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Thursday, February 21, 2013

And the Rest (reduex)....
or more boredom than the brain can handle featuring a butt load of photos
(Oh hey, look. There's that jump thing again to read on)

Moving on...

1. Sisters Pelini Weekend at the Beach

Once again we Pelino girls traveled to Long Beach Island to spend several days at my sister's little house by the lagoon. We love this place, and although Big Mar cannot venture to the beach anymore, she enjoys being with her girls. The feeling is mutual. We eat, yak, drink, tan, drink, yak, eat, yak, yak, yak... You know, the usual girl stuff that is impossible to share with spouses because you just can't. You just have to be there. And be a girl and/or sister. It's a gender-specific phenom. Trust me on this.

fresh caught seafood daily

fresh made mojito daily

fresh cut blooms daily
okay, not these. their owners would be pissed

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And The Rest...
or how I spent summer vacation and other random bits of 2012

FYI: Procrastination is neither my friend nor foe, but more a seductive Siren's song luring me to the rocky edges of distraction.


Disclaimer: Since this bloggity blah blog in no way impacts the course of human events, but is merely a tool by which to store the very minutiae of my existence in order to jar the memories that will no doubt be buried deep in the dusty corners of my future addled brain in my swiftly approaching senile years, I feel compelled to document the aforementioned backlog of shite that was the later portion of 2012 for future reference, or embarrassment. (She says, knowing full well at that point she won't even remember who this spazzy chick with the crazy red Medusa hair is to feel any modicum of shame, but will merely point and laugh and ridicule with delight. That is if she can still remember how to read. Or find her teeth. Or use the loo.)

Wait...Where was I? Oh yeah...

No lie, these two posts have been my albatross, my Moby Dick, my relentlessly naggy House Frau with the pointy rubber brassiere and kitty whip. Every time I open this bad boy, their "draft" status mocks me. How did I get so far behind?!? For whatever reason, I lost interest in this e-journal. Perhaps it was my Muse taking a much needed sabbatical to Hawaii, or my getting caught in a funk spiral or maybe... just maybe I was out living my life.

Yeah, let's go with the last one, shall we.

In any case, I gotta launch these f*ckers before I have a psychotic break. So grab a case of cold ones. This is going to get mind numbing. Feel free to skip ahead to future posts. Or past ones. I won't hold it against you. Not for too long anyway.

Part One: Concerts. trying to clean up my blog mess before starting a new one.

Okay, so this summer was a terrific season for concert going. Usually I write ad nauseam about these musical outings, but for whatever reason I have been lax about penning a synopsis. I shall effort to be brief (HaHaHa! I crack myself up) in the following retelling.

The interwebs have become the electronic form of Pen Pals. You remember Pen Pals, right? In grade school we all got to choose a kid from another country with which to correspond in an attempt to expand our horizons, create a better appreciation of other cultures and generally make the world a smaller place. Well, that snail mail took forever to get from point A to point B and back again, but through the miracle of technology, the size of the world has shrunk small enough to fit in the palm of our hands. It's easier than ever to make and keep friends over great distances.

That said, I had the pleasure to attend three shows with several friends I never would have met had it not been for the development of social media.

I learned a new trick, the jump that shortens up painfully long postings in the main feed while providing a link to the full blown rambling, which has apparently been a feature here since like 2008. I'm a slow learner. So of course there is way more after the jump. Waaaaay more. I am nothing if not needlessly verbose.

1. Beach + Rhett Miller = No-Brainer Road Trip

oh, hello handsome

Friday, February 8, 2013

In Which We Finally See The Elusive Moz

Morrissey, replete in peach (shirt #1 of 5)
His visage was all on over that stage
(at the elegant Heinz Hall)
Okay, so back in October the Enigma known as Morrissey cancelled yet another concert date in Pittsburgh. Alright, this instance was legit, as his Mum was sick in England. Or so he claims. Whatever. Who am I to judge. A fucking patron who shelled out some heavy dough-re-mi for this gig AND wasted a bloody vacation day to boot, that's who. But I'm not bitter. Much.

Barney, Wilma and Steve in the "cheap" seats

Aaaaanywho, he rescheduled for a Monday night in January. The absolute worst day of the week for me. And you know, it is ALL about moi.

