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a momentous event

Well, folks, I’m coming up on a milestone in my life. Some people count calories, some keep track of which Natural Wonders of the World they’ve seen (2), but I keep track of concerts.

Ever since the first concert I went to (12th March 1996, Red Hot Chili Peppers / Toadies at Gund Arena) I’ve kept track of every live show I’ve ever been to.

The momentous event is that tonight, December 31st 2010 will be my 300th gig. That’s right. THREE HUNDRED. So, to celebrate this, and in true OCD fashion, I would like to share a few facts relating to my illustrious career as a live music junkie.

concert tickets....concert tickets

The gold medal for band I’ve seen the most belongs to OK Go with a grand total of 50. Coming in second is Idlewild at 40 shows (40th tonight).

The most gigs I’ve been to in one year is 49 in 2005 (including 11 in October alone), and the least was in 2009 when I only saw three live shows (albeit very good ones).

The most popular month for gigs is statistically April with 41 total, and the least popular is June with only 12.

The most popular day of the (any) month is a tie between the 20th and the 21st at 16 gigs each.

I have ever only been to one gig on my birthday which was Idlewild at the Liquid Room in Edinburgh in 2007.

The farthest distance I have ever been from home is 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, MN (OK Go 8th June 2002) at a total distance of 737 miles door to door. This is not, however, the longest single trip I’ve taken because the show in MN was sandwiched between two others (Chicago and Milwaukee).

The most one-way miles clocked up is a whopping 596 miles in one day which was the drive back to Cleveland on Easter Sunday 2003 from an Idlewild gig in Montreal, Canada. Including the drive from Cleveland to Toronto (to see Idlewild) to Montreal and back you have a complete round-trip of 1,234 miles.

My weekend at T in the Park in 2006 represents the most bands I’ve seen at one “gig” with 25 over three days.

The most I have ever paid for a ticket in to a single gig is probably Pearl Jam in 1996, but you’d have to ask my Mom how much it was exactly, because she bought my ticket for me at the door (and then stood outside for the whole concert waiting for me).

Some places I would never have seen were it not for the gigs I went to there include Bristol, UK, Coney Island, and Urbana, IL.

Some of the best memories:

Driving around New York City endlessly trying to find the hostel we’d booked into (Alison and I, Placebo/Idlewild May 2001) – finding someone to ask directions from who told me I wouldn’t need to worry about my car being stolen in that neighbourhood, but I would need to worry about the engine being stolen out of my car. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Broadway instead, with secure, underground parking.

Arriving late to Cambridge, UK, (Alison & I, Placebo, October 2000) after a delayed train only to realise we’d missed the whole concert. Trying desperately to find somewhere to stay the night (Cambridge is HELL. Seriously. But with more bicycles…) and ending up at the most overpriced guest house either of us have ever stayed in.

The Monkees in Columbus with Alison & Sarah, March 2001. Peter Tork thinks we’re great.

OK Go at the Fireside Bowl in March 2002. Best venue, ever. Honestly, the place was an absolute mess. I was worried the ceiling was going to collapse.

Morrissey and The Libertines with Sarah at the Brixton Academy in November 2002. Because it was amazing.

Muse in Columbus with Alison, Sarah and Kristina in April 2005. It was a very small venue. They had their speakers set to “Glastonbury”. I was reduced to chewing up an old receipt from my bag and stuffing it into my ears to prevent them actually bleeding. The bass line altered my heartbeat. Very good but VERY loud.

The first time we saw Idlewild. They opened for Placebo at St Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, Michigan. We were a bit of a crowd, Alison, Sarah, Jeremy, Ryan and myself. One of the best nights of my life, hands down.

What can I say? I could go on and on. Do I remember every one of the 300 shows? (Well, 299 until after tonight!) Yes, I do. Maybe because I’ve written them all down to remind myself I was there in the first place. I love live music, I always have. I was hooked from the get-go and I’ve not slowed down yet.

I have met some folks I will always remember and some I will always love. I have made friends, lost friends, fallen in and out of love with bands, listened to some albums so much that the sound of them will forever be imprinted on my soul, and my quest to follow music over the miles has instilled in me a great love of the open road.

I do understand that I am very lucky. I can’t imagine any better hobby to have. I can’t imagine anything I’d rather have spent all those hours, miles and dollars on. 300 gigs in 14 years? Yes, I am certainly very lucky.

Tonight, the last night of 2010, my 40th Idlewild gig and my 300th ever gig, is going to be a amazing night. It can’t not be.

