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She’s ba-ack…sort of…no promises!

9 Jan

I miss being here.  I miss you being here.  I’m not entirely sure I have anything worthwhile left to say.  I think that’s one of the reasons for my long absence–I was feeling like I had met my lifetime quota of witty or amusing observations on life.

Plus I was always feeling so behind.  I missed posting for three of my children’s birthdays last year, which is pretty pathetic considering I only have four children.  I think I felt like I couldn’t say anything else until I had crossed those birthday posts off my list.  But there’s something about the obligation of it all that took the joy out of it.

So I’m going to try to come around once in a while and see if Stella can get her groove back.  And by Stella I mean me, and by groove I mean joy-inducing witticisms and observations (joy for me, not for you–though your happiness would also be a welcome by-product, of course).

Well, I’m thinking 175 words is about all I have in me for today.  Carry on.  See you later.

One more thing, say what you want about the lastest Killers album (yes, I’m talking to you–you know who you are), but I love this song:

 

Be still, dear friends.  Be still.

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My new favorite cover

23 Mar

Most of you have probably already seen this, but it’s worth multiple viewings:

Walk Off the Earth, Somebody That I Used to Know

 

The dude in the middle and the bearded guy are my favorites.

I like the original of the song as well, but the video kind of frightens me.

 

I kind of have a little thing for Mr. Grohl

26 Sep

On my way back from dropping the girls off at school this morning, I thought, “I should, like, blog today or something.”  I’ve been doing a lot of somethings lately–somethings being mostly nothings, which is still something in a sense–so I guess I’ll blog instead.  But what to blog, what to blog?  This morning I was also rocking out to my go-to “mom’s private chauffeur business” (which makes sucky tips, by the way) soundtrack, which has inspired me to introduce you to the Foo Fighters latest album, Wasting Light.

Wasting Light was actually released last April, but it is still in constant rotation in my car.  It’s got a whole different vibe from their last album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace—a little more raw, a little less polished, a little more rocker, I guess.  (Apparently, they recorded it in Dave’s garage, so it would almost have to be, right?)  But you still get the best of both Dave Grohl worlds–the gentler, more melodic Dave and the wild yet artful screamer Dave.

From the intro of the very first track, Bridge Burning, I was hooked.

 

My favorite track is I Should Have Known.  It starts a little slow and somber with some beautiful instrumentation even, but it slowly builds to a satisfyingly rocked-out end.  This is Dave Grohl doing what he does best.

 

You’ve probably heard Rope and Walk on the radio–both great songs.  (The Walk link is classic Foo Fighters music video production.)  Really, from beginning to end, there’s not a song I don’t enjoy.  Occasionally I have to skip White Limo when the kids are in the car because they don’t have the same appreciation for Mr. Grohl’s more intense persona, but it sometimes fits my mood perfectly and it’s Chuck’s favorite workout song from the album.

All in all, if you’re any kind of Foo Fighters fan, this album should do it for you.  If not, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

~

Foo Fighters, Wasting Light

1. Bridge Burning
2. Rope
3. Dear Rosemary
4. White Limo
5. Arlandria
6. These Days
7. Back & Forth
8. A Matter of Time
9. Miss the Misery
10. I Should Have Known
11. Walk

Weekend update: special U2 edition

6 Jun

First, let me just say Bono did not let me down.  Good frick, what a show!

With the outdoor venue, I had been watching the weather forecast for days, and at times it looked iffy, but the U2 gods smiled down on us and it ended up being the most gorgeous day we’ve had all year.

We arrived a few hours early to get parking and find something to eat. Pulling into the parking lot at Qwest Field we saw this:

Part of U2’s traveling set caravan.

and caught a glimpse of this:

The mother ship has landed.

and knew we were in for something pretty spectacular.

Lenny Kravitz was scheduled for the opening act, and I was pleased with the idea–I like Lenny.  But he turned out to be something to really get excited about.  He came on about 7:40 pm, opening with Come On Get It, a single from his new album Black and White America scheduled to be released later this summer.  It was a fantastic opener, really getting the crowd going.  He really knows how to work the stage and the audience, and when he pulled out that cowbell, my Lenny love was sealed. (I leaned over to Chuck, “Lenny’s on the cowbell!”)

He was a gracious host, thanking the crowd for the warm reception in that smooth voice, “We’re so happy to be here.  It’s beautiful.  Thank you for being so kind to us.” 

The rest of the seven song set list was composed of tried and true greatest hits, making Lenny a genuine crowd pleaser and a perfect appetizer to U2’s main course.

I’ve got two words for Lenny: Sek. Say.

Lenny’s Seattle set list:

1. Come On Get It (from Black and White America to be released later this summer)
2. Always on the Run 
3. It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
4. Let Love Rule 
5. American Woman 
6. Fly Away
7. Are You Gonna Go My Way

Lenny played for about 40 minutes, and then we waited for another 45, while U2’s crew set up for their show.  While we waited they had some interesting world facts and trivia scrolling across their “mother ship” screens along with times around the world.  (A few of the times were a half hour off from all the others.  Anyone know what time zone that would be?)

Some of the facts were quite eye-opening, which isn’t at all surprising coming from U2, a band whose name has almost become synonymous with political activism and social awareness.

At 9:05 pm, the opening strains to Space Oddity started, and we knew we were just moments away.  The anticipation in the audience of 66,000+ fans was palpable, and when they walked out the ground seemed to shake with the thunder of applause and screams. They opened with Even Better Than the Real Thing, I Will Follow and Get on Your Boots, and right from the start I was completely satisfied that my $95 ticket was worth every penny.  The staging was really just amazing, the digital screens fully enhancing the experience, and Bono was in perfect form.  It was hard to believe that anyone could sound that good live. 

