Sunday, September 28, 2014

331 Club 9-25-14

Another great time was had at the 331 Club last Thursday night. I really do love playing that place. The staff is great. They treat you really well.

This show marked the debut of our new drummer, Sara. I am so thrilled to have her on board.

We were joined by the dreamy Warehouse Eyes and the impeccably-voiced songwriter, Adam Svec. Both were fantastic additions to the set and I hope to play with both of them again.

Warehouse Eyes

Adam Svec

Since we had a new drummer on board, we changed up the set a bit from what we have been playing at recent shows. Always nice to change things up a bit.

Set list for 331 Club 9-25-14
  • Lens
  • Car
  • Float
  • Blind
  • A Story 
  • Salt
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal
  • Good to Know
  • The Reminder
  • Yesterday
Next up: I'll be playing a couple of solo songs at Uke Fest this Saturday, October 4th at The Aster Cafe.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Three Years

It was three years ago today that we had to say goodbye to Murray.

He was my baby. He was my life. And it is so heartbreaking to look at that picture of him and realize how much I've already forgotten. I hate that.

We have a new dog in our life now (Robbie) and when we first got him, I remember how weird it was to pet him. Murray had such long, soft fur. Robbie's is short and bristly. I thought, I will never get used to this. I don't like this. 

But now I'm used to it. Now when I think of petting a dog, I imagine it feels like petting Robbie - not Murray. And that makes me so sad.

Murray was very special. He was such a good dog for Matt and I and so difficult for so many other things. We could never bring him anywhere. He had some fear-based aggression issues. Or, really, overly protective aggressive issues. But never with us. So he was a stay at home dog. We took him on walks, of course. And he loved going to Grandma's house and he was so good with her. And he was fine at the groomers. He just had such a difficult initial reaction to people that it was always a bit trying and seemed best to avoid those situations.

Now, when I walk Robbie and he can greet anyone and anything and there is not a single concern of biting or growling, I just feel so relieved. Yet, I would never trade any of that for my time with Murray.

He was special. Very special. He never seemed like a dog. He was a true buddy. Robbie is very much a dog. Everything he does is very dog like. You give him a toy, he destroys hit. He wolfs down his food in seconds. Murray was so different. He had a ridiculously huge collection of stuffed toys because he never destroyed them. He just licked them. He would sit licking his toys - or "ducks" as we called them - for hours. We would just leave his food out and he would eat when he felt like it, but he never finished his bowl. The most dog-like thing he did was chase the ducks that would ever taunt him when we would go up to the cottages in the UP. He was so good up there, though. He could be off leash and he would stick by our side (except for when those damn ducks would swim by quacking at him).

My mother-in-law always said she'd never seen a dog look at people the way Murray looked at Matt and me. He LOVED us. And that made me feel like the best damn person in the world. Because to earn Murray's love like that was a very special thing.  Me, Matt, and grandma. Those were the only three people in the world he needed. And we were the luckiest three.

For as long as I have this blog, I will write about him on this day. Share a memory. Even if it's just about the feel of his fur. And tonight I will do a toast in his honor.

I miss you so much, Murray.

I wrote my whole album Intermission for him. This song is called "Pumpkin" - that was my nickname for him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Replacements At Midway

So I saw The Replacements last weekend. Everyone in Minnesota has already recapped their day at Midway Stadium. I am late to the party. But that's okay.

I always liked The Replacements, but I was never a die hard. I really only knew two albums and their radio singles. I almost wasn't going to go to this because it was expensive and I didn't want to take tickets from someone else who maybe really really really wanted to go.

But I changed my mind the morning the tickets went on sale and I'm so glad I did. It was probably one of the best days of the summer - by far. I had a blast.

It's funny to say summer because it was maybe 55 degrees out and everyone was bundled up in jackets, hats, and scarves. But the sun was shining.

My friends got there early to secure a spot for tailgating. Because, yes, there was tailgating. I'd never tailgated before but it was so much fun. I tip my hat to Kimi and Bart for making that happen. They were excellent hosts of the parking space. Plenty of beer, food, and Bart made the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches.

Needless to say, much drinking was had. But also much fun. It was the type of show that you knew everyone at. There was a lot of positive energy in the air.

The show itself - the reason we were all there: The Replacements reunion - was phenomenal. Matt and I managed to worm our way up fairly close (about 20 rows back) and - for once - I had a perfect view of the stage the entire set. No super tall dude standing right in front of me for rows and rows.

The Replacements sounded excellent. The crowd was super into it and friendly. Nobody was pushing. Everyone was just singing along, pumping their fists, jumping up and down. And despite being about 50 degrees out, it felt warm in the crowd. The sky was crystal clear.

If this happens to be my last outdoor event of this summer, it was a good one.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Three Things Full Of Happy

I can't believe I haven't written about the Sylvan Esso show last Wednesday...because it was phenomenal.

I was wary of going to this show because - although I enjoy this kind of music - I despise paying money for shows just to watch someone play on a laptop. I just feel like it's not that hard to get a band to recreate the sounds.

But these two put on a hell of a show. The laptop was there along with a mixing board, but Nick Sanborn played those things like he was behind a guitar or a drumkit. There was a ton of passion there. And dancing.

Amelia Meath is a wonderful front woman with a killer voice. I first noticed her when as a part of the group Mountain Man. They sang backup for Feist on the tour I saw and she completely stood out - nearly stole the show with her enthusiasm. She's darling and I think it's great that she's getting this success with her own stuff.

They got First Avenue dancing. That just doesn't happen. Minnesotans don't do that at concerts, but the place was jumping. It was a fantastic show.

This is their video for their single "Play It Right":


I had been craving margaritas. That's a weird thing to say. But really I think I was just craving sitting outside on a beautiful summer day with friends and having some fun drinks. So I arranged a get together at a place in town that serves margaritas and a bunch of us had fun drinks on the patio on what was probably the most perfectly gorgeous weather day of the summer. Then we all headed back to my place and had a fun just hanging out together. I have nothing more to add to that (or pictures to share) but it was just a really great day.


Then on Sunday it was Dog Day at the MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Arts). They open the doors to dogs and their humans and host activities for dogs in the courtyard. They can contribute to a mural and make their own art. They have photo booths and a caricature artist. Placed around the lot are water bowls. It's really fun and dogs are everywhere and the cuteness is overwhelming. It was also another gorgeous weather day. We took Robbie last year and it was muggy and cool, but this year it was gorgeous and the place was packed with dogs and people. It was super fun. And Robbie made more art. He's so talented.