Here’s to the next 300!

xo
A

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dear joel

Take all your chances while you can
You never know when they’ll pass you by.
~ “Chances”

Dear Joel (& Athlete),

Regarding our conversation outside the ABC in Glasgow last night

You may remember me as the American in the red jacket, or perhaps as the girl with the unmistakable air of lunacy about her. I can assure you that I am, most of the time, actually pretty sane. I am also, on occasion, able to form complete sentences and even string them together into what could be considered a conversation. I apologise, I don’t know what got into me – I think it may have been early stages of frostbite!

The point of all of this is that yes, I did wait in the snow and bitter cold for 1 ½ hours last night just for the opportunity to tell you my story. The way I figure, I’ve been waiting for over 4 years; a few extremely cold minutes weren’t going to stop me in the end. So, considering the wait and my determination you think I could have told you the story I’ve been wanting to tell. I fear I failed here, but I did try. I am very glad I waited to speak to you. I am very glad that I met you. You are as kind as I hoped; not to mention humble. The story, though, the story was lacking. To make up for that, this is how it should have gone:

In May of 2005 my friend and I made the 5-hour trip across from Cleveland to Chicago to see you play live. The finer details of the evening are mostly lost, having been eclipsed by what happened after, but I do remember that you were bang on form and I was very glad we’d come.

Sometime during your set (and I don’t know why, which makes the story even more compelling, perhaps the lack of a why is the real moral…) and completely out of the blue I was overcome with a need to call my grandmother. Something in your voice or in the lyrics to the songs… Whatever it was, whatever the why, the songs you were playing compelled me to action. Which song was it? I can’t say. Maybe “Wires”, although I like to think my subconscious mind is a little less obvious. My most likely guess is “Chances”. Either way, after you finished your set, off I went to the lobby to call my grandmother. The contents of our (quite lengthy) conversation are mostly personal, but we said we loved each other and to take care and, most importantly, we ended with goodbye.

Just come back for one day
‘Cause there’s so much I never got to say
Just come back for one day
So I can remember your face
~ “Lay Your Head”

This conversation would turn out to be the last time I ever spoke to my grandmother. Without you it never would have happened. There may not be many things in life I am certain of, but this is one of them. Who knows why? If I hadn’t been at your show, if I hadn’t been really listening to you guys that night, then I wouldn’t have had that last conversation.

All of this is a round about way of saying thank you. Really and truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. My grandmother was one of the most important people in my life and thanks to you, although I didn’t know it at the time, we got to say goodbye.

I’ve been racing the clock and I’ve run out of steam;
I am ready for my final symphony.
Oh, my body is weak, but my soul is still strong;
I am ready to rest in your arms.

And the rain beat down on the rooftops:
But there was no sound, there was no sound.
And all my friends and family carried me,
They carried me home, carried me home.
~ “Black Swan Song”

I’d also like to express my thanks to you for the comfort your songs provided me with over the crazy days that followed. Music means different things to different people at different times in their lives. What I needed that horrible May in 2005, was Tourist. I used that album to effectively drown out the worst of the grief and focus instead on memories, something I fear I would have been unable to do without your songs.

So, there you have it. My thank you. I hope you enjoyed the show last night in Glasgow. I can’t decide which I enjoyed most: your conversation with the fan who travelled THROUGH BIG SNOW TO SEE YAS or the part where the audience wouldn’t stop singing long enough to let you sing your own songs. It was an excellent set. It was the sixth time I’ve seen you live and every time gets better. So, thank you for that as well.

Thank you for stopping to talk to me. I really did enjoy our chat last night even though I bolloxed my story. Thanks for the hug, too, I hope you didn’t catch my frostbite! I’m looking forward to the next time you come to Glasgow, maybe by that time I’ll have mastered the art of conversation. Or maybe even just “hello”.

Very Sincerely,
Allison

p.s. I’m sorry there’s no photos of the others – they were all blurry and indecipherable, so I didn’t post them. I did take loads, though…

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This week’s Tunesday is a double play because I just could not decide on which song to feature. To tell you the truth I could probably feature a new song every day and not get bored, but I think a lot of you would stop reading!

I suppose when I started this feature I only wanted to let you all know what I was listening to and perhaps encourage you to listen to it as well. I hope this has worked, especially for the two bands I am featuring today who are both Scottish and definitely bands I think you should wholly support.

The (first) Song: Things

The (first) Band: Frightened Rabbit

(pardon the non-video video, but I REALLY want you to hear this song!)

