June 23, 2010

2010 musical picks.

So let's talk.
More specifically, let's talk about this year so far and them music that has made it so great.

This is more so aimed for my taste and my own general opinion.
Also it contains music that was out before 2010, but just seeped into my eardrums after the turn of the new year or at least made a different impression on me in 2010. I think the sea of artists that have come through Chicago in the past 6 months has been amazing. There have been so many concerts that I've had to miss out on but I think that I held the tickets to the best shows that came around. Again, in my opinion. I feel so lucky to have seen some of these artists. Every show is a different experience and a new group of people. A show is something I can really lose myself in. I have so much fun and love live music.

I compiled eight different songs on...well, 8tracks.

HERE is the link. This way you can actually listen to them. These are really in no particular order.

1) Howl by Florence + The Machine: I saw Ms. Florence Welch herself along with her band back in April at the House of Blues in Chicago. If you look-up the shows reviews you might read that "she didn't perform her best". I don't know what her "best" is, but I thought she was fucking phenomenal. I was front row for that show (I blogged about it at length below a few posts so I won't go on about it here). Anywho, she opened with the song "Howl". I was actually able to see the setlist from where I was standing in the crowd. When I first saw it I wasn't thrilled. I liked the song a lot, but it wasn't one of my favourites. I wanted her to play 'Between Two Lungs' or 'Dog Days Are Over' as an intro (they just sound like opening songs, you know?). The way it was performed and how good it was made all the difference. It was so powerful that after the concert it became one of my favourites and I felt sheepish for glossing it over so quickly before the fact. It is one of my top 8 for those reasons, however it was released in the summer of 2009.

2)Got Nuffin By Spoon: I love this song AND it actually came out in 2010 AND I saw it live. All wins. Also it reminds me of something you might hear on "Gimme Fiction" which is a great album. I love seeing Spoon live. I'm happy, but more importantly, ERIC is happy. We have a great time at their shows and I hope we see them at least 5 more times in our lifetime. We have seen them at the Aragon Ballroom and at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. I love the lead singer, Britt Daniel, and his stage presence and voice. I love that he always sounds like he's got a cigarette in his hand but he has control over his voice and can carry tune. All in all, this song was a great one on their Album released in January of this year called "Transference".

3) & 4) Your Hands (Together) & Crash Years By The New Pornographers: Another bonus because these two songs both came out this year and make an appearance on their latest called "Together". These are two of my favourites on this album. It reminds me of our vacation we just took because we always had it in the car with us so we heard it on constant loop. I love having specific memories to an album. It makes it that much more significant. Another good artist that came out with an album this year. I really like The New Pornographers. Their last album 'Challengers' was something I really enjoyed but I feel that I didn't delve into it well enough. It deserves some playing. Perhaps I'll throwback and give their old album a listen today.

5)Feeling Good By My Brightest Diamond: I LOVE her voice and by her I mean Shara Wordon. It's jazzy and blues-y and I adore it. I really like it when new music sounds like older music. Older music was good. She has got a style to her music and a depth to her voice. Check this song out for sure. It appears on the album 'Dark Was The Night'. I haven't heard enough to rave about the album, just the song at this point.

6)Like Spinning Plates (LIVE) by Radiohead: Yes. This song came out in 2001. No I did NOT just here it a near decade later for the first time. But I did hear it come out of Thom Yorke's mouth earlier this year in April over at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. I was so stoked that I got to hear 'Eraser' in its entirety live (and the fact that Flying Lotus opened for him) but of course when you see Thom Yorke you just want to hear some classic Radiohead. He delivered with 'Like Spinning Plates' & 'Airbag'. Quite fantastic. When he came back and broke out the intro on piano I couldn't believe it. I was thinking "Holy shit, Thom Yorke is fucking IN THIS ROOM playing piano and singing. The room was pretty much quiet except for the familiar chords and his voice adding lyric over melody. It gave the song new life and new importance. What a show.

7)Leaf House By Animal Collective: This song is so funky. That is the exact reason why I like this song and many other songs by this group. This is one of those that you might skip over the first few times, but once you hear it through you have to keep hearing it. This song also came out way before 2010...but on the album 'Sung Tongs' in 2004. This band has been around a long time, but just started gaining more recognition with their songs 'My Girls' & 'Summertime Clothes'. I can't say that I like every song that Animal Collective puts out, but the majority of them capture me because they are so unique. I find myself putting a lot of their stuff on people's mix CD.

8)Sleepyhead By Passion Pit: This has to be one of my favourite songs. Eric says that this song reminds him exclusively of me. It makes me feel so happy. I also secretly (well not so much anymore!) want to do the little voice at the beginning and throughout. I saw this song performed live April 22 at the Congress Theater in Chicago. This was the song I went there hoping to hear. The show was short. This was due to the lead singer, Michael Angelakos, having a sinus infection. For the problem being present, he performed and sounded SO good. So of course they close out the show. They come back out and start the crowd back up with 'Sleepyhead'. I was ecstatic. I tend to lose my shit at shows. Meaning I get into the music with every fiber of my being. I love to jump around, dance, and just have a good time. This show was a perfect example of just that. We weren't concerned with being front row for this one. I just loved being there and dancing to this bands music. It was so fun!

