Friday, July 27, 2007

Dress me up, Jason.

It is no secret that I've have been involved in a long standing love affair with the Drive-By Truckers. From the first moment that I put in and listened straight through to Southern Rock Opera on a drive down to Missouri three years ago, to blaring Zip City on my weekly walk home across the Hennepin Ave Bridge two years ago, to screaming my brains out when the band, playing at First Ave, broke into The Day John Henry Died on the stroke of midnight last year, the exact second it had become my 25th birthday. I fucking love the Drive-By Truckers.


I have the biggest boner school girl crush on this guy.

(taken by cheap point and shoot)

No, he's not smoking hot but when I watch him play, I get all mooshy. He's reeeeeeeally cute, he rocks and he breaks my heart. His lyrics and voice are stellar. And THAT makes him dreamy. When I found out that this guy, this guitar shredder, wrote Decoration Day, Outfit, and The Day John Henry Died, which are three of my top 5 DBT songs, I pretty much ripped off my clothes, beat my breast, did some sort of Southern jig and wept. Yes, this crush is based purely on watching and listening to him sing as I know nothing about his character and very little about his life(besides the fact that he has good taste in books, movies and tv and likes cheerios...thank you myspace.) All I, M. Alexandra Jones, really need to know is that he's (one of) my rock-n-roll boyfriends(). I also know he's 28 years old (so young, so much closer to me in age than my rock-n-roll husband.) Though his myspace says otherwise (stop teasing my cyberworld), I know he's married (like that's ever stopped me) to Shonna Tucker who can jam, beat and drink me under the table. Not only does Shonna play bass, which of course means she's extra stealth and cool, but she plays bass in the Drive-By Truckers. I laugh hysterically at wiener dogs, would most definitely lose in a fight, and get tipsy off of one beer.

(taken by jealous cheap point and shoot)

Sadly, I also know Jason, as of April of 2007, left the Drive-By Truckers. I guess my dream of hearing Zip City live will no longer be fulfilled with him a part of that rock-n-roll monster. Yes, Jason and Shonna are still married. Yes, I am still in denial.

I didn't mourn the DBT departure for long. Jason Isbell left the band for a noble purpose, to pursue a solo career and thus released Sirens of the Ditch on July 10th. Last week, I returned a gift to Electric Fetus which validated my spending money on an album...I had three I was deciding on and Jason (due to the upcoming show and the fierce dedication to DBT) won.

Thank the beautiful breast beating gods because melikey.

I fell in love with Track 5, Dress Blue, when I first heard him play it when he opened for Son Volt a few months ago (and blew Jay Farrar out of the fucking water.) Track 4 and Track 10 have gotten me through the last week. I've listened to them over and over and over again as I've driven to and from work, to and from rehearsal, to and from shows, to and from reality.

No, I don't love every song on the album. But I adore some and thoroughly enjoy almost all of them. I can't stop listening to my Magician do the Chicago Promenade. I can't wait to see what comes of Jason Isbell's solo career.

I can't wait for his in-store appearance at the Fetus tomorrow. I can't wait for his show afterward at the 400 Bar. I can't wait to have my camera with me. I can't wait to stand there and get all (calmly and subtley...I swear) mooshy. I can't wait to have my heart broken by my Southern singer.


EDIT: Kyle told me at the in-store that Jason and Shonna divorced. I actually turned red. RED! I AM APPARANTELY A TEENAGE GIRL! More to come...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Revive Me

I'm knee deep in three different lives right now. Music & Photography, Theatre, That Job. Stressed, tired and haggard. Driving home at 3am listening to Billy Bragg or Ryan Adams and not pulling into my apartment building because I want the freedom of riding through the night with my windows open and the music blaring probably a little too loudly to be winding through residential streets. Sometimes crying.

I hate my job, that's no secret, but I have no time to look for a new one. Days off quickly fill with photography or fringe assignments. Nights fill with anxiety dreams about showing up late to work one more time and getting canned. Late night texts to my NYC friends asking them to call me at EST to make sure I am up and out of bed at CST. I need to remind myself to eat because I'll have a bowl of cereal, maybe, hopefully some lunch and then all of a sudden it's 10pm and I haven't eaten anything since shoving that bowl of couscous down my throat while crouching behind the counter at work. Then, I'll see a banana or smell a pork chop cooking and all of a sudden I'll realize I'm really really hungry.

Soon, that fringe show will be done. Yeah, you better come to that fringe show. We've worked our ass off. Then, I will be done with theatre (maybe forever.) And I will sit down and send off my resume to any company that makes me feel like I actually am a valued employee. And I will find a new job and get that part time job I've always wanted. And I will do my Burlesque show which rehearses once a week. And I will work so hard that I can afford that $1400 lens I know will give me those shots I'm dying to get. And I will visit my home in Missouri and sit with my cat Ginger cause she isn't gonna live that much longer.

Jim asked me yesterday what my story was, whether or not I had a man, whether or not I wanted a man. I started speaking in tongues because I wasn't sure how to answer. (No, Aunt Barbara, I'm not a lesbian. I'm just 26 years old and way too independent for my own good. Or maybe I'm JUST 26 years old and don't need to bring a man home to the crazy farm just yet.)

