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If it’s not clear, I’m pretty fucking excited about the Coast Modern album release on July 28th.  Once an official date was set, I pre-ordered the album, started chatting people up to do the same, and began planning how I would celebrate the day.  It started with something simple like wearing their swag, maybe playing with the dolls a bit, but now I’ve decided to throw an all out Coast Modern themed party at the office.

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Like any good party, the fun is in the details, especially with themed parties.  The care you put in the planning will pay off in spades on the official day.  Each piece needs to hold true to the theme to make sure your guests aren’t wondering if it’s a party or just a few people getting together.  Here’s a quick guide in case you want to throw your own Coast Modern party.

The Menu:

Every great party starts with the food and a theme party gives even more opportunity to amp it up with catchy puns.

  • Grilled Toast Modern – A Californian vibed grilled cheese sandwich. It’s provolone and cheddar cheese melted over arugula, bacon, and horseradish sauce on garlic Parmesan bread.
  • “Dive” into dip and chips.
  • “Now I’m Cool” Cucumber Salad.
  • Drinks will be made with “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” and each served with “Tiny Umbrellas” to pay homage to one of my favorite songs on the album.

Wardrobe:

Attendants have been asked to wear their Coast Modern gear.  If they don’t have a concert tee shirt, they can sport:

  • Dad shirts
  • Converse or Vans
  • Anything with a Californian vibe

Games:

Since my party will take place at my day job, I have to keep the activities on the up and up.  They’re even geared toward employee appreciation and positivity.  I’m not saying you still can’t use them, but I felt like I needed to explain why there’s no alcohol.

  • “Pockets Full of Knowledge” – I have little trivia game with random Coast Modern facts.  My staff love surfing on the Intenet for random info, so why not have them focus on a particular topic?
  • “The Way it Was” – Each person will write down a habit they want to change going forward to increase positivity in their life.  They’ll focus daily on something to make sure they keep moving forward and never go back to “the way it was.”

As you can see, I’ve stayed true to the  Coast Modern spirit by punning off their song titles and I’m pretty fucking proud of what I’ve come up.  It’s right up there with “You gotta be kitten me right meow” and “I don’t wanna taco bout it.”

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Invite all your friends to enjoy on the festivities!

Hopefully these little tips will help you gather friends to enjoy the band’s release day or solve the problem of your next birthday party theme. Whatever you decide to do, the most important part is to have a good time.  And listen to Coast Modern.

 

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My Dreamers/Arkells concert bill in Canada hosted not one, but two awesome concert nights.  This is an interesting experience if you haven’t had the privilege to do consecutive shows.  Not only do the bands have to deliver something different for the possible repeat crowd, the fans also bring an entirely different feel.  This Dreamers/Arkells double shot gave the best example in regards to how fans can make or break an experience.

In full disclosure, I must admit I love fans.  The best compliment I ever received was from G-Man Superfan who said “Susan loves the fans more than the band” and it’s seriously true.  There’s something special about people who connect so deeply with a band they need to see them in the flesh.  Fans turn to songs for comfort, love, happiness, understanding, and sympathy, which are exactly the same things I do.  How could I not love them?  So when I get around fans, I have to know everything about them.  How long have they loved the band?  What’s their favorite song?  What brought them to the show?  How many shows have they seen?  What story goes with it? Can we be BFFs?

The Dreamers/Arkells show was no different.  When I attend alone I’m even more eager to find new people to chat up.  After entering the Commodore Ballroom, I found a table seated for four but I occupied it with one.  I usually start out pretty quiet.  Hard to believe, I know, but yes, it’s true.  After playing on my phone for a few minutes, I turned to the nice couple sitting at the table behind me and asked if they’d save my chair while I went to the bar.  The woman agreed and I took off.  I wasn’t ten feet away before I turned around and saw her shooing someone from my chair.  The first bar said they didn’t have any club soda and sent me to a second.  Again, the female chair-watcher was talking to someone different and waving them away from my single chair.  By the time I got back, three people sat at my table and one dude had his ass planted in my seat.  The nice woman, Canadian Anna, stood with a stressed look on her face.

