the devil by the frames. also: for the birds

life's rich pageant (REM)

achtung baby (u2)

in utero (nirvana)

siamese dream (smashing pumpkins)

daydream nation (sonic youth)

tommy (the who)

RENT soundtrack

from the choirgirl hotel (tori amos)

new adventures in hi-fi (REM)

all hands on the bad one (sleater kinney)

august and everything after (counting crowes)

the photo album (death cab for cutie)

the color and the shape (foo fighters)

the swell season. only because i love glen hansard :)

those are the ones that come to mind first. i'm sure i'll keep adding to this list.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

we have all the time in the world to get it right

the swell season, los angeles, october 4, 2008

the swell season concert was AMAZING. kristine and i got to the greek theatre (after a LONG but fun walk from our hotel in hollywood) just in time to buy t-shirts and get to our (second row!) seats for iron and wine. i got a shirt and colm's new cd, the hare's corner (which i highly recommend by the way. i'm listening to it now. perfect music for cold, windy nights when all you want to do is cuddle in your pajamas and read a good book). so here are some of my personal highlights and pictures (which will, as usual, probably end up not so much "highlights" as "a complete rundown of what megan remembers from the show." sorry. i'm not good at editing my thoughts)

into the mystic glen and marketa came out at exactly 8:50. (before i continue, i will note for the record that i feel stupid calling them by thier first names but what else should i call them?) i know because i looked at my watch right before that and gauged that i had enough time to go to the bathroom and make it back before the show started. i got out of my seat and started walking out when suddenly the lights dimmed and glen started singing. i love this song - everything about it; the joy it seems to bring to them to play it, the way their voices harmonize, i want to rock your gypsy soul... in the middle of the song, i'm pretty sure that someone yelled, "kiss her," and i'm equally sure that a few seconds later, glen smiled and said, "i think i just got what you said." after the song, someone yelled, "you look beautiful marketa and glen." and glen smiled again, and said "you're lucky you included glen in that." hehe. he never fails to entertain me.

the moon this song, along with sleeping, is my favorite song on the swell season. i love the way it starts out so quietly and ends up in another dimension with everyone on stage playing so hard that you wonder if the world is about to end. i think that it's easy to see that these musicians have become a band in every sense of the word. in fact, glen himself said that the frames had been at the point where they felt like they needed to take a break and try something else. and now what has happened? the swell season are touring, but the frames have become the band that are playing with them, so it's almost like the frames have just expanded to include marketa. on one hand, i'm kind of sad about that because even though i LOVE the swell season and adore just about anything glen hansard would want to do, the frames are one of my favorite bands and the thought of never seeing another FRAMES concert is a bit disconcerting... on to happier thoughts..

astral weeks my mental setlist is not in any order here, as this came later in the show. but, this song.. what can i say? i've seen videos and heard recordings of glen playing it, but i think that until you witness it in person you never quite believe the intensity that one human being can have. i've been to a fair amount of concerts, and i don't think that i've ever - excluding pearl jam, because i can never objectively consider them - seen another performer play his guitar like that. WOW. and when he sang, "will you kiss my eyes?" someone from the audience yelled, "yes!" (of course) quite enthusiastically, and glen smiled.

say it to me now glen came out onto the edge of the stage with no amplification for this one. i know that he does that a lot, but it is quite one thing to be in the 8th row during that song and another to be literally right underneath him. i snapped a picture and thought i might die.

new songs! after seeing glen and marketa in april, i wrote about how much i LOVE the new song she sings. time hasn't changed that. it's still beautiful. and i especially love the ending, when the song gradually fades until everyone on stage is singing, "always on my mind" in perfect harmony. gorgeous. another new song is called low rising, and i don't really know how to describe it except to say that i am falling in love with the sound of glen's guitar and marketa's piano. plus, as a girl particularly, i must confess an unexplainable love for the lyrics ("i want to drink with you all night until we both fall down") and the way that glen's voice has a teasing smile in it. sigh.. i just watched a video of that song on youtube so that i could get the lyrics right, and now it will be in my head all evening.

