Meow Wolf: Sometimes Epic Adventures Involve Cats & Dogs & Itchy-O

 

So readers, your dear Funky went on a pretty darn amazing, life-altering, trip at the end of March. I found another local band to love, and I followed them all the way down to Santa Fe, New Mexico just to see them play in the infamous (in my crowd) Meow Wolf. Looking back at my own stories, I am very surprised to see that I have yet to discuss the band, Itchy-O….SHAME ON ME!!

Itchy-O is an experience. Whether you are trying to just listen to them, or looking them up online, or you are actually there, you will never be really ready for what you are about to encounter. The way that I describe them, is, “They’re a marching band on crack…and acid.” To put it another way, they are like a marching band on steroids, and their vibe is cerebral, to say the least. There are about forty members in the band, and every single one of them wears a mask–complete anonymity. (I happen to now know several members of the band–they have been unmasked–but I am not allowed to publicly mention their names, haha.) The main instruments are drums and computer-generation-manipulation of sounds. Most of the band members invade the crowd, their “instruments” being mobile–some carrying their drums like on-the-front backpacks, others with a “table” strapped to their chests to hold their laptops and giant amplifying speakers on their backs–or just being creepy wraith-esque figures dancing/ crawling/ disturbingly still tucked in a corner to startle you. The only exception to the rule of them all infiltrating the crowd are those with the BIG drums–they are usually on the stage or somewhere where they can be the central focus.

I have been to several Itchy-O concerts….you could say that I am something of a groupie, hahaha! And the show never gets old, honestly. My favorite part? When you suddenly stop being an individual and become part of the whole. It was rather startling the first time! I mean, if you have read any of my blogs, then you know that I am a dark, proud, daring individual; I like being able to stand out from the crowd. But an Itchy-O concert is different…

It really is hard to explain, but the best similarity I can think of is how a crowd feels during a ceremonial practice. I know, I know…there aren’t a lot of those in our mainstream world anymore, so look it up, haha. Check out the Maasai Adumu Ceremony (don’t forget that I work at a museum, hahaha!). Anyway, there comes a moment during an Itchy-O concert where the individual ceases to exist. You form one consciousness, move together as one–feel every soul and molecule of energy converge into one giant seething mass of feel-good unity. It’s breathtaking!

Although no mere words could ever be enough to truly capture the experience that is Itchy-O, lets move on to Meow Wolf…where again, no mere words could ever be enough to adequately describe that experience.

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Meow Wolf is an “art-collective”, nestled in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to Wikipedia, it was established in 2008 by a collection of artists who desired to provide their city with a unique art house and music venue. But I did not know any of this when I headed down there, so let me attempt to explain the experience in my own words, while still keeping the mystery alive enough that you all will have to venture down there yourselves, without any spoilers…

I will start at the beginning: I woke up the morning I was supposed to leave for my trip, to my brother panicking that he couldn’t get out of the driveway because of snow! What? I admit it, I was stressed TFO! Well not to mention that up until that point, I was dealing with my father’s health issues, I had gotten into that age-old trap of being annoyed and complaining about my job and therefore hating it, and “The One” (see https://funkylollipop.com/2016/08/11/can-i-read-my-book-please/) came back and left twice since November and this last breakup was over the trip to Meow Wolf–so yeah, you could say I was very close to a breakdown, haha! In any case, the panicked wake up call started the day off bad, and then an insensitive text from my brother’s boss to my brother, but recieved on my phone because his phone doesn’t work at our house, sent me over the edge! Basically, I responded rather harshly and then immediately apologized (in a mean way) but my brother’s boss must be an amazing person because he felt that I “seemed stressed”, so he bought me a giant bottle of wine and made my brother promise to make sure I had a great weekend. This, of course, made me bawl like a baby, lbvs! So from that moment on, I promised myself that I was going to do just that–have a great stress free weekend.

