Sunday, July 11, 2010

Explosions Abroad

Right now I'm just worried about Kampala.


She's OK.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gamsol FAIL

Pathetic attempts lie in not being able to open up my bottle of Gamsol mineral spirits.

I'm not the only one! I'm not the only one! Sarika couldn't open up her bottle either. Faulty packaging! The edges of the tin are too close to the lid or some such hooey balooey.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



This was an intense match. If I were in the habit of biting my fingernails the fingers in my mouth would have been devoid of them. I attempted to get into Tonic, packed as could be (my own fault for running laaaaate), ran across the street to the Playwright Restaurant (ALSO full), and was told I could make a left, then a right, and I'd find a place to watch. The name of this place was Hurley's Saloon, and while it lacked the packed crowds and atmosphere of the previous two joints it was one of the more social experiences I'd had going solo. A couple of Dutch kids sat between an older couple and myself, and while I didn't so much speak with them (I don't even think they were old enough to drink! Who drinks iced tea at a football match!) I did chat with the male part of an Australian couple who hated Uruguay. No skin off my nose, we were in battle against them anyway. After half time a Swiss man sat next to me and asked how the first half went, I regaled the tale of van Bronckhorst scoring a magnificent goal 18 mins in, and the unfortunate circumstance of Forlan scoring a goal to tie the match at half time. It seemed an easy shot to block, we all saw it coming a mile away, but there wasn't enough defense. The swiss gentleman bought me a beer (and it wasn't my first by that point). I got pretty drunk, too drunk for my liking at 4 in the afternoon. And then Sneijder saved us at the 70th minute, and then we got a terrific third goal from Robben not three minutes later, and thank goodness for that because Uruguay got ANOTHER goal when Pareira scored in the 90th bloody minute into overtime, and the ball was trapped near the Dutch goal and we all held our breath that they wouldn't get another shot in. And they didn't. And all is right with the world. And Holland is in the finals! And we are moments away from a battle between Germany and Spain to find out who will go up against Holland in the final match on Sunday. Either team, I feel, will be an interesting match to watch. Both are powerhouses of football, neither have won the cup before, and both have an extensive history with The Netherlands that the final game is sure to be excellent. Of course, I want Spain to kick Germany's butt, because I think Holland will stand a better chance against them, but in my heart of hearts I do like Germany...can't help it. Maybe it's cause centuries and centuries ago my ancestors were German. Wir sind alle Deutschen! But I'm not so invested in any particular team for this game, because whoever wins I'll be rooting against on Sunday anyway. Hup Holland Hup!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Heavy & Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings @ The Crystal Ballroom

What a good show. Hot damn. Two weeks later and I still have these songs stuck in my head. Unfortunately, we were running late. Obligatory pre-concert-pre-partying (beers and fries at Ringler's a must!), and, since it's Portland, the shows actually start when they say they will (8 o'clock MEANS 8 freakin o'clock!). We finished our brewskies at 8:35ish or so, and stood out front a bit for some mandatory smokes (no re-entry! no smoking on the premises! what to doooo!). Some chap dressed in purple descended from the black-windowed tour bus parked out front, we figured he was staff, or a roadie, not in the band, cause the show had already started and all band members should be backstage, right? So we chat, he bums a cigarette ("I love menthol!") we chat some more, we find out we all went to rival private schools in the NYC area and he's only a couple years our senior. He asks if we like the band, I say yes, we like them, and that it was good Sharon Jones went on the Colbert Report cause it got her a lot of publicity (lots of "theys" and "hers" etc on my part of the conversation) and then he lifts up the ID tag hanging round his neck with the most recent Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings album cover on it, points to a figure, and says "that's me." Well, that was a surprise. Didn't act it though, I mean c'mon, what are we, teenage girls that are gonna jump up and down and squeal "ooh we met a musician! sign my cleavage!" no. We are classy New Yorkers who don't get their feathers ruffled so easily (nonchalance!). We wished him a good show instead. But hey, we met a Dap-King, so that was pretty neato.

So we made our way inside, and The Heavy were unfortunately on their last song (tragedy!) but it was my fav, and Mary Liz's fav, so we were happy. It's most recognizable from those kia sorento commercials. But I'll post the band's actual music video here:

I'm sure the rest of their set was great, and I'm so sorry I missed it :( Anyway. I'm not sorry we missed it for beer and fries. Those we NECESSARY. Plus, the line inside for beer was bananas. We stuck to the all ages side cause the 21+ area was completely packed, and it felt over 80˚ inside, full of people, lots of heat for sure.

