"I'm spinning round the room in awe" ryan adams

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

norah at the living room

Tuesday’s workday went by like a blur. Laura and I actually got out on time and I met Anna in the middle of the street of Allen and Houston. We met up with Ken, Jenny, and Jason at The Living Room for an evening of Neil Young songs. I love The Living Room, reminds of the homey, cohesive vibe that we find at The East End and The Grape – though more chill and awesome musicians always pop in. It’s mostly sitdown and holds about 100 people comfortably. Plus it has an orange glow and Christmas lights. Jason was sitting in with a lot of the musicians as the “Shaky Tempos” band. Jason’s musicianship was definitely a highlight of the night.

Before the night began, we chatted it up at our table. Ken told Anna he had been playing the drums for a thousand years. Jason busted out his iPod and had Ken listen to Spoon for the first time. I think Ken’s reaction was, “this is the best thing ever!” Anna said it sounded like something I would say, and I have said that about Spoon. Ken also schooled me in Brooklyn living, September better watch out.

We saw a lot of talented musicians grace the stage and belt out Neil tunes. Some weren’t highlights. Like the guy who forgot the words. And the guy whose song took forever and he reminded me of Jack Black. I turned to Anna and asked her if she had ever seen “School of Rock”. We started laughing and couldn’t stop till the end of the song.

Miss Norah Jones was sitting at the table one over and one back from us. She looked completely normal with only a crowd of musician friends with her. She is much shorter than I imagined, probably around my height, I tried to gauge when she walked past me. Yes guys, only inches away from the Grammy winner ;-). She went up on stage and silenced the room with “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, which may be my favorite Neil Young song, but only because Juliana Hatfield covers it. Her voice is pretty damn amazing. There is really nothing more that can be said about the night except for that is now one of my favorite five minutes of my life. I took a picture with my camera phone and once I figure out how to get it online, I will post.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

JJ on harmonica during an Akiva song

MirandaBands invade Newark

Aw yay. On May 6th, Akiva and JJ Appleton played Amanda's Patio series at U of DE. I wish I could have been there, but alas, work called and I couldn't make the 11 am gig. I did appreciate the late late late night call from Akiva asking for directions, and I'm sorry I missed his other call while I was on the subway. Whoops! But I was there in spirit! So good to know that the show happened and our little rock family gets along and is happy. I heard the show was good, though it was cold outside.

JJ and Akiva also stopped by WVUD to sit in with Joe. I listened in from NYC and laughed as my Friday workday was coming to a close. JJ and Akiva always have me rolling when I hang out with them seperately, and this was the first time they acually hung out together (well, aside from my Homecoming party in October, but that party was insane), so it was pretty much a laugh riot in the studios. And of course my name was brought up and I froze, knowing that everyone in the office was listening in. I wasn't embarassed too much, but my unhealthy obsession for Wawa was brought up. Thanks guys :-). The songs came out pretty well, especially the new ones. Temptation was too great, so I told Laura to hold down the fort as I called WVUD. Joe put me on speaker and I got to say hello to everyone. Oh wow, so weird being on the other end of the radio line.

Glad they both recieved an awesome welcome to the Newark community. The next day, JJ did an in-store at Rainbow. He had asked Maryann how my old apartment was doing and they both agreed that it didn't matter, since I wasn't living there anymore. That it isn't the same and that no other place could have fabulous rooftop parties and shows. Way to make me sad, guys. :-)

boobies, booze, and balloons (my 18 hour trip to DE)

Well that hurt like hell. Another beautiful Saturday came and went and here I am staring out the 5th floor window overlooking Hoboken feeling confident, confused, and lost.

“cause when you find yourself in the dark and you try to hold on to it
you grab ahold on to it
time will find a spark
sometimes it leaves you sad
but you gotta hold on to it
cause sometimes light won't do it
show us what we've had.” ~ omnisoul

I met Anna, Judy, Bonnie, and Jeremy with coffee in hand on Washington and we departed south. Craziest traffic ever. But we made the best of the situation. While others were mad and beeping, we cranked up the tunes and sang in danced with the windows down. We should start accounting for accident time in our travels since every damn time we hit the road, something nasty happens. We spent a half hour idling due to an accident.

I met my mom at the Delaware rest stop (I propose a new word – restop) and we went to Newark for lunch at my most favoritist place ever (well, tied with the east end) – Home Grown Café. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and Newark was sunny old Newark. Oh how I miss thee! I grabbed the local mags and we grabbed a table in the back. I went to the bathroom and teared up. It was all so familiar and automatic and just felt so right. Remember how the girls all went to Home Grown for UD’s Homecoming last year…haha remember our conversation?! HAHA remember the crazy rooftop party??! Oh Home Grown. I got my usual falafel and then off to Cold Stone, where in line I remembered how Cold Stone was our usual Sunday dinner at Rainbow. My mom ate and walked down Main Street, where we ran into Jay. So funny, out of the thousands of people here, and five months later, it’s all still the same.

