bishop allen!

 

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so, i will admit.  this band took a little while to grow on me.  i wasn’t sure what to think, and i didn’t hear a big variety of their music.  upon more listening, this band grew and grew and grew on me.  the more you listen, and once you see them live, you realize their musicality, and how each word is extremely carefully chosen and pronounced; i think that is what struck me most at this latest concert–you watch and can tell how purposeful each word is, and i love that.

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certain songs of theirs have gained a lot of significance to me, some have just really resonated with me, and some make me tap my foot and dance around in my chair at work. i just love them!

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and yes, i totally was that gushy girl–the lead singer was at the merch booth during the opening acts and i stopped by and talked to him, telling him how much i enjoy their music and how much i was looking forward to the show. hopefully i didn’t sound too much like a 13 year old girl. i highly recommend giving them a try!

new music!

so brandon and i went to a ben kweller concert. if you’ve ever talked to me in person about ben kweller or a ben kweller concert, you know how giddy i get. i immediately transform into a 14 year old girl (thankfully without the squealing).

anyway, this time we were beyond pleasantly surprised with the amazing opening acts! in the past, i’ve liked some opening acts, i’ve not liked others, but rarely do i get as excited as i did about jones street station and princeton. princeton opened for jones street station, who opened for ben kweller. both are relatively new and unknown bands, but i think they have great potential!

just a tip: jones street station is streaming their entire album on their website. i highly recommend a listen! they are a folksie/bluegrassy kind of good summertime jam band….i hope you like! two of my favorites: last time and tall buildings

best album cover EVER

check out this pitchfork article about wilco’s new album, entitled wilco (the album) coming out in june. seriously this might be the best album cover i’ve ever seen in my life. no joke.

cover can bee seen here: wilco (the album) cover

music

first i want to say i’ve decided that i want to start dumping some inspiration/things i’m really into at the moment here. i’ll test it out for a while and see how it goes. if it’s distracting, i might start a tumblr blog where i can dump those things. i’ll try this for a bit, and then ask opinions.

back to the post. so, as you can see by my little “currently on repeat” section, i absolutely cannot stop listening to okkervil river’s “the war criminal rises and speaks.” there’s another song i love on this particular album (down the river of golden dreams), so i think i’ve typically sort of skipped over or not payed attention to the first half of the album. for some reason this week, however, i’ve been obsessed with this song.

when i went to see him at the talking music lecture series, will sheff (lead singer of okkervil) talked about how he likes to write about characters and sort of portray them in a very human way, even if on surface level they aren’t good people. this song is talking about someone who does things they never imagined they’d do in a time of war, and now 30 years later he’s being put on trial. this particular verse is my favorite i think…

Now he’s rising and not denying, his hands are shaking, but he’s not crying.
And he’s saying “How did I climb out of a life so boring into that moment?
Please stop ignoring the heart inside, oh you readers at home!
While you gasp at my bloody crimes, please take the time
to make your heart my home, where I’m forgiven by time,
where I’m cushioned by hope, where I’m numbed by long drives,
where I’m talked off or doped. Does the heart wants to atone?
Oh, I believe that it’s so, because if I could climb back through time,
I’d restore their lives and then give back my own, tens of times now its size
on a far distant road, in a far distant time
where every night I’m still crying entirely alone.”

will sheff, wii, etc.

this week/weekend has been extremely busy, luckily with fun activities. wednesday was talking music, thursday was my company’s holiday party, friday was will sheff solo in concert. saturday started with brunch with chris, adam and jackie, then we trekked out to my grandma’s for a visit, then went over to my parents’ house to drop off the car and break in their new wii and back to the city. today consisted of sleeping in, hanging out at home, watching the bishop’s wife with sara, and crafting.

now to back up, will sheff at cafe du nord on friday night was aaaaaaaaaaaaaamazing. sara and i got their before the show started no one was really filling in the floor yet so we decided to go right up front and center. we were a little nervous about being so close at first (we were concerned about it being awkward because we were SO CLOSE) but it ended up being well worth it (and not awkward at all). he performed almost all of my favorites, and two other members of the band (okkervil river) were there, so it made the performance even better.

anyway, it’s time for bed. i promise i’ll update with some photos soon, but i’ve been so busy and i can’t really photograph what i’ve been working on. i promise after christmas there will be plenty of pictures and crafts.

talking music

wednesday evening i had the pleasure of attending one of the lectures in the talking music city arts & lectures series. we saw an interview and short acoustic session with will sheff of okkervil river, which has become one of my favorite bands in the last year. i really enjoy hearing about a band’s music from the musician’s point of view, and it was extremely interesting to hear his thoughts and philosophies on his music as well as the music industry.

i saw ben gibbard of death cab for cutie last year (equally as fascinating and truly a treat to hear solo), and then sort of forgot about the lecture series until my friend sara found will sheff’s appearance. i will definitely keep it on my radar in the future to avoid missing out on artists such as stephin merritt like i did this year.

i also am excited because will sheff is playing at cafe du nord tonight, and i am also going to that. i’ll report on that show later…

ny [day two]

day two in new york–lots of wandering, including a trip through soho, a few stops at some buildings by famous architects, a random stop in a wholesale market event (brandon got a shirt, will include a picture later), over to the new museum, and then of course, the event that sparked the entire trip, the ben kweller/conor oberst and the mystic valley band concert. the sun came out for us (which also meant the cold came out for us), and we had a great day exploring the streets of new york.

