Monthly Archives: May 2010

Really Trident? EW

>I don’t chew gum very often. As a girl not known for being petite, I don’t think chewing a wad of anything all the time looks particularly attractive. I try not to care what other people think about me, but despite that I really don’t want to think about people making mental comparisons between me with some gum and a cow with a cud.

Anyway, I bought some Trident the other day. I had eaten some sushi and wanted to cleanse the palate, as it were.  Yummy Trident Splash, spearmint style.

Today I pulled out my package of Trident and the back of it caught my eye. Apparently if you hand over all your personal details, you have the slim to slight chance of winning festival tickets.

This isn’t the EW part. The EW part is this:

“CONTAINS: SOYA. MAY CONTAIN: SESAME SEEDS, NUTS.”

I UNDERSTAND that they have to have the warning as Trident is part of Cadbury and Cadbury makes chocolate products that may contain nuts. And nuts (or seeds) in a chocolate confectionery is fine. More than fine. Can be pretty tasty, in fact. Stop being so smart. Smart isn’t funny.

Instead just think about the gum containing nuts. Nuts. Or seeds. In your gum.  Sesame seed gum. Peanut gum.  EW EW EW.

SICK. Gum should never, ever have chunks of anything in it.

Ew. Chunks.

>What I’m reading now

>”But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.

Bill Bryson
Neither here 
Nor  
there

Catching up

>It is a GORGEOUS day outside today. So I am, contrarily and entirely like me, taking the time to sit inside at my computer… uploading pictures and blogging and answering my emails. Clearly I am an idiot.

The afternoon is not nearly passed and I will be heading out shortly to marvel at the blue skies and sunshine (not often seen ’round these here parts) but I wanted to ‘splain the burst of quotes and gig updates that came before this post.

No, I didn’t read all those books at the same time. It took me at least two weeks. I am a terrible glutton at times when it comes to books. I read a lot, I read quickly, and I re-read books a lot. So that’s that. And the gigs… I’m caught up on them now too.

I still owe myself a post on the hospital stay… before it goes on too long and I forget what it was really, truly like. I also have some complaining to do about online dating (yah, doing that again/still… it’s ridiculous). But for now, I’m going to take my camera and head out into the sun.

>What I’m reading now

>”We don’t know if he ever left England. We don’t know who his principal companions were or how he amused himself. His sexuality is an irreconcilable mystery. On only a handful of days in his life can we say with absolute certainty where he was. We have no record at all of his whereabouts for the eight critical years when he left his wife and three young children in Stratford and became, with almost impossible swiftness, a successful playwright in London. By the time he is first mentioned in print as a playwright, in 1592, his life was already more than half over.

For the rest, he is a kind of literary equivalent of an electron – forever there and not there.”

– Bill Bryson, Shakespeare

>What I’m reading now

>”As in my other works of fiction: All persons living and dead are purely coincidental, and should not be construed. No names have been changed in order to protect the innocent. Angels protect the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine.”

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Bagombo Snuff Box

>What I’m reading now

>”…a little-known fact about Shakespeare is that his father moved to Stratford-upon-Avon from a nearby village shortly before his son’s birth. Had he not done so, the Bard of Avon would instead be known as the rather less ringing Bard of Snitterfield.”

Bill Bryson, Mother Tongue

>What I’m reading now

>“My advice to writers just starting out? Don’t use semi-colons! They are transvestite hermaphrodites, representing exactly nothing. All they do is suggest you might have gone to college.” 

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Armageddon in Retrospect

>Wolf Parade – 18 May 2010

>I wasn’t supposed to be at Wolf Parade on the 18th. I had tickets to see Real Estate on the 18th.  But then Mike said he was touring Europe and was going to be in London for most of that week. So I sent him a Last.fm link to gigs that were playing that week. Mentioned that I had tickets for the 18th, but if there were any others he wanted to see we could check them out.

Turns out Wolf Parade were playing the Borderline. The Borderline!

The Borderline is a fantastic venue. It is in an alley off an alley near Tottenham Court Road. It only holds 275 people and looks a little like a country and western bar. I’ve seen Brooke Parrott play there as well as Great Lake Swimmers. There isn’t a bad place to stand when you are in there – you will always be within 25 feet of the stage. The sound is good. It is intimate and cozy and lovely. And Wolf Parade were playing there. Wolf Parade! At The Borderline!

I like Wolf Parade, but was not a huge fan. They’ve got a few songs that I really, really like (“You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son”, “I’ll Believe In Anything”) but if it hadn’t been for Mike I wouldn’t have dropped the tickets I already had for Real Estate (gave them to Tyran – I hope they make up for a few hundred of the dinners he’s made) and bought these ones. It really did help that they were playing in such a great venue.

The opening acts were pretty good. Oh No Ono played some catchy tunes and seemed to really enjoy playing. Especially the drummer, who was also adorable. If I hung around at all after shows, I’d definitely be a groupie.

