Concert Review: Patty Griffin – Indianapolis, IN – April 28, 2007

pattygriffin1.jpgTraveling to Patty Grffin’s concert at the Vogue theatre in Indianapolis this past Saturday, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and my enthusiasm was not all that high. Truth was, I wasn’t overly familiar with her music. A friend, whose musical opinion I trust very much, is quite the fan of Ms. Griffin, but the two disks I had heard of hers, had not overly impressed me.

It wasn’t that they were bad, the songs were interesting, and I could sense some excellent musicianship in there, it’s just that none of her songs really spoke to me. Nothing really stood out as something magic.

But like I said, I trusted my friend’s opinion and bought the tickets.

Oh Patty, you broke my heart, and taught me to love again – and that within the first three songs.

Normally, when my wife and I make the 60-mile trek to Indianapolis for a concert, we head straight to the venue for the show. This time, being a beautiful Saturday we figured we would make a day of it. Noticing that the venue was in the district known as Broad Ripple, and that I had heard good things about this area, we made this our destination.

I didn’t actually know anything about this district other than I heard commercials for various stores and restaurants in the area and my friend Heather had once praised it’s name.

Continue reading “Concert Review: Patty Griffin – Indianapolis, IN – April 28, 2007”

Dream: Grandma’s House And Nudity (Again)

Amy and I were staying at my uncles house, which used to be my grandma and papas.  There are two bedrooms upstairs and we were sleeping in the one I used to sleep in when I spent the night as a kid.

I woke up the next morning and went down to shower.  The house looked exactly as I remember except for the bathroom.The shower had moved from one wall to another.  There was no tub, but a drain on the floor, camp style.  There was also no shower curtain, so I was showering in the wide open.

After a few minutes my aunt and uncle came in and sat on the toilet.  They weren’t doing anything there, but sitting (fully clothed) quite comfortably too.  In moments my mother also came in and stood by the door.

Nothing seemed odd about this while I showered, until the turned off the water.  Then like Adam and Eve, I suddenly realized I was naked.  I crowched down to hide my naked bits, but then realizing there was nothing to do, I grabbed a towel and dried off.

I put a t-shirt on, but that’s all the clothes I had.  As I started to leave, mom told me to wait.  It seemed there was an Aunt or somebody outside who would be offended by my lack of clothing.

We argued abot this for sometime, and the aunt and uncle pair who were on the toilet joined in.  Eventually, without any other options I left with just the t-shirt on.   I raced upstairs to the bedroom, where I found my wife laying on the floor, half under the bed, totally zonked out.

I tried to wake her and ask why she was on the floor, but all she did was mumble and push me away.

It was here that I awoke.

The Hot Topic: Digital Vs. CDs Vs. Vinyl

If you’ve paid any attention to my rambling screed, you will have periodically (read: very rarely) noticed a little thing we like to call the Hot Topic.  You see, through my affiliation with Blog Critics Magazine, I’ve ran across all kinds of crazy, wonderful writers.  Some have even become what I’d consider to be friends.  A few of them are even kindred souls. 

A long time ago those kindred souls and I joined a Mondo Yahoo group.  Originally dedicated to the liked of the Duke de Mondo, this Yahoo group quickly became a hang out for like-minded folks who loved to yak about movies and music and also had a flavor for creative language (read:  cursing.) 

As we yacked and yacked in the group, we also pimped our own writings and then the idea came upon us to cull our collective yakcability and writing skills.  Thus the Hot Topic was formed.  The idea was to throw out some topic of pop culture madness and then we’d all carry on about it.  It worked for awhile, but then we had trouble finding topics and organizing ourselves into a collective mass.

Ah, but our genius-ness continued into the great colossal wonder that is the Mondo Project!  A single post could no longer hold our great marvelous-ness.  We needed an entire website! 

Continue reading “The Hot Topic: Digital Vs. CDs Vs. Vinyl”

A Minor Ramble

I’m sorry I’ve been a little slow to blog this week.  Work has been rather annoying which has put me in kind of a blah spot blogwise.  I periodically get into a blog funk along the lines of ‘what’s the point of all this anyways?’ and ‘who would really give a rat’s fart if I stopped all together?’ 

