Monday, March 31, 2008

healthier tara = good obstacle #1

Not 2 hours in to the Healthier Tara = Good plan, my co-worker arrives at the office with a giant tray of Italian pastries homemade by actual Italian ladies.  Why?  Why must you tempt me like that fitness gods????  That's like, the meanest thing you could have thrown at me!  And so early!!!  What else have you got up your sleeve????  Isn't depriving me of my morning mocha-javas enough for you?  Try as you might, I was strong and didn't even smell anything.  Take that big fat stupid fitness head!

happy birthday kitchenaid

Once again, the folks at Apartment Therapy are pointing out good news for all us kitchen nerds.  If, like me, you like to pet the KitchenAid mixers at the kitchen stores and try and convince yourself that yes, you do in fact bake that much to warrant such an expenditure, than this is good news for you.  In honour of their 90th anniversary in 2009, KitchenAid is commemorating by reissuing their mixer with the classic glass bowl from their early models.  Sassy.......

weekend round-up

With the "Healthier Tara = Good" plan kicking off on Monday, this weekend felt a bit like a collection of last suppers. Marc surprised me Friday by taking me out for a lovely, lovely dinner at Tommy's Not Here, which I haven't been to in about 10 years. We pigged out on crepe-wrapped escargot, prociutto and bocconcini, pancetta and penne in a gorgonzola cream sauce, raspberry sorbet and drank a delicious Zinfandel. It was a great night.

Saturday we took advantage of the glorious sunshiney weather and had a lovely big fat walk out on Ramsey Lake with Bailey, ran some errands and hung out. We observed Earth Hour like good ecomaniacs of course. I poured myself some chocolate grappa and we read our book by candlelight (yes, we're one of those couples that reads together -- I have my book, Marc has his book and we have "our" book which we read aloud and it's great), Bailey observed by taking a giant nap. Post Earth Hour we ventured to the Townehouse to see chum Rob and his kick-ass band Statues (PS: Kaili I'm so buying you their CDs --you'd love!) and in the process discovered a great act in Malcolm Bauld. Former member of other kick-ass band The Frenetics, he's now out doing the solo thing and sounds the way Bruce Springsteen would sound if he grew up in Nova Scotia. We picked up a copy of his record Covered in Dust and it's pretty great (minus 1 skipper track). Thanks to Rob for the heads up about this guy. We also got to see Horses who, while a fun band, were not as good as Malcolm. At least not that night anyway.

Sunday I busted up ice on our walkway cuz I'm super tough and strong and prepped for the aforementioned Healthier Tara = Good plan. I'm attempting to shed these incredibly pesky and persistent 10 pounds that showed up this fall. On the agenda, meal planning and shopping for the week. My basal metabolic rate is 1400 calories/day (multiply your weight by 100 and if you're active you get to add calories in there, setting me at about 1400) so on the menu we've got buckets of fruits and veggies, tofu, chicken and even some ice cream. Managed to find some great new health store finds (blog posts forthcoming) and attempted to get into some healthy mind-set. It's actually shaping up to be quite a bit less painful than I originally thought and hopefully should be an uneventful 2 months. First step, washing my workout clothes so they're lemony fresh for Monday. Every little bit helps. We ended the night with many episodes of Big Love from the second season cuz it's the greatest show ever and helped me forget about Monday, at least for a little while.

Friday, March 28, 2008

hillside festival gossip

So with our annual trek to Hillside Festival fast approaching I've begun my sleuthing to get the inside scoop on the performers. So far, there's not too much to report other than tickets go on sale Saturday, May 3rd. Last year, we came dangerously close to not getting tickets for the first time in 6 years. I freaking hope this year they sign on with an online ticket system that can actually handle the frenzy that is now Hillside ticket buying, instead of crashing one minute after they go on sale. Part of me loves that people are realizing what a tremendous festival this is but part of me longs for the first year we went when we decided to go 2 weeks before the festival, bought 3 full passes, found a room no problem and went. Now we have to book our rooms early (hell we booked ours in March!) and pray to the ticket gods to smile upon us.

