If tonight wasn't ever proof that the perfect job exists for every single person in the universe... the new lead singer for Journey (who is from the Philippines—google his story, it's worth reading) sounds more like Steve Perry than Steve Perry; while I never saw Steve Perry perform, I'm going to say there is no way he could have been half as entertaining to watch on stage as Arnel Pineda.
Despite the fact that I only recognized one song (I know! Sacrilege!) Reba McEntire was a consummate professional who put on a really fun, polished show. Maybe a little heavy on the medleys, but she didn't miss a note and wow, does she have sparkly eyes. I have never seen someone with such sparkly eyes before : )
Does this count as a good faith effort to actively blog CFD? No? I didn't think so either. But it'll have to do tonight. Four costumes, one parade, three showers (IT WAS THAT HOT), an afternoon of being a toe for Maddie, an unexpected Mama/Daddy/Gracie date all afternoon, and The Band Perry + Brad Paisley concert:
And now it's time for bed, because the Historic Homes Tour is tomorrow and the girls and I have a 7 am wakeup call to get ready to volunteer. : )
There are many, many reasons for which I love Matt; many of them are music-related. Here are just a few:
1. He introduced me to Ben Folds back in 1997. Albeit with a knowing, slightly annoying smirk because he knew how I would always have to give him credit for finding one of my favorite musicians of all time. But no matter.
2. I was looking back through some unpublished blog posts recently when I found an unfinished Ten on Tuesday from 2008; one of the items on the list was a story about how he had said he was going to go to Target to look for a game of horseshoes.* And how he totally got it when I immediately responded with "a game of HORSESHOOOOOOOOOOOOES!" (Do you get it?)
3. He was really, really sad when Don Cornelius died last month, because when he lived in Germany he watched Soul Train every day after school on the Armed Services Network (or whatever it was called).
4. Last week we made use of a rare 52 minute window of opportunity to go to dinner together on Wednesday night while all three girls were at gymnastics; whatever weird algorithm Chipotle was using that night for its music stream busted out some I Feel For You by Chaka Khan circa 1984, and we both sang along to the entire song including instrumental and vocal solos. Now that's a date.
5. I recently bought an Estelle album (Shine) and though Matt will never on-purpose choose it to listen to first from our vast collection of music, within five seconds of hearing the second song he identified it as sampling George Michael's Faith. And then proceeded to prove it.
6. Because he can sing a mean version of Kelis's Milkshake. But you only get to hear that story in person and if you're really, really lucky.
7. Concerts, concerts, concerts. Almost 23 years worth of concerts. (I need to make a second of these frames!)
8. For identifying the "Edgar Meyer Mafia," which will leave you much poorer but all-around a better person with a greater musical horizon.
9. Every CD we own is imported into iTunes (over 800) and it wasn't because of me. I really, really appreciate that obsessive valiant dedication to getting that job done in 2005.
10. I can say "hey, come over here and see this They Might Be Giants cover of Chumbawamba on A.V. Club" and suddenly it's two hours later and we've watched almost all the covers.
*I do not know why Matt was interested in buying a game of horseshoes, and as far as I know we've never owned any. Alas, the unfinished blog post did not provide any clues to shed light on this strange story. But! I do have a file photo of a game of horseshoes.
We had a really successful year of music acquistion in this house; keeping in mind that I am the daughter of a man who tells stories about deciding to spend his extremely limited finances on music OR food in college (he was 140 lbs when he got married in 1965, so you might guess which one won out in that dilemma most often) it's important to note that we also had a relatively restrained year at iTunes. 25 EPs or full-length albums might not seem like restraint, but...
I say successful, but Matt really hates G. Love (rolling eyes) and I don't think that Strokes album is by any means as good as their older stuff (Matt rolling eyes at me). He doesn't fully get why I fell in love with The Asteroids Galaxy Tour within the first 15 seconds of hearing them on Wyoming Morning Music (but Bridget does—we regularly have dance parties to this EP while her sisters are at school) and we both kind of have resigned ourselves to Laurie Berkner. [insert big, long siiiiiiiiigh. You're fine, Laurie, it's just that we had to listen to Victor Vito approximately 981 times between Gracie's 2nd and 4th year, so, you know... siiiiiiiiiiigh]
But that's minor stuff. Truly, it was a good year. Here's a list of what's in the collage from left to right:
Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Black Keys El Camino
Maps & Atlases Perch Patchwork
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour The Golden Age EP
The Wood Brothers Up Above My Head
Dan Zanes and Friends Little Nut Tree
Carolina Chocolate Drops & Luminescent Orchestrii EP
The Wood Brothers Smoke Ring Halo
Laurie Berkner Rocketship Run
Trampled By Turtles Palomino
The Avett Brothers Carolina Jubilee
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals eponymous
CAKE Showroom of Compassion
Ben Sollee Inclusions
Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three Riverboat Soul
G. Love and The Avett Brothers Fixin' To Die
Ron Sexsmith Long Player Late Bloomer
Foo Fighters Wasting Light
Prince Sign 'O' the Times
The Strokes Angles
R.E.M. Collapse Into Now
The Avett Brothers Mignonette
Eliza Doolittle eponymous
Black Crowes Croweology
We also collected a huge amount of stray singles—Matt is extremely good about making sure to check in on the free iTunes downloads of the week, and my dad frequently picks up Starbucks downloads of the week for us. The best single by far: The Black Keys' Ohio!
