Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Put that in the Spank Bank...

Ummmm...I just saw these photos from Bruce's guest appearance at the Social D show...ummm...UMMMMMM...AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!

Mark R. Sullivan, the photographer AKA my new hero!

Mark R. Sullivan, thank you endlessly! If Jason Isbell flew in from the ceiling, with the Jersey shore sand still lightly in his hair, that would basically make it my distorted holy trinity of today. THANK YOU FOR THESE RAD SHOTS!

Le sigh, BIG TIME!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Best Laid Birthday Plans!

Much thanks to Andrea for taking camera duty on our special night...

The Birthday Girls all dressed up (and as Andrea put it, our only sober picture for about a 30 hour period!)

Birthday piggy back ride from Jesse, my WonderTwin's BF!

Hallelujah dedicated to us Irish style...ummm...yeah. Happy Birthday to Mama!

Chilly Thugs with Fancy Shoes

War Drums on my birthday...yep...that's all I really wanted!

I'm not kidding..Heiruspecs makes me go ape sh*t!

Mom, I (and everyone else who listened to Talk of the Nation last week) now know you cyber stalk me and read my blog. This one is for you! THANK YOU FOR RAISING ME RIGHT, MAMA! I LOVE YOU!

Heidi is a Bruce sister, the ultimate schemer and creator of pit wristbands, AND I LOVE IT!

Sharing our birthday cupcakes! THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

I think I make this face a lot. Especially whilst shaking my Angel Wings.

The Boys: Loomer's Shocker Dance, Kyle's Mad Skillz & Jesse Smirks Behind his Xmen Chops

Ummm...yeah. Plagens is right up there with me. She's a great friend. Who also loves booty music with every fiber of her being.

Andy's Birthday is on May 18th too! T'is CRAZY MADNESS! This time it was a peanut butter cupcake. And it was DELICIOUS!

Which came first: the sandwich or the urinal? Drinking makes me have to go. Many many times. And sometimes you just can't wait.

Before trivia, I thought it would be SUPER hilarious to jump up on the stage that Heiruspecs had played at the night before, in the 331 parking lot, and rap the lyrics to War Drums. I'm a glutton for eternal nerdy white girl with no rhythm punishment. AND I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY! YAAAAAAAAY! WHAT UP ST. PAUL?!!? WHAT UP MIAMI!?!? TMF OPPOSITION. WHAT UP FAMILY!??!?...

After that, much more ridiculous madness ensued. A lot that I don't really remember and I think is probably pretty incriminating (not in the bad BAD way, Mom.) But, dear friends, I STILL managed to make it to work today. WOOHOO!

PS I also scored some seriously awesome loot: gift certificates to Target and Starbucks from my family, last March's Bruce concert ticket from my seriously cool parents, a wiener dog magnet/notepad/and sponge from my sister, a photography book, a gift card to the Fetus ( FAVORITE store to wander around), an amazing homemade necklace by Genna with totally rad bright red and blue stones, a gorgeous black and white Springsteen print that Cohen took from Bruce's last show here, 4 delicious cupcakes (one of which I may ACCIDENTALLY have eaten off of the floor of the dance club...I really wanna forget that), a print of the infamous WonderTwin reach up to Bruce on stage that Heidi took on her iphone, adorable magnetic wiener dog salt'n'pepa shakers that kiss, gut inducing laughter lunch at a salad bar (where Sean challenged me to a "how many grapes can you fit in YOUR mouth" contest...I schooled him after he gave up at 20. These two old black couples who were all dressed up after church cheered and congratulated me on the win. One of those classy women actually said to Sean "Honey, never challenge a woman to a grape eating contest because next time it won't be grapes in her mouth." HOLLA! I never wanna forget that!), the company of many of my friends.

Woah...I'm LUCKY!

Monday, May 19, 2008


I wrote this following segment the day I learned of Danny Federici's death, on April 17, 2008. I kept meaning to expand on this but never could. So I post it as is because I want to put it out there.

Last week, I worked a Dental Convention at Xcel. For three days, I woke up at 5am to take a nauseatingly early bus to St. Paul. I left almost every day crying, overwhelmed with boredom and exhaustion. I had spent ten hours printing off nametags for dentists, dental assistants, dental hygenists, dental spouses, dental kids. With a sassy black woman munching ginger snaps on one side and hyper annoying RenFester for life coughing up phlegm on the other, between almost every page of Kitchen Confidential and Pedal Pusher, I stared out the window of the RiverCentre as the same image played over and over again in my head.

I saw our car pulling into the lot across the street. I saw all of us inside that car, busting out of the Honda and dancing across the street, me inevitably wailing the wrong lyrics to my favorite songs. I saw us standing in those lines for the wristband, eating greasy bar food and drinking cold beer in the soft summer spring fall blistering winter light, nervously fidgeting until the pit number was drawn. Running in as only a herd of middle class white honkies could. Securing our spot as close to the stage as we could get, amongst our people, all of us chattering away as we waited to be baptized by these sweaty waters of rock’n’roll.

I spent ten hours watching cars pull into that lot and not one of them was the Honda. I spent my breaks crawling in between a secret stash of shut down soda machines I found in a dark corner of the convention center, clutching my phone as I alternately called Sha and Tabatha. Because I needed two people that had been with me for a long time, had seen the best and worst of me, had danced with me at shows, had screamed lyrics with me. Two people I had grown up with, surrounded by music.

