Beehives, bopping and banana pudding

Last night we went to what possibly might be the best concert in terms of just sheer fun (bjork takes the prize for best). We went to the Iron Horse to see Southern Culture on the Skids ( which is a great band that has been around for a while and sings songs all poking fun at trailer culture in a funny way.

We where fairly lucky and got a table near the front with a decent view. Angry Johnny and the KillBillies ( opened up for SCOTS and did a good job. They where sort of a mix of angry hill billies and grunge. They played only for 30 minutes but where enjoyable. Giving enough time to have 2 martini’s in my case which where very yummy.

About this time a bunch of college kids arrived and at first we where a little worried that they would be the typical college idiots but luckily far from that.

Southern Culture on the Skids came on a bit later. They looked even better then when we saw them at the green river festival. The lead singer had plaid shorts and the whole redneck outfit with a straw hat which had part of it cut away for a sun visor. The female lead singer had a beehive and wore it well. The drummer looked like he was wearing an old fashion bowling uniform.

No sooner then 5 minutes into the concert and the college kids where up and bopping around in front of us. They knew the words to every song which made it even better (side note:. For those who have no gone to the iron horse it is one of those sit down concert places but there is room here to stand)  and where dancing it up to the side of the stage where we where. After a couple songs we got up with them (by the end of the evening many people where up) and did some crazy redneck dancing. It was crazy fun and the college kids where having a great time which was even more fun.

SCOTS was also have a blast of a time. They where really actually smiling while playing and looked to be having a great time. They got a couple people on stage including some of the college kids and one that was from TN. He was so estatic to be up on stage. After songs like double wide and day old banana pudding you just got to love them. After placing for a while they came back for a few song encore.

Needless to say we havea  GREAT time and couldn’t believe how much fun it was. Thanks to 2 great bands and some very cool college kids.

Songs you must hear – Double wide & day old banana pudding

Guy highlight – Kathy kissing the beehive wearing lead singer on the neck

Tattoo Status – Very Itchy

“Bamboo” zeled

Up to our necks in bamboo and not even outside.

That is what it feels like lately, we have started to put down the bamboo flooring on our entire upstairs. What is bad about this is the fact the condo is so small. We would give anything for even a small piece of yard which would make the process so much easier. So the living room now has saw dust all over it from cutting and their are boxes all over the place full of flooring.

On the good side we did a fairly ok job of the hallway, only a couple of little mistakes but hey we are both new to putting wood floors down without any help. Only a little bit of the hallway is left which is a good thing. Of course now the question is what to do next, oh the joys of condo projects 🙂

Beauty & Crime in Brattleboro

We were surprised to hear on 93.9 The River that Suzanne Vega was coming to our humble little town to do a concert. Yes, Suzanne Vega, in little old Brattleboro! And not just in Brattleboro, but right down the street from us, within walking distance! We couldn’t pass that up. She had been touring the US to promote her new album “Beauty and Crime”, which has surfaced after a several-year hiatus to raise her daughter.

Seeing her live at the Latchis theater was like seeing time frozen. She looked and sounded just like she did in her old “Tom’s Diner” days. Quite appropriately, she began her set with the album version of “Tom’s Diner” and, quite adorably, her band crew came on stage to “act out” the song, like by bringing in coffee to a cafe table and reading the paper.

Suzanne played a lot of songs from her new album–which was very good! I am especially a fan of “Frank and Ava” about Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and “New York is a Woman”. Her lyrics and her sound is just as charming as it was in the days of her debut album. She sang a few old favorites including “Marlene on the Wall”, and “Left of Center”.

Suzanne was very engaging throughout the show, telling cute little stories in between sets and commenting on how she liked Brattleboro. She even read aloud a fan letter from a fan who requested she play a particular song in Brattleboro that night, and then she played the song.

The room fell to a hush when she sang a mesmerizing “Luka”, and then blasted into the funky, radio version of “Tom’s Diner” that we all know and love from Benny and Joon.

She came back for a 2-song encore from audience requests and then danced off stage. What a nice show, and the best part was that we only had to walk home after! So we even got to grab a beer at the Flat Street Brewery. And we found out that a neighbor of ours whom we had been friends with moved back to town!

I hope we start to see more great artists like her performing in a place like Brattleboro. Hooray, Suzanne!

Oh, I almost forgot, opening for her was Philip Julian. He was pretty neat, he sang a funny song he called “God the Third” about if Jesus had a son, and the guy was a dissapointment. (“So he became the president of the United States” har har”).

We heart Grizzly Bear.

