Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Early Morning Blues Part Duex

The trip to Rhode Island via Hartford apparently wasn't enough and when Early Morning Blue announced their headlining show with The Rebels opening in Boston on a Saturday? I made a plan to make it work. I talked it over with Rana and Victoria whom I met at the RI show and then coaxed Heather into coming with me.

We've been planning, looking forward to and counting down to this trip for months now and finally it was here! We had a great day in Boston on Friday, but Saturday afternoon was the main attraction for sure. Saturday had a few complications including picking up my customized chucks and the Bruins parade to celebrate them winning the Stanley Cup earlier in the week, but we managed to arrive at the venue not ten minutes before they opened the doors.

Colleen was at the front of line and bounced out in our general direction as soon as she saw us. I handed over the extra Black Carbon Custom shirt I had (I bought it too big and had to re-buy it so I would actually wear it) and I think it left her speechless. She's been upset because she hasn't been able to get one herself and I thought it was best to give it to someone who would really truly appreciate it which meant Colleen. I loved watching her look all flabbergasted. Sometimes it's just nice to do something nice for someone else.

We got in and Heather directed us towards the merch table which I think is where it got real for her. I had my eyes out for a certain blond, but there was John Keefe (of Boys Like Girls and drummer for The Rebels) just chilling at the table. He's Heather's favorite and I sot of loved watching her eyes go wide. We got Rebel's shirts and Heather got an EMB shirt (I have 2 already). John chatted her up and gave us hugs for coming so far. He's a doll and completely precious in person.

After merch we drifted to the 21+ area because face it, there are a few perks of being old and after being faced with the sheer age difference between ourselves and the kids there we needed a drink. (In some cases I swear I was over 10 years older than these kids). Bryan was by the bar with some folks and I have to say I creeped a little, but eventually he spotted me and I waved, not thinking too much of it. I got a smile though and he left the others to come to me, gave me a big hug and asked how the trip up was. I think about there I freaked out a little, shocked that he knew who was just by looking at me.

I introduced him to Heather and he gushed again a little about us coming so far then told me about how the line up had changed a little due to the lead singer of the Rebels needing to be somewhere that late afternoon. I nodded and reassured him that we'd made it there before the opener an were good to go on seeing everyone. He nodded and then went back to his thing while we got settled.

As the openers started we (Rana, Heather and I) found a good spot to camp out at in the front of the 21+ area and we settled in. The first opener, The All Night Affair, was good. Nothing too earth shattering but they were cute and fun to listen too. It was a little bit poppier than EMB, but I wasn't going to fault them for that. Same with the second group that came on, Call Me Anything, poppier and local, but really cute and fun to listen to. I didn't hate their stuff and they did a great job considering how young they looked (and probably were). Solid performances from both groups.

There were a few moments to drift between bands and at one point we did spot Bry's brother whom I'd met in RI and I introduced myself again. It took a moment to clear up the 'swear we met before bro' bit but eventually he figured out Heather and I were the two from far away and we got hugs an the wound up just chatting. Bryan came over a little later and stood next to his brother all excited and grinning that I'd met him.

He asked his brother if I had told him my story yet which had us all staring at Bryan confused until he was like "She's come really far to see us twice now!" and then everyone laughed and nodded and said yes yes, that was me. Bryan wound up jetting off again and we chatted tattoos with the bro before we went back to Rana. She was definitely laughing at us but it was fun.

The Rebels were up next and I can't lie was a little nervous. No one had any idea what they were going to dish out and though we trusted John to only be part of something awesome, I was a little anxious. Halfway through the first song I was completely hooked. They had presence, they were awesome and of course they had great backing in John. It was a really, really solid sound for a first show ever and a really great set of tracks. We were actually freaking out just a little and I loved watching Heather get really excited. (The same way I do for EMB)




Then it was Ghost Ocean and they were pretty kick ass too. I can see why Bryan likes them so and I definitely grabbed their CD they were handing out because it was too good to pass up on. I really loved their sound and how they just weren't afraid to do their thing, which was loud and kinda in your face. Their keyboard was jacked so they couldn't do one of their covers but wound up doing it anyway and the keyboardist came out with the keyboard and 'air keyboarded' which was just hilarious.