S is the one who introduced me to Frightened Rabbit, I think after reading a review in some newspaper or another. “Things” is the opening track of their third album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, which I can confidently say will blow your mind. Every track on this album is equally amazing; I could have chosen “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”, the first single from the album, which is a shockingly fierce and emotional song. I could have chosen “Nothing Like You” which is threatening to be my favourite song of July, if not of the year.

Instead, I chose the opening track, “Things”, and once you listen to the song, and listen to the album, I think you will see why; because it is simply fantastic, because it is the first song of theirs I ever heard, and the one I keep coming back to over and over and over.

Anyone can tell you that I am a complete sucker for an audible accent in a rock song, especially a Scottish one, and lead singer Scott Hutchison’s voice completely floors me. He could say anything to me, from “hello” to “rubbish weather” and have me gibbering and nodding my head like an idiot. “Things” is deliciously upbeat, an anthem for sloughing off old skin and deserting useless reminders of the past.

Listen to it. Love it. Let me know what you think, and, of course, buy the album.

Things by Frightened Rabbit

Here is the evidence of human existence;
A splitting bin bag next to two damp boxes,
And I cannot find a name for them,
They hardly show that I have lived,
And the dust it settles on these things,
Displays my age again.
Like a new skin made from old skin
That had barely been lived in

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
Pointless artefacts of a mediocre past.
So I shed my clothes, I shed my flesh
Down to the bone and burned the rest

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
I took them all to bits, turned them outside-in
And I left them on the floor
And ran for dear life through the door.

Useless objects, a gathered storm of shit
A dim and silent shed filled of your life’s supplies
When all you need’s a coffin and your Sunday best
To smarten up in the end.
At the front gate what a reward awaits,
One bite of loaf from a Holy Ghost;
An eternity of suffering in the company of
All those Christian men.

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
Pointless artefacts of a mediocre past.
So I shed my clothes, I shed my flesh
Down to the bone and burned the rest

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
I took them all to bits, turned them outside-in
And I left them on the floor
And ran for dear life through the door.

I’ll never need these things; I’ll never need them,
It’s just you I need; you’re my human heat.
And the things are only things
And nothing brings me like you bring me.

I’ll never need these things; I’ll never need them,
Never going back, so we can drop the past
And we’ll leave it on the floor
And run for dear life through the door.

Once again, these lyrics are my own approximation and I apologize sincerely (mostly to the artist) if I have gotten something wrong.

On to the second tune!

The (second) Song: Home

The (second) Band: The Boy Who Trapped the Sun

The Boy Who Trapped the Sun is actually just Colin Macleod, one crazy talented Scot from the Isle of Lewis. When you listen to the album there is no way you will believe that this is just one guy intent on playing all the parts himself (except strings and female vocals). And yet here you have a debut album resplendent with gorgeous melodies and insightful lyrics which is refreshing and inviting and wonderful. He is beautiful, his voice is indescribable and this album is breathtaking.

I liked Fireplace from the get-go and wish I had a few days set aside to listen to nothing but this. The album places you smack dab in the middle of the isolated northern islands; the ocean, waves, loneliness and longing.

The opening track, “Golden” is melancholy and achingly beautiful, and is followed by the upbeat single “Katy” which is humorous and fun. I can’t decide on a favourite track between “Dreaming Like a Fool” which has an up-tempo waltz beat that echoes Elliott Smith, or the emotionally draining “Copper Down” which sounds painfully autobiographical. In fact, I can’t decide on my favourite track out of the whole album – it’s that good.

I have chosen “Home” as my song for Tunesday because, while I may not have gotten the lyrics down 100% (sorry, Colin!)[update – I have confirmation that these lyrics are, in fact, “spot on”], there is a video to go along with it and I wanted you all to see this remarkable talent in action.

Home by The Boy Who Trapped the Sun

Home is where you lay your head
My head lies between the cracks
Breadlines lead to wasted days
Maybe I’m better put to longer days

Oh, this city’s not a home
But it’s somewhere to get lost

Maybe I’m lying to myself
I’m not a grafter; I’m not a man of earth
I have a habit; it’s a full time occupation
‘Cause the grass is always greener
When you can see the garden

Oh, this city’s not a home
But it’s somewhere to get lost

I’ve spent my life
Watching other people
Have a life

I can guarantee you that there are many bigger and better things to come from this talented individual, and I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with next. In the meantime, listen to this album and love it like I do.

xo
A

p.s. Have I mentioned before how lucky I feel to be living in Scotland? I may complain about the weather sometimes, but I really to love it here.

