Archive for ‘1. MUSIC’

May 12, 2015

MIXTAPE MONDAY : PUPCAT

mixtape monday may 11

I had a really focused week last week. It was productive and creatively fulfilling. I’m actually developing a rhythm, FINALLY, and I have the google calendar app to thank for most of it. Marking down my tasks and color coding them, it’s like the productivity angels swooped down and gave me a gift from the heavens. Anyways, these are the songs that drew my attention away from my laser focus and made me go – oh add that one!

 ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ – Unknown Mortal Orchestra / ‘Nocturne’ – Wild Nothing/ ‘Boys Latin’ – Panda Bear / ‘FFunny FFriends’ – Unknown Mortal Orchestra / ‘Coulda Been My Love’ – Foxygen/ ‘Red Eyes’ – The War on Drugs/ ‘ I’m Writing a Novel’ – Father John Misty

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May 4, 2015

MIXTAPE MONDAY : 5/4/2015

mixtape monday

I have a whole list of incomplete “themed” playlist that just feel really contrived. So instead I’m just going to post mixtapes that were made the week prior, sort of like a “hey this is what peaked my interest last week”. It might make sense, they might be all over the place. Like when you had one cassette that housed all your favorite songs from the radio. Yes, I am a part the last generation to remember recording music on a cassette from the radio. Quick hit record, be quite, pray Mom doesn’t come inside your room to ask a question.

‘Back to the Middle’ – Deerhunter / ‘Modern Art’ – Black Lips / ‘Virgina Plain’ – Roxy Music / ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ – Plastic Bertrand / ‘Pedestrian at Best’ – Courtney Barnett / ‘Party Police” – Alvvays / ‘Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth – Parquet Courts/ ‘She’s Not Me’ – Jenny Lewis / ‘California Nights’ – Best Coast/ ‘Dreaming’ – Seapony

April 28, 2015

Austin Adventure | SXSW Day Three (part one)

Let’s all pretend for a moment that it hasn’t been four weeks plus and I’m writing about SXSW day three like it was just last week.

DAY THREE – FRIDAY MARCH 20 | PART ONE

After finding out that SXSW doesn’t really start till 2:00pm, Bowerbird and I were letting our morning be slow and relaxing, until we found out Viet Cong was playing at the Spin party at 12:30pm. We discovered this probably around 11:30am, which one might think isn’t enough time to get ready for life, but when I travel time moves differently. I’m capable of getting ready faster and apparently one does not need to account for traffic time. The weather outside was grim, but I figured it would clear up. So we got ready in a flash and called our Lyft driver. Coincidentally it was the same gentleman who drove us the day before, and now officially besties he told us about an amazing dive bar with badass burgers we had to check out.
Getting to the Spin party just as Viet Cong started playing, this is when we sadly found out people have to RSVP to parties for special entrance badges and crap. Disappointed but not discouraged, the Spin party was in the backyard of Stubbs BBQ. Parallel to the restaurant is a bridge that looks into the back area, so standing next to running tour buses, Bowerbird and I listened to what little was left of the Viet Cong set. We were also able to catch Metz, an amazing punk band that made me feel like I was fourteen again. Just a little punk kid listening to the music from outside, because I couldn’t get into the show. We had our own mosh pit going on as I danced and gleefully bumped into Bowerbird.

SXSW spin partyOutside the Spin Party

After Metz played we walked back to the main street to go and find that dive burger joint, and as we passed by Stubbs the singer of Viet Cong was maneuvering gear outside. Dan recognized him and musician to musician gave him props. We also mentioned how we weren’t able to get in but checked out the set from the bridge. The singer, Matt, totally commiserated with us, as he had played SXSW before without a clue as to how all the parties ran too. He told us he was playing later that day, and I mentioned how that was an invite only event. He then offered to get us on the list, and we exchanged info with no promises but a possible chance to check out the band at the Fader Fort.

sxsw day III

Walking on cloud 11, Dan and I couldn’t believe how our luck had changed, and we we’re just hours and a possible guest list spot away from seeing Viet Cong. We found the dive bar/burger joint, Casino El Camino and had some of the best burgers in our life. Totally worth the hype, and I’m a major burger junky. The bar has a great atmosphere too, this gothic classic horror movie vibe, like the original Wolfman and Frankenstein wife. They were playing this cult classic, 976 Evil, which looked bizarre and must be seen. Mid- burger bite we received confirmation for the Fader Fort list, utterly stunned and thankful, Dan and I just couldn’t stop smiling in astonishment.

