Mildly Amusing Musings & Some Photographs

Posts tagged “music

Flava in Ya Ear – May 15, 2012

I just uploaded my pictures to ADAY.ORG for their worldwide photo project.  The goal was to capture your daily life in ten photos shot on May 15, 2012.  I worked that day but I also had to to take Big Papi to Mini to have his power steering replaced.

My loaner was a 2012 Mini Countryman.  I loved the color & the SiriusXM.  I didn’t have anyone with me to take advantage of the extra roomy backseats but they looked really nice.   There was a sunroof for the front & a moon roof for the rear but I still prefer the full convertible.

Most of the day was grey & rainy & my workload was so spread out that I didn’t have much time during work to shoot anything outside of my route.  Around noon, I decided to take advantage of the loaner Mini’s SiriusXM radio & I started shooting what I was listening to as well as a photo of what was outside at that time.  Syncing the photos to the radio photos was a task I would never complete in a timely fashion & I couldn’t find just ten that worked well for the project.   This made me miss SiriusXM & it also made me want a radio that displayed all the titles of what I listen to.  I suppose an iPod would work too but I liked the idea of selecting from 100+ stations that I didn’t control.  I did take a break from the radio for a little bit to re-take the “There’s A Law” shot I missed last time I had a loaner.

Subsequently, I tested some of the other CDs I had with me to see which would register the song titles.  Besides those few, here is what I listened to May 15 between 11:57am & 6:13pm when I returned the loaner.

I wound up not getting the power steering repaired because they saw my brakes & tires as a bigger safety issue & I just couldn’t afford both.  Big Papi & I are in a very abusive relationship.  Whenever something breaks, I feel like I should sell him & get something cheaper to fix but then I see him & drop his top & our love affair continues…

I really love my expensive, little buddy. His brakes, two tires, a belt and an oil change came to $1100.  The power steering & new related hoses will be in excess of $1500 but they said I can’t damage it anymore than it already is & I can continue to drive him without power steering.  K turns are now Super Triple W turns but otherwise I almost prefer the tighter steering & my arms really could use the workout.  Already the driving muscles I used to have from driving the Dart are coming back.  I wish the Dart would come back too.


“I’ll close my eyes & listen to you read the story…”

I keep not finishing any of the SXSW posts that I start writing because I am too lazy to upload the photos for the third time (they’re already on facebook & flickr) SO I am just going to post a bunch of highlights, starting with my most favorite moment.

During the BLURT Magazine/ Dogfish Head IPA party at The Ginger Man on Friday, March 16, 2012 at SXSW…

This is Jon Auer & Ken Stringfellow playing/singing “Solar Sister” about five feet away from me.   I am not able to post my own video of this event because someone (me) was screaming a bit too loudly.  I get excited. I can’t help it, especially when I’m in an open space & may have consumed a few glasses of wine.  You can see a great video of it here & be sure to listen up for a special name change in the middle.  When I heard it live, I thought it was just my imagination.  Actually, this whole night was nearly out of my imagination.

Earlier in the evening, Ken started his set with my most favorite of his songs, “Any Love (Cassandra et Lune)” & also played my second favorite, “One Morning” as well as a boatload of great new songs whose titles I don’t know.

Mmmmm… Gretsch.  I love Gretsch.

I have continued my trend of being too close to get good shots.  Luckily, I have great memories despite having a crappy memory.  I shot this with my newly acquired Sony Mavica CD-400.   When we stopped in Delaware on the way to Texas, my brother gave me it because he wasn’t using it anymore.  I had previously had the 300, 400 & 500.  As my dad upgraded, I would get the old one.  I would then find a way to crack the LCD screen.  One time it was because someone said they saw a snake & I fell while running away.  Motherfuckin’ snakes.   Unfortunately, we weren’t in any one place long enough to charge the batteries fully so I didn’t shoot too much with this.

This was also our first time seeing Jon Auer solo.  His “Burn & Shine” medley was particularly exceptional.  He didn’t break any strings though. This might be the first time we’ve seen him play & not break a string.

His open hand was begging for a glowing orb.

I know driving to Texas isn’t free, but did I mention this was a free show?  It was AND there was more greatness to follow when Jody Stephens joined in for some rollicking Big Star songs.

Many special guests came out, including some of the great “Third” singers/players, John Doe, the guy from Blitzen Trapper, Ian Moore & Peter Buck from R.E.M.  I kept thinking Peter Buck looked like Bill Murray so I couldn’t say hello because I kept laughing, expecting him to start reciting “Groundhog’s Day” lines (because I am sure that is what the real Bill Murray does when he isn’t loading Tia Carrere’s band van).