“I tried to tell them it was your chair.  I’m sorry.  You can sit with us.” She pointed to her husband and introduced him as Canadian Kyle.  (Okay, maybe I added the Canadian.)

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“You did such a great job.  Please let me buy you both beers,” I said and  Canadian Anna could breathe again.  I went back to the bar, got them refills, and told them how much I appreciated her attempts.  Then I sat down at my original table only to make the seat-stealers uncomfortable.  When they tried to ignore me, I introduced myself.  When they still tried to ignore me, I introduced myself as the person whose seat they stole.  They offered it back.  I asked them to save my new chair until I came back.  And then I never returned.  (Yeah, sometimes I’m a dick like that.)

dreamers chair

Canadian Couple were much better company.  They were originally from Hamilton, the Arkells’ hometown, and moved to Vancouver.  They came to the concert to show some hometown pride.  They were fascinated by my solo road trip to see Dreamers.  They shotgunned questions:  Why I would do travel so far?  Why did I think they were so special?  Why did I come alone?  We even laughed about the fact every person I told I went on my solo trip asked how I got permission from Hubs.  (Can I tell you how much I hate that fucking question?)  I bought more rounds until Canadian Anna giggled about the American who roofied her.

“You remind me of my friend,” she said.

“I hope she’s cool,” I said.

“She has the best times.  Always a free spirit.  I love being around her.  You’re exactly like that.”

That’s the moment I fell deeply in love with Canadian Anna.

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Dreamers started to set up and I excused myself to move to the front.  After a few minutes, Canadian Anna sidled up next to me and said “I have to see them because you’re so excited about them.”  I insisted on her getting a picture with them.

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Clearly Dreamers feels the love during this picture.

She smiled and danced next to me the entire set.  After Dreamers finished, she thanked me on the way back to our table.  I told her about their EP coming out and she said she would check it out.  Another Dreamers convert!

“I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention if we hadn’t met,” she said.

“It’s why I love meeting people at concerts.  So many new things to learn.  And now you can love Dreamers too,” I said.

At the table, Canadian Kyle waited with a vodka soda and agreed he liked Dreamers, too. I joked he was their first male fan.  (Just kidding, I know one other guy who likes the trio.)   The crowd filled in more and I turned to prep my spot for the Arkells.  A few feet in front of me, a woman in a wheel chair sat in the middle of the crowd with her eye-line hitting everyone’s asses.  I waited to see if anyone was going to do something about it.  She wouldn’t be able to see anything with the body wall between her and the stage.  Instead, others filled in around her and locked her in a body cocoon.  People, What. The. Fuck???  How did everyone think this was okay?  I pulled out my “Fun Police” badge and told Canadian Couple I’d be back.

I returned to the security guy who had blocked a lot of my Dreamers view to start my plan.  I felt he owed me for being the a visual cockblock.

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“Hey, there’s a lady in a wheelchair back there.  She can come up here, right?  To see the show?” I said.  He shrugged.  A clear sign he was on board.  I cut through the crowd back to the woman.

“Do you want to move to the front so you can see?” I said.  She smiled and then hesitated.

“No, that’s okay, I have three friends.”  She pointed to the people around her who could see the stage just fine.  I understood her hesitation.  I mean, who wants to enjoy a concert by themselves?  Besides me, of course.

“Bring ’em.”  The confidence in my voice must have made it sound like I had some kind of pull in this situation when I clearly did not.  About three steps in, I realized I never asked the people mashed against the front barrier.  This could turn ugly fast.  When I reached the front again, I confirmed with the security guy first.  I felt like this added some cred to my authority.  I turned to the front line crowd and picked the most viable option — three nice looking young guys.

“Hey, I have a friend who’s in a wheelchair who can’t see back there.  You don’t mind if she comes up here, right?”  (This “right” thing at the end is a solid way of adding I’m giving you a chance not to be a complete asshole.)  They mumbled to each other and didn’t look appalled so I waved her over.  She rolled at the stage’s edge and glowed in the blue light.

“Oh, and her friends are gonna join, too.  Have fun getting to know each other.”  And I darted off.  They could all stand around blaming that bitch who vanished.  I’m totally fine with that.