Casino El Camino

We explored a few more shows ( no RSVP needed) and  met up with an old friend of Bowerbirds, before we decided to head back to the hotel as it was pouring rain. I was wearing leather shorts. Neither of us was properly dressed. Our Lyft driver back to the hotel was a Cellist who vented about the fact straight hipsters had been invading his favorite gay bar. He also proclaimed he wasn’t a heterophobe, which sent me into a fit of laughter because I had never heard the term. I had a lot of really amazing and a few really weird Lyft drivers. But Lyft drivers like him were priceless. He was really sweet, as he helped instruct me as to how to book him again in order for him to wait in the hotel parking lot while we quickly changed. As we got rain ready, our driver went to Starbucks and even picked me up a black coffee. He was epic! Chugging down the caffeine we were off to 5th street with only an hour to set-time and in peak traffic hours.

Racoon Mural

Alright, I’m going to pause real quick because our story continues well into the night and there needs to be some breathing room in this post. So click here for Part 2 (pending) – or go do something productive.

April 8, 2015

Austin Adventures | SXSW Day Two

Hello Again! It has taken me awhile to get this post up because I’ve been working on this video.
All the footage is from the day I’m talking about below.

DAY TWO – THURSDAY MARCH 19

This is the most exciting SXSW day, because it’s when Dan’s band Flaamingos played their showcase. Bowerbird and I started the day early, and by early I mean 11:00am, heading for the convention center to pick up my wristband. I was all worried thinking we had gotten a late start on the day, but our Lyft driver assured us we were very early. I ended up having to pay $80 for a music wristband, that I’m still not quite certain what it got me access too. But I got a nifty tote bag, and Dan was told he could pick up a free backpack in the artist suite. I’m all about the free swag and really had to encourage him to take advantage of it. We then explored the convention center and wandered into the screen printed music poster emporium. So many colors, so many designs!! It reminded me of when I interned at Myspace and there was a huge wall, more like a hallway, covered in the screen printed posters from every secret show. I thought this must be where they scouted the artists. Next I followed Bowerbird into the gear section, where he made a b-line for the synths. The sound of people jamming out some smooth jazz filled the air, along with the constant buzz of gear geek chatter. We had to wait awhile till a particular synth opened up for Dan to fiddle with – he was in heaven.

Feeling sluggish from a night of heavy food and beer, we walked to the Daily Juice for some fresh pressed veggies and fruit. It’s incredible how much walking can be done in Downtown Austin and I never felt nervous about falling onto a ‘bad street’. Sadly that is the not the case for Downtown Los Angeles. SXSW involves lots and lots and lots of walking.  We headed to the Under The Radar party at the Flamingo Cantina. I wanted to show my support as I used to intern for the magazine many moons ago. The Flamingo Cantina was off 6th street. This street felt like was the heart of SXSW as everything branches off from it.  The cantina was a tropical themed bar and I had caught the party between sets, it was hot and humid inside, and really captured that Caribbean atmosphere. Bowerbird, claustrophobic and uncomfortable, bailed just as we got inside. I said my hellos, but then got an email stating there were some artists finishing up a mural on Barton Springs.

Oh yeah – I decided to turn this SXSW trip into a work trip by getting some coverage of the POW! WOW! Hawaii and SXSW collaboration for the art blog Sour Harvest. You can read the article on their website now.

