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Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

Good Sunday afternoon to all the people out there. By out there I mean those who may just happen to stumble across this blog, be it your Google reader, CSS feed, or somehow mysteriously wound up here while trying to find the “Western Wind” a cappella music group, who has been bringing high quality non-instrumental music your way since 1969.

If you are here to read my musings on life, music, running and school teaching, then you have indeed come to the right place.

Since I last wrote on July 7th, the school year has begun and life is once again filled with grading papers, catching up on emails, and various meetings throughout the week. I hate to say it, but by Friday evening of each week I am usually in bed by 9:30, with barely enough energy to read two pages of whatever novel I may be working on at the time.

So I have decided to try my best and give a quick update on all that has happened over the past couple of months in short little bullet points of information.

  • My girlfriend and I went to Cancun, I drank way to much water there and got sick on my return home, thus causing me to miss the Bon Iver show at the Ryman.
  • I read all the Hunger game series, book two was my favorite.
  • The have watched all the Titan’s games so far this year and have been impressed. As I say that, they are getting killed by Pittsburgh right now!
  • I watched both seasons of Twin Peaks this summer, and I thought it was AWESOME!
  • Like I said before, the school year has begun, but I am really excited about it and love every single one of my classes. I now know each of the students names, although I have yet to come up with any great nicknames so far.
  • My girlfriend and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. Part of the celebration was acknowledging our relationship via facebook.
  • Finally I have begun assisting in coaching the middle school boys’ soccer team. Sure it take more time out of my day, but I am happy to lend a helping hand and spend my afternoons out in the beautiful Fall weather.

So that is about it. I leave you with a little film footage I shot of birds flying at sunset yesterday in downtown Nashville. My girlfriend and I had just visited with her cousins, in town for a concert the night before. The song is “A Short Reprise…” by Sufjan Stevens

I hope to not be a stranger to this post for so long in the future.

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Something I see everyday

The talk of the town over the past couple of weeks has been all about “the cicada.” Here in Tennessee, we have been invaded by these strange little creatures, which only come out every 13 years. It sounds like some kind of old folklore story where a strange mythical insect comes back in order to drive you nuts by the loud noise they make. Around my house they have been in full effect, humming and buzzing around the trees from the second the sun comes up until it goes down. But all in all, I do not mind them all that much.

They don’t bite or sting you in any way, and as long as you don’t have to watch them “birthing” themselves from their exoskeletons (seriously GROSS!!!), I am actually starting to grow fond of them. If anything they have at least taught me about a little more about the insect kingdom. Did you know that they live 30 cm below ground living of the juice of tree roots? Or how about that the females have blue eyes, and never make any sound! I am sure there is some kind of lame joke to insert here, but that is not the direction I want to take this little blog of mine. Finally, the linguist in me has to add that the word cicada comes from a Latin root that means “the tree cricket.” Makes sense!

But now they are on their way out. Some reports have them heading back underground in another two weeks, leaving us here in Nashville with just silence and a hot glaring sun. I, for one, would like a little insect chanting to make the experience of being outdoors just a bit more delightful.

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I am a big fan of Nashville, but maybe even more so now. You see, I have enjoyed living in a city where you have a chance of bumping into someone famous, but when you do you act as if everything is totally normal. When I lived in Canton, Ohio, the biggest celebrity you might see was former U.S. Olympiad in the throwing hammer, Jud Logan. Florence, Alabama had its fair share of celebrities too, but Percy Sledge (who sang “When a Man Loves a Woman) really was not all that big of a deal for me.

Anyway, once I settled in Nashville, I began to see a celebrity here or there. Drew and I sat in front of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw once at a Coldplay concert, I have run by Nicole Kidman tons of times at Percy Warner, and Drew used to run with James Marsden (of X-men fame) pretty frequently. Barring the time I saw Emmylou Harris at a Starbucks and I professed my undying love for her, especially her work on Bob Dylan’s album Desire, I think I have come off pretty good as far as “playing it cool” goes.