All day I kept thinking "he better fucking show up this time." Well, he did. With a five-piece back up band, a big ass light show, and a trunk load of shirts which he changed every four songs whether he needed to or not.

It's been a while since I've sat through one of these uber productions. It was a fun change, but it also made me appreciate the smaller, more intimate, reasonably priced (read cheapo) shows I normally attend.

light show a go-go

So back to Moz...

He's held up rather well. His angst agrees with him apparently. His voice was exactly the same as his younger self. Unfaltering. He entered the stage amidst the spinning cookie lights, dramatically pausing, posturing, theatrically kneeling up stage near the drum kit (complete with timpani and eight foot gong), shaking hands with his minion in the front row, and pushing the mic stand over like a true diva. It was hysterical.

I kinda love it.

For the second or third shirt change (who can remember) he came out in a denim number which he promptly ripped off and tossed into the audience during the chorus. At which point, my old pal, Steve remarked, "okay, he's not in bad shape, but nobody needs to see that. NOBODY."

(blast from the past: The Smith's singing one of my favorites neglected in the Pgh show)

Truth be told, he didn't play enough hits for me. No "There's a Light That Never Goes Out." No "Big Mouth Strikes Again". No "Sheila Take a Bow". No "Panic". No "Cemetery Gates". And that's just off the top of my head. I wasn't familiar with most of his selections, but boy howdy, the two kids in front of us were going to town, thrashing their heads with abandon for each and every offering. We had a great time watching them freak.

I tell you this though, I could have done without the graphic slaughterhouse footage rolling behind him during "Meat is Murder".

I. Get. It.

You're a vegan. You're opposed to people using animals as food, but I don't want to see that shit at a concert, yo! Also, he ended the master setlist on that Debbie Downer.

What. the. EF?


Never having been to one of his elusive performances before, I had no idea the whole fans-jumping-on-stage-to-touch-and-or-hug-the-Moz was a thing with him. Three adoring followers (two male, one female) took the leap of faith to lay hands on His mighty self, while Morrissey continued crooning uninterrupted. But only three jumped to kiss his ring, which may be why we only got a ONE SONG ENCORE!!?!

Okay, it was How Soon is Now, but still. WTF?

(courtesy Phreak9mm)

It was different. Not horrible at all, just ... different. I can't say for sure whether it was worth the self-inflicted wound of sleep deprivation suffered the next morning at the cruel hour of 2:30am, but I'm glad to finally have had the chance to see him. I'm still bummed I foolishly passed up the opportunity to see him with The Smiths back in 89, but this was one for ye olde bucket list, fo sho.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hometown Saturday Trifecta
or three of my loves in one incredible day

Okay, so what's better (for me, that is) than a Rhett Miller solo show? Seeing him play TWICE in Pittsburgh sandwiched around a victorious Pens game against the Flyers, all in the company of my everlovin' Geo, that's what.

Happy pre-birthday to me! Spending an entire day watching my two loves with Geo is the cherry on the top of my Corneto, fo sho!!

The lovely blue-eyed one kindly squeezed a visit to the Burgh in between his Virginia and Mountain Stage gigs, and WYEP (the greatest radio station in the lower 48) snatched him up for a rare Saturday afternoon studio session. Geo and I (did I mention G tagged along?) met up with friends and fellow Rhett enthusiasts, Joe, his girls and Noreen for his energetic four-song set and interview. No matter how large or small an appearance, Mr. Miller has one mode--All IN.

You can hear for yourself. Time Bomb is particularly awesome. The link to the session is here. Go listen. It's only 24 minutes long. Go ahead. I'll wait... (cue Final Jeopardy theme)

courtesy of Noreen McBride
Articulate, witty, giving 100%...Do you see why I adore him? Plus, he graciously stuck around for photos.

rhett + hockey = double LOVE
(steph refers to this as the "elusive dry hair pic")

my wonderful friend, Suzanne and I as the bread in our rhett sammy
his banana is quite excited to see her

aaaaaand... we've overstayed our welcome
Side note: Before going on air, Rhett told the audience he was pulled over for speeding on his drive up from Virginia, quipping the incident gave poignancy to his lyric, "I call the police, but they don't like me." In some douchey, cosmic joke to punctuate that statement, he got a parking ticket while he was wrapping up at the station. Fortunately later on, the Universe made nice for being a dick by giving his Stars a win.