Anyway, I poked around and obviously no big headliners have been leaked just yet I have managed to sleuth the following performers:
  • Kelly Joe Phelps
  • Moshav
  • Mr. Something Something
  • Po' Girl
  • Sue Foley
  • Evalyn Parry
  • some type of reuniting of Black Cabbage

And that's it. Nothing to get too excited about just yet I'm afraid but really, all I need to know is that the guy selling the African Peanut Stew will be there and I'm buying a pass.

bathroom basic

I saw this bathroom tonight over at Apartment Therapy (they are so on a role this week perhaps making up for the less than stellar content the last couple of weeks?) and immediately made a mental note of everything in it. We want to re-do our bathroom and this is pretty much exactly what I want. I know it's very white and very simple but it's very standard stuff for our 1920's house and I think would be a great contrast to all the colour in the rest of the house.

First off, I love subway tile. Always have, always will. They're simple, classic and well-suited to an older home.  I also love the hex floor although I would probably prefer a herringbone black and white tile like the original tile my parents have in their period home. I would probably paint the wall above the tile some fun colour so it's not all white. Currently our bathroom is painted an apple green and I suspect that colour might stick around - it's growing on me something fierce.  I also love the black tile accent detail. All over the traditional pedastal sink too with all the exposed plumbing and towel bars etc. Our bathroom is quite a bit larger than this but pretty much the same layout (except our toilet is behind the door and our shower is where their toilet is) so we're hoping to add in an antique clawfoot tub and an all-out lux shower big enough to live in. But in a nutshell, when you've got a big old house like ours, the tripped out modern bathrooms I just think are the wrong way to go. Traditional doesn't usually work for me but for me, in a bathroom it's a dream. This one's going on file for sure.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hot Bunny Radio Playlist for March 27th

CKLU 96.7 FM
* denotes Canadian talent
italics denotes a new release

  • New York Dolls -- Personality Crisis -- New York Dolls (vinyl)
  • Hefner -- Every Little Gesture -- Fidelity Wars
  • The Two Minute Miracles -- The Margarine Riot -- Volume One *
  • Oh Susanna -- Alabaster -- Johnstown *
  • Los Campesinos -- Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s) -- Hold On Now, Youngster *
  • The Replacements -- Anywhere's Better Than Here -- Don't Tell A Soul (vinyl)
  • Reverend Horton Heat -- Bath-Water Blues -- Holy Roller
  • Forest City Lovers -- Two Hearts -- Haunting Moon Sinking *
  • Billy Bragg -- You Make Me Brave -- Mr. Love & Justice
  • Kristen Hersh -- San Francisco -- Sky Motel
  • Gram Parsons -- Hearts on Fire -- Grievous Angel (vinyl)
  • Hayden -- Damn This Feeling -- In Field & Town *
  • Justin Rutledge -- San Sebastian -- Man Descending *
  • She & Him -- This Is Not A Test -- Volume One 
  • Peter, Bjorn & John -- Let's Call It Off -- Writer's Block
  • Frank Black & The Catholics -- Western Star -- Pistolero
  • The Ventures -- Walk Don't Run -- Walk Don't Run (vinyl)
  • Goldfrapp -- Happiness -- Seventh Tree
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds -- Albert Goes West -- Run, Lazarus, Run!!!
  • Ghost House -- Stagnant Minds -- The Old *
  • Hawksley Workman -- It's Not Me -- Between The Beautifuls *
  • Thrush Hermit -- Songs For The Gang -- Clayton Park *
  • Bon Iver -- Skinny Love -- For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Claire Jenkins avec band -- Dis-Moi -- Crow's Nest/Nid de Pie *
  • Townes van Zandt -- Ain't Leaving Your Love -- A Far Cry From Dead
  • Sarah Slean -- Get Home -- The Baroness *
  • The Tom Fun Orchestra -- When You Were Mine -- You Will Land With A Thud *
Notes this week:
  • "Alabaster" kills me every time I hear it;
  • Forest City Lovers: so far we're 2 for 2, keep up the good work!
  • Is there a way I can commission Billy Bragg to write a love song about me?  Few people can write so simply with such impact.  But first record in 6 years??  What's that about??
  • I can't tell you how happy I am the new Hayden record is so good.  I'm talking Everything I Long For type of good...
  • We cannot stop listening to that PB&J record!!  Why is that???  The record is 2 years old!
  • Nick Cave should give every musician a lesson in album design and he should call it "How To Make Your Record Buyers Feel Special;"
  • Dear Hawksley Workman:  Thank god this record is better than Treeful of Starling.  It's no Delicious Wolves but it'll do.
  • Congrats to Claire -- that song is a bucket of catchy and adorable.

okay fine!