Last night however, I did not want to play it cool. You see, in the middle of some random story that I was telling to a group of my fellow runners and friends, I noticed an older man sitting about 15 feet away, also enjoying the beautiful Tennessee spring evening. I gave a quick double take, making sure that my eyes did not deceive me, and then I whispered to my group, “don’t look now, but Robert Plant is sitting at the table next to us.” So we all sort of took are turns, looking over at his table as if someone had dropped an entire tray of food right by him. For the rest of the night we basically discussed all things Led Zeppelin related, and what were all the various ways we could go up and have a chat with him. One suggestion was to go up and sing the opening scream part of Immigrant Song (off the bands 3rd album,) but alas all we seemed to be able to do was silently gawk at him.

Never did I think while listening to Zeppelin through all my years of high school that I would be sitting just a couple of feet from him. Hopefully he did not get too freaked out about all the eyes on him last night (although he is probably used to it by now.) Thank you, Mr. Plant, for turning our normal Wednesday night out into something legendary!!!

 

*also, this is my first post in a month. Hopefully I will get back to updating it more often than that.

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So last year I composed a couple of lists towards the end of the year, such as my Top 5 Books, and a breakdown of the top 5 people I met in 2010. I am still planning to write a best book series, but I still have two I need to finish before I decide what makes the list and what gets cut. This year I am adding a new Top 5 category and creating my list of the best concerts I witnessed this year. In a year when I saw so many live acts that I was even able to catch a surprisingly good set by the actor Jeff Daniels (of the films Arachnophobia and Dumb and Dumber fame), I knew that it would be no easy task to figure out which ones would get cut. So without further ado, I give you number 5… and yes they will presented in an order where #1 was the best concert.

#5 Sondre Lerche

Feb. 13th, 2010 at 12th and Porter

It was cold out, that much I can remember. I also know that I showed up to the concert way too early and ended up reading a book in my car for an hour by the light of the street lamp that I was parked under. My knowledge of Sondre Lerche to that point consisted of watching his Tiny Desk Concert at NPR several times (WATCH IT!) and remembering that I liked his soundtrack to the movie Dan in Real Life.

But I have always been skeptical of musicians who try to tackle the whole show with just there voice and guitar, which is strange coming from such a Bob Dylan aficionado. Regardless, I always secretly hope that singer-song writers that I enjoy the most would bring out a little string accompaniment, or at least someone playing the drums softly in the background to give each song a little more “fill”. That being said though, Sondre Lerche pretty much changed my opinion on the matter in span of just over an hour. His show worked perfectly with just his voice and guitar. It made you focus on his lyrics, the audience was forced to be quite (which never ends up happening as much as I would like), and he was able to talk, tell stories, and just present his true self on stage. It made the show more like he was performing in a living room to his friends.

Well the Norwegian-born musician will be releasing a new album in 2011, and hopefully will bring his tour back through Nashville so that more can enjoy his brilliance. Until then, watch this clip below to understand what I am saying about his solo performances.

“Good Luck” from London’s “Electro- Acoustic Night”

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Sondre Lerche

This last Saturday night I ventured out into the city of Nashville to see what this town is known for, some live music. Maybe it was the February blues, the fact that the sun has not shined here in Nashville in what seems like a month, or the fact that I was working off a bit of cold, but I was not completely psyched to be leaving the comfort of my couch. But I pulled myself up, made myself as presentable as 10 minutes would allow me, and headed out the door for 12th and Porter.

I knew my buddy Hugh would be in the audience, and for that I was already grateful. To my surprise however I ran into some friends that I have not seen in awhile, including the legendary Zana and Christy Rodriguez. The performer was Sondre Lerche, a Norwegian singer song writer whose claim to fame is performing a large amount of the Dan in Real Life soundtrack. For his show in Nashville, or for this entire tour rather, Sondre is performing the entire show with just his voice and guitar. It is a tough sell, because audiences tend to like a little variety with their show, but he put on an incredible performance that held the 100+ crowd for the entire hour and half that he played.

His banter with the crowd and random thoughts kept us entertained and his musical ability both in voice and on the guitar only made the show more exciting. The only flaw with the whole thing is that his studio albums, although good, do not demonstrate his capabilities as a solo artist. In all hopes, he will create a live album from this tour, or at least swing back through Nashville one more time. If that does end up happening, I recommend to everyone out there reading this, be sure to see him.

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