By the afternoon the snow had cleared up completely–yay Colorado! So, four people and a dog left Colorado around 10:00 Friday evening, in a nice little rental car, because all of us drive older cars that we do not trust to take out of state, haha! We headed south, (I left my stress and pain at the Colorado State line) and after a few–sometimes questionable–rest stops, we made it to our buddy’s hotel room at around 4:00 am Saturday morning, in Santa Fe, NM. We had a lovely two-bed room, and five people and a Scruffy to sleep in it. I got to share a bed with only one other person (who happened to be a handsome fellow) and the dog, so I was happy.

The next day we went to lunch at a vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant for our newly vegan boy (it was yummy, haha, even though I still had meat.) Then half of us went to peruse the random shops, while the boys and the dog went to sniff out that skate park! (I found an awesome shop called “Mira’s” but it might as well have been named “Rachel’s” it was so perfect.) Around five, we met back at the hotel to greet the three new-comers who would bring our hotel-room occupants total up to eight people and a dog!! Talk about a packed house! Thankfully, these three brought an air mattress for them to share, hahaha!

The best part was that our hotel was within walking distance of Meow Wolf, so I dug into that gifted bottle of wine, before we headed down. We showed up a little bit early, so we could traverse the venue…but little did we know, we could have come as soon as they opened, and still would not have enough time to catch it all.

Built in an old bowling ally, Meow Wolf is vast and full of mystery. Around every corner, in every nook and cranny, through every hidden fireplace and cupboard under the stairs, a new wonder waits to be discovered. Even the bathrooms were a place of fantasy and visual excitement. Several worlds merge into one under the high warehouse-esque ceilings, and stepping over the threshold imbibes in you the sheer joy and innocence of a child on a Wonderland adventure.

Then you add Itchy-O, and you suddenly have a heady mix of mystique and euphoria.

At one point, one of our buddies had a bit too much fun, and we lost him. What could have been a major bummer that we were missing some of the show, ended up being a blessing in disguise, since the hidden recesses of Meow Wolf were abandoned for the Itchy-O show in the center. We discovered rooms that we had missed in our quick inspection before the show. My favorite room, of course, was the Eyeball Room, in which singular orbs of every size and description graced the surface of the rounded cave-like room. But that wasn’t all to see….

The amazing night ended, and we all trooped back to the hotel, and we found our lost friend soon thereafter, so everything was good. After a quick dip in the pool with some fellow Colorado pals and customers at the same hotel, we all went to bed. Eight people and a Scruff, two beds and an air mattress–one big happy family.

After a scattered morning, the eight of us (and a Scruff), left in our respective vehicles, to head home. We stopped for a quick bite at an Indian vegan restaurant (yes, readers, I ate a meal without meat…), then got back on I-25 for the long trip home. This time, I was the one who drove first (I did drive about an hour in the wee hours of Saturday morn), because my car-mates had a little bit more fun than I did, haha, so they all fell asleep, leaving me to enjoy the drive by myself. Which I certainly did, for it had been a very long time since I’d had that much time to think all to myself. Deciding I was happy driving, I drove the whole eight hours, while they mostly slept.

I had several epiphanies on that drive. Again, if you have read any of my blogs, then you know that I am very capable of dark, painful thoughts. I’ve seen some things in my lifetime that have left me sad and fairly broken. But I have also always said, “Everything happens for a reason.” Well, either I believe that theory, or I don’t. If I do–and for sanity’s sake I think I better–then every single bad experience was meant to be, meant for me. Lessons learned, life taught….every death, every bad relationship….was meant for me to make me who I am.

For example, all of the breakups with The One–meant to be. I had buried my heart in anger, after my mom died. He was the one who helped me find it again. (“It does exist!”) I didn’t know how much I actually wasn’t feeling. I mean, I know I love my friends, and I enjoy all the good times that we have–but I wasn’t actually feeling it. It was like a facade, window dressing on an abandoned building. And what would it take to break through my healthy coating of anger? Love and pain, of course! I cannot fault him for anything though. Once I left the pain on the state border, all I was left with is love, and that is what I brought back with me from Santa Fe. Love–love that actually hurts with it’s severity and sincerity–for everyone and everything. Even my anger at “the powers that be” has left me. It also made me realize how scared I actually was. I have been on a lifelong search for love, but it scares the heck out of me, and it always has. For to love, you become vulnerable to that person–the absence of their love can hurt you. Death is an old family friend, and he comes often for a visit. Because this is what I know, my impatience to start living the “happily ever after, ” is expounded! So I have the impatience, but I am terrified of loving someone, so I don’t actually tell them, but then I have ridiculous expectations in which they must live up to. *Sigh* I had no idea I was so confusing, lbvs!