the hill this song by marketa opened the first encore. this is the song she sings in once when she and glen's character are alone in the recording studio. i never really thought much about this song on the album, but it really fit in a live setting. marketa really does have a beautiful voice and it is awesome to see her confident enough to take the stage by herself. not that i know much about the technical side of music, but i love watching her play piano during songs like when your mind's made up and fitzcarraldo.

mary poppins during the month they were in LA for the oscars, glen became friends with the man who wrote the music for mary poppins. he came out and played piano on that song-that-is-impossible-to-pronounce. i include it in my highlight list because it was absolutely awesome to watch how the rest of the band looked while they were playing with this man. it was like a mixture of "holy cow!" and "am i gonna get caught for sneaking into a party i wasn't invited to?" i can relate to that feeling..

my girl during the second to last song (fitzcarraldo), glen broke a string on his guitar, and while he was trying to fix it, someone else in the band started playing a bit of my girl. a guy who was sitting a few rows from me took out his harmonica and started playing along, and eventually glen and the audience joined in. it was just a great moment of audience-performer interaction.

my friend kristine commented that glen would not be out of place on a comedy stage. somewhere around here, he started talking about how sorry he was for the people that had listened to their soundcheck (don't be sorry you idiot. if i hadn't wanted to do all i could during my weekend in LA, i probably would have been camped out there listening) because they had played some bad, easy-listening songs from the 80s. then he started singing, "sailing, take me away..." haha. it was funny at the time.

people all get ready if there had to be a last song, this was a perfect one. it's almost unbearable when the entire audience sings along. this is one of those songs that i can believe in.
and we have all the time in the world to get it right
to get it right
and we have all the love in the world to set alight
to set alight
just look up

*sigh..*i take pen and paper with me to every pearl jam/swell season/frames show i go to, but not once have i remembered to take them out. i try to write things down when i get home, but we had such an ordeal getting a cab (seriously, i had no idea it could be that difficult to get ahold of a taxi company in a big city on a saturday night) that i crawled into bed as soon as we got back to our hotel. maybe i'll remember more later... all i know is that, during the third song (the moon), i turned to kristine and unequivocally said that this was one of the 5 best concerts i've ever seen.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

5 days

until i will be in LA seeing the swell season. i'm excited, but that goes without saying. i've been following their setlists as closely as i can and it seems like they're mixing stuff up a little bit more and playing a few more frames songs every night. i think my chances of seeing red chord, people all get ready and, perhaps, 7 day mile (i can hope, right?) have just increased.

since the swell season are touring (i do this when pearl jam and the frames are touring, too), one of my daily routines is to look online for reviews/videos/pictures of their shows. this video is, i think, from one of their concerts in the czech republic this summer, and it is one of my favorite frames songs.

i met some people from work today for lunch and a movie at SIFF (seattle international film festival) cinema, and, as i walked through the seattle center on a gorgeous fall day, i thought about how much i love this time of year. the air was warm but not hot and it had that edge of crispness to it. cool enough for a sweater but still sunny enough for sunglasses. in my last post, i wondered what it was about certain bands/songs that make my heart stop and that i keep wanting to go back to over and over until i know them so well that i can close my eyes and sing along without concentrating or missing a beat. well, i think that it is close to the feeling i had walking outside today. for a while, everything is alright and all you want to do is wrap yourself up in life.

i also accomplished one of my goals for the weekend today - buying the new blitzen trapper album. i'm in the middle of listening to it right now, so i can't write a review yet, but so far i am really liking it. they played a bunch of the new songs at bumbershoot, and i'm actually glad i have heard most of the songs live before hearing the album. buy it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

you're every now and then on my mind

i'm going to LA in 13 days to see the swell season! the way it usually goes when i'm traveling to see a concert: i get excited when (usually months ahead of time) i buy the tickets, my interest wanes in the ensuing weeks, and i start to get giddy with anticipation again about two weeks (give or take a few days) before the show. or, in the swell season's case, when they start their fall tour. i swear, the frames are one of my favorite bands and i CANNOT WAIT for a new album from them , but the news that glen and marketa are recording together is incredibly awesome. after watching the videos on youtube from their shows in new york, boston and toronto, i have again remembered that magic that they have on stage together. these pictures are especially awesome.

