Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Blond Moment

So the kids and I went to Atlanta last weekend, to visit my brother, who is in law school, and my sister and her husband and two kids. It was an amazing weekend. The Atlanta Aquarium is breathtaking.

I drove - something I haven't done on the way to Atlanta in a long while. Took a plane for the last few years. I remember driving solo when I and sis were still single, many years ago. This is awful to admit - I would read on the long drive - holding the book up on the steering wheel and jumping my eyes back and forth from the book to the road. I still remember having to pull over one time because I was so upset by the turn of the novel I was reading that I had to cry.

Don't do that anymore, too dangerous. But I bought the kids itouches this year - highly recommend - so I was actually able to listen to my own music on the long drive.

We passed some graveyards. I do a funny thing when I pass graveyards - I hold my breath, and encourage the kids to do the same. Tell them that we are protecting our bodies from the bad souls that haven't passed on - the ones that might try to inhabit us. Don't think I really believe in this, but it is fun and exciting.

I also hold my breath when I go through underground tunnels. Something leftover from childhood - Mom encouraged it. So I was excited to travel through an underground tunnel in Alabama - kept telling the kids about it. We were driving on I-78 - soon to be renamed the I-22 corridor. It was well extended past the point that it was the last time I drove to Atlanta. Beautiful interstate.

We reached Birmingham - and I had been touting the tunnel and the ships on the ocean for many miles. Somehow, we missed them. I wondered aloud to the kids if we had bypassed them on the new I-78 route. They were disappointed.

Halfway to Atlanta from Birmingham I finally realized my mistake. The tunnels and the ships were in Mobile, not Birmingham. On the way to Florida, not Atlanta. Duh. What a directional dumb ass. I told the kids about my mistake, and they cringed and scolded me.

To my credit, we only got lost once - for about an hour on the way out of Atlanta Sunday morning. Sis helped me get back on track, and her advice got me through Memphis on the way back.

Cheers to getting your cities straight. I think I've finally got mine.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jessica Lea Mayfield II

There's never too much of a good thing.

Two other songs of note to share:

My favorite line:

Your actions they push me away
Into the dark where sleepless I lay
But I'm not alone, I have company
An internal void that won't let me be

I swear sometimes I think this girl crawled into my brain and took notes. Uncanny. Here's another:

Where did my mind wander off to
Found myself yammerin' all to you
Thought I'd never let those things outside my head
Probably should've kept 'em locked away instead

But I ain't gonna change for nobody at all
I'm starting to like this new love I have found
I don't wanna let this dark companion go
I would rather run myself into the ground

When I bumped shoulders with her the other night after the show I wanted to ask her about her dark companion. Regret that I chickened out.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jessica Lea Mayfield

Robert Bell of the Arkansas Times says it better than I can. Whatever happened to John Tarpley, by the way?

Jessica Lea Mayfield is one of those wise-beyond-her-years singer/songwriters who might cause nonbelievers to reconsider reincarnation.

Ruling out the influence of past lives, Mayfield must have either had a string of painful breakups by the tender age of 21, or else she has a powerful imagination and the ability to synthesize real, grownup heartache to a degree so convincing that it doesn't matter whether it really happened.

A native of Kent, Ohio, Mayfield kicked off her recording career with a homemade EP that fell into the lap of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Auerbach helmed both of her full-lengths, enveloping her songs in a sparse yet rich production, particularly her most recent album, "Tell Me," a set dominated by ruminations on relationships that border on the morose.

On lead single "Our Hearts Are Wrong," Mayfield feigns aloof circumspection, but reveals her underlying vulnerability over simple acoustic guitar strumming and a gently thudding Casio beat. She's got a smoky, restrained voice and an appealing Midwestern twang (yeah, Ohio folks can have an honest-to-God drawl; have you ever heard Robert Pollard talk?) Her music is a sort of gothic country-pop that, while not exactly bleak, is pretty dark.

I discovered her a few months back when I got a free single off of a download. It blew me away.

I downloaded the album, Tell Me, to my itunes, and listened to it over and over. Morose and dark is right. She reminds me of David Lynch - imagine she would be peppering his film soundtracks, if their paths ever cross. She is monotonous and lovely. "I'll not let hate be the one to make me naked for you." Love that line.

Her album is an endless source of fantastic lyrics. Here's another good one.

My favorite line in that one is "i did not ask to be born with these eyes, eyes that always speak for my mind."

Anyway, I was ecstatic to learn she was playing at Juanita's in LR last night - haven't been to the new venue downtown. Grabbed a musical friend and went to the show. Ferraby Lionheart opened up - very impressive voice and musician. When she wandered in around 10:30 - my friend said, "There she is."

"No, that's not her." I was expecting the shaggy bleach-blond pixie hair I had seen in all the videos I'd watched on YouTube. This girl had dark brown hair - blunt cut mid-forehead bangs with long uneven tendrils pulled partially unsuccessfully into a ponytail. Turns out it was her. She's a changeling.

The show was incredible. She played until almost midnight - both with a band and solo. Her live voice beat the hell out of her recording. Her sweet, demure "Thank you" after each applause was heart-wrenching, tying a nice bow on the dark, entrancing lyrics. Her occasional banter was intelligent and humorous.

I hope she returns soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Safe Landings

New post over at MiM.

Click here: Parasailing

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fizzy's Grand Rounds Part 2

Yippee! Grand Rounds again from the funniest, most honestly wonderfully sarcastic MiM Fizzy. You can check it out at her blog, which is way more popular than my own, considering maybe she writes things that people actually have time to read, and she is brilliant. Click on link below to enjoy:

I can't wait to read it myself.

In other news, I finally got successfully migrated new MacBook Pro, so am able to actually keyboard type rather than just pecking away on phone for the first time in a couple of weeks, which feels like someone just bypassed a clogged carotid. Wheeee! More later.

Happy Tuesday.