Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nilla Seventy-One

Nilla sits., originally uploaded by sugar-cookie.

I took these great photos of Nilla last night. One of Nilla's many talents is her ability to sit very much like a person. This makes her look more blob-ish than she really is, too.

Nilla is really in relax mode!
As you can see, she got really relaxed while I took some pictures of her!

Nilla realxing.

Nilla is our amazing cat!
Snowdrop cat!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Decemberists, Laura Veirs & The Hall Of Flames

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Saturday night, Missy and I had tickets to go see THE DECEMBERISTS performing with LAURA VEIRS & THE HALL OF FLAMES at the CLASSIC CENTER in downtown Athens. The concert was the same night as the big UGA football game and we knew that the parking and traffic situation was going to suck. Our plan was to park across the street from The Grit, have dinner there, then walk several short blocks to the venue. By the time we were done eating, the light rain turned into a heavy downpour, with the wind blowing raindrops sideways. On the way there, we delighted in watching the tailgating football fans dealing with the rain. As we hurried to our destination we passed by the mysterious FUR BUS. Was it all furry inside? We imagined all these soaking wet football fans sitting inside of it, and all this wet fur...

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We picked up our tickets at will call and somehow, we were able to get into the Classic Center early. One of the promoters saw us and asked, "How did you guys get in?" We told him that we just came in through one of the doors, which I guess was supposed to be locked. Instead of kicking us out back in the rain, he actually let us stay inside to dry off, while all our fellow concert goers stood outside looking in on us. We were soaked up to our knees from our walk. Missy kicked off her Fluevogs in an effort to dry off her socks a bit...

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We saw this cool painting over by the bathrooms...

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Eventually, they started letting people into the concert hall. We made our way down to the orchestra pit and marveled at how close our seats were to the stage...

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Soon enough, Portland, Oregon's LAURA VEIRS and her backing band, THE HALL OF FLAMES, took the stage. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome they were. They had that classic "pacific northwest sound", if you know what I mean (some of you do)...

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DEC 6327 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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After Laura Veirs, they started pumping the fog machine, in preparation for THE DECEMBERISTS. They ended up putting on a hell of a show, performing their entire "rock opera", THE HAZARDS OF LOVE, front to back, with no break in between songs...

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The Decemberists were joined by BECKY STARK, of the L.A. band LAVENDER DIAMOND, and SHARA WORDEN, of the band MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND. Becky played the part of the protagonist's "angelic wife". Dressed in a white gown, she looked every bit the part...and she looked a bit like PRINCESS LEIA...

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DEC 6349 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

Shara played the part of "the temptress" or "the devil" and you could tell she relished playing the part. She definitely stole the show with her powerful singing and stage theatrics...

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DEC 6350 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

DEC 6358 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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Band leader, COLIN MELOY, sported mutton chops, successfully blending in with the local townie hipsters...he told the audience this really convoluted story about how the worse song he ever wrote caused the formation of legendary Athens band, R.E.M...

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One of the highlights of the night came when they performed a rousing rendition of HEART's epic "Crazy On You", with Becky and Shara taking on the roles of sisters Ann and Nancy was the 70's cherry on top of a wonderfully theatrical night of prog rock...

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DEC 6391 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Wind-Down #74




MISSY - A Hawk And A Hacksaw with Damon & Naomi at The Melting Point!
RAOUL - The Decemberists were awesome, but I'm going to have to go with A Hawk And A Hacksaw and Damon & Naomi as well.

MISSY - Getting stuck in the rain on our walk to the Classic Center to see The Decemberists.
RAOUL - Walking in the rain to the Classic Center last night on our way to see The

MISSY - Raoul's freestyle singing at The Decemberists!
RAOUL - Seeing all the football fans dealing with the rain in their own unique ways.

MISSY - "Oreo's last name is Cookie"
RAOUL - "The wanting comes in waves..."

MISSY - Left over mac and cheese, steamed carrots, and roasted asparagus.
RAOUL - Big Daddy burger and mashed potatoes at The Grit for dinner last night.

MISSY - Bananas, pineapple juice, fake bacon.
RAOUL - Apples, pickles, bread.

MISSY - Stay up late, get to work late, forget to feed the pets.
RAOUL - Slack, get up late, spend too much money.

MISSY - Beirut, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, The Monkees.
RAOUL - Best Coast, Dr. Dog, Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Venice Is Sinking, My Brightest Diamond, Ruby Isle, The Buddy System, Beirut, Black Kids, Watercolor Paintings, Stereo Total, Microphones, Bis, Peechees, Delgados, Comet Gain.



