Archive for February, 2011

Quiet, Strong, and Proud

Posted: February 28, 2011 in nature, texas
Tags: , , , ,

 

 

 

If you would know strength and patience,
welcome the company of trees.
~Hal Borland


Trees are so beautiful.  Barren and desolate in the winter… Reborn, neon, and untainted in the Spring.

Like a long lonely stream
I keep runnin’ towards a dream
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like a branch on a tree
I keep reachin’ to be free
Movin’ on, movin’ on

‘Cause there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

Like an old dusty road
I get weary from the load
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like this tired troubled earth
I’ve been rollin’ since my birth
Movin’ on, movin’ on

There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

You know when times are bad
And you’re feeling sad
I want you to always remember

Yes, there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone…

~Stevie Wonder

Surreal: having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic.

Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas – 2/19/2011

The Black Keys music that I own:
6 studio albums
Dan’s solo: Keep It Hid
3 soundtrack releases
1 cover song from a various artist CD
1 EP: Chulahoma

 Black Keys music that I’m Missing:
1 split artist EP
Pat Carney’s indie band album “Feel Good Together” by Drummer
The collaborative BlakRoc album
2 live albums 

The Black Keys, an American “garage/blues-rock” band from Akron Ohio, are on the verge of greatness… again.  With three 2011 Grammy’s under their belt, an album on the top of many ‘Best of the Year’ lists, and over a million records sold… it seems to be that THIS TIME it’s really going to happen for them. 

 That being said, it’s still surprising that people give me a blank stare when I start geeking out over whatever piece of Black Keys music is turning me on at the moment.  Are there really still people out there NOT jumping on the Black Keys bandwagon?  I guess I’m really just waiting for the band to get so big as to have my Katy Perry-loving girlfriends, who shall remain nameless, start spazzing over some album I’ve had for almost a decade… or when EVERYONE starts calling them sellouts for FINALLY being recognized for their talent. Which I might add, is well deserved!  Yes, the Zale’s and car commercials are killing me, but it’s not going to make me stop loving them.

 It pains me that I didn’t see them at the Granada or Ridglea way back when I was still in ‘breeder’ mode.  Unfortunately, that was before I had my third-of-life crisis and decided I was still young enough to go to a million concerts a year, EVEN ON WEEKDAYS! GASP!  Sadly, I felt like with each new Black Keys album I was losing my chance to see them before they got ‘stadium big’.  And wouldn’t you know, the only time they came to Dallas (post third-life-crisis)… it was at the freakin’ Starplex stadium… opening for Kings of Leon.  Basically that means Sara and Peter paid over $120 to see the Black Keys play without their own stage and light set up… for just an hour.  I felt ripped off.  But I was also happy with whatever I could get.

 Flash forward to Peter’s third-of-life crisis which involves bizarre lovey-dovey behavior towards his wife, a need to polish his ‘rough looking’ boots, and a Strange Desire to travel without the kids and spend money recklessly… that’s just weird for Peter!  REALLY weird.  My concern quickly changed to fanatic elation when he surprised me with birthday plane tickets to Las Vegas and SOLD OUT tickets to the Black Keys concert at the Chelsea Ballroom in the Cosmopolitan Hotel!  Yes, I cried.  Yes, it was solely the outcome of such a special gift to see the Black Keys, once again on the verge of greatness, headlining a smaller venue… IN LAS VEGAS!!!  I mean, that’s like mission impossible caliber!

In a whirlwind weekend, we flew into Vegas… stayed up all night eating, drinking, gambling, watching the Beatles LOVE Cirque show… slept a wink, then geeked out over music memorabilia at the Hard Rock Hotel, walked through the Cosmopolitan in stunned awe of the classic yet modern beauty of the magnificent hotel and the artwork throughout… ate gourmet tapas at the hotel buffet… and the icing on the cake: we saw Cage the Elephant and MY Black Keys in a beautiful art deco type ballroom… with a noir feel to the whole night! 

