June 10, 2015 in Entertainment, Music, New Release

Torches by Howie Day (@howiekday)

I’m not 100% sure if these are all the right words but this song is resonating with me loudly lately. Its off of Howie’s new album Lanterns, which you can get here: Lanterns by Howie Day (iTunes)

 

Torches

Sipping coffee in the night

Thinking how it all went wrong

Yesterday your world is fine

But now I’m fighting off the cold

The pitter patter of the snow

 

Sitting waiting for the flood

Open windows, open doors

I’m not scared of what I love

If it’s what you hate me for

Stop the battle that we know

 

We’re all trying to find a light in the dark

Keep on searching for a place

We’re all trying to find a light in the dark

Well it’s time we find a way

To burn the torches

 

Sipping coffee in the night

Thinking how it all went wrong

Yesterday your world is fine

Now I’m fighting off the cold

The pitter patter of the snow

 

Follow Howie Day here:

Twitter: @HowiekDay on Twitter

Instagram: @HowiekDay on Instagram

May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

NYC Adventures: The Sequel

Waiting

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Just waiting for the train. Smile!

#46 GO TO 50 CONCERTS OF 50 DIFFERENT BANDS/MUSICIANS (12/50)

#59 GO TO A CONCERT OUTSIDE OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

04/26/2015 at Rockwood Music Hall

New York, NY

Elizabeth and the Catapult

 

Day 2

We got in very late so I expected to be able to semi-sleep in but not really because we still had to leave early and pick up the rental then head to NYC, but I still expected at least a little more time than 9 am. I know thats not extremely early but on a Sunday morning, a WEEKEND!, thats like waking up at 5 am.  And why did I wake up so early? Good question. My nephew and dad decided to call me and wake me up. I had bought a bus ticket for my nephew to get back to WA from OR and apparently he didn’t share the information or was trying to convince someone else to pick him up from the bus station. Sp Either my nephew didn’t share info or talk to his mom to confirm he had someone picking him up or just more “I don’t want my mom to blah blah” anyways, I tried to sleep more but it didn’t happen after my dad’s call.

Ron left early because he had to meet up with his cousin, then we were going to meet him in NYC after we got the rental car from the Newark Airport. Since we didn’t have much time and I was starving, I ate my halal food for breakfast. So so good. That white sauce is amazing! And the spicy sauce is really spicy. I’ve never had halal but I got the combo chicken and gyro meat. It had this crazy yummy, orange looking rice. Heaven. Even the day after.

We picked the car up at Newark. Jenny’s google maps hates her and kept getting us lost but we made it. Then I got in line not knowing I could just grab the car. Whatevs. They gave me a beetle. It’s baby blue and tiny and oh man the blind spots. So many. Not my favorite but I’ll deal. I followed Jenny to Newark Penn station and once again her google maps took her a weird way. Siri kept yelling at me to turn and I had to tell her “Siri, simmer down. I’m following Jenny” hahaha

We ended up parking in a shady lot that told us for $15 we could get our cars any time even though the sign said they closed at 6 pm. We asked multiple times and he laughed and said “why would I lie to you?”…I don’t know but he better not have. Jenny and I will be walking back to the cars together…maybe holding hands…with our keys out to shank anyone that tries something haha…I’m only half kidding. We weren’t planning on staying too late since I still had to check into the hotel, so we figured it would be okay.

Bought tix to the NJ transit train to NY Penn station. We weren’t sure where we were going at first but we found our way. We could have taken the PATH for less money but I think Jenny is used to NJ transit, which is fine. I’m down for whatever. She then figured out how to get us to the Brooklyn bridge for more sight-seeing. She’s the best tour guide.

Have I mentioned how beautiful the weather was in NY? Don’t get me wrong, the night-time is cold as fuck but during the day it was beautiful and springy. Waited for Ron and his cousins at Penn station. Grabbed coffee (it was $0.99) and an apple turnover and chocolate croissant. We couldn’t eat the chocolate croissant because we got too full. Then got the call. They weren’t meeting us at Penn. We were meeting them in Brooklyn. So began the game of “let’s meet at…blah blah” and then “nope, not gonna happen” part deux.

We got to Brooklyn and waited for Ron and his cousins again, but then they got off at an earlier stop so Jenny called and tried to figure out plans. It was decided that we would meet them at Smorgasburg so we started walking that way. There were some cool buildings along the way so I took some pics. As we were walking we saw Sephora so we stopped in for a quick minute to look if they had my CC cream. They did not, but Jenny found her deodorant and bought that. This is important to know for later.

We then walked towards pier 5 along the cutest street. Something lemon. It had some awesome looking brownstones and cute little houses. It made me want to move to Brooklyn! I could totally see myself living there, except for the whole “it costs more than I make in a month” for rent. Dreams dashed. We finally made it to Smorgasburg and surprise…they weren’t there. This was a recurring theme throughout the weekend so, while it was frustrating you just got used to it and let it go.

We ended up meeting them closer to the Brooklyn Bridge. Plans kept changing and messing up. They were supposed to meet us at pier 5 because that’s where Smorgasburg was going on but they ended up on pier 1. So we walked towards the direction they were in and finally found them near Brooklyn Bridge park where they had stopped to take pics. We spotted them in the crowd walking towards us. Introductions were made but then we told them we would meet them at Smorgasburg after we took pics by the Brooklyn Bridge. Hey, it was our touristy day too. So adventure time with Jenny. It was pretty hot and my deodorant started to feel like it was failing but…luckily that was what Jenny bought at Sephora. I didn’t know it was deodorant at the time it was purchased but was glad that’s what it turned out to be. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to put it on until later but that’s okay.

After pictures with the bridge as our background we headed back to eat. There were so many booths at Smorgasburg. So. Much. Food. I got a Jamaican curry chicken patty (they were out of jerk chicken) then later we shared hand cut fries, fried cheese curds, donuts and I had some dairy free, gluten-free, vegan ice cream. Chocolate coconut flavor with gluten-free cinnamon and sugar tea cake crumbles on top. So yum.

