Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Up all night* September 27, 2011

Filed under: Life,Music — Lulu @ 9:55 pm

As mentioned in my previous post, Fanless and I went to the Honda Civic Tour at the Cruzan Amphitheater in West Palm on Friday night. The bands this time around were Matt & Kim (yeah, I don’t know either), My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.

 

The last time we we were at Cruzan – also to see Blink 182, coincidentally – we got there a bit late and had to sit pretty far back on the lawn (which wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been about 800*F outside and were we not completely surrounded by 10,000 drunk and sweaty teenagers). This time I insisted we get there early so that we could get front row seating on the lawn. We also chose to sit in the family section so there would be less chance of drunken rowdiness. That all actually worked out pretty well, plus the night was cooler than usual, thanks to the thunder storms earlier in the day. Definitely a much better experience than the prior time we were there.

 

So I tried to get some pictures but they were barely salvageable. Here are the better ones from the night. And I’m using the term “better” loosely. VERY loosely.

 

Matt & Kim. I didn’t really care for them, but Fanless thought they were okay.

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My Chemical Romance. I know exactly two songs from them. And one I only know from season 2 of “GLEE.”

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I really liked this spider backdrop they had. It was some kind of mesh, so the clouds you see on it are the actual clouds in the sky. Pretty neat.

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Blink 182. They had a lot of really cool digital backgrounds that would change for every song. I tried to get pictures of them but my camera kept trying to focus on the strobe or laser lights they used and the picture would blur out.

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Travis Barker’s first drum solo.

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I think maybe this was during the last song before the encore?

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For the encore Travis Barker had a “floating” drum set. This would be “SUPER AWESOME!”… if Buddy Rich and Tommy Lee hadn’t already done it in the 60s and 80s, respectively. I still give him props for being a good drummer.

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All in all it was a good show and only one obnoxious guy slightly pissed me off the entire night (no, not Fanless).

 

So that’s it for now. Peace out, yo!

 

* ”Up All Night” is the first single from Blink 182’s new album, ‘Neighborhoods.’

 

On Memories and Music September 24, 2010

Filed under: Life,Music,Random Thoughts — Lulu @ 5:00 pm

Note – For some reason, I am unable to embed any videos or songs, so I’ve had to just include the links.

 

Everyone knows that Seattle is the birthplace of grunge rock and hyper-caffeination. However, if you were a Gen-X’er in South Florida during the late 80s to early 90s, you probably know we had a pretty neat little music scene happening locally as well. Of course, that was back before SoBe became “THE” spot for eurotrash and dance music junkies. Lincoln Road was still an open-air strip mall made up of tacky tourist shops, and Ocean Drive was more populated by leathery octogenarians than topless Latin American girls. A typical night on South Beach was not made up of an overpriced, under-portioned dinner at “Trendy Café du Jour” and all night dancing at “The Club the Jersey Shore Kids Couldn’t Get Into.” Rather it included cheap beer on tap and an overly amplified band on the stage of a tiny, dark, sweaty dive.

 

In addition to being an “alterna-girl”, I was also fortunate enough to have friends in bands, so I got to spend a lot time in these local spots (God, how I loved the Kitchen Club and Washington Square and Club Beirut), watching bands perform. Unfortunately, this was long before YouTube and cellphone videos, so a lot of those performances are nothing more than fun, distant memories. I still wanted to see what I could find online, and maybe feature of few of these great bands here, if for nothing else than to satisfy my own fond recollections of the time.

 

This first band is Humbert, my friend, Ferny’s, band. Ferny and I sat next to each other in music class in high school (yes, I took a music class. Yes, I am tone deaf. Don’t judge!) and he is totally one of the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever known in my life. He is one of those people that you just immediately like from the first moment you meet them, because they just exude good karma. Humbert (named after the pedophilic stepfather in “Lolita”) is actually the second incarnation of this band. Originally they were called “I Don’t Know” which made for a lot of fun at some of their shows. For example…

Random drunk guy: “Wow, this band is great! Who are they?”

Me: “I Don’t Know”

RDG: “I don’t know either, but they’re awesome!”*

(Yes, that totally happened.)  I also remember it was kind of a big deal when they got to perform in a local TV commercial for Macy’s (I think it may still have been Burdines at the time). Anyway, I found this video on YouTube of their song “Hugo.”

 

Humbert – “Hugo”

 

 

Another great band from the time was Quit. I didn’t really know them personally; it was more of a casual “hi again; great show!” kind of acquaintance. But they had a great pop-punk energy and seemed to be really down-to-earth, nice guys. They also had a version of the “12 Days of Christmas” that was awesome! I had it on cassette, but I couldn’t find it online. Too bad, because it was really great. Anyway, here is a link to some of their songs I found on MySpace.

