Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Butterflies and Boas

I'm a Speech Language Pathologist at a school, so I have plenty on interesting things in my office. I mean, I gotta use whatever it takes to get a kid to communicate or use language to describe, request, label, comment, deny, affirm, etc., right? This student was drawn to the pair of pink butterfly wings I had hanging from my bookcase: DSCN1437 And she requested that I sport the blue ones. butterfly7 She did not complain that I wore them upside down. I took some pictures of my student that I will later make into a little picture book. We will create a story to go along with the pictures. I wish I could show you her pictures (she has the best facial expressions), but that would be inappropriate and illegal. Instead, I will show you what it looks like when the pink butterfly uses the camera to take a picture of the blue butterfly. The pink butterfly chose to not follow directions from the blue butterfly and give her back the camera after taking two pictures. Using the camera was just too much fun for the pink butterfly, so she snapped away! butterfly3 butterfly2 butterfly1 butterfly6 butterfly5 DSCN1449 Pink butterfly soon spotted the red, feather, boa hanging on the other side of the bookshelf and decided to check that out for a while, giving blue butterfly a chance to remove her wings and turn back into the speech language pathologist. All in a day's work.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

SXSW 2012: Big Show

bigeasy1-1 On the last day of SXSW, Miss Bee and I were pretty tired. All the walking, standing in line, putting up with drunk assholes, and staying up late was taking it's toll. We knew we had one last show to attend and being tired was not going to stop us. We were smart, this time around, and sat in line for a few hours rather than killing ourselves by standing. The big show was an outdoor screening of Big Easy Express followed by performances by Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, and one of the fellers from Old Crow Medicine Show. "3 bands, 6 cities, 1 train, and thousands of miles of track...BIG EASY EXPRESS captures an incredible musical journey. Harkening back to the days of jubilant railroad revivals, of steam and steel, three bands set out in April 2011 to tour America by vintage train. L.A.'s Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Nashville boys Old Crow Medicine Show, and Londoners Mumford & Sons climbed aboard amid the massive rail yards of Oakland and set out for New Orleans on a “tour of dreams.” Stopping along the way to play sold-out shows in spots as diverse as San Pedro, California, and Marfa, Texas, BIG EASY EXPRESS documents the bands’ vibrant railway adventures; the high canyons, joyous crowds, blasted skies, late-night laughter, endless music...and a train that was bound for glory."-from the Big Easy Express website We attended the Railroad Revival Concert to see those three bands almost a year before and that show was one of the best I have ever experienced. The stakes were set high for this reunion show. After waiting in line forever, we finally were let onto the lawn behind the LBJ library. Bee and I picked a nice spot for the viewing: bigeasy10 bigeasy5 Stage and screen, side-by-side. Miss Bee had packed a few blankets and bottles of water. We chilled on the blanket waiting for the movie to begin. bigeasy11 Just as the sun was starting to disappear past the horizon, the screen lit up and the show started. bigeasy3 bigeasy9 The movie was good! Really makes you want to hop on a train with all of your musician friends. Bucket list? That would be cool. Just as the fireflies started to come out, the bands took the stage to play. The weather was perfect. People swayed back and forth, singing along to the songs. One of my favorite moments was when Jade Castrinos (of Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros) sang Fire and Water. You would have to be a real jerk to not love this song. A real jerk, bub. See for yourselves in this video of the band performing that song as they sat underneath the trees of Austin's own Barton Springs: The band enjoyed a little swimmin' and playing before the Railroad Revival Tour back in April, 2011. I don't have pictures of the bands playing that last night of SXSW 2012. It was Dark and I only had my iphone. My other favorite part of the night was when Miss Bee confronted some drunken college age boys who were loudly talking about some pretty nasty stuff. She marched right up to them and, for a split second, I thought I might have to go over there because these guys were towering over her. I was thinking, "I'm going to have to kick somebody in the kneecap....and maybe bite somebody's ear off....: But Miss Bee went full "teacher" on them and those boys stood there and took the lecture. When she was finished with them, they even abandoned our area! Thank goodness, because they were really stinking up the vibe. Miss Bee for President!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SXSW 2012 (Part 4)

Miss Bee and I went to some pop-up bar in a previously vacant building that HGTV took over and re-decorated. It was actually quite beautiful. Way to go, Home and Garden Television. Way to go.
Here is the outside area:

And the inside:
The band on stage is Waters from....San Francisco...I think. Go to their Myspace and listen to "For the One"
I think you will like it.

We also caught the end of an Oh Sees show at Carson Daily's showcase. Carson stepped in on the drums during the bands last number. That's him in the black cap.

Saw some gal wearing these during SXSW:
Oh hell no! I'm sure her feet were killing her after one hour of standing on the concrete. Wearing heals like that is a definite SXSDon't.