It was getting late so Jenny and I had to get to the Rockwood so we left them in search of a bar to drink at and made our way to the Lower East Side where Rockwood was located. We had decided on the way to catch Elizabeth and the Catapults at Rockwood to continue our tradition of seeing a show at the Rockwood every time I’m in the area. This would be show #12 and would also take care of seeing a show outside of the PacNW. 2 for 1 deal. The walk to the subway was great. We saw lots of cool street art/murals on the way and Jenny was nice enough to let me stop to take pictures. NYC has so much art everywhere. Even the graffiti looks cool. Then on to the F line.

Downtown Brooklyn

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Red Sculpture

We went in the wrong direction getting off the subway (my fault) but because of it, we found the cutest little park! It reminded us of The Secret Garden. It was so peaceful and nice and in the middle of the city block. A hidden gem. I loved it. It was called Liz Christy Garden. There was also a plethora of cool street art/graffiti along our walk, so we strolled leisurely to Rockwood. We had plenty of time as the doors didn’t open until 630 and the show didn’t start until 7.

We got there right around 630 after missing the street. One side is apparently 1st and the other is Allen. Which is what we were looking for. There wasn’t really anyone there yet so we had the pick of spots in the room. We (I) chose the balcony since I had never watched from that spot before. Elizabeth came out thanking everyone for coming out for an early show. She seemed like a cool person, kind of hyper. Little did we know, she was a bit of a kooky entertainer. Not in a bad way, she was funny and a little strange at times but it worked. I loved her. I went down stairs for a song to try to get a better picture. She asked if anyone had any requests and the girl standing next to me made one for a really old song and Elizabeth said “I can’t play that, it’s too long. Like 5 minutes and too many years full of heartbreak to delve into” long. I laughed but the girl didn’t seem too amused. Oh well, can’t win them all. So she played another song. We tried to meet her at the end but didn’t work out because she was in deep conversation with her drummer.

Elizabeth and the Catapult

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Live at Rockwood Music Hall

Then we decided to get food before heading back to NJ. Jenny called Ron and they were in K-town so we headed their way. If the rest of those guys were anywhere near Ron’s condition then they were drunk off their asses. Haha He was so red/purple. He suffers from the Asian flush. Badly. We ate at Mandoo, a Korean dumpling place. We ordered dumplings and seafood jap chae. Delicious! Ron for some reason ordered a beer…not a good move and put him over the edge later. After food we were going to have to run for the train but Ron didn’t have a ticket yet so after discussion and him feeling bad about us missing the train we decided to stay. He was in no condition to run or to be left on his own , so us meeting him at his car in Millburn was out. He might have made it, but if something happened I would have felt horrible. We stayed and got bubble tea from Gong cha instead. Yay for tea!

They ran out of the coffee bubble tea he wanted. It was a fun moment when they both kind of made grunting monster like noises and motions when he asked the person what was similar. haha. I think you had to be there. I got the lychee oolong tea. They have you choose your sweetness level and ice level when ordering. It was weird but a great way to do it so you got what you wanted. Ron got taro, which normally I dislike a lot but I tasted his and I actually liked their taro bubble tea.

Oh, did I mention that Ron is the king of selfies? Not like, selfies of himself but of taking group shots and without a selfie stick. It’s impressive. Anyways. Selfies with Ron at Gong Cha, then the cashier took a pic of us too. My phone was dying so I shut it off because I was worried about getting lost and not having a phone for directions to get back to their place and then the hotel. At Penn Station, I charged my phone and Ron left for a bit to go to the bathroom and came back with coffee and a donut at Dunkin donuts. Dude is a trooper and loves food haha

On the way home he said he could go to sleep on the train or he wouldn’t wake up to get home. So we kept him awake. Jenny mostly, me a little. He felt so sick, I felt horrible for him. When we got back to the apartment he told us to go ahead. I didn’t ask but I think he might have puked somewhere out there. Ewwww. Sadly, this was the end of my NJ adventures with Jenny and Ron. I packed up all my stuff, we said our goodbyes and I headed to New Brunswick for my training class. Luckily it wasnt too far, I was exhausted and needed to sleep. Great weekend. Couldn’t have asked for a better time 🙂

May 16, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, Life (General)

NYC Adventures: So much to do, so little time…

New York

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#7 VISIT TWO FRIENDS THAT LIVE OUTSIDE OF WA

#58 GO TO THE TWIN TOWERS MEMORIAL – 04/25/2015

I was very busy this weekend. Because of work, I was able to take a trip out east to visit a friend in NJ while also taking a training course. So that’s 1 out of 2 for #7, the visiting two friends that live outside of WA list item. Technically I did also visit/meet my Ari Hest friend, Shannon but I feel like it needs to be two separate trips to really count. I may change my mind but for now that’s what I am going with.

I arrived around midnight in Newark, and caught a “Taxi”. My friend told me about Union Taxi and said they may seem a little sketchy but were legit and she had taken them before. Plus it would save me money. So I decided to give it a try. I called them and they said they would be there in a bit, they took all the info for where I was. Terminal and door number. I didn’t know what the car would look like so I had to call back just so I would be prepared. I walked outside and it was freezing! I told my friend it felt like it was 30 degrees and it turned out that it was, well it was 39 but still! Thats in the 30s!!! So cold.

It took a bit of time, but the Union taxi guy finally showed up and got my stuff. It cost me $30 to get to Jenny’s and surprisingly I remembered that their apartment was closer to the back entrance so I led the taxi guy to the back entrance. Unfortunately, Jenny thought I was in the front so after that little miscommunication was taken care of we hugged and went to her apartment to bring my stuff up and to say hi to her fiancé Ron. They are my favorite couple. Every time I go to NJ they take me out and show me around. Best hosts ever. Anyways, we talked for a couple of hours and then finally went to sleep because we were going to start he day out early…which ended up being around 10 or 11. I mean, that’s kind of early, right?

We got to NYC and were famished so instead of heading straight to the 9/11 Memorial we stopped to get a quick bite. I usually stay away from anything flour based as well as dairy but options were low and I didn’t want to be a pain. I figured as long as my stomach held out we were okay, so one piece of pizza later we were on out way.