Canadian Couple were snuggled up on each other when I got back and it was time for me to get lost in the Arkells’ pit crowd.  I watched from the floor for a while before moving to the bar for another drink.  With the music playing, there wasn’t the opportunity to meet more people.  Lucky for me, Dreamers joined me at the bar for a bit.  Have I mentioned in the last twenty seconds how much I love them?  I tried to look for Canadian Couple to introduce them to Dreamers, but they were lost in the sea of people below.  Dreamers had to leave for the all band encore, but damn, that was cool.

The night started to wind down and I stood at the bar to close out my tab.  While my trusty bartender who remembered my drink all night tallied up the dreaded bill, the Arkells finished some final songs.  As soon as they left the stage, the woman in the wheelchair came up to me, beaming with a smile from ear to ear.

“Thank you so much.  It was the best night,” she said.  Her friends repeated the sentiment over her shoulder and appreciated the set up in the front row.

“I’m glad I could help.”  And I was.  Because that’s what fans should do for each other.  They should respect everyone’s experiences.  Listen to their stories.  Love their passion for the band.  We should support each other to ensure we all have the most amazing night to remember.  Because the one thing we all have in common is we love the music.  And that’s what really matters.

Part 2:  The other side of the fan coin.

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Everyone loves discovering new music that makes you feel it has real potential to be one of your favorites.  Immediately, you sing along with the only official single they’ve released.  You follow them on every social media outlet to make sure you’re an authority when you gush about them to everyone who will listen.  You may even track them down for a live show to stand front and center at the stage’s edge when they play to a hundred people in a small bar on a weeknight.  You know, deep in your heart, they are special.

So, what can little ole you do to make sure they keep making music?  You’re just one fan, in one city, in one state.  Is there a way you can help support the band in which you’re smitten as they continue their adventure to grow a fan base?  Here are 10 simple steps you can take to help support the band you love.

1.)  Buy their music.

This may seem like an obvious step, but in the day of pirate downloads and internet radio stations it’s starting to become the exception, not the norm.  Remember, the artist spent months, if not years, creating the product you now enjoy.  While I’m sure they’re excited you like the art they spilled blood, sweat, and tears on, I doubt they wanted to gift it to you.  Even though it doesn’t sound glamorous, this is their job.  Pay the people!

2.)  Tell your friends.

Word of mouth still remains one of the most effective marketing tools with very little cost to the artist.  Keep bragging to your friends about how much you love them.  Hopefully some of your passion will rub off.  And they’ll start telling their friends.  And then their friends.  I think you get where I’m going.

3.)  Go to shows.

Tickets are still a way bands make money (although I’m curious if there’s good profit margin there) and they appreciate you dropping the coin on seeing them in the flesh.  There’s nothing like the feel of a live show.  If you haven’t experienced it before, put that shit on your bucket list.  If you’re lucky enough to catch a band on their way up, you may even have the chance to chat them up at the merchandise table if they’re cool and you’re lucky.

4.)  Buy their merch.

How people can go to a show and not buy gear, I have no idea.  Each place always gets a shirt purchase out of me no matter what.  I will even forgo lemon drops if that’s what it requires.  Not only do I take home an awesome memento, Hubs turns into a walking billboard for my fave band when he wears it.  Do you know how many times people ask “Who are The Airborne Toxic Event?”

If you really want to give additional support by throwing them more dollars and advertising, check out their websites to buy a whole wardrobe.  (I’m looking at you, G-Man Super Fan.)

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Amazing gear photo by Deborah Gliva documenting her stash.

 

5.)  Gift it to your friends.

Don’t you have that friend where it’s always difficult to buy them the perfect gift?  While I wish there was a way to send them the album, I go with the next best thing — gift card.  Encourage others to buy the music by gifting them the funds to do it.  You can gently encourage they try out your awesome band by constantly singing your favorite lines.