It’s a little bit of burn-out, I suppose.  Trying to be a professional type blogger, I churn out posts pretty much every work day, and after awhile that gets really tiresome.  For the most part I really enjoy blogging even though it doesn’t bring any money or fame or glory.  It’s fun to be a little creative, and have a voice in the world.  Usually that’s enough.  Sometimes though, I can’t help but want more.

The funk will end soon enough, and the old Brewster will be back in his Millions.

I’m also thinking about making this little adventure a little more personal again.  When I first started it was all about me and what I was doing, then it turned into this pop-culture shenaniganism.  Sure, I still divulge personal details and feelings in my reviews and essays, but it’s long since moved away from this-is-what-I’m-feeling-right-now.  I’m starting to get the itch to get back to personal blogging, but I’m afraid it will make the blog even more enigmatic than it already is.

And with that I’ll mention a couple of personal things. 

I’m going to see Patty Griffin tomorrow.  I won’t classify myself as a full fledged fan, as I’ve not heard but a couple of her records, and those not too many times, but I dig the sound and I dig live music.  The Holly says she’s “magical” so this whole thing is on her if it doesn’t go well.

The wife and I have applied to China.  I believe I’ve mentioned in these parts that my sister and her husband are teachers at an international school in Shanghai.  They love it there and have often said we should come.  After many months of talking about it, we’ve finally decided to try.  Resumes have been given to the proper people and good words spoken about our name.  We’re expecting a call anytime now.

DVD Pick Of The Week: Planet Earth

planet-earth-4pclrg.jpgLet’s not talk about last week and my faulty memory.  Instead let’s talk about how amazingly awesome I am for getting this week’s edition out on the actual day of new releases.

I’m so cool.  Really, really cool, is what I am.

This week is pretty groovy too in terms of new DVDs out.  Too bad I dropped Blockbuster and am poor, because otherwise I might actually buy some of these.

The POTW for today is the Discovery Channel documentary Planet Earth.  I wasn’t able to see all of it, I don’t own a HDTV set, the behind the scenes cut to commercial bits were annoying, and they were all a little too full of their own awesomeness, but it was definitely pretty darn spectactular.  God’s green and blue, and red earth is truly beyond amazing.

This isn’t something I’ll be rushing out to get, and if I ever do buy it, it won’t be watched with regularity, but it’s something I’d love to have on the shelves and be able to pull out and admire it’s sheer expansiveness and beauty.

Other releases this week:

The Queen:  Lots of raves and awards for this one.  I’m not much for stuffy royal dramas, or for the royal family for that matter.  I never quite understood the hoopla over Princess Diana, but I like Helen Miran, and the acting is supposed to be divine.

Night at the Museum:  When my brother and I saw the previews for this in front of Borat, we both groaned and laughed at it’s ridiculousness.  I secretly figured it was something I’d wind up seeing with my parents as it is right up their alley.
Instead I saw it with a friend and my wife.  It was better than I thought, but still pretty much what you’d expect.  It’s fun though, and silly, and good for the whole family.

Harry and the Hendersons:  Speaking of good for the whole family, I remember my family loving this film.  In fact I remember my uncle laughing over a certain scene in a jail cell and the main characters stench for weeks after seeing the film.  That’s pretty much all I remember about the film – my family liking it.

Jane Eyre (1944):  That’s the Orson Welles version.  I almost hate to admit I really loved Jane Eyre as a book, as I generally loath romance novels from this period.  I’ll blame it on the gothic elements, instead of the love.

I’ve never seen any film version, but if you’re going to do a film version, you could hardly do better than Orson Welles.

Anna Karenina:  Have yet to crack the book for this, but I like Tolstoy’s short stories, and well, it’s a bloody classic.  Haven’t seen the film either, but well, it’s also bloody classic.

Steven Wright:  When the Leaves Blow Away:  If you don’t love Steven Wright, then stop reading this blog.  We have nothing in common; we’ll never understand each other.

Jean Renoir Collection (La Fille De L’eau, Nana, La Marseillaise, Sur Un Air De Charleston, La Petite Marchande D’Allumettes, Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier, Le Caporal Epingle):  I’ve only seen a couple of Renoir films, but they were enough to make me want more.  This probably isn’t the best place to start for newbies like myself as it seems to be more obscure films, but certainly worth a mention.