Bono is magic.

The 24-song set list was an interesting and satisfying mix of old and new, and what I would have thought before to be perhaps less than favorites were just as enjoyable to me as their standards that everyone loves. After the seventh song, Until the End of the World, Bono paused to thank the crowd: “Thank you most of all for your patience.  Some of you were 2 years younger when you first decided to do this.”  And this is what really impressed me most about the entire experience—that U2 is a band that truly loves what they do, are passionate about their work and their fans, and that joy fully translates to their performance.

The Edge = Cool.

A neighbor of mine caught their Vertigo Tour a few years back, and had mixed feelings about it, saying they were good, but she thought Bono was “too political”.  I had to laugh at the idea that anyone who claimed to be a fan of U2 wouldn’t automatically assume that some degree of political/social activism would be infused in their show. I personally appreciate that Bono and U2 have chosen to use their fame, power and influence to give a voice and platform to these kinds of issues.  I think they accomplished that in this show without being too preachy.  They gave us an opportunity to stop and think about something important beyond our little bubble in Seattle, while still making it about the music and showing us the time of our lives.  And the theater of it all never made you doubt the sincerity.

 
And speaking of power and influence, the Seattle audience got a special introduction to Beautiful Day that I’m not sure was common to all of the other audiences on the tour.  NASA commander Mark Kelly made a special appearance, saying “Hello Seattle from the International Space Station”.  He then held up a series of words that each floated away as he put up the next:
 
7 BILLION, ONE NATION, IMAGINATION, IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY
 
Then quoting Major Tom, “Tell my wife I love her very much.  She knows.”
 
 
U2’s Seattle set list (these links are all clips from the Seattle concert):

1. Even Better Than the Real Thing
2. I Will Follow
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Mysterious Ways/Norwegian Wood (snippet)
6. Elevation
7. Until the End of the World/It’s the End of the World As We Know It (snippet)/Where Have All the Flowers Gone (snippet)
8. All I Want Is You
9. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
10. Beautiful Day/Space Oddity (snippet)
11. Pride (In the Name of Love)

Magnificent.

12. Miss Sarajevo
13. Zooropa
14. City of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo
16. I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight/Discotheque (snippet)/Life During Wartime (snippet)/Psycho Killer (snippet)
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
18. Scarlet
19. Walk On/You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)

Encore
20. One
21. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (snippet)/Where the Streets Have No Name/All You Need Is Love (snippet)
22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
23. With or Without You
24. Moment of Surrender

At one point Bono said, “June 4 is a day you’re going to remember.  A beautiful day.”  And he was right. 
 
As Chuck and I started to make our way out of the stadium after the 2 hour 20 min set, he said, “Well, I think I can say that is easily the best show I’ve ever seen.”   He was right, too.

Thursday tuneage

10 Mar

Here’s what’s been playing in my car this week:

*Awake and Alive – Skillet

This one’s from Mr. T’s collection.  He says they’re a Christian rock band.  The lead’s voice has that fairly generic heavy-ish rock scream/rasp quality, but I’m a sucker for the boy/girl rocker duet.  Also, I think female drummers are cool, and they get bonus points for their band name.

*New Low – Middle Class Rut

Chuck heard this band open for another act.  I like the lyrics.  Plus I’m a sucker for a two-man band.

*The Ghost Inside – Broken Bells*

(I couldn’t help using this video!)  I like the Broken Bells, and I’ve always been a sucker for a good falsetto.

Enough to Let Me Go – Switchfoot

Also from Mr. T’s collection.  I’m generally not a die hard Switchfoot fan, but there’s something about this one I just can’t resist.  I guess I’m just a sucker for a sappy love song.

*Dog Days Are Over – Florence + the Machine*

This chick is wacky (check out the link above), but not in the disturbing Lady GaGa sense.  I find it an endearing sort of wack.  And is that a ukulele in the intro?  I’m a sucker for a ukulele.

*Radioactive – Kings of Leon

I don’t love everything Kings of Leon does, but I love this.  It’s in the water, it’s where you came from… I’m a sucker for a catchy hook line.

*Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys (I can’t in good conscience link you to the official video–it’s a little, um, yeah…)

Da da, da da, da, Da da, da da, da… I love Da da, da da, da-ing along, plus I’m a sucker for the blues.

*Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People*

At first I thought they were saying the “funked up kicks”.  I’m more than a little disappointed I was mistaken, but obviously anything with “kicks” is going to be cool with Fresh Step.  Fresh Step is a sucker for the pumped up kicks.  Fresh Step is not a sucker for the speaking in the third person, however, so she’ll stop now.

What have you been listening to lately?

*Sorry, I tried to post videos that weren’t restricted by YouTube, but obviously not all of them work.  I strongly encourage you to use the “watch on youtube” link for the Broken Bells song at least.

Awesome with an E!

27 Jan

I took DynaGirl to see Anne of Green Gables a New Musical last night.  It was one of the sweetest, most adorable, most delightful things I have ever had the pleasure and privilege of experiencing.  It made me so happy, I wanted to cry.  Tears of joy, my bosom friends!  Tears of joy!  Words cannot adequately express the depth of my raptures over this extraordinary piece of musical theater—so much better than I could ever have imagined.  I absolutely adored it!  If you ever have the opportunity to see it, I obviously most heartily recommend it. 

And if you have somehow managed to go through life thus far without partaking of the glorious work of literary wonder that is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, you must rectify that most grievous oversight immediately.

Go oh oh ho slow

17 Nov

Ever heard of The xx?

My favorite song this week:

Crystalised, The xx

This one’s pretty cool, too:

Islands, The xx

Really love the combination of their voices.

Have you made any new discoveries lately?