The moral of the story is….sometimes adventures are weird from the get go. Itchy-O = Weird, Meow Wolf = Weird. Itchy-0 + Meow Wolf = Best Weirdness of Your Life!! And sometimes beauty is born out of that weirdness…life-altering beauty.

I had such an amazing trip, and I strongly suggest visiting Meow Wolf and witnessing Itchy-O live. It will be something you cannot forget.

 

You Are What You Think: Likes, Dislikes and Change

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Have you ever had something come up and you instinctively disliked it?  Was this dislike based on an actual reason, or was the dislike merely because it wasn’t what you were expecting?  Why does something changing have to be about liking or disliking?

Humans have a complicated relationship with change.  We can find it disturbing if it comes upon us unexpectedly, but if things stay the same for too long we get bored.  If we don’t have any perspective or control over our reactions to the changes in life; than we spend our time constantly rocketing from one reaction to the next, a helpless passenger on the roller coaster of life.

I was told recently that you have to divorce yourself from the outcome of a situation and focus instead on doing your best and that is the only way to come through a troublesome situation unharmed.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  The situation I was going through seemed completely dreadful at the time and I really had no control over it, or any way to make the bare facts of it better.  The sad part, for me, was that I had been looking forward and working toward this moment for quite some time, and now it here it was and it was not at all what I was expecting.  My only option at that point was to try and focus on my attitude toward the situation and not the situation itself and that is what I tried to do.  I will admit that I could have done a better job, as it was I stayed pretty distraught about it for a few weeks.

Looking back now my instinct is to be hard on myself for this lapse but that would be starting the cycle over again.  So instead of beating myself up and disliking my reaction to this change, I’m gonna think about how to do better next time.  Life is never going to stop changing and I’m never going to stop working on myself and those things combined give me something to look forward to.  So bring on the change, life, and I will try to see it for exactly what it is, neither good nor bad but possibly exciting!

Carpe Adventure–Sometimes Adventure Involves Zombies!

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This past weekend, three of my friends and I went on quite an adventure! Our friend, Alana K, is an aspiring artist with the company Bad Brakes Entertainment. They had set up an “After the Zombie Crawl” show, to be held at II Tekilas in Thornton, Colorado. Now, as many of you already know, I am a BIG supporter of local musical talent, and I was more than willing to make the drive in order to support my friend!

Boy….what a night!

We got lost on the way there….my poor non-smokers had to deal with me smoking in the car…but it was my car! *Apologetic Shrug*

First of all, an aspiring lawyer, a wannabe coroner, and whatever the heck I am, walking into a Mexican Bar for a hip-hop concert…we stuck out like sore thumbs, hahaha!! My other buddy happens to be an amazing chameleon, so she was just fine! Her and I have gone to a lot of different concerts together, and she never fails to make new friends and have a good time! (interesting side-note, the first punk concert I had taken her to–The British Invasion–she even ended the night swapping shirts with an amazing punk, right there in the smoking section! I kissed a member of the Phantom Rockers…we had a great time!) As far as the other two, Lawyer and I usually go to things like karaoke and county fairs; while the Coroner and I go to Nerd Nites and Colorado Avalanche games. Needless to say, we were a little out of our element, hahaha! And the outfits, hahaha! Lawyer looked like she should be at a symphony, while Coroner should be at a wine-tasting complaining about the jazz music (her own words, hahaha!). Me and Chameleon were pretty much sexy zombies–which was the theme, haha, so we were okay!

