Entries in music defines us (9)


in which i let my inner fandom nerd off the chain

Lunch first, then geekery...

lunch, Lunchbot Duo:

  • Thai peanut chicken (grilled on skewers)
  • couscous with caramelized onions, green beans, and sesame seeds
  • sugar snap peas
  • cherries
  • raspberries (from our yard!)
  • chocolate-covered candied almonds**

**Okay, so this is pretty much the best thing ever, made by Sal, of course. They're almonds that have been roasted with a caramelized coating, cooled, then rolled in dark chocolate cocoa powder. They're totally cracktastic, and no matter how big the batch, it never lasts long.

On to the squee! This is a quick rundown of all of the non-TV geekery in which I have engaged in the last few months, and my ratings thereof:


  • The Hunger Games: A -- Loved it, despite the changes. When the countdown started in the arena, I damn near had a panic attack of OH NO THEY'RE REALLY GOING TO DO THIS NOW I AM NOT READY.
  • Cabin in the Woods: A-  -- So thoroughly and hilariously Jossian that there was no way I wasn't going to enjoy this. Plus, Chris Hemsworth, freshly post-George Kirk, so cute. And Topher!
  • AVENGERS OMG: A -- Who would have ever thougt that the Hulk would steal the show? I have never cared about the Hulk in any incarnation ever. Holy crap, Bruce Banner, you win the universe. (Thank you, Mark Ruffalo.) Plus, Bruce Banner and Tony Stark as nerdy genius buddy cops! Being all science-y and stuff! And Natasha and Maria Hill, not objectified or fridged! And Thor, Thor, Thor, Thor, Thor! (WHAT THE HELL CHRIS HEMSWORTH YOU ARE NOT EVEN REAL YOU ARE A PHOTOSHOPPED VERSION OF A HUMAN MALE.) And again, Joss' fingerprints were everywhere (for good and bad). Speaking of Joss, I had one GIGANTIC issue with this movie, the same one that someone else already tackled much better than I could have, so go read that instead.
  • Snow White and the Huntsman: B -- Kristen Stewart cannot act for shit, and there were some plot gaps that were ridiculously lol-worthy, but it was fun and pretty and also Chris Hemsworth, which is all that needs to be said, really.

(It was a seriously Chris Hemsworth-y run, there. Thank you, movie people, for the 1-2-3 punch of hotness.)

  • Brave: A++++++++++ -- OMG I LOVE EVERYTHING THIS MOVIE CHOOSES TO BE. A central character who's a girl! With agency! Who saves herself! And a mom who isn't evil! Or dead! And a story about a mother and daughter and how that relationship is complicated and hard and wonderful and also did I mention this story is set in Scotland and also that every detail of this movie was made specifically for me?
  • The Amazing Spiderman: B+ -- Wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I have no particular loyalty to the previous franchise, but was kind of mystified about why they were rebooting so soon. But wow, that was fun. I see from various reports that there was a lot of butchery done to the script due to studio politics stuff behind-the-scenes, which would explain some big gaps that I was wondering about, as well as the lull in the middle. But despite those problems, I still enjoyed it more than the Tobey MacGuire version, which I didn't not like, so my reaction was a surprise.


  • Waaay back in May, ProcrastiGirl and I saw Snow Patrol in concert, and I died of ecstasy. I was maybe 20 feet from Gary Lightbody. He was just, you know, there, right up there, just being adorable and Irish and amazing. And Nathan and Johnny and Tom and Pablo, all of them just kicking ass like it's a regular thing that normal people do, which it totally is not. And I heard my all-time favorite, favorite song* live, and they played for 2 hours and came out for 2 encores, and Gary's voice was gorgeous from start to finish, and everyone who said they are incredible live was so totally right. Setlist:  "Berlin (Remix)", "Hands Open", "Take Back The City", "I'll Never Let Go", "Run", "Hands Open", "This Isn't Everything You Are", "Crack the Shutters", "New York", "Set the Fire to the Third Bar", "Shut Your Eyes", "Chasing Cars", "Chocolate", "You're All I Have", "Called Out in the Dark", "Fallen Empires", Encores: "Lifening", "Just Say Yes"

*Arguably. I have so many favorites, it's like picking a favorite kid. But "Run" appears in almost every playlist I make, so.

