All I Want Is A Normal Life

Musings from a girl named Normal.

Posts Tagged ‘music

Desert Doubles -or- How the Hi-Desert Changed My Life (part 1)

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We’ll see how far into this I get. Since I’m blogging for my own personal record, the pressure’s kind of off to be either thorough or entirely factual. The account that follows may be more truthful than factual. Take that however you want to.

After work on Thursday, I drove out to see Dave Lowery and John Hickman play their acoustic set. I wasn’t expecting much at first -I was early for Cracker- but almost all the members of Camper were up on stage doing their own acoustic band thing and they were really good. If you’ve never been to Pappy and Harriet’s, I need to set a little stage for you … specifically, about 4″ of stage off the ground. The musicians are really there in the crowd playing only a few feet from the front row (I have to imagine that it’s a little awkward playing there at first).

Some friends showed up and we moved to the front between sets. Like, really really really the front.

And then Hickman came out and did a set just by himself. He’s all smiles. He seemed to be having a really nice time during the set and I could see the sheer enjoyment of the experience of playing music for an enthusiastic crowd. It’s hard not to feel like you know him since he’s so accessible and friendly. And he was really amazing. It was the first time I had seen any of them live, so it was amazing to hear the components of my favorite band deconstructed into their individual parts… and here was the phenomenal guitar of John Hickman playing right in front of me. Which led right into…

… Dave Lowery. As I mentioned, I’d never seen Cracker live and I’d only seen photos of Dave Lowery in concerts. He’s not the most, ah, um… “excited” person I’ve ever seen live. Basically, it seems like he’s an incredibly shy person who just loves to do his songs without a lot of socialization or showiness.

But they started playing and -I hope this isn’t heresy- it was like a pilgrimage to see them… all the driving, all the money, all the effort… it was all suddenly worth it for those few acoustic songs when I was so close to the stage, just hearing their perfect and unamplified set.

And then it was over. I was stunned and stood around for a few minutes talking with Arlette and Justin and Beth, and meeting Judy, Arlette’s friend, who would later turn out to play the most central role in the whole weekend… but that’s later.

And that later will have to be tomorrow, since it’s bed time now.

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Photos from the most amazing weekend since the Amani weekend

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I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet, more for my attention span than for yours. All the photos link to a bigger version on Flickr.
IMG_0024Wizards of Warlock are playing in SFI took this photo for Shady
me and arlette are having an amazing weekendat the Yucca Valley swap meetJoshua TreeBob goes in for a head bonk

Written by normalslife

September 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Johnny Hickman Is So Fucking Awesome

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Johnny Hickman and I pose for our Christmas Cards

Originally uploaded by Monstrously Normal

I wasn’t going to post anything about the concert tonight after my earlier post, but then I saw this photo in the flickrstream on my blog and darn it all if I couldn’t resist at least saying a little something about the weekend and this photo in particular.

Fawning over celebrities isn’t really my thing. For the most part, I don’t think I could even recognize celebrities (Britney Spears yelled to me on the freeway and it took me a while to put together that it was even her), but I have a pretty wide line between celebrities and heroes. I would have recognized Hunter S. Thompson anywhere (see our photo) and here I am with Johnny Hickman, which I put at about the same level as Hunter, except that Hickman isn’t completely blotto drunk and waving a cigarette, and was completely a nice guy.

And Bob, an old friend of his who is working on a film about Cracker, introduced me and brought up the “Dave Water Story,” which I wish I could tell right now, but is so fucking funny and requires more photos and more “telling” than I really have time, attention, or creativity for. So I told Hickman the Dave Water Story and he was, um, kind of taken aback by it. Most people are taken aback when confronted with the level of absurdity that Arlette and I try to exercise on a daily basis.

Judy said we’re lucky he doesn’t file a restraining order, but if Lucas Mann didn’t file a restraining order, Johnny Hickman sure doesn’t have cause to. Pff.

Written by normalslife

September 16, 2008 at 4:49 am

The Show Of My Life

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[blip.tv ?posts_id=1262902&dest=-1]

That was a completely awesome show… well worth the three hour drive to get there and the sleep depravation as I sit here trying to be functional at work. As you can see from the video, I was *right fucking there* in front of Lowery. I was surprised to know all the words to all the songs, which leads me to believe that I’m perhaps more of a superfan than I initially suspected.

Anyways, I’m blogging at work, so I have to get back to work! Yipe!

Tonight: Part of “Built to Spill” and “Camper Van Beethoven” (I can’t get off work too early, so I have to do what I can)

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September 12, 2008 at 8:28 pm

People know more obscure Cracker songs than I do

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Tomorrow is the beginning of the Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven Campout!!! Believe it or not, I’m more excited for this weekend than I was for The Burning Man. Cracker is my favorite band (if I have one, which I’m not sure I do, but if I did it would sure be Cracker) and I’m so fucking excited to see them live that I’m even driving out the two hours tomorrow night to catch the acoustic set and then driving back to come to work on Friday morning.

Pictured at the right is “O Cracker, Where Art Thou?,” which is still my absolute favorite Cracker album. I know, I know… purists will say that joint albums do not count in “favorite Cracker albums,” but those purists can go to heck. It was the album that first got me into Cracker (being a bluegrass fan first, alt-country fan second) and taught me the tight-but-loose, complex-yet-simple sounds of Cracker. Plus, it’s bluegrass. Plus, it’s got a reference to a tasty snack (Cracker and Leftover Salmon).

I checked out the diskography and it’s not even listed there! What a travesty! And I wasn’t sure if I even really qualified as a true Cracker fan until I noticed that yes, I do have all the songs, and yes, even some of the bonus tracks (thank you, Gabriel, wherever you are).

Arlette set up a wedding registry for me at her work, so Dave Lowery and I are going to be happy to receive all your gifts as soon as we announce the wedding. *cough* Or just give me gifts.

Written by normalslife

September 11, 2008 at 4:43 am