Photo Credit--Kelii Mitchell

Photo Credit–Kelii Mitchell

The music was bumping, and the TV’s had “The Walking Dead” best zombie death clips playing, and us girls were screaming at each other to be heard, hahaha! Then BBE is ready to start their set, and Alana K takes the stage.

My royal shortness shot these videos, hahaha!

“F**k you, and f**ck that b**ch too! I wish you would try me! I wish you would try me!” This song is titled “Try Me.”

And, of course, my favorite song, “Chaotic Love.”

What I love about Alana K is the attitude behind her songs. That beautiful voice singing such in-your-face lyrics! Love it!!

Tiphini the Trio, also performed. And aside from having an amazing outfit, she also has an amazing voice. Smoky and sexy! This video is a duet, “Slow Down,” with Alana K.

On the way home, we got stuck in a horrible traffic jam–construction on the left, rollover on the right. My Lawyer and Coroner rubber-necking in the backseat, while ICP’s “How Many Times,” is playing in my head, haha! And the next morning, my water pump blew. I don’t think my car had fun!

However, despite the awkwardness, despite getting lost, random smoking-section conversations, bad accidents and idiotic drivers, I had an AWESOME time!! Bad Brakes Entertainment has some true talent under their name, and I cannot wait to see what comes next!!

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From Alana K’s FB

To check out Alana K:

https://www.facebook.com/AlanaK01

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From Tiphini’s FB

For Tiphini the Trio:

http://www.facebook.com/DepthsOfTiphini

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From BBE’s FB

Bad Brakes Entertainment has several other amazing artists! I suggest checking them all out!

https://www.facebook.com/Bad-Brakes-Entertainment-235263436611567/

Carpe Adventure: Let’s Take A TripLip Down Memory Lane…Sometimes Adventure Involves Amazing Hair

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from their FB

The first time I saw the current members of TripLip, Kevin and Pat, they were members of a different band, and they were playing at the Kacey Jones Pavilion in our little hometown. These boys were still in high school, and I…well I was not, hahaha! But I could already see the budding talent.

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Several years later, I saw them again, just the two of them, and they were jamming under the name of Judge DDrugs. Thistriplip001 time, I really paid attention! We were at a dive bar, fondly dubbed BarBar (probably not the name of the bar now) in Downtown Denver, Colorado. Instantly I was intrigued as these two oddly handsome fellows with AMAZING hair, took the “stage” (which was on the same level as everyone else–basically they took the corner of the room); one picking up a bass, the other climbing behind the set of drums. Before this, I had only ever seen one other band with this set up–a bass and some drums–and that was Red VS Black, another infamous group in my small town. Clay, the bassist for Red VS Black, was the first one to really make me take notice of the bass as an integral part of a band (as I mentioned in the blog about Facial)–I was honestly and superficially amazingly impressed by Clay’s arm muscles; takes a lot to play a bass that well and thoroughly, hahaha! (The drummer for Red VS Black is pictured above as the drummer for Pat and Kevin’s previous band. His name is Sam Tallent, and he is an accomplished comedian. Definitely look him up–he has even worked with the amazing T.J. Miller!)

But with Judge DDrugs, aka TripLip, it was the hair I noticed first, hahaha! This “experimental progressive” rock band was sporting some locks that would make Brett Michaels jealous! And I was in love, hahaha!!

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I am now a full-fledged fan, but I still have the boy-band-groupie love that revolves solely around their hair! I cannot explain enough how upset I was when Pat cut his off, hahaha!!triplip025 triplip023 triplip015

I have known them as TripLip for longer than Judge DDrugs, and I have seen TripLip play many times. In fact, when my photo gathering for this blog started to head towards triplip040, I had to back off. These two are my absolute favorite band members to photograph (again, because of the hair, hahaha!). Also, the faces that they make. Even if this is not the type of music that you enjoy listening to, I guarantee that you will totally enjoy watching them!!

