Friday, June 25, 2010

365 Photos, Day 176: More Horns

Summer Exercise: June 21 and 23- Karate

June 21
Exercise- Karate
- Includes stretching, throws, and knife disarms.
Duration- ~50 minutes

June 23
Exercise- Karate
- Includes stretching, endurance, grappling practice, and sparring/grappling matches.
Duration- ~50 minutes

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sxip, Evelyn Evelyn, Webley, and Amanda EFFIN' Palmer!

It's not every day that one gets to see a couple of fantastic musicians, along with the world's only pair of conjoined musical twins. That's why I jumped at the chance to see Sxip Shirey, Jason Webley, Amanda (Fuckin') Palmer, and Evelyn and Evelyn Neville.
***
Pre-show
The original plan was to see them on Saturday, but plans got switched around and turned inside out as they tend to, so I ended up traveling into the city via train (which I haven't done in ages) to see them with my friend Elliot. I got in about two and a half hours before the doors opened, so I waited outside the theater with another concert-goer who traveled from England (but not just to see the show) named Gareth. He was a cool chap. During this time (around 4:15/4:30 or thereabouts), I saw Sxip approaching and asked if he wouldn't mind signing the joker card from the Evelyn Evelyn card deck, as he was on it. He scribbled his Sxip scribble on it, I shook his hand, and told him that I was quite excited for the show.
Elliot arrived closer to 5:30 because he had a bit of trouble finding his way around. We took up our positions outside the theater. Around this time, I was still freaking out because I couldn't reach Jeri, the sister of Hayley, who I was meeting up with, and I saw Amanda approaching from behind Elliot. I asked Amanda if she could help by explaining the situation, but she couldn't. And Elliot and I followed that up by asking if we could get a photo. She said yes, under the condition that we took a picture of her and her friend. So Elliot did. (I learned a short while ago that said friend ... was Brian Viglione ... of The Dresden Dolls. HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THAT?!)
A short while later, Jason walked up and I asked for a picture. He was eating ... a bagel, I think, but he didn't mind.
A little while after that, Jeri arrived with her current other half and we chatted a bit and corrected the number snafu. Elliot and I moseyed down to the pizzeria on the corner, grabbed some slices, ate, and went to get our seats. During the half hour between doors and the start of the gig, I found the merch table up in the balcony and acquired an Elephant Elephant button that found a nice spot by three of the Good Old War buttons on my jacket.
***
The gig
Needless to say ... it was fuggin' amazing.
- Sxip: Sxip started off by coming on stage, introducing himself, and talking about his neighborhood, segueing into his first song "I Live In New York City". It was loud, full of energy, and ... fun! Now, mind you, I hadn't heard any of Sxip's stuff before coming to the show, but I was sold. He followed that up by asking for a volunteer/assistant from the audience with "a slight amount of musical talent" and someone who was preferable close to the stage. I raised my hand and walked up to the stage and Sxip gave me two bells and instructions on what to do with them ("Come up to the stage when I give you a nod at the bridge and ring them as so. And don't ring them ironically.") So I helped Sxip on "Rain on the Roses". And he ended his set with "Istanbul".
- The Sisters: Sxip brought them on with two rounds of applause, as they were shy, and after giving a brief introduction about the Twins, with a bit of MC-like embellishing and such, the *cough* Twins ran through "Evelyn Evelyn", "Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?", and "The Tragic Events of September, Part I" on the keyboard (with a bit of help from Hayley and Jeri on the light board for the puppetry of "Tragic Events". Evelyn (the more square-jawed one) was forcefully strapped into the accordion for "Chicken Man", during which the slightly more petite Evelyn started going all Animal on the cymbal and snare. Sxip and the tour manager cowered in fear beside her with a Twix bar to calm her down. After some devouring of the Twix, the Twins performed "You Only Want Me 'Cause You Want My Sister". This was followed by a bit of Two-Headed Oracle (or The Chalice of Knowledge or Ask Evelyn Evelyn, if you prefer) and "Elephant Elephant". "Elephant Elephant" included a bit with kazoos, which the Sisters promptly spat out when the kazoo segment was finished. I grabbed one of the kazoos. Sxip proceeded to mention that the Twins were quite good with modern piano numbers. They started with "Chopsticks" before being corrected by Sxip. That was followed by a bit of "Linus and Lucy" ... which was followed by the start of "Bad Romance" ("Ra ra ra ra ra ga ga oh la la") ... which was followed by a humorous cover of "Lean on Me".
The Twins ended with "MySpace" (which included some head bobbing ... and iPhone/iPod lighters during the keyboard interlude). They were about to play one final song on the ukulele, which according to Sxip wasn't a real instrument, and Sxip went on talking about reviving Annie, but changing things around so it would be called Annie Annie and such ... until they shot him with a revolver in their purse (along with a handkerchief and the iPods/iPhones). They proceeded to end with "Love Will Tear Us Apart" on the ukulele, with some help from a mysterious third arm to hold the ukulele up ... and some assistance from the "dead' Sxip on the melodica. It was followed by a 10 minute intermission.
- Jason came on after the intermission, strapped on his accordion, and began a rousing rendition of "Dance While the Sky Crashes Down".  Following "Dance", Jason instructed the audience on how to act like two large instrument sections: trombones and violins. This was for his next tune "There's Not a Step We Can Take That Brings Us Closer", as he didn't have an orchestra with him. "In This Light" followed with Jason on the guitar. Then, he moved back towards the curtain and knelt, finger picking intensely when all of a sudden, Amanda rushed out to intense cheers and applause from the crowd, and the two played a slightly jumpy version of "Icarus", as a line or two got messed up here and there.
- Jason left the stage after the song ended and Amanda started off her set. She started with a powerful rendition of "Astronaut", followed by "Missed Me". She then asked the audience for song requests and the roughly 200 person audience shouted out Dresden Dolls tunes and solo tunes. One person yelled out for "Freebird!" "Ask for "Freebird" again!" "Play "Freebird"!" Amanda proceeded to free the bird, so to speak.  Amanda chose to go with "Mrs. O". That was followed by a brief discussion of her latest blog post on the power of Twitter and the announcement of her Radiohead cover album, out July 20th, which was followed by a cover of "High and Dry", "Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth, So Help Your Black Ass", "Electric Blanket" (with Sxip on a menacing set of bells and Jason on guitar), and ended with "Runs in the Family".
With the audience ready for an encore, the trio returned to the stage to inform everyone that because of time constraints, they couldn't do an official encore ... but there might be something musical going on up at the merch table after the show.