tree huts during the day
bridge
window washer, herzog & de meuron apartment building
reflection
herzog & de meuron apartment building
herzog de meuron housing
random graffiti
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apartment building, SHoP architects
housing by shop architects
gate
gate in soho
view from the new museum
corner in soho
brandon in soho
“stranded at bleecker and broadway
looking for something to do”
-myriad harbour, the new pornagraphers
broadway & bleecker
ben kweller
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the reason we are even in new york, this very moment–to see ben kweller and conor oberst on stage together
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i can’t tell you how excited i was to see them play together–i mean, yes, the trip STARTED with this idea to go to this concert and then blossomed into a lot more, but this very moment (in the photo above)…seeing and hearing them play…that is why i wanted to see this concert. i was SO giddy when i saw bk on the side of the stage with his guitar, getting ready to come on…it was a perfect moment.

hardly strictly bluegrass

so today was the much-anticipated (for me) hardly strictly bluegrass festival in golden gate park–a free concert! in previous years i have not attended this event, but this year with ben kweller and iron & wine playing, i have been looking forward to this for a few months now.

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my excitement (specifically for ben kweller) was so great this morning that i couldn’t sleep this morning–literally i woke up early and couldn’t go back to sleep. i was like that kid in that disney commercial who says “i’m too excited to sleep!!!!” (i literally quoted him in bed this morning).

anyway, we got to see an amazing set by ben kweller. he was playing a few new songs, and then some classics, mostly songs with a blue-grassy twinge to them.

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anyone who has attended a ben kweller concert with me can verify that this next statement is true: ben kweller turns me into a 14-year-old groupie teeny-bopper. it’s not that i want him, it’s just that he seems like a totally nice, down-to-earth guy, and he is just about the most adorable person i’ve ever seen–i’d love to grab a beer with him. he is a great act to watch, very enthusiastic, and everyone on stage looks like they are having a blast, and it’s contagious. you can only imagine, then, how excited i was to hear him say “i’ll be at the merchandise tent after the show.” i, of course, dashed over there with my newly purchased ep, but once in line had second thoughts. thoughts such as “i am probably double the age of most of the people in this line.” brenna, who came with me, was a true pal and reassured me that no, in fact there were multiple people my age and older in line, and it was perfectly acceptable to want to get my ep signed and that i just needed to own my enthusiasm. once we got to the front of the line they were trying to usher him off, so it all was very rushed but brenna got…the picture (right as the lady said “last picture! last picture!” so much excitement! i am sort of glad it was rushed because honestly, what would i say, besides something to make a complete fool of myself?

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after my photo op, brenna and i decided that roasted corn on the cob and pomegranate lemonade was too much to resist, so we made a stop at the concession area. the rest of the group was still in the crowd, being nostalgic and watching elvis costello perform, but the amount of people had at LEAST quadrupled so there was no way we were making it back to our spot (i had insisted on being close for ben). after a phone meltdown (no one could get through), we FINALLY got in touch with the group again and made our way over for iron & wine. unfortunately a ton of other people had the same idea, and anyone who has ever listened to iron & wine knows their music is not exactly loud, so we could barely even get close enough to hear ANYTHING, let alone actually tell what song they were playing. at that point we were exhausted, sunburned and dehydrated and decided to call it a day. we headed back out of the park and headed home, completing a very satisfactory sunday.

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i hope i do see you next year, hardly strictly bluegrass!
chris, this picture was taken for you…these two were literally caught red-handed…
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now we are watching the angels vs. red sox game, waiting for that outcome…
happy sunday everyone!

games galore

this weekend was busy but VERY fun! it started out on friday night with an amazing coldplay concert. katie drove down from sacramento and joined up with chris, brandon and me for a trip to hp pavilion in san jose. it was a change from the normal concerts i go to–most of the shows i have gone to over the past few years have not been produced shows–it’s more just a band performing. this one, however, was complete with videos projected on giant orb type things and a shower of butterfly confetti. chris martin was much more personable than i expected him to be, and the concert was just amazing overall. they were very entertaining and made me swoon as always. *coldplay pictures courtesy of chris asuncion*

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laser beams


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viva la vida


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out in the crowd


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butterfly confetti (no, not leaves [brandon] and not bats [chris]…but thanks for trying)


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on saturday we had a fun day at at&t park…
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brandon with his game face on


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chris has not learned to say no to temptation…just couldn’t pass up the nachos (mind you, this was AFTER a big bbq beef sandwich)


we met up with some college friends we hadn’t seen in a while and enjoyed the beautiful weather and baseball game. i have to confess that once everyone had arrived, i got to chatting and missed most of the last couple innings…ooops! oh well, it was great to catch up with friends i haven’t seen in a few years.

cabrinha studio reunion


we then walked from the ballpark to ghirardelli square to grab some delicious ice cream and then bussed out to the sunset to have a picnic at chris’ house. we got take-out chinese (that chris and i had been craving for months) and had some good old fashioned jenga and twister fun.

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brandon contemplating his next move, hoping chris will knock it over in the meantime


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shaky-handed chris being serious…a rare moment indeed


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the demise of the most intense game of jenga EVER…katie and i thought the game was over about 10 minutes before it actually was…ridiculous. we have no idea how that tower held up as long as it did


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and the game of twister…i was crying from laughing so hard pretty much the whole time


overall an exhausting but very fun weekend. this morning started out with breakfast at tartine for morning buns, croissants, and a scone. katie and i then ventured over to ikea to meet up with my sister to pick up some items for the baby’s rom. next weekend is going to be another busy/fun weekend when we start to put the baby’s room together. i can’t wait! jen and josh will be in tahoe while brandon and i put it together–it is sort of a “while you were out” idea, except they know we’re coming and they know the design…we just have a couple surprises they don’t know about. it should be fun! i hope it all comes together as i have it in my head.