Just me and my guy went to a show over the weekend.   We don’t leave the kids much here, but we had to go and could not bring the kids along to this one.   I was not familiar with the entire storyline, so it was rather entertaining to us that we went to a Pie shop; “Battersea Pie Station” in Covent Garden, for dinner before the show.  It was my first real British pie and it was delicious.  Butternut squash and goats cheese.   When Mrs. Lovett started using the flesh of Sweeney Todd’s murder victims in her pie shop, we had a nice chuckle.  And to add to the fun, our pie shop was off of The Strand which is just around the corner from Fleet Street…where Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett worked and lived.

Imelda Stanton (played Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter) was Mrs. Lovett, and she was AMAZING!  Her best songs were mostly humorous and performed in Mrs. Lovett’s silly voice.   Her ability to let sounds and body language spice up her acting was incredible.   Can you tell she was my favorite?

Other than the opening song, which was not my favorite, I really enjoyed the music in this show.

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The kids and I had one of our coolest field trips ever this week.   It was in the Royal Albert Hall here in London which I have been wanting to go to since the day we moved here and the taxi cab driver told me all about it.

The London Philharmonic played famous classical pieces accompanied by a laser light show.    Seth actually got out of his chair to hug me and say thank you during the show, he liked it so much.  Even my teenager thought it was great.   She is no longer easily impressed.

 

I took a few pictures while the orchestra were setting up and the lights were still on.  We felt just like we were in a fancy old Victorian opera house, because we were!   Red curtains behind us and all.

There was a special guest performer for one song; a Spanish guitar player.  The kids were so impressed, he was amazing.   It was a beautiful experience.  On the final song, there were fireworks inside the building and then some people dressed as soldiers appeared in the columns at the very top and they fired pretend muskets and a huge old looking cannon went off.  It was very patriotic.

The hall is so large we had to go across the street into Kensington Garden just to fit some it into a picture with the kids.   And once you are there, well, you may as well walk around and thoroughly enjoy the rest of your day…….

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Today was fun.  I got my first London haircut and its totally punk-rock.   Its buzzed  about 3/4  of the way up, and then the top layers are hanging over above it.  Its one of those haircuts that you have to be committed to, but I am very happy with it.  It reminds me of an early 90′s skater cut.

The haircut took almost all the money I had in my wallet.  It was way more than I am used to paying in the U.S.   But since I didn’t have the kids with me I took the opportunity to stop in the local music store and check it out, and more specifically see if they had the latest Mummers cd “Mink Hollow Road.”

I have checked other music stores in London and not had any luck, but somehow hadn’t looked in my local one yet!

When “Mink Hollow Road” came out months ago I of course wanted to buy it right away, but it wasn’t available in the U.S. and it was more than I wanted to spend to import it.   Plus by then we were already well aware that we might have the opportunity to buy it in the U.K. if we moved here this summer.

The cd was there, and since its a 6 track EP, it was just 5 pounds.   I felt just like I did when I was in college (or “at University” ) as I looked through my wallet and found that if I counted out all my change I had just enough for the cd.   I was totally grinning while I handed over my coins for a new cd and walked home rocking the new hair cut.

 

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We are in Munich, Germany this week and it has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed the art, food, and music that is performed in parks and plazas and on the street. Tonight, after a great day at the Deutsches Museum and exploring the city I saw the group Konnexion Balkan performing in Marienplatz and bought their cd. I love this kind of stuff, they even had an accordion player. What a great memento from Munich.

In that video they are kind of silly and joking around, and perhaps you don’t get the total picture of just how good they are (but I really wanted you to experience them just the way I did). But their website http://www.konnexionbalkon.com/ gives links to hear their music on itunes, amazon and other youtube clips.

I suggest if you are in the mood for something kind of different, very German, and happy then give these guys a try. I am betting that my kids love them too.

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I have been having tons o’ fun in London.  I have not, however, been able to listen to music in my normal ways.

I don’t have a car, and I used to LOVE music in the car because you can concentrate and listen so much closer (and louder when the kids are not with you).

I don’t have any of my stereo, music playing devices other than my computer and my i phone.  The first week or so I was a snob and didn’t listen to much music because I didn’t want to if it wasnt on good speakers.  Then I got desperate, and now i’m very happy to just have my phone playing a tune in whatever room I am in.  No more snotty here.

Also, I have not had decent enough internet access most of the time to even try and listen to new things.   I have felt a little stifled.

