Monday, August 31, 2009

"I went to a cobbler to fix a hole in my shoe. He took one look at my face and said, 'I can fix that hole in you.'" ~jenny lewis

That song ("Acid Tongue") is in my head now because Jenny Lewis played it at her 4th of July Battery Park concert, which I just now got around to tracking. What a gorgeous song. It's too bad there's some chatter going on in the background of my recording. I just finished tracking a whole bunch of concerts I had queued up from this summer (Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Frightened Rabbit, the Wave Pictures). Maybe I'll post some of them soon.

I don't have much to write about today. I saw the movie District 9, though, and wanted to pimp it out here. I really, really enjoyed it. It's a sci-fi movie with more depth and heart than most. It makes you think and makes you feel, and really, what's more important than that?

Here are some snippets from the critics (see rottentomatoes for sources/links to full reviews):
"The most gripping, intriguing and compelling sci-fi allegory to grace the big screen since 1968's 'Planet of the Apes' -- and that makes it an instant sci-fi classic in its own right."

"A superb realization of satire, irony, humor and the horrific, with a kick in the guts to human nature and the technical challenges of sci-fi action and destruction."

"If you're looking for a film with a heart and a soul that isn't afraid to examine the essence of what it means -- and what it might cost -- to be human, this is it."
And here's what Kristen Bell had to say on twitter about it, just because I think it's funny:
"saw disctrict 9. loved it. the guys behind me were complaining there was not enough 'machinery! it needed was more fighting. and technology.' people are idiots. god forbid a movie focus on story. god forbid there is dialogue. i politely recommended they go see transformers again."
Finally, the trailer:

I'm heading back to New York on Tuesday! Of course in about a week I'll be so swamped with work I probably won't have time to write about all the fun stuff going on in the city.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"I may take a holiday in Spain, leave my wings behind me. Flush my worries down the drain, and fly away to somewhere new." ~counting crows

Counting Crows, my favorite band in the world, is going onstage in NYC in exactly half an hour. And I am so incredibly bummed that I am not there. They're playing my city (it's AD's city, too) and I'm missing it. I almost don't want to check the setlist afterwards because it will upset me even more, especially if they play certain songs. But of course I will check the setlist anyway. And download the concert. And cry. *sigh* I know, I've seen them seven times already and I'm seeing them again in a couple of weeks, so I shouldn't complain. But still.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Can we climb this mountain? I don't know. Higher now than ever before. I know we can make it if we take it slow, that's taking easy, easy now, watch it go. We're burning down the highway skyline, on the back of a hurricane that started turning when you were young, when you were young. And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live while you were young." ~the killers

This is going to be a huge picspam post. Just warning you. I haven't had much to write about lately because I usually write about concerts/music, movies, Broadway, and that type of thing, but I'm in the west right now and not in New York, so there's a dearth of cultural events about which to blog. Hence my nature pictures.

My family just got back from driving across Utah. We went to like 5 national parks. The main focus (where we stayed for two nights) was Zion National Park; we did a lot of hiking there. We also went to Bryce Canyon and some other places on the way home. We did stay in Cedar City one night and saw two shows at the Cedar City Shakespearean Festival, which I appreciated. Oddly enough we didn't see any Shakespeare. We saw one of my absolute favorite musicals, The Secret Garden (which was very well done) and Noel Coward's play Private Lives (I'm not a fan of Noel Coward's but it was fine). I needed some theatre.

Here are some of my nature pictures. I have tons, but this is just a sampling. Click for enlargements:

We drove through the Four Corners, which is near where my parents live. My hands are in Colorado and Utah and my feet are in Arizona and New Mexico.
Here are a few in Zion National Park:

This is the trail we took to get to Angel's Landing. It's not for those who are scared of heights (you can see someone walking up the trail):

A bad attempt at using the self-timer:
Bryce Canyon:
A natural arch in Bryce Canyon:
Somewhere along the drive (it's one of the most scenic highways in America):
Somewhere else along the drive:
Natural Bridges National Park:

And on a completely unrelated note, look! KBell's on the cover of Cosmo! (In case you haven't been paying attention, I love her.) I wish they had given her a cover while Veronica Mars (my favorite TV show ever) was still on. That might have given it some much-needed publicity. Anyway, it's a cute interview.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"I'm writing you to catch you up on places I've been. And you have this letter, you probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it. Didn't have a camera by my side this time, hoping I would see the world through both my eyes. Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to lose my way with words.
Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche'. And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway. Didn't have a camera by my side this time, hoping I would see the world through both my eyes. Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to lose my way, but let me say, you should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes. It brought me back to life. You'll be with me next time I go outside, no more 3x5's." ~john mayer

I know, I'm sorry, I probably just lost whatever music credibility I had by posting nearly an entire John Mayer song. I do like some of his music, though (like 3x5). Please don't hate me. And after posting that song, I'm going to post pictures. I'm hopeless.

