The Boys of Biffy Clyro are Love.

So, I finished this pendant the other day,

of Simon Neil’s signature, if oddly coloured, Strat. I had the immense pleasure of meeting the band two days after finishing this pendant, and I gave him the one pictured here. He was genuinely thrilled to have it, and I got many hugs and smiles. He signed the back of my pendant. Yay! Unfortunately I did not get a picture of him with it.
..Sculpey Premo! clay, acrylic paints and varnishes. Yes, the pick guard is a very pale mint green. Finished 28 May 2011.


I find the human brain and nervous system fascinating. Especially in this area: music.
So many of us always have a song stuck in our heads.
I call mine the Mental Jukebox.
And if it’s been too long since I fed a song number in, the Jukebox always reverts to Demo Mode. And Demo Mode is the Sesame Street theme song. LOL! Yes, friends, ’tis true. I guess because I grew up watching that show, it’s the first song really embedded in my synapses, and there it has stayed for 28 years. If I start hearing it, I know it’s time to whip out the iPod.

Also, muscle memory. How is it that we (well, some of us) are able to think of a note, contract a few tiny muscles and things, and belt out a D flat? It’s such a strange thought to me. Whistling, too. How do we figure out to the point of autonomy, where the tongue and lips have to be positioned to get a tune going?

So weird.


On another note (har har):
Our Verizon contract expires and will be renewed in a month or so.
I have an EnV2 now. I adore this phone. So, naturally, I have been planning on getting the EnV3 to replace it with our New-Every-Two deal (nice discounts on contract renewal).
But, then, I found out that Verizon requires at least the $10/month data package with any 3G phone now.
So I started looking around, and am now interested in the Droid Eris. It’s actually the same price as the EnV3 right now. And so many more features. BUT – do I really want full internet access on my mobile phone? I might never put the damned thing down.
Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Experience with either phone? Suggestions?

You Stole My Overture

Yesterday, I experienced my second Muse concert.

There are no words to describe how beautiful it was.

But here’s the story. (written when I got home, so it’s in present-tense. Can’t be arsed to edit that.)

Arrived 8.45 AM. Lisa (Lisalu vmuse), Rachel (EternallyMused), Melanie (Wicked and Divine), her friend (couldn’t quite hear her name), Jared (Jared12), and Jeremy (haytrain) were already there. It was 34° out, and raining. I sat down on my little leopard-print stool, and we all chatted. Very very lovely people. More showed up, and we numbered our hands (I was 8, due to saved spots). Tahnee (Wazlib) arrived around 9.30. She brought several copies of a Vancouver BC newspaper with Muse on the cover, an article, and promo ads inside. Melanie told most everyone about my Glitterati earrings and my portraits, so I had to show them to a lot of people. That was kind of odd, I’m not used to being praised and awed like that. *lol*
Around 2, they did sound check. Techies played the Doctor Who theme, twice, all the way through, checking the keyboards. I had my ear against the door. It was funny, hearing that song in such an unexpected place, and at such volume. Tahnee remembered that they might be celebrating the 11th Doctor’s debut today. Probably right!
Everyone fretted about the fact that Matt smashed the Glitterati in Seattle Friday night. No one knew exactly what happened, but rumour was the headstock was broken.
Security decided an hour before doors that they WOULD allow cameras, which slightly annoyed me, because I have this wonderful Sony CyberShot that I bought specifically because it does good concert photos. But, I would have spent too much time taking pictures and not fully enjoying the gig.
Doors opened promptly at 6. Tickets scanned and hole-punched, wristbands applied, and down to the floor we went. The lady who put my wristband on had no clue how to work the thing so I was late getting there, but Jared and Melanie had saved enough room for me at the barrier. Front and just left of centre. It turns out Jared has the silver version of my camera, and he got some -really- nice shots.
Silversun Pickups were pretty good. I shall have to hear more of them. Brian (singer) is a lot of fun. Really gets into his songs.
Techies came out to switch set. The Glitterati lives!!!
Muse, as always, kicked my ass. Matt wore his disco ball suit and painted American flag t-shirt (I know the shirt is for some band but I can’t think which). Couldn’t see much of Dom, since the stage is so bloody high up. Chris looked really good, and had a cool jacket on.