6.)  Talk about them on social media.*

Social media gives such a wider audience to deliver your message.  You usually are connected with people who share similar interests and may really enjoy your recommendation.  I have found so many new bands this way.  Two things to remember when using social media to promote your favorite band:  First, don’t be that guy who only uses his social media to hawk gear.  You know the one.  That guy who never posts a status, but finds all the time in the world to tell you what to buy.  Second, use the social media you’re comfortable with.  There’s nothing more awkward than someone trying to jump to a social media outlet they don’t understand.  You hear things like, “I twotted about this last week.”  Ugh, terrible.

In case you have a blog, put an easy link for others to try out some new bands you love.  Oh, look what I’ve done here…

 

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7.)  Tell your radio stations to play them.

This may be an traditional process, but heck, it still works.  Instead of only being stuck with your hometown station, satellite radio will help your band get to a bigger audience.  Stations also tend to be on-line and want to hear from their customers.  Alt Nation regularly promotes their listeners to tell them what they want to hear through Twitter or Facebook.  Use your voice.  Get them on the air.

8.)  Buy them coffee/drinks/dinner.

I recently read a tweet from a band talking about how they shouldn’t have to eat Top Ramen all the time.  The sentiment was a thank you to fans for buying albums, tickets, and merchandise.  I also have been reading the hilariously realistic “Hitless Wonder” by Joe Oestreich where 5 guys sharing a hotel room and eating Taco Bell dinners are common.  If you get to see your band, buy their drinks, deliver treats, or appreciate them with a gift card to a decent meal.  I understand the job is to perform, but you can thank them for being good people, too.

Warning: This is not a way to trap your band into hanging out with you.  Be genuine in doing something good for them.  My God, they sacrifice a lot.  It’s not all about you.

9.)  Buy their new album in the pre-order stages.

While we talked about buying their music above, there is a better time to do it than others.  Purchasing in pre-order if available helps with first week sales.  In our world with split-second decisions about if something is a success or not, the first week can make or break a new track.  Lay down your cash to let everyone know they’re worth the investment.

10.)  Write reviews.

You love your band.  You buy all their albums.  You tell all your friends about how much you love the band.  Why, why, why don’t you write a review?  People seem hesitant like they need to be labeled a critic to have an opinion.  Positive reviews drive sales.  If you don’t think so, when was the last time you bought something and didn’t check out the star rating.  Tell the world why you love a song, the album, and the band.  This will help that hesitant person to press the Buy Me button and put another fan in your band’s pocket.

These are only a few steps to get you going in the right direction.  If you have any great ideas how to support your favorite band, feel free to include them in the comments.

*Don’t worry, one day I’ll do a blog breaking down some of the social media outlets that help an artist the most.  After I figure it out myself.

 

 

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For the last couple weeks since I saw Dreamers in concert, it’s been Dreamers-palooza in my world.  Even when traveling back to Portland the following week for my much anticipated Twenty-One Pilots’ show, I kept comparing the experience to the week before.  Which is kinda saying something because the two couldn’t have been more opposite.  One, a small bar venue where you can touch the stage.  The other had people lining up twenty-four hours before the show, crammed against each other in the sold out Crystal Ballroom, and sixteen hundred fans singing so loud you couldn’t hear the lead singer.  (Man, I was so impressed those fans knew EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.)

In this Dreamers blog series, it’s been focused on how they impacted me from one evening.  I mean, that’s really all I had with the concert juju clouding my mind. Sure, I’d heard Wolves on Alt Nation for months and had been playing their EP on repeat leading up to the show, but I didn’t really know much else about them.  Since returning, I have scanned through YouTube videos, magazine articles, and searched for a Wiki page to get more background info on this crew.  Now, with the juju finally worked out of my system (and boy, I had to focus hard to do it) I’m able to take a clearer look to make sure this band is a long-term commitment I want to make.

There’s a funny thing that happens when you start talking about a band.  To others they become “your” band, like your reputation as a person is put on the line.  If you love a band that are total douchebags, you might need to take a little closer look at the kind of person you are.  I stand by my opinion I will never support an Orwells’ project solely because of what an asshole the singer was at Live 105’s BFD concert in June.  His behavior and disrespect for another band told the world he was more important than anyone else that day.  I hate that shit.  It’s what also drove me to purchase the album of the other band because they were so classy about it.