as is this video of a new song from a concert in northampton, ma last month:

i almost want to watch once again. who knew that going to see that film at the seattle film festival in 07 would start such a wonderful love affair with the frames/swell season (swell frames, perhaps?) out of all the music that we hear every day, what is it about certain bands that stops you dead in your tracks?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

hey, let's cross the sea and get some culture

to the person that took my ring from the bathroom at the university village on friday: you suck. you could have turned it into lost and found, but i guess you decided to keep something that didn't belong to you. not that you'll ever read this. but still.

here's a cool video:

and this completes the trifecta of awesomest bands that megan saw at bumbershoot. it is the whigs performing on letterman. i had heard a few things about this band, but had never listened to their music and so decided to check them out. i found a spot down near the front of the stage. one of the guys in the band brought someone a cup of beer before the show and the stage manager (i don't know what you call those people. roadies? person who stands around pretending they're important?) took her beer and poured it into a starbucks cup and handed it back to her with the lid on it. so i spent the first song or two contemplating the nastiness of drinking beer through the hole on the top of that lid. yuck.

once i was able to get into the music, i really enjoyed myself. the whigs are, i suppose, nothing terribly original, although i am no longer sure that's a bad thing to say about a band. after their performance, i walked over to the cd-buying tent, and i noticed that rolling stone had apparently written that they are "a band to watch." whatever that means. i got their record, mission control, the other weekend at easy street (in a particularly good shopping trip - i found a used copy of the gutter twins, a used copy of no code to replace the one that was eaten by my pearl jam eating monster, blitzen trapper, and two minus the bear cd's) and i have since listened to it over 5 times. which is a lot for me, because, although i adore music, i rarely have the attention span these days to sit through an entire record.

i love the way the singer (whose name, by the way, is parker. i love when singers in rock bands have preppy-sounding names. hamilton from the walkmen is another one) jumps around while he's playing. i was telling someone the other day about my new fascination with watching singer's feet. i think that it started with glen hansard, because his foot stomping is such an integral part of the frames/swell season (i give up.. i'm just going to call them the frames season from now on).

speaking of the frames season (ha! it has a ring to it), i will be seeing them in 20 days! yippee! some lady emailed me today to ask if i thought the swell season would be appropriate for a 10 year old. first of all, i love it when someone emails me because it means that someone, somewhere is reading what i write. second of all, her email got me excited about my upcoming concert adventure. third of all, i think she's a very cool mother for taking her child to see glen and marketa.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

red wine with every meal

god, i love this song:

absinthe party at the fly honey warehouse

after a careful scientific study, i believe this is the best video of this song on youtube.

i have officially become obsessed with minus the bear. i bought two of their albums at easy street yesterday - their newest, planet of ice and also highly refined pirates, which i think is their first one (?) i have been listening to them nonstop since. i am slightly in love.

hey let's cross the sea
and get some culture.
red wine with every meal
and absinthe after dinner.
we'd look good side by side.
walking back to the hotel.

over the past week, i've been reading some reviews and interviews with the band, and over and over again, they are referred to as "prog rock." that didn't mean anything to me - well that's not true; for some reason, that word made me think of danzig and their song mother mother that i hated when i was in high school - until i googled it and found that "prog" is short for "progressive." ah, that makes a little more sense. in fact, there was one song at bumbershoot - that i now know is called thanks for the killer game of crisco twister - where i thought the drummer was messing up the beat and playing faster than the rest of the group, but after a few moments i decided that he was doing that on purpose. i've also seen them described as "math rock," which also means nothing to me, but i guess may have to do with the fact that they use a keyboard and that their songs do not necessarily follow a conventional structure. which is what i find interesting.

i also find it interesting that many of jake snider's lyrics are about 1) women and 2) drinking. but they're also really endearing (see above) so i can't hold that against him.

also: i booked a hotel room for LA. i'm excited to see glen and marketa again! yay! 27 days. yes, i'm counting.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

minus the bear, or let's drink all night.

the best completely new-to-me band that i saw at bumbershoot was definitely minus the bear. i don't know how i have never heard of them before (maybe i've been living under a rock?), but i will definitely remedy that quickly.