I should start taking notes of set lists or get a new battery for my video camera so I can at least have a poor recording to reference.  Suffice it to say that this only fed my frenzy of adoration for these guys.  Every time we see them together, I fear it will be the last time & I don’t ever want that to be the case.  I do want the next show to be somewhere where it is ok to dance though.  The sitters behind me weren’t too keen on my desire to dance to “September Gurls.”  I hate sitting down almost as much as I hate being quiet.

These guys are the greatest.  Induct them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame now please (& don’t forget John Fry).

Must’ve put a spell on you baby, Must’ve kept on coming back

When I took this picture a year ago, I tried to find out the name of the guitarist/guitar tech on stage.  I eventually forgot to keep looking.  I didn’t make the connection when I heard about The Horrible Crowes, read the liner notes or met Ian Perkins right before the show.  It wasn’t until I was editing my less than stellar shots of the Horrible Crowes show that I realized, & I am about 90% sure, that this photo is my first photo of The Horrible Crowes. 

If you want a review of the show, please pick up the September 28, 2011 issue of The Aquarian Weekly.  Because I am horrible at being objective & putting into words why I like something if I really like it, it took me about seven hours to write.  One hour of that was trying to find out the name of the last song that Brian McGee (the opener) sang.  I left it as the unknown Plow United song.  Then, I started trying to make a comparison between The Horrible Crowes & The Rat Pack but it just didn’t work out right so I cut it.  I also had difficulty expressing just how much I loved Ian Perkins’ guitar.  It is very similar (the same?) as Chris Bell’s that Jon Auer played “I Am The Cosmos” on at the Big Star Levitt Shell show. 

Ian Perkins' Gibson ES-335

The lighting at the show was very low which sets a great tone but make my cameras very noisy.  It didn’t help that the Nikon is stuck at ISO200 (see previous blog) or that I left the better Canon battery (that holds a charge for more than 15 minutes) charging at home.  Also, I had to respect the first three songs photo policy which meant I missed the really cool shots of Brian & Ian.  Next time, I must remember to bring a point & shoot for such instances.  The following are some of my favorites:

Alex Rosamilia playing the Nord.  He also adopted a pitbull from Liberty Humane Society.  This almost makes me happier than the music 🙂

Ian Perkins playing the aforementioned Gibson ES-335.

For more, please visit my flickr & keep an eye on The Aquarian.

Hey reckless mind, don’t throw away your playful beginnings…

 My first Dave Matthews concert was in 1998? with my bestest buddy in the whole wide world, Thindy.  After that one, there were many more.  I don’t think I ever appreciated the sound of the guitar until I saw Dave Matthews.  Listening to DMB made me feel happy, sexy, one with the world yet totally detached from it.   My Thindy moved away, my other friends don’t really like DMB & new worlds of music were opened up to me so I lost touch with my “playful beginnings” until this past weekend…

It was a tremendous honor & a re-birth of sorts that found me front & center in the photo pit for this past weekend’s Dave Matthews Band Caravan shows in Atlantic City.   I still have a ton of pictures to edit but I am not sure any will be as cool as this one:

Boyd smiles
This was from the Sunday show.  I believe the song was “Seek Up” but all I was trying to do was not let my knees cave in.  Boyd Tinsley violining like a fiend, making beautiful music mere feet from my eager ears.  I didn’t have time to double check the settings & prayed this would turn out so I could remember this moment forever.  Selfishly enough, my primary reason for wanting to photograph musicians I love is so that I can relive the experience.  If seeing the photos transports me back to the moment, I am satisfied.  Of course, it is also great when they take other people to that place too.  So, fan or foe, present at this show or not, here are a few other shots…


More photos will be added to my flickr

Thank you Dave Matthews Band for a weekend of beautiful music & reminding me of why I fell in love with you in the first place 🙂

“Give me the fevers that just won’t break… Tell me ’bout the cool he sings you in those songs…”

For my birthday in June, I bought tickets to see The Gaslight Anthem at The Stone Pony on August 5, 2010 & tickets to see them play with Weezer at the Allentown State Fair (PA) on September 1.   With all of the Ticketmaster fees, this nearly bankrupted me but seeing concerts is always more fun than having good credit & paying student loans, right? 