***
Post-gig
Probably half the audience made their way up to the merch table and crowded the area, waiting for the trio to arrive. During this time, I purchased Sxip's new CD Sonic New York and the tour shirt with a Victorian-esque picture of the Sisters on the front and the tour locations on the back. Since the purchase was $30, I received a free deck of Evelyn Evelyn playing cards. Amanda arrived and began serenading Cassandra, who was running the merch table, before striking up a rendition of "Creep" on her magical ukulele while walking through the crowd. At the end, Sxip assisted from the stage on the marble in the glass bowl. The fans then descended on Amanda and Jason for autographs and such. I managed to get Jason to scribble on my ticket stub and I got 6 scribbles from Amanda on a sheet of paper for some friends, as well as an Amanda scribble on my ticket stub. And I gave her a hug. ... Because I could.
I descended with Elliot to find Sxip ready to make his way up. I requested a scribble on his CD and he scribbled on the outside (because that's where he likes to sign CDs) and on the inside (at my request). Before skedaddling, I gave him a hug, too. And then Elliot and I made our way back to the PATH station the next block over. After a little mishap, we made our way back to the train station in Hoboken and made our way home. Quite a satisfying solution to a fantastic evening.

Allson-y!

365 Photos, Day 172: Horns

Thursday, June 17, 2010

365 Photos, Day 168: Gremlins

Summer Exercise: June 16- Karate

Exercise- Karate
- Includes stretching, reflex drills, Bodyguard (in which I took two plastic balls to the face), and renduri.
Duration- ~50 to 60 minutes

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

365 Photos, Day 166: Neil Gaiman Panel

Summer Exercise: June 13 and 14- Walks and Karate

June 13
Exercise- Walking
Duration- ~43 minutes
Length- up and down the next block over once
Playlist
Backstabber (The Dresden Dolls)
What's the Use of Wondrin' (Amanda Palmer)
Night Reconissance (Amanda Palmer)
Coin Operated Boy (The Dresden Dolls)
Runs in the Family (Amanda Palmer)
Dirty Business (The Dresden Dolls)
Good Day (The Dresden Dolls)
Ooh You Hurt Me So (Clare and the Reasons)
Jackie Wants a Black Eye (Dr. Dog)
The Wrote and The Writ (Johnny Flynn)

June 14
Exercise- Walking
Duration- 40 minutes
Length- up and down the next block over once
Playlist
Mexico (River City Extension)
I Think Ur a Contra (Vampire Weekend)
Shame, Shame (Dr. Dog)
Woody's Hood Boogie Woogie (Good Old War)
In My Time of Dying (Bob Dylan)
Blue Orchid (White Stripes)
Sex Changes (The Dresden Dolls)
If It Kills Me (Jason Mraz)
Crippler King (Delta Spirit)
Here It Goes Again (OK Go)
That's Some Dream (Good Old War)
You Don't Know Me (Ben Folds w/ Regina Spektor)

June 14
Exercise- Karate
- Includes stretching, striking practice, and breaking out of full Nelsons using wrist locks and such..
Duration- 50 to 60 minutes

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dream Journal #3: Evelyn Evelyn