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triplip019Pat is the man to know when it comes to going anywhere musically. He has been thetriplip021 frontrunner in every Mile High Festibowl–the main guy who sets up the locations, sets up the bands….he is just phenomenal. He is also a really nice guy! He has personally made me feel so special and needed at his shows. Although he is capable of playing other instruments, I really love watching him on the drums. No matter what band he is playing in (there happens to be quite a few), from heavy metal, or experimental progressive, to surf rock, to a little bit of a Macklemore vibe (sorry Preston, hahaha! I know you dislike that reference), he is crazy good! Pat is consistently maintaining a connection with both the fans and his fellow band mates. Pat lets you know that he sees you, and he appreciates that you are there. And he is an outstanding drummer! He puts his all into drumming–forces you to notice that he is there, hahaha! You never forget about the drummer when he is around! And he makes the best faces ever!!!triplip006triplip022

Kevin….what can I say about Kevin….hahaha! Just kidding! I would call Kevin “the Mouth!!” Not triplip028only does he possess one of the biggest orifices that I have ever seen, he is also super loud!! Kevin is always in the triplip027crowd while the other bands are playing, and one can easily hear his “Yip! Yip!” above any noise, as he shows his support for his fellow musicians. He is also in the crowd while playing, hahaha. He has a really long cord and super supportive fans who never let him get tangled. In addition to being a bassist, Kevin is also the lead singer. Yes, most of the lyrics are screamed at you, but he has such an interesting and identifiable voice, you can’t help but enjoy it. And his bass skills….I will really dive into it in a later post, but I recently went to a TripLip concert at the Lion’s Lair on the 17th, and, unfortunately, Pat could not attend. Instead of cancelling the show, Kevin decided to do it solo. Honestly, I was like, “Really? How is a bassist alone going to entertain this crowd?” Man, did he make me feel guilty for even doubting him!! Keven went up there with a bass and a looper pedal (unsure if that was the technical term for that particular piece of equipment, I’m mainly a photographer, hahaha!), and blew my effing mind!! This guy had the entire audience enthralled. He didn’t sing or anything like that; he just played every inch of that instrument–strumming, plucking. taking a tour of the entire neck of the thing–forearm muscles moving and bulging and veining the whole way. This huge-mouthed, loud, long-haired rebel is a beast on that thing! Truly talented!

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from their FB

TripLip just got back from a national tour. Sure, they packed a bunch of dudes in a van, as opposed to a spiffy tour-bus, but they still received great reviews and got to play with some sweet bands–like Daikaiju (so amazing!), Giraffes? Giraffes! (so talented!), Snail Mate (just saw them and I love them!), Lucida Tella (awesome), and many many more–from Colorado to Louisiana to Buffalo, New York, these boys have been all over!!

Richard Ingersoll, a former member of Cosmic Sound Child (mentioned in Facial), is a phenomenal guitarist and an absolutely jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring artist, sometimes joins the two for shows here in Colorado, and on tour.

from their FB, with Richard

from their FB, with Richard

Recently, TripLip has begun to wear masks during their performances, but due to an unfortunate accident with my harddrive, pictures for these amazing occasions are not available. But I do have several videos, the link to one of which, is listed below.

I strongly suggest to never limit your musical tastes, or let appearances detour you from attending an event, because you could miss out on some phenomenal talent! Again, I was a boy-bander. Pop music is my thing. Slowly, rock filtered in during high school, then a little rap and R&B. But it was not until I was 21 that my musical tastes exploded! If you would have asked me at 15 if I would go to a punk concert, the answer would have been a huge N-O. But my “brothers” needed a ride to Antiflag and The Casualties, and I was it. I treasure that concert because it brought me to where I am now–surrounded by a vast array of amazingly talented musicians. I can now say I love punk, math rock, surf rock, screamo, emo, and even a bit of dubstep (Shout out to DJ Thumper and DeadHand!!!). Carpe Adventure, people. And the very best thing? The people. Those dirty, scrouty punks are the best. They will pick you up when you fall, they will accept you as you are, if you are good to them they will go out of their way to be good to you….let’s just say that, if you get kicked out of a punk concert, you 100% deserve it, because you are a….jerk, yeah, let’s go with that, hahaha, a JERK! I mean, I still listen to “horrible music” on my own time, I rarely rock anything of these bands when they’re not in front of my face, but I find I am hard-pressed to turn down a TripLip concert!!! Good people, good vibe, good music, talented artists, and very very entertaining performance!