Kaili e-yelled at me today to get to my blog and post this fun news so here I am. We all need a kick in the ass once in awhile. Rose and Radish is resurrecting Jennifer Muskopf's super cute Clive + Sunshine animals for a limited-edition series. The full line of old faves will be back plus a special collection called Cats and Birds. Good news for folks who were heartbroken when they stopped making them and folks who love table pets (that means you Kaili....and I admit, that lion perched on my desk would make me pretty darn happy too).

cool factor = high

This is completely something that falls into the category "something you totally love but never want to have in your home." A bathtub with a built-in aquarium?!?! 100% cool! Combining the 2 most relaxing things in the world? I'm so in! According to our friends at Apartment Therapy, this Moody Acquario is priced at a modest $14,500 and made of tempered glass and wood. I'm slightly afraid of that strange orange backpiece looking thing though as it looks horribly uncomfortable. Still super cool though and the tub of any kid's dreams.

talk about downward dog

Conan, a two-year-old male Chihuahua, sits beside Buddhist priest Joei Yoshikuni at Jigenin temple in Naha, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

curl your heart out!!!

Just wanted to take a moment to end out giant "good lucks" to my aunt Sandy and the rest of her curling team!!! They leave Saturday for Nanaimo, B.C and the CIBC Wood Gundy Canadian Masters Curling Championship representing all of Northern Ontario! We went to a fundraiser for the team last night and got to see them all decked out in their swanky new curling jackets -- hell I even won a door prize! That never happens!! It's awesome to see how excited they are and how proud everyone is of their accomplishment. I know pretty much nothing about curling (my aunt plays lead, I know that much) but I'll be checking the daily standings on the website for sure and sending out "hurry hard" thoughts from my living room.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

weekend round-up

Well if this glorious long weekend had a theme it was food, food and maybe some more food.  Happy Easter to all!  Hopefully we were all appropriately reverent and holy.  

Friday Marc and I pulled out all the stops and got all gourmet.  After cleaning the heck out of the house we rewarded ourselves with balsamic vinegar and fig cornish game hens, roasted asparagus and a white truffle risotto (made from the last of our truffle supplies from Italy...sigh).  Holy. Crap.  Talk about delicious.  I didn't even manage to get the hen stuck on my tiara (quick, guess the old movie reference).

Saturday we made homemade Panini all'Olio for Easter dinner at my folks' place.  We ate ourselves silly and had some good family fun.  If I couldn't have my mom's turkey ever again, I think I might do myself in.  There would be no reason for me to exist anymore.  Followed that by meeting our friend Ben and his lovely Aussie gal Fran and friends for cocktails even though I felt as though I had no more room for anything.

Sunday, up early for a giant Easter brunch at the Lakehouse.  Surprisingly, none of us felt like we had to eat at all after the previous night's pig-out.  No worries, we managed to plough through.  Home for the nap of the century and onwards to Marc's mom's place for, you guessed it, more food.   This time around, homemade Italian food.  For the record, Gemma is a phenomenal cook and I would cross the Pacific for her cannelloni, not to mention her tiramisu.  She made both.  I was happy.

As a result of this weekend's gluttony fest, we spent Monday digesting and dreading going back to work.  We still managed to continue the pig-out though as Marc made homemade butternut squash ravioli.  Mmmmm.......squash and ravioli.   Marc had the Jean Wells ladies over for a bit of a listening party in the evening --they've been doing a bit of recording here at the house and around so tonight was the first listen for the ladies (and Rob).  They're sounding really great and I'll be sure and put up the link to their MySpace when they get the new material posted.