A few other music observations:
+ We only purchased ONE of Paste's Top 50 Albums of the Year this year. (Huh.)(#22, El Camino from The Black Keys)
+ Charles Bradley was mentioned (#21) on that list, though, and one of his songs is in the stray singles list... I do believe that Matt is documented somewhere on this blog pointing out how good he is.
+ Oh, how I love a good Appalachian murder/you done me wrong song. I don't know why I come by this affinity, but there you have it. I Killed Sally's Lover on Carolina Jubilee by The Avett Brothers is one of my favorite new (to me) songs of the year. Seeing them perform it live at Red Rocks = AWESOME.
+ I am still in mourning about R.E.M.
+ The Wood Brothers are slowly but surely creeping into my top ten bands of all time. I know. That's something.
+ Ron Sexsmith songs mostly sound alike to us, but we love them anyway.
+ Eliza Doolittle is a little out in left field in this collection, we know.
+ Have you watched the Pokey LaFarge Tiny Desk concert yet? I am STILL in awe thinking of the moment he opens his mouth to sing. Wait for it... wait for it... OH. MY. GOSH.
*Chinese New Year is January 23, so as far as I am concerned, it's still The Year of the Rabbit. Plenty of time to wrap up 2011 over the next few days : )
Over the years I've collected memories of moments in which I suddenly take a look around and think to myself: how in the world did I ever get here?!? Example: one particularly surreal moment occurred in 1995 when I was sitting in a McDonald's in Kalispell, MT with two other coaches on the GFHS speech/debate team—ones that I had known less than a month—if you had described that scene even a year before it occurred, I never would have believed it, because...well, because it would have been so unlikely. (Tim Willey and Mike Lanier? Speech and debate?! Montana???!?) A Mötley Crüe concert at Frontier Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming definitely makes the list of surreal moments. Sometimes my life is so weird.
Our History With Mötley Crüe
And here is where I confess: Mötley Crüe plays a huge role in the origins of our relationship. For in September 1989, sitting in the car after a Thursday night marching band practice, Dr. Feelgood playing on the radio in the background, Matt asked me to go to Homecoming with him. We went on our first date just before Homecoming—dinner at Larry & Jerry's—September 15, 1989, exactly 22 years ago today. We've always found it funny that this song plays any kind of role at all in our relationship... but there you have it. I've avoided going to Mötley Crüe concerts with Matt in the past (yes, this is a repeat concert for someone in this house), but the rule for Frontier Days has already been established: it's OK to go see a band or musician you wouldn't normally go see, because we're already wearing western clothes, right? When in Rome...
Frontier Park. There are few things that will cause you to question the sanity of a community then standing around outside Portal 7 in Frontier Park before a Mötley Crüe concert. The fashion spectacle for Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow might be best described as tasteful and demure compared to the fashion spectacle we witnessed here. The temptation to take pictures of complete strangers in get-ups that could only be described as "street-walker, 1987" was almost overwhelming. I very nearly set Matt and Monte (Monte drove up from Colorado Springs to go with us) up for three fake pictures just so I could point the camera behind them and document this phenomenon.
Ahem. This photo just doesn't do it justice.
For a band that's been around 30 years (!!!) they still have the ability to put on quite a show. It was a different style of show from Kid Rock, because there were numbers—meaning, when a song was over, everything went dark and you had to wait a few moments before everything came back to life, and that took some getting used to.
My favorite parts of the concert involved Tommy Lee. Somewhere in the back of my brain I think I remember him doing some sort of reality show that involved being in a college marching band (Nebraska, maybe?) and I think that earned him a few points with my subconscious.