A random guy paid for Ron’s subway ride when we ran out of money on the metro cards. He saw us trying to figure out the situation since we were already on the other side of the turnstile. The guy just turned around and walked to the turnstile that Ron was at and handed him is card to use. Ron tried to give him some cash but he wouldn’t take it. What a nice guy, right? We didn’t get his name but he was carrying a video camera bag and a tripod. We said thank you and continued on to our train.

We got a little lost when we got out because the map that we had picked up was confusing and I think Ron’s phone was also giving weird directions (Jenny was our navigator and she forgot her phone so we were relying on a real, honest to goodness paper map as well as Ron’s iPhone). I think because of all the buildings downtown we were getting interference. While Ron and Jenny were figuring it out I saw this red shiny thing in a plaza. I walked towards it and it turned out it was a sculpture. It looked like a balloon sculpture. This began the start of my random street art findings.

Balloon Art Sculpture

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Near the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center

After I snapped a quick pic we followed the signs (yeah, there were signs…oops hahaha) to the 9/11 Memorial. The North reflecting pool didn’t have the cascading waterfalls turned on due to wind but we spent some time there just taking in the moment. We took a few pictures then went to see the South pool. This one had the waterfalls turned on. It was peaceful hearing the water rush over the side and down to the bottom. There were a few names with roses placed inside them at both pools.

Jenny took a picture of me in front of the south pool with the One World Trade Center in the background. It was a weird moment. I’m used to smiling for photos, but it seemed inappropriate to smile in a picture here so I kept a straight face. I never realized how odd that was for me to do. I’m so used to smiling in photos and in general. Smiling through the pain and sadness. I keep a mask of happiness on my face at all times for the most part. It’s difficult for others to tell when I’m having a bad day, or they may see if for a bit but as soon as I realize it then I put on my happy face. So, like I said. This was weird and difficult. But I digress. We moved on shortly after we walked around the full pool touching names and looking down into the water.

We were supposed to meet Ron’s cousin for lunch at Cafe Cabana but her and her friend went back to the hotel so we went to Cafe Habana alone. The wait was about a half hour, they said that was actually short. I guess usually its over an hour. The place is really small, most people get take out and just eat at home or one the sidewalk. I know this, because I asked. In the mean time, we noticed this fantastic mural across the street. We went over to it and took some pictures. Jenny did a yoga pose as Ron and I took her picture. I just took a normal “standing in front a rad mural” photo (I took a couple yoga pose pictures before we left. One in warrior post and one in tree pose). We took a selfie on Ron’s phone and then just hung out for a bit.

It turns out that the location setting on my phone tells the neighborhood name as well as city, so we found out we were in the NoLita neighborhood. Ron and Jenny didn’t know that it was called that so we all learned something that day.  During the wait I also had a guy ride past me, eating a sandwhich on his skateboard. Multitasking. Its a thing here in NYC. Took pics of the neighborhood including a few more selfies and then Jenny went to find out about the wait and as the magic of going in to check on something took place, they called our name.

Cafe Habana (http://www.cafehabana.com/) is this great little cuban-mexican restaurant. They had eaten there a few times, but this was my first time. Jenny asked if I liked corn because they had a corn dish that had cheese and a little spice on it. I assumed it was a corn cake or something similar, turns out it is corn on the cob with this crumbly cheese and spicy spice mix.  I was not disappointed, it was so tasty. We also ordered Chilaquiles Verdes con Pollo, Baja Style Fish Tacos, and a round of drinks. We shared everything, well…almost everything.  We drank our own drinks but we gave sips so everyone could try.

After lunch Ron kept trying to sort out a plan to meet up with his cousin. We decided to meet at Central Park but we had some time before meeting them so we took a little detour to stop and check out shoes for Ron and then to buy me some fancy pants for the training thing I was going to (you know, the work thing…the official reason I was actually there.) After we left the shoe store (Premium Laces) on Spring Street, we were passing what looked like a beauty story. You know, soaps and lotions and etc. This guy tried to give me a sample and said it came with a high-five. As we walked away I heard him say “No high-five?” and sounded so disappointed that I went back for the high-five, but left the sample. Can’t leave a guy hanging, right?…

So…Central Park. I always wanted to go there. I had been to NYC so many time but it just hadn’t worked out. It was going to work out today, it was most definitely on the list for the day. Central Park is beautiful. B-E-A-U-tiful. Everything smelled so fresh and was very green. Spring was definitely there. We only had an hour or so until the sun would go down so we meandered towards one of the fields. Of course we made a couple of stops to take pictures and people watch but ultimately we ended up at the first field. Don’t ask me what it was called, I couldn’t tell you and it was not important. What is important was that it was warm and the sun was shining and a guy selling mojitos came around. That’s right…MOJITOS. You don’t see that in Seattle. At least I haven’t.

When we heard him calling out Ron said “Did that guy just say mojitos?”. I told him he was imagining it. We all listened and Jenny and I tried to justify his wares saying he probably said burritos or churritos or.. well…anything else. Anything but mojitos. But it turned out it was mojitos. He came closer to us and I think he saw Ron and I look. I’m sure we had different looks though, mine probably a look of confusion and Ron’s a look of “give me those mojitos”.

In any case, he stopped by. We turned him down initially because…well…that just seemed weird but then he started to leave and Ron asked how much they cost. They were $7 each or 4 for $20 and looked like kids fruit drinks from the days of old. We must have looked hesitant because he told us he was having a good day so he would give us them for $5 instead of $7. 3 for $15. Basically the same as the 4 for $20 rate without having to buy 4. He also kept telling us to could Google him.  Google “Central Park mojito man”. So I did and he has a Facebook. The dude selling liquor in mojito form in the park has a Facebook page. I mean, that makes him totally legit… except not. Still, we bought the mojitos and they were fantastic! And strong. haha There was definitely liquor in those drinks, along with fresh mint.

