Posts tagged ‘music’

October 17, 2014

Sweet Sounds Alabama

Muscle Shoals Road Trip

“Buy a chevy get a gun!” announced the radio commercial somewhere in Mississippi followed by another commercial with a sultry women’s voice enticing the listener, “ever wanted to get into exotic dancing, come down on talent night and make lots of money”.

Leaving Memphis we drove through Mississippi and Alabama to get to Muscle Shoals. The trees in Mississippi have vines growing all around them, connecting each tree with an overgrowth that sweeps down up and around. Men drove tractors on the side of the freeway keeping nature away from the road, pulling trailers that pushed down on the long grass and probably cut the vines.

I’d seen the documentary earlier in the year, and it motivated me further to start planning actual stops on our road trip. Bowerbird and I being music nerds, Muscle Shoals was a must see destination followed by Fame Studio which is around the corner and down the street. The documentary is a little confusing when it comes to the timeline of both studios, but Muscle Shoals Sound studio was established after the partners at Fame studio decided to go their separate ways.

Trying to be a prepared tourist, I messaged Muscle Shoals Sound earlier in the month to make sure they we’re open the 8th as I know the studios will be restored. I got a friendly reply back saying the studios were open till 2pm that day. Bowerbird and I do not arrive places early together, more like right on time. So when we of course left Memphis a little later than intended, we tried to be light hearted and joked the entire way to Muscle Shoals, looking at our GPS which read ETA 1:57 and every time we increased our arrival time I’d chime “we will have 6 minutes at the studio – damn now only 3 minutes – come on sweetheart I know we can get 9 minutes.”

As we drove up I saw someone from the studio come outside and remove the open sign from the front lawn. I had Bowerbird flip a Dukes of Hazard u-turn and hopped out of the car before we officially parked. Opening the door to the studio, the adrenaline was pumping as I asked the guide if we could still look around. She kindly said yes, her name being Georgia.

The Muscle Shoals tour is informal with a capital I. You walk around this hallow ground, where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote music, Simon and Garfunkel recorded, the sound of a generation was shaped at your own speed. Pictures hung on the walls with the famed musicians working in the studio, writing is physically written on the wall like playful boys marking their spot. The toilet seat from which “Wild Horses” came into fruition. Georgia shared stores with us, explained the structure of the building, and how tiny it felt when it was originally in operation due to how large engineering equipment used to be. To think now most people just make music on their laptops, and before it took an attention to detail and agility to make sure everything was laid right because the last thing you can afford is a botched recording.

Apparently one of the Swampers haunts the property today, and most of the photos I took are blurry, so it makes you wonder. Although I didn’t feel any spooky spirit, not like I did in West Virginia but that’s another story. Here are a few of my favorite shots from Muscle Shoals.

After Muscle Shoals we visited Fame Studios for a tour. Still an operating studio, we only saw Studio B as they were recording in Studio A. The history of Fame was shared along with the stories that directly came from Studio B. My favorite being guitarist, Duane Allman camping outside Fame Studios until Rick the owner would give him a chance to perform and record. He slept in the parking lots for weeks till he was given a chance, and I just loved the story of commitment and roughing it out to get what you want. It’s a metaphor for all success, because the road to success sure isn’t comfortable.

Bekka an d Bowerbird at Muscle Shoals Sound

We are in South Carolina right now, and clearly in the second half of the trip, 3rd quarter. I’m trying not to get sad, while already on it. Mourn the loss of the trip, while I still have more states to go to I’ve never seen. Tonight is Atlanta, the day after possibly southern Alabama and next Monday – New Orleans! Ok I’m no longer mourning, I’m just excited. So many wonderful things have happened on this trip, even a few weird things. But altogether I’m living my dream, I’m seeing new sights. Yesterday I picked cotton off the side of the road. I’m experiencing life in a way I don’t normally get to, and that in itself is the greatest part of this adventure. It’s new.  For me a full life is achieved when you seek out new experiences, break routine, and get out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s a thrill seeker going to a silent yoga retreat or a shy introvert going on stage and belting out their voice. Variety is the spice of life they say, so let’s spice it up!