This band/fan coupling happens all the time with The Airborne Toxic Event. Strangers at the gas station get the “they’re my favorite band” earful when they ask about the sticker on my car.  I launch into an gush-filled explanation about their sound and charm every time someone notices my book bag with their logo.  It’s so well known around the office that I get introduced on multi-state company conference calls as “the one who likes that band, The Airborne something…”  Maybe it’s because I have so many pictures of Mikel and me on my desk that people assume he’s my husband.  I don’t correct them.  (Really, I do.  Sometimes.)  Anywho, let’s get back on track.

Since declaring my Dreamers fandom to everyone who will listen, I get videos uploaded on my Facebook wall, co-workers telling me when they hear Wolves out in the wild, and Bestie sending me a YouTube interview completed by a nine year old even though she knows I’m not a fan of children.  (All this inundation did not help with the Dreamers detox needed to gain my sensible head back.)

There’s a responsibility in suggesting music to people.  They invest their time, money, and heart into checking out something you feel passionate about.  If you just throw bands at people willy-nilly, soon you become white noise.  It’s the reason I’m pretty damn selective in the bands I choose to really get behind.  Hell, Dreamers might even have to get their own category on this dog and pony show if I keep up this obnoxious fangirling.

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Why is it even important if I like them?  I like their music, right?  Recently at a small business conference, a speaker said people like to do business with people they like.  Makes sense because there’s a relationship that will grow into something potentially beneficial to both sides for a long time.  Is it fair to have the same expectations for bands?   The songwriter tells his (or her) story and the listener understands it.  The listener may even communicate back about how they share the same feelings.  And shouldn’t that be where the relationship ends?   The band made their product, the listener buys it, enjoys it, and the deal is done.  Yes, if it were only a business transaction.  But it’s not.  Music is art.  Filled with emotional investment.  And that carries so much more importance than money.

They even put flair in signing a set list. Special shout out to Chris for decorating it up right.

They even put flair in signing a set list. Special shout out to Chris for decorating it up right.

This doesn’t mean a band has to be perfect.  They can make mistakes, say something insensitive, or act like diva rock stars, at times.  In fact, I appreciate the flaws because that’s what makes every great character interesting.  The spice added to make them real. When I’m looking at who a band is, I’m talking about their core.  How do they treat others?  Are they appreciative of their fans?  What’s really inside of them?  Or at least the feeling you get when you’re in their vicinity.

What did my research discover?  Was I let down once I looked a little harder at Dreamers?  Was I as smitten without my concert rose-colored glasses juju?  I can happily say I wasn’t let down.  It was consistent with what I experienced from my concert night.  They were funny and respectful to the little girl interviewer, interesting in print articles, and hella charming in acoustic performances.  I learned Chris and Nick were originally from Seattle, Dreamers may have an album release in 2016 and they’re in serious need of a Wiki page.

In fact, I’m luckier than most because I got the privilege to see it’s genuine.  They gave each person at the show who came up to talk their own time. They were friendly and charming even when they thought no one was watching.  A true sign of what makes up a person, in my opinion.  I hope one day you will be able to share in the same experience and be able to appreciate it yourself.

For some of you, who the band is doesn’t matter.  It’s a product you buy, enjoy, and you expect nothing more.  It’s not a real investment you’re willing to make because really loving music comes with a vulnerability.  A comfort when you need it most and a deep sadness if it lets you down.  For me, music is heart.  A sanity.  A world I always turn to when I want to express happiness or if things don’t make sense.  Why would I want it filled with people I don’t like?  I want more from my favorites.  I expect more.  And with Dreamers, I have that.

Next time:  It comes to a sweet end.

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It was two years ago when I saw The Limousines in concert at The Hawthorne Theater in Portland.  Maybe enough time has passed to live down the embarrassment of letting blueberry vodka get the best of me.  Then again, maybe not.  It certainly hasn’t been enough time to forget about the horrible cookies I made to celebrate one of my favorite bands.