Sketchbook Sunday

raoul balloon, originally uploaded by sugar-cookie.

Here is a drawing for Sketchbook Sunday that Raoul made!

Oh And O!

I made this letter O to be sent to BLUEBOTTLE GALLERY in Seattle. It is for a sign to spell out "plush you" for this year's PLUSH YOU! show. It looks like it is going to be a fabulous exhibit with lots of great plush artists, so if you are in Seattle, be sure to check it out October 9 and 10 at Schmancy, Nancy, and Fancy.

This is a little detail of the snake's face. I am learning embroidery, so I appliqued the eyes on using a sort of made up blanket stitch when I really meant to make it a split stitch.

Here is the snake all packed up and ready
My snake O got shipped yesterday! Here he is all curled up and ready for the post office.

In other news, I sent a bunch of new zines to NANCY in Seattle, ATOMIC BOOKS in Baltimore, and BIRD IN THE HAND in Australia! There's also a new shop that I sent to called BENTO in Pennsylvania, it is a cute shop so check it out, too!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


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We got these STUFFERS from the grocery a little while ago and the other night we decided to finally try them. They're like these doughy buns filled with cheese and broccoli, with a light breading on the outside. They kinda look like fuzzy little potatoes. We baked a couple of them, grilled some asparagus, and steamed some little carrots. I made a little BIRD creature sitting in a nest made out of asparagus while Missy turned her stuffer into a TAMAGOTCHI. They taste pretty definitely have to eat them with something else I think because they're kinda rich and you need something to balance it out. If you're a vegetarian, it's something good to have on hand if you need something in a pinch...or if you're feeling too lazy to cook something more involved, or if you're feeling too lazy (or too broke) to go out to eat...

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Damon, Naomi, A Hawk, And A Hacksaw



Last night, Missy and I, headed out to THE MELTING POINT to see DAMON & NAOMI and A HAWK AND A HACKSAW. It ended up being what will probably be the best show we will see all year. For starters, Damon & Naomi were two thirds of the influential indie band GALAXIE 500, back in the late 80's/early 90's. They rank as one of my all-time favorite bands and they helped inform the way I write music and play guitar. Anyways, the other member, Dean Wareham, went on to form the band LUNA, who I've seen a million times, and the other two members, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, went on to form Damon & Naomi...duh. Needless to say, I was waaaaaaay excited to see them perform, especially since this was the first time I ever saw them live. They played a lovely, mellow set and closed their show with an awesome rendition of LEONARD COHEN's "Bird On A Wire"...


HAWKHACK 6248 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

After their set, we filled up with some sweet potato fries. Missy was genuinely excited that we could order fries in between bands...


Where Damon & Naomi were launguid and a bit melancholy, A HAWK AND A HACKSAW were frenetic and bombastic, a whirling dervish of gypsy sounds from the Middle East and Eastern Europe...Jeremy Barnes (formally of legendary ELEPHANT 6 band, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL) and Heather Trost make up the core of the band, playing accordion and violin, respectively...they came fully armed with a tuba player who looked like he hiked down from some Alpine village, a horn player, and a dude that played clarinet and some sort of lute...needless to say, they were incredible and you couldn't help but move in your seat. I half expected Gomez and Fester Addams to jump out and dance the Mamoushka! At one point, Heather played this strange old timey-looking VIOLIN-TRUMPET HYBRID that made these eerie scratchy sounds. You could bow it or you could drag this loop of string across the other strings to make a tone...

HAWKHACK 6253 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.



HAWKHACK 6256 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.




In true Elephant 6 style, the band marched off the stage while still playing and led the entire audience into the cozy little bar area tucked to the side of the main room. They finished their set with a couple of rousing numbers, sans PA, in true old world style...truly, it was one of those special "you had to be there" kind of moments and I count myself lucky that we were there to witness the whole spectacle in person and to be there in the midst of so much greatness and goodness. The night was an E6 fan's wet dream, with three-fourths of Neutral Milk Hotel standing in the same room, as well as many other members of the Elephant 6 clique in attendence to show their love and support...

HAWKHACK 6270 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

HAWKHACK 6271 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.



(OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROLl's Pete Erchick watches intently from his seated position)

HAWKHACK 6274 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

(Missy stands in line behind Scott Spillane - NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, THE GERBILS, etc.- at the merch table. We came away with a tour poster and a Damon & Naomi dvd - a few things on the table that we didn't already own)