25 November 2011

Black Friday not so black

Enjoyed the parks today with amazing weather and fun rides.

Good way to work off the yummy turkey.

18 November 2011

The Sounds

I had no idea there was such a fresh, crazy group that had been putting out music for so long.

Don't get me wrong, I knew about them and especially Natalia Kills. I was just floored at how quirky, fun, high-energy, and downright awesome The Sounds could be live.  They full on rocked my face off.

At first she just seems adorable and he comes off as capable and normal. And then they just unleashed the raucous flow of aural orgasms right to my dome.

I'll definitely see them again.

10 October 2011

Expectations Exceeded

Every now and then I come across a situation that allows me to reset
my expectations. Recently this happened at a performance of Iris by
Cirque du Soleil.

The back story is that I had spoken to some hard-line Cirque fans who
thought the use of video and technology was a departure from the
formula that defines a good Cirque show. They could not have been more

The music and performances were absolutely the first-rate production
for which Cirque is known. The stage had many unique characteristics
and formed a character on par with past productions. And there was a
heart-string pulling tale of love at the core that grounded each
performance into a semi-coherent storyline in the way that only the
best shows can.

The show has fantastic repeat watchability thanks to several
outstanding ensemble numbers that are jam-packed with frenetic energy
and a marvelous cascade of characters that are cacophony of movement
and superbly timed physical expression. The fantastic show-stopping
number after intermission blew my mind and was simply delightful.

Needless to say, I will be booking another seat in the near future so
my senses can savor the delectable symphonic and gymnastic treat that
was Iris.

30 September 2011

Jimmy Eat World

For some reason it felt like it had been a while since I'd been to the
Wiltern. But Jimmy Eat World was celebrating the 10 year anniversary
of Bleed American by playing the whole album.

It is amazing how defining some albums can be for your history. In
four stanzas I watch a whole crowd, myself included, transported
seamlessly back a decade. A few riffs and this vivid rush of memories
overpowers your mental state. All at once passion and pain and love
and loss slam into your psyche and you relive a long ago time in a
hyperspeed hash plugged directly into your emotional cortex.

I'm not saying JEW is the key to world peace, but music, especially
amazingly moving emotional intelligent inspirational ageless anthems
are certainly one of the only forces in the universe with the kind of
potential to make it possible. It sure walks all over my mind with
reckless abandon. And watching the masses move so mightily in chorus
during the show I'm convinced I'm not the only one.

25 September 2011

The Script and Hot Chelle Rae

Catching up with friends is so much better when you have a great meal,
great seats in an excellent venue, and quality music. The Palladium
never disappoints. Unfortunately, The Script didn't play a couple of
the songs I really wanted to hear. They still were fun though.

On the flip side, I finally got to watch Hot Chelle Rae perform Bleed
which I've been waiting quite some time to see. It was worth the wait.

20 August 2011

Frightened Rabbit and Death Cab For Cutie

One of my most anticipated shows ever was exactly what I hoped for and more.

The Greek is just an amazing venue and it was perfect for Frightened Rabbit and Death Cab for Cutie. It was their second night in LA and had I been able, I would have attended both.

Frightened Rabbit opened right on time and played most every song I needed to hear. At one point, just when I was on the verge of yelling out Backward Walk, which is something I never do, they started playing it. Talk about a magic moment. As a band they put on an excellent show, are extremely engaging and obviously the music is just top-notch.

Of particular note is the drummer for Frightened Rabbit (Grant Hutchison). While there are a lot of drummers that are incredible to watch, Grant rockets to the top of the list with his charisma and verve. It isn't often you get to experience a drummer who pours himself into the set with such intensity of passion and elegance of performance. A good drummer can make you notice a decent band. A fantastic drummer blows your freakin' mind and hooks you for life. The things I would do to watch him reproduce the aural orgasm that was Head Rolls Off have introduced a gray area in my normally black and white ethical code. Perhaps this is how crack addicts feel?

Of course, DCFC put on a great show as always. We go way back and there is no new perspective my commentary could add.

17 August 2011

But Why'd They Do It

There aren't really good answers to this one. It has been on my mind a bit of late and there are lots of rambling mumblings that I've put to paper and discarded. When searching out what others say, it left me numb and the verge of cynical.

Then I came across something from a writer I've enjoyed...
They are driven by hunger or for the experience of someone being hungry once more for them. They find themselves in friendships that take an unintended turn or they seek them out because they're horny or drunk or damaged from all the stuff they didn't get when they were kids. There is love. There is lust. There is opportunity. There is alcohol. And youth. And middle age. And twelve-day-long writers' conferences in rustically genteel settings that give one the impression that the world one left no longer exists. There is loneliness and boredom and sorrow and weakness and self-destruction and idiocy and arrogance and romance and ego and nostalgia and power and need. There is the compelling temptation of intimacies with someone other than the person with whom one is most intimate.
-- Sugar
That was good enough for me.