Uprising (Matt, after: “Hey, I get a strong smell of reefer up here. Who’s got the reefer??”)
New Born
Supermassive Black Hole
Hysteria (preceded by Bellamy Spangled Banner)
Guiding Light
United States of Eurasia
Feeling Good
Drum & Bass (Dom and Chris both on giant turntable)
Undisclosed Desires
Unnatural Selection
Time is Running Out
Plug In Baby (release the confetti-filled eyeball balloons!)
Exogenesis: Part 1
Stockholm Syndrome
Knights of Cydonia

Hysteria, Unnatural Selection, TiRO, and Plug In Baby completely kicked my ass. SO overwhelmingly good. Exogenesis actually made me tear up, it was so beautifully performed. Then Stockholm Syndrome really knocked me to the ground. Holy shit.

Left the barrier, after collecting some MuseConfetti from the floor. I saved two un-crumpled pieces from the other side of the barrier wall. Followed Melanie to the soundboard area, where I met Tom Kirk and shook his hand. He’s a really nice guy. He posed for photos with Melanie and Tahnee. Made our way out and back upstairs. Waited for Melanie and Jared to get their merch, then went outside. There was a party at Melanie’s room for Mary (gocanux – 57th birthday today!) – but Tahnee, Jared, Veronica, Shelby and I decided to try waiting for the band at the back doors. We never did meet them. Jared and Veronica snuck in a door near the loading area, and managed to get within about 4 feet of Dom and Matt before security tossed them out again. Meanwhile, myself, Tahnee, and Shelby met Brian, the singer from Silversun Pickups. He actually isn’t that much taller than me. Really nice. He signed my ticket, I told him tonight was my first hearing of them, and they were really awesome. He thanked me humbly, with a cigarette between his teeth. Then he noticed my red glittery star pin, and said he really loved it. Tahnee had her leopard-print Snuggie (with Dom’s face pasted over the model’s on the box), and had been trying to get the silly thing to Dom for weeks. So she finally gave it to Brian, who said “yeah, I’ll definitely get this to him before the next show! He’ll love it. He’ll SHIT himself.” Then he turned to me and continued, “He really will. He does that. He shits himself. All the time. It’s DISGUSTING.” and carried it off to the bus. Ha! I’m glad I got a couple of pictures of that conversation.

The black Suburbans which were in the loading bay pulled slowly past us, and I could see figures through the tinted windows. Goodbye, Muse, and thanks for being so awesome that I can hardly stand it.

We wandered, Jared and Veronica wanted to go to the bar Brian mentioned, but we couldn’t Google anything about a Liberty Lot, so gave up. They are all underage anyway. We walked back to the Marriott and went to Melanie’s room for Mary’s little party. We sat around and chatted for a while. Took more photos. Jaelu and another girl joined us.

Called mom, she picked me up at about 2am.


Howard Jones!

Howard Jones is such a sweet heart.

His show this evening was phenomenal. The last two years, he has done all acoustic. This time he had a short acoustic set and then a longer one with two other musicians, and electronic. He played some new tunes, and revamped some old ones to add a bit more power. He even covered the Killers song ‘Human’! It was absolutely gorgeous with Howard singing.. his voice is well suited to the song.

This time I had my real camera, and got a LOT of really good shots, especially during the electronic set, because we were standing at the stage and I set the camera on the stage & pointed it up at him, zoomed in. I love my camera.

Just a few of the 160+ shots I kept:
One . Two . Three . Four . Five . Six

At intermission before the electronic set, the guy next to us said “hey! You went to Milwaukie!” – it was Mr. Bjorn, one of our teachers. LOL He was there with his wife, and they were rocking out. So funny to see him at a concert… :}

At the beginning of the second verse of one song (I can’t think of the title to save my life, but it’s an oldie) he started to sing, and the mic died. He smacked it a few times, tried it again, swore, waited for a techie to come out with a new mic – and no techie. Howard was not a happy man. He pointed at his bandmates to continue the song and keep the audience busy, and went backstage. It took another 2 full minutes for a techie to come out with a new mic – absolutely crap. Poor Howard. But he came out and started where they had left off, since the other two people had continued the song pattern. It was kind of scary seeing Howard upset.

He seemed to be having a lot of fun the rest of the show though, being all smiles and joking around as usual. He was talking about how the three of them were a trio, but when you say “trio” you usually think of a jazz combo. He started thinking aloud of new words for them, like “trio electronic” or “the electronic troix”, and one guy behind me yelled “electrio!” Howard liked that one. “Yeah, that’s it! Electrio! ..and we can all go on an Electronisy together.” *lol*

