Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tonight! At Club Passim!

It's another Grinding Tapes Showcase!

If you don't have anything going on tonight, you should check out this show. Great artists with layered and beautiful songs with a message. A steal at $10. Elijah Wyman performing up North. Club Passim (a great venue). What's there not to love?

I'll be reviewing it later this week. But GO TO THIS SHOW!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A very quick 24 hours

I found out today I got the second of the two apartments I saw yesterday. The first guy didn't like that I couldn't move in now, but ah well. It had one closet and it felt like a cave.

I'll be moving to a "studio" in a few weeks. I say "studio" because while it is a studio, the kitchen stuff and place where I'll put my bed are in two different areas.

Signing the lease was nerve-wracking and filled with panic. I've never lived on my own, and the idea of not having someone with me to say "this is a good place" or "we can do this" was scary. But a very adult move. I want to apologize to Tim and Erin for taking the brunt of my fears and freaking out via gchat this afternoon.

I meet my landlord again on Friday to discuss the final details. Then I need to completely pare down all the stuff I own so it can fit. What pieces of furniture do I really want? Should I upgrade certain pieces to be more efficient? Do I keep cable? So many decisions.

I will say this... I will really miss my current apartment. It was a dream to live in. Cozy. Inviting. An AMAZING porch. The best neighbors. But I think my two years have done me well, and all good things must come to an end.

Great ready for a whirlwind of a month!

Monday, July 27, 2009

If that's moving up, then I'm moving out

Yep, that'd be eight.

The summer is winding down, and many of my friends seem to be moving this year. I know of at least two other people (not counting me) who are either trying to find apartments or are getting ready to move.

As stated in prior posts, I am moving from my apartment for two years. I looked at two today, and hopefully one of them will work out. Keep your fingers crossed that I will move from the outskirts of Salem (read: a little too close to Lynn) to downtown Salem (read: dealing with drunk tourists for the month of October).

Before packing, I am doing a preliminary clean. Tonight alone, I have filled two trash bags and two good will bags. And I've only just begun. Because I haven't moved in two years, I've let things collect. I was just on the phone with my friend Kristen, where she also lamented the fact that she has a closet that will be a nightmare whenever she moves.

When going through a "bathroom and first aid" storage thing, I realized one thing: I have a lot of duplicates of stuff. This is partially my fault, but also the fault of my family. My stepmother has given me Bath and Body Works kits for many holidays. Friends also give me body washes and hand creams. Apparently my skin is thirsting for moisture. I also have a lot of journals and soaps and card sets. The card sets I'll be able to use (and hopefully more often now that I know I have so many) but the journals... well, I'll get creative.

The bigger issue is that I have supermarket amnesia, I realize. I go to a supermarket and then blank on what I have and do not have at my house. So I found multiples of the following items:

--bobby pins
--band aids

The worst offense is when I found FIVE THINGS OF DEODORANT. I will admit, sometimes a certain brand just doesn't do the trick, but of those five, THREE of them are the exact. Same. Brand. And. Style. What?! How do I forget two times that I don't have deodorant, or possibly even twice that the brands aren't good?!

Is the secret to moving buying lots of deodorant in bulk? I just don't know...

I'm looking forward to a whole month of purging and preparing. I also need to decide which pieces of furniture are "nice to have" and which are "can go back to my parents' garage". But I'll need to find out where I'm living first, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

That's the way it is

2009 might be, along with the year of GSD, the year of people dying.

While in NYC, Jess told me that Walter Cronkite died. While not unexpected (he was 92) it is still sad, as his influence on culture and news (particularly the evening news) is quite large. Everyone knows who Walter Cronkite is. As David Bianculli stated in an NPR report, there were only four people who have manned the CBS Evening News chair, and Cronkite was most of that time.

Two of the biggest moments in news in the 1960s and even the 20th century -- the assassination of JFK and man landing on the moon -- Cronkite shaped with his journalism. He is the first voice that announced the former. He is the voice of most major news events of the 50's and 60's. He's like that uncle or grandfather you turn to for information and wisdom.