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So keep an eye out for TripLip!! They very well could be playing at a dive near you sometime soon!!

Watch their YouTube video, TripLip at Pho Cao: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0E7YZon9sc

Listen to their album: http://triplipdenver.bandcamp.com/

Check out their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TripLip-160031120718417

To check out their masked look, here is a decent video I shot (I am short and pliable, so it is shaky, hahaha!) at the Armory, Festibowl 2015: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.campbell.71271/videos/1132047610155001/

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from their FB

*all other photos were taken by me! 🙂

“I Don’t Need Anyone”, The Great American Lie

McLintock

I was watching Benny and Joon the other night with the husband and at the very beginning of the movie, one of benny’s friends is talking about a conversation with his wife, where the wife asked if he needed her, and this apparently really freaked the friend out.  That got me to thinking about why a married person would be freaked out by the idea of being needed or needing someone else and I realized that this whole idea of needing other people, is kind of a touchy one in our society.  We are all supposed to be rugged individualists, bravely facing each new dawn, certain in our ability to handle life’s challenges unaided and unafraid.

This adoration of self-reliance is really one of the founding concepts of American life.   In the beginning we decided to strike out to a strange new world far away and once we got there we decided that we didn’t need anyone telling us what to do and American history has been about a series of new frontiers and expanding boundaries ever since.  We as a people love the frontier and in our minds these frontiers are populated by tough people who don’t need anyone.  But the story of our frontiers are not stories about lone people doing it on their own.  They are about groups of people, couples and families and communities surviving together and helping each other.  Those families needed each other in a way that is completely foreign to us now.  They literally could not survive and certainly could not thrive alone.

In this day and age, needing people is seen as weak. If you’re truly successful you’ll know it by how independent you are.  If you have everything you want what need do you have for another person?  After all everything you want you can provide for yourself.  It is one of the most unfortunate aspects of modern society that we are so afraid to need someone.  How can you be a real team if you don’t trust or need the other members?  Yet we try over and over again to form relationships where we refuse to need and feel trapped when we are needed and we wonder why they fall apart.

I love the quote above because it’s so real.  Those lives aren’t built on standing alone and yet also living some fairy tale happily ever after.  It’s talking about life and work and how rewarding those things can be when you have someone else to stand with you.

Getting a Facial with “Math Rock”–Sometimes Adventure Involves Math

Math Rock, you say? What in the world is “Math Rock?” Is that some newfangled lingo you youngin’s have come up with to try and make math cool? Well, I do approve of that…

According to Wikipedia, Math Rock is defined as:

  • Math rock is a rhythmically complex, often guitar-based, style of experimental rock and indie rock music that emerged in the late 1980s, influenced by progressive rock bands like King Crimson and 20th century minimalist composers such as Steve Reich.

I assure you, I giggled the first time I heard the expression “Math Rock” because I was sure that it was a reference to Adventure Time–a show that my young adult brother was obsessed with. When asked, my brother defined it as, “making music with math equations.” I’m still unsure what that means, but I was simply excited to give this new genre a whirl! It turns out that math rock is just really really cool rock music!

(The following pictures came from their website)

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The band Facial, is currently my math rock obsession. Its members include Joe Hatfield on guitar, Alex Norrel on drums, and Ethan Evanchek on bass. I do admit to some bias where its members are concerned, seeing as I have known Joe and Alex long enough and well enough to claim them as “brothers,” and have been impressed with Ethan for at least five years, having seen his spectacular bassist skills in several other bands. Prior to Facial, Joe and Ethan were members of Cosmic Sound Child–which is the band that really made me take notice of the drummers and bassist, and appreciate the necessary impact that they provide to any band! When I first witnessed Cosmic Sound Child play, I cried! Hahaha! I honestly did. I was devastated when they broke up, my sunny skies instantly turning a stormy cloudy gray. But a ray of hope burst through that cloud cover when I heard about Facial!