After the show we stuck around for a while, and sure enough, his manager came out and told us few stragglers that we were to meet up in the foyer. Howard appeared shortly after for autographs. No pictures with him this time, as they were leaving tonight and didn’t have the time. But, when it was my turn in queue, he grinned and said “Hi! How are you?” lol. I said “wonderful!” and asked how he was doing, and he shyly said “oh, I’m great!” He signed my tour book while I voiced the usual “thanks for coming back to Portland, it was lovely to see you again” stuff, and he quietly answered “yes, thank you, glad you came..”. When he was done signing, I put my hand on his shoulder and told him to enjoy the rest of his evening. *lol* I’m such a dork. But he smiled sweetly and said thanks.
It’s so cute being right next to him.. he’s not too much taller than me, and just a little bit pudgy. :} His eyes are a very interesting mixture of grey/hazel.. really pretty.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening. I’m so glad Howard loves Portland, and the Aladdin Theatre in particular – the staff there are generally really nice.
Howard just finished a new album, so he’ll probably be back in less than a year. Hee!

Duran Duran!

So, those who follow me on Twitter or Facebook will have seen my periodic txt updates during the Duran Duran show tonight.

I didn’t bring my good camera because I didn’t want to risk it if they weren’t allowed – miffed to learn cameras were allowed. Oh well. My cell phone got a few OK ones, at least until it got dark, then it started picking up too much stage lighting and the guys just look like blurry apparitions.
Also, I don’t have my microSD card adapter with me in Seattle, so I have to look at the rest of the photos when I get back home.. I e-mailed two of them to myself at .25 each. 😛 The pictures are crap – I was close enough that I could see Nick’s eyeshadow, but the pictures make it look like I was a mile back. Bleh.

I saw the guys pull up in their black Suburban, and I could make out Simon in his vest through the fencing. Pretty soon they arrived onstage. Simon’s shirt was really nice, it kind of had dip-dyed sleeves. Everyone looked really great.

Our seats were quite close, 5th row back, at the right corner of the stage. I had a great view of Nick – yaaay! Poor fellow has a broken foot somehow – how did that happen?

At the beginning of Notorious, a bunch of people stormed up to the stage and stayed there.. the security staff didn’t bother making them leave. However, they didn’t let anyone else up, which sucked. I stayed back at my Section D Row D (heh, DD) seat and tried to take photos from there.
At one point during the song, John sauntered over to my side of the stage. He looked like he was already having a really great time. 😀 (You girls may notice something about Simon there… sheeze. *lol*)

Simon did a bit of talking between songs, and during songs, incredibly cheeky. Moreso than the last time I saw them. Someone threw their panties onstage and simon said “oh dear, aren’t you a little cold now?” *lol*

At one point, Simon started talking about “we like to bring some old stuff out of our wardrobe of music sometimes.. and sometimes we pull out a skeleton. Well we found a skeleton, and put a little meat on its bones. It’s the first time this band has ever played this song on a stage. ….. should I announce it?” *SCREAMS FROM AUDIENCE* “…. The song is… Election Day.”

I just about lost it then. Election Day!!!! The boys playing an Arcadia song on stage for the first time EVER – and the song was SO excellent. I can’t even describe seeing Simon singing that song about 25 feet from me. Just .. pure bliss.

We had a few good JoSi moments…

Toward the end of the main set I had slowly sneaked my way out of my assigned area and across the aisle to an empty space closer to centre, and front row. The pictures came out slightly closer, but not much. I could see Simon’s eyes sparkling.

The encore started with Dom playing a familiar tune on his guitar, and then Simon slowly walked out – wearing black trousers, white shirt with black buttons, white tux jacket, and bowtie. Again – I almost lost it. *lol* A View to a Kill – the coolest version I have ever heard. It started out quietly and simon’s voice was very chilling against the faint synth noises. I wish I had a recording of it.

During Planet Earth, John yelled “Alright you fuckers, get your hands in the air!” *lol*

The setlist (I actually noted it in my phone this time!):

Wild Boys
Union of the Snake
Nite Runner
I Don’t Want Your Love
Save a Prayer
Red Carpet Massacre
Election Day (still can’t believe they played this!!)
Come Undone
The Reflex
The Chauffeur
Do You Believe in Shame
Ordinary World
Hungry Like the Wolf
A View to a Kill
Planet Earth
Girls on Film (w/ Freak Out!)

As they were about to leave the stage, Simon did the usual announcement of who plays what, he screamed at us WHAT’S MY NAME?! and we answered SIMON! over and over – he clearly loved it, of course. Then when everyone was named, he said “and we are Duran Duran: the band designed to make your breasts bigger!!!”

They walked away to much drunken screaming…
Goodbye til next time, boys.

I got my new favourite DD shirt.. will post a pic of that and more photos of the show once I get them all off my phone.

Sorry for the boring description, I’m not good at stories… just know that I have died of happiness. 🙂