Ever since seeing these guys open for Feist, we’ve been intruiged by Grizzly Bear. They are one of those rare bands whose live shows far outweigh the quality of their album, so they always leave you wanting more. They didn’t disappoint at Pearl Street, although I wouldn’t consider the venue a good match for their music…they are more of an Iron Horse, sit- down -and listen to kind of band. The name conjures up mean, angry animals who steal your camping food…but these guys are more Teddy than Grizzly.

Opening for them was Beach House, a duo whose music brings to mind a ghost from the 1960’s searching the shore for her lost love (guess that’s where the “beach house” title would fit). And with as much “cool new band” exposure as Grizzly Bear has been getting, they were completely humble about it and hung out with everyone during the Beach House perofmance. When Chris and I were having a drink next door before the show, we saw the guys from Grizzly Bear wander past the window and take the “common people” entrance into Pearl Street. They even worked the CD/T-Shirt booth and joked around with the sound guys.

When it was their time to shine, they walked up on stage and thanked Beach House profusely.I can’t say enough of how Grizzly Bear’s live shows put their album to shame. The album is subdued, with ukeleles and pianos. The live shows have more of an edge, with electric guitars and glockenspiels (sp?). Their music is hard to explain, but it’s emotions and right-on-target group melodies that conjure up thoughts of Simon and Garfunkel and the Grateful Dead mixed with the Beach Boys. Super good stuff. Favorite songs were “Little Brother”, “Fix it” and “On a Neck, on a Spit”. There was even a great acapella version of an old sea shanty.

I hope Grizzly Bear will stay as humble as they were at this live show, even after playing at Coachella and receiving lots of under-the-radar buzz. I hope they’ll come back again sometime, too.

the wait for inking is over

After many months of waiting, I finally started my nightmare before Christmas tattoo. Any one that knows me knows I have been a Jack and Sally fan from way back. Hell half the time I call Kathy sally and she calls me jack so how could I not get something. Needless to say the Amazing Tracey from luckysoul came though yet again. She had me worried since I only heard from her a couple times before the appointment. I guess I have to get use to some people not living for IM and emailing. She did a few drawings and sketches and one of them was AMAZING, I cannot say enough how great it was and exactly what we had talked about. So many hours later it was done and I was estatic, and when I got home the wife was totally amazed too . . . Always a good sign.

Here is the photo, my skin is still very angry at me so it looks more red than it should.

Nightmare Before Christmas JAck and Sally Leg Sleeve Tattoo part 1

On related news I saw a poster for Nightmare in 3d a few weeks ago when we where in Florida which was released last year (2006). Well it looks like they are going to re-release it to theaters sweeeet.

The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D (2007), 25th October 2007

Jersey girl

Just got back from a nice weekend in New Jersey visiting the sis (for her 30th birthday!) and nephew. I’m sad we could only stay for a little more than a day, time always goes by way too fast when we’re with them and I miss them so much already! Jeremy is getting so big–he is walking around (or should I say “waddling”?) and can say a few words like “Baby”, “Uh-oh”, and “Ball”. He is getting more teeth and smiles and laughs a lot, and he loves to copy what people do! If he sees someone reading, he will grab a piece of paper and start to “read” aloud too. Ahhh, cuteness! I will post some more pics up in a bit.

Summer of 50

This summer has been a great one, one that I think we both will remember for a long time.  Just realized the other day we are approaching having seen 50 bands this year. Kinda crazy to think about that but hell of a blast.

J’aime Montreal. Beaucoup.

This weekend we crossed the Canadian border for the first time! Which by the way, is rather much easier than I thought. It took a whole of 2 seconds–we showed border patrol our passports, they asked us about 3 questions (where are you coming from, how long are you staying, are you bringing in any firearms or controlled substances?), and then we were pushed on through. Whoopee!

We stayed in Montreal for a night to go to the 2007 Osheaga Music Festival at a national park there. The hotel we stayed at was very decently priced (Hotel St. Denis), and actually a close walk to the Metro Station, which we found out the festival was only one metro stop away from!

Montreal was pretty sweet. Nearly everyone is bi-lingual, French is commonly the first language used but most people can easily switch to English. I tried to use my minimal French as much as possible. Nearly everyone was very friendly and helpful, which was a relief to see. We stayed in the Latin Quarter which is part of Vieux Montreal (“Old Montreal”). It was a very artistic quarter with a few concert venues, a univeristy and some great street cafes. Being there definitely brought back memories of France, there is certainly a European vibe. (Sans any snootiness).

The Osheaga festival was absolutely amazing. The park itself lays aside a canal and has beautiful open spaces. There are several works of outside art which are monuments there, such as Buckminster Fuller’s giant Geodesic Dome. For the festival, several artists made cute little cutouts of woodland characters to stick all around the woods nearby.