Here are some from Mesa Verde, which is less than an hour away. It was a fun day-trip.

And here are some from Potato Lake, around which we hiked today. You'd think they'd be able to come up with a better name for such a beautiful place.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"And you gotta be something else, 'cause we all got older. You, you're gonna be someone..." ~graham colton band

The trailer for KBell's next movie is out! Looks cute. It was originally supposed to open this month but was pushed back to January. Before then, check out Couples Retreat in October.

ETA: Okay, the trailer was removed from youtube. I have to ask, why would the studio request that the trailer be taken down? Don't they want the movie to get all the publicity it can get? It's not like the whole movie was posted; it was a trailer! To advertise! I don't get it. Anyway, here's a new link:

And while I'm at it, Couples Retreat:

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Now I'm waiting for someone to scream, I'm waiting for someone to scream and break all the windows. The buildings fall down, I'm on the road but I'm comfy at least." ~slow club

Maybe Colorado doesn't agree with me, because the day after I got here I started getting sick and now I feel completely awful. My throat hurts, my ears hurt, my nose won't stop running, my head feels like it's going to explode....Sorry, y'all don't want to read about that. I've been lounging around in bed, and the good thing is that I finally started tracking the seven concerts that I've recorded in the past month. So here's one of them for you to listen to: Slow Club, performing at South Street Seaport, 8/7/09. I need a new program, because WavePad keeps making the tracks skip. It's weird. I didn't have that problem with HyperEngine (which I may have to switch back to, even though I don't like it). Anyway, it's a pretty good recording overall. I love their between-songs chatter ("Shut up, New York!"), and I love Rebecca's reaction when Charles messes up "Wild Blue Milk."
I don't know the title of track 3; it's the one song that I haven't heard before. So if anyone knows it, please comment.
The Wave Pictures at South Street Seaport will probably be next.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"I've been up all night, and I might sleep all day. Get your dreams just right, and let 'em slip away, I might sleep all day." ~counting crows

I made it to Colorado after a crappy traveling day. I woke up at 4:00am and ended up sitting at Newark Airport for 4 hours because the plane had maintenance problems. I missed my connecting flight in Denver and finally had some luck when I got on the next flight to Durango through stand-by. I'm exhausted, though; I got less than 3 hours of sleep last night.

This is basically a picspam post. I'll post lots more photos of Durango over the next few weeks. To begin with, though, here are some photos that I just took of the house:

View from the loft:
My room (you can't tell, but the view out the window is gorgeous: pine trees and mountains):

From the outside:

Sunday, August 09, 2009

"We are the theatre, they are the people — dressed up to be seated, lookin’ upwards and dreamin’. We’re the projectors, we’re hosting the screening. We’re dust in the spotlights, we’re just kinda floating." ~the hold steady

A random assortment of topics today.

I saw Mary Stuart on Broadway today. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I caught it before it closes next week. It was absolutely fabulous. If you don't know what it's about, here's some background info: it's a Schiller play (written in 1800, with a new translation onstage), and it takes place in 1587. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, fled that country after a Protestant coup and was then imprisoned in England for plotting to kill her cousin, Elizabeth (the Queen of England) and take over the English throne. It's about Mary and Elizabeth and the struggle between them as Mary waits in prison for Elizabeth to decide her fate. Read the New York Times review (a rave) for a better overview. Here's a snippet about the brilliant leading ladies, Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter:
"They embody what may be the most storied rivalry in English history with a transfixing willfulness and devious artistry that could easily make the susceptible lose their heads.... It’s hard not to be at least a little in love with — and more than a little in awe of — the very leading ladies in Phyllida Lloyd’s crackling revival (first seen at the Donmar Warehouse in London) of this 1800 tragedy of double-dealing politics.....The classical combination of strengths, weakness and circumstance that define tragic heroes has seldom been parsed with such flash, vigor and lacerating insight."
I cannot say enough good things about the production, and I'm sad to see it close, although I'm so grateful I got to see it. I got front row seats, dead center, which were perfect. I love it when I'm spit on by the actors. I even got splashed with a few drops of water by Janet McTeer during the amazingly cool rainstorm onstage (seriously, it rains, a lot).

Random new topic: TJ Maxx has fabulous DVD deals. I bought Angels in America for $5.99 today! $5.99 for six hours of brilliance; do you believe it?! I LOVE this miniseries, I can't say enough good things about it, so to have the DVDs (at that price) makes me so happy. It won eleven Emmy Awards. Eleven! I can watch this over and over and be incredibly moved by it every time.
I also bought Tumbleweeds while I was there; it was only $3.99, and Janet McTeer's performance is brilliant. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for the film. I now love her even more after seeing her in Mary Stuart. So go check out TJ Maxx's movie selection. They don't have a lot, but it's worth looking.