The mural was going to be finished up within the next hour or two and seeing a great opportunity to interview the artists, I said goodbye to Under The Radar and started walking toward Barton Springs. As I was exiting the cantina, Dan was in line to get back in. I found that to be a little funny. The walk from 6th street to Barton Springs is 30 minutes, fortunately it wasn’t sweltering, so we just enjoyed the exercise and we were able to see what SXSW was doing on the other side of the bridge.

walk from 6th st to Barton Springs

By the time I interviewed the artist and we got a quick snack, it was time to head back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the band and collect their gear. Playing the Levitation Showcase at Hotel Vegas, although I’ve come to realize they were actually playing in The Volstead room, they had to be there at 5:30 for their 7:30pm set time. Levitation also puts on Austin Psych Fest, a festival with a drool-worthy lineup, fingers crossed Flaamingos plays next year – a girl can dream. The outdoor patio was packed! It felt totally electric in that special psychedelic way. With so many people outside the challenge for Flaamingos was to draw people away from the big bands outside and into their small room. And they did it!! I was totally stoked on the crowd that gathered. It’s quite an accomplishment as they’re not a local band, and they had people watching them instead of Moon Duo 😀 We spent the rest of the night wandering around SXSW east part of 6th street, and just enjoying this unique music experience. I also ate some epic Cajun poutine.

sxsw day two art and music

Honorable Highlight:

At some point, the band and I got a shot at the bar to celebrate. As we were ordering our subsequent drinks, an older gentlemen was standing beside me ordering a beer. He told the bartender he wanted to wipe the top of the cans before they were opened. This reminded me of what my Ba-Chan and Ji-Chan would do as they would have soda collecting dust in their garage before bringing it into the house. I told him my grandparents did this, not to say he was a grandparent, but I totally relate to the clean can tops. He then said, “well you know they just sit in basements where rats crawl all over them pissing and shitting on the crates. It’s disgusting.” With a little more banter and chuckles, I walked away with my drink and he with his clean beers… this gentleman is the singer of iconic post-punk band Pop Group. Did not realize this till he was on stage of course, classic Bekka.

March 16, 2015

Austin Adventures T-Minus 48 HOURS

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I’m going back to Austin! Before my road trip in October I had hardly traveled anywhere out of California in my adult life. Except for mini road trips to Arizona and Nevada. My trip to New York last summer was the first time I bought a plane ticket as an adult. Not my first time on a plane, but the first time I looked at a flight schedule to figure out pricing and what worked best for me. Anyways, Bowerbird is playing SXSW and it’s one of those experiences I want to share with him. A craziness I could experience firsthand and not just through road stories. So with a little encouragement and the help of a credit card, I booked my flight to Austin. Bonus, I have friends in Austin, friends flying out to Austin, and Under the Radar throws their own party (former intern). SIDENOTE: I suddenly I have the urge to watch LOSER.

I fly out on Wednesday, just as the music portion of SXSW kicks off. When Bowerbird and I went to Austin on our road trip we felt like we didn’t have enough time to explore. The city seemed to be overflowing with good food, adorable window shopping, and of course great music venues. It will be nice to get ROUND TWO in. I’ve been using the one music venue we went to, Cheer Up Charlies, as a point of reference in figuring out the distance of my hotel to where Bowerbird will be playing and the rest of the SXSW madness. p.s. Bowerbird’s band Flaamingos will be playing a showcase at Hotel Vegas presented by Levitation.

Flaamingos SXSW

AUSTIN HIGHLIGHTS FROM OCTOBER 2014:

Cheer Up Charlies – is an eclectic space, a colorful music venue with a back patio that seems to be carved out of a rock. We totally ended up with an epic Cracker Jack box prize when we went there, as Ted the Block, a side project of musician Winston Goertz-Giffen happened to be playing. Ted the Block is totally weird in a hypnotizing way. He and his girlfriend were also road-tripping, and we made instant friends with this set of creatives. We later met up with them in Marfa, total coincidence so more on that later.

cheerup charlies

FLASHBACK – a vintage clothing store. It’s inside a purple house, and we wandered in while waiting to meet up for lunch with a friend nearby. Being from LA and in a new town, we tended to be extremely early to places.  The clothing and merchandise weaved throughout the rooms of the house. Flashback had really amazing finds I had to fall in-love with and walk away from, like dresses fit for June Carter Cash. I wanted them all.