Next up, opening day of hockey with a bar full of beer-swilling, team-jersey wearing Pens fans.

hell of a line right there
One thing about Pittsburghers, we love our sports teams and ain't afraid to show it. There was a recent study claiming our city has the highest per capita of women donning team jerseys. Yeah. Not a surprise. The clientele at the Smiling Moose validated that statement. I think Geo and I were the only ones NOT wearing a Pens logo.

For shame. For SHAME!

Anywho, we had a blast in our little alcove yelling and cheering the Pens on to victory with a packed house of revelers.

After a dinner of tender lamb kabobs, it was time for the third spur of our Saturday Trifecta, Mr. M at Club Cafe. All told, there were about ten in our group of groupies parked in the front, mole side.

joe c, amy c, katie c, noreen, me, yoko, annie and cindy
The opening act was Black Prairie, an eclectic six-piece band including three members of Portland's Decemberists. Among the plethora of diverse instruments were a stand up bass, accordion, steel guitar, violin and some wacky looking Hungarian violin with a horn attached. Their sound had a unique honky-tonk, European, circus vibe, fronted by a beautiful blonde with an equally gorgeous soprano voice.

Annalisa playing that wonky fiddle-horn thing

that's a whole lotta talent packed onto that l'il stage
They were incredibly skilled musicians. I have a new found respect for the accordion now thanks to that wee woman. The highlight for me personally, was their cover of Led Zepplin's The Song Remains the Same.

Moving on to the real reason for this gathering...

a great moment captured by the talented Amy Crawford
I know I sound like a broken record, but any time I get to stand in front of this incredible tall Texan and listen to him sing is a good day. A very good day. I have run out of superlatives strong enough to convey his talent, his prowess, his greatness.  He is simply superb.

half windmill courtesy of Amy Crawford
This evening featured a long, 29-song mixture of solo works, 97's tunes, cover songs, and banter. His oeuvre (his word) is so extensive, I marvel at his ability to whittle it down to 30 songs.

We were treated to the last verse of Question en franchise (pour les dames) preceeded by an amusing story about his French teacher. (video courtesy LiveBurghMusic)

The crowd getting behind him on Barrier Reef. (courtesy LiveBurghMusic - more videos here)

And Annie and I gunking up my friend Noreen's video with our sing-along on Indefinitely. (I could have at least sang the correct words. asshat.) watch more of Noreen's videos here.

Black Prairie joined Rhett on stage for the final five songs of the master set, adding a delightful element to his works. A little honky tonky. A little Mellencamp-ish. A little twang.

Annalisa Torfelt matching his high C

California Stars

solo set closer Our Love with a twist
(courtesy LiveBurghMusic)

And then just like that, it was over. Another fantastic performance seared in my memory. He played for over 2 hours, and still we all wanted more. Luckily, he'll be back with the 97's in March. Woot!

The one downer of the evening: Club Cafe has always been our favorite venue in the city, but lately the bar crowd has been beyond rude. I understand that patrons feel the right to talk during opening acts being as they came for the headliner, but Jesus H Christmas! now they're talking LOUDLY THROUGH the headliner!!?! It's embarrassing, and completely inexcusable.

I mean, What the fuck? What are we, Dallas? Come on, people! What's worse is this show was sold out. I personally know a handful of fans who would have gladly taken the collective ignorami's place, singing and dancing and adding to the experience instead of detracting from it.


Somebody needs to get all Mike Doughty all up on their asses. Seriously, either go next door to Jack's to yuck it up or just SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SING!

I realize that's contradictory, but you get my drift. I just hope this bad behavior doesn't dissuade him from coming back to play more solo shows.

Lost Without You
Melt Show
Help Me, Suzanne
Long Long Long
Grand Theatre
Lonley Holiday
I Need To Know Where I Stand
Barrier Reef
This is What I Do
Out Of Love
Question (with French)
Fireflies (w/Annalisa Tornfelt)
Come Around
Big Brown Eyes
Sweet Dreams
Every Night Is Friday Night

with Black Prairie:
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome
California Stars
Wreck of the Old 97
Our Love

Manic Depression
Time Bomb