Annnnd, random topic #3: tomorrow will be a busy day. I'm lining up for Bye Bye Birdie tickets in the morning ($10 tickets to the first preview). I'm sure there will be tons of people there; it's the box office opening and they're having a big celebration. I also have to do laundry. And go to the library. And finish packing (I leave for Colorado on Tuesday). I should probably go up to my college and print my boarding pass (because I don't have a working printer in my apartment). Hopefully I'll get everything done.

ETA: Okay, never mind, ditch the Birdie tickets. There were already people lined up at midnight (for tickets that are being sold at noon). I'm not hardcore enough to spend 12 hours in line. I'll sleep in instead and just do HipTix ($20) for this one. I think I can afford the extra $10. That clears up tomorrow's schedule a bit.

Final, random thought pervading my mind: How lucky am I to live in NYC? Because I feel pretty darn lucky.

Friday, August 07, 2009

"Johnny Cash died today, and you'd say, you'd say, "It's not like Elvis, it's not like Elvis, it's not like Elvis, it's not like Elvis, though, is it?" And you would be right." ~the wave pictures

I went to a concert tonight. It was sooo good. It was at South Street Seaport, which is a beautiful place for a concert; behind the stage were ships docked at the pier. I got a spot in the center of the front row. FIrst up was Slow Club. I love them. Love, love, love them. Of the three bands that played, I was most eager to see them. They were great, but their set was too short. They closed with "Christmas TV," one of my favorite songs (it was featured in the season finale of Chuck). I was all ready to take a perfect video of the last song, and then they came down into the crowd to play the song. They opened the barricades right in front of me to get by, and there was a funny moment with Charles getting his foot stuck. They did the song acoustically, without mics or anything. It was beautiful, although I selfishly kind of wished they had stayed onstage so I could have gotten a better video (but this was still pretty cool). Their cameraman and a photographer were really blocking my view. I focused on Rebecca because I had a better view of her than of Charles. It was so difficult for me not to sing along, but I didn't want to spoil the audio so I mouthed all the words instead. Anyway, here's what I ended up with:

The Wave Pictures
were next. I'm a fan of theirs and I enjoyed them as well. I took of them performing my favorite song of theirs, "Now You Are Pregnant." The sound on the video is really weird, though; it's not good (and I don't know why, because it's a quiet song and usually those are fine). So I'm not posting it yet. I'll probably try to use the audio from my audio recording and synch it with the video; is anyone really good at that? It was a beautiful version of the song.

closed out the show. I didn't stay for their whole set. It was a really good evening, though. Beautiful weather, beautiful location, and great music; what more could you ask for? The pictures I took didn't turn out well at all because of the lighting. I got audio that hopefully I'll share eventually. I have six concerts recorded from the last month or so that I haven't tracked yet; I'm really behind. I'm not sure how good this one will be, though; the front row is the worst spot from which to record. We'll see.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"Some will win, some will lose, some were born to sing the blues. Oh, the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on." ~journey

I was planning on being back in my apartment last night around 11 after seeing a play with my cousin, and I ended up getting home about 24 hours late. I spent the night at my aunt and uncle's apartment, and spent the day there as well. My cousin D.J. was kind enough to let me sleep in his room (he has two beds). They have lots of good food. But most importantly, they're good company. I packed my cousin's trunk for camp and made her bed and helped in the kitchen, so I didn't feel too bad about invading their apartment. I love how my aunt doesn't treat me like a guest. Bess will offer to get me a drink or food or something, and my aunt will always say something like, "she can help herself." It feels like home there. I love that. And I feel like I can be a goofball around Bess. We're goofballs together. Here we are hanging out today (we were camera-happy):

This is what Bess wore to CVS (we found the cane there):
We rode scooters there (and inside the store)

Kung Fu Fighting:
Artsy (see, I'm on her camera screen):

We played a lot of cards, sang a lot, watched old TV, watched Glee, sang Journey for the rest of the day, scootered around the sidewalks of was a good day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"It's like your head is stuck in a tightening vise. Your ears are deaf to your friends’ advice. Because you know that your heart will never be full. It doesn't always have to be beautiful, Unless its beautiful." ~slow club

I went to a screening of A Perfect Getaway tonight. I like scary movies a lot, so I was excited to see it. It was okay; not great, not awful. First of all, it was way too predictable. I saw the "twist" coming from a mile away. It was kind of scary; I jumped out of my seat once, and people around me screamed a few times. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Now I'm not eager to go hiking in Hawaii, but it certainly was gorgeous and there were some great shots in the film (camera-wise, not gunshots, although there were those too).