October 15, 2014

TN: Back to Memphis…

road trip Memphis

Memphis is the hometown to one of my favorite bands of all time, Lucero. They were the first band I ever saw by myself, and if my heart had a soundtrack it would be comprised of Lucero songs. I made it a mission of mine to visit 1372 Overton Park, not only the title of an album but an actual address in Memphis. Lucero’s musical roots in Memphis, it’s where the band lived and wrote music for years. A loft on top of a Thrift Store, taking a picture with the door to 1372 was my little piece of Lucero memorabilia. I asked the Sun Records tour guide what was near 1372 Overton Park, as I was a huge Lucero fan, and she lit up with the familiarity of talking about a wonderful mutual friend.  A few of the members had played on her own record. She recommended a few bars, but told us the place to go that night to potentially run into Lucero members was Buccaneer. A friend of Lucero and fellow musician, Dave Cuosar was playing at 11pm. I was completely committed to seeing this local act, and till then we filled our time with local Memphis finds.

We chose to experience the delicious ribs at Central BBQ. Their hot BBQ sauce still teases my phantom senses. The meat fell off the bone, but wasn’t too dry, only around the blackened edges that gave it an extra smoky flavor. Next we went to Beale Street. The tourist trap of Memphis. Its neon signs draw the out-of-towners like a moth to the flame. But once on it, aside from the jazz and blue grass music that fills the air outside stuffy bars, it is a dead street. We left just as soon as we arrived, walking up and down it once, and then hoping back in the car.

Beal Street Memphis

On ward we went to one of the other bars our Sun Tour guide suggested, we came across Overton Square. A colorful street lined with restaurants and bars, the buildings were really interesting. A mixture between the old and new, most of them had to either been built or renovated within the last ten years. Maintaining the structures charm and a certain amount of character most modern establishments’ lack. We pulled over to explore, stopping inside Boscos, a Tennessee brewing company. Enjoying a flight, we overheard two college students discussing their Knoxville campus. Sharing that the campus was socially segregated, and how some of their friends don’t know how to talk to black people. I was stunned, my ear glued to the conversation. I can’t fathom the idea of not knowing how to talk to someone because of their skin color. Language barrier yes, but a different ethnic background… it was my first real taste of the stereo-typical south everyone warns you about. This same person then went on to discuss how they didn’t care for Jewish people. Let’s just all agree, that as a society we should look at people as an individual and not respond to someone based on a skewed idea of a group of people.

memphis overton square

After the flight we headed to First Avenue which was one of the first venues Lucero played at. It was a pretty mellow night, and we took a seat at the bar. Watching the baseball game on the TV, those sitting at the counter bonded over a singer on the screen wearing a bizarre parade float styled hat upon her head.  Soaking in the vibe, when I told the bartender we were there as I was informed Lucero got their start there, he handed me an old guitar pick. “This could be from them, or perhaps another band, one thing for certain it’s old.” He went on to say how members of Lucero still come in, and the bassist was across the street at a different bar the night before.

Then on to the Buck, a dive bar located inside a yellow house. It was filled with cigarette smoke and illuminated with red lights. Set up on an area that was clearly designated for bands, but hardly a stage, was one guitar and a stack of amps. Arriving ten minutes till the show, we ordered drinks, took a seat and watched Dave come out of the shadows and take his seat next to the guitar. That night we got one of the best shows I’ve seen in 2014.  Dave Cousar is an artist with the guitar. He plays in a way that I’ve never heard before, making the guitar cry and wine, vibrate beneath his fingertips. An abstract painting of folk and rock, he is what Bob Dylan should be. I made up a story in my head that Dave and Dylan were at the same festival or audition, and by some random accident Dave couldn’t go on, letting Dylan take the stage and the slot for that sound. I think Dave is a little younger than Dylan, but man did his voice just weave through notes rising and falling. Mid-set he paused, and aside from my enjoyment of the music I was getting really sleepy. We told Dave how much we loved his set and he humbly thanked us, even gave me his own I just saw the guys in Lucero story.

dave cousar memphis

That night I didn’t see any of the members of Lucero, but I met them through Memphis. I began to gain a better sense of the band through friends, acquaintances, the musicians they play with for fun. Driving up and down the same streets they do, and talking with the same friendly faces they know to be familiar. If I wasn’t going to see Lucero live in Memphis, that night was the best I could have asked for. I look forward to name dropping Dave to Ben at The Echo in November.