The next act, Joensuu 1685 were not bad. The music was okay (they covered a Springsteen song at one point – a little surreal, that was) but they took themselves far too seriously.

Wolf Parade came on next. If I would have said I wasn’t a fan before, I definitely am now. They had so much energy and the music was simply incredible. It didn’t hurt that they played my favourite song first, but even though I hadn’t heard much of the new stuff, I was fully engaged for the entire gig. They held the audience and had a great time with everyone. They seemed genuinely pleased with the attention of the crowd and had good report with them. The Borderline is a great venue for a band like that… as the band you are practically in the crowd.

There are a lot of bands that I love that are a bit… ‘meh’… in concert. I’m putting Wolf Parade in the top five of acts that I surprised me how great they are live. I would definitely go see them again. And again. And again.

>The National – 06 MAY 2010

>How excited was I for this gig? SO EXCITED.  The National are my favourite band in the world (right now). Their new album (High Violet) is amazing. All their old stuff is amazing. If you haven’t listened to them, find a way to do so RIGHT NOW.  Your life quality will improve 24.6%. Fact.

First, I need to apologise because there are no pictures. This is the point in my life where getting a new camera was no longer an option. I’m sad that there are no photos. I wish there were. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ll forget this gig even if I don’t have the pictures.

I went to the gig with Toni, a mate from work. And get this: HE HAD NEVER BEEN TO A GIG BEFORE.

Um, WHUT?

I’m still having difficulty wrapping my head around that one. How does one get to their late twenties (taking a stab at the dark here at his age) without ever seeing a concert? I asked him (only kind of joking) if he had been kept in a closet as a child. I didn’t really receive a satisfactory answer to that one. It would certainly explain a lot. No – a lot. You haven’t met Toni.

The gig was at the Royal Albert Hall, which is both a great and terrible venue. It is great acoustically and for sight lines. It is kind of lame for crowd involvement. I mean… it is a theatre, not a stadium. Or a pub. So everyone just kind of sits there. We had to sit there, we were up in the circle. But even the people on the floor were sitting, which is just weird. Or at least they WERE sitting, until Matt Berninger (lead singer) stepped over the monitors and reached into the crowd and started pulling people to their feet.

The music was fantastic and The National put on an great show. They had a lot of charisma (which came across even in a place the size of the Royal Albert Hall) and so much talent. I’d happily go see them play 100 million times. Maybe more. I’ll be accepting donations so I can buy tickets for their next shows.

Band of Horses – 12 April 2010

GOOD SWEET JEBUS I’M BAD ABOUT THIS.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I mean… obviously I like music. I like taking pictures. I like talking about music. I like all of it. And yet it takes me weeks (WEEKS) to get up a post about an AWESOME gig like Band of Horses. I am made of blogging fail. Again.

Band of Horses played at Koko, which is a fantastic venue. Seriously. Last year I saw Me First and the Gimme Gimmes play there and it was also fantastic, even though they are very, very different bands.

Eva joined me for the gig, which was cool. She’s a good sport – I apparently had emailed her work email, not her home, and when I sent her the text on Monday morning asking if she was excited about the gig, she went along with it… even though she didn’t know what I was on about yet. Awesome. She was just all like “yay, a gig!” and agreed to come.  This is why I always buy two tickets, kids. It means I can expose people to fantastic things like Band of Horses (and I don’t have to buy my own beer at the gig – iz win-win, yus?)

We got there early enough to stand right at the very front, which I haven’t bothered to do in a long, long time. It means that you may actually get to see that the band is in fact a band in my pictures.

The show was opened by Tyler Ramsey. He was really good. He also plays guitar for Band of Horses, so after playing a solo act, he came back on stage to play with the band. Win.

Here’s a video of him playing his lovely song “A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea”

Band of Horses were fantastic on stage. The interacted well with the crowd and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. During their song Great Salt Lake, the audience singers (you just gotta love them, don’t you… I mean, I paid all that money to listen to the off-tune teens behind me screaming garbled lyrics…) got ahead of the band. The lead singer stopped playing, said “Wait for it… ” before they resumed. If you have Spotify, you can hear the song at Band Of Horses – The Great Salt Lake.  If not… go YouTube it. It’s a great song.

My favourite song by them (Band Of Horses – The Funeral ) – The Funeral – they fucked up completely. But I forgive them, because it was funny. First, the lead guitarist / singer had the capo on the wrong fret so it all just sounded wrong, wrong, wrong. He sorted that, then part way through the song – when they have to go from the heavy bit to the picky bit again – he fucked up again and muttered “fuck this song”, laughed and started playing again. It was all good.

Their first encore they played in one of the balconies of Koko which was great.

Overall, a wonderful show. Could have done without the teenage couple alternating between screaming, singing off key and making out behind us… but other than that it was pretty awesome.