Tuesday, March 31, 2009

eternal sunshine of the [music] mind

march ended up being a stellar month for music, with two of my favorite artists releasing new albums and a surprise concert from another.

earlier this month neko case released "middle cyclone". a wonderful album that found it's way through my headphones for the better part of this month. then, the other week, laura gibson, played a ridiculously small venue here in town to a crowd of about 30 people. in my opinion, the place should have been packed for this performance, but i have to admit, it ended up being a very intimate setting and the perfect size crowd to hear this very quiet and gentle folk singer, and of course i "geeked-out" and got her autograph. then last week, the decemberists, released a new album, "the hazards of love". an album that has been played almost non stop, from beginning to end the past week for two reasons. not only am i entranced with the new songs, but i'm also trying to understand exactly what the entire plot of this "folk/rock-opera" is.

now, music is an art, and like all art, it's subjective. not only do i enjoy all these artist and find them terribly talented and creative, but all of these artist in particular have songs that evoke strong memories for me, and that got me thinking just how strong memories and music seem to waltz hand in hand together. i find it amazing how one song can become a audible time-machine and take you back to a particular time in your life.

in that light, here are a few songs and the memories they conjure up...in autobiographical order of course.

the bangles - walk like an egyptian = first dance i ever remember attending
don mclean - american pie = driving to the hardware store with my dad
all-4-0ne - i swear = every and all middle school dance i attended
blues traveler - hook = sitting in geometry class
bush - glycerine = working on my first car
the wallflowers - one headlight = printing photos in the darkroom
billy joel - for the longest time = sophomore year of college
pearl jam - jeremy = 2nd year studio
michael jackson - don't stop till you get enough = pretty much every weekend in 3rd year arch.
the temptations - ain't too proud to beg = sitting in the "rock-star" booth at rock-a-bellies
gorillaz - feel good inc. = 4th year internship in san diego
the police - message in a bottle = driving with schump down to new orleans, with no a/c

who knows what memories lie ahead for these albums, or what feelings and emotions they'll stir up years from now. for the time being, please enjoy pictures taken at the laura gibson concert.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

nothing [cold] can stay

well it looks like we made it past [snowmegeddon]. wichita didn't get hit nearly as bad as predicted, but it still managed to bring the city to a stand still friday night and saturday morning. after most of the final-friday events were scrapped, and wanting to stay off the roads for multiple reasons, i decided to brave the blizzard-like conditions and head to a great little coffee shop just a block away. the night was spent enjoying some coffee, some music, and some conversation. waking up this morning, and looking out my window i saw a virtual white out. no worries, i'd just hang out inside with my [weekend] friends. about the time the last laundry load was finishing up, and i had vacuumed the whole apartment, i decided to try and venture outside. i found the sun out, doing it's best to melt away any evidence of the storm. walking around the block, spring could be heard again, replacing the sound of sleet against windows and bone chilling wind, with the sound of trickling water and ice falling and shattering on the sidewalks.

hopefully everyone was able to stay safe and warm during this storm, and this ends up just being another reminder of our freakish weather. i'm sure we'll soon return to our regularly scheduled season.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

beware the [ides] of march

i had been planning this blog post for a while. i knew that i would be riding in the st. patricks day parade, and thought for sure it would be entertaining enough to re-tell here! seems perfectly normal right? what i didn't account for was the fact, the parade was on the 14th! what comes after the 14th you might ask? none other then the 15th! that's right! the ides of march! and just like ceaser, i dismissed the severity that day can hold.

the parade was absolutely wonderful. the weather was beautiful, the streets were packed, children playing, birds chirping! you get the idea. anyway, i rode with some very good friends, had a blast, and even ended up at the shamrock, the perfect bar to be during an irish festival! that night, however, just after the stroke of midnight, it hit me...the flu. now i can't remember the last time i had the flu, but it was making up for lost time. although it wasn't as bad as being stabbed by a bunch of roman senators, these little flu bugs did their best to leave me in the same shape. sparing you any more details, please enjoy some pictures taken before the attack.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

march [memories]

my grandfather on my father's side, and my grandmother on my mothers side both have march birthdays...as do i. like most families, we would celebrate birthdays grouped into season's or months. now with most of my family celebrating in the fall, it was just us in march. maybe it's because of this, i feel a special connection with them, but i'm thinking it's more the characteristics they possessed that i admired.

i think i was born loving my grandfather, maybe it was his eyes. they were in fact exactly like mine! we are the only ones in the family with that color! to this day, i still love that fact. as a kid, my love for him was mostly because he was my grandpa and he gave me candy, but as i got older it was because of the man he was. he had a million friends. there was no one that he wouldn't or couldn't talk to. i loved driving around with him chatting it up with everyone in the town, having conversations about farming or how god awful hot it was. it wasn't hard to noticed that every conversation with every person was sincere, and honest, and my grandfather seeming like he didn't have anywhere else to be, but talking to that person, at that moment. as i got older, he would ask me what girls i was "seeing" or as why i wasn't seeing any? in high school he'd still ask about girls i mentioned in the 3rd grade. still growing older, i started understanding my grandfather as a person, and i learned that he wore his emotions on his sleeve.

he passed away while i was at college, on the verge of becoming my own man. i still miss him terribly. there are a million stories i would love to tell him, and some advice i wished he'd give me now. one thing that makes me feel better, is that i still live my life, like he could ask me what i've been up to and be proud of me.

my grandmother is a different story. i miss her mostly because i feel i never really got to know her. she passed away when i was still very young. she remains in my mind the perfect, quintessential grandmother. always in the kitchen, always cooking up a huge german storm. meals to this day, i still miss. i'm not sure how true this is, but i remember there always being freshly made pies in the house! is that possible? constant fresh pie! whether it is or not, in my memory it's true, and absolutely heavenly! i wish i could have known her when i was older, but the stories of her quiet strength told to me by my mother, only make me love her, and miss her more.

although they have both passed on, their memories are still with me, especially when their birthdays roll around. what i wouldn't do for some authentic german cheese sacks and vinegar cucumbers right now. maybe even play a game of solitaire, and finish the night off with some cherry pie!