Friday, June 29, 2012

Check Out This Music I Found #2 - Imagine Dragons

I just like these guys. It's a bunch of people partying in someone's art loft singing. There's a good beat, it's catchy, and the words got to me. Here's the clip of what I watched initially after hearing them on one of my crazy back-water stations:

Aaaaand of course, accoustic strings. Accoustic strings and/or violin = TAKE MY MONIEZ.

I know I should be more insightful and eloquent with these things but really, if you're here and you click it and you like it then I've done my job.

I think these guys are on my list to see live now.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Check Out This Neat Place I Found #1 - the Orangery

In my more free days I had the wonderful gypsy habit of just turning down side roads on the way home or out somewhere just for the sheer joy of discovery. It's the "ronin" part in the ronin menschery that is life. It has been a seriously long time since I simply did this, though. I seem to have approached adulthood without warning, and now domresponsible things like head straight home. The other night Bob and I struck out for a bit of whimsy and decided to have ice cream for dinner. It led to a trip to Crazy Cones, which has awesome soft serve and other stuff. So we were already in a mindset of being not adults at all. As we were headed back home there was a tiny sign hanging by the side of the road in gold script that said "The Orangery". It was pretty and small and had never been there before,mso I was intrigued. After a quick talk about being able to look it up online, I decided we were rightt frickin' there, wheeled the car around and took the underpass under the traintracks in to wholly undiscovered territory. The property us beautiful, consisting of a large crumbling stone building (perhaps a barn at one point), a creek, and a beautiful house that seemed to mirror both Colonial and Victorian influences. It had urns with ferns on the front walkway like you might see at an estate. And the place is surrounded by trees and grass and ferns, so it feels secluded despite train tracks and a subdivision nuzzling up to the periphery. A check of the website - The Orangery - shows that it is Italian food, leaning toward Tuscan style. The menu sounds amazing. There is only ONE seating an evening, Thursday through Saturday which you absolutely must make reservations for. Both signs on the driveway stressed BY RESERVATION ONLY in large gold letters. So they're serious about it. The entire setup leads me to the conclusion that you dress up for this place, possibly with a tie. We'll be trying it out this summer ourselves, but if you beat us to it, let me know ifnit was as awesome as it looks?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check Out This Music I Found #1 - Jubilants

In an effort to spruce things up and uphold my promise be a little more cheerful with the content, I am starting.... THIS! This, specificallly, is an attempt to share neat stuff I saw or listened to or just stumbled across (I'm looking at you, Boston street art). Although right at this moment, we are talking music. Now, I can tell you little factually about these guys except they have 2 cds out, and they are from Australia. In terms of my personal take on their music, i love the sound! Obviously, yes? Or I wouldn't be sharing it. They are rsther mellow, and don't bury the guitar and drums under a lot of funky synthesizer crap to sound "cute". Vocals are pretty smooth, lyrics are nothing uncommon. This stuff would work great while on a roadtrip or if you were hosting a party and needed background music. I have heard these guys refered to as "hipster music", so if that's not your thing you should steer elsewhere. If you dig The indie thing, this is probably your sound. You can enjoy more of their goodness at Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And now for something completely.... Representative of the usual around here.

This blog can swing toward unnecessary emo-ness some times. In the future I am going to try to focus more on things I'm making and cool things I've found. For instance, I'm about to try my hand at video game creation. It's on the list of creative things I want to cross off the bucket list, which is populated a great deal by things that would take a long time to complete. I'd really lost the drive to take on some of these things (and forgotten, derp) and was settling in to a rut of complacency. What can you expect to see?
 -a walk thru on constructing a few different kinds of portable sketch kits for artists that have little room or need it to be discreet
 -a song! Yes! I am going to play guitar and sing because an audience is an audience, whether the eyes be digital or organical.
 -a few attempts at video game creation along with at least one post crying about how I accidentally overwrote all of my code. Because let's face it, I am forgetful AND overzealous and those two don't mix.
 -I am determined to write a Mod for Minecraft. Not a skins pack, a MOD. It. will. happen.
-my sewing projects! It is ridiculous to not know how to sew garments on a machine when I can frikkin' make YARN from stuff stolen off an animal's back.
-public arts.... And perhaps some uncommissioned urban art after I get the gear together.
 -my graphic novel(s) becauseIi want more than anything to create these things. I have 2 ideas dancing around that haven't left me alone so obviously they need creatin'
-work on getting some short stories out there. I love to write, and want to at least try to get a few out there.
-other random nifty bits that pop up and catch my attention, as they are wont to do. I can't believe 10,000 sets of eyes have read this stuff. Thanks for reading, and I'll try to make it worth your time going forward!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Very Scary Things

