Monday, August 26, 2013

Turf Club Birthday Show 8/23/13

I'm still recovering from the show on Friday as well as the week/weekend in general. It was Birthday Week after all and I really made sure to make it count. There was something going on most every day and I was quite exhausted most of the weekend.

The show at the Turf Club was great, though there were a couple of rough patches along the way. Bethany Larson and the Bee's Knees had to cancel as Bethany caught that awful summer cold that's going around and couldn't sing. I feel her pain. That thing sucked. Then right before we were to go on, my tenor guitar broke. It was supposed to make its debut on a new song of ours called "Where's the Fire?" that was also making its debut, but I went to tune it beforehand and the neck was all out of whack. Total bummer. I think (hope) it's fixable. We still played the song anyway - I just didn't play an instrument - which was weird for me. But also completely freeing and fun and I think the song is better without my guitar.

Prissy Clerks and Bomba de Luz were both awesome and I am so happy I got to play a show with both of them. They are both great bands you should check out.

 Prissy Clerks

 Bomba de Luz

Setlist for Turf Club Birthday Show 8/23/13
  • Float
  • Where's the Fire? (first time played!)
  • Blue Whale (first time played with full band!)
  • Lens
  • Flavor
  • Salt (now with drums!)
  • I Guess This Is Called Moving On
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal
  • Introvert
  • Adore

We've got a bunch of shows coming up over the next month, so if you missed this one, there are more to come! And they are all FREE.

9/2 - Amsterdam Bar and Hall - St. Paul, MN (I might play this one solo)
9/17 - Hexagon Bar - Minneapolis, MN
9/25 - Kitty Cat Klub - Minneapolis, MN
10/2 - Harriet Brewing - Minneapolis, MN

Monday, August 19, 2013

Birthday Week!

This week is Birthday Week. It officially started yesterday. I kicked it off with a trip to Urgent Care to treat this incredibly annoying sinus infection. I spent over an hour waiting for a doctor to come in and take a quick look up my nose and tell me, "yep, sinus infection" and write me a prescription. The only reason I was there so long is because they lost my chart! I sat in the exam room for 45 minutes wondering what was taking so long. When I finally poked my head out to ask, no one knew I was in there because my chart was gone. Luckily they found it and no stranger walked off with all of my vitals.

But the rest of Birthday Week is going much better. I've had tacos for dinner for 4 nights in a row now. That might be a new record. I went to the West Bank Music Festival on Saturday night and spent time with friends while checking out Southside Desire and Brother Ali.

 Southside Desire.

Hanging with friends.

Brother Ali. He's up there somewhere.

Sunday (after Urgent Care) I spent a couple of hours drinking beers on the back patio with the husband and dog. Today I got a haircut. I even went back to Great Clips. They're really not so bad. Or maybe I just have a good one near me.

The rest of the week I will be going out to dinner at one of my favorite places and then it's the State Fair. The Great Minnesota Get Together is back! Alway awesome and always bittersweet. A sign that the end of summer is almost upon us. But it's worth it because it's the fair! And it's so much fun! I'll be working a booth on behalf of my day job opening day in the a.m. and then I'm taking the afternoon off to wander and soak it in. Cannot wait.

But, then...then....then it's the big show! Friday. 9pm. At the Turf Club. I'm playing songs. With my band. And other bands that I love are playing, too. Prissy Clerks, Bethany Larson & the Bee's Knees, and Bomba de Luz. So incredibly excited. This show has been scheduled for so long now and it's finally here. It's going to be so much fun.

Then Saturday night it's out for karaoke and Sunday is cake with the in-laws. 

Birthday Week rules.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The National at Roy Wilkins Auditorium

I almost didn't go to this show last night. I got hit with a cold Monday night and spent all day Tuesday trying to power through and suck it up because I had bought these tickets back in April and I wanted to go.

When I got home from work I felt completely run down and warm. The thought of standing in one spot at a rock show for 3 hours just did not sound appealing. The thought of walking from wherever we ended up parking to the auditorium didn't even sound manageable. Add the massive thunderstorm that was to roll through at any minute and curling up in my favorite chair and watching the rest of season 3 of Lost sounded like the best decision.