September 29, 2014

September Reflections

The month has been filled with some up and downs. But I choose to look at the ups, like quitting my job and heading out on my road trip in 3 days. Wow it’s 3 days away that is insane to me. I finally finished editing my young adult novel, and it just needs to go through on final read through before being sent to beta readers. Oh and seeing Katy Perry in the pit! Dream come true, as she was less than 5 feet away from me. On her last song Firework, I swear she finally saw me. Her eyes piercing my soul of course. I will post photos from that night at some point, but I’ve been working nearly non-stop trying to not burn out. It’s really been an interesting month filled with tears of joy and pain, but I’m ready to start a new chapter of my life because all I can do is learn, grow, and be me!


new chapters

 

life is about risk for a dream

July 8, 2014

#SOTD June Playlist

June flew by! I celebrated my 2 year anniversary with my dream boat boyfriend. He made me a gourmet steak dinner and bought 15 year old Macallen Scotch. (oh yeah its true love)

IMG_20140610_195440

Also in June I celebrated the birthday of my teenage best friend. A friendship that began in an acting class and has lasted over 10 years is quite the accomplishment.  Then my sister brought into the world niece number 2, a sweet as pie little darling baby. I took on a new freelance client. And have you ever had a fresh strawberry donut? I never had till this past month! So yeah, June was not boring or slow by any means. How is it already the 8th of July?  I have some playlist catch up to do.

Well here were the musical highlights of June!

My favorite stay cool, blue toned, lounge music with slow motion smiling faces of beautiful people is New Navy. The band is from Sydney, Australia and their disheveled  hair with well styled blazers makes momentary elevator tunes sound modern and summer time champagne toast ready.

song of the day new navy

 

Are you like me and miss a good band that plays a mean guitar and bangs it out on their drums. Tired of another indie rock pop group that sounds like a FUN or FOSTER THE PEOPLE remix. Oh and doesn’t sound surf wave, or stoner, or like they are stuck in their garage.  It’s a tall order but I think I found the band for you… New Madrid! Based in Georgia,  I’ve been discovering lately that the state houses a lot of great non-country sounding bands.

Oh Rico Gagliano from Dinner Party Download gave me a brunch suggestion…

dinner party download food

I ended the month with the song Texas and Tennessee from my hands down favorite band, Lucero. They never stops touring or playing, and I would LOVE to catch them play in Memphis, Nashville, Louisville… you get the idea. I’ve seen Lucero more than I can count on one hand. But never in their own habitat, which I imagine is just anywhere in the south.  On June 30, I got some news that I could have taken badly and thrown my plans into a tail spin. Instead I’m embracing the change, as I will see Texas and Tennessee!

 

May 31, 2014

#SOTD May Playlist

So I’m basically really proud of my May Playlist. It has great songs, varying moods, lots of new to me bands. During each month I post a #SOTD (song of the day) on Twitter. Collecting the videos in a playlist on YouTube. I’ve been recapping these playlist and my interaction with the bands on twitter on *MYFAVORITEMAOI.com. Interactions being “favorites” and “retweets” because really now, these things make me quite excited. I have yet to actually post a song every single day in a month, because I don’t just want to post any old song. It has to jump out to me in some way, and hit a nerve. It’s a reflection my month, an audio diary.

April was not a stellar month for me, and the lack of songs is a clear reflection of that. May on the other hand flowed. Not to say it was free from stress, my family experienced a loss and work had its moments. But collectively the general energy of the month was good, like a solid playlist.