As it’s become somewhat of a tradition for me, I enjoy creating sweet tasting fan art to celebrate my faves.  Sometimes it’s a favorite book, or a favorite collection to flatter a pretty awesome author, or a pledge of devotion to The Airborne Toxic Event.  Since The Limousines rank up there in my list of faves, I was excited to create something special for that show in 2013.  Instead, what I created was a hot mess.

Don’t try to make me feel better by saying it was okay.  They really weren’t that bad.  Or that I have a lot more cookies under my belt now.  It doesn’t matter.  My “Love is a Dog from Hell” cookies were child-like at best.  I don’t even know if I’ll have the courage to add the link back to them because the embarrassment is too great.

When I heard The Limousines were going to be playing a festival seven hours from my town, I knew I had to be there.  Especially because their shows have been sparse, if any.  I bought the tickets, booked a hotel, and started dreaming about what cookies would do my love for them justice.

In the beginning it seemed like such a simple choice — the album covers.  I love doing things in three so their three albums were the obvious choice.  I should’ve looked a little more closely before committing to the design.  As I got into the piping I realized these aren’t normal two-dimensional covers.  They are filtered with shadows, depth, and other artsy things I couldn’t freakin’ replicate in a cookie.  I’m working with icing here people.  AND I’M. NO. ARTIST.

In the middle, I thought about quitting.  I may have whined about it.  There definitely was groaning.  “Why can’t this be easy?”  This was my chance to “wow” Eric and Gio.  I’ve given up on the thought about them being so smitten by the cookies they want to be my BFFs.  I’ve seen their Instagram photos.  Their friends are way too cool.  I’m out of the friend age range by about twenty years it feels.  Anywho, that part didn’t matter.  I wanted to show them something that made up for my past lameness.  What I had in front of me wasn’t doing it.  I was three hours in with only frosted color blocks to show for it.

I considering chucking it all.  Then I thought about an interview Eric did about the video “The Last Dance.”  It features a very detailed doll house.  (One I’ve even considered turning into a gingerbread house, but not right now.  It’s too soon.)  He talked about how he put every piece together meticulously and then set fire to the whole thing in the end.  He described it as being cathartic.

His story inspired me to keep going on with my cookies.  I iced lines, scraped off messes and played with techniques I’ve never tried before.  Even after my airbrush broke and made a mess on one of the cookies, I played around with the coloring by dabbing a paper towel on it.  I liked the effect so much I purposely did it on the other two.  I kept experimenting even though it could ruin the whole thing.  This is how art works I kept telling myself.  Because for some reason I thought The Limousines would appreciate me pushing myself more than the final product.

After nine hours on three cookies, I’m done.  (Actually there are nine cookies total because there are three of each.)  And I’m happy.  Would I have liked my airbrush to work properly or the piping to be smoother?  Of course.  The part I’m most satisfied with is I listened to all three albums as I gave the Limousine cookies the attention they deserved.

Sooo much better than the terrible dog ones.

Sooo much better than the terrible dog ones.

Edited:  Because Bestie had a hard time finding the original albums, I’m going to post them.  A little worried about how you can now compare.  Remember people, they’re cookies!

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This past week something happened I never thought would.  I attended a rock show with my kids.  For most parents this might be where they talked about how they don’t understand their kids’ taste in music but they sucked it up to spend some quality time with their little people.  For me, it’s the exact opposite.  I cringe when I read shows are “under 21.”  This is my world.  Something for me.  I like living in my little box.  I never understood why parents took their children to shows.  Until I had to.

I spent weeks filling their ears with Fitz and the Tantrums while whispering subliminal messages about how much fun the concert was going to be.  (This might have been my attempt to convince myself.)  Each time Fitz played on the radio, I pointed to the electronic screen and stopped all conversation.  “That’s who were going to see at the concert,” I said.  “We get to hear this song live.  See how cool they are?  They’re on the radio.”  Most of the time I couldn’t even crack their imagination play in the back seat.

I worried.  What if they didn’t like it?  What if they taxed my gig?  Would I have the same amount of fun caring for two other people?  Could I still enjoy myself if I had to be a responsible parent?  Ugh, responsible parent.  Are those words even allowed at a rock show?