NPR has a great Fresh Air episode that appreciates and eulogizes the man, as well as an interview Terry Gross did with him in the early 90's. Definitely worth checking out.

Here's also a key Cronkite moment thanks to Youtube:

Twitter blows my mind.

Here's a fun string of tweets from two well known guys: Rainn "Dwight" Wilson and John "I ran for president against Obama" McCain.

RainnWilson: What are you 5 best people-watching songs?

@rainnwilson I think Dancing Queen by ABBA is the best people watching song - am I showing my age again??

U crazy galoot! RT @SenJohnMcCain I think Dancing Queen by ABBA is the best people watching song - am I showing my age again??

@rainnwilson I'm glad you agree...

This warmed my heart quite a bit.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Today is a very mixed emotion day for me. Four years ago, I lost my friend Jack to a freak accident. It was very unexpected and sad. I think about Jack often and miss him every day. Definitely something that shaped me and my friends and we still grapple with.

We'll be doing the shot heart round the world tonight at 9pm. A shot of Jack for Jack. I think I'll be doing it with Jennie, which will be nice to spend it with a really good friend who also has many fond memories of Jack.

Miss you and love you, Jack. <3

UPDATE: It warms my heart every year to see my friends post Facebook status updates about Jack. There'll be a lot of whiskey consumed tonight in honor of the Master Electrizzle.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I guess the lord (and Jess and Ross) must be in New York City

Well here I am, Lord, knocking at your back door...

Heading out early tomorrow to visit Jess and Ross in the city for three days. No posts while I'm gone, since I won't be near a computer. Which is actually really good, since I think unplugging for three days will be really good for me.

I'll be back Sunday after dinner. I'll have stories and photos from the train and everywhere. Look forward to tales of adventure!

End of an era...

(Note: Yes, I realize I'm friends with a few WFNX staffers, but I promise this won't bias this post, as I've voiced my gripe with too much RHCP and U2 many times...)

By now, Bostonians have heard of the demise of WBCN. I first heard of this on -- oddly enough -- WFNX, but at first thought it was maybe shenanigans. Sadly, the station is going the way of Kodachrome.

I don't think I've listened to WBCN consistently in years. The last time I listened to more than 3 minutes was when my friend Damon was on in the nerd olympics. We used to listen to Charles Laquidara back in the day (The Biiiiiiiig Mattress!) with Mum. I think my childhood radio listening can be summed up as part Biiiiiiiig Mattress and part Morning Guy Tai. But keep in mind, this was early 80's... and WBCN has been in decline since then.

I am sad for the people who work there who are now without jobs. Because that sucks, no bones about it. And it sucks that another music station in this country is being turned into a sports station essentially, or changing formats to play useless Top 40 which lacks spine and bite. But... who didn't see this one happening eventually?

It's been said before, but WBCN had lost a lot of edge in the last few years. When you play the Foo Fighters and Green Day and Sum 41 every day every hour, and never try to branch out or take creative chances... it gets old and people will walk away. And with loss of ratings goes loss of funds an sponsorship, and so we go.

Granted, I could substitute those artists for RHCP, Coldplay, and U2 and say the same thing about WFNX, but they also are taking chances. Lately, they've been playing newer bands like Grizzly Bear and MGMT along with deep cuts from older bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the grandfathers who inspired the likes of U2 and Coldplay. And I'm quite sure most people who are fans of Airborne Toxic Event heard of them in part to WFNX's championing of them. I could say the same thing about Silversun Pickups, Shiny Toy Guns, and Gaslight Anthem as well. I don't think WBCN was taking those chances or making those creative choices in the last few years. I get the impression they fell into a rut, found a group of yah doods to listen to them, and went from there.

But that being sad, it makes me sad that an era is passing. While I don't listen to WBCN, I like the idea that they're around, just like I like the idea that Kodachrome is around even though I've been digital for three years. And there's just so much culture and history tied to that station that will be gone. It's a shame, really.