Wow. What good artists that have made their way through here. I feel most lucky to live by a big city when it comes to the choices of shows. I think I saw 5 shows in just over a month. It had to be that way unless there would have been some major disappointments. 3 of them were birthday presents, but that made it easy on him. He knows some of those shows were must see, so it was easy to slap a happy birthday on that (who wouldn't!). Natalie Fucking Merchant. I still cannot believe that I get to see her. I don't care if I go and she performs the Alphabet. I am so amped. Thom Yorke and Natalie Merchant in my golden year. ON TOP OF THAT amazing happening, we also have some new information from Pitchfork that Radiohead might be dropping their new album later this year. What a treat! That would be so so so so great. You know who else needs to come through here? DAVID BYRNE! A TALKING HEADS REUNION? sorry. It just seems like everything I've wished for musically has come true this year.

I would REALLY like to see a few other bands and hopefully I'll get the chance. I would love to see The Decemberists perform 'Hazards of Love'. I love that the two girls that Colin Meloy chose to play roles in the album were from two different bands with similar names, Shara Wordon My Brightest Diamond and Becky Stark from Lavender Diamond. The Temper Trap and The New Pornographers would be be nice to see as well. The XX just announced a fall tour all through the US and Europe, but since they will be at LOLLA most likely I will not be seeing them. Interpol just announced North American tour

It seems like every time I flip through Twitter, Pitchfork is announcing the release of a new album. Arcade Fire and Zero 7 have new albums and Arcade Fire is having 8 different album covers for their new one. Dirty Projectors & Bjork recently worked together and are releasing the collaboration efforts. Again, I am just so thrilled to hear that Radiohead is working together. They are so close to being done with their new album and their guitarist Ed O'Brien talks so enthusiastically about it happening this year. We shall see.

Check out: http://pitchfork.com/

Shows I've seen this year so far:
Spoon (12/31), Spoon (4/1/10), Thom Yorke (4/10), Florence & The Machine (4/10), Passion Pit (4/10), Metric (5/10), Phish (5/10). And I hold tickets to Modest Mouse at the Pitchfork Festival and Natalie Merchant at the Chicago Theater.

Get your hands on some tickets AND NEW ALBUMS!


June 21, 2010

The tales of butter & cream

what is the point?
I am confident while being insecure.
I'm happy while being devastated.
I'm calm when I'm anxious.

I am like a fucking living oxymoron.
How irritating.

On another note...well... kind of;

While I find myself in complete happiness, I'm wondering if I used to be happier. This summer doesn't really feel like summer. It could be my over-awareness of the rays hitting my skin and my prevention of that happening...but I feel like I am not happy about summer. I used to love walking around in tank tops and go on long walks or roller blading after a morning of skating. I loved meeting up with friends to take walks in the neighborhood. I liked the familiar aspect of it all. How summers were really easy. A 15 minute drive to work, friends five minutes away, early nights, late nights with friends. It's different now, but I am still extremely happy. Now I excitedly come home to my best friend who, luckily, is also my boyfriend-- and we eat dinners and go on walks. We watch and laugh over our favourite shows and play call of duty late into the night. It's quite the set up and I love it. But it is different than the life I used to lead. Which is okay, but it leaves me comparing. There is really no comparison.

I started a new endeavor. How like me. I started decorating at home. I went over to the Wilton tent sale where all of their supplies are 50% off. They make baking supplies as well as things like teapots, coffee mugs, etc. So I went and got bags, tips, cuplers, colours, cake tins, a rolling pin, the list goes on and on...

I actually ended up going two days in a row.
So I spent the weekend making cakes and cookies and buttercream frosting in an assortment of colours and decorating things for fathers day. I am so excited to get things rolling along at home. I really love decorating at work but sometimes the downfall is having to stick to designs without creative input. Although sometimes it's an advantage because you don't have to come up with it out your own, heh. At home I have the freedom to do whatever I want which is great. I want to get really efficient in making cookies and frosting and be able to roll them out for various occasions. YAY!

This week (and next) my schedule got switched and I will be working nights. This kind of a bummer. The in-predictability of the shift makes it more of a nuisance because you never know when you will be walking out the door. But sometimes we get out really early which is great, and some nights I don't care how late we are there. I just prefer opening shifts because I'm up and at 'em at 5:45 and I get a guaranteed 6.5 hours which is nice. I just prefer to enjoy as much as my day as I possibly can. When I close I often end up sleeping until 10 which leaves me moving with enough time to get to work by two. I also like the guarantee of getting off work at a set time. I'm just thankful that no matter what time I start, I look forward to going. It's so nice to see improvements and get new ideas for how to do something. I'm lucky.