Ghost Ocean

After we had a break before another local band, Love Via Dance Machine, went on. We knew going in that Bryan wasn't stoked about them being in the line up and that the manager who set up the show pulled them in. I wasn't entirely sure why, just heard that they were pains and divas and that their sound wasn't right for the style of show. Not to mention they were only playing three songs. As the time went on in between sets, I'd gone to the bathroom and drifted to the merch table to try and chat up Bryan again but it was obvious that people were pissed. And by people I mean Bryan. Frustration and anger were sort of settled around him as they took thirty minutes (at least double all the others bands) to set up, and by they I mean their crew of kids from other local bands that weren't playing and not them. The break did give us a chance to chat with Luke and Russ from the Rebels (well Rana and Heather chatted with Russ, I only got Luke later). They were completely stoked we were there and I told Luke I follow him on twitter.

I didn't see Love Via Dance Machine much at all throughout the show so when they walked on stage I had no idea what to expect. I wouldn't have guessed and awkward looking kid with terrible hair, a guitarist who seemed to model everything about his style and playing after Jack from All Time Low. Actually that was the whole thing. They looked just like All Time Low. They sounded like All Time Low. And I don't mean that as a good thing. They were very musically talented, and they sounded okay, but it wasn't original. Not in any way. It was poppy and catchy but there wasn't any heart and I hate to break it to the world, that act didn't belong smushed between Ghost Ocean and Early Morning Blues.

There were in appropriate comments, tweets and possibly a hand gesture out of frustration but the three songs ended soon enough and EMB went through the fastest set up ever.

The house music went off and Heather turned her flip cam on me because she said I was freaking out and no lie I totally was. I couldn't help it. The tone of the entire room changed with four chords, darkening out the music and wiping all the poppy happy that was left. Early Morning Blues is not about catchy tunes that get played on repeat on a radio station and that's what I love about them. They opened with the new track "All About Tonight" and it really is awesome live (it's one of the ones I hadn't seen yet).

Bryan - EMB

Bryan had an adorable moment trying to tune his bass and talk in between that and the next song and he commented that it was much harder than it looked. The rest of the set list was expected, "Never Leave", "Chapter One" and "Echoes". They were letting more of the crowd sing and I loved hearing the crowd singing "can I bring my black and blue, bruised broken body back to you," partially because it's part of my favorite lyrics ever and because it's just so cool to see the kids knowing the side project music.

Bryan - Early Morning Blues

During Never Leave Bryan's brother got the crowd jumping which was quite amusing to watch from where we were. Our little trio laughed because we knew who he was while the kids just sort of stared at him like he might have been nuts.

They closed with "War and Wisdom" and Bryan said "if you know any of the words sing along and if you don't know them….make them up." The crowd did their best to sing along and I know I was screaming as well. It was a really great bit of energy that they managed to build up in those final moments. Really great.

After Heather and I stopped by Bryan's brother and his friend to say goodbye and offer up a high five for their awesome pit antics. We wound up chatting a little more about accents (his is delightfully Bostonian) and he thanked us for supporting his bro again and gave us hugs. I told him we'd bug him when we came back.

Joining Rana and the others at the merch tables we got a chance to say hi to Jamel from The Rebels. Jamel was floored that we came so far that he grabbed up two Rebels key chain bottle openers and handed them over with hugs telling us that we were just awesome for showing up from that far away. It's always a little overwhelming to hear that sort of gratefulness in someone's voice, especially someone you respect so much. I know all about treating celebs like they are real people, which I try, but I'm so easily impressed and intimidated by what these musicians are capable of that it's hard for me not to be like "why would I not come forever to see you play?"

We went out back, following Colleen because they kicked us out of the venue and I felt bad leaving without saying goodbye to Bryan plus I had his bracelet in my bag still. Of course waiting resulted in a lot of waiting as the bands loaded their stuff into their cars (not Love Via but you guessed that right?) There were some things that had Bryan still frustrated, but he wound up finding time to chat up his fans. I enjoyed watching it and waving goodbye to John when he left. Eventually we made our way to Bry and the crowd thinned and I presented the bracelet, begging him not to laugh. Instead of laughter I got a wrist thrust at me and a "yes please." I think I just stared for a second before going "oh you want me to?" and then he nodded and said yes and I tried very hard not to focus on blushing and his hook tattoo (which hi, I love) while I tied it. He told me the last one he had had just fallen off and his wrist felt naked so he was glad to have the new one there, then pulled the knot tighter with his teeth.