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tunesday!

Hey everybody! Guess what?

It’s TUNESDAY!

Yes, that time has come again where I pick a song I’ve been listening to a lot lately and force you to care about it even if you don’t! Aren’t you excited?!

The Song: Eat That Up, It’s Good For You

The Band: Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club is another band I discovered with help from XFM radio. About a month ago I heard their song “Something Good Can Work” and went straight to iTunes and bought their album, Tourist History. I can tell you now; it was well worth what I paid. This is a fantastic album that I can listen to all the way through, and I am very, very glad it is summer because there is something completely wonderful about driving around town with your windows down, listening to this album and enjoying the sunshine! It has become my go-to sunny day album.

The song I have chosen, “Eat That Up, It’s Good For You”, was not immediately my favourite on the album but now it is the track I play more than any other. It’s upbeat, it’s fun and it sure is catchy. Look out for the change at the end – it’s the best!

Eat That Up, It’s Good For You by Two Door Cinema Club
You would look a little better, don’t you know
If you just wore less make-up
But it’s hard to realise when you’re sky high
Fighting off the spaceships

And so you’re drinking in your room (To make it all go)
It didn’t end too soon (You’ve got the next one)
You’re holding on too long (You’ve got to let go)
Your other love is gone
And you know

It’s too late, it’s too late
You’ve got another one coming
And it’s going to be the same
(x4)

I tried to find a quiet place that we could go
To help you make decisions
But I didn’t find it easy to tell them apart
With double vision

And so you’re drinking in your room (To make it all go)
It didn’t end too soon (You’ve got the next one)
You’re holding on too long (You’ve got to let go)
Your other love is gone
And you know

It’s too late, it’s too late
You’ve got another one coming
And it’s going to be the same
(x4)

It’s not the same
It’s not the same
It’s not the same
You’re gonna tell me that I’m right
You know you’re gonna come back down
And find yourself where you are again

You didn’t know
You didn’t know
You didn’t know
So don’t pretend you saw it now
It’s not something you’d want to happen
Now you know who you are again

It’s not the same
It’s not the same
It’s not the same
You’re gonna tell me that I’m right
You know, you’re gonna come back down
And find yourself where you are again

So, that’s my second tune for Tunesdays. Do yourself a favour and check these guys out. Listen to the song then listen to the album and then buy it. I promise you will not regret it!! (If you like their album, check them out on their upcoming tour. S and I are going to see them in September, and I can’t wait!)

xo
A

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I’ve been meaning to start this feature for months now – before we left for Europe, actually, and then I fell into a blogging black hole and didn’t post anything for ages and ages.  So, now that I am back (sorry about that folks, I promise it is not your fault), I have decided to finally implement my new feature:

Tunesday!

I would like to pause and make the stipulation that you have to pronounce “tunes” like they do in Glasgow on a good night out, kind of like the “choo” in “choo-choo”, but with many,  more “o”s.  So it would be more like Choooooonsday.

Without further ado, welcome to the first Tunesday!  I am not the first to have this idea and I won’t be the last.  I have no clout in the music world, I just thought I would tell you what I like and what I am listening to.  Hope you enjoy it!

So here we go:

The Gaslight Anthem

The Song: The ’59 Sound

The Band: The Gaslight Anthem

I first heard of The Gaslight Anthem only a few weeks ago when we were listening to XFM radio and they played American Slang from the band’s third album of the same name.  Immediately I knew this was a band I needed to know more about.  So, I Spotified them and fell head over heels in love.  Over the past month I have listened to all three of their albums more than any others in my library, I’ve added at least one track of theirs to every one of my playlists for the gym (I’m very choosy with these lists!), and have listened to American Slang obsessively.  I happen to be very lucky to have tickets to their show in Glasgow tomorrow night and I am very, very excited!  Although, I can’t help but think that if I still lived in Ohio I may have heard of them a few years ago. Stupid Atlantic Ocean!

The song I have chosen, The ’59 Sound, is the title track from their second album and I loved it from the first time I ever heard it.  I don’t have much to say that the song won’t say for itself.  It reminds me of myself.  It reminds me of one of my best friends.  It reminds me of my Grandmother.  It reminds me that, at the end of it all, we still have music.

The ’59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem

Well, I wonder which song they’re gonna play when we go.
I hope it’s something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow.
When we float out into the ether, into the Everlasting Arms,
I hope we don’t hear Marley’s chains we forged in life.
‘Cause the chains I been hearing now for most of my life.
The chains I been hearing now for most of my life.