My mom had to leave to go to a show in NJ. I know, funny, right? So I strolled around the newsstand and the 5 & 10, where I found bling for the Logan House. You can never pass up an iced out dollar sign. There was an in-store performance at Rainbow that evening, so naturally that was my next stop. Aw, Rainbow. Max, Maryann, and Ann were working. As soon as I saw Maryann, we went to the New Release wall and gabbed for about a half hour about things that have happened in the past week. I saw Max laughing at us, he should have known, we get together, we don’t shut up. I also talked with Juan, one of our usual customers and I even broke loose and went behind the register. Got caught up on the financial status of the store and looked up some CDs. I still don’t buy discs not at Rainbow, unless it’s at a show. Don’t you think that Maryann should go on a date with a creepy regular for fifteen minutes? She’ll get paid for it. There is nothing moral about the situation, but what else do you expect from Rainbow? I saw the decorations in the bathroom (that one article of clothing can never come down ever) and the posters on the wall and realized how much of me is in that store, and I still love it. We caught a few songs of the in-store, then headed to the Towers.

Maryann thought I was weird when I exclaimed how much I love dorm smell when walking to her apartment. We grabbed a glass of wine, talked more, schemed about the night’s adventures, and must have said “stupid boys!” about twenty times each. Maryann’s getting a tattoo this week – oh yay. As soon as I thought, “I need to call Johnny,” he called. Oh what a fun night this was going to be. Morita called shortly after and we left to meet him to go to Grottos. En route, I must have tripped ten times, all in front of the guys playing basketball and tennis. Orca! The word “orca” is scrawled all over campus. Immediately after seeing “Orca” we saw an unrooted banister. We blame the Orca.

Got to Grottos and enjoyed $2 beers and cheese fries. Ah, the dinner of champions. Well, $2 beer because apparently I can’t handle a ¼ of a 22 oz mug and have to nurse it. I’m such a wuss. In addition to not being able to walk, I also can’t speak properly, leaving letters out of words. It’s not nice to make fun. After going through all of our phone books to see who could drive, we decided to leave transpo up to fate and head out to Bank Shots. I asked the waitress for a balloon for Chris’s birthday and she gave us a light blue one. I love Newark.

We headed to Bank Shots to see Raf’s band play for a bit and because it would be the last time that the old and new Rainbow crew would be together. They missed the entrance, so Morita just sailed over the grass and barrier to Bank Shots. You have to be wary of any bar in a strip mall. Welcome to hick Delaware. I keep my horses about two miles from this bar, so it was chock full of country boy wannabes. Oh man, and there was a Harley couple. We came in on a Harley…it wasn’t Steve though ;-). Oh and if you are over 40, please don’t wear tight leopard skin pants. Oh wait, no one should ever wear leopard skin pants. Ever. It was great chatting with Raf and the Stark Contrast guys. The buzz in the bar was that I am moving to DC. It was funny, apparently that is the word on the street and mostly everyone I talked to there mentioned it. Raf was also my old landlord and we all talked about the tension with tenants since the murder in Newark 2 weeks ago. He told me what was painted on the wall, (it’s not released yet) and hell, I’m glad I don’t live alone in Newark anymore. My worst fear is that we’ll know this guy. We also chatted up the new release and the status of the store and what everyone is doing now. Just like old times, everything fit right back into place. We also teased him for opening up for Tyler Hilton last week. Now everyone at Rainbow knows how much the Newark girls like Tyler, but we liked Coffee Shop Tyler, who Marissa discovered, over a year ago, not One Tree Hill Tyler.

The band played and the Rainbow crew filtered in. It was so good seeing Charise. I miss her so much, and we told each other how much we loved each other haha. I think we caused a scene. She’ll be visiting NYC soon and we’ll eat Indian food on the street and stalk Ryan Adams. The Rainbow guys came shortly after and Rob and I did the quick catch up, he is moving in a few months to a far away land, and he asked me when I am moving to DC. HA! While Raf was playing, the Rainbow crew got in and took a picture. We all said goodbyes and Maryann, Morita, and I departed for the Logan House.

