Sunday, February 8, 2009

For Hair Tying Emergencies, Presumably

I know I sort of promised a British TV post part two but that will have to wait because I had a super awesome day on Saturday and I am going to blog about it now for your alleged enjoyment.

1. I got my hair cut. It's ok. I'm like 80% satisfied with it. For the first time in a long time I went to a real salon instead of letting students hone their skills at my expense (I mean that literally, as in I pay for such service, and not in a mean way). The lady was nice and quick but I think she was a bit aggressive with her scissors. Especially in the bangs area. I requested swoopy type bangs and they sort of are but in the way that they sort of swoop an inch or so above my eyebrows making me look like a 12 year old whose mom trimmed her hair for school pictures. I don't really need a lot of help looking younger at this stage in my life.

However, I do like the way the rest of my hair turned out (for the most part). I'm really picky and, as I mention in my 25 Things About Me list (forthcoming, probably), I have only really liked one hair cut I've gotten ever. 80% approval is pretty good, actually. I'd probably go back and/or recommend it to friends.

Speaking of which, Big Hair (the salon), does not in fact have scissors that cut every third hair as I was promised. The stylist gave me an odd look when I inquired so I had to explain that the source was in rare form when she said it. I was still disappointed.

2. Walking around all day was fun. It was a balmy 50 in the city on Saturday, perfect for exploring new nooks and crannies which included an awesome toy store with Playmobils. So much fun.

3. In the evening I attended the sold out Los Campesinos! show with Sarah-Sarah. They. Are. AWESOME. I dancey danced awkwardly and sang along with great enthusiasm. It was one of the best shows. I'd never been to the Logan Square Auditorium before and was impressed by the venue.

The opening band Titus Andronicus was also terrific. In a high school band way. That sounds like an insult but it very much is not. When I was in high school, we only really had one local band (it was a small town). They often wore Hawaiian shirts and played music that was vaguely ska (it was a small town) and everybody loved them even if they'd never actually heard the band play. They were not like the bands we'd journey into the big city to see on the weekends. We knew that the local band would eventually make it big (ed. note: they did not) but in the meantime we liked their songs (or the idea of them) and their potential. They were rough since no one had tried to mold them into a marketable gimmick and we enjoyed that.

In the same way, Titus Andronicus seemed a bit rough but all the better for it. Sometimes they raged like Tim Kasher, sometimes the sound was mellow with harmonica. I liked both ends of the spectrum enough to buy their record (with free digital download) and got to hear the lead singer tell some kid just to steal the music online. The singer also had nice hair. That's completely unrelated, though. The very best part was that they did a cover of the Modern Lover's song "Roadrunner." It was very, very good.

And then they handed over the stage for Los Campesinos! Hooray!

I missed Los Campesinos! the last time they were in town which I regret now. They put on an enthusiastic show. As one might guess from listening to their albums. And even though we were not in the middle of the dance pit, we danced. Or, rather, I did my awkward shuffle thing that is as close to dancing as I get. I don't know what else there is to say about the music itself. They stayed pretty true to their recordings but with maybe slightly more energy. Oh, and at one point a line was changed to something pretty obscene...but it was funny in a cutting way so...

The between song banter was pretty spot on as well. At one point someone shouted that they couldn't understand Gareth (background: Los Campesinos! are from Cardiff and thus have a bit of an accent, unlike us Midwesterners) which led Sarah-sarah and I into a bout of quoting the Lauren Cooper sketch featuring Doctor Who (we're dorks) which also led us into making Doctor Who/Torchwood jokes/references (we're major dorks. background: Doctor Who and Torchwood episodes are routinely set in Cardiff where there is a disruption in space/time). Oh, also, despite announcing the band was from Cardiff Gareth also said they were British, which Sarah-Sarah corrected (quite loudly) which led Gareth to concede the point while simultaneously pointing out that he would clearly win any further argument because he had the microphone.


Then they played some more including my very favorite song "Knee Deep at ATP." I was elated. So there was more dancing/shuffling. Sadly, the evening drew to a close not long afterwords. Instead of honoring my silent request to play all night, the band did a one song encore before leaving the stage for a final time. However, I can't begrudge them since they closed with "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks" which seemed like the most appropriate choice. By the time the last note sounded, most of the band were up on the monitors, singing at the top of their lungs. I think they had almost as good of a time as the audience.

We stopped by the merch table on the way out where I made purchase of aforementioned Titus Andronicus record, two Los Campesinos! EPs and possibly the coolest fan-zine ever. Gareth, who was manning the merch station and chatting amiably to the patrons, explained he made 100 of them to sell on tour. Mine is titled "Because We Cannot Lie All Night Together" (chosen for the car picture on the front which reminded me of my 25 Things list). Apparently the line is from a poem by B S Johnson. The 'zine contains a mix CD with 14 songs and correlating short stories. It's fantastic and well worth the investment. He was also asking for vegan restaurant recommendations and though I didn't say it to him, I will tell you that I firmly recommend Cousin's. Not the sub chain but the local raw/vegan restaurant on West Irving Park (in Chicago). For $9-ish you can partake in their truly excellent lunch buffet and sit on the floor while you eat it (I'm really into sitting on the floor of restaurants). Seriously amazing. I digress.

After the show we lingered out front to retrieve winter-wear from our bags and also to await an expected phone call. This is when we were accosted by an intoxicated young man (but clearly not a gentleman at all) who tried to slap Sarah-sarah's hand whilst knocking out my front teeth. He did not know the secret to the perfect high-five (look at your partner/opponent's elbow) and was recalcitrant in learning it from us. His loss. Somehow this led to him towering over my slight-of-stature friend demanding to know if she found him trustworthy. I'd like to also point out that he did not seem to be good at telling when people were lying. Fortunately his friends called him away soon after and we did not encounter him on the train nor on craigslist's missed connections board.

Meanwhile, still loitering around the venue area, we stumbled across Logan Square's video exchange. It's really an reclaimed newspaper box housing hundreds (or 20) of home-taped movies. We borrowed two VHS tapes with artsy titles. Well, mine had artsy titles scribbled on it, Sarah-Sarah's has a rap star/actor namechecked on the label. I originally gave it to a passerby but he was gentleman enough to exchange it for another when Sarah-sarah requested it back. In my defense, I hadn't actually looked at what was on it before handing it over and probably (but not definitely) would not have been so cavalier in giving it away had I known its contents. I do think we all managed to avoid going home with porn so win-win-win.

Then, just when I thought the night wasn't going to get any better, Sarah-Sarah pointed out a tall bike. My jaw hit the ground. I am super fascinated by tall-bikes and platonically enamored of anyone who rides one. It was lucky that we are scouting locations for a super-secret free CD exchange for the Chicago area. To take place in our neighborhood area, roughly, for convenience. Details to follow.

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