Kicking off the month with a 7 minute long song by Courtney Barnett,”Porcelain”. I was passively listening to music when her song came on, it totally grabbed and held my attention. Amazed that a song this long continued to be interesting and complex throughout its entirety, that’s exactly the sentiment I tweeted. And she tweeted back!

courtney barnett twitter

 

Sometimes the songs I select are discovered on Birp.fm. A site which creates a long playlist at the beginning of the month. The bands on their playlist vary from popular indie artist, to just kids making music in their dorm room. Like Car Seat Headrest a guy I interviewed after hearing his work on Birp last year. Because not everyone is well known, having the song available on YouTube to share isn’t always an option. So I find an alternative song, by the same musician which is available. Unfortunately (for me) in the case of Y.O.U the song I wanted was only available on SoundCloud.

y.o.u heavy crown song of the day

This actually inspired me to open a SoundCloud account. You’d think a music lover like me would’ve been all about it, but I tend to check outs band through their BandCamp links before SoundCloud. Anyways I love that after a bands songs are all played out,  SoundCloud starts its own “sounds like” radio. That’s how I discovered Little Racer, it started after listening to another #sotd band Alvvays. The song Vanessa is structurally similar to “Wanna Be Adored” by the Stone Roses, calling them out on it, I loved that they retweeted the observation.

little racer vanessa

 Full playlist after Frankie Rose tweet – Love it? I love it!

What was your favorite song this month?

Follow me on Twitter and get #SOTD somewhat, sometimes, daily.

frankie rose playlist mood

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July 7, 2012

Time Warp(ed) to Teenage Self

I have been blessed and lucky enough to come across some pretty cool people in my life, that end up having pretty cool jobs. It’s not all by chance or random if you think about it. I’m in love with music and tried to feel out the music industry for a bit; in doing so I met a lot of music industry people on the way. I’ve been lucky enough to say “I’m on the list”, and a few times I’ve said walking away with my comped tickets “Cool, I’m VIP”. Now I’ve learned in my later years, that what is behind the velvet rope really isn’t as glamorous as you may think; but you’re still on the “other” side of the rope.

Well my friend Jon asked if I wanted to go to Warped Tour this year in Ventura. One I didn’t know where Ventura was (which I later found out is FAR! [2hr drive]), and second I didn’t know a single band that was playing. But once he said “VIP”, I was more open to the opportunity. Plus a few weeks prior I had met IWABO, a touring band on Warped that are really cool and I wouldn’t mind chatting with again. So I went to hang out with friends and feel special with a VIP wristband around High School kids. Oh and my inner-teenager was freaking the hell out because when I was in High School, Warped was the shit and I loved it!

Today Warped isn’t the shit to me, most of the music I can’t stand, and there is no way I would buy a ticket to go. I’ll admit being VIP was a huge incentive. But I can appreciate that at one time I loved Warped Tour, and I was getting to experience a side of it I never really thought I would (or at 16 didn’t think I would). Sure at 25 was it the MOST AMAZING day of my life, probably not. But I had a lot of fun for what it was, a day filled with friends and positive energy. Seeing everyone else so excited and stoked to be there put me in an awesome mood. And I know my teenage self would have been just as excited being at Warped, especially if different bands were playing.

Life presents new and different experiences all the time, everything is an adventure JUST GO!

Intimately watching Mike Herra of MXPX my favorite band from 12- 17 being interviewed, at one point his shirt came off!

Those aren’t just any kind of buses, those are tour buses!

June 19, 2012

“Because Music Is My Heartbeat” says my shoes!

*Upcoming story on when I went to see this band a few weeks ago coming tonight to a blog near you!- well it didn’t come to you that night. But I have a bit of time now.

Wednesday May 23, 2012 was the Margot and the Nuclear So and So show, but this story begins the Saturday prior. Saturday May 19, 2012 I had a family gathering I needed to attend (happily) yet there were two fun events going on the same night, Cannibal Flower and Plants & Animals at The Satellite. Leaving the family gathering early after spending 4 hours with my cousins and Aunts, I drove to LA torn on what event to attend all down the 10. Finally I came to the conclusion I would hit up The Satellite, if I couldn’t find free parking then I would go to Cannibal Flower but that was my move.

When I pulled up to my normal spot about 30 mins from the headliners set and only 3 other cars were parked, I thought “This is either a small show, or I don’t see a new parking sign”. Turned out to be a small show, but mid headliner (Plants & Animals) set I spot the roommate of (at the time my crush) and semi-sort of- part time front desk person at the salon (my work) and her husband. Took me 8 minutes before I got the courage to walk up to the back of her to make sure I had made a correct identification, but once I did I was so happy. I was able to enjoy the show more as I now had a friend to dance with and just really enjoy the show.