I also just finished reading The House of Leaves, so my cult-pop geek cred is restored. Wow, that book was like putting your brain in a blender and hitting puree.  I haven't worked so hard to read a text since my engineering days (I'm looking at you, Differential Equations II). I know I probably didn't even catch half the embedded codes and riddles and cannot wrap my brain around the idea that a single person wrote that book. Mind officially blown.


on the nature of the unintended hiatus

You know how you get behind on something, and then you finally get a minute to do that thing, but you're so behind that you don't know where to start so you don't? And then you just get more behind and it seems like too much to even begin, and the whole thing just kind of snowballs into a big icy ball of Do Not Want?

Welcome to the last two months of website non-updateyness.

We have been busy, yes, but not significantly more than our usual Hamster Wheel O'Crazy, so it's not attributable to some new escalation. And some of those busy things have included many fun and exciting things. Things which include adventures and hilarity and sometimes even photographic evidence! Things that are, in short, terrific website fodder. The radio silence is therefore also not attributable to a lack of material about which to post.

So we will chalk it up to a case of needing to cut something out for awhile in order to maintain sanity. Also: laziness.

In any case...hello! I have many things to tell you about! I will probably tell you about most of them! If I feel like it! I will probably forget something I meant to tell you about! I will include pictures! If it's not too much work! It will probably be too much work! Because I am lazy, as previously established! Some of the topics I plan to tell you about if I'm not overcome by an overpowering desire to do something else:

  • The Great Gallstone Adventure of 2012!
  • Why family is totes the best!
  • Sal's birthday!
  • All of the many movies we have seen recently! See also: geeks are the greatest.
  • That time I was 20 feet from Gary Lightbody and totally didn't lose my shit! Except for maybe a little bit!
  • Girls' Road Trip!
  • Girls' Art Weekend! Launched with an actual Mad Hatters' Party! Because I am the raddest.

So, you know. Those things might be stuff to look forward to hearing about. Although that really puts a lot of pressure on me to make them interesting, and I don't need the stress (see also: gallstones), so I make no promises. Also, vacation starts in two weeks so I am a kitten distracted by shiny objects right now.



and day was breaking, a panoply of song


Hahahaha guess what we just saw them again. Yes, it has been three months. Yes, we are becoming whatever the Decemberists version of Dead Heads are, or like those people who follow Phish all over the country (Phish Phans?). Other people aspire to elected office, or getting a Ph.D. We have achieved three Decemberists concerts in nine months. Our parents are so proud.

Rodrigo y Gabriela tearing the hell out of those guitarsIt wasn't intentional, mind. February's concert at the Schnitz was so freaking fabulous that we were satiated for a good long time. And we had already been quite content after the September concert at Pioneer Courthouse Square. But then I found out that they'd be at the Memorial Weekend concert series in Bend, AND. AND. It was really the AND that was the clincher. AND...Rodrigo y Gabriela would be opening for them.

I just. You guys. The laws of physics, you can't escape them. You just have to resign yourself to the laws of physics. That's why they're, you know, laws.

Okay, see here's the thing. Way back in prehistory, like, four or five years ago, The Decemberists were on this tour called "The Long and Short Of It" Tour. In which they would play two nights of concerts at each venue, one night of some of their long songs, and the one night of their short songs. But in one venue on that tour, they would actually play three nights, and that third night would be songs that ticketholders for that show had requested. And that special venue was, as you have probably guessed, dear reader, the Portland venue.


Well obviously, we had to go to this thing. And it was dicey, because you had to buy tickets for each show separately and those shows sold out in minutes. But because my concert ticket fu is second to none, I snagged us tickets for all. three. nights. And yea, there was much rejoicing.

the railroad bridget that goes over the 300 foot chasm at Peter Skene Ogden State ParkBut the Universe had not finished smiling good fortune upon us. A week later, I found out about a Rodrigo y Gabriela concert that would actually be about three weeks before that, and despite the fact that we had used up our entire concert budget for the year on the Decemberists' tickets, this was another concert that could not be passed up. I mean, have you seen that thing Gabriela does for percussion on guitar? Again, concert ticket fu, and I emerged victorious with tickets, and holy crap, we were mighty chuffed about these concerts to look forward to.

About a month later, the Decemberists tour was cancelled due to serious illness. And lest we try to take comfort in the other concert, the Rodrigo y Gabriela dates for Portland were cancelled due to illness. Pride goeth before the fall and all that crap.