I hope I don't miss summer once it is Winter. But I have a feeling with my adoration for gloom, it should fit in perfectly with my life :)

Lets hope for some gloomy weather and storms this week!


June 13, 2010

vacation wrap up.

Alas. Blogging again.
And it is a rainy day! bonus.

I've been putting this of for far too long simply because so much has occured. I think I've seen Metric, Gone on vacation to Hilton Head/Savannah for a week, saw Phish, and worked at another store location, and got a stellar new phone! We've also cleaned this house up so damn well and have added things that make it way personal. So where to begin?

Lets start with Vacation (and end with it not really in the mood to go on about the last four weeks). What an amazing time. Of course, when it includes Eric and I, nothing will be conventional. Our vacation started with us landing on the Savannah runway to only receive a voicemail stating that Eric's Grandmother had been hospitalized for a stroke. Unaware of the severity or the lack there of, had us renting the car (a convertible!) and getting to the Hilton Head hospital in a frenzy. We got there to find out that she had a minor stroke, but would need to remain inpatient for the next few days. Also, this vacation was not one that was planned to include just Eric and I. His cousin, her husband, and their new baby were also to meet us up there. Last minute, his aunt, uncle and two other cousins decided to come down. This only added to his grandparents and Aunt & Uncle already living down there. The first few days were revolved mostly around family mostly because of his grandmothers condition and Eric's birthday that was on June 1st.

Our first two nights were spent in Downtown Savannah. Our first night we ended up getting back in the room exceptionally late and settled in with some episodes of Arrested Development. The second night we went around downtown Savannah and knocked back a few at Eric's favourite pub, Kevin Barry's. We had a great time roaming the cobblestone streets as the drinks made us melt into the night-time heat. What an enjoyable night. It was kind of nice to stay in Savannah for our first two nights while everyone was back in Hilton Head. It allocated long drives at night in the convertible enjoying the Savannah nights. Hilton Head/Savannah are such beautiful places. I love the minimal sign-age that is found throughout the island--and how everything is hidden and classy. It was also nice to walk out your hotel and down to the nightlife of downtown.

Our next three nights would be spent at the Westin in Port Royal where our room would be equipped with a private balcony overlooking the ocean. These things occurred in three days/nights; many complaints would be made to the front desk resulting in candy and sodas, hours worth of conversation on our balcony at night, a fantastic birthday dinner followed by billiards, naming and making friends with a huge spider on our balcony, A couples massage/jacuzzi & tons of champagne and the amazing spa, hangin out in the ocean and on the beach, racking up a huge phone bill, and room service that consisted of Nova Lox! The setting of this hotel made it so easy to relax. It seemed like every hotel that we stayed at had a different feel and had a different advantage. We loved the privacy of the balcony at the Westin on the beach but loved the openness and height of the Westin we stayed in on our last two nights overlooking downtown Savannah.

This vacation really rejuvenated us. Especially Eric. He needed this vacation. Normally after 7 months of being here, I am in dire need of a change in scenery. Eric hadn't really had a proper vacation in 3 years so we both indulged in what vacation had to offer. We both made an ecstatic effort to get the new EVO 4G Sprint phones that came out a week or so ago during one of our last days there and now are both enjoying the perks of 4G on the now network.

I think in my head, I still think I am there sometimes. I love how free the week was. How happy Eric and I were (and how i'm glad that transcended so well to our life back home). I wish we could go back there. Although, I wouldn't want to stay again there next year, we decided every other year we will find ourselves in Savannah/Hilton Head. Eric's family has been going there for so many years, so he was so anxious so show me around and that was so great to understand why it meant so much to him :)

some pictures that were taken by Eric and his beloved tri-pod.

Us at Sea Pines

The Westin in Savannah. We stayed here our last two nights.
I loved this hotel.
on the balcony at the Savannah Westin

Erics Birthday :)

Lightning over the ocean.
Eric was messing around with his camera during one of the most insane thunderstorms I had ever been in. We were on our balcony and the thunder was so loud and the lightning just about blinded me. How amazing. This shot was taken at night. Around 11:45 pm. That's how bright this lightning was.

downtown Savannah at night

If you find yourself wondering if there were any downfalls on the trip--there were! No Chipotle FOR 150+ MILES. If you go to Hilton Head you better not find yourself craving your beloved chicken burrito bowl or tacos slathered with barbacoa and sour cream ;)

Life has been good. We have been living comfortably and at the end of the trip it did feel good to come home. After being in so many different clean houses of his relatives and staying in hotel rooms that got cleaned, it inspired me to make a drastic effort to keep the house super clean when we got home. I've been pressuring Eric like crazy to clean is office to make it double as a hang out room since it is so big. Since mentioning, the office has become quite clean and is now equipped with a new 52" flatscreen. Good stuff. Our house is finally ready to show off!

What has been keeping you busy??