There were 4 stages of music for this weekend long event (we only went for a day), plus a large indoor tent in which local artists showed videos and displayed paintings and photographs. 2 artists worked on a mural throughout the festival which was to be completed when the festival finished. There was a “maze” of art and several booths in which local crafters sold their wares.

We lucked out in the food department as there was a vegetarian/vegan stand! Other stands sold more than just your standard veggie burgers, including an African food stand which looked and smelled oh-so tempting. (We didn’t end up eating there but judging by the LONG lines, it was popular). They served beer and wine there and suprisingly, though there was no alcohol limit, out of the thousands (and we mean THOUSANDS!) of people at the festival, no one was rip-roaring drunk or obnoxious. However, the stench of weed was everywhere, and it seemed like security looked the other way. That’s Canada for ya!

There were a lot of very cool, very nice people are age, I’d say a real “indie” crowd was there. By the end of the night, there was an enormous bunch of people! Everyone seemed to be having fun and for the amount of people there, there was little hint of any bad goings-on. We wonder if the festival represented what most of Canada is like- relaxed and friendly, and focusing on more important things than caring about people smoking pot (like recycling (which there was a whole “recycling team” at Osheaga which picked up everything), and Fair Trade (there was a big fair trade booth there). It was a welcome sight to be part of such a laissez-faire atmosphere…

The music was outstanding! There was not a single band who disappointed, everyone put on a GREAT live show. It would take forever to post about everyone , but I’ll just list who we saw playing there (we only saw 2 out of the 4 stages as some bands where playing at the same time on the other side of the park). Apostle of Hustle, Rahzel (considered the “Godfather of beatboxing”), Jamie T (who sounded like the Streets mixed with the Clash), Editors (who definitely had a cool Interpol vibe), Xavier Cafeine (a Montreal born punk singer who was crazy!), Blonde Redhead (whom we love love love!), Patrick Watson (he had a unique sound all of his own), Stars (another Montreal-based band who had great stage presence and were friends of Feist), Feist herself (she rules!!!), Dumas (who is very popular in Canada; we were laughing at this because one of our good friends, Andy Dumas, always goes by “Dumas”), Damien Rice (we saw him before and were concerned about him performing solo w/out Lisa Hannigan, but he blew us away! The most surprising hit of the fest!), and….the headliners….Smashing Pumpkins!

Blonde Redhead were great, the lead singer wore a funky dress and danced around like a hippy in an LSD forest (it was quite cute, actually.). Where she sat to play the keyboard was made to look like a giant black horse.

Feist was amazing as usual but, since she hails from Canada, she had an extra special connection with the crowd!

Damien Rice was a total knockout, rocking out guitar solos like a bad mutha! You’d forget he was known for mostly “folk ballad” type music…

Pumpkins were great! It was exciting to see them live after being fans since Siamese Dream! We tried to stay awake as they were the last show of the day and we had been standing in the hot sun since 1pm (it was going until 11). But we stayed awake and it was worth it. They played a handful of older songs like “Tonight”, and “Bullet w/ Butterfly wings”, but most of their material was from their newest album, Zeitgeist. All the same it was pretty darn good.

There was so much dirt in the open fields that when we got to our hotel our shoes looked like we had been in a mine–there was an inch thick of dust covering them. When I washed my face the white face towel was nearly black-ugh! But we slept VERY well after that busy day.

The next morning after we checked out, we were so pleased to find a little bakery that specialized in delicacies from Lyon. We had a nice little breakfast of croissants au beurre, baguette toast and frothy coffee that brought back sweet memories.

It was time to say “Au Revoir” to Canada after that, but we’ve officially fallen in love with the place and feel very lucky to have been able to have such a fine visit. We hope we’ll visit again sometime soon!

Addendum 9/11/07–I forgot to add a couple of interesting tidbits from our trip:

1. The Cafe in Lyon was called “La Brioche Lyonnais”

2. Chris did a good job speaking a little bit of French

3. There was a band called Thunderheist that we caught the tail end of their performance. We were totally intrigued then, and now after checking them on myspace, we love them! (Thunderheist, come perform your booty-shakin beats in the U.S. Soon!)

4. At the festival we spotted some unusual dressers, including a guy who wore and Indian headdress and whose friend dressed up as a cow. (We now have strong suspicious as to where all that weed came from….)

5. The most unusual perfomance by far must’ve been a duo called Hank Pine and Lily Fawn. Lily Fawn wears fawn ears, tap dances, sings vaudeville ditties and plays the saw. Hank Pine is dressed like a chemical warmonger mixed with the hamburglar, plays electric guitar, screams like a banshee, and carries around a garbage bag which he claims to be his dead girlfriend.