So you see now why we had to go to this thing? Even though it meant traveling on a holiday weekend, something we try to avoid? And it would be at an outdoor venue in Bend, Oregon in late May, which would be the opposite of going south of hell in August? And that this May in particular was likely to be freaking freezing thanks to the bizarro world weather we've been having all winter/spring? DO YOU SEE HOW THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE IMMUTABLE AND UNFORGIVING?

sitting at the park, eating our breakfast and watching the ducks and geeseSo to Bend we did go. And it was goddamn fucking cold as hell, and they confiscated our camp chairs for being too tall so we had to sit on the cold ground without a blanket or anything, and there was a wind blowing, and NONE OF THAT MATTERED BECAUSE IT WAS GODDAMN FUCKING PERFECT OKAY. Rodrigo y Gabriela were mindblowingly amazing and they tore that place up with nothing but two acoustic guitars, and then The Decemberists came out except it wasn't Colin it was Rainn Wilson pretending to be Colin and then they busted out into "The Infanta" and they finished with "The Mariner's Revenge" in the first encore again and then did Sal's favorite "June Hymn" for the second encoure and srsly? OMG SRSLY I LOVE THEM FOREVER AND EVER THE END.

the Deschutes River @ Drake ParkWe also managed to finally hit Deschutes Brewery for lunch prior to the concert, despite a one hour wait, so we can finally say we've been there. (Good burgers, though it was all a bit overhyped, imo.) And while we waited, we stumbled on a nifty geeky used book store with a special love for geeky collectible toys and action figures and a whole comics section and a very nice selection of fantasy for being such a tiny store. And for breakfast before leaving town, we hit up a wee coffee shop hidden in an alley that roasts its own coffee, thanks to a tip from our neighbors. And we picked a lovely park in the Old Bend neighborhood to sit and eat our breakfast, right there next to the Deschutes River.

But I'll have more pictures about that tomorrow.

lunch, origami squares:

  • crab
  • sushi rice
  • peas
  • corn
  • cherries
  • mango

and the anchorperson on tv goes la de da de da de diddy diddy da

the opening act for Saturday's concert, a group called Mountain Man; they were absolutely phenomenal

(Yes, that is the opening line of the chorus of "16 Military Wives" and yes, it will be relevant later.)

I have the worst headache this morning. I think my brain is melting from all the fabulousness of the weekend. Totally worth it.

Friday, Sister and I met at my office for a Girls' Night. My office is not-quite-halfway, and its proximity to various restaurants and shops makes it a good meeting point for these evenings. I showed her around my office, then took her to George's Giant Hamburger, my stomping grounds for workday lunches with Kurt, ProcrastiGirl, and K back in the day. ProcrastiGirl and I still make the occasional pilgrimage, but it's just not the same since Kurt moved away.

Anyway, I was excited to introduce Sister to the George's love, which she duly appreciated. Unlike Sal, who was unimpressed the one time I took him there. Sister and I determined that he is clearly cracked in the head.

We walked it off by browsing through Michael's, doing our best to quell the art supply wants despite the enticing discounts and generally solving the problems of the world while we were at it. As one does. Then it was a nightcap of sorts with a trip to Peachwave for a frozen yogurt toppings bar bonanza, where we decided that pomegranate frozen yogurt and chocolate sauce aren't the best combination, but pretty much everything else is. We lost track of time talking and laughing and crying (in a good way) and finally said our goodbyes well past her usual bed time.

Sal spent Saturday at the Expo Center judging desserts for a high school cooking competition so I spent my day mostly in the studio making a grand mess with every art supply I own while I waited for Sal to get home and then for The Decemberists concert later that night.

And you guys. YOU GUYS. Okay, I'm biased, I admit. I love them utterly, it's true. And I have seen them in concert repeatedly, including not even six months ago when they played MusicFest NW. And every time, they are A.MAZ.ING. So I am predisposed to swoon over them, I can admit it.

"Down By the Water", from their latest albumHowever. Saturday's concert was, hands down, my favorite of any time I've seen them. We had seats in the balcony and were even closer than we were at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Schnitz is a great venue anyway, and showcased them perfectly. It was a sold out show, of course, and they have such a diverse and dedicated fanbase that the energy is electric and they feed off that well. They played most of the "The King Is Dead" (which I got for my birthday from Sally), as well as a nice selection from the rest of their discography (set list at the end of this post).

