A little while ago, Missy did some drawings and sent them out to be made into acrylic charms...today when we came home from work, a box was waiting on our doorstep...we LOVE getting packages! Actually, we were hoping big time that this package would come before we leave for China at the end of the week, and lucky for us, it did. After peeling away the adhesive backing from each charm, we laid them out on felt so they wouldn't get scratched...
It was hard to photograph the detail on the frosted acrylic, so I had to try using different backgrounds around the house...and the auto focus in "close up" mode was really finicky...
Missy is going to string some of these charms onto necklaces, and then make hair slides, earrings, and rings with the rest. This is a "test batch"...if they sell well, and more importantly, if they don't break and stuff, then she'll probably have more made with different designs...so check Missy's website and Etsy shop in a couple of weeks if you're interested...
Lastly, Missy was complaining that there wasn't enough pictures of me on the blog (but I'm the one taking the pictures!)...so to help balance things out, here's a self-portrait of me looking puffy.....TAH DAH!
Now I gotta go change the bag in the vaccuum and clean up around here. Yay...ciao!
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Last night we headed out to the 40 Watt to see the first of two awesomely cool back-to-back shows. The first show featured Angelo Spencer, Paul Baribeau, and Kimya Dawson. It was an early show and billed as an all-ages, "family friendly" show. The second show featured Madeline, Ham 1, and Elf Power. The later show was billed as a cd release party for Elf Power's newest album...
We showed up at the 40 Watt later than we expected and we were greeted by a strange sight - rows of seats had been set up theater-style and they were all full with eager concert goers. The place was packed. We ended up having to stand in the back, arriving in the middle of ANGELO SPENCER's set:
PAUL BARIBEAU encouraged people to get up from their seats, saying that it was a little weird to see everyone sitting like that. A bunch of people charged the stage while others scrambled for vacated seats...it was a total mess:
Not content with standing in the back, Missy and I made our way to the side of the stage to watch KIMYA DAWSON:
The view was plenty fine, but then Kimya asked everyone to sit back down in the seats, so that the little kids could see (there were quite a few of them in the audience)...a bunch of people got stranded up front without a seat and Kimya told them that if they wanted to, they could come sit up ON the stage with her. Before me and Missy could decide whether or not to go up, a ton of people bum-rushed the stage and our perfect view was ruined:
I tried to see if I could get a good picture by standing on a chair that was a little farther behind the stage:
A couple vacated their seats and me and Missy quickly filled them. Unfortunately, our view turned out even worse! But at least we were sitting...we had a long night of band watching ahead of us, afterall. I did manage to get out of my seat a couple of times to snap some close up pictures of Kimya, though (like the one at the beginning of the post):
(Kimya accepting gifts from some fans at the end of the show)
In between shows, we headed over to the X-RAY CAFE hoping to catch our friends Paul and Peter there, but sadly the shop was locked up and empty, except for a few funny items...Paul's car was still parked in front of the store, so we assumed that everyone had gone out to eat somewhere...
It was cold and rainy outside, so we were happy to get back into the 40 Watt...this time, we were among the first back into the club:
Soon, MADELINE and her band took the stage...Robbie from Neutral Milk Hotel and Laura from Orange Twin Records/Elf Power made up her horn section:
HAM 1 rocked it afterwards...Eric Harris from Olivia Temor Control plays this tiny drumset for Ham 1, which is always funny to see:
When ELF POWER finally took the stage, we were surprised to see that Eric was now playing drums with them also...and Derek Almsted (formerly of Of Montreal and Marshmallow Coast) was playing bass:
One of the pot-bangers from Dark Meat jumped up on stage to do some weirdo go-go dancing:
Seeing Elf Power perform and hearing their new songs was a perfect way to end the night...they had the crowd head-bobbin' and dancing around. It was jaw-droppingly awesome, to say the least...