with most of my favorite bands, love has been instantaneous. i can remember seeing pearl jam on the 92 mtv music awards and feeling the need to immediately run out and buy ten. likewise, i bought all of the frames albums after the first time i saw them live. there is something about seeing some bands that can be magical - it's like all the stars collide, and for an hour or so, everything in the world is perfect. does that make sense to anyone?

i don't think it's exaggerating to say that that's the feeling i felt when i saw this band close bumbershoot on monday. i judge concerts primarily based on the question of whether or not i am able to enjoy the music and forget about all my other worries. after about the third song or so by minus the bear, i was definitely in that state of mind. plus, there is something awesome about hearing live music outside - i think that the notes float through the air and gain even more power before they hit your ears.

watch the drummer during this video. there's a moment at about 2:00 that i think is close to complete sonic perfection, and almost makes me want to cry. yeah, jake snider's voice is not too terribly different from most other rock singers, and i can't tell what the heck he's singing about (something about a girl with gorgeous hands smoking a cigarette, i think), but i guess i have a weakness for this kind of music. and the lead guitarist is wonderful. i am discovering more and more that i love watching musicians perform. i used to be happy just standing in the back where i couldn't see anything (and i still am! i'd stand on the ceiling with my eyes closed for pearl jam, for instance), but i think it's since i moved to seattle and got used to seeing shows at small clubs that i really developed this fascination with watching bands up close. and no matter how many years i live here or how many times i go to bumbershoot, i will never get tired of seeing a show at night under the space needle.

they're playing november 22 at the showbox. yipee!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

i still dream of running careless through the snow..

i think that what i am loving most about blitzen trapper is that they cannot be categorized. are they country? are they rock? are they that word that i hate, "alt-country"? garage rock? experimental? who knows, and does it even really matter? i think the reason i can't stand to listen to the radio (KEXP excluded, for the most part) is that so many of the songs sound alike. i'm not interested in hearing the 90s again ad nauseum.

this band has a crazy number of musicians. i think i counted 3 guitarists and at least two keyboard players. and at the risk of sounding like a fan girl (which i'm not! i swear!) i think i am a little bit in love with the lead singer. i can't believe i just wrote that...

they released their first few albums independently, and then got signed by sub pop (hence their appearance at the 20th anniversary festival), and their new album will be out later this month. i think that the songs that they said were new ones sounded a little bit mellower and less obviously rock oriented. one of the songs on the album, furr, is on the free compilation sub pop gave out for their birthday.

oh, and they're from portland. i hope they come back here soon. aside from great music, they were a whole lot of fun to watch. a lot of their songs were suited to clapping along (but NOT in an annoying way), and don't you just have to love a guitar player who plays an enthusiastic cow bell for one of the songs? after seeing them in july, i put their last album, wild mountain nation, on my ipod and i listen to it most days on my way to work, and the songs can't help but put a smile on my face. i don't know if it's the singer's voice, or the lyrics, or the music itself - or probably a combination of all three..

wild mountain nation. they are, literally, a wall of guitars. awesome. and i love the singer's hand motions. does the beginning of this song make anyone else want to sing, signs, signs everywhere there's signs.... what song is that even from??

country caravan.

p.s... here are my bumbershoot pictures. you can tell what bands i liked because i have the most pictures of them (minus the bear, the whigs, tapes n tapes). i would have more of blitzen trapper, but my camera batteries died. i will never buy walgreens brand again.

Monday, September 1, 2008

this band will change your life x2

i will upload all my pictures of bumbershoot (and i have a lot! i think i have found a new hobby - taking concert pictures. i may suck at it, but hey.. it's fun) during the week, but for now suffice it to say that i have had the best weekend in a long time. i have been going to bumbershoot since i moved to washington in 2002, and i can never remember seeing so many good bands. usually, i may see one or two that blow me away, but this year every single group that i saw was incredible! (that's due to the fact that i only went to see bands i was interested in, of course, but it's also owing to the line up bumbershoot put together this year)

today was perhaps the best. i started out with vince mira, a kid (i think he's a teenager?) who sounds exactly like johnny cash. i mean EXACTLY. i saw him last year at the pike place market 100th anniversary, and i was sure to get to bumbershoot by noon so that i could check him out today.