Flashback Vintage Clothing

MICKLETHWAIT BBQ – One of the well-known and highly recommended BBQ establishments in Austin. It’s a trailer with a smoker next to it! We weren’t very aggressive when it came to the BBQ game in Austin, so we really lucked out in getting some BBQ at Micklethwait. We had gone around 5:00pm for an early dinner, and were met with a sign that read SOLD OUT till 7:30pm.  Later we found out the only reason they had any meat for dinner was because they were hosting a movie night.  We camped out in their parking lot for a few hours patiently waiting.  But the wait was totally worth it! Especially for Bowerbird as he can’t eat anything with refined or added sugar. While on the trip Bowerbird had to miss out on Memphis BBQ, and we avoided most Southern BBQ places because 99% of them use sugar in their rubs or sauces. But Micklethwait rub was all spice and flavor!

Micklethwait Craft Meats BBQ

This time around, I really want to get a picture with the Hi, How Are You alien aka the Daniel Johnston mural. We drove by it in October, but forgot to go back for a photo-op. This time I’m sure there will be a line of tourist trying to snap their picture with the iconic wall. I used to intern at a gallery that at one point represented Daniel Johnston, and there were tons of photocopies of Daniel Johnston drawings in boxes, random boxes. I wish I would have nabbed some – I’m sure no one would have noticed. It was a strange place. Guess I can keep the karma points. Plus, I should just buy a t-shirt and help support Daniel.

I’ll be vlogging, instagraming, blogging (maybe) – we all know how blogging and traveling works for me, and tweeting. So hope you enjoy exploring Austin with me.

March 2, 2015

Mixtape Monday : Anglophile

mixtape monday anglophile

It rained and poured last night, but the sun is shining bright this morning! I decided to start a Mixtape Monday series last Friday as the gloomy clouds were filling the sky. Influenced by the weather and my recent education in finding out what an Anglophile is, I created my English hit list. Personally, I’m a Francophile, but I went where the music was taking me.

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths // I Wanna Be Adored – The Stones Roses // Rip It Up – Orange Juice // Peek-A-Boo – Siouxsie and The Banshees // Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow – Felt // Let’s Make Some Plans – Close Lobster // Age of Consent – New Order // The Killing Moon – Echo And The Bunnymen

December 3, 2014

TN: Little Bit More Nashville

Road Trip Nashville

 

We spent so much time in Tennessee, and even more time in Nashville. The following happened over the course of a few days, but I thought writing about it in this fashion would be the most efficient. Also easier on the ADD blog reader.  Promise, I’m working on getting my post shorter! Well here is my Nashville…

PRINCE’S HOT CHICKEN

The hottest chicken in the south, Prince’s Hot Chicken, will bring tears to your eyes, no doubt about it. On the outskirts of downtown Nashville, located in a strip mall with a clothing store and nail shop as it’s neighbor, Prince’s Hot Chicken is as much an experience as visiting classic landmarks. We found out about Prince’s through Mind of a Chef, yes Sean Brock visited Prince’s Hot Chicken and recounted the burning sensation on film.

Filled with families and people who were picking up dinner before headed home, Bowerbird and I had to wait for a table to open up like sharks circling a boat. Fortunately the food isn’t served quickly, so we were able to get seats before the chicken was ready. I couldn’t imagine having tried to eat it standing up. It’s served up so hot it burns your fingertips as well as your tongue. We ordered the ‘hot’ chicken, and were told by a regular the two of us were crazy and would be feeling it in the morning. Sensory overload: our immune systems kicked into high gear to fight off the invasion of flavor, eyes filled with tears and noses began to run. Sharing a tiny side of potato salad, we nibbled on it trying to stretch the only way to give our tongues some relief.

For an hour afterwards we our lips were numb.

Prince's Hot Chicken Nashville TN

GROOVE RECORD STORE

After dinner we drove around Nashville until we could head out to the home of our host that night in Hendersonville. Gazing out the window I spotted Groove Record store, a house on the corner of a quaint street with an illuminated sign on the lawn. I love just coming across cool places, versus having it programed into the gps. It makes the discovery that more special. It was 5 minutes to closing, making a joke about being the assholes who are coming in right before the doors are locked, the clerk was friendly and assured us he had enough cataloging to do, and that we were fine. The walls are covered in local artist and music posters. Christmas lights strung beside an in-store stage. The selection of new and used music was phenomenal, and since we didn’t I bring many CD’s for the road trip we picked up Deerhoof and HTRK (pronounced Hate Rock). We even spotted the cd of a fellow label mate, ERRAS. We didn’t stay too long, but it was a great little find to shape our time in Nashville.