Afterwards they invited me out to The Bootleg Theater to see a traditional Columbian band (or was it Ecuadorian) and just chill. So we did, as she has connections with the venue; so after a great night of conversation and tunes she kept telling me if there were ever a show I wanted to see at The Bootleg just ask. Little did she know there was a show I wanted to go to that very week. The next day I didn’t think much of the list invite to any show, but by Wednesday I was itching to see Margot.

Wondering Wednesday on the way to work whether to reach out to her or not, to my surprise she was working the front desk that day and I felt it was a sign. I asked mid-afternoon if she could get me in, and she happily shared how she needed to go there anyway. So I got to see Margot and the Nuclear So and So, amidst great conversation with the owner of The Fold/ promoter of The Bootleg and my friend; I would run into the stage to listen to my favorite songs and then back to conversation.

I love music, I love going to shows, and truly 98% of the time I always have an amazing night. Brave enough to go to a show by myself, but also know how much more fun it can be to be with friends that also love the music.

May 11, 2012

Going it alone, yet never alone… (not a god post)

Tonight I am seeing a band not very many people know about, *nor really care for as I a few reviews I’ve read in the last hour stated, but I love them. I’m really excited about this show; it was super cheap, and I am just ready to be that silly girl dancing with her eyes closed.  My coworker asked today if I was going by myself, and I said yes but of course.

At this point, in my life, I feel very jaded to asking people to go to shows with me, and really hate getting in the mode of “trying to find someone to go with.” I’d much rather just buy a ticket, accepting I will be going alone and might run into someone I know, yet doubtful.

I’ll send out an invite sometimes, but more so because I want to see that person vs. that person coming with me to a show. I just happen to be going to a show they might want to go to… does that make sense. My independence at this point is so a part of who I am; it doesn’t even occur to me to ask anyone to come with me anywhere. when I do ask someone to join me, or meet me at a free show, or I’m willing to pay for them to get into a show it is because I can’t be a lone do to very awkward situations I know I will be in based on the group of people that will be present. At the moment, am referring to a very specific band, that maybe I will write a blog post about titled “The Friend or Fan?” . This also applies to blind date/ stalking situations.
I love my sense of independence, and I promised myself to never have “going alone” hold me back from my own life story. But I wonder…. No I won’t criticize myself. I make friends where ever I go, if those friendships last past those moments, who knows? Yet I put myself out there; I be independent, but I’m never a lone.

*Future post about the judging people based on the music they listen too- it’s lame! (don’t do it)

January 10, 2012

Can’t Say No – Coachella 2012

The Coachella line up was bestowed upon the people yesterday and oh how the internet has been ablaze with buzz. There are reuniting groups, coming back from the dead ie: Refused and At The Drive- In, music legends or icons since they are not that old yet ie: Radiohead and Dr. Dre, and my favorite Mazzy Star. Every time Fade Into You came on the radio, my 6 year old self would fade into the song. Dreaming of love song dedications and great romances, no wonder I’m such a hopeless romantic.

I’ve never been one to actually want to go to Coachella. It’s a music festival with 50,000 people in the blaring hot sun in the middle of the desert, most of those people smelly, and cost a hell-of-a-lot of money. Really, for as much of a music fan I am, I have never really had the desire to go to Coachella because the lineup was never compelling enough to inspire me to buy a ticket. And the bands I did want to see I could usually catch over the course of the year at much smaller venues. The last line up that I actually wanted/ considered to go to was in 2008 when Rodger Waters was playing. And in all honesty, I remember the lineup was desirable, but I think I wanted to go more because my best friend was going.

This year I saw the lineup and immediately had to go. The bands I want to see will be listed after the jump, but the three days all call to a different side of my sense; from the 90’s kid, to indie love, hippie-free spirit, and don’t mess with me gangster, I’m covered. First, I have to see if I even get tickets, fingers crossed. But I’ll be camping on the grounds in my car, with friends here and there but no one to go with. I actually feel this is a “practice” run-through of my road trip. Sleeping in my car, surrounded by strangers, forced to make friends and be left to my own devices (sort of). It will give me a taste of 2013.

*note to self- make friends with cute boys to give back massage for kinks in muscles from sleeping in hatch-back car.