next up was mark pickeral and his praying hands who i absolutely adored. the guidebook thingy described him as "alt country." hmm.. that description seems to be thrown around a lot. but, whatever, he was great.

then i pretty much stuck to the stage under the space needle, which was clearly the best stage of the weekend (all of my favorite bands, with the exception of band of horses, were on the stage). first was blitzen trapper, who i am completely in love with. last month, i said that they were my favorite group at the sub pop anniversary festival, and today they were ten times better than they were then. seriously, i can't say enough about them. you know how every once in a while you see a band who completely and utterly floors you and makes you want to go home and buy all their albums and see all the shows that you can? this was that band.

another one who i loved today was john vanderslice. i've heard him before, but never gotten a chance to see him live. he was really great, and had some excellent banter with the crowd about the restaraunt at the top of the space needle. i've heard that it sucks and charges 11 dollars for a hamburger. i think someone told him that it was called denney's. ha. that would rock, actually.

i made the decision to forego seeing death cab on the mainstage - actually not a hard decision; although i loved them at one time, their last two albums (with the exceptions of 2 songs - marching bands of manhattan and cath) have left me feeling like something is missing. incidentally, once their show started, i noticed an absence of the annoying teenagers (not that all teenagers are annoying, but, i have to say, many are) that had been, well, annoying me all day. i don't know if that is some kind of remark about death cab, but there you go.

anyway, instead of seeing them, i went to see minus the bear, and it turns out that was by far the best choice i could have made. WOW. i've never had a chance to see them live before, and i was completely mesmerized. from the second they took the stage to the second they left, i was utterly transfixed. there are very few bands in the world who are so good that they can make me cry (a cookie for you if you can guess who two of them are), but minus the bear surpisingly did just that. i cannot believe i have wasted my time not being a fan of them before, a situation that i will remedy as soon as possible. it was kind of funny to watch some stupid kid try to crowd surf only to fall flat on his butt when no one wanted to play along. ha.

a note: iced coconut mochas from dillentante chocolate (i think i spelled that right) are really, really good. yum. so good that i got one both sunday and monday mornings. mmmm...

sigh. back to real life. why can't this be real life?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

you've got to hear this band, they'll change your life

sometimes, i think music can do just that. at least for a little while.

just a quick post to say that i apologize for complaining a few weeks ago about how there is no new music that i like. the problem is mine for not taking the time to seek out more new-to-me bands, because i have already seen so many good performances at bumbershoot (and i still have a full day tomorrow!). in no real order, we have: band of horses, nada surf, the walkmen (i will note that i think it's hilarious that their lead singer's first name is the same as my last name), tapes n' tapes (WOW. they blew me away), the whigs (likewise. WOW. they won me over once and for all with their cover of the kids are alright. i do love a song i can sing along with), and the blakes (although i liked them better last year when they were on an outdoor stage and had an awesomely enthusiastic tambourine player). i had doubts about seeing band of horses in this setting (they were playing on the mainstage), but they were so great that i remember thinking during their set that it was the best mainstage performance i've seen since wilco/REM four years (i think) ago. not only is ben's voice suited for the outdoors during sunset, but who can help but love a singer who yells "woooo!" after every song and calls the audience "dudes"? i've seen them five times now, and i think every time is better than the last. tapes n' tapes (who were the last band i saw tonight) had me leaving the seattle center on an absolute high, loving life and feeling like i don't have a care in the world. they kind of reminded me of the frames in a way, not so much because they sound alike but because the songs just build and build until the musicians are on stage going insane and i just want to close my eyes and enjoy it. and how have i not heard the whigs before? they were INCREDIBLE. and they're from athens, georgia, like my beloved REM.

i am already dreading going back to work tuesday. ugh. i love bumbershoot, but it's always kind of sad when it's over. oh... i had time today to browse flatstock, the poster exhibition, and i am salivating over a swell season poster. it is a deep orange (it would match my PJ LA 2006 one!) with a big swan in the middle and the words "swell season north american tour 2008" on it. it's only 20 dollars, but i'm sure that if i got it, i would do what i have done for all my PJ posters, which is order a custom frame for it which ends up costing more than the poster itself. so i don't really need it. except for if i do, in a moment of weakness, tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

was it a box or a bag?

