Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for February, 2006

Tales from a Red Land

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

I am in Austin, Texas, where Britt Daniel used to live. I look for signs of him, but I don’t really know what to look for. It is pretty cool here, also kind of hot. Like hot for February. Also really clear and clean. I can’t write too much because I have to go meet my Sigur Ros buddy David from Palm Springs. We are going to see Sigur Ros tonight. Sigur fucking Ros! I am so totally and completely stoked.

Up until last night I was at the Airport Hilton here, so I’m just now getting into the rhythm of downtown. I ate tacos at Guero’s today and fried gulf shrimp and macaroni and cheese at Threadgills last night. All up and down my street there is music. But, it always takes me a few hours to really sink my heels in.

Other than that, well, I sort of had a nervous breakdown the other night thinking about sex slavery. This is a whole ‘nother story that I will save for another day. Also, I met the coolest guy on the plane over here. He works on oil rigs for two months then travels for two months. He goes to places like Romania and Bali on a whim, but he looks like some dude you’d see drinking beer in a dive bar on a Sunday afternoon. Two days later I am still thinking about him but, a) got off the plane with a “take it easy,” b) I can’t kid myself, age-wise, anymore, even though I try hard, and often and c) he didn’t have fuschia hair.

Whatever. I gotta go drink red wine in the sun in this crazy city of the young and get ready to listen to perfection.

The Jeff Tweedy Memorial Concert-Goer Checklist

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

I love Jeff Tweedy, and I hate when people act like assholes at shows. (Or, are just assholes that happen to be at a show that you are also at.) With those two things in mind, please read on.

In a posting on Danny Miller’s blog, which I also love (it is definitely my favorite blog, the man is a great writer, and funny, and too smart but it’s OK because he’s so funny) he just wrote about the Jeff Tweedy show in L.A. He is Jeff Tweedy’s brother-in-law, which is probably how I found his blog in the first place. Anyway, the entry is all about celebrities and whatever, but there is some stuff in there about Jeff’s hushing of a woman who talked during his San Diego show. Apparently Jeff was pretty nasty about it all (I got that from other resources, not from Danny’s blog.) Jeff’s rant affected some of his fans the way the talking chick affected Jeff. So…

I have to admit that, even being an uber-fan of Wilco, Jeff’s comments during shows have often made me cringe. He’s just kind of a weenie on stage sometimes. I guess I notice it more because I really care, and I don’t want anyone to put themselves in a bad spot. Of course, the music always makes up for it, and ultimately, I am on Jeff’s side when it comes to the audience talking/being-the-assholes-that-they-are. So, I’ve compiled this list of questions and guidelines, for me, for Jeff, and for all the people who go to shows who are really going for the music. In a perfect world, every attendee would be given this list before entrance to the venue and if they don’t measure up, well, Sayonara, muthafucka.

1) What are you here for? Is it the music, or is it because you want to see-and-be-seen? Because if it is the latter, you can do that a lot more cheaply at the mall.

2) We have one very simple rule at a concert and that is: DON’T TALK DURING THE SHOW. Just, don’t friggin’ talk. Bottom line. We know that you’ve got a lot to say, but save it for the other 9.34 hours of your day when you don’t risk dirty looks from other concert attendees (not that you give a shit) or berating from a band member (which is a little scary, also, embarrassing.) Believe me, you don’t want Jeff Tweedy to get mad. Also, if you are Danny Miller, you can talk but not in an Acoustic Sweet Spot. And if you are me you can quietly bark drink orders. Other than that, shut the fuck up.

3) A simple questionaire regarding cell phones.
Should I, when packing a cell-phone at a concert:
a) turn it off
b) answer it and scream into it several times before I finally figure out I can’t hear what the other person is saying
c) text message all my friends and tell them where I am
d) text message Dan Savage and ask him why my lover keeps bringing up Pygmies
e) use it to film really bad video clips to put up on youtube.com
f) use it to call my attendee-mate when I get up in the middle of the show to get a Red Bull & Vodka but can’t find my way back to my seat in the dark
a.) Turn it off. And this is coming from someone who actually watches bad cell-phone videos on youtube. Cell phones at a show equal you don’t really give a fuck about the music.

4) More Cell-phone information: you, the attendee, are allowed two cell-phone photos before you turn the phone off, because we understand you want people to know you were there and/or need some photos, however shitty, for your blog. But turn the motherfucker off after those two photos, or everyone will hate you. Also, Jeff Tweedy might get mad.

5) Don’t push your way up to the front of the venue to start a mosh pit during a totally inappropriate song (in Tweedy’s case, “Muzzle of Bees”), then try to crowd surf and fall down and break your wrist. Mosh pits are for punk rock shows and fifteen year olds, not for indie shows, and not for thirty year olds who have to blow off steam because they haven’t been laid in a year.