 

Quit – songs

 

 

One of the more popular bands at the time were The Goods, fronted by brothers Jim and John Camacho. Jim actually went to Miami Dade College with me (back when it was still MDCC) and we’d run into each other on campus occasionally. He was really sweet and came across as somewhat shy. John, the brunette brother, was always a little more outgoing and a lot of the girls I knew had crushes on him. I also remember one of the other guys (Tony, maybe?) having a sweet mohawk! This is my favorite song from them, “I’m Not Average.”

 

The Goods – “I’m Not Average”

 

 

One of the local bands that was more rock than indie (we used to call it “alternative” back then) was Saigon Kick. Now this is kind of a sad story, and the details are spotty as this is one of those “heard it from a friend of a friend of…” deals. They were super popular locally, the hair metal scene in LA was booming and they finally got noticed by Sebastian Bach of Skid Row. This led to them being signed by a record label (just checked their wiki and it says Third Stone Records). BUT, sadly for them, this happened right at the start of the Grunge movement and they didn’t do so well. It’s too bad, really. I saw them live and they were pretty good. Anyway, “Love Is On the Way” was their biggest song and actually got a fair amount of play so here it is.

 

Saigon Kick – “Love Is On the Way”

 

 

My favorite local band was Forget the Name. They were really great performers and lyrically talented (I’ve always connected more to a song’s lyrics than anything else). Their singer, Rene, was also my personal crush because he totally gave off that broody, dark-and–twisty artist thing that I always liked in boys (when I was young and stupid). Plus he totally looked like INXS’ Michael Hutchence. I actually still have a CD from them that I listen to occasionally. Miraculously, I did find a recent video of them on YouTube! Yeah, that crush? Not so much anymore.) But this is still my favorite song from them (which, if I remember correctly, was also used as part of that Burdines ad campaign), “She Tried.”

 

Forget the Name – “She Tried”

 

So that was a fun, albeit a bit melancholy, trip down memory lane for me. *sigh*… Good times…

 

Peace out, yo!

 

Rock You Like A Hurricane July 18, 2010

Filed under: Life,Music,Photography — Lulu @ 4:22 pm

Just some pics from Friday night’s Ratt/Scorpions concert at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in downtown Miami. Fanless and I went with a few of our friends and it was a really fun time.

 

I love this setting for a concert. It’s just so cool to be in this huge open space, with thousands of people, and look up to see all these amazing skyscrapers.

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There were way more people than I expected. Seriously, I thought there would be like, oh, 100 people.

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RATT. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Stephen Pearcy was singing as last I’d heard, he’d left the band in 1992.

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Richie, Jules, Kat and Eric. The guy in the upper right-hand corner (black shirt) tried to photobomb me when I was taking the picture, but I saw him and called him out on it, and then he was like “uhh… Ratt! Yeah!” Nice try, buddy.

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Ratt again.

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Scorpions. Their set was really cool, with the drummer on this really tall riser kind of thing, and a huge video screen in the back.

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Did I mention these guys are in their 60s??

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It’s the Dean baby’s first concert! (I think Kat is like 14 or 15 weeks along.)

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Fanless and Eric.

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OMG, this was hilarious! The guy in front (gray tank top) was sooooo drunk, he kept having to lie down and then he would roll over and stay like this for a few minutes. After the fifth or so time this happened, Eric went and laid down behind him for me to take a picture. It wasn’t until afterwards that I noticed he was doing “Blue Steel” when I took the picture.

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Middle-aged metalheads as far as the eye can see.

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After the show we hit up Casola’s for some pizza, before heading home. Overall, it was a great night.

 

Peace out, yo!

 

Back When MTV Actually Played Music… July 13, 2010

Filed under: Music,Random Thoughts,Video — Lulu @ 3:04 pm

For the past few days I have been totally obsessed with listening to these old songs that I loved in my teens and 20s. I don’t know if I’m feeling nostalgic because my birthday is in four days or what, but truthfully, they are pretty great songs!

 

“Disappear” – INXS

Man, I loved INXS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serously, listen to the lyrics of this song: “…But when I see you coming I can take it all, You’re so fine, Lose my mind, And the world seems to disappear, All the problems, all the fears, And the world seems to disappear.”  Love conquers all, baby! *swoon*  I was lucky enough to see them live at the old Miami Arena downtown, and Michael Hutchence ran down into the audience and passed right by me and my friend, and I remember thinking “wow, he’s so short!” But totally gorgeous. I was so sad when he died. =(

 

 

“Desperate But Not Serious” – Adam & the Ants

I looooved this song!! This was popular in the early days of MTV, but my parents refused to get cable, so I remember my neighbor and I would go to her house every day after school (this was probably around 7th or 8th grade?) and just wait for this video to come on. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In retrospect, I wonder if the character of Captain Jack Sparrow wasn’t at least a little bit inspired by Adam Ant, yeah?