A quick note before we start: I had this dream between Friday night and Saturday mornings and I've been putting off posting it. But now is probably the best time, as I'm going to the concert tomorrow and all ... ANYWAY!
***
I'm rushing around my house, pulling things together before leaving for the Evelyn Evelyn concert, since I had just looked at the clock. These things include my Neil Gaiman comics (in case he makes a surprise appearance) and my laptop and my two video recorders (my Flip and my JVC) (in the event that I'm selected to NinjaView Amanda and Jason). I head out the door, after bidding my grandparents who are visiting for a bit goodbye.
Then, I'm walking down a sidewalk in NYC with my equipment and such. I come to a park-like area with benches in a C-shaped orientation. Seated at one area of benches are Chuck, Robyn, and Erica. They all start to get up as I approach. I notice that Chuck seems taller, so I mention it to him and say that it could be because I'm wearing my red Chuck Taylor's. Erica looks different. (I think she had red hair in the dream.) And I'm in awe of Robyn's accent. She compliments me on my yellow Amanda Palmer shirt, which I appear to be wearing.
***
A few concluding notes:
- Chuck is tall, but not as tall as he was in the dream. It's like he grew a few inches.
- I don't have an Amanda Palmer shirt.

Summer Exercise: June 9- Karate

Exercise- martial arts/karate/self defense
- Includes stretching, groundwork (arm bars), and stick disarms.
Time- ~60 minutes

365 Photos, Day 160: Volume 10

Summer Exercise: June 6 and June 7- Walking and Karate

Yes, I know I owe you two exercise posts, so here they are. ... Actually, a third will be coming later, so stay tuned for that.

Sunday, June 6th
Exercise- Walking
Location- One street over.
Length- Unsure
Time- ~42 minutes
Playlist
Lizard Song (Via Audio)
Fell In Love With a Girl (White Stripes)
The Fox in the Snow (Belle and Sebastian)
K.I.A. (Jet)
The Dusting (Dewey Decibel)
Private Eyes (The Bird and the Bee)
Goodbye Hollywood (Jet)
Black Math (White Stripes)
Stay By My Side (Good Old War)
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (White Stripes)

Monday, June 7th
Exercise- martial arts/karate/self defense
- Includes stretching, endurance/stamina training, groundwork, and renduri.
Time- ~ 60 minutes

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

365 Photos, Day 159: Hair-Cut

Yeah ... (A Filler)

I realize that I've left you all hanging. If you follow me on Twitter or Dailybooth, you know that I've gotten some exercising in within the past two days or so ... and I can't lie. I have. I also had quite an interesting dream the other night that I've been meaning to get up. ... And a bunch of capsule movie reviews, too. They'll be coming tomorrow and Wednesday and such. Yeah ... I picked up a bunch of volumes of Bill Willingham's graphic novel series Fables from one of the local libraries yesterday and I've already blown through volumes 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7. I'm currently on volume 8. ... WHAT?! It's good stuff! Very Sandman-like, in the way that it incorporates fairy tale and other such characters. And I have been hearing buzzings about it being adapted for TV (either a series or mini-series). If you want to do your own digging, be my guest.
And it's also partially because of the computer problems I've been having. I thought that upgrading to Norton 360 would work. And it appeared to ... for a bit. But as they (I don't know who. It's a figurative "they" for all I care.) say "Shit's FUBAR." Chrome is stable when I boot up, but after an hour or two or so of browsing, the open tabs freeze and I have to close the entire browser. And that process remains open in the processes tab of the task manager. And when I reopen a Chrome browser, I get a little box that says something along the lines of "This profile could not be retrieved." I have no clue. And Skype stops working after a few hours, too. Same for Firefox. And same for Internet Explorer. ... But I don't get the "profile" box for IE. Oh, yeah, and iTunes has the same kinda problem, too. Anyone have any clue? I would greatly appreciate it. You have no IDEA how annoying it is when your browser crashes in the middle of ... blogging, photo uploading, video uploading, commenting ... whatever.
*sigh*
*listens to more of Dr. Dog's Shame, Shame to calm down*
Allons-y, Alonso.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

365 Photos, Day 153: Dream of Perpetual Motion

Scott Pilgrim ... The Trailer ... #2

Let's just say that there is too much awesome in this trailer for a Twitter update. Why? Well ...



Summer Exercise: June 2nd- Biking

As the summer has come for me (well, it's been here for three weeks), I've come to the conclusion that sitting in the house on the computer and/or making videos and/or reading isn't the best thing to do, so I have gotten back into the swing of exercising (as I did nothing apart from walking and running to and from classes and the dining hall and the union at college) and I thought that I'd also keep track of it here. Why not? Please note that this isn't an effort to lose weight or get in shape or increase my endurance. ... Well, it kinda helps with all of those ... but it's not my main goal.

Today's activity: Bicycling
Duration: ~ 15 minutes
Location: The street (You think I'm going to give my street name out? Hell no!)
Distance: 6 or 7 laps (Unsure of the actual distance. I'll check later.)

Playlist:
I'm Slowing Turning Into You (The White Stripes)
June (This is Ivy League) (The song isn't on the player on their MySpace page, but it's available on their EP which is available on their record label's page ... which can't be accessed for some reason or another.)
Everybody Lies (Matt Berger and Melissa Lusk) (You can get this and the other tracks from the album inspired by The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by Derrick Comedy's D.C. Pierson.)
Wrap it Up (Whitey)

Until next ride/walk/set of reps!