 Cage the Elephant started the concert off to a frenzied start with the band spewing out electric energy at a frenetic pace and Matthew Shultz wailing punk rock greatness into his microphone, talk-singing in an almost Black Francis-type manner.  Their shining moment came when the singer wrapped his hand all the way around the mic, clutched it tight as he leaned towards the crowd… and through the split in his mop of Kurt Cobain hair… he says, “Do you guys like crowd surfing?  I really like crowd surfing.”  And then he commenced hurling himself into the audience during lyric breaks… the band holding time for him to get back on stage again and again.  And in final grandeur, he walks out ON TOP of the audience holding the mic while a stage hand holds the wire up above the crowd.  I’ve never seen anything like that.  Period.

 After waiting 4 hours for my band, they FINALLY took the stage.  And it was All I Ever Wanted.  Two individuals with the same soul for music, no theatrics… just music.  The blues just seem to emanate out of Dan, as if the gravity of the music might break his soul in half.  Eyes closed the majority of the time, instinctively swaying,  and music, that has been the landscape of my life for a decade, radiating out of him in sonic boom manner… forcing me to geek out, on a daily basis… about a band that I love as much as Pink Floyd, or the Talking Heads, or Jimi Hendrix, or U2. 
     

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DATE ARTIST VENUE
2/18/2011 Grace Potter and the Nocturnals HOB Dallas
2/19/2011 Tapes ‘n Tapes the Loft
2/19/2011 Broken Social Scene HOB Dallas
2/19/2011 the Black Keys (YAY ME!!!)  LAS VEGAS
2/23/2011 Steve Miller Band HOB Dallas
2/24/2011 The Whiskey Folk Ramblers Lola’s Fort Worth
2/24/2011 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Saraland
2/25/2011 Hayes Carll Lola’s Fort Worth
3/9/2011 Telegraph Canyon Lola’s Fort Worth
3/11/2011 Dr.Dog (and various artists that I like less than Dr. Dog) Thur-Sun 35 Conferette Festival/Denton
3/12/2011 Dove Hunter Lola’s Fort Worth
3/15/2011 DeVotchKa Granada Theater
3/18/2011 Trampled by Turtles the Loft
3/18/2011 Dawes with Deertick Club Dada
4/1/2011 John Mellencamp Verizon Theatre
4/2/2011 Cold War Kids CANCELLED! BOO!  (I really wanted to go to this) Southside Music Hall
4/7/2011 Band of Horses Verizon Theatre
4/9/2011 Eleven Hundred Springs (CD Release Party) Lola’s Fort Worth
4/13/2011 Crosby and Nash Verizon Theatre
4/16/2011 The Avett Brothers Palladium Ballrom
4/29/2011 Decemberists HOB Dallas
5/2/2011 The Moody Blues Verizon Theatre
6/6/2011 Deftones Verizon Theatre
6/15/2011 Adele HOB Dallas

Check out www.songkick.com to create your own list of DFdubs CTWS… based on your favorite artists!

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about hipsters.  This is mainly due to the fact that an elementary school friend and I have been sending each other funny ‘hipster’ links back and forth… often featuring a shared  hatred toward the band Nickelback.  When I showed one of the aforementioned links to my brother and sister-in-law (the ones that call me ‘the modern day hippie’)… they failed to see the humor in the link and I was met with a few disturbed looks and the following line of questioning:

“What is a hipster, Sara?”

I replied, “Someone who wants to be cool by being uncool and NOT mainstream.”  I should have stopped there, but my word vomit continued: “Like an anti-establishment arty college kid that listens to weirdo music and dresses uncool.” 

 “So basically, like you?”

“Um… I’d say I’m more of a ‘wanna be hipster.’ I’m not a very brave dresser. [translation: cool/uncool dresser]… And I have a needy desire for constant approval and socialization.”

At this point, Peter starts to roll his eyes, and I realize that I’ve started to sound more like a cheerleader than a hipster.  My stomach turns… not from a disgust towards cheerleaders, but from a disgust for society’s labels making me feel like a two-headed psycho-hose-beast with split personality disorder… and for spending ANY amount of time contemplating my IMAGE at all.

I should change the name of my blog to: DOES EVERYONE FEEL LIKE THIS? subtitle: The dichotomy of my personality splitting my psyche in two on a daily basis for your reading and viewing pleasure.  Or maybe, NARCISSM! subtitle: Inordinate fascination with oneself. Or better yet, maybe I should spend much less of my ‘writing time’ thinking up weirdo FB status updates and/or writing self-involved blogs… and more time writing poetry and/or lyrics.