 

 

Sweet Sixteen” – Billy Idol

Awesome. Just a perfect, perfect song. AND (bonus trivia for South Floridians) it’s about our very own Coral Castle! Which I have yet to visit. (Maybe later in the year when being outdoors doesn’t feel like walking on the surface of the sun!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also saw Billy Idol live at the old arena. His opening act was Faith No More! Remember them? With the goldfish? That was a fun show.

 

Dirty Boots” – Sonic Youth

This song is 100% responsible for making me want to wear Doc Maartens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus, Kim Gordon is just about the coolest female on the planet. I’ve never had the chance to see them live though, so that sucks.

 

 

Vienna” – Ultravoxx

So, so cool. Haunting, almost. This was definitely a standout for me amongst all the other synth-pop, New Wave of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midge Ure was a such a great frontman. Beautiful voice.

 

 

“South Central Rain” – REM

I really wanted to marry Michael Stipe. Heck, I probably still would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m totally blanking out on whether or not I ever got to see REM live. I want to say I did, I feel like I did, but I honestly can’t recall.

 

Ahhh… good times. Alright, the trip down memory lane has come to a stop.

 

Peace out, yo!

 

FYI, Lawn seats Suck! September 28, 2009

Filed under: Music,Photography — Lulu @ 6:51 pm

This past Saturday, Fanless and I attended the Blink 182/Fall Out Boy/All American Rejects concert at the Cruzan Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. Typically, when we attend an event, I try to write a blog post about it that includes photos and videos. This time? Yeah, not so much. Suffice it to say that the show was sold out and we had lawn seats whereby we were surrounded by what looked to be 10,000 inebriated teenagers.

We were so far away from the stage, in fact, that this was the best shot I could get of Fall Out Boy… with a 10x zoom on my camera:

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And Blink 182:

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get any video, and I won’t even bother with All American Reject photos. They all came out awful.

This was the best shot of the night (I played around with the effects on Picasa). Is there anything better than a cute boy with a beer and a pretzel??:

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(I was sitting on the floor for this shot, btw.)

 

So my quickie review of the show: First, let me point out that I am not a big fan of any of the three bands, knowing only their radio-friendly songs. All American Rejects front man, Tyson Ritter, performed with a brace on his leg (supposedly, he’d had a tumor removed from his leg earlier in the day, but I can neither confirm nor deny if this is true). That’s pretty rock and roll right there! Fall Out Boy is much more hardcore than I had anticipated (having never seen them live before). And there was definite excitement in the air for the reunion of Blink 182, as this tour marks the first time they have played together in five years. Overall, it was a good show, although a little too crowded for my taste.

My favorite parts of the evening, by far, were 1) visiting Kim and Brandon prior to the show, and getting to hold 17-day-old Liana the entire time:

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(Seriously, she is so yummy. She slept the entire time we were there.)

 

2) Hanging out with Mia, who insisted on showing us her Halloween costume:

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And 3), Sonic after the show!:

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So, that’s pretty much it. Peace out, yo!

 

Fascinating New Thing September 23, 2009

Filed under: Entertainment,Music,Video — Lulu @ 2:08 pm

 

Fascinating new thing
You delight me, and I know you’re speaking of me
Fascinating new thing
Get beside me, I want you to love me
I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before
That you’re lovely
And you’re perfect
And that somebody wants you
Fascinating new thing
The scene makin’, want a temporary saviour
Fascinating new thing
Don’t betray them by becoming familiar
I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before
That you’re lovely
And you’re perfect
And that somebody wants you
I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before
That you’re priceless
Yeah, you’re precious
Even when you are not new
I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before
That you’re lovely
And you’re perfect
And that somebody wants you
I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before
That you’re priceless
Yeah, you’re holy
Even when you are not new

 

I think I was blind before I met you September 8, 2009

Filed under: Music,Video — Lulu @ 9:13 pm

So sweet…

 

This is the first day of my life
I swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
They’re spreading blankets on the beach
Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don’t know where I am
I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go
And so I thought I’d let you know
That these things take forever
I especially am slow
But I realize that I need you
And I wondered if I could come home
Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange you said everything changed
You felt as if you’d just woke up
And you said “this is the first day of my life
I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you
But now I don’t care I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy”
So if you want to be with me
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides maybe this time is different
I mean I really think you like me