Yo La Tengo @ the Neptune Theatre (11/20/15)

Beth and I went to see Yo La Tengo at the Neptune Theatre last night.  We’ve both been big fans of the band for many years.  I don’t remember exactly, but I’m fairly certain one of the first times we communicated online was in the comments to a Yo La Tengo concert review I wrote back in the Vox days.  Although we’ve both seen the band perform multiple times, this was the first time we’d seen them together.

As such, this show was highly anticipated for us and we got there early.  We were maybe sixth and seventh in line.  The doors opened and we hustled upstairs and snagged the two middle seats in the front row of the balcony.  We had to then wait an hour for the show to begin, but it ended up looking like this:


(concert photo by homebody)

That’s a great view.  The concert was the second-to-last stop on Yo La Tengo’s Stuff Like That There tour and included a fourth band member, Dave Schramm, on electric guitar.  (That’s him sitting over on the left in the picture.)  The rest of the band was James McNew on upright bass, Georgia Hubley on a stand-up drum kit, and Ira Kaplan on acoustic guitar.  They played a lot of songs from the new record, a few from Fakebook, a series of other covers, and a selection of originals from the band’s 30+ year career.  These songs were broken up into two full sets and a three song encore.

Here’s the setlist:

First set: You Tore Me Down (the Flamin’ Groovies) / The Point of It / Rickety / My Heart’s Not in It* (Darlene McCrae) / I Can Feel the Ice Melting (the Parliaments) / Naples* (Antietam) / The Ballad of Red Buckets / Somebody’s in Love (Sun Ra) / Corona+ (the Minutemen) / Tom Courtenay* / A Song For You (Gram Parsons)

Second set: Friday I’m in Love* (the Cure) / Season of the Shark / I Can Hear Music+ (the Ronettes) / All Your Secrets / Butchie’s Tune* (the Lovin’ Spoonful) / Awhileaway / Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind / Today Is the Day* / Can’t Forget / Griselda (the Holy Modal Rounders) / Ohm / Our Way to Fall

Encore: Double Dare / Ruler of My Heart* (Allen Toussaint) / Speeding Motorcycle (Daniel Johnston) –> The Whole of the Law (the Only Ones) –> Speeding Motorcycle

I should mention that the songs marked with an asterisk featured lead vocals by Georgia, while songs with a plus sign were sung by James.  The rest were sung by Ira or a combination of him and Georgia.  I was particularly happy with the seven Georgia songs.  She’s recently become one of my favorite singers (see: Georgia Sings!, the two-part comp I made a few months ago), and it was nice to hear her contribute so much to the show. Other highlights included James McNew doing the Minutemen’s “Corona”, everything from Fakebook, and a beautiful version of “Ohm”.  There aren’t many songs out there that I like more than “Ohm”.

Overall, it was just about a perfect night of music.  Yo La Tengo at the Neptune Theatre is definitely the best concert I’ve seen so far this year.  As I don’t have any additional shows scheduled, I’ll go ahead and declare it Concert of the Year.  Hurrah!

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Now Here’s My Plan + Got Me Some Cats + Other Things

Thirteen of the items shown in this post arrived in the mail.  None of them came from Amazon.  Although I’m not officially boycotting them, I haven’t bought anything there since May.  My favorites from the music picture are the two Coach Station Reunion releases, the strange Paul Weller comp from Japan, and Blossom Dearie Sings Broadway Hit Songs.  Sadly, the dud of the bunch would have to be Josh Ritter’s Sermon on the Rocks.  I’m not sure what happened there.

now here's my plan

(now here’s my plan)

got me some cats

(got me some cats)

In other news, I took up Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant to Half Price Books just to see what percentage of the list price they would offer me for a new, desirable hardback.  The answer is 20%.  I ended up keeping that book, but managed to part with some of my least favorite titles when I suddenly overcame my emotional attachment to inanimate objects.  Here is a list of some of the books I was happy to kick out of my house:

  • Günter Grass – The Tin Drum
  • Umberto Eco – The Name of the Rose
  • Sara Levine – Treasure Island!!!
  • Stephen Ambrose – Band of Brothers
  • Jim Thompson – The Killer Inside Me
  • Jim Thompson – Savage Night
  • Walker Percy – Love in the Ruins
  • Norman Juster – The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

There were quite a few others, but I consider the ones listed above to be my least favorite wastes of time.  Speaking of wasting time, here’s my pumpkin cam setup from last week:

pumpkin cam setup

(pumpkin cam setup)

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If you’ve got Adventure Time Kidrobots on a lazy susan, then you might as well spin them.

I’m not sure this will work, but I thought I’d try posting the two brief videos I recently took with my iPad.  The first is called “on a carousel” and features some Adventure Time Kidrobots spinning around on a lazy susan.

on a carousel

The second is called “pumpkin cam” and is the only highlight from the more than 10 hours of footage I took trying to catch Squirrel III eating my pumpkin.

pumpkin cam

That’s all for now.

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Clang, clang, clang!

I was sorry to hear that the Duck Creek Antique Mall recently closed after 22 years in business.  It was right up the road and I’d been stopping in there every few months for at least half of those 22 years.*  I purchased a lot of great stuff during that time including my Jimmy Stewart suitcase, the koala bear cookie jar, the tea towel with cupcakes on it, and the small ceramic tiger that sits on top of my bookcase.  Perhaps more importantly, Duck Creek was my local source for vintage photographs.  It’s where I got the sorority sisters on bicycles, Sandy sliding down the sand dune, and most of the original boats/ships collection.

