Before we get to anything else...
Natalie Merchant must be mentioned.
I believe I saw one of my favourite shows on Thursday July 22, 2010.
no no, I KNOW I saw one of my favourite shows.
My mom and I outside the Chicago Theater
I wrote a review on Ticketmaster's website, so I'll link that.
**I've decided to copy it here:
WOW. This was amazing. My mom turned me on to Natalie Merchant when I was about 5 years old and in return I bought her a ticket and yes, we were the "Mother Daughter?" group that she asked about :) I fell in love with her work in 10,000 Maniacs and that music still reminds me of my youth, although this music has gathered more respect and adoration to me as time goes on. I loved her solo work, Tigerlily & Ophelia. I have to admit, I was not well versed in her new album. I had some idea that they were nursery rhyme related but didn't know the whole background. I actually kind of wanted to go to this show and not know what to expect. However, I looked at prior set lists the night before to see what Chicago was in for and loved what I saw. New & OLD. But not just old as in solo, but bringing back stuff from the 10,000 Maniacs days.
As she approached the stage, she seemed so strong. As you watched her perform, she confirmed that. She is exactly that, a strong woman with so much to sing about and tell about. She more so gave a presentation. Her new album is composed of poems from various poets, over many decades, from different areas of the world. As she went into each song, she used a powerpoint to deliver pictures while she shared information about each one. It was such a unique concert. What is even more unique is the fact that she was able to turn old poems into new songs that can deliver with such flair and technique. I loved that she talked to the crowd SO much. I love it when an artists connects with the people who come to see them. It makes it much more personal and enjoyable.
I was lucky enough to snag the one and only set list for the show...The first 15 songs were from her new album.
Part 1: Crying My Little One, Sleepy Giant, Man In The Wilderness, King of China, Sailor O Sailor, Spring & Fall, Maggie & Milly & Maggie & Mae, Peppery Man, Janitor's Boy, Bleezer's Ice Cream, Isabel, Calico Pie, If No One Ever Marries Me, The Dancing Bear, Equestrienne
So for "The Dancing Bear" I really wanted to dance in the aisle because I love that song and how funky the instruments are. I had seats in the back and people back there were like "rush the stage!" so I went up right by the staged and just danced my heart out. It was Natalie Merchant. I don't know if I'll get to see her live, so of course I'm going to enjoy myself. This is when I ended up snagging a spot right up front. At the end of this set when people started clearing out, I ran back to get my mom to come and sit up front with me. This is an important factor...
Okay that was all in order. For the second half, the crowd got a little goofy. People were calling out requests and it was so funny with shout outs like "Freebird!", "Smoke On The Water", "Dust In The wind!!" Her guitarists starts playing 'Dust In the Wind' and she went with it for awhile, but they didn't match on a key so they continued to joke with the crowd. She didn't really stick to the set list order and they just kind of went with it. She started with..
Part 2: Wonder, River, The Worst Thing, Break Your Heart, Carnival, The Letter, and I honestly forgot the order of the last songs, but she ended with Kind and Generous. WOW. HOW amazing. She spotted me numerous times (I was wearing her merchandise--which has a great design) and at the end for 'Kind & Generous" My mom and I were dancing and she looked down at us and asked "Mother Daughter?" ha ha. That was awesome.
Overall it was an AMAZING show. The best concert I've ever been to. A moment that really stood out to me and I don't know why is her taking her hair down about 6 songs into the act. As I said, she came out and appeared VERY strong and poised. I guess it was her loosening up. But it stood out to me.
The only downside of this entire experience would be the surplus of people getting up and down for liquor. That's the problem with shows today (as I'm only 22 I suppose I know nothing about shows in the 60's-70's-80's) is the fact that liquor is sold. Flasks were fine--there was enough to getcha by. Now people just go too overboard and can sometimes ruin the experience for others.
I really wish I held a ticket to other shows. Hopefully one day she will be back!
Favorite moment: "The Dancing Bear", "Kind & Generous", and her talking to the crowd and enjoying herself as well.
Okay. On to what is going on in the now...
this first sentence will surely contradict that, but I'll getcha back on track
A few months ago, I packed up the important tangibles and moved in with my boyfriend.
Over these past few months we have accomplished so many things in this house. It feels more home-y with every picture of us on vacation that we hang. So earlier in the week, my mom had phoned asking if she could stop by the place. A few factors had gotten in the way of that sooner (i.e. we had to get our house in order, we took a vacation, so did they, and they have a summerhouse they spend weekends at, etc) so now was the time.
This was no little simplistic "aw, my parents are coming." Well, it sort of was, but mostly it was like "This is your time to prove yourself. There will be no dust or dirt." This feeling was brought on by my parents telling me my whole life "We can't wait to come to your house and see how you life when you're all out on your own with no one to clean up after you."
I keep a clean quarters naturally. It's a completely different circumstance when you are living under a roof that is not your parents. Most people take initiative to clean up after themselves and maintain a reasonable amount of cleanliness. It just matters when it's your shit that we are talking about. It's a tad unfortunate, but it's just the name of the game.
I knew what I was in for. I knew that I would have to deep clean. Like I said, I have a clean house, but I needed to go all out, I need the bleach to soak in my pores and wear its scent with pride. I needed a pack of sponges, 3 rolls of economy size paper towels, and a lot of determination. Eric equipped me with a new vacuum and dust buster to really get things going. I windex-ed away smudges and wiped away the dust on the window sills. Overall, I put in 12+ hours of cleaning. I probably did way more than I should have, but now I feel like our house is so clean, there are no more dusties hanging out in corners anymore. What an accomplishment. When you have any size space to maintain, there is always a point of ease while trying to do so. There is always a time where it will be clean and then a time where less time will be spent tidying and eventually it's something you have to "put aside time" to do. So for now we are in the clean cycle and I WILL maintain it. Unfortunately, my parents only breathed the air in my house for less than twenty minutes. However, I think they thought it was pretty clean. I'm sure it was worth the 14 hours...
At least we got Chinese food at our favourite restaurant before they headed out. I cannot go a week without it!
For now, I want to enjoy my clean floors and carpet with vacuum lines in them!