Groove Record Store Nashville TN

 

vintage dolly parton

THE HOUSE OF CASH

Thirty minutes outside Nashville, Hendersonville was where Johnny Cash and June Carter stayed until till their passing. It’s also where the Father of Bowerbird’s friend lived who graciously offered to host us for a night. I will refer to him as Mr. Radio because of his amazing voice.  Mr. Radio lived just down the street from the original Johnny Cash museum, The House of Cash, before it was moved to Downtown Nashville. Now a real estate office and dental practice, the buildings were originally an old train depot where June Carter had a little antique store along with where the museum was located. Being so close to more Johnny Cash history tingled the fan girl in me, but my mouth dropped when Mr. Radio offered to drive us up to Johnny Cash’s old home. It was the middle of night and unfortunately no moon, but he drove us along the fence as we peered from the car to see the faint outline of Cash’s home (which had burned down in 2007). Being so close to where this legend had lived gave me chills. As we drove away two fawns were walking on the road and ran into a neighboring yard.

Sign from House of Cash Johnny Cash

 

**The sign from House of Cash is now housed at the new Johnny Cash Museum in Downtown Nashville**

GRAND OL’ OPRY

When I purchased tickets to the Grand Ol’ Opry’s 89th birthday show, with no musical act yet listed, I was making a commitment to the dream. Seven months in advance, the tickets were will-call only and non-refundable. I had to be in Tennessee by October 11, and that’s exactly what I did. The act ended up being Craig Morgan. I’d never even heard his music before, but it was an amazing show. A down to earth musician, former military man, his songs were heart felt stories. Good country music is a story to a melody. He even made me cry, but then again country music always makes me cry. As it was the birthday celebration radio stations, activity tents, and food vendors were set up outside the auditorium. I purchased myself some rainbow kettle corn that tasted like fruity pebbles. The Grand Ol’Opry is located in a shopping center, the Opry Outlets. for me the shops took away from the magic of “The Grand Ol’ Opry”. I’m glad we took a tour at the Ryman. Next time we are in Nashville, I’m buying tickets to a Ryman show, even better I’ll make sure to get tickets to The Grand Ol’ Opry at the Ryman.

Grand Ol Opry Birthday Show

 

Couple ‘Selfie’ After the Show 

Dolly Parton Pumpkin

They had a fantastic Jack-O-Lantern display of Country Music Stars

Rainbow Popcorn and Grand Ol' Opry

My Popcorn and Dolly 

 I missed going to the Blue Bird and a dive bar in an Airstream trailer, but it just gives us a reason to return.

Have you ever been to Nashville?

p.s. Notice all the Dolly Parton pics I snapped? Well next post will be all about Dollywood!

November 26, 2014

Live Music Addict : Soko, Lucero & Kurt Vile

live music review soko lucero and kurt vile

I’ve spoiled myself with live music these past two weeks. I had purchased tickets to Lucero and Kurt Vile back in September, but when I saw the listing for Soko’s Bootleg show on Tumblr, I immediately purchased tickets.

Soko was a mixture of poetry and punk. Her energy infectious and sassy attitude charming. Razing the sound guy up in the rafters of the venue, her arms wide open with a request to turn up the volume. Childlike but stylistically mature, Soko’s vulnerability onstage is refreshing when female artists can at times look over rehearsed. At one point she invited ladies in the audience to jump on stage for , “I thought I was an Alien”.  As I hate to live with what-if’s, I maneuvered to the stage to dance. Once on stage, she started instructing girls to follow suite at take off their tops. Yes, Soko had freed the nipples. Considering the tech environment we live in, my bare chest was not something I wanted stored on a strangers cell phone, so I inched my way towards bailing from the stage. But fortunately while still onstage, Soko began the song and a handful of girls remained to dance with our tops on. This was a smaller group than those with their tops off, but us squares stuck together.  Although this was a unique aspect of her show, I don’t want it to be a defining moment of the night. It only illustrates the energy and influence Soko has on her fans, creating an intimate environment like everyone is a dear friend and these are some songs she just wrote taken from her diary. Making confessions in her French accent to the audience of who songs may be about, or forgetting the words, as her own emotional memories are brought to the surface through her lyrics and fans feed the singer her next verse.  Before running to the car, Soko was standing outside, and gently interrupting her conversation I told her I thought she was beautiful and authentic, because there are no two better words to describe this musical artist.