 Truth be told, I love obsessing.  I’m an obsessive, narcissistic, non-conformist self-deprecating Audiophile-Xenophile-Philomath [feel free to google/wiki/dictionary ap here]… with an insatiable compulsion to spazz out on stuff that I think is cool, and a need to incessantly talk about the BS internal conversations that I have with myself. 

Yes, I think hipsters are cool… even though, I’m certainly not ‘cool’ enough to be one.

the funnies:
Superhero Hipsters

Bullied by Hipsters

Coming Soon to MTV: Hipster Shore

The Obsession Continues

Posted: February 5, 2011 in nature, random

Riley and I tumbled around a few ideas for what mural to paint in his room… from a “Skateboarder” theme to a “Surfer” theme… but I just couldn’t find the inspiration for either.  All I kept envisioning in my head was a forsaken vessel enveloped by a huge Kraken.  Probably not ideal for a 5 year old… but the idea mutated from giant scary Kraken to the heart of Riley’s soon to be mural:  the Octopus aka “Devilfish,” as they were sometimes called.

Drawing octopi just flows out so easily for me… like the graceful and awe inspiring dance of an octopus floating through the water, arms undulating in sinuous wavelike motion.  They are so beautiful!!!

WHAT IS IN A NAME?
from wikipedia: The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms. Octopuses have no internal or external skeleton (although some species have a vestigial remnant of a shell inside their mantle), allowing them to squeeze through tight places. Octopuses are among the most intelligent and behaviorally flexible of all invertebrates.

The octopus inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the ocean floor. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and deimatic displays, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide. An octopus trails its eight arms behind it as it swims. All octopuses are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopuses, is known to be deadly to humans.

In the larger sense, there are around 300 recognized octopus species, which is over one-third of the total number of known cephalopod species. The term octopus may also be used to refer only to those creatures in the genus Octopus.

From www.octopus.com:
Each of the octopus’s arms have two rows of suction cups each of which has ‘taste sensors’ to allow it to identify food. It is able to distinguish different textures and tastes with these sensors. With the ability to regenerate lost arms and an eye on each side of its head Octopi are hardy predators with unique self defence mechanisms and very good eyesight. Octopuses have acute vision and are able to detect colors. Just like the human eye, the octopus eye consists of a light-sensitive retina, lens and two fluid-filled chambers. They are however deaf due to the fact that they lack hearing organs.

Most Octopi have a globe-shaped ‘head’ or mantle that contains all the vital organs and mouth which hold a sharp beak which is used to kill and decimate prey. The brain is highly developed and they are able to learn fast. Their skin is smooth and ranges in color most normally from a tan to light brown with some coloration, but many are able to change colors by contracting skin cells filled with pigments to allow it to hide when hunting for prey. Some Octopi can even mimic other fish and objects, and their defensive arsenal includes the ability to squirt an ink like substance at an attacker to mask their getaway.

With life spans of approximately two years Octopus are often confused with squid, another Cephalopoda which has two longer arms called ‘tentacles’ – in an octopus all eight appendages are of a similar length and are called ‘arms’ not legs.

Living primarily in dens which provide refuge from predators including other octopi and various fish their staple consists primarily of crustaceans and molluscs such as crabs and scallops. This diet is supplemented by other bivalves, snails, fish and even other octopi. They gain access to shelled prey either by pulling it apart, biting it with their beak to break it apart or by drilling through the shell and secreting a toxin to dissolve the connective tissues.

Although difficult to maintain in captivity it is not unheard of for some people to keep them as pets, although they are very sensitive and their short life span discourages many would-be owners, as does the ability to escape from even well secured tanks due to their well known problem-solving abilities and high intelligence, which has been compared to that of an average house cat. They also are a food source in many parts of the world and some species are even bred and raised exclusively for that purpose.

A misconception is that octopi eat their own arms when stressed – but studies have show that this behaviour is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system although stress may allow the virus to attack more readily.

There are over 160 different species of Octopus, broken into two large groups:
• Cirrata: Finned octopi that live at depths between 1,000 and 24,000 feet
• Incirrata: non-finned shallow water dwellers
Octopus have a sharp beak that it uses to crack shells and inject poisons and digestive fluids into shellfish and other prey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus_(genus)
Species links!!! 🙂