Settling down is not my style. Right now. Maybe forever. I also know that someday I'll figure out how to let someone else really be a part of my life.

Right now. I am never home. I am working full time. I am shooting shows. I am going to shows. I am assisting a photographer. I am being sent to take portraits by myself which both scares and excites the shit out of me. I am working on a fringe show. I am creating Tipsy St. Swingsteen's next venture into Burlesquedom. I am texting my WonderTwin or eating enchiladas at 3am with new friends that are quickly becoming better friends. I am calling home regularly. I am unwinding right now by listening to music, editing photos and staying up way way too late.

I manage to get through this month by making an extra large cup of french press in the morning and laughing ridiculously with my friends during the day and seeing my music at night. During the songs, there are times that are so extraordinarily cathartic and joyous that I realize why I dedicate so much of my time to music. I stand dancing with my WonderTwin to Jesse Malin as he belts out Wendy. I stand with tears in my eyes as I listen to Jesse Malin in the middle of the Fine Line in the Middle of downtown Minneapolis. I love his songs, his stories, his awesome New York accent. I get choked up during Maria Isa's Puerto Rican hip-hop anthems at Babette's Bastille Days. "Don't cry," I tell myself. "Don't cry. You can't fucking cry during hip-hop in the middle of the broad daylight." But her beautiful, empowering chants wash over me and tears begin to fall down my cheeks. I drive by myself to the Turf Club and stand with my community as I listen to JoAnna James revive me all over again. I get grounded again as I sit in my safety spot to relax and shoot the Midsummer Hoot. I dance with Jim while sheepishly grinning during Tim O’Reagan. I don’t shoot every show. My camera sits still on my desk or my bed as I stand and tear up all by myself, with my friends, as I dance to Heiruspecs like the “white honkey bitch” I am. That's how I get through my week.

Jesse Malin @ The Fine Line 7-12-07
Jesse Malin @ The Fine Line 7-12-07

Maria Isa @ Barbette’s Bastille Day 7-15-07
Maria Isa @ Barbette's Bastille Day

JoAnna James @ The Turf Club's Revival Show 7-15-07
JoAnna James @ The Turf Club 7-15-07

Davis Jones @ The Mad Ripple Hootenany 7-20-07
Davis Jones @ The Mad Ripple Hootenany 7-20-07

Tim O'Reagan @ The 400 Bar 7-20-07
Tim O'Reagan @ The 400 Bar 7-20-07

Oh yeah. ButtPlug called me on Saturday and gave me some totally fucking awesome news. Flights for my precious were $180. A payment plan was working out. Which meant...which means...I AM GOING TO NEW YORK FUCKING CITY IN SEPTEMBER!! I'll get to see Spring Awakening. I'll be making a pit stop in Philly for two night cause...I'LL GET TO SEE FOUR FUCKING MARAH SHOWS!!!!! (I've already planned it: two to get shit-faced at and dance my ass off with my east coast concert crew and two to shoot at with my fancy camera and dance my ass off with my east coast concert crew.) I'll get to be ridiculous with my Doppleganger. I'll get to see my Cliff. I'll get to stay up all night with my ButtPlug and my Shaly. I'll get to wander the streets of a city I love with all my heart.

I never get sick of that video.

My heart is racing just thinking about that trip.

In September, I am moving (to a new apartment.) One of my best friends is moving (to Germany.) In September, Brucey is/better be coming out with a new album. In September, I'll have a new job. In September, I'll sleep more, eat more well rounded meals, date more (yeah right...god I hate dating,) dance more, exercise more, write more, take more photos. In September, I'll fall further in love with Minneapolis. In September, I'm pretty sure I won't have settled down at all.

Friday, July 20, 2007

My father is an amazing man.

vmj = Victoria McCanse Jones = My Mama (who is spending 3 weeks taking care of the bird room in the basement by herself)
bj = Bill Jones = My Father (who is spending 3 weeks in Ethiopia)

Remind me of your father's huge heart (see attached) whenever I get frustrated with the mess in the bird room!
He's a good man.
Take care. I love you both.


vmj: I am back in Mekele been to yecihila, and have left. Kidane is a bit difficult to work with regarding the 501c3, but i think we will work it out. findhing the right people here and getting the # are my concerns. hopefullyisaac's father and isaac will agree to help. Kidane wants someone from the village, but they are illeterate. today i bought beds, mattresses, sheets and pillows. kidane will be here tomorrow o help purchases kitchen stuff. the building is good, but too big and too many rooms. not sure how that is going to be worked out. not too many students the first year. I have been to an ethiopian prison and it made me cry. david the boy from yecila was sent there for stealing. isaac and i visited him and it was the most heartbreaking experience i have had. to see a 14 year old boy crawl out hole in wall will live me for a long time. I gave money to the prison so that he could get a new trial and am sending him clothes and a blanket. he was in rags. he cried when he saw us. he burned kidane and she does not like him, but i told her ihe has a room in the building mistake or no mistake. i have some people that will check on him as he may hav a year or more left. did what i thought was right, but know that it may not workout for him. can only try. hope that all is well at home and will look forward to returning. I have lost weight as i have been living on tea and bread as much as i can. here in mekele i eat pasta often. will fly back to addis on tusday. the bus rides have generally been good. some of the road from addis to mekele slid off the mountain because of the rains. fortunately it was after my trip. take care and love, bj

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I do my own voice-over work.

