Day 32

Months ago I saw Pearl and the Beard, a band Tori introduced me to, was playing at SPACE. I immediately bought tickets and secured the front and center table. Life is good.

The show was tonight. Sadly, Tori ended up having CA commitments and couldn’t make it to the show, but Rachel, Charlotte, Zoe and I went. Rachel was intrigued by the warm-up band, Midnight Moxie, but actually the warm-up to the warm-up was better.

The first warm-up was Abigail Stauffer, a singer-songwriter from Michigan. Her voice is truly beautiful. It was basically just her and an acoustic guitar although she did bring one of her friends up on stage to play a washboard as percussion for a couple of songs.

The real standouts from her set were “Beloved,” “College, Love And Cheesecake,” as well as a gorgeous cover of “Hallelujah.”

Abigail Stauffer (and Vince)

Midnight Moxie, is an all girl Chicago-based doo-wop rock trio. Their songs have pretty clever lyrics and they have a fun stage presence, but the performance lacked a little polish. I also suspect they may have been having some monitor issues so they might not have been able to hear themselves, which might have messed with some of their harmonies. I bought their CD and will definitely give it a listen because I think the band has a a lot of potential in a controlled setting.

Midnight Moxie

The crowd was so pumped for Pearl and the Beard. The amount of noise made when they took the stage was incredible.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pearl and the Beard I highly recommend you check them out. They have a unique and varied sound, from the upbeat “Voice in My Throat,” to the somewhat rockous “Oh Death,” to the slower more plaintive “Mistakes.” Pearl and the Beard is Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price, and Jeremy Styles. All three musicians sing, and many of their songs are built around complex harmonies. Jeremy plays guitar, Jocelyn plays the drums, and Emily makes her cello laugh, cry, and sing. Until I saw the band live I had no idea how integral the cello was to their sound.

These performers have great chemistry on stage

This is a great band to see in concert because they talk. A lot. They talk to each other on stage, and have a great rapport. The girls occasionally gang up on Jeremy, but he takes it in stride and his humor is self-deprecating. They also talk to the audience, telling anecdotes, and responding to the occasional comment. When they first came on stage the audience roared and Jocelyn, who was still setting things up, turned and looked out at the crowd and said, “Wait for it. We haven’t even done anything yet!”

Near the end of the show, a joke got started where someone from the audience called out that they could basically play anything, including the phone book, and everyone would love it. A while later, Emily said they only had time for two more songs, and someone in the back yelled, “Phone book!” Without missing a beat, Emily started singing a very dramatic version of the ABCs accompanied by her cello, while Jeremy pretended to chug his gin and tonic.

Emily just makes that cello emote

The band played a lot of louder upbeat numbers, but wasn’t afraid to pull it back and do some of their quieter stuff. Jeremy stepped forward, away from his mike, and played a song essentially unplugged. The audience hushed to listen and the experience was very intimate.

Unplugged acoustic number

The fans were enthusiastic, and the request for an encore was loud and genuine. The response was so positive that Emily actually got a little choked up, confessing that even after all this time, every time they play she’s so nervous no one will come, and telling the fans how much the band loves them and appreciates their support.

All in all, a wonderful evening. Good company. Fantastic Band(s). SPACE was, as always, the perfect venue for this type of concert: small enough to be intimate, professional enough that the bands sound great. Two thumbs up, and definitely check out Pearl and the Beard if they come your way.

Day 31

This was a rather impressive cobweb we discovered in our living room. I suppose it was likely to catch bugs attracted to the light.

Conical Cobweb (wouldn't that be a good name for an alternative rock band?)

Day 30

Tonight we hung out at Zoe’s new apartment. Rachel, Tori, and Dana were there, and wherever Dana goes, cuddle-puddles tend to follow.

Five people on a couch designed for two... win.

Day 29

Unfortunately my front bike tire was stolen the other night. The joke is probably on whoever took it though because all summer I’ve suspected the tire had a slow leak. Two very kind friends, Mike and Violet, gave me a ride over to the bike shop to get it fixed. I took this picture to remind me how I angled the lock to get around the post, around the bike frame and through the wheel. It’s not as easy as it looks…

Day 28

All the freshmen are moving in today. They look so little. And eager.  It’s adorable.

I’m not sure if this was a sanctioned welcome or if someone is in big trouble, but the fountain downtown had a large quantity of purple dye dumped in it last night. It’s pretty spectacular.

I love the lighting in this shot

Day 27

They finally took the construction fence down in front of Deering Library. They completely redid the entrance, but it’s subtle. They did a great job matching the stone.

Love the ivy!

Day 26

Tonight was Tuesday Night Dinner! Mike’s birthday was a couple of days ago so we baked him a spice cake and there were so many candles we had to put them on both cakes!

Mike's 25th Birthday Inferno

Day 25

This morning my parents left to return to Florida. I waved goodbye and then headed back to the apartment. Charlotte’s mom took the two of us out for breakfast to a neat little diner/dive called Prairie Joe’s. It’s on central street. The breakfast ham was wonderful and the banana pancakes were to die for.

Classic Breakfast Diner

Day 24

This morning I went to the farmer’s market with my parents. They were very impressed by the produce. I am a huge fan of the farmer’s market.

These were goose-necked zucchini and they seemed like they wanted to escape their container!

Don't they look like little dinosaurs or something?

Day 23

Dinner at Tru with my parents was really delightful. Dad and I came here five years ago and it was wonderful. He came back with my Mom a year later and it was awful. So it was off the list for a while.  But we were down in the city for a 1985 and 1986 Bordeaux retrospective tasting with most of the first growths and a lot of the second growths as well. True is only about a block from where the wine tasting was so we decided to give it another try. I’m so glad we did! A large percentage of the courses were home-runs, including dessert, served by “George,” a monkey holding up a banana gateaux.

That is the most three dimensional plate I've ever been served in a restaurant...