Being at Xcel for ten hours and not having a Bruce Springsteen concert at the end of the day was just hard. Instead, I felt sorry for myself, I’ve barely been able to take photos, write, and for awhile even get my ass up to go to shows. Without that, I honestly feel like nothing.

Today, WonderTwin, an E Street sister, woke up me up to tell me that Danny Federici had died. Bruce’s E Street brother, his band-mate and close friend for over forty years, a legend for so many people. The Phantom. The little monkey man with giant blue eyes who played an absolutely fierce accordian and keyboard.

I have spent the past three weeks, seven months, twenty-six years perfecting the art of enthusiasm, on a constant quest to make the most out of my life. Sometimes, I feel very young. When I talked to Jim today, and he once again referenced how they were dropping like flies, I realized I am young, definitely too young to grasp that cynicism. Too me, even though he had cancer, he was supposed to live forever...or at the very least long enough to grow REALLY old with his family and his friends, with his music.

I don’t know what my life would be without this music. What grabbed me from that first instant were the lyrics. What kept me every day after that, for the past seven years, was the passion on and off the stage…that palpable connection between me and my insides, me and my mom, me and my closest friends, me and my hero, me and thousands of other freaks for this rock’n’roll giant that is and always be Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

When you are at those shows, you can't help but feel this insane amount of love. They play for themselves, for each other and for us. And it's an amazing gift that will continue to live as long as we continue to relish in every single recording Danny stood next to Bruce, his Jersey brother forever.'ll ALWAYS be the man!

In the past month, a lot has changed. Spring is here. Once again, I can't sit still. I'm getting a lot of great photography opportunities that keep me insanely busy. And I've been surrounding myself with family, friends and lots of music. It's really good.

Man oh man, I wish I was there...


From backstreets...

Springsteen and Social D's Mike Ness rock the Stone Pony

On Saturday night, or the second of two Mike Ness shows at the Pony, the Social Disortion frontman was joined on stage by his friend (and longtime fan) Bruce Springsteen. After watching the show from the soundboard, Springsteen joined in for a four-song encore. As Linda tells us, there was "'Misery Loves Company,' the song they did together on Mike's 1999 solo CD, Cheating at Solitaire. Then they did my favorite Social D. song, 'Ball and Chain,' but instead of sticking to the original rocking version, they did it as a slow, country ballad. Bruce sang the second verse, and the crowd went nuts. Next was a 'If You Leave Before Me,' from Cheating at Solitaire, followed by a fun 'I Fought the Law.' What was really cool was seeing the excitement and giddiness of Social D. fans after the show. Most of these fans are guys in their 20s -- tattoos, pierced body parts, part hardcore punk/part rockabilly, and their hot Bettie Page-type girlfriends. They were so happy and excited, and I heard them saying, 'Man, nothing gets better than this!' and 'Wow, can you believe it? How frickin' amazing was that?!'" As Ness asked the crowd, "Aren't you guys glad you came the second night?" [Correction: Ness performed Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" without Springsteen]


Basically, it goes like this. Because of my obsession with Bruce, I discovered Marah. Because of my obsession with Marah, I discovered Drive-By Truckers. Because of my obsession with Drive-By Truckers, I discovered Social Distotion.

At one time or another, for a long time, those bands meant the world to me. In two of those cases, sh*t went down and favorite members left/were forced to leave (who will ever really know? And yes just last week I was day dreaming about the awesomeness of Jason Isbell and my summer concert in Kansas City. And just last week I was creating a rock'n'roll poster of a bunch of my shots, which shall be displayed shortly, and I didn't include any of Marah...because it just isn't the same any more. When the corner square reads "There are pictures of her heroes on the wall", how could I?) Bruce is obviously still mon numero une and I'm still super stoked to FINALLY see sans Isbell Truckers at First Ave.

And then there's Social D...a band an old roommate told me years agoI should REALLY listen to cause I was such a Trucker fan. And I fell instantly in love. This music soothed me whenever I felt like ramming my little Honda right into the A-hole in front of me! Cause I would scream along with Mike Ness and all seemed well again!

Then I saw them live, by myself, and it was one of the top 10 non Bruce live shows of my life. I fought to stay in the moshing crowd, pressed against the pole at the Quest to steady myself, danced so hard that I ruined my neon roos, and relished in the cool beer that was being poured on us so we didn't overheat. It was disgusting. And amazing. And just as awesome the next time round too.

When I realize that my ultimate musical hero is a friend and longtime fan of another musical hero of mine, it warms my heart. And somehow makes so much of what I love come full circle and connect.

Because really it was just two dudes jamming on a stage together. Seriously, how awesome is that?!?!

F*cking RAD! I wonder if they go shopping for black clothes together?

(That Bruce video is sort of nauseatingly raw...motion sickness...but also one of the best videos I've seen that portrays what it's like to really be at one of those shows, in the midst of that crowd.)

Best Birthday Ever!

It was amazing. I got to celebrate the birthday with an amazing fellow May 18ther, surrounded by many of my friends. Effin' sweet. More pics to come (including some quasi incriminating ones of me dancing on a balcony.) Effin' sweet!

Thursday, May 8, 2008