O, excelsior!

I know, I know. “How can she post so frequently?” you wonder. “All that typing must result in unsightly calluses on her fingers. Eww.” Well, if you’ll just pay a little more attention, you’ll notice that I haven’t posted in over a month. Pretty sad, huh? Yeah, well get used to it. You know, the fanzine this blog replaces only came out once a year. And I had help with that! Seriously, you might wanna read real slow. There might not be another post for a while. Why? It isn’t because I’m lazy, it’s just because I’m undisciplined. And because I don’t really enjoy writing. Luckily, I do enjoy having written, so I reckon I’ll keep it up. Every now and again. (May I suggest a feed reader?)

Summer is ending here and I couldn’t be happier! Sometimes I wonder why I suffer through this brutal weather. It makes me pretty miserable. I can’t cook without heating the house up unreasonably, and I don’t like to go swimming. I do like to go sledding. I live in the wrong state.

I’ve been kinda grumpy all summer, but now that it’s cooling off (it only gets into the upper 80s or low 90s lately), my temperament has been improving. I have more energy and things are starting to sound fun again! Fall’s fun! Highlights of my fall calendar: Cat Power, my brother’s wedding, Magnetic Fields, The Humpers reunion (!), Fun Fun Fun Fest, Charlie Parr, a one-night basic digital camera class, the Flair Symposium, a possible camping &/or hiking trip, and more. Also, the debates, the election, and either unbridled joy or the deepest pit of sorrow the morning after. And the cherry on top: two whole weeks off over the winter break during which time I’ll either finally get my shit together or go totally insane. Yay!

O, excelsior!

SXSW antidote

"They got some crazy little women there..."
"They got some crazy little women there..."

Friday morning I’m flying to Kansas City for this cute little music festival. This will be my, um, third? year. In the past, this event was held in Lawrence, with the handful of venues just steps from each other. No lines, cheap-ass wristbands, friends playing, no day shows, nightly afterparty. Very fun. Very relaxing. My brother came down from Minnesota in the past, but he won’t be there this year. Lame.

The Record Bar, KCMO
The Record Bar, KCMO

This year the fest is in KC proper. We’ll see how that goes. I’m hooking up with the usual posse, so there’ll likely be some Ethiopian food and some burnt ends on my plate. Gimme a holler if there’s something you think I should do while I’m in KC!

The Meat Purveyors al fresco encore, North vs. South, 2007
The Meat Purveyors al fresco encore, North vs. South, 2007

I get home Sunday night, hang around the ATX for a couple of days, then head out to San Francisco for a conference (Weds-Sun). I’ve never been to the Bay Area, so gimme some tips for there, too, will ya? So far, I know I’m gonna go here & hopefully here. Oh, and to some conference shit, too, of course.

And I plan to wear a sweater the whole time I’m there. Yay! Sweater weather!

SXSW antidote

STL-bound

City Museum, STL, 2006

City Museum, St. Louis, MO – 2006

I’m currently in the process of packing for a trip to visit some friends in St. Louis, MO. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot of fun, but there’s a slight chance it could turn into Hell Vacation. We shall see.

My rad boss told me to have a good time and keep an eye out for Beatle Bob. BB was one of the first topics we really connected on and we update each other when we see him. Interestingly, one of the friends I’m going to see in the STL loathes BB (as do many local live music lovers) for his negligence of courtesy and his sense of entitlement. But he also does a funny dance and some people like that. His stamina, dedication, and seemingly endless supply of sport coats are also inspirational. And he likes to pose for photos with people (I think he’s one of the only people I’ve gotten a photo with all tourist-style like that). Search “Beatle Bob” on Flickr if you don’t believe me. Or see below.

me-n-beetle bob, SXSW 1998

Me & Beatle Bob @ SXSW – 1998

Also while I’m Midwesterly, I hope to be lunching with a long lost acquaintance. He used to be a dude in a band I liked. He and his (male) band mates were much older than me and my (female) companion in rock. This was particularly problematic since we were in our teens at the time. They were in their late 20s (early 30s?). We hung out after shows sometimes. It all seemed very innocent to me, although in retrospect, I can imagine how fraught it likely actually was. But they were always perfect gentlemen — when we were present, at least. The dude is now an academic, as, arguably, am I. We’re both married & he’s bringing his toddler along to lunch. Ah, the times they do change. Oh, and he’s also the person who first explained to me who Beatle Bob was. At SXSW, um, 1995? 96?

The rest of the trip will involve daytime sightseeing which I am uncharacteristically playing by ear (botanical garden? transportation museum? arch again? H&M? thrift shopping? bowling? pool party? microbrew festival?), and nightly attendance at Twangfest. I’m not particularly hyped about any of the bands, really, but last year, my friend discovered a really amazing band there. And I’m interested in checking out some folks I’ve never seen (Old 97s, The Gourds), and curious about a couple more (Ha Ha Tonka, Miles of Wire, Hayes Carll). I’d like to see Centro-Matic, but they are playing, um, right now, so that ain’t gonna happen. And the Waco Brothers top it all off, which is their specialty. I’m totally excited to see them every single time. Helps that I’m usually in my cups by that hour. The front of the stage at a Waco Brothers show is my favorite place to be when I’ve had more than three drinks in an evening.

Waco Brothers @ an early Bloodshot Records party @ Yard Dog Art Gallery, SoCo, ATX – SXSW 1998 (notice Fred Armisen on drums)

Oh, and man! I have been waiting for this Obama shit to take off for soooooo long. Here’s a photo from his appearance at Garry Mauro’s house when he was raising $$ for his Senate bid (Mauro’s been working hard to promote Hillary in the primaries). That was the first of many $25 donations I’ve given him. He was amazing. He called us Progressives. I got to shake his hand. Hott!

Barack Obama fund-raising for his 2004 Senate bid @ Garry Mauro’s joint – August 2004

STL-bound

Mike Wiebe + John Doe

Mike Wiebe + John Doe, originally uploaded by lasuprema.

I’m gonna be posting a lot of photos on this blog.

This one is from last night’s X/Detroit Cobras show at La Zona Rosa. This is the crappiest of all the crappy photos i took last night, but that’s what I want to talk about. I am a very, very amateur photographer. Add that to the fact that I like to take pictures at rock shows and what you get is some blurry, fucked up photos. Sometimes they work, though. Sometimes they evoke the show better than a good photo would. Sometimes, as in the case of this one, the photo seems to become a whole different thing. Like a painting or something.

This is my creative process. I always start out with some idea or intention, but I leave it up to chance, too. It could easily be argued that I do this because I can’t focus on one thing long enough to perfect my technique. But I’d like to think I do it because I like to improvise and I like to “discover” how the project turns out.

Mike Wiebe + John Doe