So it's been real, WBCN. I wish you could have been more on top of your game, but it's a rough industry and you weren't willing to run the risks necessary to be great. You'll always be part of the fabric of Boston, much like The Garden.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A physics lesson thanks to the Home Run Derby


Bowling was postponed until the middle of the week, since everyone was pretty busy, so I had a night to myself out of the blue. I watched part of the Home Run Derby tonight -- rest day for The Tour, so I had to settle on the oh so lame HRD -- and the science nerd in me got a little annoyed. Okay, really annoyed and might have swore.

One of the commentators at the beginning said the key to winning the Home Run Derby was velocity... but then proceeded to describe speed. This is wrong on so many levels. Let's break it down, shall we?

1. Velocity is a vector.
2. Speed is a rate of motion.
3. Velocity and Speed are not the same thing. At all.
4. Don't confuse science terms in a failed effort to appear smarter than you actually are.


"Curse their Yankee candy!"

I am a huge NPR nerd, and I love listening to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me podcast on Monday mornings while running weekly reports.

This week, the singer/rocker Neko Case was the guest, and she is a delight. An absolute delight. She's charming and smart and well-spoken. She talked about her farm in Vermont, her music, and buying pianos on ebay.

Her subject for Not My Job was Necco Candy (a play on her first name, obviously) and... wow, she just sparkled. She was hilarious, and after the first question which was about The Civil War, she took on a persona of a Civil War soldier when talking about Necco Candy the entire time. It was hilarious, and everyone was in stitches. They also referenced Ken Burns and Hard Tack.

Click on the link for Neko Case to listen to the show. Definitely worth it and awesome. It makes me like her more as an artist and a person, because she's just so down to earth and sweet and cool. And makes fun of the Civil War.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hot Pants for long weekends in NYC

I adore this girl.

I am quite excited for Friday.

One of my dearest friends, Jess, is getting ready for a whirlwind, several-country adventure in the fall with her boyfriend, Ross. So before she's out making adventures in Africa and Europe, I am taking a three-day weekend to go visit her in NYC. I'll be taking the train down on Friday, and then who knows where the weekend will take us. I've heard rumor of kittens, ukuleles, lots of wine, and a BBQ.

I'm also looking forward to a this trip after some very stressful and busy weeks of work. What I really need is to get away from Boston for a few days and all the Boston people, have a change of pace and scenery, then return back refreshed.

It's funny, I've already started doing laundry for this trip, and I am preparing to pack lots of scarves and sundresses, but not sure what else. So my priorities are sundresses and scarves, but not necessarily things like pajamas or toiletries.

Photos and stories to be shared, of course.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Call Maker Sadness!

I was a call maker last night with questions for the iPod wedding for TBTL! And I was screening calls and didn't pick up the phone! GAAAHHHHHHHH!

That is all.... sniff sniff.

Also, my voicemail voice is very high pitched, so I may need to re-record it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I can haz Flickr?

I logged into my Flickr account yesterday. Whenever you log in, they tell you how to say hello in a different language. This was the greeting yesterday:

This may just be me, but I feel like Lolspeak is NOT something Flickr needs to teach me about...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Every Little Step

Thursday night, Danielle, Becca, and I caught a documentary at the Cabot Street Cinema in Beverly. It was a good excuse to see each other again and to be a bunch of theatre nerds. Because what was this documentary about?

Oh yes, yes it was about A Chorus Line.

The three of us saw Every Little Step, which chronicles both the creative minds that wrote and produced the original 1975 production of A Chorus Line as well as the production staff who tries to cast the 2007 revival. Danielle was in A Chorus Line in 2003, I saw it several times, and Becca is a super dancer, so we are a good audience for this show.

One part of the movie focuses on Michael Bennett, the choreographer who thought up the idea behind A Chorus Line, as well as interviewed 22 dancers in the business over 12 hours, and took those interviews and stories and created the characters we see on stage. He also got together some of the greatest talents in the business to write the songs and produce the show. The movie features interviews with dancer Donna McKechnie (original Cassie and dancing genius), dancer Baayork Lee (original Connie and choreographer of the revival), composer Marvin Hamlisch (who composed the music of ACL), and choreographer Bob Avian (who co-choreographed the original production and directed the revival).