Fresh Tracks – Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed And The Smiths

human_touch.jpgI think I’ve decided to talk about new disks when I get them, rather than in some weekly feature article.  It’s just too difficult to remember and enable myself to write most articles on a set schedule.  With any luck writing about the disks when I get them will actually let me write about all my new music.

Bruce Springsteen: 

Tunnel of Love
Human Touch

You know the drill:  more Springsteen.  I’m still not all that sure that I’m a big fan of the Boss.  I’ve dug some stuff – enough to make me keep getting more of his albums, but there’s plenty of music that still manages to turn me off.  Both these albums, for instance, especially Human Touch, do very little for me.  Now it’s true that I’ve only given each one a single spin on my work computer at low volumes, and I really ought to play them somewhere where they’ll get better sound and more attention, but I’ve got to say what I’ve heard doesn’t make me want to do anything but return them.

the-smiths-louder-than-bombs-298342.jpgThe Smiths:  Louder Than Bombs

I’m more of a casual Smiths (and for that matter Morrissey) fan.  I dig pretty much everything I’ve ever heard by them, and am usually glad I put them on, but at the same time I’m never impressed enough to become a True Believer.  This compilation album is a good case in point.  Upon first listen, I had to turn it off somewhere along 3/4ths of the way through.  It wasn’t that I found the music awful, or loathsome or anything.  In fact, I was mostly enjoying it.  It was just a bit too much.  It’s all full of the same mood and the sound never changed enough to make me carry on.  I needed something with more pep and energy. 

I was playing it on the same crappy work speakers, and I was at work where the Smiths don’t work so well, but I think the argument works outside of those confines.  The Smiths take a certain mood and can only be stood in smaller doses.  At least around these parts anyways.

loureed_berlin.jpgLou Reed – Berlin

Speaking of taking something in small doses.  I have been a fan of the Velvet Underground for nearly as long as I can remember.  Early friendships were formed around obsessions over how many different ways they could play “White Light/White Heat” and who could lip synch perfectly along with “Heroin.”

Lou solo is another matter.  Man, some of that stuff is brilliant, some of it kind of dull, and a whole lot of it seems to be further out there than I care to go.  Berlin doesn’t seem that weird, except for that beginning part that makes the vein on my forehead pulse, but it doesn’t seem that interesting either.  It’s like the boring parts of the Wall where I start to nod off or fast forward. 

Apply the same speakers and settings as the rest of these disks here.

Dreamin’ Songs Grudge Match: Willie Nelson Vs. The Romantics

willie-songbird.jpgI awoke about 5:30 this morning to the sound of my window blinds tapping up against the window due to an increased gust of wind, AND my need to urinate.  Blinds raised and urine urinated, I went back to bed singing Willie Nelson’s “Songbird.”  Being the perpetual blogger that I am, I immediately realized this would have to be this mornings “Dreamin’ Song.”  I even began writing the thing as I drifted off to sleep.

5:45 the alarm went off and I still had the song in my head.  Snooze button snoozed, I once again drifted back to sleep writing this post.

A funny thing happened when I finally crawled out of bed at 6 in the AM.  “Songbird” had flown and was replaced with The Romantics “Talking in Your Sleep.”  Crap!  I already had half the “Songbird” post written.  And it is so a better song than the Romantics.

It took me a minute to even figure out why the Romantics were in my head.  Then I remembered that my wife has a habit of watching something called the Tube while she’s grading homework.  The Tube plays lots of classic videos and they had played the Romantics Friday night.  I have to admit the video is pretty funny, what with the crazy hair-dos, incredibly 80s fashion, and that bevy of girls in their underwear.

Ok, really the songs pretty good too; it’s just that I am so over the 80s.  I grew up during the decade and had a pretty hard cored nostalgic fetish with it in the late 90s, but I’ve since moved on.  There’s better music out there than all of those one hit wonders.

But yeah, “Songbird” is a great song off of a really cool Willie Nelson album.  That’s the new one where he’s backed up by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals.  It’s kind of pretty and surreal and contains the line “and the songbirds are singing like they know the score,” which is one of the best lines of the year in my book.

It’s also got a fantastic version of the Grateful Dead’s “Stella Blue” and a rather creepy, scary version of “Amazing Grace.”