FINALLY!!! i have something exciting to write about! (well, for me anyway, no guarantees it'll excite you!)

tonight, i left work early to go see mike mccready and company (aka rick and chris friel, with a few other singers thrown in to the mix) at the tractor tavern in ballard (can i see a show there every week? i love the cowboy boots hanging from the ceiling). if you know me or have been reading my blog, you will no doubt understand why i was tickled pink by mike's introduction of the last song: it was one that he wrote before his "other band" (aka pearl jam) started to happen, and he hoped that we "know the lyrics, because i sure as hell don't." as soon as he said that, i knew that it had to be yellow ledbetter (hence the title of this post). haha! seeing mike play that song while an audience tries in vain to sing along (who the heck knows what ed is mumbling? even he doesn't always know i think!) has got to be one of the highlights of my summer.

the show started out with a little acoustic set: mike did a couple songs, kim virant (who has an amazing voice) did a couple songs, and tim de julio sang one too. kim also sang on little wing during the hendrix portion of the set. (as she did at the flight to mars benefit in may).

the fact that i was literally touching the stage is one of the best moments in my life as a pearl jam fan, as is the fact that i got a guitar pic from mike (i know he hands them out like candy, but it still made me happy).

there is something really special about watching mike play guitar. it's almost like watching a private moment: he puts his head back, closes his eyes, and you can literally hear the emotion flow out of his fingers. i don't think i ever fully appreciated him until recently. plus, he seems like such a nice guy. he came out before the show, thanking people for coming, posing for pictures and signing things. i also have to mention how awesome chris and rick friel were. i found myself right in front of rick and i had lots of fun watching him play.

as usual, the rest of my pictures are here

Monday, August 25, 2008

hey, don't write yourself off yet

yay! my swell season tickets came today!! i can't wait. god bless ducatking. not only do they not charge half the face value as a "convenience charge," (like, ahem, these people), but they included with the ticket a card to download 25 songs for free. i have to admit that i was a little annoyed at first that i had to drive all the way to the fedex warehoue in south seattle, but i'm over that now.

in honor of glen and marketa, here is a video that i am loving lately:

and play this song, please:

argh. i have to stop myself before i post all of the frames videos i can find on youtube (i've seen them all, i'm sure)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


i find it amusing that someone googled "meeting josh beckett" and found my blog. i guess i've written all those words, although certainly never together. (josh beckett, by the way, is my baseball boyfriend, although he doesn't know it... yet. heh)

anyway... back to your regularly scheduled programming. last night was the last of the four free concerts KEXP has had at the mural ampitheatre. i went to two - rocky votolato last week, and ms. led and goodness this week. due to a very tramautic dentist appointment, i missed most of ms. led's performance, although their last song was really really good, i thought.

but goodness was wonderful. a few entries ago, i wrote about seeing them at the showbox. that was one of the best shows i have seen in a long time (ok, ok, i have a horrible habit of saying that about every concert i see). it was great to not only see them again, but to be so close. *warning: i am not a very good photographer, obviously.

i couldn't really find many goodness videos on youtube, but i did find this one by the rockfords, which includes several members of goodness (including carrie akre, an incredible singer who i can't say enough about). if you have an eagle eye, you might also spot mike mccready (pearl jam).

speaking of mike, on wednesday i have a date with him at the tractor tavern. yay!

Monday, August 11, 2008

when i fall to pieces...

i really LOVE the new kings of leon song they posted. their album comes out 9/23.

that's all.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

my weekend

i went to see goodness at the showbox last night. goodness is a band from the mid-late 90s who i found through carrie akre, who i'm sure i have posted about here before. she is an AMAZING (and that is an understatement after what i witnessed last night) singer who i first heard in 2000 when the rockfords, a band that included mike mccready from pearl jam as well as chris and danny from goodness, released their album (if you go to the link, do yourself a favor and listen to distress. wow). i LOVED that record, and started listening to carrie's solo albums because her voice impressed me so much (there are 3: home, invitation and her newest, last the evening). since moving to washington, i've seen carrie live 4 or 5 times and the rockfords twice.

