yrmencyn: (food)
<I was going to write mopey whininess here.  I've chosen not to.>

I had a good time this weekend, in Lafayette.  Of course, I started out with missing a turn en route to Andrea's because the traffic lights were laying on the ground, along with the street sign (I... dunno).  Instead I drove halfway to Morgan City!  I ended up in Delcambre!  I'm an ass!  But at least I got to Andrea's before God tried to renege on his rainbow-promise.*  I swear to God, the ocean was up in the sky for a while, and then suddenly reality took notice and said this wouldn't do.  We managed to brave the storm far enough to get to Café Havana City, which is in the middle of absolutely nowhere (sorry, Andrea, I know you disagree, but... seriously).  I cannot say enough nice things about the restaurant.  It was so amazingly delicious, the portions were quite generous, and the prices were most reasonable.  Who would have thought that you would find delicious, authentic (so far as I can tell) Cuban food in Lafayette, of all places.  If ever I end up in Lafayette with non-locals (or quite possibly with locals), I will drag them to this place.

But eventually, it was time to go from the restaurant, and then the fun started, as we braved the flooded streets to go to Sammi's birthday party.  My favorite part was on Ambassador Caffrey Pkwy, a 5 lane road (2+2+center), when every car on the road was trying to share the center turn lane, because it was the only one that looked safe to drive.  I was certain I was going to flood out my car a couple of times, but I was wrong (thank God).  Good times were had, and then after a particularly pointed game of Truth or Dare the night was through.

Before I left for Festival International today, I profited from the jambalaya Andrea's mom was making.  Mmmm.  Love.  Festival was quite enjoyable.  I didn't really have any agenda, I just wandered at random listening at various places.  Pictures on Flickr.  On point: there was a Peruvian band playing on a street corner, and I think they never took a break.  Seriously, they were ALWAYS playing.  This is a good thing, because honestly, if I had to choose one sort of music to listen to for the rest of my life, Peruvian folk music would be vying for top choice.  I do wish to note, though, that traditional music ensembles must be the chief export of Perú, because no matter where I go, no matter what the festival or community gathering, there is a Peruvian band.  Never fails.

Managed only to buy two CDs.  I was a good boy.  Came home listening to the one I bought of La Bottine Souriante (who were loads of fun).

I made my housing choice.  I'll let it rest unsaid publicly for right now to let the interested parties know first, but I'm glad to have made the choice.  One less thing hanging over my head.

*Note to heathens and lapsed Abrahamics: Great Flood.  God said "My bad." Put up a rainbow in the sky as a sign that he wouldn't do it again.  No, it doesn't make much sense.  Yes, we're aware.
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I am in a very fine mood right now.  Last weekend (that is to say, the weekend before the weekend of St. Patrick's Day), some of us had been talking about concerts we'd seen, etc etc, and Rich mentioned that Ted Leo/Pharmacists were playing tonight at Chelsea's.  That, people, is an opportunity not to be missed.  I went early, both to snag a little food and to be assured of snagging a good crowd spot.  I was accompanied in this endeavor by Katie, her Steve, and Mandi (Erin, I'm feeling a lot of remorse for not specifically inviting you - you hadn't expressed interest when I mentioned it here a few weeks ago, and I know you've got thesis madness our the wazoo, but I still should have given you a call; forgive me?).  First, let me say that I am absolutely in love with the new Chelsea's.  After being all but forced out of its old Northgate location back at the close of 2005, it has just reopened in the Perkins Overpass area, in the building where the Colonel's Club used to be.  This location is easily twice the size of the old one, possibly more like three times.  The dining area/performance space is the size of the entire old site.  There are actual bathrooms that don't involve crawling over the bar to get to.  The second bar is separate from the performance space, so you can come and have drinks, no cover, even if there's a show on.  And despite all the changes, it still feels right.  It's different, but the changes are all for the better, I think, and didn't damage the flavor of the establishment.  And now that they have Wi-Fi, I may even use it as a coffeeshop alternative occasionally, I think.

Now, on the the show.  The first show at the new Chelsea's.  I was a bit worried going into it, because they had to cancel last night's gig in Houston because Ted lost his voice.  My fears were well-founded, because Ted's voice was obviously weak.  That didn't stop him and his band from giving the performance their absolute all, though.  They didn't let up one bit.  The only concession that they made to Ted's voice was bringing in guest vocalists from the crowd.  No, seriously.  "Does anybody know the lyrics to 'Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone'?"  Princess Ojiaku did, and she and a friend hopped up there and tore it up.  That sort of thing went on throughout the night, with everybody from the tour manager to a local drunk to Ben Kopel stepping up and singing part or all of the songs.  Ted sang a good amount of the stuff, but by the end of the set, "Biomusicology" and "Shake the Sheets" were largely instrumental, since either nobody knew the lyrics well enough, or if they did they were too scared to go up.  I'm kicking myself, because I'm in the first group.  I love "Biomusicology," but I couldn't scrape the lyrics together well enough in my head.  I wish I'd had the presence of mind to go borrow liner notes from one of the merch table CDs, but that's a chance gone away, oh well. 