In the end, it was funny to see the differences between the two shows and sets of performers: the first show was whimsical, charming, and decidedly lo-fi...it was "family friendly" and all-ages, and featured singer-songwriters armed with just a guitar (in Angelo Spencer's case, a guitar and a kick drum)...there were hip parents there with their little kids as well as a bunch of high school-aged fans (and they all looked like extras from the movie "Juno") and it seemed like a lot of folks came from Atlanta. Kimya also stressed the fact that she and her tour mates were "straight edge" and didn't partake in drugs and alcohol...in fact, Kimya doesn't even do refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup...a fan tried to give her a bag of candy and she politely declined (but ended up giving it to a young fan instead, in celebration of his birthday)...and true to K Records-style shows, Kimya's set tried to break down the barriers between performer and audience. Besides having audience members join her on stage, she told stories and shared personal experiences, and even had the audience participate in a couple of songs...
The later show was much more rockin', to say the least, and the musicianship was on another level - I'd even venture to say that Elf Power's new rhythm section is probably the tightest and most talented in Athens, if not in all of Georgia. The later crowd was much older and more local, though I know several diehard fans came from far and away. And it's safe to say that the later crowd was probably a lot more "accepting" of recreational drinking and drugging! Plus, the later show just ROCKED harder, with full bands taking the stage...and true to Elephant 6-style shows, a couple of the bands featured a brass instrument or two, shared the same band member or two, were drunk and/or mildly stoned, and had that certain kind of mind-blowing, smile-inducing sound that can only be attributed to the E6/Orange Twin/Cloud Recordings family of scenesters.
In the end, who won out in the battle of the scenes? Well, if you plopped down a mere $15 to see two shows and six wonderful bands and performers in one magical night (like me and Missy did) then YOU were the big winner!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
(a plush "egg tart" made by CutseyPoo, sitting on the "soft mantle" above our fireplace)
Alrighty then...so in the interest of "saving time" and partly in anticipation for tonight's fun, I decided to post this weekend's Weekend Wind-Down questions ahead of time...the idea being that, when we come home late tonight, we'll just have to fill in any of the missing blanks...
FAVORITE MOMENT FROM THE PAST WEEK?
MISSY - Seeing Elf Power again the first time in a long time.
RAOUL - Last night's back-to-back shows at the 40 Watt.
WORST MOMENT FROM THE PAST WEEK?
MISSY - Worrying about travelling and making lists of things to not forget.
RAOUL - Not getting to see Paul, Peter and Michael at X-Ray...not a worst moment, just dissapointed.
WORD OR PHRASE OF THE PAST WEEK?
MISSY - "I wuv my Nilla"
RAOUL - "I wuv my Joey"
KIMYA DAWSON OR ADAM GREEN?
MISSY - Kimya.
RAOUL - Kimya. But just a tiny bit more than Adam.
ELF POWER OR THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS?
MISSY - Elf Power...because they don't make you wait two hours before coming on stage.
RAOUL - Elf Power...their new songs are awesome.
K OR E6?
MISSY - I love both!
RAOUL - I like them both, but if I had to go by the number of albums in my collection, it would be K Records, hands down.
FAVORITE MEAL FROM THE PAST WEEK?
MISSY - The indian meal from The Grit.
RAOUL - Sushi at Ru-San's.
NAME ONE "MUST DO" THING ON YOUR LIST FOR NEXT WEEK:
MISSY - Update my iPod.
RAOUL - Send out my taxes.
PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK FOR THE LAST WEEK?
MISSY - Elf Power, Tattletale, Basia Bulat, The Simple Carnival.
RAOUL - The Who, JSBX vs. DNSS, !!!, Violent Femmes, The Simple Carnival, In Yo' Face: The History of Funk Vol.5 cd, Gnarls Barkley.
(Missy sitting in the X-RAY CAFE, moments before The French Toasts performed at the BOYBUTANTE BALL last year, at the 40 Watt)
Also...tonight is the last night EVER of the X-RAY CAFE...in Athens, Georgia, it's the end of an era. Tonight, in between shows at the 40 Watt, Missy and I will be attending the farewell festivities happening two doors down at the X-RAY. We have many good memories of the X-Ray Cafe - Missy performed her first solo show as SUGAR COOKIE there; THE FRENCH TOASTS had one of their first performances there; we had several CHURCH OF CRAFT meetings there...it was a cool place to browse the many used records, books, and magazines while escaping the hipster hustle and bustle of Washington Street. And of course, you were always guaranteed an insightful or totally ludicrous conversation there...good times! But aside from all that, the most important thing is that we became friends with Paul, Peter, and Michael - the three men who managed, ran, and sold various antiques, collectibles, and an incredible array of odds and ends from the store...we're going to miss X-Ray for many selfish reasons I'm sure, but we are also hopeful and optimistic for their future endeavors...