The other part of the movie focuses on the efforts of casting the revival. The movie focuses on a few dancers, including the green newcomer who showed up for the open auditions, the seasoned dancers who want a big break, and the hard working dancers who charm but don't make the cut and have to start all over again for another role. Many parts follow several actors going for the same role, which recreates that heartache of the musical itself of good people just not making the cut.

I'm always impressed by people who can sing and dance and have all that talent, and it's incredible seeing a room filled with people who can. I am not blessed with those talents of dancing, so I have lots of respect who can make it happen. And having spent years doing theatre, I know the heartbreak of not getting cast, and making it so far into the process only not to get a role. So I really felt for these people. You put so much of yourself on the line, and the final decision isn't in your hands. It's also hard spending your whole life and career trying to please and impress others.

It was fascinating seeing the production crew discussing the actors and debating the merits of each and why they made the choices they make. I found myself torn, since I was getting emotionally invested in the people behind the performance. But that's not what they're paid to do, so I have a lot of respect for them trying to create a great cast, knowing that they have to upset many people along the way.

The story of ACL stands up years later as well. I strongly recommend catching this movie if you've ever done theatre or dance, or if you tend to be drawn towards dance and the arts. The film tends to assume that you're in the know when it comes to the arts, but they also know that's the target audience. So try to check it out.

And for some dancing and enjoyment, her are some videos. The first is the original cast performing the opening of the show for the 1976 Tony's. (the song is I Hope I Get It), and the second is the revival performing One at the 2007 Tony's.

Oranjuly at TT's

Last Wednesday, me and my umbrella braved the weather and headed out to Cambridge to see the band Oranjuly play a set at TT's. As expected, they did not disappoint.

I cannot stress this enough: this is a band to watch. Once their album is produced, and once they get more performances under their belt, I promise you that they will be all over the area.

The opening act was Corin Ashley, a big name in Boston and one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure of knowing. He started the night with an acoustic set, and his warm and engaging personality got the crowd warmed up for the rest of the acts. Because it was Canada Day, Corin tried to cover many Canadian artists, which was fun.

Then came Oranjuly. They played for about 30-45 minutes, and played both older favorites and some new songs that will be on the new album. Frontman Brian E. King has a knack for a clever line and a catchy harmony. His musical talents, as he skipped between keys and guitar, are also not to be beat.

Jordan Weaver, who focused on guitars but also spent some time with keys and percussion during the set and supplied some vocal harmonies, is a good ying to Brian's yang. Bassist Christian Erickson adds charm to the group as well.

The person I want to spend some time discussing, as he is new and brings so much to their live sets, is the new drummer, Lou Paniccia. Until Lou came along, Oranjuly had a host of guest drummers filling in behind the set, including frontman Tyler of the band Thick As Thieves that I've waxed poetic about in the past, and while I think Tyler did a great job, I really think Lou shines with Oranjuly. He completely embodies every drum beat, putting his full being in every song. His charm and energy is catchy. While Brian is a quieter frontman, Lou often interjected humor and livliness, jokingly without a mike.

The crowd was decently sized for a cold Wednesday night, and included such musical heavy hitters as Corin, Tyler, and Scott of the bands The Russians, The Great Bandini, and The High Holidays. Great to see all of them out and about, and they all had nothing but praise for Oranjuly's show. I scanned the crowd, and everyone seemed to have a smile on their face and tapping toes. I watched the show with Corin, and at one point he said that he loves Brian's songs, and that he was so pleased to see such a big crowd supporting this band.

Oranjuly will be spending some time finishing their album, but I can't wait until their next set.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hot Pants for Holiday Weekends

I'm off to my hometown for a 4th of July long weekend. Lots planned for when I get back. I'll be catching you all up on concerts, documentaries, mysteries, and the like.