So to celebrate the Duck Creek Antique Mall, I’d like to post this old picture of a firetruck parade (which was, of course, purchased there).  Just imagine a lot of celebratory clanging…

firetruck parade[* = Even after all that time, the employees still followed me around like I was a thief.]

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Oh! Pumpy

I have a habit of taking my pumpkin off the front porch after Halloween, bringing it around to the back deck, and then throwing it as far as I can into the backyard so it rolls down the hill and smashes into nice edible pieces for the squirrels and deer.  I always just took it for granted that squirrels and deer eat pumpkin pieces.  I never actually looked it up or confirmed that assumption through direct observation or anything.

Well, I got this year’s pumpkin on Monday and sat it out on my front porch.  The next time I noticed it was on Tuesday evening when it looked like this:


(I guess they couldn’t wait.)

This was my annual Halloween post.

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* = I prefer the term “entry way” or “foyer”.

As some of you may know, I like to collect show-specific posters for concerts I’ve attended.  We’re talking about the fancy screen printed ones done up on heavy stock.  I have 12-15 and have posted about them here a few times over the years.  I’ve purchased many of them at the merch tables at the shows in question, but a few of them I’ve had to track down on eBay.  I found my most recent poster there a couple months ago.  It’s from a Pearl Jam concert I saw at Riverfront Coliseum back in 2006.  I had the poster framed and then hung it up in (what house-related documents from the 40s refer to as) my reception hall.*

pearl jam (6:24:06)

(Pearl Jam poster by Brad Klausen)

I’ll keep my new poster hanging there for the rest of the month and then switch it out with another from the collection.

But that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about all the posters I discovered today from shows I saw in the mid-2000s down at the Southgate House.  I don’t own any of these yet, but I’m going to get eBay to keep an eye out for me.  I’m specifically interested in tracking down the !!! and Beulah posters.  The Cat Power one would also be nice.

I don’t think I’d care to see that Phoenix poster hanging in my house, so I’ll probably skip over that one should it turn up.  I haven’t listened to them in a long time anyway.  The same goes for Stephen Malkmus.  I only went to his show in hopes that he’d play that song about pirates.

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Are elk necks really that long?

I don’t know.  All I know is that the Ace Hotel Portland had very nice, warm blankets.  And now one of them is on my bed.
ace hotel cincinnati(Also, effective immediately, overnight guests staying in my house will be charged $220/night.  Amenities include a Nespresso machine and a record player with a broken lid.  BYOL.)

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Daniel Martin Moore @ Sawyer Point (10/10/15)

This morning I went to the (poorly named) River Grill Before the Big Chill barbecue festival in downtown Cincinnati.  I don’t eat pig products, so I wasn’t interested in the food-related festivities.  I was there to see Daniel Martin Moore and his band perform a concert.  He’s one of my favorite singers, but I’ve been pretty bad at keeping up with his touring schedule.  In fact, I haven’t seen him live since that in-store at Shake It Records back in 2009.  That show celebrated the release of Daniel Martin Moore’s first album; yesterday saw the release of Golden Age, his sixth.  It’s been a long time.

(Hey, the mayor just jogged by my house as I’m tapping away writing this on my front porch.  I don’t know what to think of that kid.)

Daniel Martin Moore and his band had the 12:30 – 2:00 slot.  There weren’t many people at the festival at that early hour, but the band still put on an inspired performance.  They played a twenty song set that included 8 of the 10 new songs from Golden Age.  I’m still waiting for my CD copy to come in the mail from the PledgeMusic campaign, but it sounds like it’s going to be another good one.  They also played a selection of older songs from Daniel Martin Moore’s other releases including one song from Farthest Field, the amazing album he did with Joan Shelley.  If you haven’t heard Farthest Field, then you need to get on it.  It’s probably my favorite music of the last five years.

Here’s the setlist.  I’ve broken it up into three mini sets to reflect the change from band performance to solo performance (and then back again).  It was really just one long set, though.

First band set: Stray Age/Our Hearts Will Hover/Needn’t Say a Thing/That’ll Be the Plan/On Our Way Home/To Make It True/Something, Somewhere, Sometime

Solo set: Every Color and Kind/The Months of Winter/Flyrock Blues/You Are Home (from a forthcoming lullaby album)/By the Beams

Second band set: We Two/Anyway/How It Fades/”It was never for lack of want…”/The Old Measure/Golden Age/In Common Time/Proud As We Are

It was a lot of fun getting out of the house and enjoying the great music and absolutely beautiful weather.  Sure, my fleece now smells a bit like cooked pigs, but a run through the washer will take care of that.

I took a few pictures while I was downtown.  Just look at that sky!

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I remember it happening exactly like this.

Beth and I visited Notre-Dame one year ago today.  To celebrate this anniversary, I have recreated the event using the Lego versions of us and that foam cathedral I nailed to my back deck last month.

notre dame!This reenactment depicts the moment when I climbed the cathedral walls with a bottle of wine and Beth drove around the building on her Little Honda.  Ahh, Paris!

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It’s the battle of the bugs!

I was out running/jogging/walking/limping over the weekend when I noticed these two guys getting into it on a fence on the side of the trail:

battle of the bugsI couldn’t tell who was winning (or if they were really even fighting…they could’ve been hanging out, I suppose), but the red bug guy backed away from the big white fuzzy thing as I approached and took a couple pictures.

I later tried to identify these creatures, but the top results of an image search came back too nasty for me to continue.  I decided to let the mystery be.

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