This week, I'm in full on winter protest.  Mother Nature -- you can take this winter storm and shove it up your flowery butt!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hot Bunny Radio Playlist for March 20th

*denotes Canadian talent
italics denotes a new release

  • Colleen Brown -- Love You Baby -- Foot in Heart *
  • The D'Urbervilles - We Are The Hunters -- We Are The Hunters *
  • Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion -- Things I Used To Say To You -- Mods Rule *
  • Huevos Rancheros -- American Sunset -- Dig In! *
  • Calexico -- Guero Canelo -- Feast of Wire
  • Matthew Barber -- Sleep Please Come To Me -- Ghost Notes *
  • Weeping Tile -- Westray -- Eepee *
  • Plants & Animals -- Feedback in the Field -- Parc Avenue *
  • She & Him -- You Really Got A Hold On Me - Volume One
  • Tom Waits - Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis -- Blue Valentine (vinyl)
  • The Superfantastics -- Lullaby Punches -- Choose Your Destination *
  • Pointed Sticks -- Marching Song -- Part of the Noise *
  • Ladyhawk -- Night You're Beautiful -- Shots *
  • The Stand GT -- The Wait -- They're Magically Delicious *
  • Black Mountain -- Stay Free -- In The Future *
  • The New Pornographers -- Miss Teen Wordpower -- Electric Version (vinyl)
  • Thurston Moore -- Pretty Bad -- Psychic Hearts
  • Forest City Lovers -- Country Road -- Haunting Moon Sinking *
  • Joel Plaskett -- Truth Be Told -- La De Da (vinyl)
  • Violent Femmes -- Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah ( Means I Love You) from The Jetsons -- Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits
  • Vampire Weekend -- Oxford Comma -- Vampire Weekend
  • The Smalls -- Maybe That Prophet Scared You -- Waste & Tragedy *
  • Double Pumpers -- Hit You Hard Enough -- Old Gold *
  • Luke Doucet & The White Falcon -- First Day (In The New Hometown) -- Blood's Too Rich *
  • Cat Power -- Ramblin' (Wo)Man -- Jukebox
  • Hayden -- The Van Song -- In Field & Town *
  • Proof of Ghosts -- I'm Coming Home -- Proof of Ghosts *
  • The Boo Radleys -- 4AM Conversation -- Wake Up! 
  • Sea Wolf -- You're A Wolf -- Leaves In The River
  • Jason Collett -- Through The Night These Days - Here's To Being Here *
Notes this week:
  • Remember crush x1000 on Shannon Lyon?  So cute...
  • Huevos Rancheros: in honour of my mediocre breakfast of Huevos Tacinos in downtown Austin;
  • Calexico: In honour of my kickass Mexican dinner at Guero's;
  • Matthew Barber = hella cute and also a good record;
  • She & Him: again, buy this record before the day is out and you'll thank me.  Apologies to Smokey Robinson and The Beatles but their version of this song might be better than yours;
  • Look at the back of Blue Valentine and tell me you don't wish you were the girl leaning up against that car.  I know I do:
  • Forest City Lovers: One of our favourite discovery bands at Hillside last year.  So good!
  • Luke Doucet song is dedicated to La Belette and her new home;
  • Hayden: I wish that song was written for me: "And we did it for the lovers who were blind/ And we did it for the others left behind./ With each other, we recovered in the night."
  • I played the Sea Wolf "You're A Wolf " song cuz we saw 2 wolves driving home from Toronto last week. Yay for living in the North!

