Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, Schmanksgiving

Just kidding. I love Thanksgiving. Food, family, sleep, and the beauty that comes with not caring a bit about Black Friday shopping and laughing at those who do.

But you know what else I love about Thanksgiving? The traditional sitcom Thanksgiving episode. Here are some of my personal favorites:

ALL the Friends moments:

(Forgive the cheesy video, but it's the only one I could find that would allow embedding.)

Slapsgiving (HIMYM)

New Girl

And another favorite... TURKEY!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Does Anyone Remember Tony?

I first heard the song "Tony" when I was a cheerleader in high school, on the bus on the way out of town for a game. Did anyone outside of Alabama listen to the Live at the X Lounge albums back in the 90s? Friends of mine in Birmingham would pass the CDs down to us (they were recorded in the lounge of the Bham Rock Station WRAX, which is no longer on the air). You can read up on it here, including track lists, and you'll see how I was introduced to many artists way before they made it big (and even some who recorded during the height of their fame). I swear that this version of Sister Hazel's "All for You" provided most of the soundtrack to my high school years. Listen to it here.

Anyway, among the tracks, this one from Patty Griffin was always a favorite. She's said in concerts she wrote it about a kid she went to high school. And it's a bit more fitting now with all the attention paid to the "It Gets Better" campaign and anti-bullying. I love the line "I hated every day of high school/It's funny I guess that you did too/Funny how I never knew, but there I was sittin' right behind you."

Give it a listen. 

And then head on over to The Uncontainable Truth, where I talk more about my favorite Patty songs and gratitude.

Announcing a New Addition to the (Nashville) Family

No, no, I won't be filling your newsfeed with pictures of an expanding baby bump, but I do have an addition to my Nashville family in the form of a new roommate! Below is SB making her Nashville karaoke debut. I'm beyond excited to have her here and can't wait to chronicle our adventures!

I am, however, thinking I need a pet. And lately I've spent some time with the following animals, who are heavily shaping this choice. First, Moose:
This is my friend Jessa and her rescued smush-face Moose (renamed after she got him because, well, Stiffler just is no name for a cat this fancy). And let me tell ya - I don't like cats. Mainly because we never had them growing up, and I don't know how to interact with them. They don't like being petted like dogs, aren't interested in playing all that much... no fetch? I know. They don't like me either. But this cat? This cat I LOVE. I spent the majority of a weekend with Jessa (who I see roughly once a year) laughing at this cat and attempting to win his affections. So on the days that I remember I don't have a whole lot of time for taking care of a dog, I convince myself I'll get a cat... but only a smush-face like Moose. Just LOOK at that face. Reminds me of Winston, my original famous smush-face. 

This is Jackson:

Jackson belongs to my friends Heather and Bobby, who also happen to be my sister's roommates. Jackson is awesome. Just seriously the best dog ever. He's a lab/Jack Russel mix (yeah, weird, I know), and he fetches, plays, sits, AND cuddles. Like, if I'm on the couch, he'll sit next to me and lay his head right on my chest and snooze. I want to steal him, but he loves his mom and dad too much. Bobby assures me that in his puppyhood, he had some faults... namely eating couch cushions and basically tearing apart the apartment when left alone... but now at 4 or so, he's perfect. 

So basically - I'm doomed since I've been spoiled rotten by perfect pets around me. I'm thinking I'll adopt a pup that is about a year old or so and skip the puppy phase. I love something so ugly it's cute... like a Frenchie or Boston Terrier. Anyone have any other suggestions or advice about getting a new dog? Any horror stories?

Somebody That I Used to Know

Can't get this song out of my head, and I LOVE the video. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wess Floyd's Foxhole Confessions

See that dude in the picture up there? Let me tell you a little story about him that he probably doesn't even remember being a part of. Way back in 1997, I was a little bitty freshman in high school. Scared to death at five feet tall and 14 years old, I waded my way through a sea of upperclassman who all looked to be at least 25 years old, ridiculously tall, way mature, and definitely too cool to talk to me. Nothing fully prepares you for that first day of high school. So anyway, there I stood, taking it all in, feeling very lost, and this giant 7-foot-tall beanpole of a boy walked up to me and used the top of my head as an armrest. Just stood there talking and talking with his elbow on top of my head, making bad jokes and full of first-day-senior power. Thankfully, I knew him. We had grown up attending the same church, and his dad was the local pharmacist in my grandparents' small town... but I didn't know him know him. At that point. But after all the goodhearted jokes and poking fun, Wess Floyd took me in, steered me to class, introduced me to a few folks, and was a saving grace to me on an otherwise traumatic day. Those are the kindnesses you never forget. And that boy had a place in my heart from that day on.