Fast forward four days and I’m in Echo Park ready to be transported back to Memphis while listening to Lucero. Anxious and on a mission to tell the members of Lucero about meeting Dave Cousar, I mustered the courage to approach guitarist Brian Venable and piano/accordion player Rick Steff. They were both incredibly kind, and Brian took note of my Muscle Shoals t-shirt. I had to show my southern pride! This was my sixth time seeing Lucero, but Bowerbird’s first. Every show I’ll inch myself as close to the stage as possible and swoon, hanging onto every word Ben Nichols sings.  This show was no exception. Lucero was the only band that played that night, starting the show with slower songs and then playing sad songs with a bit more electricity in the second half. It’s quite an accomplishment when not only does a band have enough strong material to fill 3 hours, but the fans watching love and can sing-a-long to every second of it. Far from a self-indulgent performance, a Lucero show makes you feel like you’re at someone’s backyard house party. Fans sent shots to the stage for Ben and the band to drink. Whiskey shot after whiskey shot, Ben was forced to admit he had to do a few songs before the liquor really kicked in. It’s more fun to be at a Lucero show then to ever read about one, so next time they are in your city go! They practically tour 300 days out of the year. Also don’t ever request Darby’s Song – there is a very strong reason not to, and you can click this link to find out why.

Finally I finished my musical fortnight with Kurt Vile. I had seen him at Coachella a few years ago.  Sitting on the plush polo field, the sun was setting and I listened to “In my Baby’s Arms” thinking of how much I wished Bowerbird was there to watch Kurt Vile with me. I was at Coachella working, and he was back in Los Angeles. Since that Coachella set, seeing Kurt Vile with my man has been on my musical bucket list. This time together we got to see him perform at an equally impressive but incredibly more intimate venue, the First Unitarian Church in Koreatown. I’ve seen Mark Kozelek and Iron & Wine at this venue and it’s by far one of my favorites in LA, except for that fact it puts me to sleep. The comfortable seats and amazing acoustics of slow and sentimental songs lulls me to sleep. My heavy head springing up towards the end of songs, and my one squinty eye revolting against the ultimate micro-nap. This by no means is a reflection of the actual performers, only that I really am an 80 year old woman trapped inside a 20 something body; and that it doesn’t help that these artist are on my Siesta Pandora station.

Back to Kurt Vile, he is a humble musician who lets his music speak for him. I imagine him as the rocker nerd in High School, with long hair and wearing his sister’s jeans, scribbling songs and chords in his chemistry notebook. He performs like it’s just him and the band on stage, dudes (and the one female drummer during the encore) jamming out for fun and we’re just lucky enough to witness it. Although he has grown to be a household name among the Pitchfork devotees, there is no ego on stage. Changing guitars between each song Kurt Vile approaches his microphone and adjust his gear like an eager teenager playing his first big show. The songs weren’t flawless, but they also weren’t coming out of a pre-recorded track either. The whole point of a live show is to experience the music you enjoy streaming or playing on vinyl in a new way, not to hear exactly what was perfectly recorded and mixed. Aside from begging my mind to not be so tired, the Kurt Vile show was everything I had hoped for down to the hand holding with Bowerbird. 

Extremely proud of this photo of Kurt Vile.

Kurt Vile Live Show Red Bull Sound Select

November 15, 2014

ART + MUSIC : El Jaleo with Iron and Wine

I’ve been reading An Object of Beauty and this painting “El Jaleo” by John Singer Sargent (1882) is shown in the book. Immediately the image reminded my of the “Boy with a Coin” by Iron & Wine music video.  Now I will introduce this beautiful combination to my readers, enjoy.

El Jaleo John Singer Sargent  Painting

 

 

November 10, 2014

KY: On The Way to Louisville, We Found Zanzabar.