A group of people (maybe 5 people, mix of boys and girls) came up to us telling us about a project/scavenger hunt where they were taking pictures with strangers and they needed someone wearing sunglasses, which of course I was (this should not be a surprise). I stole a look at their paper and it said “100 strangers” or something like that. Like, “100 strangers project. At first they said it needed to be strangers from New York and I said that took me out because I wasn’t from there and then we realized Jenny and Ron weren’t either so we were about to give them a hard pass. I think they realized they were losing us so they asked where I was from and I said Seattle, to which one of them replied that he didn’t like Seattle. Not helping your cause buddy. We joked that he shouldnt have said that and then we all laughed a bit. Then they asked if they could take the pic so  Jenny and Ron put on their sunglasses and we took a pic with them. We talked with them a bit more, another complaint about Seattle was brought up. “It always rains..blah blah I never got to see Mount Rainier because of the rain and clouds”. I told her to try August. Thats usually when the clouds aren’t hating on that view.

They left and we sat around waiting for Ron’s cousin to meet us again…and then again, it didn’t happen. So we said we would just meet them. So we left the park to head to Momofuku Milk Bar where they were grabbing some sweet treats. On the way though I stopped to pet a horse from one of the carriages. I think he liked me, he let me pet him and then tried to get closer. He had gentle eyes. Jenny was a little scared, and to be honest, I was a little too but it was so beautiful. I wish I knew how to ride a horse. We made it to Momofuku and they were there! FINALLY! hahaha Ron’s cousin’s name is Apple and her friend was Richard. They were in line to grab some soft serve ice cream that tastes like milk and cereal or something like that as well as something called “Crack Pie” and other desserts. I ended up getting a Compost Cookie. It was not as good as the Compost Cupcake at Cupcake Royale in Seattle but it was alright.

Apple and Richard (I got the feeling it was Richard mostly) wanted to watch the Warriors basketball game so we went for drinks and food at Three Monkeys Bar. They asked the waitress if she could switch one of the TVs to the game and they obliged. Everyone ordered a round of drinks and a lot of bar food. Nachos, fries, sliders…I don’t remember anything else except later we took shots of Jameson. At least two. I drank a lot of water though so it was okay. Then Apple broke out the Crack Pie and some Birthday Cake truffles from Momofuku. Crack Pie is so good. I get why they call it Crack Pie. One taste and you are addicted. Super noms. The Birthday Cake truffles were good too. I forget what Ron said they tasted like, but I’m sure it was probably inappropriate so we’ll just let it go haha. With all the food and drinks that day I was pretty sure I was going to gain 10 lbs (turns out I gained over 5 but thats at least not as bad…right?)

There were talks of halal and soju for later but since Richard was leaving early the next day there was more sight seeing that needed to be accomplished. Such as, a visit to Times Square.

For anyone that hasn’t been there, Times Square is the ultimate shiny thing. There are TVs and large monitors everywhere showing you ads and commercials. There are so many lights, its semi blinding. Its also a tourist hot spot, so the later it got the more people seemed to show up. We looked around, group selfies and then off for Halal.

We went to 53rd and 7th where we found the Halal guys. It happened to be right next to a HOPE sculpture. I thought it was very fitting. Once the food was dispersed everyone stopped talking. Everyone was eating. Everyone but me. It was just too much food. There was so much food. I took mine to go. I could not eat anymore or drink anymore. Plus I ate so much bread/flour filled items. My stomach was already starting to hate me.

After halal, we decided to call it a day and we went to catch the train back to Jenny and Ron’s. No soju…this time.

 

 

May 7, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, 50 Concerts, Entertainment, Live Music, Music

Damien Rice at McCaw Hall (04.21.2015)

#46 GO TO 50 CONCERTS OF 50 DIFFERENT BANDS/MUSICIANS (11/50)

Concert 11:

04/21/2015 at McCaw Hall (Seattle, WA)

Damien Rice with Special Guest Marketa Irglova

 

I am an extremely lucky person. I mean, how often do you get the chance to see musicians like Damien Rice and Marketa Irglova play a venue like McCaw Hall for free. Yes, FREE! Its rare, and I am lucky that it happened to me. An old friend/concert buddy of mine messaged me the day before the show and asked if I, or anyone that I knew, would want a ticket to see Damien Rice the next day. When I asked the price, she said free. I didn’t have any money so this was perfect!!! I told her I would have paid, had I had any money but she said it was okay. I will make it up to her sometime. But anyways, I was going to have an amazing experience and all thanks to a friend. Lucky girl.

I was running a bit late the day of the show because I had a gym workout, so once I got home it was a mad dash to take a shower (so sweaty and smelly, it was in everyone’s best interest.) and get ready. I still ended up leaving a bit late but lucky for me, when I got to McCaw most people were still in the lobby. I took my seat and it was perfect. 17th row, center. I mean, it could have been closer but I’m not complaining because..freeeeeeee.

So I have to admit, I didn’t know that Marketa was opening and when she stepped onto the stage, she like of looked like a child. When she started to sing I was completed soothed and instantly felt all the tension and stress of getting to the show fade. It took three songs for me to figure it out, and by figure it out I mean she said her name and then she played a Swell Season song and I got really excited!!! (Yes, that excited that it warranted three exclamation points). She has the most beautiful voice. I have a major girl crush on her now. Not only does she sing beautifully, she plays piano and she has an accent, and a cool one at that. She played a few more songs and then walked off the stage to a standing ovation. That’s right, a standing ovation. The opening act was so amazing she received a standing ovation. If that was any indication of what was to come, then I knew I was in for a treat.

I have never seen Damien Rice play. I own his music and truly enjoy it, but never got a chance to see him. Either money issues or just already had plans. But tonight, it was different. I was finally getting to see him! Eeek!!! But first, I needed to hit the merch table while there wasn’t (hopefully) a crowd. I had a to wait a bit but then I grabbed Damien’s new album on vinyl and a copy of one of Marketa’s cds. I only knew her from the Swell Season and Once so I needed to catch up. I didn’t end up grabbing her latest album, I grabbed Anar instead. I was taken by the colors also, I didn’t actually know which one was the latest.

