Monday, September 17, 2007

Giant Music Post: The Slackers at Slim's SF

Slackers Mosaic, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Friday night we sent to see one of our favorite bands, The Slackers, at Slim's in San Francisco. You can see the large versions of the individual photos above if you click through to my flickr page.
I've always had quite a few "favorite bands", but I've come up with a new criterion- any band I've seen play more than 3 or 4 times gets favorite status. The Slackers put on a great show as usual, but this time I had a camera (Bryan's old digital point & shoot). Right now, my photos are still on the main page of the Slackers website (through a flickr group). Another awesome change from the ordinary was that both of us climbed up on stage (along with as many other people could fit) during the last song and danced as best we could without knocking over band members or equipment. I've done this before at a Dropkick Murphys show (it's traditional to invite girls up on stage during the Spicy McHaggis Jig,) but I can't say I've seen it at a Slackers show before. Bryan was so proud of himself. Later he was like, "I was skanking the hell out of it! Did you see my legs? It was sexy."

I really can't express how much I love The Slackers. They are the most "grown-up" band I listen to, and by far the best in terms of real talent and musicianship. They're a traditional-style 6 piece ska group equally adept at songs that are romantic, fun, political, sexy, and sad. Plus I have a huge crush on Vic, the singer/organ player. So please, please, please follow the links and check them out! Here's an NPR clip of The Slackers explaining ska and playing songs from their 2001 album. And a video on YouTube.

Another great surprise at the Slackers show was the opening band, The Phenomenauts. They're a really fun Bay Area crazy, retro, sci-fi, costumed sort of rocketbilly or something. We bought one of their albums on the way out the door. In terms of subject matter, energy, and general craziness, they reminded me of Gals Panic. I never got around to blogging about the Gals Panic reunion show (the 3rd one we've gone to) we saw at Emo's in June. You may already know Jerm of Gals Panic from his more recent solo offerings or from Mr. Sinus/The Sinus Show at Alamo Drafthouse. Jerm's great! At the 2nd reunion show I went to, I got an unexpected big sweaty hug from him. Once he accidently hit me in the head at a Voodoo Glowskulls show, and at the show in June, I ended up with an eyeful of Jerm spit. Isn't that how Siouxsie and Adam Ant got conjunctivitis? Anyway, some people posted video of that Gals Panic show on YouTube.

I'm really excited about the sheer number of awesome shows in the area. This is what Austin used to be like when I was in college. Since this spring, there's been some kind of weird punk drought in Austin.
The week before the Slackers show, we caught another favorite band, The Horrorpops, in Santa Cruz. Going to Santa Cruz was really fun. I found the most ginormous, awesome bookstore ever! The Horrorpops put on a great show as usual. How can you not have a great time when there's go-go dancers? Even though I've seen them so many times I think I know all the dances. The venue was a really nice VFW hall. It was cool to see a show at a venue without a bar for once.
Thursday, we may be going to see The English Beat. In the next month or so, there's Leftover Crack, Toots and the Maytals!!, and best of all, Tiger Army on Halloween!!!!

So that was a loooong post, but I haven't taken the opportunity to talk about music on this blog, and it's really important to me!!
For any knitters that are still reading, I've got the sock pattern written up and ready to post as soon as I can get Bryan to model for pictures. We've got a gorgeous slate floor in the new place that will look great as a background.

Future Project/ LYS Report

Dress, Yarn, and Beads, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I attended the Santa Clara County Meetup Group's get-together at Knitting Arts in Saratoga. I love Saratoga. For you Texas folk, it's sort of like Salado times 1,000, I guess. I found out that Knitting Arts was having a week-long anniversary sale- 20% off. I had intended to make a Cap Shawl to match this dress I bought in Hawaii, but I saw a sample of a "Heavy Mesh Scarf" made with Colinette Tao Silk and Colinette Parisianne held together. It's a free pattern with purchase of those yarns from the shop. It was really lovely and silky, and only used one skein of each yarn! One of the colorways almost exactly matched my dress. Then just before checking out, I found a package of beads that almost exactly matched the beads on the front of the dress! I might get to cast on tomorrow once my size 13 needles arrive with the rest of my stuff. :)
I also stocked up on white Kidsilk Haze (hooray for sales!!) to make that gorgeous cape from VLT sometime in the future. I don't know if I can picture myself wearing it, but it's one of the most beautiful patterns I've ever seen.

