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Happy birthday to meeeeeeee....

This just in: AWESOMEST DECEMBERISTS TOUR EVER!

With their latest jaunt - dubbed "The Long and Short of It" and launching October 28th in Chicago - they'll hit 13 cities, playing at least two nights in each market. "Long" evenings will focus on the band's epic, progressive compositions. "Short" nights (while no shorter in set length, we promise) will highlight their more succinct, pop-leaning material. Laura Veirs, who guests on The Decemberists' current album, The Crane Wife, will be the main supporting act.

Pre-sale starts tomorrow at noon. They're playing November 1 and 2, a Thursday and Friday, at a brand-new 3,000-person venue called Terminal 5. Looks like tickets are $30 each, but you get a $10 discount if you get tickets for both shows, which you have to do for the pre-sale anyway. I am SO TOTALLY THERE. Who's with me?
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For reasons surpassing understanding, awesome things seem to happen whenever [livejournal.com profile] vert and I are in the same place at the same time. Last night, for example, was the Pipettes show. I'd been looking forward to this for weeks, but of course had somehow managed to forget about it completely until [livejournal.com profile] vert IMed me to make plans for meeting up. So okay, fine, not how I'd planned on spending my Tuesday night and I was dressed a wee bit business casual for a sold-out poptacular dance party, but whatevs. We met up after work and proceeded to a diner I'd passed on the walk from midtown to Union Square (pre- or post-show diner food rapidly becoming a [livejournal.com profile] vert-and-Melanie tradition). One glance at the menu told us that magic was in the freakin' air. With food names like "Hunka-Hunka Burnin' Pancakes," "Hummus of the Gods," and "Rappers Delight 2 the Hip Hop, It Don't Stop" (yes, really), how could we go wrong? The ancient Trivial Pursuit cards on the table and adorable oh-so-Southern waitress, not to mention the delicious heart-attack-on-a-plate food itself, only added to the awesome. Carb comas accomplished, we wandered toward the meatpacking district for a night of pop music heaven.

Okay, so first of all, immediately upon our arrival something happened that never happens to me: even though doors were at 7 and we didn't get there until 8:15, the place was deserted enough that we snagged a prime spot right up against the stage. I'm tall enough that normally I'd feel guilty about standing right up front even if the opportunity presented itself, but fuck it. Later on, the people standing immediately behind us proved to be drunken jackasses, so I really didn't feel bad about blocking their view. So anyway, we plopped on the floor and [livejournal.com profile] vert entertained me with some truly impressive card tricks while we waited for the first of two opening bands to come on.

And here's where the magic (card tricks notwithstanding) really started to happen: both opening bands were good. Not just good, but fantastic. Marit Bergman's a Swedish/Norwegian folksinger who looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal and sings like an angel. One of her backup singers, incidentally, looks eerily like one of the bigshot editors here at work. Anyway, she sings these really pretty, catchy, acoustic songs that sound sort of sweet and wistful until you realize they're about things like a Swedish girl getting raped by three hockey players and gay sex on Chelsea Pier. She was also really nervous in that charming, rambling stories kind of way, which with her accent was just about the most adorable thing ever.

...the most adorable thing ever, that is, until the next opening band, Smoosh. These guys were like, I don't even know, the pre-teen Sleater-Kinney? I guess technically they're actually teenagers--the keyboardist/lead vocalist is fifteen, and her sister, the drummer (she also does some vocals, which according to [livejournal.com profile] vert is really hard), is thirteen--but they released their first album at age twelve and ten, respectively. Now, the keyboardist was awesome enough, playing songs she writes herself, tapping her foot to the beat so enthusiastically that she actually lost a shoe toward the end of the set, with a little smirk on her face that told me without a doubt that she is a nightmare in school. The drummer, however, was flat-out amazing, not just for a thirteen-year-old but for anyone. Her face was mostly hidden behind one of her cymbals as she headbanged and sang and beat the shit out of her drum kit, and she was flailing around so violently that I thought she must be one of those angry drummers, taking out her excess aggression with her sticks... and then, for just a second toward the end of the set, I caught a glimpse of the most blissed-out, thrilled-to-be-alive grin on her face, and I realized that she was having the time of her life up there. She totally wiped the mat with Rachel Trachtenburg's bored tapping, I tell you what, and we're not even bringing Meg White into the conversation. Oh yeah, and let's not forget the youngest sister, who came on stage to play bass for a few songs. She's ten and her hands are so small she could barely reach the bottom string. I don't think I've ever seen an audience respond that enthusiastically to an opening band.

After that, the Pipettes themselves were almost an anticlimax, which was impressive because they were even more sassy and British and polka-dotted than I expected them to be. Everyone danced as much as we could, given the space constraints (I know New York audiences have a reputation for being jaded and undemonstrative, but it occurred to me last night that part of the reason for that is that sold-out shows here pack everyone together so tightly that it's often impossible to do anything more movement-intensive than nodding along to the beat). They did all my favorite songs and a bunch of new stuff I'd never heard before--Pull Shapes, the pre-encore finale, was just as great live as I'd hoped--and looked like they were having a blast doing it. If their performance had been all I'd seen last night I would've considered the outing a rousing success, but they simply could not compete with a thirteen-year-old girl in mismatched socks putting [insert famous drummer here] to shame.