"The Mariner's Revenge". Live. O. M. G.But the best part? OMG YOU GUYS THE BEST PART. The encore. Okay, so they made us really wait for the encore, like I thought people might start rioting, the cheering and chanting was so loud. And then finally Colin comes out just by himself and does a sweet acoustic rendition of "Red Right Ankle", and Jenny popped out just long enough to do the keyboard bit. And then he sort of left the stage and the lights went down like that was all they were going to do. AND THEN. AND THEN. They all came out, and they're all clustered right there in the front of the stage instead of taking positions at the keyboard and drum kit and everything, and Colin says that this next song requires a bit of participation (which we'd already done on other songs), and I turned to Sal and squealed, "OMG MARINER'S REVENGE" and then Colin said, "You'll need to sound like you've been eaten by a whale" AND THE CROWD WENT COMPLETELY APESHIT.

They put that song on hiatus for live shows sometime during the tour for The Crane Wife, and Sal and I were starting to despair that we'd ever get to see it live. AND THEN WE DID AND IT WAS OUTRAGEOUSLY FABULOUS AND OMG I MIGHT HAVE DIED REPEATEDLY FROM JOY. Greatest concert experience ever*, Y/Y? IN CONCLUSION THE DECEMBERISTS HAVE MY UNDYING DEVOTION FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

*WITH ONE GLARING EXCEPTION. And seriously, this is a lesson on "What Not To Do At A Concert Lest the Person Behind You Have A Smartphone And A Website". There was this woman sitting in front of me, you see. Now, you should understand that there's some sort of law of the Universe that because I am short, I am forever doomed at any venue -- whether it's a concert, a movie, a play, whatever -- to be seated or stand behind the tall person, or the kid who stands in the seat, or the moron who doesn't take off their hat, or the chick/dude who has teased their hair ten feet above their head. Sal and I will usually switch seats, although even this doesn't always solve the problem -- the person will move, too, or all of a sudden the person sitting next to them will decide to kneel in their seat or some other sort of fuckery.

Anyway, the woman sitting in front of me was a little taller than average but not a lot, and since the balcony is stadium seating, it shouldn't have presented a problem. Shouldn't have. However. This woman was apparently desperate to participate in the concert and demonstrate just how truly into it she was because she kept leaning forward in her seat, thus screwing up the entire eyeline/angle purpose of stadium seating, AND, rocking spasmodically left to right for Every. Fucking. Song. so I couldn't even just lean to one side to see around her. Her companions seemed to be mildly horrified by her behavior and her husband appeared to ask her to settle down repeatedly, but she was all, "I'm in the groooove."

I persevered, however, and managed to enjoy the show despite these perturbances. Not content to somewhat detract from the concert experience for everyone around her, though, she spent the second half of the show intermittently raising her freakishly long tentacle arms above her head and clapping OUT OF TIME with the music in a motion that spanned the chair widths on either side of her. Still, I managed not to rip her tentacle arms off and beat her with them.

my view of the stage when Tentacle Arms stood up for the first half of "16 Military Wives"And then. The first cords of "16 Military Wives" started up and she...stood up and dancing like a brain damaged jellyfish. She is clearly blocking my view and is the only person in our entire section standing up**, and the entire time, I'm wondering to myself why she isn't bleeding to death from the daggers I have stared into her back.

**I love dancing at a concert as much as anyone, but when it's a seated venue, you expect that you're going to spend at least part of the concert with your butt in the seat. Sure, you'll be rocking out, but unless most of the crowd stands up, you do your rocking out WITH YOUR BUTT IN THE SEAT.

She did finally get the hint that the rest of the section (or balcony or crowd, for that matter) wasn't going to take her lead and she sat down. But there was a moment, right when they were getting going on "Mariner's Revenge", when she acted like she was going to stand up again and I said, "Stay down". I don't think she heard me, but I was ready to pitch a hissy if she made any motion to stand up. Because if she had in any way blocked my view of the stage during the song I've been waiting literally years to see live? Oh yes, there would have been a throwdown. Thankfully, she kept her inconsiderate ass in her seat and her tentacle arms mostly in check and no one had to die.

lunch, black strawberries

  • panko-breaded chicken breast, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks
  • Bosc pear, with dried cherries and cashews as gap fillers
  • yogurt-covered raisins

Set list:

  • California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade
  • Calamity Song
  • Rox in the Box
  • Los Angeles, I'm Yours
  • The Crane Wife 3
  • The Sporting Life (with a bit of "This Charming Man" by The Smiths, which I had to look up because I couldn't remember where it was from)
  • January Hymn
  • Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
  • The Rake's Song
  • Don't Carry It All
  • Down By The Water
  • Rise to Me
  • 16 Military Wives (with an audience participation bit from "Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers)
  • This Is Why We Fight

1st Encore:

  • Red Right Ankle (acoustic with Colin Meloy and Jenny Conlee for the keyboard bit)
  • The Mariner's Revenge Song

2nd Encore:

  • June Hymn

and it's lincoln's birthday, too

I took today and Monday off as a little gift to myself for my birthday. It's not a milestone birthday or anything, but it has slowly morphed into an extended extravaganza-ish thing.

It started yesterday, actually, when ProcrastiGirl and my assistant treated me to lunch at La Provence. It was delightful! The meal was delicious, ProcrastiGirl had her first Monte Cristo, and instead of a cupcake at the end, they had a wonderful fruit tart brought out with a candle to blow out. And because they like me, did not sing to me. Bless.

Today included a facial and massage, my gift to me, the arrival of two packages, one from Cat, the other from The Albino. And a haircut, which made it an Inadvertent Day of Beauty. I'll be spending the rest of the evening playing in the studio in between snuggling on the couch with the kitties and watching S2 of Parks and Recreation (OMG CAT I STILL LOVE YOU FOREVER THIS SHOW IS OUR TRUTHHHHHHHHH).

Tomorrow, the actual official day, will be spent with Sally. He has plans, but they're mostly a surprise. I know that the day starts out with breakfast at Gravy and includes an overnight stay at a downtown hotel, so it will be a pretty great day all around. Gotta love that guy for being such a thoughty hubby.

Feeling downright spoiled this year, as a matter of fact, since a joint birthday/mutual-Valentine gift is tickets for The Decemberists concert next weekend, and my gift from him was enrollment in Write Around Portland's 10 week "Prompt" writing workshop. AND, we'll be spending part of Sunday with Sister and the Fabulous Miss M for park picnic.

See what I mean? Seriously spoiled.


and now you'll have that song in your head all day

So if you missed my squeeing yesterday, the new Tired Pony CD is now my favorite thing in the wide world. This morning when I first got in the car and the radio came on, I actually got impatient with whatever was playing because it wasn't Tired Pony, as one does. I might -- might -- have a tendency to be all OMG I LOVE THIS THE MOSTEST OF ALL THE THINGS when I have a new shiny thing. It does not, however, make me any less right.

I took a couple of days off so it's back to work after 4 days out of the office. Well 5, actually, since I worked from home Wednesday. My time off was to take some time for writing stuff, which has now morphed into a marathon of cutting 50,000 words from my word count. So check that out if you're interested. Meanwhile, Sal brewed yet another batch of beer this weekend, so we can now say we have 99 bottles of beer on the wall. I really need to get him to update the brewing section of this site so you can read all about his adventures in homemade alcohol...

Anyway, as I say, back to work today. I may have a new bento convert, so I should've actually gone to some effort with lunch today, but eh, I'm lazy. I now have two coworkers who are part of my daily lunch unveiling. It's like an art exhibit opening at a gallery! Hmm, perhaps I should start cultivating a bohemian lifestyle and a predilection for wearing household items as strange hats.

lunch, Ms. Bento:

  • fajitas -- strip steak, green peppers, torpedo onions, saucy deliciousness
  • flour tortilla, sharp cheddar
  • coffee cake (which has a delicious mix of spices and a layer of pears) made by Sally
  • Reliance grapes

Also, RIP: my pink strawberry sidecar, which broke when Sal accidentally dumped over one of my bento organizer bins. :(


tired pony: the place we ran from

You guys. Oh my god, I am so in love. (links below are 60 second clips of the songs on YouTube)

"Girl, you were beautiful before/ but in the cyclone I love you more/ there's a pause and the faintest smile/ as the storm rages on for miles"

"I have read your words a thousand times/ All inspired by smashed up love and crime"

"our shadows kiss before we do and right here in the dark/ I revel in the calm before the storm"

"everything is all at once with you, dear/ I can't see where the now starts and the next begins"

"all the troubles that I know/ look to me like great and heavy stones/ and all I want to do/ is slowly push and pull"

"you were saved by the good book/ I was saved by the half-full glass"

"when falling feels like flying there's a dangerous hope/ 'cause the ground comes at you faster than you think"

I had to restrain myself from just putting in all the lyrics to all the songs LOL I AM FIFTEEN YEARS OLD WHAT. I JUST YOU GUYS WHAT IS THIS I CAN'T EVEN.