As I was drinking my tainted vitamin water, my phone blew up. Well, first I called Johnny. While I was on the phone with Johnny, Dan called, so I hung up with Johnny. Dan said he was with Marissa and Amanda and that they were headed to the LoHo. Oh how incredible! I miss those girls so much and I didn’t know they were going to be coming out, wonderful! While talking with Dan, I had a weird number calling in, so I switched over. It was Matt from CT, who I have going out to LA. Here we were making small talk and then he says that he can’t get into his hotel. Ah, damn. He’s a cool guy and I look forward to working with him, so I felt bad how he was kinda stranded. So I make a few phone calls and he was golden. Or so I hope! I haven’t gotten any calls yet saying he was beaten up for sleeping in an LA alleyway. So I call Dan again, then John Faye rings in. John faye, whaddya say?! He asked if I was at the LoHo yet, because he was. Oh nice – everyone comes out for great rock and Morita’s birthday! By this time we’re at the Logan House and find a sweet spot. I trip out the door and lose the balloon.

We get and I rush upstairs, so excited to see everyone. I first see Marissa, Amanda, Dan, and John, and in the midst of LDE playing we exchanged hugs and squeals. It was also great seeing the old LoHo standbys, Nate and Fetus. Of course Amy, and again, Judy, Anna, Jeremy, and Bonnie. Marty and Fin also came out, craziness! I had promised Morita a carbomb, so Nate, Maryann, Morita, and I lined up at the bar. I did it like a champ, and had a much better showing than at the Grape a few weeks earlier. Oh such fun times, I felt bad, I was paying more attention to my friends when I first came in than LDE’s set.

The first set was better than the second. Nearly every song I was going to someone new saying, “this song is awesome!” Haha. Marissa hit the nail on the head when she said that their sound is too big for the Logan House. Ha – Johnny did his butt dance (yeah guys thanks for pushing me out, no no no I can’t ever do that ever) and I turn to John and say that he should have Joann implement a butt dance into the IKE set. Too damn funny, I would pay to see that. It may even top Joann’s DJ scratching on the DVD. During the set break I talked mostly to Johnny and Donnie, and they tried to get me to do a shot with them, but no way, Maryann fielded it. Chris sweats profusely, but it stops at his beltline. Phil and I were at the bar talking for the rest of the set break, mostly babbling than anything of importance. Though he did admit his undying love for Audioslave. Just kidding. Oh and I did call him out, and he did say he was bringing me to DC. DC was just the theme of the evening haha. Donnie kept poking me. Ow.

The second set was more low key and had a few new songs thrown in. Birmingham. 1968. I caught that, good to have songs of substance rather than, “ohhh I loveeeee heeeer”. Songs get boring when you listen to a lot of music. Not LDE’s, just in general. I can name too many albums where 90% of their material is about a girl lost or found. The crowd cleared out a bit, and we blame the low keyness of the rock. But we know that it’s better than the DJ downstairs. Dan warned me that Marissa and Amanda were getting me a shot, and the next thing I knew, I was at the bar. Soco and Lime. And it was actually great, though I think we all squeezed our eyes shut. Just need to add ameretto to that and you have yourself a song.

I think this may have been the first time I was not asked to leave the Logan House, or hadn’t stayed till 2 AM helping the guys bring equipment out. Donnie kept poking me so I told him to not play with my fat, to which he replied, “but its fun.” Ha! Amy hit him and said that that wasn’t the correct answer, but it was hilarious. I then joined John and Phil at the merch table, where my tiredness made me ramble on. I think I started many thoughts, and didn’t finish them. Unfortunately John brought me some sad news…Joey B from the Grape (the guy who got me in a few weeks ago when I forgot my license), passed away suddenly. Damn. Wake up call. We chatted about our rock collective and how LDE needs to join in on the family. Johnny called me over, so I joined him, Donnie, Rusty, and Doug. I gave them cookies, then Rusty and Johnny shouted, “OREO!” and got on either side of me. I think I am traumatized. The Johnny told me that he wishes he could be Chris for three minutes, what does that mean?! The girls were leaving, which meand that I had to too, so I said goodbye and ran down the stairs. We were talking downstairs when the guys shouted things to me from the second floor. Sorry boys, couldn’t make out what you said, but I did distinguish an “Aunt Jemima”. Aunt Jemima makes maple syrup, she doesn’t bake.

We hopped in the car and headed back to Jersey. And of course no trip back home is complete without a Wawa stop. Oh yay clean bathrooms, coffee, lemonade tea, and mac and cheese. Carbs are fun. I have to consume carbs to keep my fat so Donnie will enjoy playing with it. It’s all for the sake of others. We took pictures outside and I had a little fit while outside on how much I loved Saturday. As the crew slept in the back, Judy and I kept each other away talking about everything and anything in the front. So sleepy and we rolled home around 4:30 AM. Seriously, I got to see most of my wonderful friends and I couldn’t be any happier. Maryann and Marissa and I planned a summer of fun and there is so much to look forward to.

The News Journal - UD student's last hours recounted