house concert etiquette

Since we're on the subject of etiquette, Marc and I went to a house concert on Thursday night for Brock Zeman.  If you've never been to a house concert, there are certain rules and etiquette that you are expected to adhere to.  First off, it's not a bar.  You really can't chat and listen to the music at the same time.  You're expected to quietly listen to the music and clap when it's over, wait until the end of the song to run to the bathroom and wait until the end of the next song before returning to your seat.  After all, the artist is usually playing acoustically 6 feet away from where you're sitting  and in a room the size of a living room, any disturbance you make is highly noticeable.  If you find yourself unable to do any of those things, at least make sure you turn your cell phone off and, this might be the most important rule of all, don't take multiple phone calls in the same room as the concert and proceed to have conversations about someone punching you in the face, ending your phone call with "Suck it!"  Yes, these things not only all happened at the concert we attended, but all by the same person.  Sigh....otherwise, a good show all in memory of organizer Carrie's dog Frank, who passed away the night before the concert.  Frank went to more summer festivals than most Sudbury residents and was always the life of the party.  I actually met Frank before I met Carrie when he introduced himself to me while I was sitting on the grass years ago at our Northern Lights Festival.  A perfect gentleman of course.  R.I.P Frank.

parking etiquette

First, I realize I had the wrong idea to begin with.  I stupidly thought I could zip out to the grocery store on the Saturday before Easter to pick up some flour with little to no hullaballoo.  That, however, is where my responsibility ends.  As I'm walking back to my car I notice that a big obnoxious pick-up truck is parked in the space next to me, actually obscuring the view of my car.  When I round the back of the truck I notice that this giant jerk has pulled into the space at such an angle that the back end of his big stupid truck is actually blocking me into my space.  Wha???  No word of a lie, I actually stopped in my tracks and said "You have got to be kidding me!?!"  Who parks like that?  Especially when the lot is as busy as it is??  Thankfully the guy in the next space showed up and was leaving but I had to do a sideways car shimmy to get out of my space.  This was the closest I have ever been to leaving a "what the F@$%*" note on someone's car.  Bailey came with me to the store and I scolded him for not barking ferociously at the big jerk, scaring him into fixing his assholey parking job.  To the big fat stupid head truck driver, I hope you get a vicious rash.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Here are the last of the pictures (I promise) and then sadly, nothing else to say about SXSW. This is a mish-mash of leftover pics that don't really fit anywhere, stolen pics from Dennis cuz I forgot my camera the first day, show videos and just general silliness. If you like that sort of thing.

This is us amidst the craziness that was 6th street.

Von Bondie goodness. Down boys...

Us at the Canada Blast party on the first night, drinking crappy American beer on empty stomachs. Hardcore!!

Us being hoplessly urban in our free hats. Yeah, can you spot the Canadians? Real subtle...

Waiting for yet another cab that never comes. This time at the base of a giant knight.

Our new friend blue sweater guy from Hot Little Rockets (I'm horrible with names).

This is just a picture to illustrate to all of you how badly I need a haircut. So embarrassing....

Other than that, I might post some videos here but it's being difficult at the moment.  They're all up on my Facebook for those who are interested.  I'll keep trying to put them here though.

harold and maude

I love this scene in all it's simple perfection. The colours, the composition of the shot, the images....brilliant in so many ways. I wish I had conversations like this in flowers. Add in the Cat Stevens as they pull back at the end....sigh.

cool pic

This pic is just the cutest thing I've seen since puppy overload last week. Big tortoise + tiny tortoise = classic funny.

Caption reads: "A weeks-old Galapagos giant tortoise crawls in front of its 70-year-old mother, Nigrita, inside an enclosure at the zoo in Zurich, Switzerland. "

we can rely on each other

How's this for great Canadian music news? Once again, according to the too cool for school folks over at Pitchfork, Feist is teaming up with labelmates, The Constantines, for her upcoming single. Pulling a Dolly and Kenny, Feist and the boys will be doing their version of "Islands in the Stream" in yet another BeeGees inspired moment.

According to Pitchfork: "On a new limited-edition 7", the somewhat steely Constantines and the lighthearted but not exactly musically goofy Leslie Feist will perform a collaborative cover of the Bee Gees' "Islands in the Stream", as made famous in duet form by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Though we are having a really hard time picturing Constantines lead singer Bryan Webb hamming it up Kenny style, Leslie Feist actually seems like a perfect Dolly. However they pulled it off, we simply cannot wait until Arts & Crafts throws this thing out there on April 1.The single will be backed by "Trans Canada", a tune from the Cons' Kensington Heights LP, which Arts & Crafts will issue April 15 in Canada and April 29 in the States."

Holy craptown -- that's fun news!