FROM THE ATHENS BANNER HERALD:
"Athens says good-bye to an institution this week, when X-Ray Cafe closes its doors. Without question the most interesting place for a conversation in town, the establishment, run by Paul Thomas (without question one of the most interesting people in town), was home to an eclectic mix of thrift store goodies and a haven for experimental music. It's hard to imagine W. Washington Street without it. X-Ray will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. today and Friday, with a farewell party Saturday evening. Stop in for a last chat and to find out what's next for the always innovative Mr. Thomas."
Here's Missy posing with a spring-time happy face cookie that we got at the Black Forest Bakery today...they had this dinosaur-shaped piece of bread perched on a cookie island:
Before that, we stopped at our post office box to collect our mail...it's a really nice old post office with these really cool vintage post office boxes. Unfortunately, we just happened to get the ugliest box there...all the other boxes have this cool gold lettering and we got stuck with rub-on lettering on a piece of scrap paper:
(Missy walking up the side steps of the downtown Athens post office, which shares the building with a federal court)
Before we got to the post office, we stopped off at the pet shop to get Nilla's supplies for the next couple of weeks we'll be gone...
...It was pet adoption day, so there were many homeless dogs and cats hoping to get lucky...
It had started raining on our way to the pet shop, which is good because the tulips that just blossomed in our flower bed need to be watered...
We made sure to water our cat before we even left the house though:
Friday, March 28, 2008
About a week ago, we got a package from Jeff Boller of THE SIMPLE CARNIVAL...we got a t-shirt and a couple copies of his new CD e.p., "Me and My Arrow". We were excited to get the package because Jeff had commissioned artwork from Missy for the CD and other band merchandise. We were eager to see (and hear) the finished product...plus, we're fans of THE POINT, the animated movie featuring the music of Harry Nilsson, including the song "Me and My Arrow", which Jeff covered on the CD. Anyways, thanks for the hook-up, Jeff!
Today, we were still feeling too lazy to cook, so we once again headed out to RU-SAN's...that's twice in one week! What can we say - it's great food at an awesome price:
Afterwards, we headed out to EARTH FARE to stock up on some groceries:
(Missy trying to make a decision in front of a wall of snack dispensers)
(a nicely decorated box for used tissues in the make-up aisle)
(we really liked this cute packaging for these children's toothbrushes)
Missy really liked the artwork on the package of this chocolate bar, so she bought it. It's got a line drawing of a cat filled-in with a photo image of cat fur. Cool idea...I told Missy that I would like her to do something similar, utilizing her line art and a photo of Nilla's hair. I was thinking that we could use the image for the header of our blog, if it turned out cool. I made Missy a really really rough mock-up of what I had in mind:
Missy finished up some new "tissue pals" - they're for little packets of kleenex, kinda like a little pouch that opens in the back. When you stick in a pack of tissues, the pal becomes a stuffed plush head:
Then, Missy decided it was time to finally clean "Nilla's recliner"...we have this really nice and comfortable bent-wood recliner that we got from IKEA that Nilla loves to curl up in. As a result, a thick blanket of hair had built up on it and the accompanying foot stool. Missy's mom told her a trick that easily gets cat hair out of fabric...first, you put on a RUBBER GLOVE...then, you get the glove a little wet...finally, you rub the fabric with your gloved hand, balling up and lifting cat hair as you go. As you can see in the photos, it works like a charm! In the meantime, Nilla had to make do with sitting on the floor until Missy was done cleaning her chair:
...we took the third of four Typhoid pills tonight...one more pill on Sunday and we should be protected for the next five years...