So, the August show… was full of the Gaslight fans who really like to mosh & crowd surf.  This makes taking pictures & having a good time difficult.  Plus, during my favorite new song, “Bring It On,” the lady behind me decided to start a fight with the girls behind me – pushing, punching & homophobic words were all pleasantly shared.   As with the Terminal 5 show, I had some moments of wanting to never see them again live, through no fault of their own.  We started walking to the car during the first encore & realized that the sound was actually way better from there (it was an outdoor stage & the car was about 40 feet to the side of the stage) & I loved them again. 

the gaslight anthem stone pony summer stage

Cut to:
September 1 – Allentown

I thought for sure the crowd would be full of people to see both Weezer & The Gaslight Anthem.  I like  love them both, so why shouldn’t everyone?  Oh, that’s right because people today need to be told who to like.   The only thing that could have made this show better would be if some version of Big Star/The Posies were playing too.  (Weezer pics will be in a separate post)…

(c) conni freestone conn!

The Gaslight Anthem played a whirlwind set comprised of almost 20 of my favorite songs.  Since my last attempt at rocking out to “Bring It On” was a failure, this was the exact opposite.  When they started it, I let out a whooping scream that made those around me laugh.  Sorry for being excited.  What a crime!  It was SOOOO nice to be able to dance to these songs.  SOOOOO nice.   I even had the freedom to cry during “American Slang.”  I didn’t cry a lot but sometimes when I really get into it, my emotions get the best of me when he sings “We called for our fathers but our fathers had died…”  I love The Gaslight Anthem. 

brian fallon gaslight anthem by conn!

brian fallon gaslight anthem (C)conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

Compared to other shows of theirs I have seen, I would rank this pretty high up there just based on being able to really rock out & sing along.  It was a bummer that more people around me didn’t seem very into it.  How can you hear these songs & not at least tap your foot?!   Not to mention that this incredible show was to be followed by Weezer!

The State Fair setting made it even cooler when they played “The Backseat” – “Come July, we’ll ride the ferris wheel, go round & round & round & if you never let me go, well I will never let you down…”

(C) conni freestone conn!

Technically speaking, my close proximity to the stage & the lack of flying feet into my head & camera (except for the last song) would have made this show pretty easy to shoot if I wasn’t so busy enjoying it.  Brian, Alex, Alex & Benny are all enjoyable to watch & highly photographable.   I did have some trouble making adjustments as the sun was setting, until they turned the big lights on.  See how technical I am with terms like “big lights…?”

“I always say my thank you’s but I don’t ever ask please…”

Wednesday night, 06.02.10,  our favorite female singer/bass player, Misha, had a show with her band, Grace Beats Karma at The Local 269 on East Houston (NYC).  Missing their drummer, it was just her & Eddy the guitar player.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much we love Misha.  She will be driving herself across the states (again) starting in July.  You should find her on facebook/myspace & go see her or watch her here.

As we were saying our goodbyes after the show, a guy entered the bar wearing a hat that said “Bass Master.”  I told Misha to steal it but we all agreed that he probably meant the bass that swims.

The day before was the only day I worked (for money, at my job) this week.  While that may sound like Heaven to most, such is not the case when there are bills to pay & summer shows to see.  I work much better (for free, on pictures & such) when I don’t have the added wonder of how long I will be able to not have to go back to waiting tables.  Oh, & the day I did work, was at our new lower pay & involved twice as much driving.  That being said, the one day I did work was most interesting & fairly enjoyable.  I spent the first half of the day with the top down, elated to be getting paid to drive around listening to good music.  I also let a small turtle cross the road.

The second half of my day began with me having to put the top up because of a rain shower.  Boooooo!  Then, I got hit by a deer which made me sad. 

While the speed limit on this road is 55mph, I along with four or five other drivers stopped because the deer was running back & forth across the four lanes running into cars!  My first thought was to get my camera out but I didn’t think to change the settings from the earlier sunny day shots and I couldn’t keep my eyes off her.  When she came running for my car, I didn’t know whether to move forward, get out & stop her (because I have all those years deer wrangling experience & it was quite possible that her mouth was agape with saliva dripping out because she was perfectly healthy) or just sit there.  I opted to just sit there as she rammed her body across my front fender into my passenger mirror.  I could see that she had many ticks embedded in her neck & she looked really sick, like she wanted me to help her but all I could do was call 911.  My car & I were fine save for some fur (hers not mine) & my broken heart.

