Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Word Therapy

Can You Tell I Don’t Know the Words?

I hurried up to the line to get in, feeling the vibration of the music playing.  I got behind two boys who looked a couple of years older than me and hoped they wouldn’t turn around to look at my family.  Dad came up a moment later and gruffly said, “Stay here.”  I nodded and focused on my kelly green Doc Martens.  Even though the front of the concert line was about 100 feet away, I could still hear my dad talking to the guy manning the door.  “But when does the show end?”  “Well if you can’t tell me that can you give me an approximate time?”  “When does Siousxie and the Banshees go on?”  I stopped listening and bent down to retie my shoes.  I was checking for wrinkles on my Depeche Mode shirt when my dad came back from his interrogation.  “We will be out here at 11.  Stay together, don’t leave each other alone.  Go to the bathroom together, not separate.  Here is some money, make sure you eat something.”  He handed me $40 since I was the oldest, to my delight and despite my sister’s whining.  He hugged us both and walked towards the movie theater down the City Walk, mom following not far behind.

In December of 1991 I went to my first KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas.  On December 10th 2017 I went to my second.  I am now the age my parents were that fateful night they dropped my sibling and I off at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City.  I was 16 and trying to identify as a KROQ alternative music listener, while deep down I was probably still a KISS pop music listener.  The lineup that night in addition to Siouxsie and her posse was Ian McCulloch, Alison Moyet, School of Fish, The Smithereens (who I still love), The Picture, and The Wonder Stuff.  I wish I could say I still had all these bands in my Apple Music but I am not and have never been that cool.  On this recent Sunday I attended one of the most fun concerts I have ever been to.  I’m still not cool but damn if I am finally a bona fide KROQ listener.

Vance Joy opened the show at 5 pm.  His infectious smile lit up that stage during his entire performance with songs “Riptide”, “Fire and the Flood”, and “Mess is Mine”.  He reminds me of Jack Johnson and you can’t help but be happy listening to his music.

 

X Ambassadors followed Vance Joy.  As soon as the stage rotated and they were front and center, lead singer Sam Harris brought all the energy and vibe of Freddie Mercury.  They sang their hits “Unsteady” and “Renegades” along with others.  Sam spoke passionately of inclusion, which brought this cry baby to tears.

 

Franz Ferdinand had my favorite backdrop of the night:

img_4198

Anybody want to do a mock up of this with “The Wilsons” so I can put it in my house?  Anyways…

The band’s act was stylized like an 80s’ Duran Duran music video with singer Alex Kapranos definitely channeling Simon Le Bon with his on point wardrobe and hair.

Indie band Phoenix mellowed out the show with “Lisztomania” and I wanted Thomas Mars’ shirt (this became a recurring theme for me as the night progressed).

 

I was able to see Foster the People a couple of years back and knew they would put on a good show:

 

Walk the Moon is a Cincinnati based band that came onto the scene with “Shut Up and Dance.”  They rocked out while sporting their white eyeliner makeup and wearing some apparel I might also want for my wardrobe (Nicholas Petricca wore a cream poncho with an eyeball print).

 

Next up was one of my favorites, The Lumineers.  They are not a band that comes out with the excitement of others but are true musicians with cellist Neyla Pekarek in full concentration mode that gave me chills.  Singer Wesley Schultz talked of getting Tom Petty’s blessing to cover Walls before they did him proud and sang it for us lucky audience members (didn’t think I would need Kleenex for this concert but there it is).

 

Weezer had all of us on our feet from the first chord and I couldn’t sit down during their set even if I had wanted to.  They are my generation’s Beach Boys with their California inspired songs.  They gave us an early Christmas present by showing videos of dogs running up and down the beach and diving into pools during “Undone-The Sweater Song”.

img_4211

Morrissey was scheduled to headline the show but bailed the day before (which I came to find out is typical for him).  But he was not missed as The Killers closed out the show with an explosion of Brandon Flowers flying onto stage and confetti bursting onto those standing in the pit.  They covered “The Charming Man” by The Smiths and “Every Day is Like Sunday” by Morrissey, which more than made up for his absence (if his not being there meant we got more of The Killers I feel like we got the better end of the deal).  The stage was adorned with a Mars symbol (their current single is “The Man”) and Venus symbols (lady backup singers).