despite not knowing all of the songs goodness played, they were wonderful. i can't remember the last time i saw a show at the showbox full of such energy from both the band and the audience. every time i've seen carrie live, she does this weird, charming kind of robotic dancing and jumping around the stage. during superwise, the last song of their main set, she told the audience to jump up and down, and by golly, i think that everyone did. the entire band was amazing.. i especially loved watching garth reeves, the guitarist, and fiia mccann, the bassist.

i was right; goodness will be playing at the mural ampitheatre on the 23rd (and it's free!) and then they're going to do another show nov. 22 at the tractor tavern.

there were two opening acts - the first one kind of cracked me up because his name was "buddy." nothing else, just "buddy." despite having my hands on the stage for most of his set, i could hardly hear him through all the chattering in the bar.

the second band definately did not have that problem. their name was, i think i have this right, "my life in black and white." they obviously had a big following (i think they're from portland). i liked them okay, but i kind of hate them for one of their lyrics that is stuck in my head: goodbye, farewell, i'll see you in hell. i don't remember the rest of the song, just those lyrics.

i slept in today until 9:30 (which is really late for me, even on a sunday), had breakfast, read the paper, and decided to go downtown. since they close the streets in pike place market to cars on sundays (as far as i'm concerned, they should do that every day of the week), i ate lunch at a little cafe there and listened to a man outside who was playing bob marley songs. afterwards, i went to a coffee shop and read some more of i capture the castle , a surprisingly good book that is the first novel for our book club at work. a lovely way to end a weekend that has, surprisingly, felt more like fall than summer.

at the moment, i am listening to the free cd subpop gave away at their festival a few weeks ago. it has a bunch of songs from albums that were released this year on it. have i mentioned that i am in love with blitzen trapper? they'll be at bumbershoot september 1. my favorite song on the cd, though, is by the gutter twins, who i sadly (and, again, speaking to my musical ignorance) did not pay much attention to until now. it's made up of greg dulli (afghan whigs) and mark lanegan (screaming trees), the latter of which has got to have one of the most interesting voices in rock music.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

clouds roll by; or, the crazy accordian man

kristine finally (!!!) put her pictures of boston online; she said i could link to them, so here they are.

this picture

makes me think of the crazy accordian man we met while we were sitting outside the T station in cambridge on a sunday night. we had ended up in a discussion about music, and being the person that i am who constantly is trying to convert kristine to a pearl jam nut like myself, i'm sure they were the subject of our conversation, which somehow drifted to bugs , the PJ song that ed plays on accordian. i think that i was first telling her that i read that at one of ed's solo shows someone yelled a request for vitalogy, and ed said something like, "ok, but i need 45 minutes and an accordian." (i have absolutely no idea if that really happened, but i think that it's funny).

i think that it was at this point that the elderly gentleman sitting beside us spoke up. (maybe accordian piqued his curiousity). he became very animated, telling us emphatically that american music is "no good," because it doesn't have any soul (hardly a new idea, and one that, with a few exceptions, i am hard-pressed to argue with). what i liked (and feared, a little) about this man was his passion in trying to win us over to his point of view. kristine asked him where he was from; i forget exactly where - somewhere in eastern europe, i think. he kind of reminded me of my grandfather; he was this very curmudgeonly old man who liked to argue more than anything, i think. he told us we should listen to indian music. i gathered that he didn't like the sound of guitars, and preferred pianos (or accordians i guess. maybe even ukeleles? i should have told him to check out pearl jam). "american music bad."

kristine also has some pictures of the scariest ever holiday inn in mansfield. in a vacation where i found some great deals on priceline, this was by far the most expensive hotel (i use that term loosely) we stayed at. first, we arrived around 4:30 and all i wanted to do was take a shower before the concert, but our room didn't have any toilet paper. that's kind of a necessity no matter who you are. so i called the front desk, and 20 minutes later a maid brought us one (!!) roll. we also happened to be in a wing of the hotel that was i guess under construction -there was plaster falling from the ceiling, and when we finally got back to the room after the show, kristine decided she had to take pictures of the crumbling walls and a random styrofoam cup tied to the ceiling. (it was funny at the time).