My encounters with wildlife continued when I saw a group of three small birds having a gang bang.  Sorry to be blunt, but it was clear what was happening there.   I also saw a chipmunk & a groundhog in the backyard of one of the vacant properties (not having a gang bang).  That was all good.  I like animals of the furry sort.  I do not like snakes though.  The last time I saw one, I went running so quickly that I tripped & broke my camera.  Smart.  Well, I knew that walking through unmown wet grass in the more suburban areas would eventually lead to me seeing a snake & today was my unlucky day.  I don’t remember what color it was.  I just know that it was a snake & it was almost two feet long & I don’t want to talk about it.  After that, there were three separate down pours.  Each occurring after the radio weather people promised they were over.   

Also, one of my favorite record stores was closing when I got there but I did get the missing piece for the drumset (not that I am anywhere near caught up enough to practice).   Oh, I also saw this guy Wednesday on the way to NY.

I didn’t realize someone was in the SUV until I went to get a shot of him from the front & the driver said “What, is there something up there?”  “Yeah, a really cool seagull who keeps peeking in your moon roof.”  I expected him to look but he didn’t.  I would have.  He should have.  Appreciate the little things.  The seagull pooped on his car after that.  He deserved it.

This Saturday, Snowball 37 is playing at Crash Mansion.  You should come see them.  I borrowed an old movie poster to make this flier/flyer.

“Go ahead & shake if you wanna & I’ll never know… We’ve got all night”

It was Saturday, Feb 20 and I was in a hurry to finish work so I could get up north for the Snowball 37/Run Robot show.  I was listening to #1Record/Radio City, driving around inspecting houses of people who are late on their mortgages (such a fun job) when I remembered to send a tweet about the show.  That’s when I saw that Ardent posted info about the May 15 Big Star show.  Since the November 18 show, my Big Star fan-ness had grown immensely.  I also started listening to The Posies (so sorry to have been unaware of them prior to that show).  Anyway, that night I couldn’t contain myself & tried to convince everyone at the show to come down to Memphis with us.  On March 18, around 1am, my boyfriend called me to ask what happened to Alex.  Sure enough, I found the news pretty quickly.  My heart sank.  We sat on the phone in silence for several minutes.  I can’t speak for him but I know the tears were streaming down my face.  I opened the folder of photos from the November show in disbelief.  I played through all the music & wondered if the show would go on. 


May 15, 2010
The show went on & what a show it was!  OnlyDave, Greg (our friend & SB37 guitarist) & I wound up making the drive.  After a day in Nashville, a brief recording session at Ardent (home of the nicest people in music), some touristy stuff, several record store visits & probably too much BBQ, we were ready to see (& hear) Big Star.  

We arrived early for the pre-show soundcheck/meet & greet/ BBQ.  We missed about half of the soundcheck while they were trying to get the ticket scanner to work (only glitch of the day).   I was hesitant to start taking pictures because I didn’t have a photo pass & didn’t want to get kicked out so I only took a few of the soundcheck.

Jody Stephens singing “For You” with his brother, Jimmy, playing bass (as he did on Third).  Jody has a great voice & should definitely sing more.  He is also very nice.  He helped make the recording session at Ardent an amazing experience.

This is Jon Auer (left) & Ken Stringfellow (right).  They are from The Posies & have solo albums too.  Ken also plays with The Disciplines who are also incredible.  Now that you know their faces, I am not going to caption them again.  I’m lazy.  They are not.  They seem to be two of the hardest working gentlemen in music.  I am also convinced that neither of them are capable of making music that sucks. 

Mike Mills (from R.E.M.)

 After soundcheck, we collected our free Levitt Shell lawnchairs ( a big perk of the VIP tickets) & I drank some wine.   Ardent band Star & Micey then performed a consolidated set.

 Jody Stephens was then presented with a Beale Street music note for Big Star.

I opened the video as I am writing this to try & capture the little things but I assure you that this show was too good for words so don’t be looking for anything prolific on my part. 

The show opened with Jon leading Ken & Jody on “Back of a Car.”  I remember looking around & being so thankful for being right there at that very moment. 

John Davis (Superdrag) then joined them (Jon, Ken & Jody) for “In The Street,” “Don’t Lie to Me” & “When My Baby’s Beside Me” which were all amazing.   While I am not familiar with John Davis (yet) he fit in very nicely & I look forward to finding his other music.  Its amazing how much good music can be traced back to Big Star =)

This was followed by Jon singing “I am the Cosmos” while playing Chris Bell’s Gibson ES330.   It made me cry a little.  I’ll admit it.  Jon’s incredible. 