I love this pic of my 2 youngest nieces. Can you spot the faker?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

these boots are made for tara

Of course being in Texas I had to buy boots. As mentioned in previous posts, we asked around and were told by everyone we should only go to Allen's Boots on South Congress. If it's good enough for Sam Elliot it's good enough for me. Here are the lovely boots I bought for a completely respectable price. Alas, no red ones in my size :(. This picture really doesn't do them justice as the blue stitching is quite a bit more vivid in person. They're lovely and soft and surprisingly, probably the most comfortable footwear I own. Click here and scroll down for a video of me not only mosey-ing in my boots at Allen's but also drawing my imaginary guns and shooting Dennis.
These are the boots I desperately wanted to buy but they were a completely disrespectable price of almost $600. I don't think Marc would have let me in the door if I spent that much on boots that can pretty much only be worn with a cute skirt for the 2 1/2 months of the summer we have here. I still love them though and will pet them every time I'm in Austin from now on.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

sxsw word of the week...

Over-stimulated. As in, Tara is over-stimulated.

sxsw: day 5

Technically, there was no SXSW today but I'm still counting it in my tally. Today was all about Austin fun and I think we did almost every touristy thing a person can do in this town and it kicked butt.

Started out the day at the Waffle House because you just have to at least once. From there we pretty much spent the whole day on South Congress -- what a great street that is. The epitome of what a great downtown culture is and I could have easily spent my week's paycheque in those stores. I managed to keep my pursestrings in check and still managed to fulfill all my souvenir needs. For Tara though, it was all about the cowboy boots. We went to Allan's Boots, which from the locals is THE place to do your boot shopping. If it's good enought for Sam Elliott it's good enough for me. No red boots for Tara though I'm afraid but I did score a great brown pair with some flowery embroidery that I love and didn't break the bank entirely. Just a bit.

Post boot shopping we hit happy hour at Mars which is just a great place to chill and have dinner (Note to La Belette: this is a place you can get dressed up and go to for sure - it's at SoCo and Gibson). It's gorgeously designed and the food kicked ass.

Then, no word of a lie, we passed a park where a woman on a blanket had about 8 black lab puppies. My head almost exploded as we played with all of them, narrowly avoiding puppy overload. I miss Bailey so much it hurts!

More shopping and then Mexican dinner at Guero's and we were like stuffed pigs being rolled down the road. Thankfully we had just enough time to hoof it down to the SoCo bridge in time to see the bats!!!! I was SO happy we got to do this before we left. It's the largest urban bat colony in the world and just after sunset they all emerge from under the bridge and it was very, very cool. I took a million videos and I'll put them all on my Facebook page but I'm going to post all my videos here next week so be sure and check back.

Tomorrow back on the dawn rise time and we fly home. Austin you've been great and next year will be even better!! I'm pumped to get home. I miss my bed, my house, my dog and my husband so much I can hardly breathe. As far as what else I've done here is concerned -- I'm blaming Texas.

sxsw: day 4 insert

Look what else I got to do today.

sxsw: day 4

It's official, SXSW is kicking my ass in a huge way. If I see this hour of the night one more time I'm not sure what my body will do to me. I suspect some kind of full-on revolt.

Today began with some panels, the first on greening your event. It was super interesting and made me hopelessly proud of our own Ontario festival, Hillside. Some of the "new" ideas the panel was discussing and some of the challenges they were talking about, Hillside has been doing and fixing them for years. Good on'em!!

I finally fulfilled my SXSW merch order thank god as they were tearing down the set-up moments after we left. T-shirts = done. Next we headed to the Saxon for the Basketball & Insulin party put on by Outside Music, CBC Radio 3 and Exclaim magazine waaaaaaaaay out in the middle of nowhere. Saw a pretty terrible set from 1/3 of the New Zealand band Ruby Suns, an scorching set from Toronto's Sebastien Granger and The Mountain -- holy crap!!! Follow that with some kinda good band called The Big Sleep and the always amazing Sadies. Got to chat with our friends from Starfish Entertainment finally (they had 10 showcases this year!) and drank a couple big beers. Ahhh the south....