I've had this CD on endless repeat for days now and I still hear something new every time. You have to listen to all the songs just to understand the flavor of it, because no single song sounds like any other song on the list. It was released across the pond in June and I was so bummed we'd have to wait 3 more months to get it here, and I wouldn't let myself listen to the tracks they'd released online because I wanted to wait until I could hear it all at once. So glad I did. I wasn't ready for this album in June. This is music for autumn.


(Also, check it: that image that cycles on their website of Greeley Ave? (Well, all the pics on the site, actually.) That's where the studio they recorded this at is located. I drive through there all the time, it's not far from the house. And they were there! Recording this kickass album! I could've, like, "happened" to be hanging out nearby and fangirled all over Gary Lightbody! And Peter Buck! And Tom Smith! And Iain Archer! And Gary Lightbody some more! Um, I mean, I could've...snuck in and listened in on their sessions? Yeah, that's it....)


i am the heart that you call home

The Decemberists, "The Engine Driver"This Saturday was the Decemberists concert at Pioneer Courthouse Square we've been looking forward to for months. And it was everything that is awesome about The Decemberists, Portland, September, and people in general.

But first -- today's bento, using a box I haven't broken out in awhile.

lunch, deli club:

  • herb roasted chicken
  • pan sauce Sally made last night from pan drippings (pork chops for dinner), onions, and basil
  • baked potato with sour cream and butter
  • cucumbers and cherry and lemon drop tomatoes (from our garden)
  • Gala apple slices and red grapes

Except for the tomatoes, the veggies are all from our share, the fruit from our bin delivery. This has been a terrible year for the garden, and everyone we talk to says the same. Seeds from last year's end-of-year tomatoes that got composted got spread into our garden as a result, and they completely took over both beds, strangling what few things were able to make it through the months of cold and rain we had in May and June and into July. But of course we had hardly any hot weather this summer, so we have two beds chock full of insane tomato plants absolutely covered with green tomatoes. (And the majority are cherry and lemon drop tomatoes, so they're far too small to justify the time of making green tomato relish.) Sigh. The vagaries of nature, I suppose.

So anyway, the concert! Was awesome! And I still love The Decemberists the mostest! Like of all the things in all the world!

Pioneer Courthouse Square on a perfect September daySaturday was actually part of MusicFest NW, which is 200 bands at 20 venues in 5 days. The Decemberists played at Pioneer Courthouse Square, known locally as "Portland's living room" because it's smack in the middle of downtown and there are always events and rallys and concerts and activities going on there. The weather was absolutely spectacular -- clear and warm -- and just being there, in the center of our city on a gorgous September evening with our favorite music right there, live...well.

Weinland, who were awesomeThey had three bands opening for them, starting at 4 PM with Weinland, who were fabulous. Blue Giant followed, who we liked but didn't love, and then Laura Veirs with Hall of Flame. They were okay, too, but totally the wrong vibe right before The Decemberists. Which, I get why she got that billing because of her collaboration with them on Hazards of Love, but it was music better suited to a coffeehouse than pumping up the crowd before the main act at an outdoor venue.

another side of Pioneer Square, the view directly behind where we were sittingWe opted to sit on the bricks toward the back of the square (one side of the square is an amphitheater-style series of sloping walkways and steps) rather than stand on the square closer to the stage. Not so great for being close to the band and hard on the keisters after 6 hours, but our ears and our feet thanked us for choosing that option. We were at just the right range to see everything on stage and enjoy the music without hurting our ears or needing ear plugs.

taking the stage with "The Infanta"By the time The Decemberists came on stage (7:30), our butts were sore and Laura Veirs had sucked our will to live right out of us, but as soon as they came on, it was totally worth it. Colin Meloy was adorable and hilarious as usual and they sounded terrific. They launched right into "The Infanta", followed by "Billy Liar", so things were hopping in short order.  The set list:

The Infanta
Billy Liar
Yankee Bayonet (w/ Laura Veirs)
Rise to Me (new song off their upcoming album)
Down By the Water (new song off their upcoming album)
The Engine Driver* (and yes, I flipped out, and got a vid, and multiple pictures)
O Valencia!
16 Military Wives
The Rake's Song
Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
The Island

June Hymn (new song off their upcoming album)
Sons and Daughters

closing out the show with "Sons and Daughters'That last was such a fitting tribute for the day that it was, and I appreciated that instead of some kind of long monologue about 9/11 or choosing to cover something as a commemoration -- neither of which is their style -- they opted instead to simply acknowledge the day and that there's nothing that can be said, really, and then play the song that has so much to say about events that define us and generational grief, asking us to join in as harmony with "here all the bombs fade away".