Of course, I had to check in on Hacienda:
They have a new album out on June 19th. I believe it's called Shake Down.
: )

And was happy to see Alberta Cross for the first time:
Cool hat, bro.

We saw other bands here and there, basically got kicked out of a club where Citizen Cope was performing, and took a pedi cab ride that almost sent me over the edge into a panic attack.

The next post will feature the last night of SXSW....the finale....the big show!

See you then.

WAIT! Cooper update:
He is doing much better. Little dude can walk without shaking, can poop an pee without assistance, and would love to run if I let him. He is still in recovery, but I know he will pull through.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SXSW 2012 (Part 3)

My good buddy Crazy Amy e-mailed me an invite to the Entertainment Weekly SXSW Party. There were some great bands playing plus free food and drinks. Sign me up, bub!
We made it in time to see two bands. First up, J Roddy Walston and the Business.
Gotta love that name...
This was my second time to see these fellas and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. They produce High energy, Fast beat, finger pounding on the keys music that reminds you of why you love rock-n-roll.

Up next, Delta Spirit. I have been trying to see this band for a few years now, but every time they come to town something happens to prevent me from going to the show. It's like there is some sort of Delta Spirit Curse. Whenever they come to town, I am either sick, or my back is out, or I am recovering from surgery, or they are playing the crap-fest known as the ACL festival. (just kidding about the ACL festival being a crap-fest....well, sort-of kidding). But this time, I finally got to see them! It was awesome to see them in such a small venu (Rattle Inn)! I mean, they were playing Stubbs later on and they had the place packed.

When they came out on stage the lead singer (Matt Vasquez) encouraged the intimate crowd to come up close. As he used his hands to wave us forward he said, "come on...it's fun time."
I own 3 Delta Spirit records so I already knew I loved their music. This show proved to me that they are a great live band as well. Each member looked like they were having a good time, the entire time, even though they surely were tired from having played a number of showcases at this point.

Delta Spirit came back to Austin yesterday. Dale, Miss Bee, and I all had tickets and were excited to see them play a full set. Unfortunately, the Delta Spirit Curse came back to haunt me. My beloved dog, Cooper, was struck with back problems on Thursday night. We took him to the ER Vet and then to the regular Vet the next day. It seems he has some disc damage. We have him on a strict schedule of meds and bed rest. Hopefully, he will heal without having to have surgery. Dachshunds are porne to disc disease. I just never wanted to believe either of my dogs were susceptible. Needless to say, we missed the show.
My heart is already breaking as I know he is in pain. I know he wants to run outside and chase squirrels. I know he knows something is wrong. It is killing me. To make things worse, today this picture is part of a collage featured on google's main page:
Apparently, it's photographer Robert Doisneau's 100th birthday and google felt it necessary to honor him. Pshh. Wish they would have checked with me first. That image sent me into my 15th crying spell of the day. Thanks, Google!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SXSW (Part 2)

After Fiona Apple's performance, Sharon Van Etten took the stage. I was happy to see Fiona but I was waiting to see Sharon. I can't get enough of this gal! She is so very talented!
The first thing she did was take a photo of the crowd:

And then she played music so beautiful all I could do was stand there and breathe. Every once in a while, I would shoot a look over to Dale and Rachel, trying to convey wordlessly how amazing I thought Sharon was.
She sings delicate notes with power, sweetness, and character unmatched.

And she has this gal in her band:
Heather Woods Broderick plays keyboard and guitar and provides a beautiful harmony to Sharon's voice.


If you want to hear the audio of this show, head over here and take a listen. Put it on while you are eating dinner...or doing the dishes....or painting your toe nails....or taking a bath....or whenever.

Sharon Van Etten: Live from Austin

Her latest album, "Tramp", is out now.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

SXSW 2012 (Part 1)

SXSW was crazy this year. Dale got the flu and was only able to attend two nights.
Dale- just before the flu knocked him on his ass

Luckily, Miss Bee bought a wrist band this year and became my south-by-buddy.

One of the things I like about SXSW are the little surprises, like this werewolf playing the violin on a street corner:
That werewolf don't give a damn. He don't!

SXSW Seemed bigger this year. More people, more big bands, more giant vending machines:
Doritos anyone?

So we saw Fiona Apple play for the first time (in front of an audience) in 7 years. She is incredible! Just very unique with her voice and melodies. Here are some shots from that concert:

She is very intense. Every muscle in her body seems to be flexed 100% of the time. Her body is very small but her presence filled the stage....know what I mean? Fiona's voice was just as you remembered it and, yes, she did sing "Criminal".
Here is a video of Fiona from the SXSW show singing "Anything We Want" off of her soon to be released album, The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do.

I love this song.
Fiona's album will be released June 26th.