After finally hailing a taxi we met our official Texas BBQ quotient at the Ironworks BBQ. So good and based on all the stuff on the walls from famous people, I gather it's a bit of a legend. For me, as soon as I saw the plastic tablecloths and the full rolls of paper towels on each table, I figured we were in for some old school BBQ. We pretty much needed a bath after eating.

From there we headed to the conference center again in the hopes of catching the Lemonheads set as we'd missed them all week but they cancelled AGAIN. What the F Lemonheads??? Why did you bother showcasing if you weren't actually going to showcase???? You kinda suck. We ended up meeting some locals and having a pretty great conversation about music and health care and succeeded in killing a couple of hours not to mention resting our feet.

After our lesson on Austin we walked back to the Parish for the Arts & Crafts party. Caught the end of the Constantines set (which was not the best show I've seen them do by far) and the Jason Collett show. That's when the evening took a turn in my favour. We actually decided to head home relatively early and bailed on the rest of the night. When your eyes are actually closing in a rock and roll bar, you know you're in a bad way.

Tomorrow the conference is over so the plan is for a bit of shopping and not much else. Sleeping in is on my agenda for sure. I don't think I've ever been so happy for something so good to be over, if that makes sense. This festival has been amazing and great and all of that, but I'm wiped and miss my family and am ready to come home. SXSW - 4, Tara -0.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

sxsw: day 3

Today started with a bang and a blast of what 94 degrees feels like. For you Northerners who may have forgotten -- it's bloody hot. Maybe even haaaaaawwwwwt. The day also started with my introduction to the Texas cockroach which is so big it practically shakes your hand and tips its hat. For a Canadian girl, it was quite traumatizing so God bless my hero Carlos who came and took it away. Sweet baby Jesus...that was a tough one. We followed the giant dino-bug incident with a mediocre Mexican breakfast downtown. With a start like that I was pretty thankful that the day got better and it got better fast.

We kicked off the day with some great panels, one on blogging that made me feel both part of something innovative and cool and yet undeniably nerdy. Bloggers are weird and I've never seen so many PDA's, laptops, Blackberry's, iPhones, etc being used in one room at the same time. Nerdy with a capital nerd.

Post nerd-fest we headed off to the Tony James, Mick Jones interview which was hilarious and confusing all at the same time. Mick Jones is not unlike a drunk old man and a 9 year old boy who likes to shout out things like "My pants are tight! I like dinosaurs!" at any given moment. The poor interviewer had zero hope. He kept his notepad out though despite the fact that he should have just thrown it over his head and given up completely. I will also say that Tony James is aging very, very well. Talk about a silver fox. Yum. They're here with their new group Carbon/Silicon.

After that the plan was to see The Lemonheads after we missed them the other night but alas they cancelled. We were lucky enough to catch the Bodies of Water showcase and that was fantastic. We then hauled our cookies clear across town to the Caswell house for the big NXNE/ Manitoba Music party where we FINALLY got some BBQ. We got to chat with some fellow Canucks and catch up with some folk and see my new fave, Basia Bulat. Her voice kills me -- it's kinda got a Tracy Chapman feel to it. This set was good but her set later on at Antone's was a lot better. I took a video of her doing "Before I Knew" which I'll post up here later and on my Facebook.

After 82 years of trying to get a cab we finally make it back downtown only to be turned away from the Phantom Planet show because I have a camera, even though they let Dennis in. Confusing and hugely annoying to say the least. But chin up and onwards to Antone's, Autin's legendary blues club. They are a marketing machine there at Antone's a merch hound like me was in awe of all the choices. Awe aside, I managed to walk out of there without buying anything really which is a bit of a feat for me. Besides oogling merch, we also caught the Vampire Weekend set which was pretty freaking fun. Maybe not as much fun as the tremendous people watching that was happening, but pretty great. These guys should be the band for any high school house party ever.

Post Anton's, we run over the The Parish for the show I've been waiting for all week -- She and Him. As mentioned last week here on the blog, it's the Zooey Deschanel/M Ward project and I cannot wait for this record to come out. It's like Carly Simon meets 60's girl group do-wop, with dreamy M Ward to boot. Every woman should have this record this year. I loved it and posted a video on my Facebook account (which I'll also post here when I get home).