Afterward, I limped to the subway (the only downside to the night being a mysterious ankle injury acquired somewhere between midtown and Union Square, which will teach me to wear flip-flops for walks of more than, say, 20 blocks), free poster in hand, convinced that [livejournal.com profile] vert and I need to hang out as much as possible from now on.
grammargirl: (Default)
Mountain Goats playing a tiny in-store show! May 11, a Friday, no less! Hot damn! Who's with me?
grammargirl: (Default)
It occurs to me that I have been doing a shoddy job of keeping you, my adoring el jay public, up to date on the variously hilarious, ridiculous, surreal, wonderful, weird, and otherwise noteworthy events of my riveting life.

Some highlights of the past few weeks, in no particular order:

*Joined [livejournal.com profile] sternel at a Vienna Teng show in which we were invited to sit with a couple gumpy guys who just happened to have scored a table with an awesome view, and ate woefully overpriced chocolate cake. Watched her drummer play the drum set with one hand, a glockenspiel with the other, and kick this weird cube-shaped bass drumesque thing he was sitting on with one foot, all without missing a beat. Between sets, got Vienna's autograph. Also, she and her violinist both complimented me on my alligator purse (that is, a purse with an alligator on it, not a purse made of alligator).
*Met a girl who keeps pictures of Janel Maloney in her wallet where most people would keep photo ID and pictures of their family.
*On a whim, went to a John Vanderslice show with a perfect stranger who happened to have an extra ticket, only to find out that his ex-girlfriend was in my wretched computer class last semester. Had an excellent, silly, hip-bumping time. Made a shiny new show-buddy (hi, [livejournal.com profile] vert!).
*Encountered a black bouncer who, when checking my ID, was utterly dumbfounded by the fact that I, in all my skinny white girl glory, have the balls to live in Bed-Stuy.
*Went to a midnight sing-along of the Buffy musical episode, performed a la Rocky Horror, which was way more fun than it had any right to be. Came home at 4AM for maybe the first time since I moved here.
*Purged the hell out of my wardrobe in preparation for a Sooper Secret Life Development which I will be posting more about once plans are finalized.
*Got to try Stephen Colbert's Ben & Jerry's flavor (Americone Dream) for free at work, because my company is publishing his book.
*Got the hottest haircut EVAR.
*Donated a huge pile of picture books to my old school, to be divided equally between the only two teachers there who regularly treated me like a human being. Found the act to be surprisingly satisfying.
*Acquired an internet admirer through incredibly circuitous means involving the Gawker linked blogs and a comment I left in [livejournal.com profile] theuglyvolvo's journal. Said admirer is a big schmancy midtown lawyer with an impeccable educational pedigree and does not appear, much to my surprise, to be creepy in any way. We may be getting drinks this week sometime.

All in all, things are going more swimmingly than I would have thought possible as recently as a few months ago. It's skirt weather, my job still rules, I'm meeting new people and leaving my cave from time to time, and big plans are in the works. Life, at least for now, is a very fine thing indeed.

So...

Apr. 17th, 2007 12:41 pm
grammargirl: (Default)
Anyone want to come see Mirah with me on Tuesday, July 10 at Bowery Ballroom? Tickets are $15 and go on sale tomorrow.

Yesterday was boss-lady's first day back after a two and a half week absence. She brought me a pretty silver and mother of pearl bracelet and a purse made of gum wrappers... from her honeymoon. Sometimes I think about my life right now as compared to my life, say, a year ago, and I just cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the difference a great job can make. Boss-lady told me when I came in this morning that everyone has been saying wonderful things about how well I handled her absence and what a good job I'm doing. A year ago, I was getting screamed at and belittled and made to feel like an incompetent jackass on a daily basis. Truly, the mind reels.
grammargirl: (Default)
Goddamn it, why does every awesome event EVER have to happen when I have class? I'm already missing my wretched Cataloging class tonight so I can go see the Decemberists, I probably can't get away with it twice. But still: Neil Gaiman! Salman Rushdie! Steve Martin! Other fantastically cool people! In the same room at the same time, for $15! And I have to miss it so that I can listen to my ditzy, uninformed professor drone on about MARC headings and AACR2 rules. There is no justice in this world, truly.

But still. Decemberists show tonight! 7th row! No awful Cataloging class! HELLS YES.
grammargirl: (nerds = hott)
Holy crap, you guys.

While avoiding writing my shitty take-home midterm for my even more shitty Cataloging class just now, I downloaded the most amazingly wonderful iTunes plugin EVAR.

iConcertCal creates a personalized calendar of live shows based on artists in my iTunes library, and updated weekly.

This is so fucking dangerous.

I just learned that between now and the end of May I could theoretically see Jenny Owen Youngs, Vienna Teng, Sondre Lerche, Lily Allen, M. Ward, They Might Be Giants, Andrew Bird, and The National... to name a few.

Oh man. We're coming up on concert season and I, for the first time in ages, have pocket money. This plugin was the best five minutes of procrastination EVAR.

ETA: Who wants to come see Andrew Bird with me on May 17th at Webster Hall? Tickets are $25, but from what I hear of his live shows it's a steal at twice the price. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!

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