A long intermission, then the Dap-Kings came on, and they started to get us going again for a few songs, (we recognized our buddy up there, post-wardrobe change) until one of the guys started really revving us up by introducing Ms. Sharon Jones for a few minutes until finally she came out, in a lovely black flapper-esque dress, all frills and dangles that picked up her every movement.
And hot damn does that woman know how to MOVE! (she sure can sing, too!) They played mostly songs off their new album, some of their older ones, but the show lasted for over two hours. Sharon Jones kept bringing male audience members up to the stage to sing to for a few songs, one of the guys was totes adorbz, she asked if he had a girlfriend, and her name, and then she sang about how to treat a woman.
Then towards the end she grabbed some gals from the front for a dancefest on stage, and then let them dance one at a time off the stage again. The girls seemed to love it, and the audience cheered.

The crowd was incredible, and when the band left the stage we all kept clapping and cheering and stamping our feet for more so that finally the Dap-Kings came back and played some tunes (including The Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There," to which I could not help but sing along) and then FINALLY Sharon Jones came back out on stage to sing some of their other hits ("100 Days 100 Nights" and the like). Truly phenomenal show. I can't wait to see them again in August.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Concert Series ahoy!

OMG this shit is sick. Check it out: George Clinton & Parliament on July 12. Salt-N-Pepa on August 2. Aretha bloody Franklin on August 9. And then there's the Seaside Summer Concert Series, Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee on July 15, Beach Boys July 22, George Thorogood & The Destroyers July 29, Aretha Franklin AGAIN on August 12, and the B-52s (and Belinda Carlisle!) on August 19. And the best part is? All these shows are FREE!

I think my summer's set.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sherlock's Daughter & Warpaint @ The Mercury Lounge

Late post considering this show happened on June 14....meh.

Australian band Sherlock's Daughter was the first one up, and they were phenomenal. Adorable Aussie accents, the singer was cute as a button, both her fashion and her personality. I really liked their music, couldn't stop moving. At one point they asked the crowd if anyone was watching the soccer (Australia had unfortunately recently lost to Germany 4-0, much like this most recent Argentinian defeat) and I swear I was the only one in the crowd to shout out "yeah!" (what a bunch of stuck-ups!)

Sherlock's Daughter!

Then Warpaint came on, and they were all drop dead gorgeous, and some sleazy bastard told one of the band members to take her shirt off (totally out of context, made no sense, total sleazeball). Took no pics of them unfortunately, mostly cause I was pissed off at the quality of photos that were coming out of photographing Sherlock's Daughter I didn't even want to bother anymore. They covered all the songs from their album "Exquisite Corpse," "Elephants" came last of course. They were fantastic, even though one of them claimed to have lost her voice we couldn't tell. They even switched around their instruments, bassist became drummer, and vice versa. Really good show, very ethereal.

I was disappointed Sherlock's Daughter had no CDs to sell at the venue, but they are selling them online (direct from Australia!). Anyway. Incidentally, Sherlock's Daughter are playing a show tonight at The Cake Shop at 8. I highly recommend them.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hup Holland Hup!

Way to go Netherlands!

I still can't believe we beat bloody Brazil! How did that happen! I watched the whole thing, glued to my seat, Tonic was so packed there was a large crowd outside watching on the street, and they stopped letting people in. We headed to Playwright Restaurant across the street instead, quickly filled with oranje fans inside.

Brilliant game. It looked hopeless, that the Dutch lambs had gone off to the Brazilian slaughterhouse, what with Brazil scoring a mere 10 minutes in after an offside first attempt. I was so anxious, I ordered a beer at 10:30 in the morning to soften the blows I was so sure would come. It just seemed that the Dutch were pussyfooting around, waiting for their team members to join only to have the Brazilians surround them instead like hornets. Why wouldn't they just kick the ball already! And then the second half started, and Sneijder kicked magnificently from across the field, and thanks to a little headbutt from Brazil's Melo (who would later get a red card from stepping on Robben), the Dutch tied 1-1 to cheers and thunderous applause. And then Sneijder headbutted in a second goal thanks to good corner kick from Robben. Holy shit! None of us could believe it! The sounds in the pub were deafening, the atmosphere electric. And we held it. We held our lead for the next 25 minutes, no matter how much Maicon and Kaká tried to get past.

And then it ended, and everyone was cheering whenever they saw another person dressed in orange, Dutch everywhere, it was wonderful. Outside of Tonic was insane and spectacular. Such a crowd of orange, a couple dressed in Brazilian colors passed and everyone booed in good fun (the couple smiled even), cars and trucks honked, some with people wearing orange inside, and everybody cheered. People would pour out of the bar still and everyone would hoot and holler again, an abrupt rendition of olé broke out, there were even vuvuzelas. So surreal. I still can't believe we beat Brazil. Who the hell beats BRAZIL?! (The Netherlands, THAT's who!)