6) Don’t push your way up to the front of the venue to dance/pogo to the first lively number that is played (in Tweedy’s case, “I’m the Man Who Loves You”) then, at the first hint of mellowness, push your way back out for another Red Bull and Vodka.

7) For celebrities only: Name the four Beatles. You have to name all four, not just the one who is related to Stella McCartney.

8) For the Greek Theater only: Do not, under any circumstances, bring your garlic fries to your seat and eat them while the performance is on. This is the absolutely most horrific thing you could do to your fellow attendees. Also, if they are particularly pungent, Jeff Tweedy might get mad. Don’t risk it.

9) Listening to live music can be an enlightening, transcendental experience. Try to break out of your mindset and let it in, whether you have to tune in to the music, or tune people out.

I welcome any and all comments and suggestions about how we might make the live music experience better for Jeff, and for us. Just don’t ask that people sit down the whole way though the show, because that is one idea that doesn’t mesh with the rock ‘n’ roll experience.

My Spazzmatical Mind

Monday, February 13th, 2006

A little Britt business first, before I get into some random thoughts and images of Missouri, and home.

There is someone out there who is even more obsessed with Britt than me – Kelly from Louisiana, who has graced us with a travelogue of last week’s Texas shows in her blog. She found my blog and now I’ve found hers. If you like reading crazed Britt material (of course you do, otherwise why do you read Poptarticus?) then check out Kelly’s blog for some killer stories from the road.

Also, the be-all end-all of my Monday, and for many Mondays, other days, months and years to come, as long as it may last: a a stream of Spoon’s February 2nd Austin show. Mi Dio! It’s like, totally the best thing to ever happen. At least today. Killer.

OK, that’s it for Britt stuff for awhile, I promise. Onward. Here are some images of Missouri.


This starkly beautiful scene is an hour and a half from St. Louis, near the town of Hermann. The house is crying for love, and I saw ghosts all around it. Time travel is possible with an overactive imagination.


In the little town of Hermann, I woke up to snow.


A visit to St. Louis for an old movie junkie like me would not be complete without a visit to Judy Garland’s address in “Meet Me in St. Louis.” 5135 Kensington Avenue (and 5133) is now in the ghetto. Both houses are gone. This is the lot where they once were.


Another shot of what was 5135 Kensington Avenue.


One of the weird things about St. Louis is, there are these ghettos but then two blocks away, there are streets with huge, opulent houses.


Chop Suey restaurants are all over the place in the bad areas of town. I kept asking, what up with all these Chop Suey places? What IS Chop Suey?


The sale cart at the best market in the U.S., if not the world: Global Foods in Kirkwood, Missouri. Get ready for my soon-to-be-completed essay and photo journal of this place. I LOVED it.


Hard to argue with that, isn’t it?

But now I am home, and it is beautiful here. Last night my brother helped throw a birthday party for Sooty Hendricks at Winstons, and his band played, and some other bands, and everyone was there. I sometimes think about leaving OB but then a night like last night comes around and I realize I can’t leave, not for a while. It was a wild and colorful party, and the Mudsharks were awesome.

What a life.

City of a Thousand Scars

Friday, February 10th, 2006

Even though I don’t have much experience with it, I have always had a fascination with the American heartland. Could be the reading material of my youth, could be my overactive imagination, or a combination of both; I have the past in my mind’s eye. Clay-like, life-giving soil under thick leather workboots by the river’s edge. The plaintive wail of a an unnoticed diva emitting from a dive bar in a shitty town. The smell of burnt sugar. The feel of a hot penny in a child’s dirty hand.

Whatever. I’ve spent a week in Missouri and it’s made an impression on me. There haven’t exactly been any divas and certainly no Addie Pray type kiddies that I might have envisioned in my crazy dreams. But this is a cool place, and a trippy place, commonplace and enigmatic at the same time. And in the country, driving through a fresh snow, it is unbelievably beautiful. I can’t believe how much empty space there is here, even just outside St. Louis.

In St. Louis, I have been lucky enough to have two incredible guides, my friend Deborah from the slowtalk message board, and Jonathan Parker who owns a food and wine shop here. Between them, they’ve taken me to streets of gothic opulence, ghettos of no return, killer art deco penthouses, the church with more mosaics than anywhere in the world, a supermarket of ethnic foods that has no rival anywhere, the bar where Chuck Berry plays once a month, a Harrah’s casino where I lost fifty bucks, an Italian restaurant with a $10 plate of risotto as good as I could eat in Venice, a massive park where, in the summer, they have Broadway shows at an outdoor theater.

St. Louis is hella fucking cool, and it doesn’t even know it. St. Louis could be a world class city. St. Louis has all this riverfront on the Mississippi that is not even developed. All around the downtown, is this crazy ghetto where there are all these killer houses in various states of fucked-upped-ness. It’s already a cool town – it could be a KILLER town. I’m not a developer or an opportunist, but man oh man, is this place awesome-waiting-to-happen.