Back to my seat just in time for the lights to go down and for Damien to walk on to the stage. I should mention the lighting. The only light shining on the stage was a few small spotlights from lamps or low hanging lights on the stage. Mostly only one at a time were on, but there were times when maybe 6 or 7 were on. I only remembered it happening when he played Volcano and but I’m sure it occurred many other times. It was during Volcano that he asked if anyone would like to sing with him. He asked the venue to turn up the lights so he could see the crowd and then invited people to just come down. He said about 50 or so people, he had way more than that and people just kept coming even though the stage was full. At one point he said “I think we have enough people” but there were still people coming and he said okay we have room in the back. A lady came down he front and jumped up waving her hands and shouted, “I’m here”. Damien laughed, as did the audience, and said “Oh,  you’re here.  We saved a spot for you there,” and pointed to an open space in the front of the stage near where she was. She jumped up and sat right down.

A note for all musicians that want to invite the crowd on stage to sing with them and have a moment…People will try to touch you and take pictures with you. Yes, even on stage with everyone looking. They will hold up the show. Damien apparently did not thing this would happen. People kept trying to take selfies with him and talk. I think at one point he even said “No Selfies” haha it was funny. People eventually settled down and he explained how it was going to go. Half that group would sing one part, the other half would sing another part, and the audience would sing the last group part and Damien would sing whatever he wants. Kidding, he would sing the main part. It actually sounded pretty great from the crowd. The people on stage really got into it and Damien had us clapping and stomping. One guy stood up to stomp, clap and dance. It seemed appreciated.

After the song Damien dismissed the crowd and people again tried to talk to him, take pictures, shake hands, hug and etc. Out came the “No Selfies” remark again and you could hear him just saying okay, thanks and goodbye. I think he even said, no touching. Oh fans. Someone left their glasses on stage and Damien cracked some jokes and even put them on. It took awhile for the person to finally come and get them. After much prodding and joking by Damien. Then the show was back on track.

Damien addressed the crowd saying that if they had come to the show thinking, “I had a shit week, Im having a bad day, Im going to go see Damien Rice now”, referring to the fact he plays more melancholy songs than uplifting songs, then they were out of luck. He was not in a sad mood, he was in a good mood. Someone would have to hurt his feelings to get him to that. He does have happy moments. He was quite jokey all night. He made jokes about sex and masturbation, bodily function jokes, love and heartbreak jokes. He was jovial. I wouldn’t say that meant he played fast uplifting tunes but you weren’t going to leave the show wanting to slit your wrists. I laughed so much more than I expected to.

He talked about how the happiest people write the saddest songs, because they shit out their emotions. They get it out of them so that they aren’t holding it all in. He continuously compared songwriting to shitting. I think you had to be there to really understand why we laughed and at the same time were impressed by how he candidly talked about his life and his process. He talked about emotional constipation and etc. Anyways…

I can’t recall all the songs he played but he played Volcano (as mentioned earlier), Older Chests, The Professor & La Fille Danse, 9 Crimes,  The Blower’s Daughter, Long Long Way, and Colour Me In. There were others but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head. Before we knew it and Damien as well, it was time for the show to be over. For the encore we pretended he left the stage. They just turned the lights off while we all cheered. He didn’t ask us to cheer but we did because none of us wanted it to end. The stage lights came back on and he asked Marketa to come out and play a song. He left the stage and she played one last song. Then he came back out. They played Long Long Way together and I’m pretty sure he ended with Colour Me In. I just know when he played it, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard.

Since I don’t have any great pictures from the night I decided to end this post with a link to Damien singing Colour Me In. I absolutely adore this man and his music.

 

Damien Rice (www.damienrice.com)

Marketa Irglova (www.marketairglovamusic.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, 50 Concerts, Entertainment, Live Music, Music

The Replacements: Back By Unpopular Demand

#46 GO TO 50 CONCERTS OF 50 DIFFERENT BANDS/MUSICIANS (8/50)

Concert 8:

04/09/2015 at Paramount Theater (Seattle, WA)

The Replacements with Special Guests Young Fresh Fellows

Back By Unpopular Demand Tour

 

I’m not one of those super hip cool people who knew all about The Replacements before their reunion shows. A friend of mine posted on Facebook last year about The Replacements playing shows again and it just so happened they were playing Bumbershoot. He loved them so I had to go check it out. Well, it turns out I missed them because Matt Nathanson was playing in Canada and I drove to Whistler instead. I lucked out though and they were also playing Austin City Limits Festival in October so I would get a chance to see them there.

After confessing to people that I skipped Bumbershoot for Matt Nathanson, I had so many people tell me how amazing it was and that I missed out. I also had other people that weren’t there ask me what I was thinking. I was thinking that Matt Nathanson is one of my absolute favorites and I was going to regret missing him. But yeah…So I missed The Replacements at Bumbershoot, but I made up for it at ACL. I went early to catch Gaslight Anthem, then The Replacements were on after and then Pearl Jam. I had a pretty sweet view for all three acts and I knew what everyone was talking about after seeing The Replacements play. At one point Paul laid down in a hammock and played his guitar and sang…actually this happened more than once. It was comical and impressive. He still sounded great in both regards. It was awesome!

Plus it would be the perfect opportunity to hang with this guy I was into  since he was one of the people who wanted to know what I was thinking missing them at Bumbershoot. It took way too much effort and planning to make this happen. He plays gigs on Thursdays, which made it so he either had to say no or he had to find someone to cover his gig, or in this case: half of his gig. He finally gave the go ahead about a week before the show. Since he also gave lesson that day, we decided to meet at the Paramount.

When we got in, I noticed there were a lot fewer people than I expected inside the actual theater room. Considering it was a sold out show, I figured it would be packed. Thinking back on it, I realized that the lobby was pretty packed. Probably due to the fact that no alcohol was allowed in the theater (which I am all for, because who wants beer or wine or etc spilled on them). Even with it not being packed, we stayed a bit back. He’s 6’3″+ tall so I’m sure he didn’t want to be that tall guy in the front. I on the other hand am a presence at 5’2″…There were a few times he said “Did you see that?” and I had to laugh and just say no. But anyways, again, since I was into this guy I didn’t care where we stood. At that time, I still had romantic notions in my head and anywhere close to him was good (I literally just rolled my eyes at myself. Ugh.)

