Band! I was standing out on my porch this morning, deep in thought and filing my nails (got to keep them short after years of piano playing) when I heard some distant rhythmic pounding. It almost sounded like a drumline warmup from back in my marching band days. Then I heard the sound of brass playing “C, B, C, B-flat, C, A….” and I realized that it was in fact a marching band playing their warmup routines.
The distant sound coming from the general direction of Oak Grove High School, through the drizzly gray morning air, took me right back to Spokane, standing in my backyard straining to see the marching band practice across the field, and to countless marching band competitions on the west side of the state where I was surrounded by bands practicing and trying to stay warm in the rain.
Suddenly I felt 16 again. I felt the cold brass in my hands, the soft turf under my feet, the weight of my letterman’s jacket, the anticipation of performing, frustration of leading an unruly horn section, and the pure love for the music and the marching. I wanted to run and join the band, practice roll stepping, learn the music, and repeat the formations over and over until they were perfect. I wanted to stand in the rain and be given rousing speeches about excellence and dedication and practice and teamwork. I wanted to squint in the bright lights shining on the field during a competition, play my solos in front of the band feeling their critical eyes on me, feel the connectedness of the music and the movement of hundreds of musicians and dancers as we glided across the field determined to give 110%, stand at attention during an awards ceremony waiting for the announcement that we won, and watch our parents cheer and beam with pride from high up in the stands.
Then I walked back inside. I was again 26, faced with some decisions and the opportunity to determine the next direction in my life. I returned to my thoughts about careers and money and mortgages. I made lists and packed up my computer and debated whether I had time to stop for coffee before driving to work. I put on makeup and practiced speeches in my head. I wondered how I had gotten here and where to go from here. And wished I could go back to being 16, when the music and the routines were laid out in front of me, and when I knew that if I practiced hard and got everyone else to practice hard and work together, we would all win.
I just bought a ticket to see Mike Doughty (from Soul Coughing) next week at the Independent! I am quite excited as I have not been to a live music event in forever. I am usually not very good at getting tickets before they sell out, so shows like this where you can get tickets just a week in advance make me happy.
I was trying to think of the last time I was at a concert, aside from Coachella, and I can’t remember. But here are some of the more memorable concerts that I have been to since moving the Bay Area:
I love music (like anyone hates music). I love downloading and listening to music on my computer. But I don’t have time to deal with another profile and another community just for music. I am not into it that much. I have been a huge Pandora fan for about a year, and I love the latest enhancements for discovering new music. I love the tie-in with iTunes and the simplicity of it all. I really have found tons of new musicians because of it.
I have been on last.fm for while, but all that I use it for is to post my lastest music on this blog. I like that it tracks everything that I listen to on iTunes because I am a stats junkie, but I don’t really have any use for this information. And they keep changing their UI, which is constantly confusing.
Rob is a big Mog fan, so I tried to check that out, but it is just too much work get that set up (unlike Pandora, where you are in business after adding just one song you like). Plus the Mog client thingie I downloaded totally caused weirdness and never worked right.
So what I really want it to be able to add contacts a la Yelp to Pandora so I can easily go to their profiles, listen to their radio stations, and see their bookmarks. The profile pages are pretty good and keep getting better–I just need to be able to easily get to them.
Here is my Pandora profile page with my radio stations and favorite artists and songs. Since the bookmarking feature is fairly new, well not that new I realize, I haven’t really used it yet, but I plan on slowly adding my favs. Oh, I also have my music page here on this blog, but it needs some work.
It is nights like last night that make me realize how much I love San Francisco. I had been in a bit of a cranky mood Friday and Saturday (I blame the heat), but Saturday night completely erased that.
Ghetto Gourmet was everything that I hoped it would be. The place was hot as hell and the food didn’t blow me away, but the whole experience was amazing. The whole concept is great: get a great chef and some people who love food together and have a good time. After dinner, we loaded on an old fire truck turned party bus. This weather was perfect at 10 at night, and we cruised around the city, dancing and cheering and waving at everyone else who was out on the town on a Saturday night. It was incredibly fun and I am ready to have Jeremy cater my birthday party and charter the fire truck. (pictures)
After our trip around town, I headed to Mighty for Dragnet. Mighty is an awesome space. The DJs were pretty cool and it wasn’t too crowded. The crowd was kind of the hippy/nerdy scene, which was fine with me. (pictures)
This was my third trip to the city this week, and I have driven each time. Of course, this last trip I ended up driving by myself, and of course, it was 2:30 AM that I ran into a traffic jam on 101 that set me back 45 minutes. So I got home close to 4. So I slept till 1 today. But it is so damn hot what else are you going to do on a Sunday?
I had no idea how much I hate classic rock until tonight. I was at the gym for the first time in ages, and I was driven out by the music. It was mildy annoying at first, but after an hour of non-stop Rollings Stones and ZZ Top, I was cranky. Finally, when Bohemian Rapsody started, I couldn't take it any more and had to leave. It has never been that bad before. I even asked the guy at the desk what the deal was, but he could only agree with me and say that he couldn't change it.
I need to finally get around to ordering an iPod Nano.
I haven't bought much music in the past three months. The last thing I bought was "Congratulations" by Blue October and Imogen Heap, and it is completely addictive. Today I finally bought five new songs:
- "Blue Light (Engineers Anti-Gravity Mix)" by Bloc Party because I can't get it out of my head since Rob gave me the live Coachella concert by Bloc Party
- "Wink of an Eye" by Kaskade because I saw Kaskade at Coachella and have been wanting to get something
- "Teardrop" by Massive Attack because I found it on iTunes and liked the 30-second snippet
- "Sing" by Ivy because I wanted some new Ivy and I loved this song as a kid
- "Rainbow Connection" by Sarah McLachlin because it was on the same album as "Sing"
I am now home from Coachella, so a quick note.
Sunday at Coachella was the big Madonna vs. Tool day. Highlights of the day were Bloc Party and Mogwai. Biggest letdown was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Biggest annoyance was Madonna: starting 25 minutes late, and then singing songs that no one knew while trying to play guitar. Massive Attack was boring and Tool sounded like Tool.
I barely got sunburned, but I was suprised at how sore I got. My knees, lower back, and feet were all killing my by the time Tool got on stage. Part of me wanted to be skiing this weekend to take advantage of the last weekend of the season, and my pass, but I told myself that I was tool beat-up anyway and that listening to music all weekend would be easier on my poor body. So much for that theory.
Tired and cranky, we drove back to San Jose today, getting home at about 7:00. I took a much needed shower, and then bored my friend who doesn't care about music with all of the details of the weekend. (Seriously, I was singing "Precious" to her because she didn't know any songs by Depeche Mode and she still didn't know who I was talking about. And don't even get me started on my failed attempt to sell her on the virtues of RSS. But I don't take it personally because she thinks that having a MySpace profile is "nerdy," and she really didn't care about my explanation of MySpace being for music nerds and for real computer geeks to criticize.)
Tomorrow is my first official day of at my new job. No, today was technically my first official day for my new job, but I took the day off, so that makes tomorrow my first day that I'll actually show up for my new job. I will start it off by uploading all of my pictures from the weekend, finishing all of my work from my old job, and let's face it, I am sure I'll find time to blog as well.
Pictures are now posted!