Did you hear the ’59 Sound coming through on Grandmother’s radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

And I wonder were you scared when the metal hit the glass?
See, I was playing a show down the road when your spirit left your body.
And they told me on the front lawn.
I’m sorry I couldn’t go,
But I still know the song and the words and her name and the reasons.
And I know ’cause we were kids and we used to hang.
And I know ’cause we were kids and we used to hang.

To the ’59 Sound coming through on Grandmother’s radio.
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

Young boys, young girls, ain’t supposed to die on a Saturday night.

Did you hear the ’59 Sound coming through on Grandmother’s radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

So, there you have it; the very first Tunesday.  And what a tune, let me tell you!! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day: First the USA play Algeria in the World Cup (yay!) and then, after that, we are going to see The Gaslight Anthem at the Academy in Glasgow.  Do yourself a favour. Buy their albums. All three of them.

xo
A

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Just for the record I think all of these videos rock.  Not only do I think they rock, I think they will rock you.  In fact, I think if you watch them you will think they rock and therefore you will also rock.

Watch them. Watch them as soon as possible.  Then watch the rest of the OK Go videos on the site.  Then go immediately out and BUY THEIR ALBUMS.

OK Go – Here It Goes Again from OK Go on Vimeo.

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

OK Go – WTF? from OK Go on Vimeo.

OK Go – Do What You Want (Wallpaper Version) from OK Go on Vimeo.

Actually, while we are on the subject of videos and bands, why not read this: An Open Letter from OK Go.

And, in case you didn’t get the hint from the post I did the other day, go to their website and check their touring schedule on a regular basis because nothing in the world rocks like these guys do when they are on stage.  Seriously, you will not regret it.

Tomorrow – even more OK Go stuff.  Mostly the videos I took at the concert yesterday.  I know you will all come back as soon as possible now that you know what is on the docket, but let me stress the fact that you will not expect what is coming.

Maybe put two pairs of socks on tomorrow because my post (and these guys) are going to rock the first pair right off.

Seriously.

xo

A

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oh such grace, oh such beauty

The year was 2001; the venue was the Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio. The band was They Might Be Giants, but, to be honest, they only feature lightly in this story. And I suppose the dramatic beginning is a tad OTT for my little blog, so I am going to get right down to the point:

On October 21st 2001 Alison, Sarah and I went to the Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio to see They Might Be Giants. Little did I know that this would be the start of a (so far) 9 year long addiction. If I had known then that the opening band would grow to be one of my favourite bands of all time perhaps I would had left the show before they came on stage.

I would have missed out on a lot, though. I would have deprived myself of some of the best memories of my youth.

Who could I possibly be talking about? OK Go: A fairly unknown, unassuming and deliciously talented foursome masquerading as everyday musicians. I am not sure whether it was their wonderfully catchy songs, their (let’s face it, undeniable) gorgeousness or their cover of “Kiss Me Son of God”, a song by the headlining act. Imagine the opening band covering a well-known song by the headliners! Very, very awesome! There was also another cover song involved and, I am going out on a limb here, I think it was “Crimson & Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

Buffalo, I think, early 2002

I was hooked. Mostly Alison, Sarah and I were glad because we had tickets to see They Might Be Giants again a few days later at the Newport and were thrilled to death that the opening band weren’t awful. I had no idea I would get so addicted! What hooked me for life? They were all extremely nice. I mean, apart from their almost manic insistence that we SIGN THE E-MAIL LIST!! They were funny and when we talked to them they listened. They took our advice that they should cover Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” because if there was ever a song written to be covered by OK Go it is “Jessie’s Girl”. It was bizarre. So the night after the show in Columbus we drove to Pittsburgh to see them at Club Laga and it was the beginning of the beginning.

But with a little bit of money we could buy us a car.
With a little luck we could get away from where we are.
Let’s get out of here.

We’ll drive, one thousand miles an hour.
We’ll fly by wheat fields and water towers.
We’ll go. We’ll go and we’ll go and we’ll go. Let’s go.

~ 1,000 Miles Per Hour

Over the last 9 years I have seen them in concert 46 times (27 times in 2002 alone), and tonight they are playing the ABC in Glasgow which will make 47. I have never once been disappointed. I have never once regretted my decision to drive however long/far to get to their shows, not even the time in Indianapolis when the show was 21+ and I was too young to get in. I have personalised number plates on my truck in Ohio that say OK GO. Somewhere in my Mom’s house I have four posters, one with each of their names on it, from after the Loyola show when Jorge lined them up on the bleachers to take pictures.