Here's a bad picture of 6th street here in Austin to give you an idea of that this city is like during SXSW. It's about 6 city blocks completely closed to traffic, music in every bar (which is almost every building on the street) and people as far as the eye can see. It's pretty incredible.

From one great showcase to yet another landmark showcase for Tara -- Thurston Moore. Talk about something I've been waiting forever to see!!! No it wasn't Sonic Youth but still. I do think that the drummer was the SY drummer though. I need to check that out when I get home. Great set from an amazing man. I even got my bum patted. Not by Thurston though unfortunately.

What a day! This festival is besting me every day with more 3AM's than I've seen in a long while. But I will carry on!!! I still have my voice which is a blessing I suppose. I am missing Marc pretty hardcore though and that just gets worse every day. Thankfully I have great music to drown my sorrows in.

Friday, March 14, 2008

sxsw: day 2

Holy overload and it's only the second day! What kind of state am I going to be in by Monday??? So much goodness to report today but alas, no Texas BBQ just yet. But soon......soon.

Started off the day with the Lou Reed keynote interview. Man, I could listen to him all day. That low gravely mesmerizing. He was low-key, witty and very Lou was a good morning. Followed that with the Thurston Moore interviewing Steve Reich. Although it was interesting enough I couldn't help but wish it was the other way around. I was considerably more interested in Thurston but it'll do.

After that, the strangest of all panels. If you refer to the photo below you will see the following panelists from left to right: Matthew Caws from Nada Surf, Lisa Warden,music director for KROQ, David Wakeling from The English Beat, Karen Glauber, president of Hits magazine, dude from Superchunk and yes, that's right...all 3 Hanson boys. Hanson!! And I had no idea until they sat down and thought "hey look it's totally Hanson." So of course I took pictures.

From Hanson to Billy Bragg....wished his set was about 2 hours longer than the sad 25 minutes but we takes whats we can get.

On to the taping of Martha Wainwright's segment for SXSW Live. If you get DirectTV you should be able to see it. Look for me, I'm the girl in the black polka-dot dress. Not only was her set out of this world but guess who she invites up to sing a song??? Daniel Lanois!!! What a great moment. I took an illegal picture so excuse the blur.

Across the downtown for the best music we've seen this week so far, the NPR showcase including my newest fave good time rock band, The Whigs and the much loved by everyone Yo La Tengo and My Morning Jacket -- 2 bands I love and have never seen. The first thing I'm doing when I get home is listening to "And Then Everything Turned Itself Inside Out"again and again. It's been way too long. MMJ - astonishing isn't the right word. What a kick ass show they put on and I loved every minute we got of it despite having the sorest back ever from sitting on a step for 3 hours. But I took pictures and videos so it's all for the greater good.

Quick cab ride from the strangest man alive and a pitstop for the best pizza Austin has to offer apparently, Papparazzi Pizza. It lived up to the hype. Pizza in tummy at midnight = awesome. Off to Maggie Mays for a bizarre show by Montreal's Hot Spirits. I'm more than a little bit afraid of the lead singer. In a nutshell, she was stoned, spit and wasn't wearing any knickers under her mini-skirt. I tried not to look her directly in the eye. Thank god for the United Steel Workers of Montreal to make me forget it all. Fun, rowdy and just all around dirty bluegrass/hot rod country complete with fiery redheaded lead singer with pipes like Janis Joplin. I was enamoured with their CD at the radio station and I'm happy their live show met that standard.

Right now, yet another super duper late night -- almost 3Am and I'm still up. Tomorrow is supposed to be 30 degrees....that's hard to grasp for a Northern girl in March. On the schedule for tomorrow hopefully, The Lemonheads, Basia Bulat, Phantom Planet, Vampire Weekend, Thurston Moore, She and Him, The Sadies and the NXNE BBQ. Finally BBQ!!!

PS. I know I'm not linking to anyone -- it's cuz I have just no patience for that. Also, stay tuned for my facebook page for some videos and ALL the pictures.