Road Trip Kentucky

“I know it’s all very charming with the pickled things in jars and the Southern Charm” – Hollie Baylor

The Bluegrass state stole my heart, and I don’t think I’ll ever get it back. From the moment we drove into Kentucky I felt like I was driving home. We had Ryan Adams coming through the radio, and the brilliant colored leaves whipping outside the window. The plan for day was to land in Louisville to sleep, and on our way there we would visit Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and Elizabethtown.

I feel very close to our 16th president. After taking a 50 question survey on which American president I would be, I am most similar to Abraham Lincoln. I find this to be my greatest testament of character, and wish I could add it to my resume. “Personality type for problem solving, leadership, and community is identical to our most beloved president Abraham Lincoln,” says the online 50 question survey. Abraham Lincoln was also an Aquarius.  Sadly because of our other detours on our way to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, we arrived after it was closed. Thirty minutes too late, the yellow barrier fence blocked me from visiting the cabin off in the distance where Lincoln took his first breath.  The barrier fence was as tall as my knee. I could easily jump over and run like a maniac down the hill, but considering it’s federal land, I didn’t feel like trespassing that day.  We later drove over to Abraham Lincoln’s ‘boyhood home’ where he lived till his family moved to Illinois.  It’s not the actual house he lived in, but it’s in the same area and gives travelers a sense of the land that shaped Lincoln.

 

The detours that delayed us from Lincoln’s birthplace included fossil washing at Historic Diamond Caverns, and using the restroom at Dinosaur World.  I loved the days when we could just follow signs and billboards we saw off the highway. Totally spontaneous, it was the unplanned moments that shaped our most memorable encounters.

One of my top ten favorite movies is Elizabethtown. I’ve watched it countless times, love the soundtrack, and have quoted Claire in my own life. I even reference Elizabethtown in a past blog entry when talking about Bowerbird before we started dating. Elizabethtown is this small town in Kentucky, and although most of the small town scenes weren’t even filmed in Elizabethtown, I wanted to visit it. In the center of the downtown area is a court house that doubles as a fallout shelter. As it was after 5pm, everything was closed. Practically a ghost town, we received a few confused stares from the drivers going in the roundabout. I probably looked ridiculous as I was trying to capture buildings in the background of my multiple (failed) selfies.  We weren’t there long, but it satisfied my Elizabethtown fantasy. Plus Bowerbird took a picture with a field of corn on our way out. Corn stalks are very tall.

Louisville is only about two hours from Elizabethtown, and sitting in the passenger seat I coordinated our Airbnb stay and found us a place to eat dinner. Searching Yelp I came across The Zanzabar, a bar and restaurant with pinball machines galore. I went to the website to view the menu and saw they were having a trivia night and would be showing the season premiere of The Walking Dead. It was a no-brainer we had to visit this place. A family run establishment, two brothers created their dream hang out. Good beer, great food, and lots of fun. The menus are inside vinyl record covers, we had Abba and BB King.  We order the shrimp po-boy and fries. Both delicious and seasoned well, we loved that the po-boy had avocado inside. Zanzabar is all about that unexpected extra touch.

 

We met the co-owner Antz after he apologized for a drunk patron he had thought was bothering us. We told him everything was fine, and then started talking about music.  We saw Surfer Blood was playing there in a few weeks, and we chatted about the other bands that have graced The Zanzabar stage. I impressed Antz by knowing the name of Sean Lennon’s band, Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, when he was recounting how cool and nice Sean was. I’m still dying to see GOASTT. Not because of Sean Lennon’s famous father, but because I really love the music and artistic concept behind the group. Plus I have a total girl crush on Charlotte Kemp. Chatting about Los Angeles and traveling, we totally bonded with Antz. He gave us some Zanzabar swag and fun memories. Bowerbird kicked my butt at Dolly Parton pinball.

My one regret from this trip was that I didn’t take pictures of the people we met. I’d love to have an album filled with the faces of the interesting people from the road.  Fortunately Antz and his brother were on Offbeat Eats with Jim Stacy, the “Game On” episode. You can see Antz in the video below playing a live action game of Donkey Kong. He has the green hat on.