I took a million gajillion pictures and several short vids, so be thankful I didn't post them all. (I would've liked to take advantage of my Droid's capability to do long vids and shoot at least a few minutes of a song or something, but they had security people roaming all the damn time, so I couldn't do more than 10 or 15 seconds at a go. But I did get them singing my two favorite lines from "The Engine Driver", so...score.)

*from "The Engine Driver", for readers who aren't familiar with The Decemberists**:

I am a writer, a writer of fictions
I am the heart that you call home




i'll point in the direction you sing to me

I could swear the weather man said yesterday was going to be in the 80s. Which means he basically lied or doesn't know jack (or I'm mistaken, as vanishing a possibility as that is), because yesterday? Was hot. Not surface of the sun hot, but when you're expecting 80s and you get mid 90s, that's not good times, y'all.

Which means the dinner I'd planned to make for myself had to be scrapped because I have no desire to eat anything when it's hot, let alone cook anything. Which meant no leftovers, and thus, today's lunch of randomness. Like that's anything new.

breakfast, pink strawberry sidecar:

  • half a Granny Smith apple
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • slice of (homemade by me!) zucchini bread

lunch, blue bunny & moons:

  • ham rolls
  • cucumber slivers
  • smoked gouda
  • cheese crackers (Annie's organic bunny crackers ftw!)
  • the other half of the Granny Smith apple, sliced
  • another slice of (homemade by me!) zucchini bread
  • blueberries
  • dark chocolate covered raisins

Needs some more veggies and a carb/starch, but oh well.

I've been on the hunt for a CD by a short-lived band called Blue Merle, and didn't want to have to resort to Amazon* if I could help it. Stopped by Everyday Music downtown last night, but they didn't have it, and it showed as backordered (read: unavailable for order) on their computer. The guy offered to call their other stores and thankfully, the store on Sandy had it (and put it on hold for me), but I wasn't in the mood to slog through rush hour traffic down Burnside to the east side and through all that construction where they're diverting Sandy onto Couch.

*(No iTunes, either, unless I'm desperate and/or lazy. I HATE that they make it difficult or impossible to burn (some? most? all?) songs as MP3s on a disc (vs. being able to make a regular audio CD...so nice of them to "allow" us dirty peasants to start doing that finally) so I don't buy much music on iTunes, unless I'm sure I won't want to make a big mix MP3 CD with it. I'm a slave to all things tech and electronic as much as the the next geek girl, but don't fuck with my music, for that way lies badness.)

So I texted Sally to see if he wanted to head over there with me after he got home from work. And this is reason #65,782 that Portland is awesome, because Everyday Music is not only open, y'know, every day, but they are also, ALSO open until midnight every day. We've taken advantage of this very feature many times in the past, and I was quite pleased to be able to last night, because I really wanted that CD nowish. I know! What is up with me and this instant gratification thing? It's like I'm five years old.

Sal picked up the new Mumford & Sons while we were there, and we had a nice drive home listening to new music with the windows rolled down, cruising through our nighttime city.

I've been all over the place with music lately, which is generally an indication of my mood. So I guess that means I've got a lot knocking around in my noggin of late. Broken Bells, Fleet Foxes, Aimee Mann (of course), Cat Power, Mirah, Blue Foundation, Bon Iver (I can't imagine ever tiring of them) and then randomly, early No Doubt and Journey(!) and Nirvana. Wtf, brain?

Oh, and I'm obsessed with that new Brandon Flowers single, "Crossfire". (And revisiting The Killers because of it, along with Pet Shop Boys, because holy crap, do they sound like each other.)

Weirdly, though, I haven't been in the mood for The Decemberists lately, which has me a bit freaked out, frankly. (Though I expect my burning love will be reignited after the concert in a couple of weeks.) I mean, The Decemberists are my constant! What happens if I get caught between time dimensions and my nose starts bleeding and then the smoke monster comes for me? What then?