Also this week, I hung out with some fellow Santa Clara County meetuppers and "Google Widows" at Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale. It's a really lovely, friendly shop somewhat similar to Bluebonnet. I'm looking forward to hauling my spinning wheel (Ashford Traveler) to one of their Sit & Spin nights. They sell Louet Victorias, which seem really cute, elegantly simple, and super-portable! I didn't buy any yarn, though I'm eyeing some Euroflax for scrubby washcloths (inspired by some rather overpriced cloths I saw at Whole Foods). They also have some super-tempting alpaca fiber that will have to wait until I spin up my llama from Kid N Ewe. I did finally break down and buy the Color In Spinning book, since I've checked it out several times from libraries already. It turns out to be one of the owners' favorites.

Today I made it to Yarn Dogs in Los Gatos, my new hometown. I'm lovin' the irony, but don't get me started on the way Los Gatos is typically pronounced around here (like "las gaddis", and I've got Wikipedia to back me up if you think that's not how people say it). It used to be Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos, and the cats in question are the actual mountain lions in the area, so I'm going to continue to use my best Texas white-girl Spanish. Anyway, Yarn Dogs is a little shop with friendly people and a fascinating selection. I'm happy to say it will be my closest LYS after tomorrow! They had some really drool-worthy wool/tencel roving from what seems to be a small independent dyer somewhere in California. I picked up a skein of Kureyon to continue my Lizard Ridge. I was really happy to see Noro there, as Yarn Dogs hadn't been mentioned when I asked other knitters where to find it. I haven't made it to their suggested shops yet. The two shops I mentioned before don't carry Noro and I was beginning to get ansy to start another Lizard Ridge square for social knitting since my other WIP is crazy difficult lace.

Curved Shawl on US 1.5 Needles

Curved Shawl from VLT, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I've restarted the Curved Shawl from VLT (about 10 times, haha) with size 1.5 needles. After 11 or so repeats (out of 40-something total) I blocked to check the fabric and gauge. I like the fabric a lot better, but I think I'm going to need to do more repeats to get the right size shawl. That's ok cause I have about twice the original yardage.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kitty Movin'

Kitty in Temp Apartment, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Yum Yum did so well on our move day! All the TSA people thought she was so cute going through security with me. (You have to take pets out of their carrier and hand-carry them through the checkpoint as the carrier gets x-rayed.) She did talk a little on the flight, but was much quieter than the surrounding small children. Most of the time I couldn't even hear her until the husband pointed her out, so I'm sure she didn't bother anyone else. Moving the cat was one of my biggest concerns, but it turned out to be the easiest part! Getting in to the temp apartment was MUCH more difficult. We had outrageously detailed instructions for getting the keys from a lockbox, but NO info on how to get into the parking garage. Finally we discovered that the garage key card was IN the apartment. This place has so many keys they come with a color-coded identification guide. Seriously!
On a more exciting note, we've found a permanent place (it's really special!) and we'll really be moving in soon. Now I'm just hoping our things show up in good condition! To clarify: we flew out here about 2 weeks ago with the cat. Our stuff was packed up and put on a truck. We're living in a furnished temporary apartment (a perk) that's provided for up to 30 days, as is a storage space where our stuff is located right now. That's where the picture was taken. We found a permanent place last week and in a few days, we'll be moving over there and having our stuff taken out of storage and delivered. Sorry to confuse those of you who had already heard about the cat status. I'm slow to get stuff posted cause our connection (our browser, really) has been quite slow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Whole Story So Far

The Story So Far, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

BFL Spinning Update

BFL Spinning Update, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I finally finished plying the BFL singles! The bobbins were SO overfull. After filling one bobbin with 3-ply, the singles bobbins are now appropriately full. So I have a lot of plying to do. I'm not thrilled about the low twist angle, but I don't know if it bugs me enough to go back and run all the singles through the wheel to add more twist. I may use the finished yarn for something other than socks anyway, since I'm going to have so much yardage. (The first skein was 200 yards and I estimate that took up only 1/5 of the singles.) Also note that these were quick-and-dirty photos taken just before the move.