I know from the above description it sounds like it could be a lackluster or disappointing show, but I thought it was amazing.  In fact, the worst parts of the show were the parts where Ted just couldn't sing and nobody stepped up -- the blurring of the line between performer and audience did nothing but enhance the experience!  And even with Ted's voice off, they were all three completely solid instrumentally.  It was a really great gig.

As a sidenote, the openers were quality too.  Les Aus, a duo from Barcelona with a penchant for noise and loops, started out with an energizing freeform set that reminded me a lot of the Tim Reynolds concert I went to some years ago (2000/2001, I think) in that the music was something you could get fully lost in and enjoy, or resist and get mind-fucked.  Also like the Reynolds show, it was amazing to watch and hear in concert, but I would have little interest in hearing it studio; some bands are just live bands to me.  The second opener, Duke Spirit, I wasn't so big on -- a little too homogeneously wall-of-sound multi-guitar Brit rock for my taste -- but I was the only one of our fivesome (Rich joined shortly before the concert started) who didn't like them much, so the majority deems them worthy.  Their lead singer was also responsible for one of my favorite linguistic moments in the show, when joked about Ted Leo, who had just hopped up on stage a moment before to guest vocal.  In a lovely slangy Londoner twang she said "Buncha fuckin' weirdos in here!  That one guy there keeps coming over to try and bum a fag!"  Then she switched to pretty much perfect Received Pronunciation and said "That's an English phrase that means 'borrow a cigarette'."  It wasn't the 'bum a fag' bit that was funny, as such -- been there, done that -- but the fluid accent shift carrying the connotative meaning.  Go her.

Anyway, yes.  Fantastic, just fantastic.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Well, the thesis is [pretty much] out of my hands.  I haven't yet sent it off, though, because I was suddenly gripped this morning by the need to do a last-minute redraft of the translation (fruitfully, as it turns out, since I had come to a new realization about certain aspects of Richard's poetry in writing the introduction, and I wanted to incorporate them into my translations; many of the poems read much more resonantly afterward).  Unfortunately, that meant that I didn't get to Kinko's until after noon, when they were quite busy, so now I have to wait until 6PM to get pick up my print job (and I am not printing 3 copies, double-sided, of a 128-page document on my home computer).  This means that I can't mail the thing to Dr. Cerquiglini in Paris until tomorrow, but I'll just hope that air mail can get it to him before he disappears off to Salamanca (blasted globe-hopping profs), and it means I can't give it to Dr. Stone until tomorrow.  Neither of these are really major problems, it's just annoying, since I had told them I'd do these things by a certain date, and now I'm not.  Oh well, shit happens.

Anyway, I'm happy, since I finally feel relaxed about this for the first time in weeks.  I celebrated by scheduling a veterinary appointment tomorrow for Phoebe (just a yearly checkup/vacc, don't worry, and yes I was joking about celebrating).

In terms of real celebration, I'm very excited about an upcoming show here in Baton Rouge.  National touring groups don't often stop by the Capital City, and when they do it's generally groups that I couldn't care less about.  Now, though, who is playing next Monday at Chelsea's new location (also exciting) as part of GFL Fest?  Ted Leo/Pharmacists!  I am SO there.  Seriously, doors at 9pm, and I'll be there way early for dinner if I have to be to get in.  When they try to kick people out to the non-cover area, I'll just be like "no, that's ok, here's 10 dollars.  Thanks."  Also, 10 dollars for Ted Leo (and some Catalan band that intrigues me to boot) is a fucking steal.  Now the Mountain Goats just need to come through town, and I'll be sitting happy.

And now I'll stop being a post-whore.

ETA: Furthermore, Bluegrass on the Bayou will be this coming Thursday through Saturday near campus at Nicholson and Gourrier, only $5/day for students. I'm certainly not going to be spending hours and hours there, but I figure I'll stop by; despite their eye-gouging site design I'm intrigued. (Also, readers of 225: the festival is NOT on the parade grounds, as the magazine erroneously printed. Just so we're clear.)
yrmencyn: (Default)
The Gabe Dixon Band will be playing in Cincinatti on Saturday the 4th.  18+, 11pm, The Poison Room (310 W. 5th St.). $6/$8 18/21.

I have been a big fan of GBD ever since I saw them play at one of the free campus concerts at OSU in... was it... I think my sophomore year?  They have a great jazzy sound driven by Dixon's fine keyboard playing (as a solo keyboardist, he's performed with Paul McCartney, Allison Kraus, Dan Wilson [of Semisonic],and many others).  I would love to be able to go to this show, but I can't make it up from Louisiana, so... if any of y'all Ohio folk are bored or itching to go to a cheap, quality show, do it for me.  That is all.

Just thought I'd mention it while I was thinking about it.

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December 2009

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