Alexa Jones


Bruce Springsteen


Thursday, July 5, 2007

What Ike Said, What I Saw

Last Friday, I crouched behind Tony Nelson in the green room of The Cabooze as Ike Reilly, his groupies and his band sat in front of us.

Tony snapped portraits as I manned the light box. Ike, who I had been introduced to about ten minutes prior, looked drunkenly, directly at me.

"You are very put together," he remarked.
"Thank you," I answered quietly, smiling.

Tony swiveled around laughing, "Was he talking to you?"

I sorta answered but stayed focused on observing, occasionally attempting wit but mostly staying silent, trying to learn, dressed in my light blue western shirt with stars and sparrows, a navy blue bandanna, and bright red lips.

Focused and accessorized had thus translated to put together. Flattered and sweaty, my feet were scratched and sticky from a beer bottle that had been broken and fallen against my Chaco's, my ears rang from a lack of plugs (IwilllearnmylessonIwilllearnmylessonIwilllearnmylesson,) and the bright red long-wearing lipstick had actually cracked and coagulated on my lips.

In other words, I had just witnessed one helluva rock show.

At one point, as I was snapping a (few) hundred live shots for my archives, my musical WonderTwin and her HowWasTheShow review, Tommy Odonnell's mic stand began to fall from the stage towards the audience and specifically right onto me. My first instinct was to cover my camera and, by doing so, the stand hit me right on the head. I lifted up one hand and my audience neighbor lifted it the rest of the way up. Everyone else danced and cheered along, unfazed.

I was completely fine, it felt like an awkward, embarrassing tap, but Tommy looked down from the stage, horrified. He reached for my hand, grabbed it and shouted above the music.

"IT'S FINE! I'M FINE!" I screamed.

One helluva show.

I knelt down and just kept observing a photographer and a rocker. Many girls and a few boys lined up to get their picture taken, meet him, say hi. Ike and the band remembered some and welcomed others. Girls piled on top of each other just to sit close to him. Everyone except me and Tony seemed drunk, especially Ike, who rested against the fake wood paneling in his wife-beater, torn jeans, and slicked back hair, like a lost cast member of Grease.

"Are you seriously okay?" Tommy asked again.
"Seriously, I am. I'm really hard headed. But I'll send you any medical bills," I answered.
"Sure, the Ike Reilly Insurance Policy will cover any damages!" he answered back, smiling.

I kept watching Ike with his doting fans and I got this overwhelming sense of third party observer. It was like I was watching who I had been with so many of my rockers whom I love and follow (and hoping I wasn't that drunk or doting.) I was watching me the first time I met the Bielanko brothers. Ike was awesome and I had a great time at that show but I am just a casual fan. I don't own all his albums, don't know most of his songs and this was only my first concert of his (though not my last, for sure.) I just couldn't stop thinking of Marah, which makes me want this NYC/Philly trip to happen with every fiber of my rock fan being. It's not Bruce because I've never met Bruce, only shook his hand and watched him through his tinted van window (that is not/maybe is a little as creepy as it sounds.) Meeting the Marah boys in Brooklyn '05 was my first real experience with musical idols becoming real people to have drunken conversations with. It was awesome then and an awesome site to observe now.

"Thanks guys so much!" I waved as we left, lugging all the camera gear around my dirty shoulders. "That was so awesome! Have fun!"

It all felt so normal, like I was a part of this musical world. It was normal and huge at the same time.

Before I was a rock fan, I was Little Miss Broadway. I was raised on trips to the theatre in downtown Kansas City. For a good eighteen years, that was what I loved, that's the majority of music that made me cry and yelp with joy. My dear biotech's recent blog entry not only had me aching for a return trip to NYC but reminded me of one of the greatest examples of Jonesie ridiculousness.

An EXTREME guilty pleasure in my past (and still sorta current) showtune loving repertoire is the song Mr. Mistoffelees from Cats. For some god awful reason, it just made (makes) me happy...further evidence that I am indeed a flaming homosexual in a woman's body.


Jonesie Ridiculousness: My parents took my sister and I to Cats a few times growing up. One of those times, we were about ten rows back. I fell asleep some time after the show started. Head down, dead asleep. Until that bone rattling drum beat/horn blow when Mr. Mistoffelees comes flying down from the ceiling.

With the mancat flying down from the ceiling and the orchestra swelling, I was jolted awake, flew back into my seat and I crossed myself, Eastern Orthodox style. What. the. FUCK!?!?!? I have no earthly idea why that was my first instinct. I'm not sure who else saw me. All I remember is being completely disoriented (and yet completely mesmerized.) It's almost as if the gods were speaking to me through the power of the cats and their giant codpieces. I blame it on that mysterious pussy power.

is why I'll never be as cool as Ike Reilly.