I wound up in convos with Chris and Travis from EMB and got to be introduced to them and Bryan told them I came from far away and they got excited and we chatted a little. Bryan had a few things to take care of after a long moment and left us then came back again and I told him we had a bus to catch. I got a huge crushing hug and a promise that his plan was to make it to Atlanta by the end of the summer in some capacity. I promised that if he showed? I'd be there. I think he knew that though. Lots of thanks for coming again and I loved hearing him tell Heather it was a pleasure to meet her (that's what kind of guy he is).

Part of me wonders if this one was better than the other, but I can't decide. I loved both so much. He keeps getting better every time I see him. There's another show at the end of the month but that's probably not going to happen for me. Hopefully my Boston contingent will be there and send my love for me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3 Cities: Boston!

The plan was to visit three cities in the year for fun and not for work. I've been a mountain of interesting places for work including Southern California, Seattle and Hamburg, but those weren't for fun and fun was the key here.

The trek to see Early Morning Blues all over continues and this time I got to see them in their hometown of Boston, MA. Heather, my friend from the DC area came with and we trekked from DC to Boston (after I started everything in California). We planned out for a weekend and got to Boston midday on Friday which meant we had most of the day to explore.

First things first we met up with Rana which involved a trip on the T (their bus/metro/train system) to her apartment. That's always an experience, but once you learn one metro map, the rest sort of fall together. Heather had a handle on DC and though it had been a while I could muster my way through the Paris Metro which wasn't even in English.

After dropping things off and changing at Rana's we headed out again, grabbing lunch at a local pizza place, the Penguin. Totally yummy and actually a pub run by British folks. It reminded me of of Manchester Arms in Atlanta, but they served pizza.

Then it was off to Newbury Street which was probably my number one goal. We walked from the Penguin there and had Rana laughing because she told us it wasn't far, "only a 30 minute walk." Heather and I both being from places where you just don't walk balked at her a little. We wound up walking which was really nice, getting to see a lot of Boston as we did, but it was quite the walk.

Newbury is home to Johnny Cupcakes which was one of my main targets. I love the story behind the shop and love the clothes that he sells. It's all very kitsch and cool. Danny from Early Morning Blues actually works there which is even cooler. I picked up a shirt with Hello Kitty as well as the Johnny Cupcake logo and Heather got a cute maroon one.

Johnny Cupcakes

Victoria caught up with us and we wandered up and down Newbury, stopping in a thrift store where Heather found a loud Betsy Johnson shirt which had all of us laughing because really? That's Heather. The used CD/DVD store had a copy of the Boys Like Girls dvd for $6 which meant I picked it up. I have it on iTunes, but the case has a ton of really cool photos which I wanted to get my hands on and for half price I was more than willing.

There was another stop at Pinkberry of course to get a treat for the afternoon. Definitely delicious and totally worth the stop. It was fun to get it with my friends who don't live in Atlanta, but I always wind up tweeting with about it.

The last stop was for me, at the Converse store. Walking in the door I honestly felt like I'd walked home. I loved the clothes, everything looking like something I'd wear (boys clothes and girls). We went upstairs to look at shoes and I just sort of knew I'd end up with a pair, but instead of just grabbing a teal pair of chucks to match Meaghan's I found out they customize chucks. Turns out it was $20 to do one side of printing and by one side they mean a design on one side of either shoe, anything that can be done in a single print. It took us almost an hour but eventually both Heather and I designed customized high tops.

Designing new chucks

Custom Chucks

I feel like a total nerd, but I've never been so excited about a pair of shoes in my life.

We left Newbury and wandered towards Fenway, grabbing a few photos of the stadium as they got ready for the Red Sox Brewers game. It was fun to see all the people gearing up for the game. It's different than being around Turner Field in Atlanta which is huge and one of the only things in that area. There's a lot more surrounding Fenway.

i'm forever talking


Post Fenway we headed back to Rana's to rest for a while before going out for a late dinner and drinks with Cole, who is one of my brother's friends from high school (so one of my other little brothers). It was awesome to get to see him, introduce him to my friends as well.

