fiercebunny: (happiness is a sad song)
[personal profile] fiercebunny
Been back in OKC for a few days now. I had a great time in California, though I wish I had planned my trips better so I would have more time.

It was a bit stressful getting out to San Diego. I had to work last Thursday, but figured I might get lucky (as Thursdays tend to be a rather slow day) and get to leave work early, but no. A massive power outage hit and wiped out the city's electricity. I seriously debated on whether or not to go, since I was going to be staying at my sister's house, but it seemed pretty lousy and impolite to be a houseguest when there is no electricity. Also, the outage affected the flights of course since the airport had to shut down. We suddenly had 300+ calls of everyone trying to reschedule. The flights that once had a really good number of open seats quickly began selling out.

My sister advised me to sleep on it and see how things looked in the morning. I was starting to get sad that I had all these days off lined up with nothing now to do. However, it turned out that the electricity was fixed by morning and I decided that if I didn't go, I would feel like a total quitter, so I started running around the house, throwing stuff into my luggage.

I'm glad that I did. I had a great time there. And even though the closest airport I could fly into was LAX and I was pretty nervous about driving in LA, it really wasn't that bad. I got to hang out with my sister and her ferrets, Riceball and Manju, the formerly Fuzzy Houseguests. I went to the beach and stuck my toes in the ocean. We went to a really nice used bookstore, Fahrenheit 451 Books, and had some great Indian food at Cafe India. (mmm, samosas and shrimp korma!)

And of course, I had an awesome time at the Hollywood Bowl concert. I love all three acts, so seeing them together in one venue, was a big part of the reason I wanted to go. The concert turned out to be well worth all the trouble of getting there. Sharon Van Etten opened and she seemed a little nervous, but she is really great live. I would really recommend her latest ep, Epic. (How could one not love a record dedicated to Fleetwood Mac?) Even started to get a little teary-eyed during "Don't Do It".

Neko Case played second. Finally, after two missed chances, I finally got to see my favorite female singer! She did not disappoint. Hearing her beautiful voice ring out into the night sky and the Hollywood hills, with the full moon beaming down was an amazing, unforgettable experience. I wish her set had been longer though.

Seeing these two awesome ladies rock out really makes me wish that I had some musical ability. I am thinking even more about maybe getting guitar lessons.

And the National! I heart this band so very much. I had procrastinated on buying tickets (which was sort of a good thing, since my travel plans were so haphazard), so I had assumed that the concert wasn't very close to selling out. But I didn't know how huge the Bowl is. There were several thousand people there, it was packed.

Neko did not come out to sing with the National, so I did not vomit rainbows after all. But Sharon Van Etten came out to sing on "Think You Can Wait" and St. Vincent was there as well. She sang backup on a few songs and did a duet with Matt on "Sorrow." It was so beautiful.

Not my video, but thank goodness for bootleggers. (The video is taken from a ways away, but the audio is really good.)

Some random thoughts:

As beautiful a setting that the Hollywood Bowl is, I still prefer seeing the National in a smaller venue. I was too far away in the cheap seats to get a good view (though the large monitors were a help). Being self-conscious, I didn't want to stand up to dance while everyone else behind me was sitting down. And it doesn't feel right to be sitting down during "Abel" or "Squalor Victoria". Chair dancing is not quite the same.

There was a really pervasive smell of garlic and pot. I think I may have gotten a contact high from the latter and wished I had packed a picnic from the former.

Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten both played new songs, so I hope that means new albums from both soon.

If you ever go to a concert at the Bowl, taking the park and ride is a great and cheap way to get there.

The day after I came home, the National announced even more tour dates. So although they have been touring well over a year and a half, these are apparently the really last ones for awhile. I am trying hard not to think too much about the Austin date. Austin is not that far away! But I am even lower on vacation time and money now. Trying not to contemplate it too much. Really.

And the set lists, because I like to keep track of these things.

Sharon Van Etten's set:
Peace Sign
Save Yourself
One Day
Don't Do It
All I Can
Love Me

Neko Case's set:
That Teenage Feeling
Maybe Sparrow
Margaret Vs. Pauline
Hold On Hold On
City Swan
Magpie to the Morning
Calling Cards
Bracing For Sunday
Don't Forget Me
Vengeance is Sleeping
Star Witness

The National's set:
Anyone's ghost
Bloodbuzz ohio
Slow show
Squalor Victoria
Afraid of everyone
Conversation 16
Available/Cardinal song
Fake empire
Think you can wait
Mr November
Terrible love
About today

Date: 2011-09-17 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Go for the guitar lessons! It's not that hard to learn to play and it's always good to learn something new. I found it relaxing to play too. Sounds like you could use a nice diversion like that.

Most of the larger venues here are like that. The closer seats always go to industry people and those with money. I stopped going to those kinds of concerts long ago because of that and there is always troublemakers. But it lead me to going to small local places so I got to hear a lot of good music that way. Although the Bowl is suppose to be great for classical so now I'm tempted to try that park and ride (picnic basket a must).

I'm glad your trip turned out well. I feel bad about not being well. Bad timing on that, totally unexpected and not wanted. If you come out again before I move I definitely would like to meet up. Did you get to Volks before the concert?

I'm going to have to check out Neko Case now. =)

Date: 2011-09-19 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I'm going to start saving up for a guitar/lessons. I think I'd like to start out with an acoustic guitar and maybe hopefully work my way to learning electric. It sounds like fun and it's encouraging to hear that it's not hard to learn.

Please don't feel bad. It's a totally uncontrollable thing. I'm sure there will be other times to meet up. (Are you still planning on moving to Portland? I've always wanted to visit that city too, so that's a possibility.) I did get to go to Volks before the concert (in fact, it was a very short distance from the park and ride.) So many pretty dolls! I was kind of overwhelmed, it's been so long since I did anything with the hobby. The people there were really nice though. I think I might try to make another post on that. I did pick up a couple of things.

And do check out Neko Case. She has a really beautiful voice. She reminds me a lot of Patsy Cline, but while her earlier albums are pretty country, her more recent ones are more abstract and indie.

Date: 2011-09-19 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yay, glad you got to Volks. Nothing like being around pretty dolls to get one feeling like it would be nice to try new things with one's own.

Portland is on. Since the flight passes are good till next April I decided not to push it right now since my health has been up and down and the plan is to fly up in Feb. or March and try to get a place to live. Would have been great sooner but we are taking into account the weather.

So yeah, definitely will have a better place to live and if you do visit Portland it will be great!

Have fun with playing guitar. I enjoy it and look forward to getting back into it. Maybe I should try to practice a little today. It's a great stress reliever.

Date: 2011-09-20 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad to hear that your plans are still a go. If you have any questions or need help with the pass, just let me know :)


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