Last Saturday we were celebrating my daughters 13th birthday in Covent Garden and doing a bit of shopping.  While she and I were in a posh shoe store, I found myself being much more interested in the song that was playing than the beautiful shoes that surrounded me.  I got brave, and asked the clerk if he could find out who the band was, and he did, and they are called Stornoway.  I still have the cute little card that he wrote the band name on for me.

My internet connection was so bad that I couldn’t really get a good chance at listening to them.  But I waited all week, and tonight I was rewarded.  I’n pretty sure that this is the song we were listening to:

They are a British band, named after an Irish town. They sound like everything that is wonderful and that I love about England so far. Check out Stornoway’s cool website and be sure to watch the video for “I Saw You Blink” because the drummer is using a lopped off human head for a drum and it’s quite amusing, and the music is good too (lets not forget that, right?)

Now I just have to figure out we are doing our music purchasing here in the UK and I wil be listening to their album Beachcomber’s Windowsill in no time. Yay for good music!

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We arrived in London yesterday morning really tired. After all day naps we walked out to find some food and see what our new hood is like. We live close to Hyde Park is about all I can tell you right now, after todays explorations I should have more for you.
We brought our sandwiches apples and chocolate home to eat and I decided to check out the stereo on the side table. It has a cassette player. And there is one cassette.

Perhaps you may have guessed….the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing! That lasted all of a few songs, and then it started to sound under water or maybe its just that bad. Either way we turned it off.

Thankfully my husband figured out the wi-fi and our withdrawals have started to subside and we are able to play our own music.

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I might be too late for this, I think South may have broken up.  That is really too bad, since they are an English band and I was hoping to have seen a show while we are there.   I was late to the party and bought “You Are Here”  (2008) just last month. I also have some of their other cd’s too, most notably “With the Tides.”

I have posted about them before, they do an amazing version of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

With all the leaving the country craziness (we are 1/2 way there btw; we have packed up and are visiting family) I never did write about “You Are Here.”  It is a mello album, and I have to pay attention or I drift, but so far we have enjoyed it.  We listened to it all the way home from Grand View, ID (my home town) and I listened to it a lot while driving from WA to ID last week.  I like listening  to music while driving when the kids are quiet, it gives me an opportunity to really listen and hear it closely.

I want to leave you with song 10 “Soul Receivers” before I get back to my sweet neice.

ok, once again for fun…

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First of all, I miss Blur.

Technically I can still listen to them whenever I want, so I guess I miss the thrill of new music from Blur. They are one of THE best bands to come out of the 90′s…I’m saying. The song Bugman from the album “13″ is one of my favorites. It really makes me happy when I can play it as loud as I want. Yesterday was a bit of downer for me, but this song was a bright spot in my day for sure.

Also, it reminds me of my brothers who worked for pest control companies when they were younger. They were “bugmen” of sorts.

Whenever I make a mixed cd for a friend, I’m always tempted to put this song on it. But I’ve gotten strange responses usually and have come to the conclusion that perhaps not as many like “Bugman” as much as they should. So, if you have received a mixed cd from me without this song: here is your second chance to love it.

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Whenever I listen to The Strokes song Gratisfaction from the new album Angles, I always think of the band Thin Lizzy. I liked a lot of classic rock when I was in my late teens, and Thin Lizzy was by far one of my favorites. Here are two videos for y’all to compare for yourselves. And really this Thin Lizzy song is a great one.


The very last seconds of the song remind me of the band Boston a little bit, since I’m already associating classic rock here.

Thin Lizzy: Dancing In the Moonlight (side note: Billy Corgan does a sweet cover of this song)

There is something very similar to my mind about Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy and Julian Casablancas, some of it could even be an image/attitude/wearing sunglasses a lot sort of thing.

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Yesterday was the warmest day of the year in the Seattle area, it got up to 60 degrees, and it was sunny. So despite the wind, we made plans to go to the park after school. Before we left, I checked the mail and the Strokes “Angles” was there! I listened to it the whole 1 minute drive to the park. Why, I wondered, couldn’t it have come on a rainy day?

That first song; “Machu Picchu” is so so good. I was left wanting more when I parked the car and went to try and fly a kite. (BTW: do any of you know what kind of kite is relatively cheap and easy to fly? Our dragon kite from Costco is not logging much airtime, mostly it just crashes.)

I have listened to Angles quite a few times by now. I really like it. I’m still trying to get to know some of the songs in the middle though.

My favorite things about this album are pretty much the same as in their other albums, Julian’s voice and the guitars and their own special blend of putting it all together. The keyboard, especially in Machu Picchu, is so 80′s. I of course love it, that was one of the best parts about the 80′s I think. I’m so happy the keyboard didn’t die with shoulder pads.

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