But fear of missing out and not wanting to waste the tickets won out and I am so glad it did.

I am not a fan of The National's new album Trouble Will Find Me. In fact, it might be one of the most disappointing albums I ever remember getting. I love this band and their earlier albums and anticipation was big for this one and it just didn't live up to it. Maybe that's my fault for expecting too much. But it comes across as somewhat tired and repetitive. There are a couple of good moments here and there. Good lines that standout as classical The National lyrics. "Pink Rabbits" is a fairly good song. But for most of it, I can't tell one song from the next. I saw via newspaper reviews this morning, that they played a song off the new album that I specifically called out to my husband that I was surprised they didn't play because it's all over the radio right now. But they did play it. And I didn't even realize it because I can't tell them apart.

But, enough with the negativity.

The show itself was really good. It was nowhere near as good as any of the times I've seen them at First  Avenue. But that's probably more to do with how awful Roy Wilkins is and not so much the band. The sound was just so tinny and muffled. And the lights on the side of the floor highlighting where to buy your popcorn and hotdogs really took away from the vibe.

I was concerned at first that they did seem tired and bored, though. The first couple of songs felt a little lifeless. Not so surprising, they were songs off the new album. Whenever they would tap into their back catalogue, though, their energy seemed to pick up - or maybe the crowd just did. Although, there were definitely people around us who only know them from this latest album. Which is weird.

They brought out Nona Marie, lead from one of my recently favorited bands Dark Dark Dark. Nona is from Minneapolis and got the envy inducing honor of getting to sing on The National's latest album. So they brought her out to sing on a couple of songs last night. Which was cool. Though I couldn't hear her at all.

The National with Nona Marie of Dark Dark Dark.

Side note: While introducing Nona Marie, lead singer Matt Berninger mentioned how a lot of the backing vocals got buried on the album, but not hers because she's awesome. But, when I heard she sang on the album, I listened and listened and couldn't find her anywhere. Her voice is pretty distinctive. But all I can hear in backing vocals is guitarist Aaron Dessner, who sings in a high falsetto anyway.

I had three songs I wanted to hear last night: "Terrible Love", "About Today", and "Apartment Story". The only one I didn't hear was "Apartment Story". Although, as they started playing, all of the songs they have started shooting through my brain and I got super excited about all of the potential song goodness that was to come. They did a lovely rendition of "About Today" - not the epic version I've heard before, but a more subdued one that was chilling and beautiful. "Terrible Love" came during the encore.

And wow, that encore.

There was a couple standing in front of us that, obviously, knew their radio hits and that was it. The girl went nuts for "Conversation 16" ( the one about eating brains and "I am eeeeeevil!") and "England" and a couple of songs off the new album. Every thing else they would either just stand there looking confused or trying to find a beat. I'm not saying that to make fun of them. Just that they left as soon as the first song from the encore started. And, well, you never miss the encore of a show by The National. Really, you should never miss any encore because the best stuff usually happens then. They played a roaring version of "Terrible Love" to my utter delight. They did "Mr. November" complete with Matt Berninger and his ridiculously long microphone cord walking through the crowd all the way to the back screaming about how he "won't fuck us over I'm Mr. November" and then, then they closed the set with a completely acoustic - and I mean acoustic. no mics, unplugged acoustic guitars - version of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" complete with audience sing along to the whole thing. It was such an interesting way to end the show and really just - I don't know - it was just lovely.

So, yeah. I'm happy I sucked it up and went. And I don't feel worse today, as I expected to. I feel slightly better, actually. I guess music will do that for you.

Also: Daughter opened for them last night. Since I'm sick, I had planned to get there late to limit the length of time I would have to stand around. I don't normally like to miss the opener, because you never know, they may be awesome and if I ever open for someone, I would hope people would show up. But we got there right as they were starting. It might have worked for me in a different setting, but it just sounded like a wall of muffled sound. And that shoe-gazer mope rock was not the pump me up shake this sickness sound that I needed at that time.