The first band came on, they were called Young Fresh Fellows. From what I gathered, they were from Portland, OR(?) and also a band that had been around since the time of The Replacements. I didn’t know their music, so I found myself surprised when I recognized some songs. Turns out, I recognized them covering songs by The Kinks and The Sonics. Oops. haha They were great though, and the crowd loved them. Interesting set. I was completely mesmerized by the drummer. He was just killing it! Plus he had some weird facemask or turtle shell on a tall cymbal stand that was just swaying around like it was one of those blow up bopper dolls that you punch.

After their set, we just kind of hung out and talked a bit. People pressed in, trying to get a closer spot but we stayed in the same spot. When The Replacements came out they actually started their first song with the curtains down. No silhouette or anything, just them rocking out behind a thick red stage curtain. People actually took pictures of this…of the curtain. Not video, pictures. (You can’t see it, but I am shaking my head right now. I mean, what are they going to say years later when they see that picture. Are they going to remember that the band was playing behind it or are they going to think they took a picture of a curtain. My guess is the latter. But, whatever. )

They played for an hour and a half I think? Highlights of the show were Paul Westerberg going into a red camping tent on stage to “be alone” for a bit, for those that could see, his alone time included him finishing his cigarette. Yup, he smoked on stage at the Paramount. The band continued playing like it was nothing. They put the mic in the tent and everything. It was a lot like the hammock set up at ACL, but inside. Alex Chilton is still my favorite song of theirs, but really, I enjoyed their entire set and enjoy their performance each time I see them. I’d go again for sure. Its funny, their tour was called “Back by Unpopular Demand”. I think a complete tour of sold out dates goes to show you how ironic that title is for them. I know I definitely would love to see them again, and if they tour again… I will.

April 20, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, 50 Concerts, Entertainment, Live Music, Music

Seattle Living Room Shows presents: Levi Weaver

#46 GO TO 50 CONCERTS OF 50 DIFFERENT BANDS/MUSICIANS (10/50)

Concert 10:

04/18/2015 at a House in Lake Stevens, WA

Levi Weaver

Presented by Seattle Living Room Shows

 

Living room shows are one of the most amazing ways to see music. This Saturday I was lucky enough to see Levi Weaver play to a room of less than 30 people. I’d seen him before at another living room show, which was when I first discovered him and fell in love with his music. Its haunting and beautiful, and honestly very sad. A lot about break ups and hard times. Right up my alley.

Tonight, he was jovial/genuine and talked to the crowd telling stories and making sure that the crowd got what they wanted out of the night. At one point he asked if anyone had any songs they wanted to hear and if they didn’t, that they would be disappointed about. Two people spoke up, the first was the woman sitting next to me. She asked for a (I’m Glad) Your Ghost keeps Finding Me. Levi mentioned that it had a girl part and asked if she knew it, she said she did but she didn’t because she wasn’t going to sing. Everyone tried to coax her telling her no one would judge her, no one would judge her girl parts (insert snickering…). Levi pointed out that that sounded wrong and everyone just laughed. Then the second person requested Kansas, I Decline.

This song had a great story behind it, which Levi told us. The entire thing. I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a long time. The entire time he was telling the story I noticed that his mannerisms reminded me of my friend Chad. It was crazy. But I digress, the story was about him being on tour and meeting a beautiful but crazy woman. She asked him to go star-gazing with her and he said yes. Innocent enough, but then it turned out she was batshit crazy. The story involved police, drinking while driving, inappropriate noises and advances on her part. I can’t do the story justice so I won’t even try to tell it. The song gives a pretty good synopsis but doesn’t get to the nitty-gritty of everything that happened but the song is fabulous. I listened to it at least 5 times since I got home from the show yesterday.

He also played his “happy song”, and a song about a friend’s nasty divorce. The best part about living room shows is the story telling. Each song that he sang was accompanied by either a story or a funny quip. It’s so hard to describe just how awesome the experience is/was in words. You just really have to be there. So I have two suggestions for you. 1) Check out Levi Weaver (the music is great www.leviweaver.com) and 2) Get on the list for shows at www.seattlelivingroomshows.com. They have quite a few coming up. Some are larger shows but still intimate.

 

April 19, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, 50 Concerts, Live Music, Music, Seattle Bands

Evolution of an Artist: Allen Stone

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#46 GO TO 50 CONCERTS OF 50 DIFFERENT BANDS/MUSICIANS (9/50)

Concert 9:

04/14/2015 at Nectar Lounge (Seattle, WA)

Allen Stone w/ Special Guest Manattee Commune

Evolution of an Artist Series

 

Allen Stone is a somewhat local musician. He’s from Chewelah, WA which is apparently near Spokane. I can’t remember exactly how I discovered his music, I want to say it was due to someone introducing me to The BGP who then turned me on to Allen Stone. I saw him play the Q Cafe a few times but the times I remember most were early on in 2006. Allen was still a teenager, I want to say 19ish. Still kind of figuring things out and seemed a little unsure, but I heard good things so I decided to give him a chance.

I expected pop-rock singer songwriter in the same vein of Curtis Peoples, Matt Nathanson, Jason Mraz, etc. I did not expect him to have as much of a soul influence.I love soul music so this was a plus but man, this kid had a voice. You could tell he had a future. I didn’t know at that time what it would be, but it was pretty apparent he was going to work hard to make it.

Since that time I’ve seen him play multiple times, the venues getting bigger in the last few years. Many of the shows I saw him play were at the Q Cafe or other small venues, then all of a sudden he was playing The Crocodile, Neumos, and etc. He was on TV, friends in other states were talking about this great musician named Allen Stone that they were going to see play sold out shows. It was a bit crazy for me to be hearing his name from friends outside of Seattle. I can only imagine what it was like for Allen.

So when I heard about the Evolution of an Artist series that the STG was putting on with Allen, I was surprised at the magnitude of this series and yet elated. Wow, this kid has come a long way.