Apparently Tommy Lee is well-known for gimmicky show tricks with his drum set, but seeing as how I didn't know that, I was highly entertained by this clever gimmicky show trick that involved a giant metal wheel with tracks—he was held in by a rollercoaster restraint while playing all the way around the wheel. He brought out an audience member to ride around once with him—now there's a lady with a surreal moment to share.
The concert did not turn me into a Mötley Crüe fan by any stretch, and I was very glad to have both Matt and Monte to walk in between on the way out (they both can walk through a crowd with the aura of undercover cops you don't want to mess with, especially when they're together in a crowd like this) but overall, live music is live music and there's always something interesting to see. And for better or worse, Dr. Feelgood will always remain close to my heart : )
And this concludes the Dillow Summer Concert Series.
Months and months ago it was announced that Kid Rock would be the opening night rock concert for Frontier Days, and that Sheryl Crow would be opening for him. While I did not have the immediate initial reaction I had for, say, The Avett Brothers, I know that any concert—and especially one at Frontier Days—has the potential to be really, really good at best, and a really good source of stories if nothing else. Occasionally those two categories overlap, and those are the most memorable ones of all. It's a chance you take, and it usually pans out. With perhaps the exception of the 45 minute Mr. Big set we had to sit through to see Rush once. : )
My History with Kid Rock
Uhm... I have a vague awareness that we own one, possibly more Kid Rock albums. A clear awareness exists that I did not purchase it (them?). Additionally, I have a vague awareness that Kid Rock doesn't do iTunes. And that he is from Detroit. And that he wants to be a cowboy. The end.
My History With Sheryl Crow
I have a much lengthier history with Sheryl Crow, though a full disclosure would show that I am not this household's #1 fan, but rather her #2 fan. (Gracie is probably her #3 fan, because all she wants to do is have some fun, too.) A quick look at our music library shows that the oldest album we own (six plus an interesting handful of compilation songs) was released in 1993. I don't know why this is so surprising to me, but it is—I guess because in 1993 music that was almost 20 years old was old, like Glen Campbell and Neil Sedaka old. As in, the country had not yet celebrated its bicentennial old. Wasn't 1993 just like, a few years ago?
So, Sheryl Crow. The #1 fan in our house has had a crush on enjoyed Sheryl Crow's music for nearly 20 years now. She is background music to me, but fun, happy background music; meaning, I can sing along with almost every song despite the fact that I don't generally sit down specifically to listen to her. Her music is just there like sunshine, warming everything up brightly.
All Frontier Days concerts are held at the stadium at Frontier Park; it can hold almost 20,000 people for a show. I am absolutely amazed at the ability to transform the stadium from all-day rodeo grounds to concert venue that starts in early evening and lasts until late at night to rodeo grounds by early morning again. People work really hard to make Frontier Days what it is.
I borrowed Gracie's camera to stick in my purse (wish I had done this at The Avett Brothers, too). Almost 18,500 people attended, and if you look very closely you can see her there on the stage. She sang lots of old favorites (I wonder if she ever gets sick of them?) and some newer songs, too; part way through the show she announced that she would be turning 50 in the next year, which I definitely would not have guessed. I'm fairly sure that someday when I am 49, you will notice that I am almost 50, ha.
Her set was everything a seasoned performer should present: flawless, crowd-pleasing, and fun.
I simultaneously didn't know what to expect of Kid Rock (see knowledge of discography above) and did know what to expect from Kid Rock (there would surely be pole dancers for a song or two, right? Right) but I have to say, I was intrigued by him even before he took the stage, because instead of running ridiculous screens of concert-goers' texts before the show (part of Part IV in the Dillow Summer Concert Series) he ran a giant slide-show collection of photos from his childhood and beyond during the time it took to change the stage around. It further confirms my theory that everyone is a scrapbooker, even if one does not use that terminology. Heh.
The show was a continuous loop of activity; something was always happening on stage. He is definitely catchy in a super-inappropriate kind of way, and he is definitely not dumb as a box of rocks (OK, OK, so this may have been my unfair first impression from years ago). I don't know how much of the "I'm one of you" act is still genuine, but when he pulled out the old-fashioned lawn chair (you know the kind with the green/white woven strips of nylon webbing) to sit on the stage and begin a song a capella, you kind of had to believe that he really did once come from working class America and that his general act is not actually an act at all.
His age (40) was also pertinent. That's all I'm going to say about that : )
All in all, I have to admit that he put on a really good show. It's not like I'm running out to fill in our collection of Kid Rock albums (especially if they don't exist on iTunes) but it was a worthwhile way to spend an evening. You got the distinct feeling that he felt the same way, and truly enjoyed himself among the Cheyenne cowboys and cowgirls.