Bored kids

Uh oh, this isn’t starting out well.

This concert represented something bigger, as most things do.  A year ago, there’s no way I would’ve even have thought to take them.  They would’ve spent the night at my mother-in-law’s house and everyone would’ve been happy in their own worlds.  They could watch cartoons and eat ice cream with Grammy and I would wedge myself front and center at the stage.  It would’ve been perfect.  Or so I thought.

It’s been ten months since she died and I still can hardly think about it without tears coming to my eyes.  Death is one thing.  The simplest fact of life.  Suicide is completely different.  Even writing the words for other people to read has me second guessing myself.  I’ve gone back and erased it three times.  This is what the past year has been like.  I doubt.  I worry.  I wonder “what if.”

This concert was another shift in our new family relationship.  At first the kids looked bored even though I paid extra to get us in the secluded front lawn.  They groaned when I danced in my seat to the opening act.  My son refused to move to the front before Fitz and Tantrums took the stage.  My daughter wondered why I wanted to be so close.  Until the music started.

Fitz was the best concert to start them on.  The energy is incredible and they put on a damned good show.  Seriously, one of the best I’ve ever seen.  We jumped for 90 minutes.  Even my son danced, according to Hubs who hung with him a few rows back.  My daughter got a high five from Noelle during the show.   I explained the encore process over the loud cheers.  At the final chord, the band flooded my daughter with awesome gear.  (Note to rock parents: the kid scored a tambourine, a set list, and a pick.  She almost got the drumstick too, but a die hard fan interceded.)

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Don't worry, I'm still a hair disaster.  That hasn't changed.

Don’t worry, I’m still a hair disaster. That hasn’t changed.

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Still able to hang around the tour bus for photos even with the kids in tow.

The kids haven’t stopped talking about it.  They replay their favorite parts and named it “one of the best days eva!”  Daughter runs around the house shaking her tambourine like the musician showed her.  Son talks about how I didn’t embarrass him after all.  When Fitz flashes on the radio, they ask me to turn it up as loud as I will let it go.  They even asked when we’re going to our next show together.

This is one of those pleasant surprises that come with being “the new us.”  The benefit I sometimes forget when remembering all the good we’ve lost.  Because our “normal” changed, I had one of my best concerts with the people I love the most.  The kids figured out the mystery behind when Mommy goes to concerts and why it makes her so happy.  And I broke through one of my mental walls and shared with my children another side of me.

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The whole after-concert clan.

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Matt & Kim

I’m embarrassed to admit how many hours I spent watching Matt and Kim videos a couple weeks ago.  I know I’m late to this hip party, but I’ve recently fallen in love with this duo.  Not only because they have an upbeat sound, which they totally do.  Try to listen to them and not be-bop around.  It was more their endearing friendship that grabbed me by the heart strings and pulled me into cookie love.

When I tweeted Matt and Kim must be made into cookies, I about fell over when Kim sent me a message back saying “Fuck yea! I want to be in cookie form! -k”  She even dropped me an F-bomb.  Do you not already see why we should be BFFs?

Then the cookie pressure hit.  It couldn’t be the same ol’ same ol’.   Have you seen their videos?  They’re hella creative.  Daring.  They got naked in New York!  They needed a killer cookie.  Finally one morning it hit me.  She had to move.  No Kim cookie could be one of those boring kind that just sit on a plate.   I also knew I needed a visual to pay homage to Matt’s awesome video ideas.  Here is a blend of everything I think is awesome about them.

And for all you people who want to mock my movie making, this little project took me FOR-EV-AH!  Then I had to figure out how to upload to YouTube.  I’m so itchy I could kill someone right now.  A true test of love.

The up close cookie shows more details like Matt looking a bit like an 80’s cartoon with the big hair.  Sorry Matt.  I was more impressed the icing dried in a way to give Kim her buff biceps without having to add anything to them.

matt and kim

Lastly, if you’re still wondering who Matt & Kim are, I’m glad I wasn’t the last one to figure them out.  Go ahead and get sucked into their YouTube trance and watch some of the great videos they’ve done.  If you want to see the inspiration for the cookies, check it out here.

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