I am flumoxed by things most people probably find pretty banal, for the mere fact that I do not know all of the steps in a process, and my brain likes to do this vapor-lock thing until I give it the missing information.
Given the sheer amount of uncertainty in life, you would think it would keep me from doing a lot of different things, and you would be right.
Last Saturday I'd fully intended to drive up to NJ to see my favorite "local" band (by that I mean they aren't mainstream or big time and they come from NJ which is basically next door) because I had that day off and they actually had a gig. The only problem was that it was up in Clifton, which was 2.5 hours away from us. It was even half an hour away from my Mom, who lives in northern NJ, so perhaps it gives you an idea of the length of this trek. I am happy to go to my mom's when I can. But for a band in a town I don't know late at night when I have to be home AND work the next day?
It was very scary. Which is why it didn't happen. I couldn't parse in my head how we would stay there until 2-3am listening to these guys, then make it home safely (or make it to my Mom's house and not wake her up stumbling in the door deafened and a little buzzed around 3am). If we stayed at her house and we didn't get out the door by 9am, I was going to be late for work AND fighting a massive lack of sleep. This all seemed like a huge obstacle to hurdle at the time.
In hindsight it's ridiculous, the weekend was so slow I literally DID fall asleep at my job -if for only briefly- and based on what calls came in that day I probably could've done the whole thing on 4 hours of sleep.
I think the problem is that I'm getting old and I care about being "normal". The value of integrating with the main stream is becoming apparent, and I am a decade behind in doing it while fully viewing the consequences of my tardiness. The old me would've gone, would've possibly showered and changed her shirt, then crawled to the car and driven to work. The new me, the one with a spouse and a house and a dog that needs walking in the morning at the right time (oh yeah, staying over night was a bad idea because the dog would be left alone, there's that) worries about such things and being responsible and taking care of her body. For once.
Of a different type of scary was the reformatting of my computer. Big deal, you tech types say, we do that constantly. Yes! BUT.... I was worried with all the stupid core memory dumps the machine had been doing that there might be physical damage or it had gotten too hot so sealant was messed up somewhere.... and that in trying to do the upgrade I might, in fact, render myself completely without a desktop. Which sucks, because I'm trying to do a digital arts class and I kind of need a desktop to do that with.
It turns out my fears were ~slightly~ justified, as the digital download of Win 7 I tried crashed and burned when my computer did it's famous restart-hiccup at the end of the install. It went in to a loop of restarting and failing to finish the setup which left me a little panicky. Thankfully, I'd had the presence of mind to acquire a CD with Win 7 on it as well, and forced the system to boot from the disk instead.
Installation occured smoothely and with nary a hitch after running a quick repair on the registry to fix the startup issue. And I felt really damned smart.
I vowed at the start of this year to get past my comfort zone and do things to expand my world and awareness. But when it means that doing so might impact others (dog or spouse or cats) then I have to wonder how far I push, how long, how far back in my own history do I emulate? I am famous for having driven 3,000 miles round trip to California and back by myself, and even being stuck there living out of my car for the better part of 8 months. It was miserable, but I did it. I survived that and I'm sitting in upper middle class America. I'm just wondering if this is truly a dulling of the senses as I perceive it, or evolution of some fashion occurring. Maybe caution just naturally comes with age. Maybe the understanding of mortality finally hits home and you know that you need to start being careful. I just can't get over the idea that something is being stolen with me, or that I am growing complacent in my own decent in to boringness and comfort.
Maybe that's what you do when you're in this position. You grow complacent. Really, what do I have to complain about? What do I have to fear? Maybe it's okay for my fears to finally be of small things instead of "oh god, what if I'm raped and beaten to death in my sleep out here in this parking lot?"
I kick myself for not going to NJ, but I know it was the smart decision. I also know they'll be playing more shows. They were at SXSW, for crying out loud. The world's going to want to see more of them.
Next time, though? To maintain street cred I am totally driving to the damn show.