Thursday, March 22, 2012

Say the things no one else will ever dare.

This is the first full, five-day work week I've had in a while, which wouldn't be too bad except for the massive roof prioritisation deadline I have coming up. Also, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous this week, prompting me to stare out my window and daydream. Making it even more difficult to concentrate is my addiction to the new Tanlines album "Mixed Emotions." I can't believe I found my Summer of 2012 album, and it's not even April yet. Here's the very David Lynch-inspired video for their song "All Of Me." Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In the Black Pool

Eric by currtdawg
Eric, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

Eric and I just spent the past five days in Dublin. I had fond memories from last time I was there, and this time was just as fun.

St. Stephen's Green by currtdawg
St. Stephen's Green, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

This was Eric's first time in Dublin, so we basically did all the same stuff I did last time I was there, which was fine with me. I was happy to get reacquainted with the city, including the gorgeous St. Stephen's Green.

Guinness Storehouse by currtdawg
Guinness Storehouse, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

And the Guinness Storehouse.

At the Guinness Storehouse by currtdawg
At the Guinness Storehouse, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

Did you know Guinness has water in it? Insane!

Eric Pours a Guinness by currtdawg
Eric Pours a Guinness, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

And Eric poured his first Guinness, but he's more of a Jameson guy, so I got to drink it. He did a good job.

Craig Finn by currtdawg
Craig Finn, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

As you might know, I'm a big fan of The Hold Steady, and since they've been on hiatus since last year, vocalist Craig Finn has been touring behind a solo album ("Clear Heart Full Eyes"). Coincidentally, he was playing Dublin Thursday night, so I dragged Eric to the show. He plays great bar rock in the same vein as THS, but with more of a country twinge to it. He's very animated when he sings, so Eric and I stood there, swaying with the crowd. I really enjoyed the show, and was glad to hear Eric appreciated it, too.

Jameson Distillery by currtdawg
Jameson Distillery, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

On Friday, we went to the old Jameson Distillery, which is something I missed last time I was in town. We took a guided tour, which was really fascinating. Of course, the free samples didn't hurt, either.

Tony, Kristen, & Ally by currtdawg
Tony, Kristen, & Ally, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

On Friday evening, we were joined by Tony, Kristin, and Ally.

Kristen & Ally by currtdawg
Kristen & Ally, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

It was great to have even more people to drink with, not that there was a shortage or anything.

St. Patrick's Day by currtdawg
St. Patrick's Day, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

On St. Patrick's Day, Ally and Kristin went on a trip to Cork and Blarney (which Eric and I were supposed to attend, but kinda overslept), so he, Tony, and I watched the parade, then headed to a pub to watch the Ireland vs. England rugby match. The ladies caught up with us later that evening.

James Joyce & Me by currtdawg
James Joyce & Me, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

It never fails to amaze me how genuine and kind the Dubliners are. They always went out of their way to help us, and we never felt like we were getting swindled just because we were tourists. It's definitely one of my favourite cities in Europe.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Schnee Men

Nassfeld by currtdawg
Nassfeld, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

I thought President's Day weekend would be my last chance to go snowboarding this season, but since we put so many hours in last week, we all got Friday off. It was a great opportunity to get a small group together and head up to Nassfeld for the weekend.

Nassfeld by currtdawg
Nassfeld, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

Concepcion, Mike, Nate, and I headed up to The Cube Thursday after work. We woke up early Friday morning and headed straight for the slopes. It's been a rather short winter, and at the base of the mountain, the snow was manmade and slushy. However, at the top, it was near perfect.

Mike, Concepcion, & Nate by currtdawg
Mike, Concepcion, & Nate, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

There were some really nice bars in the area, too. And it always seemed like we could never order just beers. It was always "a beer and a shot!" It made for some rough mornings, but nothing that couldn't be relieved by strapping on our boards.

One night, the bar had dancing girls.

Alpini Guy & Me by currtdawg
Alpini Guy & Me, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

And I met this Italian guy who was former Alpini. Also, I find my Italian gets a little better after I have a few beers in me, for some reason.

Nassfeld by currtdawg
Nassfeld, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

We all agreed it was a productive weekend, evidenced by how sore our legs are. We left this morning and headed back to Italy, sad that this would probably be our last time on the slopes this season.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Your power inside, it rocks me like a lullaby

When I lived in Utah, tons of great shows came through Salt Lake City (and still do), and since it was so close, I'd go see bands, even if I was a casual fan. And even though Venice could be considered a major city, not many artists choose to stop here. Several make the trek to Milano or Bologna, but since they're kinda far away, I'm not always able to see every band I'd like, especially if it's during the week. There are some, however, that are worth taking a day off work. One such case is Tune-Yards, the musical project of Merrill Garbus. Her album "w h o k i l l" was one of my favourites from last year, and when I saw she was going to be in Milano last night, I knew I had to go. I took today off and rode the train to Milano yesterday.
The venue was a place called Tunnel, a tiny bar beneath the train tracks near the central station. There were maybe 150 people in attendance. The opener was a very experimental band, whose name I didn't catch, which is fine because it wasn't music I'd prefer to listen to anytime soon.
Tune Yards by currtdawg
Tune Yards, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

When Merrill came out (with a small band consisting of a bassist and two saxophone players), I wasn't really sure what to expect. Her voice on the album is very strong and rather deep for a female. (I almost want to compare it to Phil Collins.) But she was very slight and feminine in person.
All of her shows are unique because she records drum and vocal loops on the spot, then plays them back while singing and playing her ukelele. It's very novel and fun, and as soon as the audience caught on to what was happening, it was inevitable that someone would let out a shout while she was recording, thereby making us part of the song.
The dark lyrics are masked by lively music, which kept us all dancing to the groove. One wouldn't think ukelele, bass, and saxophones would go together as well as they do, but it somehow creates a conglomerate of delicious songs that had me ginning all night.

If you'd like to see how she builds her songs live, check out this impressive performance:

Friday, March 02, 2012

Telling Squidward Where He Can Go

Spongebob by currtdawg
Spongebob, a photo by currtdawg on Flickr.

The other day, we had some pipes burst beneath one of the dorms. The area is only used for storage now, but apparently it used to be a children's play area. This was painted on the wall, and it struck us as rather funny. Yes, that blue thing next to SpongeBob is the letter N, but everyone's first impression was "F.U.!"