(The following pictures I have taken at their concerts)

facial010See, Joe has been a musical staple in our small country town. He is the go-to-guy for anything music related. Writing, performing, recording, filming, and producing, Joe is your man. And if you need a drummer? You better call Joe. In fact, I had seen him as a drummer so many times, that I was actually astounded the first time I heard him play the guitar–He is flipping amazing!!! It was literally a jaw-drop moment to see him run those magic-fingers up and down those struts! Wow, that sounded, ah, interesting, hahaha! Seriously though, it was fan-fricking-tastic!! Then to find out he could play other instruments too? Well, Joe, you might as well add yourself to the “Coolest-People-I-Know” list right now. Add in that he is highly intelligent, insanely deep, generous, kind, open-minded, nonjudgmental, and a superb conversationalist, and you have an outstanding specimen for a great human being!

I have known Alex almost as long as I have known Joe. I always kind of paired them together, because they were so similar infacial009 temperament. Intelligent, deep, philosophical, strong-willed, and just plain strong–he is another of my most favorite people. My friend and I fondly dubbed him “Alex the Great”–the great hugger! He was still in high school when I met him, but he towered over me even then, and he grew taller still. When I first saw Alex behind a set of drums, it was at an impromptu musical night at a random gathering. I was instantly impressed. Out of all my “brothers,” (besides my real brother) he was the only one that was not in the punk band, Ha Ha Hooligans–the band that got me into the Elizabeth music scene to begin with–so I had no idea he could even play! He surprised me again that night, by picking up an adorable strawberry-shaped guitar, and was a perfect participant to one of my all-time favorite memories where several of us sat in a close circle and played/sang Santeria, by Sublime.

facial013That was also the night I met Ethan–or at least the first time I remembered Ethan. Concerts at Kasey Jones Park were usually dark, loud, and wild–high school boys in a mosh pit?? And being the older sister, I tended to hide on the sidelines, hahaha! However, it was not until Cosmic Sound Child that I fell in love with Ethan! It was he who helped me to appreciate the bassist. In fact, until I heard Red vs Black–an amazing two-person band with a bassist/singer and a drummer/singer–I honestly did not really notice the bass. Once I saw Ethan, though….the bass is an integral and necessary component of the band! It is absolutely amazing the sounds that the bass can create. Both Cosmic Sound Child and Facial could not be as amazing as they were/are without Ethan.

It was the Mile High Festibowl, 2013, down at the aforementioned Mouth House (the best form of insanity!!), when I facial006witnessed Facial play together for the first time….and it was magical. I cannot find the words to describe the music…intricate? Complicated? Phenomenal? There are not any lyrics, but your body responds as if there are. Happy, sad, the chaos that infuses the brain in high school…you can feel all of these through the music. There is no need for words. I have seen them several times since–I try not to miss a concert. If I know about it, and my old-man car is happy, I am totally there! I once described them as, “Mars Volta meets The Grateful Dead, on crack.” You have the astounding intricacy of Mars Volta, with the jam power of the Grateful Dead, multiplied by 100, hahahaha!

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Now, being a girl of the 90’s, I am, unfortunately hahaha, a boy-bander. So talent, to me, could easily just be a pretty face (although I will vehemently defend that most of the boy-bands of the 90’s had pretty faces, sweet voices, and amazing dance moves!), at least that is the view point that most have towards a former boy-bander. However, my adult life has been saturated with all sorts of musical influences–that I would have never found on my own–and I have been drenched in punk, indie, screamo, emo, metal, math-rock, surf-rock, and whatever other term they use to differentiate the technical nuances that delineate the various genres–I am fully soused, hahahaha! But Facial is my favorite! They don’t need a ridiculously handsome front man–although they are all studs in my book–a sexy lead vocal, or some sweet poppin’ and lockin’ dance moves to be anything more than what they are, which is simply sensational.

I fully recommend checking them out! I have included several links, but if you cannot see them in person, definitely listen to them on bandcamp!

