Archive | September, 2005

In time of need, I turn to music

27 Sep

This has been one heck of a month, so to keep my mind off it, here are my music picks for the SF area.

9/28: New Pornographers, Bimbos 365 Club
Neko Case, that alt-country angel, singing power pop. And she’s not even the lead singer. That’s how good the New Pornographers are. But only go if you can’t make it to the killer Barefoot Nellies show that night.

9/30: Very Strictly Bluegrass, Plough and Stars
Some of my favorite bands (and good friends) are playing within walking distance from my house and I’ll be at a wedding in Santa Barbara. O cruel world! Honestly, every act on the bill puts on a good show, but the Lone Mtn. Sisters and Homespun Rowdy are my personal favorites because they’re my pals. This is a fundraiser for musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

10/1-10/2: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Golden Gate Park
Everyone’s going to (and should) check out Earl Scruggs, Hot Rize, Doc, Del McCoury, and Dolly, but I say avoid the crowd.

On Saturday, check out Calexico with Los Super Seven. I haven’t heard them play together, but Calexico is a great, great band with a truly unique sound (here, unique means good). Skip the Peasall sisters–we all had enough of them after O Brother. But Wake the Dead and Perfect Strangers are two great, but very different, bands with great, but very different, mandolin players (one of whom I used to work with and one of whom is my mando teacher).

And on Sunday, if you’re not checking out Del McCoury at Rancho Nicasio, go see Tim O’Brien, not only because he, too, is a fine mando player, but because Danny Barnes, quite possibly my favorite banjo player in the world, is touring with him and it should be a great show. The Be Good Tanyas will probably be good (I wonder if I can make that sentence a palindrome?). If you want to see fine showmanship, go see Rhonda Vincent. She can plug every single product she and her band endorses in a way that leaves you completely entertained, yet filled with a strange desire to go out and buy Martha White flour. It’s amazing. Plus, she’s got a great voice and when she does pick a mando, it’s pretty sick especially considering the amount of sequins she wears. If Tony Rice shows up to the gig, the Peter Rowan/Tony Rice could be a good one to catch if you like hot flatpicking over treacly singer-songwriter songs.

Look at all my recommendations. Maybe I do like mandolin.

10/19: Iron and Wine/Calexico, the Warfield
Their duet EP is one of my favorites this year, and the juxtaposition of Sam Beam’s whispered vocals and Calexico’s mariachi horns is oddly satisfying. “A History of Lovers” is a great song off that EP, by the way. If you don’t own it, it’s worth it just for that song.

11/11: My Morning Jacket, the Fillmore
I’m curious to see how good a show these guys put on because their albums are filled with beautiful music that I can’t imagine hearing live. But I thought that about the Cure after Disintegration came out and that tour was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I’m not expecting MMJ to live up to the Cure’s standards (since they probably don’t put the same attention the Cure does towards light shows, pointy hair, and eye makeup), but I bet it will be good.

And my favorite newish discovery, Samantha Stollenwerck. Check her out when you can. She’s very nice, too.

Lesser-Known Proofreading Marks

6 Sep

I know, I know, it’s supposed to be a craft blog and here I am posting two editorial-related posts in one day. But this is funny.

Hurricane Lexicon

6 Sep

As an editor, I found this story pretty interesting.

I have to say, I disagree with the reading of “refugee” as a perjorative term or as a term with any racial implications, but I can see what Rev. Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus are reacting to. The difference lies in the denotative meaning vs. the connotative meaning. I find this subject fascinating, so if you don’t, stop reading here.

If you’re not familiar with the terms, think of the denotative meaning as the dictionary meaning and the connotative meaning as the subtext. For example, slender and skinny both mean thin, but slender has a pleasant connotation (pleasingly thin) and skinny has a somewhat negative connotation (too thin or unattractively thin).

So refugee, as the article points out, is defined as one who seeks refuge, but the word implies more than that. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. defines it as “one that flees; especially: a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.” I think that definition hints at the connotative meaning.

Fleeing isn’t generally considered a noble thing to do. There was a report on NPR from a guy living in the French Quarter who refused to leave and is surviving rather well, thanks to the generosity of his neighbors who have called to tell him how to get into their houses to get food and his and his friends’ resourcefulness. He said something like, “We’re not at the Superdome taking handouts,” implying that that was a shameful thing to do (of course, his home was largely undamaged). He would not flee. He would likely consider it a sign of weakness.

But the other element is who we picture when we hear about refugees. I think of people living in camps for generations, unable to get employment in their host country and relying on services to survive. I think of people who have no home. And I think that starts to get at what the anti-“refugee” folks take offense to.

The problem, however, doesn’t seem to be the word, but rather the treatment of refugees. We shouldn’t treat the Katrina refugees as refugees, but we also shouldn’t treat refugees like refugees. I’ll spare everyone the Tom Petty song reference, but it’s true. You don’t have to live like that, but more importantly, we don’t have to treat refugees like that.

Goals for next year

5 Sep

I gave up on most of my athletic goals for this year. I didn’t start training early enough (well, at all) for the Pac Grove Tri. I decided to do the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon instead of the Treasure Island Tri, but the day I went to sign up was the day after the half-marathon sold out. Oh well. Next year.

As a matter of fact, next year, I’d like to do Bay to Breakers again, Pac Grove, and the Nike Women’s Half. I want that Tiffany and Co. finisher medal, dang it!

After finally starting to recover from my post-vacation cold, I went for two runs this weekend, and boy, am I out of shape. I was hoping to get up to go to spinning tomorrow AM, but maybe I’ll sleep in and start back up with Spinning on Thurs. As always, we’ll see…