I think I'm kind of in love with Boston. It's such an old city, something we don't have in Atlanta. (That's what happens when your city is burned to the ground in the Civil War, but even then we don't have the same sense about it. Atlanta doesn't keep old buildings like they do in Boston). I could definitely live there if it came down to it. I think I'd really enjoy it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Atlanta Indie Craft Experience Summer Market

Cressie, my lil sister in my sorority, was in town this weekend. We'd already planned to thrift shop in Atlanta's Little Five Points, but she sent me a link at the last minute to the Indie Craft Experience Summer Market and we tweaked plans to be there instead.

ICE Summer 2011 Postcard front

I'm a sucker for these sort of things, and I was more than excited to get up early, get there in time to be among the first 250 and get our swag bags as well as just to see everything.

Being a crafter myself, I've always loved to see what others can do with the trade. As expected there was plenty to see and do, as well as drool over. I know so little about the craft industry here in my hometown, finding myself mostly immersed in what I find online rather than down the street.

One of my favorite artists, one I found first at Dragon*Con this past year was there and I spent my usual time drooling on his quirky artwork. I did tell him though that I'd seen him at D*Con as well and he got excited that I remembered who he was.

So many other little juicy tidbits here and there, but I'll harp on who I got things from. If you're interested, be sure to look through the links at Indie Craft Experience Atlanta because there is much that is so awesome.


I've been searching for the perfect Father's day gift and I managed to find it! This great birdhouse made of license plates done by Stress The Seams was perfect. Dad collects birdhouses and being a former resident of Georgia it's just fitting.


When the girl from The Small Object handed me the little handwrapped package I was so surprised. It's beyond cute, and part of me didn't want to open it.


The stamps inside though are too cute not to get my hands on.


I haven't mentioned it yet, but my honorary little brother and his wife just found out they are having a baby boy (they just found out it's going to be a boy) and I couldn't pass up sending them this cute blanket with airplanes on it from Orangeberry Baby. Just the first of many things for little Peyton Michael I think.


I got this lovely charm necklace from Talulah B.. It's the perfect gift for a special someone.


Last but not least I couldn't resist these cute buttons from sweetie pie press. Perfect little tidbits for good friends.

Friday, June 3, 2011

12 Books

It's been the past few months for progress, and I've been chipping away at my 27 Things Before 28 List.

Number 5 was "Read 12 books." I actually thought this was going to be a big stretch because I haven't been making time for reading like I used to and I was reading some pretty heavy stuff earlier in the year, but it turns out I was able to get through them pretty quickly. Traveling for work and being stuck on an airplane seemed to help quite a bit with that. Here you are, the 12 I read list:

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)
2. The Girl who Played With Fire (Steig Larsson)
3. Can You Keep a Secret (Sophie Kinsella)
4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest (Stieg Larsson)
5. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
6. Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)
7. Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)
8. Keeping The Moon (Sarah Dessen)
9. This Lullaby (Sarah Dessen)
10. The Secret Circle: The Initiation (L.J. Smith)
11. The Secret Circle: The Captive (L.J. Smith)
12. The Secret Circle: The Power (L.J. Smith)

I've read another one since (my best buddy Jacki loaned me some trashy supernatural romance-type novels which I've read one and a half of and I think I left something out of that list. I feel like there was something between 9 and 10.

Call it done and scratch it off.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Love Will Never Die

Number 14 on my 27 Before 28 List was 'wrist tattoo' as in get my wrist tattoo that I had planned.

In April after having waited a year since the last one I decided it was time. I knew what I wanted, where and I had an idea for the font for the writing.

Love will never die

"Love will never die," is a line from a camp song at the camp I counselor at. The song, "Love Is" is by far my favorite at camp and the best of all the songs we sing. It's one of the most popular and as far as I'm concerned it isn't camp until we've sung this song at the top of our lungs.

Not only that it's good advice for life.

Around here, I should explain camp. Camp Kudzu is a camp that does week long sessions for kids with Type 1 diabetes. I started on a whim with nothing to do in the summer after college and I wound up getting completely hooked. This year will be my sixth session and I swore that after five I would get the tattoo. I did it!

#14 done.

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