Of course, I haven’t been here in the summer yet. The summer, that screams promise.

Love in the Time of Walmart

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

Driving up a two-lane highway into the hills, I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road. I wanted to look at everything. Just off the road there isn’t much to see; a beat up shack in the woods, a closed-up-for-winter bait shop. But the sun was setting, hazy and orange, a yolk that broke and spilled down the side of a hill covered with barren brown trees. So far, I like winter in the hills of Missouri.

The two-lane road changed into four lanes and lead me to the resort I’ll be staying in for the next few days. The stark, sepia beauty of the lonely road up changed into a half-shut wasteland for the summer BBQ and JetSki crowd. The road must be insane in the summer, but now, in winter, I can drive less than the speed limit with no one riding my ass. I looked at everything. Conoco, gas $2.18 a gallon. Miniature Golf. Grog ‘n’ Grub, Steak ‘n’ Ale.

My first night here, I was sick. My energy is still pretty low and I fear I won’t ever have enough on this trip to walk around this resort, which is vast. I have visions of sweaty, hormone-fueled boys trying to get just-as-horny girls to go up into the woods with them. Parents shouldn’t be scared of myspace.com, they should be scared of those woods. Summer here must scream promise. I could come back here and write a twisted young adult novel. Maybe could get Oprah to hate me. Maybe not.

Yesterday, I drove into town with a mission. Ray had told me he heard a radio spot advertising marriage vow renewal at a Walmart drive-thru. The renew-ees will be presented with a rose and frame-able proof that, they did indeed get their vows renewed at Walmart. I had to go and see if this insanity was true.

I’ve only been to Walmart once, to buy a phone for my grandmother, and it was a small Walmart, no bigger than a Target or a K-Mart. The Osage Beach, Missouri Walmart, however, is like the mother of all Walmarts. Like a small city that threatened to swallow me whole. It reminded me of Auchan or Panorama in Italy. I love those places, because they sell a thousand different pastas and wine out of the barrel along with their Barbies and barbeques. I must admit, I was almost as fascinated by this uber-Walmart. For one thing, they sold mini-muffins. You’d think in Walmart, the muffins would be really big, right? No, straight from the bakery, a eight-piece pack of bite sized muffins. I looked for regular sized muffins, but all I could find were donuts. Maybe they were in between the bicycle tires and the laundry detergent. I got grapes and oranges and made my move.

My cashier looked exactly like what I thought a Walmart cashier in the Ozarks would look like. Scraggly hair, missing teeth, a large, protruding wart-like item on her chin. Maybe Walmart, as a concept, is bad for America, but they are definitely giving people jobs. “Ahem,” I said to the cashier. “Do you, uh, know anything about this thing on Valentine’s Day where you can get your marriage vows renewed?”

“I dunno anything about that,” she said. I told her about the radio spot. “Really?” she said. “WILMA! DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT GETTIN’ MARRIED HERE ON VALENTINE’S?” I felt my face go five shades of red. Wilma came over. “I dunno,” she said. “We did that last year though.” Then Wilma hollers “DEBBIE! ARE WE DOING THAT DRIVE THROUGH VOW RENEWAL TENT IN THE PARKING LOT AGAIN THIS YEAR?” The line is backing up as Debbie comes over. “Yep, we had to order extra roses for it,” she says and walks away. “Debbie is a manager,” Wilma says. “You can probably get more info over in customer service,” the cashier says.

Well now, after all that, I gotta. So I go to customer service, and ask the woman behind the counter if she knows anything. She doesn’t but calls over a guy who is either gay, or merely acts and looks gay. I’m not sure – a gay Walmart manager in the Ozarks? I feel like this guy is for sure going to know that I’m not married and that even if I was I would probably not be into renewing my vows in a Walmart parking lot. Sheepishly, I cover my left hand with my right as he tells me, yes, indeed: on Valentine’s Day, there will be a tent in the parking lot, and you and your other half can drive through and, without leaving the comfort of your car, renew your marriage vows, and get a certificate of renewal and a single red rose. I thanked him, stifling a “wow, that’s SO romantic,” and walked away, out of the Twilight Zone and into the winter dusk.

That’s the Way We Get By

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

For the Britt obsessed, a small jackpot. Because we can’t get enough.

I Summon You. The sound isn’t great, but at least you can see the man in action.

A highly energetic Small Stakes. You can’t see shit but the whole song is there and it rocks. You can see Britt turn his back to the audience at the end. I LOVE when he does that.

Again, hard to see but this video of That’s the Way We Get Byshowcases Britt’s raspy, super sexy voice perfectly.

And if you have absolutely no desire to watch Spoon, you still should check out this bizarre video of two girls dancing to I Summon You. Um, don’t know what up with that pink thing. What is that? In my day, thankfully, we just danced in front of the mirror. I thought I was weird.

Tomorrow I have to put on a heavy coat. It smells like mold.