 

The more I run towards being happy, the more music I listen to.  KROQ’s 2017 annual Almost Acoustic Christmas had a crowd where everybody was happy to be there, the smell of garlic fries, bathroom lines that moved quickly (a Christmas miracle), and glowing blue sticks that lit up the Forum.  And instead of worrying about if people were watching my lame dance moves (which I probably did back in ’91), I danced my ass off.

img_4188

Posted in Calming the Voices, Word Therapy

Sometimes Joey McIntyre is Who it Takes

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Ethnic cleansing. The White House. Is there anything in the news today that doesn’t stress us out? When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred I remember bawling while watching the television coverage and my boyfriend asking me, “Why do you care so much? You don’t know them”-he exited not long after. With anxiety and depression I have learned to identify when I’m feeling bad as a result of them. The next step has been learning to get through it and how. I have had to develop a certain set of skills for this.

Taken GIF

From ’07 to ’12 we moved a total of seven times. I had moving down pat. I didn’t get rid of moving boxes. I became obsessed with purging stuff so we could have less stuff to move. I even had a moving checklist on my hard drive. With our next move coming upon us, I can feel the pressure looming over me. I am in full coping mode: taking deep breaths, taking it one day at a time, and making ALL THE LISTS. To do lists broken down by day and week, address change notification list, what to purge, donate, and sell list, and my favorite-but-gives-my-husband-heart-palpitations list: What to buy for the new house.

As a child I used reading to deal with being bullied. When I would have a bad day I would daydream about a NKOTB member (preferably Joey) taking me to the Oscars where I would win for best actress and look perfect on the red carpet with my perfectly straight hair and fabulous formal gown. As an adult I still use reading to cope while my hubby takes me on dates that no red carpet or fabulous gown could measure up to. I would prefer to lose myself in a Stephen King novel than watch Sarah Huckabee Sanders be rude to the press during her daily bullshit briefings. If I want to be relaxed and focused, I meditate. Running stimulates my mind and helps me be creative. And all music makes me happy.

We all need coping skills, depressed or not. I am proud to say that my daughter will go to her room to color or read while listening to music if she gets annoyed with her brother or overwhelmed. This is in contrast from last year when she used to yell at anybody within shouting distance. Wesley chews his fingernails (he is a work in progress). Setting her and her brother up for success at a young age on how to deal with life’s obstacles is a gift I hope I can give them.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. If you are sad or feel alone, you aren’t. Here is the link to NAMI for you or anybody that you know is struggling:

https://www.nami.org/

I would like to leave you with a performance of “You Will Be Found” by the cast of Dear Evan Hansen. The show deals with teen suicide and the song makes me feel less alone every time I hear it.

Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Summer Playlist

Unless I love a song, more likely than not I don’t know the lyrics. If you are in the car with me and you listen, you can tell when I don’t know the words. I will either start to hum or get vwery, vwery quiet. And then the chorus will come and I will be singing at the top of my lungs. My poor daughter knows this and has to suffer while her brother and I sing in our miniscule electric car every day, to and from school. With school out a week from today, she can at least leave the room when we play music videos on YouTube. These videos will be on our big screen during dinner and for random dance parties throughout the summer:

  • Bleachers “Don’t Take the Money”
  • Portugal the Man “Feel it Still” (my hubby’s pick for song of the summer)
  • Weezer “Feels like Summer”
  • Foster the People “Doing it for the Money”
  • Sir Sly “High”
  • Kaiser Chiefs “Never Miss a Beat”
  • M.I.A. “Bad Girls”

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!