Andy, Dan, Tim & Damian

I’ve been there for the infamous e-mail list phase, both Andys (Duncan and Ross, equally awesome), their horn player phase (very cool) and their sound engineer with the “patented eyeball test”. I have been to shows on tours for all three of their albums. I’ve seen broken guitar strings, broken instruments and even a broken leg. I have seen them play 11 different cover songs and the scene from Les Mis. I have even been lucky enough to hear them play “The Unrequited Orchestra of Locomotion”. I miss seeing them do “Women & Men” which was a rap song and totally unforgettable. I have seen two dances added to the repertoire, neither of which was anything less than spectacular. I’ve seen them play in nine different states and three different countries. I’ve travelled over 18,000 miles (roughly) to see them in concert and I have even seen them play a gig with no power at all.

Women & Men, what a magic combination!

Every show I have ever seen has been surprising. Every song they play sounds better every time I hear it. Every time I see them there is something brand new, even if it’s only been 24 hours since the last show. They have always kept me guessing. Even now every time they post a tour I check to see if there are any shows near me. I think if I were still living in the US then I would be on the road a lot more.

My truck!

There is just something about these guys on stage that is utterly indescribable. They were all born to be performers, but what strikes me as fantastic is each of them could quite easily be anything else in the world.

I guess there’s got to be a break in the monotony, but Jesus, when it rains how it pours.
Throw on your clothes, the second side of Surfer Rosa, and you leave me, yeah, you leave me.

~ Here It Goes Again

But all of that is so far beside the point! The main point I want to make is that they’ve always been so nice! They never needed to be nice; I still would have gone to their shows (see above: addiction). I’m sure there were times when it was difficult to be nice to me (did I mention the year I saw them live 27 times?) They could have been like any number of bands out there who take their fans for granted but they never have and that is the most important thing. They get more popular and more famous every time I see them but they always have time to hang about and meet their fans, shake hands and sign autographs. It is fantastic and very much appreciated.

So, thanks guys. Thanks for making such great music and thanks very much for making it worth my while.

Some things I will never forget:

  • The “raging keyboard solo” from “There’s A Fire”
  • Andy's raging keyboard solo

  • A show at the Canopy Club in Urbana, Illinois simply because the club was decorated with palm trees
  • The gig at Notre Dame University which was outdoors and, therefore, quite amazing, and very green
  • The night in Toronto when I wore my velcro letters t-shirt (honestly I am so cool) and had it read “SO DAMN HOT” which wasn’t good enough for Dan who re-arranged them to read “M DAN SO HOT”. Fantastic.
  • Plastering every surface that would stand still long enough with okgo stickers – I made it into a game. Where can I stick that sticker now? If I take a running leap I am pretty sure I can get it to stick to that road sign…
  • The night at King Tut’s when the power was out but the boys sang from the steps of the building next door until the police came. Then they did their dance to “A Million Ways” with Tim and Damian humming and bopbopping along. Quite possibly the best thing I have ever seen them do.
  • The show at 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis when I played air hockey with Dan. Erin and I had given an ill-advised lift to a fellow fan who had been at the Loyola University show a few weeks prior. She drank a lot of tequila.
  • The show at Modern Formations in Pittsburgh.
  • Any one of the times that Damian and Tim enacted the scene from Les Mis: absolutely some of the most entertaining minutes of my life.
  • The show at Fireside Bowl in Chicago which was amazing for so many reasons: It was in a bowling alley. There was an ancient Asteroids video game there that was receiving messages from the Mother Ship and intent on taking over the world. It was in a bowling alley.

Some favourites:

  • “The Unrequited Orchestra of Locomotion”
  • “1,000 Miles per Hour”
  • “Return”
  • “The Fix Is In”
  • “No Sign of Life”
  • “Oh Lately It’s So Quiet”
  • “A Good Idea at the Time”

I haven’t had much of a chance to listen to their new album, since it was only released a week ago, but I am sure there will be some favourites from that as well. Their new video is great, though, I know that.

Do yourself a favour: Buy their albums. Even more than that, though, go and see them live. You will not regret it. If you can’t manage either of those at least go and watch their video for “Here It Goes Again” at their website.  It’s phenomenal.

Also, while I am handing out thanks, I would like to thank the guys for introducing me to Longwave, another band I really like. Also for playing those shows with Phantom Planet.

xo

A

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