I have a fun week this week. Tomorrow I'm going to a youth theatre play. I'm taking my cousins Bess and D.J., and they're always great to hang out with. I'm going to a concert on Friday; Slow Club and The Wave Pictures are playing (along with CasioKids). I love Slow Club, and The Wave Pictures have some great songs, so I'm looking forward to it. (Denise, if you're reading, go listen to Slow Club). I think I'm going with Bess to see Jason Mraz on The Today Show on Friday. I'll be seeing my dad sometime this weekend while he's here for work. I'm going to rush the Broadway play Mary Stuart one day. I want to do as much as I can in my last week here before I go to Colorado. I don't know what I'm going to do there for three weeks. Here there's always a concert to attend or a play to see, but Durango's a different story.

I have to end with this. I love this book, and based on the trailer that was just released, the movie actually looks really good. I think Peter Jackson might have done a good job (fingers crossed). And I love the casting of Saoirse Ronan as Susie.

ETA: Okay, that video was removed really quickly. Here's a link to the trailer for The Lovely Bones.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"And she dreams of sunflowers bent over, frozen in the snow, and thinks 'Colorado.' But then plays her life back in slow motion, to keep in touch with that raw emotion. In the night, crushed empty can, Olive Oyle's waiting for her man to come in from the fight that will change their life for good this time....When all of your tears dry, let your troubles roll by. When all of your tears dry, let your troubles roll by. When all of your tears dry, let your troubles roll by, let your troubles roll by." ~carbon leaf

That refrain, "When all of your tears dry, let your troubles roll by," really calls out to me. Because it's not saying 'Don't cry;' instead it acknowledges that you're going to cry, and that's okay. For some reason it always reminds me of John Milton's Lycidas. It's such a beautiful and bittersweet poem, but the end especially gets me. I love this part: "There entertain him all the Saints above,/In solemn troops, and sweet Societies/That sing, and singing in their glory move,/And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes." That line, "And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes," is just so sad. It's an allusion to Revelation 7:17, "...and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." But Milton's addition of "for ever" makes it heartbreaking because it suggests a continual wiping of tears; the tears don't end. It coincides with the cycle introduced in the first line, "Yet once more...." and emphasizes the "Ay me!" that really sticks out to me. The poem is just brilliant; it's one of my absolute favorite poems. I used to have the first stanza memorized; I should go back and see how well it stuck.

Sorry, that's all I've got for today. I guess I'm in an academic mood. See, this is what happens when you listen to your iPod on shuffle. A random song that I haven't listened to in awhile comes on and it somehow inspires me to think about a poem that I love. That's why I love the shuffle feature, though; you never know what you're gonna get.
It seems like I'm posting more often now, so hopefully I'll come up with something more interesting soon. But go read "Lycidas." At least a few times. Or scroll down and listen to the M. Ward songs I posted.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

"Then when there's no one to care, I could protect you like I've always been there. I'll become your bear. I'll sing statistics and hide the truth, I'll tell your dad anything that you want me to. I'll hide your locket under the dirt, I'll be your bird. I'll hide your locket under the dirt, I'll be your bird." ~m. ward

I think music is the best form of therapy. Go to an M. Ward concert (like I did tonight) and tell me you don't feel better afterwards. It automatically cheers you up; it's impossible to not get swept up in the beautiful energy of his music. I LOVE his voice. He is one of the most talented guitar players I've ever seen; I spent a good deal of time just staring at his fingers, amazed by how fast they moved. He's just wonderful. Unfortunately he didn't play my favorite song of his, "I'll be Yr Bird" (quoted above). Or "Hi-Fi," or "You Still Believe in Me" (two more favorites). In fact, I'm not sure he did more than one song from Transistor Radio (my favorite album of his). He very well may have, but I'm drawing a blank right now; all I can think of is "Big Boat." I'll have to listen to my recording. He mostly stuck to material from his newest album, Hold Time. But I was glad he did "Poison Cup," one of my favorite songs (from Post-War). I love his work in She & Him (with Zooey Deschanel), but I love his solo work as well and was glad to see him perform solo. We had a great spot, too. Nic got in line pretty early, for which I was grateful.

We weren't allowed to take pictures, but I managed to sneak a few. Obviously they're not very good because I was holding my camera to my chest inconspicuously (I couldn't hold it up in the air at all) and couldn't use a flash.

And here are a few random M. Ward tracks that I love (obviously by no means a complete collection, just some that are running through my head right now based on my mood):
(I might post my live recording here once I upload it.)

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