Jody Stephens then took over lead vocals for “Way Out West.”  It was also awesome.  Suffice it to say that everything was awesome.  That way I don’t have to get a thesaurus out or keep repeating myself.

Van Duren then joined them to sing “Mod Lang.”

Then, Ken Stringfellow killed me with “Daisy Glaze,” not literally of course… It was just a very emotionally charged performance.  For some reason, I get so into that song that I completely forget that the build up leads to “You’re gonna die.”  Jon, Ken & Jody definitely showed the power of three in this song.  In retrospect, it may have been my favorite song of the night.  Quite cathartic & Grrrrrrrrrr.  I have no words.

Mike Mills (R.E.M.) joined them for “Jesus Christ” which was a nice, upbeat ditty after such a big song.   Jon’s a really good guitar player.  Dang, they’re all really good.  How do they get so good?  Don’t say practice.  I prefer to believe its magic. 

Jody’s brother Jimmy then came out to play “For You.”   Did I mention that Jody should sing more? 

  Ken played Chris Bell’s acoustic guitar for this song.

Ken, winning the award for making me cry most often, then sang “Give Me Another Chance” with backups by Amy Speace.  Jon & Jody (away from the drums) also sang.

By this point, it was raining a little harder.  I didn’t even notice (save for the blurry droplets smeared on my lens).   Rick Steff came out to play accordian (or “aquarium” to quote Jon) for a very sweet “Lady Sweet.”  I often forget how beautiful an accordian can sound, but I don’t forget how beautiful Jon’s voice is. 

Sondre Lerche then came out to play “I’m In Love With A Girl” acoustic.

This was really cute & made cuter when Brendan Benson came out to hold an umbrella over Sondre. 

Jon, Ken & Jody returned with Sondre singing lead on “The Ballad of El Goodo,” the song that was my introduction to Big Star (thanks Dave) & is now my favorite.  I absolutely love the lyrics & the drums.  I am determined to play this one day… soon, hopefully. But, anyway, of course this song too was great.

Jon then sang “Thirteen” with some crazy awesome backups by Ken followed by Ken singing  “Feel” in what was another fine example of the power of the three of them.  That guitar riff… Ken’s voice… Grrrrr… This really kicked ass. 

Mike Mills came back for “Thank You Friends” with some “do dooooooo” backups by Susan Marshall & Amy Speace. 

Then the chanteuse (always wanted to use that word) Susan Marshall, sang a super sexy yet sad, soulful rendition of “Nighttime.”  Wow.

Amy Speace returned to sing “Try Again.”  Like everyone on that stage, she has an incredible voice.  Once again, I have to add that Jon is a really great guitar player.  The acapella harmonies near the end were most beautiful.

It was raining a bit harder now but that didn’t stop Brendan Benson from coming out for “O My Soul” & “September Gurls.” 

“September Gurls” brought out some additional backup singers.  The audience FINALLY obliged to letting us dance or maybe they were still screaming “down in front” but we just didn’t hear it by then.  You can see evidence of this in the youtube video I ruined by jumping up & dancing.  So sorry.  I had been waiting all night to get up & dance.  

That ended the official set, leading to this most disappointing photo.  It would have been really good if only…

My heart broke one last time when Jon & Ken came back on to sing “Take Care.”  Beautiful. 

To conclude the night, everyone came back out for a rousing rendition of “Whole New Thing.” 

When the song was over, Jon ripped off five of his guitar strings.  Then, they played the end of the song one more time. 

While “Take Care” may have been the sadder tribute to Alex, “Whole New Thing” was dedicated to him.  Having read a little about him, it seems most appropriate.   Since I cannot pretend to have known him, all I can picture is the look of proudness he seemed to have for his bandmates in November.  So this is what I saw in my head while the music played. 

After driving 1100 miles to a concert, it would have been easy to have been let down.  What isn’t easy is to have it all seem more than worth it.  Thank you to everyone involved with this show, Ardent & Memphis.  You were a great host.  We cannot wait to see you again!

****June 4 Update ****
Thank you to everyone who has been reading & viewing this.  I feel badly that I left out some important things – Van Duren is really great.  “Mod Lang” (which wasn’t on my video) sounded so good on Sirius.  Also, I forgot to say that all of the songs are incredibly timeless and so wonderful to hear.   Ken can jump… No, that was kindergarten reading.  Ken can play bass very well & Jody is an amazing drummer.  There’s more I could write too but I felt bad about omitting those details.  By the way, the Sirius broadcast sounded so good.  It would make for a really good record 🙂