13 August 2011

Hot Chelle Rae, The Summer Set, We The Kings

Nights like this where pop punk takes over a decent venue are squarely on the short list of things I love. Give me a crowd that dances and sings along to rowdy semi-emo anthems and I'm a happy boy.

03 August 2011

That's Amore

Someone recently asked my advice on planning a romantic evening. I replied that the answer would depend on who was involved. This was considered not particularly helpful so they pressed me to answer as if I was planning it. Here's my answer:
Romance means different things to people depending on their love language. For some it is time together, others need words or touch or enjoy gifts, and for some it is being served. With someone I've know for a while, I would know their love language and would design an evening around that specifically. Now, we both know that I am a fastidious student of the romantic and have a heartfelt belief in the grand gesture. So thoughtful and deliberate creativity would tell me if my partner would more value being alone together in a quiet place, sharing a unique experience, or something like being pampered with dinner and a massage. Romance, in my eyes, is about knowing and embracing the uniqueness we all have in the ways we are able to feel loved by someone else.
Their response was best described as *thhhrpppbbttt* which is typically referred to as a raspberry. At least there wasn't also an eye-roll.

In truth, this is how I feel. It is easy to distill down to a love language, but this knowledge must still be shaded with shared experiences and the practical realities of your common situation. The connection and history you share when leavened with a healthy measure of creativity and spontaneity is where romance can grow. For example, scheduling a night to go serve the community together and walk home by way of Yogurtland could well be the romantic pinnacle for a pair who met at such an event and have since lost time for such activities. Similarly, a couple who both work and are getting behind in the home chores might enjoy a picnic while a cleaning service beautifies the place so they can return for movie night in a clean living room. For romance to blossom it has to be planted in reality and will grow best when we dream just outside the realm of the mundane.

Don't roll your eyes! Not-so-deep-down, everyone wants a romantic like me in their life.

27 July 2011

Back At It

I was totally cheated. I skipped my teenage years being in university and working. I missed the whole college experience because I was either too young or too busy. There are several aspects that I miss with particular intensity, but none quite so much as dating.

If the college experience is supposed to help you figure out who you are and get a handle on your future, then dating in your mid-thirties is where the whole train rolls right off the tracks. You think you know who you are, you think know what you want. Everyone says they do. Absolutely none of us do. That's one of the big reasons there are so many in that situation.

Don't get me wrong, there are certain things we definitely have settled on. In your middle years you generally have figured out what you don't want. You've laminated the list of things that really annoy you, and you've gotten pretty good at painting the picture of who you think you are. Which is generally only about a halfway realistic as your friends will be happy to tell you (provided they've been drinking enough!). What really sucks about this perverted picture we keep of ourselves is that we really get to figure this out on the spot when we are meeting someone and suddenly realize you are expected to explain in lucid detail the ridiculous tale of how the perfectly rational, sane, and amazing person you consider yourself to be, has ended up sans significant other.

So you find yourself smiling your way through your sordid past and wondering exactly what secrets this person across the table has glossed over which have brought them to the same lamentable position. You tell yourself if you're so normal and nice and such a catch, this crazy creature bumbling their way through their own history could certainly be cool, right? And you are both hoping you each might not be as messed up as you know inside you probably are and are poking and prodding and politely smiling to cover that sinking feeling you just can't seem to escape.

Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.

It might not always work out. Let's be honest, it is rarely going to even come close to working out. But how else are you going to pass the time? We are human and we are driven by hope. And fear. Hope we might find someone to cuddle with at the movies. Fear we might hate the movie they picked, the way they chew their food, and the very sound of their breathing. It's a delicate balance on a slippery slope.

Wish me luck.

14 July 2011

Self-awareness and Passion

I believe that self-awareness is that intrinsic knowledge of our direction and dreams, it gives depth and detail to what we feel, and guides our preferences and desires. I believe that knowing these things is imperative if we are ever to grow and communicate with others openly and substantially. Knowing these things but failing to act, or hiding them within ourselves, limits our ability to live well and play nicely with others. I believe that passion is the motivation that allows us to apply awareness to our world and our relationships. For me: Awareness + Passion = Living

18 April 2011

Let It Snow

How amazing is the Northwest that you can get views like this and amazing snow to play in on a random weekend?

Also you can find this little guy just hanging out and waiting for some love.

12 April 2011

Dirty Work

The Summer Set has a cool chick drummer. They made a valiant effort at trying to rouse some life out of the pathetic crowd.

Hey Monday knocked my socks off as usual. Unfortunately they played a really short set. Since the crowd here blows I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to play LA either.

Yellowcard has really improved their stage presence since last time I saw them. Which was arguably a long time ago. But still. Nice job boys.

All Time Low has great music but needs to cut the chitchat. Good times though.

10 April 2011


Some times I feel like I can't wait for my life to start. Other times I feel like it is already over.

27 March 2011

The Ready Set

The crowds in LA aren't my favorite and getting to shows always sucks.

But the venues are usually excellent for dancing.