we got back after the PJ concert around 1 AM, and i hear kristine say, "uh, megan, there's blood on my sheets." "come again?" "THERE'S BLOOD ON MY SHEETS." we probably should have called the front desk, but didn't, and poor kristine had to sleep on top of the blanket. sorry about that....

i think that my favorite memory of that trip (not counting pearl jam) was the restaraunt we ate at on newbury street. i think it was called joe's diner. i remember that we argued about going there, but i'm sorry, when my watch says it's time for a meal, i need to eat (it's a personality defect, i guess. i blame my parents). again, i don't recall how this joke exactly started, but kristine and i started saying that if she ever ordered a drink in a restaraunt, she would ask for a "pint of whiskey." i told her that i didn't think that would taste very good, and we started laughing and somehow the waiter (who, as an aside, was sort of cute) overheard us and i told him that kristine wanted one (a pint, that is) to give to a small child. crap... i totally messed up the joke, but trust me that it was funny, and thinking about that dinner is making me crack up again.

since i haven't posted about my love glen hansard in a while, here is some goodness from a swell season show the other day in the czech republic.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

no retreat baby, no surrender

(from boston.com)

this is from the opening night of eddie vedder's east coast tour in boston on friday. this picture is currently rocking my computer's desktop. i'm wearing my tour shirt from april today, trying not to think about how much i wish i had been there (i know, i know, i just saw pearl jam a month ago..)

i can't believe it's already august. last night i had an urge to clean my apartment (very out of character for me, sadly). i rearranged the living room (which pretty much means moving the couch around, since that's the only piece of furniture i can move, really), swept, mopped, vaccummed, and thought about tackling my messy cd collection, but decided to save that for another day. i will admit that i did find a bag from easy street with a cd that hadn't been opened since i bought it in june 2006 (the receipt was with it). oops. guess i probably didn't really want that album to begin with.

looking at my unloved (from its appearance) music collection did inspire me, however, to listen to an album i haven't listened to in a few years - the rising by bruce springsteen. that, in turn, inspired me to watch the concert dvd from that tour, which made me remember seeing springsteen in tacoma in 2002, which made me sad that i missed him when he was in seattle a few months ago. this all also made me want to look for bruce springsteen videos online, and i found one of ed with bruce playing no surrender. i love this song, and forgot to mention the other day that it is also on my EV playlist. (an aside: i swear that i can remember once hearing ed vedder play bobby jean, but have no idea where it was from. does anyone know?)

here are some of the things i'm looking forward to this month:

next saturday, i'm going to see goodness at the showbox. very excited for that!

kexp is having four free concerts at the mural theater in seattle center. 8/15 is jessie sykes and the sweet hereafter, who i have never heard but have read good things about. 8/16 (my birthday!) is, i think, rocky votolato, who i really like. and i think that goodness are playing again on the 23rd, although i'm not positive. yay!

the 27th, of course, is mike mccready at the tractor.

bumbershoot! i always say i won't go all three days, but i usually end up going, so this year i just bought a 3 day pass (only 80 dollars if you buy before a certain date). off the top of my head, i'm excited to see band of horses, the black keys, lucinda williams, the blakes, old 97s, blitzen trapper, and a bunch of others i can't think of right now, plus i always see at least 2 or 3 bands i've never heard before but fall in love with (last year it was kings of leon and black rebel motorcycle club).

Thursday, July 31, 2008


from seattlest:
On August 27, McCready’s Shadow 86 (his first band, reunited after 20 years) plays an early show at the Tractor. If you want to see one of the planet’s best axemen go to work on a tiny stage, we suggest you get your tickets right now.

done. i'm excited! it's listed as a jimi hendrix tribute, and honestly i thought that this was the best part of the flight to mars show at the showbox in may.

also, the site links to an interview with mike that somehow i missed. here is my favorite part:
You might see me staring up in the sky with my eyes closed. I’m not faking it. That just kind of happens. It happens a lot with Pearl Jam. There’s something the five of us create that I don’t get anywhere else on this planet. We all kind of speak to each other in a musical sense, a non-verbal sense.