Watch them perform at the Armory in Denver, Colorado, via YouTube:

Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FacialMusic

And listen to their music: http://facial.bandcamp.com/

“They Say It’s Your Birthday!!”

funny-old-people-quotes

So I am now 31 years old. I had an amazing birthday! Quieter that usual, but I think I needed that too. Do I feel older? Yes. Do I feel wiser? Naw, hahahaha!!

I will get the Nerding Out and Philosophy Sunday part of this post over with first.

numerology4yoursoul.com

numerology4yoursoul.com

31–3+1=4, the 4 vibration, according to Numerology, is the “Teacher” and is commonly misconstrued as an unlucky number (13–1+3), but it is, in fact, a Karmic number. For those of you who do not know the meaning and connotations of Karma:

kar·ma
ˈkärmə/
noun
  1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
    • informal
      destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

Not that I put a huge amount of faith into Numerology, Karma, and the like, I do enjoy considering its merits! In this particular definition, it mentions “previous states of existence.” If what I understand is correct, then for those that believe in reincarnation–that your soul is born into a lifetime more than once–this means that I will have built up my level of Karma in a previous lifetime.

  1. Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, can begin a new life in a new body. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Hindu religion.

If there is Karma, and there is reincarnation, then I believe, however, that although my past-lives might have generously contributed to my current state of affairs, I will not have to wait for my next life to be rewarded for any good Karma I may have accumulated. At least I hope not, hahaha! So here’s to hoping that I have stocked up on some good Karma, that I can use it in this lifetime, and year 31 is a lesson in happiness and fruition of dreams and goals!

On my birthday, my brother and I explored some new places in Downtown Denver, and I do have to say that the hippie-esque bohemian artsy vibe that has recently imbued the city is a pleasant atmosphere! The city seems cleaner, people seem nicer, and Denver seems to be a more inviting place for the masses to visit. Being a native, I have seen and heard about the darkside of the city; have enjoyed the tasteless jokes frequently made about the clientele that Colfax pays homage to….but, for now, it seems as if all of that nonsense has been joyfully swept under the rug. I even picked up a map highlighting the upscale joints nestled in the crowded recesses of East Colfax Avenue, and was pleasantly surprised to see such fancy-pants places.

denverlibrary.org

denverlibrary.org

As for myself, my brother and I visited two places on Colfax that we had heard so much about, but had never visited. The first stop? Voodoo Doughnuts!!! OMG what an overwhelming and delicious place! I got a “Raspberry Romeo” for my papa, and a classic “Voodoo Doll” for myself! My brother must have zeroed in on the maple, because he got the “McMinville Cream” and, of course, the “Bacon Maple Bar” topped with maple frosting and two strips of bacon!! Absolutely delightful!!

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Then we went to the Kavasutra Kava Bar, where “Alcohol is so 2014!” There they serve Kava Tea, an all natural anti-anxiety and relaxant, and Kratom, and all natural pain reliever. He literally handed us a bowl of swamp water garnished with a wedge of pineapple, but I would drink that swamp again in a heartbeat! It was a hole-in-the-wall bar, but it was so chill–a BBC special about Panda’s on the television and swing music on the radio–and everyone talking quietly and laughing jovially! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the partaking of alcohol, but I think this is the best bar I have ever been too!

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Overall, even though it was definitely tame compared to some birthdays that I have had (for example, the Iron Maiden concert for my 28th, or Mouth House Metal House for my 27th, etc), it was thoroughly enjoyable! And the best part? Hanging out with my little brother. If you have read any of my previous posts, then you know that I am seven years older than him. I wanted him. I wanted a little brother, and I had to wait a long time for him. Tony II is all grown up now, and he has got to be one of the coolest, sweetest, deepest, funniest, most amazing people I have ever been blessed to meet! I try to take some credit for how he turned out, but there is some debate on what can be attributed to me and whether or not it’s a good thing, hahahaha! Either way, I am truly blessed to have him as a brother, and he did his sister proud with my impromptu birthday celebration this year!! Thanks Bro!!

rachandtoe

Me and Tony II (and some spiffy photobombers), New Years Eve, 2013-2014, The Dwarves Concert.