So what is the Evolutions of an Artist series? Allen would be playing a series of 5 shows at venues around Seattle. The venues were a range of sizes and capacities. Each show moving to a larger venue. The series kicked off on April 13th with a show at The Triple Door and culminates with a show at the Paramount on Saturday, April 18th.

Monday, April 13, 2015 – Triple Door with Maiah Manser

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 –  Nectar Lounge with Manatee Commune

Thursday, April 16, 2015 – The Crocodile with SISTERS

Friday, April 17, 2015 – Neumos with Kris Orlowski

Saturday, April 18, 2015 – STG’s Paramount Theatre with Sam Lachow

I would have loved to buy the week-long pass to get into all the shows and hang with Allen, but I didn’t have time nor the money so I bought tickets to the show that I thought would be the most intimate while still being a dance party. The Nectar Lounge show. I was tempted by other shows because of the opening acts but my hair stylist and friend wanted to go to the Nectar too so I purchased 4 tickets for all of us.

Sadly, when Tuesday came around only one of the other 3 people were going to be able to make it. The identification of the 4th person fluctuated a lot during the time period between when I bought the tickets and when the show actually occurred. I almost lost all three people but luckily my friend Jenni made it back into town just in time. Unfortunately, Tahara was sick so her and her husband weren’t going to make it. I assumed since it was a sold out show and was a hard show to get tickets to, that I would be able to sell the tickets easily. This was not the case. I finally found one other  person to meet us at the show and gave up.

Manatee Commune was the opener. I didn’t know what to expect since I’d never heard of them/him. A friend who is in to electronic music mentioned them so I kind of assumed DJ-esque music. So when we walked it, I was not surprised to see him behind a turntable. I was however surprised when he broke out drums, and a violin, and etc to play. It was definitely still not what I expected and not exactly my style, but he had style and talent and I appreciate that. So if its your style of music, then definitely check him out.

On to Allen. You have to make a grand entrance when everyone is there to see you, right? haha Allen and his entire band (including back-up singers) were dressed in white. As members of the band took the stage I looked to my left and sure enough, Allen and Jessica and Dani came down the stairs. I’m not sure if any of the other band members came down the stairs because honestly I was following Allen’s movements waiting for him to sing.

I grabbed a couple of pics during the first song then put my phone away. I just needed a pic or two for the blog. Well, just after I put my phone away Allen asked the audience to do just that. He asked everyone to live in the moment with him, to dance, to sing, to experience it all…and without their phones. It’s a hard request to fulfill. Adam Levine asked the same thing at the M5 show and just for one song and even then people couldn’t do it. Speaking from a person who always has a camera at a show, I understand but at the same time one song shouldn’t break you, nor should one night.

Anyways, without taking pics I was free to dance and sing with my friends and the large group of strangers around me. There was one woman in front of me that almost put a damper on the night. She kept moving/dancing backwards even though she had plenty of room in front of her (and I mean enough that her and her friends put their jackets and purses on the floor in a space large enough for at least two other people and they were not crowded around it). She got mad at me and my friend Jenni and told us to stop bumping in to her…at a sold out show…with plenty of space in front of her. We apparently were the ones bumping in to her, never mind that there was people behind me as well as a physical bar/table that prohibited us from moving back but it was our fault. There was almost a throw down but she finally turned forward to dance, and continued to be an inconsiderate ass, but she didn’t complain about us bumping in to her anymore so there is that.

The rest of the experience was fantastic. Allen and his band were on point. We even had a dance off, one side against the other. Greg (keys/organ) apparently came and danced on his side so Evan and Jon (horns) came down and worked it on ours, Jessica was also getting really hyped into it. It was so much fun. Funny moment though, when Allen was telling everyone to get crazy and dance he said “Jump up and dance like you’re at Dick’s and Macklemore is on the roof” (or something like that). And of course Macklemore was in the house so seeing him laugh at that was pretty funny. Everyone won the dance off. EVERYONE. Which just sums up the night. We all won!

During the encore a drunk couple came and kind of split up my group (on accident) and they were dancing their butts off. They were kind of annoying but not like that woman who was being mean. They were just into it and they apologized after. It was around this time that Jenni and I also realized we were inappropriately dressed because all the dancing had made us really hot. We both made bad decisions. Long sleeves were in play and they shouldn’t have been. She went outside for a bit and told me she’d meet us out there if she didn’t get back.

After the show, said goodbye to friends. Dealt with a drunk dude that was talking to my friend and then left talking about how amazing the show had been and how much of a badass talented singer Allen is. I stayed on that concert high for quite a bit, so much so that I was super dragging the next day. It was painful, but worth it. Joining in on the celebration of Allen Stone and where he came from and where he has gone was an experience not to be missed.

 

April 17, 2015 in 10 Movies, 101 Things To Do List, Entertainment

Don’t you, forget about me…

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#36: WATCH 10 MOVIES IN A MOVIE THEATER (2/10)

Movie #2: The Breakfast Club (Thirtieth Anniversary)

Date: 03/31/2015

I LOVE this movie!!! It’s been one of my favorites since I was a kid. Apparently, its been 30 years since this movie came out. Yeah, I feel old. Seeing as though I was four when it came out and watched it on TV in re-rerun form, I feel a little better about it but still old. This would be my first time seeing it on the big screen and it was going to be movie night with my favorite movie watching friend, Holly!

There were quite a few people there so I was really happy to know it wasn’t just us that were big fans of this movie. I wish I had gone all out like my friend in NYC who got dressed up at Bender, but alas I didnt have time. The movie was awesome as always and there were parts that I was confused during because theatrical version does not equal tv version (curse words a plently). At the end three quarters of the movie theater did fist pump into the air in solidarity with Bender. Great movie, yummy popcorn and the best company. Movie nights are my fave! I’m inspired to do a full night (possibly weekend) of 80’s movie watching. Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Goonies, Short Circuit, Police Academy, Adventures in Babysitting, ALL THE 80s!!!