Fast forward to the present, and I'm proud to consider Wess Floyd the man as a good friend. And today he is releasing a record that has been three years in the making, and folks - it's good. This isn't his first release (nor will it be his last), and from his beginnings as a musician, Wess has written and played with more heart and talent than I see most days here in Nashville from the beginning... but this is the record that matters. This one is special. Foxhole Confessions is Wess's tribute to growing up, to life. To moving on and settling down. To the things we love, the places, and the people who mean something to us. To past hurts, betrayals by friends and exes, and, to the eventual peace that comes with forgiveness. To learning from mistakes and regret instead of wallowing in them. To how along the way, at some point, we get comfortable with ourselves, we mature, and at the end of the day, we just want to be with surrounded by the people and places we love and offer something honest and good to them. To embracing the past. To the fact that "...somewhere in the pain and the mystery, there’s a reason and the rest is just history..." (from "The Streets.")

My favorite thing about Wess is his passion for the things/people he loves and his refusal to apologize for it. Maybe it is because I share that with him, the inability to filter over-excitement and sometimes cheesiness. That's why people like us get our hearts broken a little more easily, place too much hope in things and people sometimes, and struggle a little harder with admitting our mistakes and accepting things that don't go our way. I get it, but unfortunately I don't have the talents to write songs or music and have a great record to show for it. Thankfully, Wess does, and I'm willing to bet his songs will speak to many of you as well. 

Don't, however, pigeonhole this as an album that can only be put on and pondered, reflected upon. It's soulful and at times very deep, but it's also joyful and fun with songs of revelry, even beginning with the crowd-favorite "Record Player."  Each track was written purposefully and recorded just as so, with some written as recently as last year and others re-recorded and tweaked from records past. "The meanings of the tunes have changed. I'm not the same person I was when I wrote those, ya know?" Wess said to me just the other day. From rockabilly to what Wess calls "punk rock gospel," Americana and alt-country - the album covers it all, and from his years in the Nashville music scene, Wess counted on the help from friends to complete the tracks with expert musicianship and production. From beginning to end, it's a solid piece of three years well spent.

I love this record, and if you're near Nashville or Birmingham, you'll have the opportunity to hear it live this week. But definitely check out his Facebook page, website, and buy his CD here!

CD Release Shows:
Nashville - Thursday, November 3rd at The Basement. 8pm with openers The Lowry Sisters, John Paul Keith and the 1, 4, 5's.
Birmingham - Saturday, November 5th at The Nick. 9pm with openers from13 Ghosts (Birmingham) and the Pollies (Muscle Shoals)

Here are a few of my favorite tracks:

"Cause I can't dance... but joy I can Shout.."

Chemicals Between Us

So did I mention that I spent the first few hours of my birthday with these guys?

In case you don't recognize them, this is the newly reformed Bush, as in British rocker Gavin Rossdale who recorded Sixteen Stone in the 90s. The guy who married and made beautiful babies with Gwen Stefani.  As in, the guy/band that I would have had pictures of taped to the inside of my closet as a teen if my parents had let me. As in, the first man to inspire my fangirl tendencies and the first band that seriously influenced my musical tastes for a long time. Yeah, that Bush. They played a Halloween Block Party downtown (as headliners, they didn't go on until 1am or so). They put on one hell of a show, playing all the fan favorites like "Everything Zen," "Machinehead," "Little Things," "Chemicals Between Us," and such, but also some new stuff from their newly released album The Sea of Memories, which I'm listening to and not hating.

I'll post a few videos below from the evening below, so you can get an idea. But I know you're all wondering, and yes, Gavin is just as, if not more so, gorgeous and charismatic and talented in his 40s as he was in 1994 when Rolling Stone released this issue, and my little teenage heart melted:
April 1996
But this is not a creepy fangirl thing. I legitimately loved their albums, and I never thought I'd have the opportunity to see them perform. And on another note, Gavin and I just so happen to share a birthday, so to my inner teen: You're Welcome. I did us proud. It's not as creepy now that I'm 29 and he's 46, right? Right.

Don't judge me. 

From the show:

Their new single, "The Sound of Winter":