April 17, 2015 in Life (General)

Why being “friendzoned” isn’t always the worst…

There is this guy, that for over a year and a half, I’ve had a huge thing for. I mean, I learned to bake cookies and the rules to football and everything because of him. Yeah, I know, trust me, I know. The whole doing stuff because of a boy thing is no bueno…but now I’m a badass cookie baker and I love football, and not just the “beautiful game” football but also American football. So I still win because I have new skills, people, new. mad. skills. And I had someone tell me they dreamt about my maple bacon chocolate chip cookies so whatever. WIN.

Anyways, things didn’t work out in the romantic sense. I didn’t exactly make “the move” but we had coffee, went to a concert and we’ve hung out at some of his shows. All times, bro hugs and hi-fives. Coffee was all business. Everything about how he acted was very “okay, we’re here to talk about blah blah” and nothing more. This was also pretty early in the getting to know each other phase, so I thought, well maybe its just because we aren’t friends yet as he was giving me guitar lessons, and I asked him under the context of wanting to know more about South America since I was “trying to plan a trip”. For the show (round two attempt at private hang time where he wasn’t “working”) we met at the venue, and after words he just said bye and went on his way. He had a gig that night that he was rushing off to, so its not like he just blew me off. I knew he had to be somewhere. And honestly, as frustrating as that was… it felt right.

Usually we have an ease about us when talking. We talk about random things, our lives, family, what we did that week, movies, or whatever. This takes place during my lessons, through text sometimes, and other times at his gigs. So, why wouldn’t I think an actual hang session wouldn’t go as smoothly. I mean, we have a lot in common.

1) We both love music

2) We have sarcastic, random, a little dirty and probably “offensive to others” humor

3) “Interesting” family members

4) Can’t watch too many crime dramas before bed or it fucks with our minds

5) We both enjoy animated movies (yes, cartoons…its totally fine!)

6) Swearing is a completely valid form of expression to us both

7) etc…

Basically, we have a lot of common interests and personality traits. Maybe too many. Yet, even within those similarities are differences. Take music for instance. He listens to mostly…lets call them classics. I listen to…EVERYTHING! Old, new, pop, punk, rock, country, hip hop, etc. And then there is Family? He’s super tight with his family, and boy are they a big family. His youngest bro used to live with him and his other younger brother is in bands with him. He has a twin sister and another little sister. His parents are still together and it seems like they have dinner once a week at least. My family…well, we see each other. I mostly go visit my nephews. My sisters and I are very different, and my parents. Well, they keep asking when I’m going to get married and have kids or if I am gay. I’m pretty sure they are banking on me being a lesbian. Anyways, not super tight. We love each other, dont get me wrong, but not super tight. I usually can’t stand too much time with my family. I kind of feel like an outsider, constantly trying to fit in. My nephews though, I love to spend time with them. Any time, all the time. Unfortunately, my bank account hinders that sometimes. Even driving around costs me money. Anyways, yeah. Back to “the guy”.

It felt forced. Like I was trying too hard, and I supose I was. He seemed completely at ease. But here’s the thing, if you didn’t know we were at the show together, you might not have known. Most people didn’t seem to since they kept breaking us up in the crowd. I think I also had high expectations and maybe dilussional ones, where I thought he would pick me up and drive me there and we would have dinner or drinks and hang before the show. Or even after, but nope. I should have been more upset when he left, but I kind of felt relieved. No more trying for something I was pretty sure wasn’t going to happen but my friends kept trying to tell me was or should or whatever. We could just be friends. It was okay. Maybe thats exactly why he was brought into my life. No more hoping, and wishing, and “reading signs” and trying to be perfect. Ugh. Why do that anyways, embrace your imperfections. We’re all pretty badasss, but by all means never stop growing, thats a must. There is a difference. I digress though.

Here’s the thing ladies, we all have those friends. The friends who tell you that you are the best person ever and that every guy should be in love with you and obviously if you are in to him then he MUST be in to you as well. I mean, thats how it works right? See guy, fall in like with guy, guy falls in like with you. Just like that. Always. And if you don’t think its happening, rest assured, they will tell you it is and you are crazy because you think that all the “bro hugs and hi-fives” are a sign of him just wanting to be homies. Yeah. Its not helpful. I understand the building you up, but friends should also be the ones that give you the reality check. You know what kind of friends are great for the reality check. Guys. They are solid, straight forward friends. Not all, don’t get me wrong, some guys don’t want to hurt your feelings so they kind get all wishy washy. But then you have the guy friend that tells you like it is. That’s the friend you need in cases like mine. The dude that tells you to give up the romance aspirations and decide if you can just be friends. Then do it.

So, here we are. Just friends. And it doesn’t suck. You know why? Because on Tuesday a friend bailed on me for a show because she was sick. I posted on FB about the tickets, I called and texted around and got nada. Then, it hit me. Its his day off. His only day off. Would he want to go to a show? Eh, fuck it, lets ask. The text went out and he said yes and was on his way. And you know what I was thinking that entire time? Wsa I thinking “Oh my gosh, if he comes it will be so great. We can slow dance, we can blah blah blah romantic notions blah blah blah.” I just thought, “Cool! I found someone to take one of the tickets. Now I need to find one more person for the other.” Thats right, I was not over thinking the decision to ask him to join. I wasn’t thinking about what I was wearing, my hair, my clothes, my horrible dancing skills that he might see. I just thought that one ticket was sold and I needed to get rid of another. I did also think, I hope he has fun and I was glad my friend that did show knew him already so she wouldn’t feel weird but nothing about trying to be his girl.

I mean, I still see him once a week and look forward to it. But I look forward to it because he’s fun to hang with and I’m almost to the point where I don’t completely suck playing guitar. He’s a great friend. Friendly, supportive, encouraging, funny,  talented, and just plain fun. Who wouldn’t love to have that in their life? Regardless of what capacity that person is in their life for. So moral of story, sometimes its okay to be friendzoned. Sometimes, the “sucky” thing, is the most wonderful thing.

 

 

April 12, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, 50 Concerts, Entertainment, Live Music, Music

Sugar…Yes, Please!!!

#46 GO TO 50 CONCERTS OF 50 DIFFERENT BANDS/MUSICIANS (7/50)

Concert 7:

03/28/2015 at Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, WA)

Maroon 5 with Special Guest Magic! and Rozzi Crane