Happy Festivus! (one day late)

I was planning to post this on actual Festivus, but I got distracted in the best way possible (getting together with old friends and playing Super Smash Bros.). In any case, it’s less of a holiday post and more of an end-of-the-year-lollapalooza sort of thing. I started out with just the odds & ends but somehow this turned into an actual project that involved me reviewing all my blog posts from this year, because it’s Christmas Festivus break and there is time for these things.

So without further ado, here’s my Favorites of 2014 post, i.e. a rambly recap of stuff I blogged about in 2014, with probably too many links.

dealwithit

Nikki’s Favorites of 2014

Favorite Concert: It was an *excellent* year for shows. I got to see three of my very favorites: Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, and Tom Petty, plus was introduced to Deerhoof, Mac DeMarco, and awesome local band James Rabbit. I saw OK Go for a 7th and 8th time, the Mountain Goats for a second, and The Spencer Owen Timeshare for an umpteenth (I added some photos!). But I think my favorite show, even with the obnoxious drunk couple next to us, was Kishi Bashi. It was so much fun and I’m super stoked he’s coming back to play at the Palace of Fine Arts next month!

Favorite New Album: My favorite for purely personal reasons (plus the fact that “I Won’t Let You Down” is my jam) was Hungry Ghosts. OK Go foreverrrrrrrr.

Favorite Rockstar Tweet: Probably Ringo and his gratuitous use of emojis.

Favorite Book: So like everything on here, I’m subject to extreme bias, and also I didn’t read that many books that actually came out in 2014. I did really love I’ll Give You the Sun (YA), but Wolf In White Van was both my most anticipated and most enjoyed.

Favorite Movie: Boyhood. For a disgustingly sentimental person like me, there’s no other choice.

Favorite Obsession: Queeeeeeen! Music videos in drag, songs about space, Roger Taylor’s face, etc. It was bound to happen. (I wonder if I’ll ever stop being such a fangirl…I sure hope not.)

Oh yeah, and those resolutions? I like to think they were pretty successful. The big accomplishment was redoing this blog and moving it over to WordPress, which I’m still very happy about. And I definitely listened to more records, thanks to spurts of record-hunting with Alex and the addition of biweekly game nights at our apartment (listening to Vangelis while playing Wiz War is super legit). The last resolution was to read more, which I have been (I joined a book club at work!). But I have to admit, I’m only still halfway through that Beatles biography, hahah. For 2015: finish that Beatles biography!!

A few more odds & ends:

  • Joe Cocker: we lost a great voice in rock and blues the other day. :( If watching a waterfront performance with my dad from a kayak in the San Diego Bay counts, Joe Cocker was my first concert. I used to listen to his Beatles covers on record and imitate his spastic way of singing. Mandatory video link: “Con un poco de ayuda de mis amigos” :)
  • I get weirdly into watching chick flicks when I’m at home for the holidays (probably in the same way Alex always watches classic action movies while I’m away). This week I’ve already watched Love Actually and You’ve Got Mail, and next on the list is Hannah and her Sisters…although you probably wouldn’t classify that one as a chick flick.
  • I also tend to rekindle my silent movie love when I have lots of spare time alone. This year, it’s Buster all the way. I’ve been watching YouTube videos like a fiend. I don’t think I’ve ever fully expressed how much of a dreamboat I think Buster Keaton is, so I will leave you with this, a montage of The Great Stone Face set to “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer:

5 Reasons

Why Brian May is currently my favorite rock guitarist:

  1. The ‘Dixieland jazz band’ in “Good Company” is actually Brian recreating each instrument—clarinet, trombone, trumpet, etc.—on the guitar.
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  2. He hand-made his Red Special guitar with his dad, using pieces of a fireplace, table, and bike, and measured the fret placement in the nerdiest possible way:Guitar Player interview, April 16, 2012.
  3. Adorable tweets about astrophysicsScreen Shot 2014-12-11 at 10.35.09 PM.
  4. Two words: Star Fleet
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  5. This pic:

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Bonus: The quote at the end of this instructional video (which I may or may not have watched all of): “Best of luck, do good things.” For some reason, the universality of it makes me so happy.

:]

Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends

In celebration of Tom Waits’ birthday today, here is a good song, and a good interview:

How does one become the marimba player for Tom Waits, I wonder? What a sweet gig.

On a side note, I’m sad that our friends no longer live in Sebastopol, where we could go visit them and every time I would pay a little bit closer attention to my surroundings in hopes of seeing the elusive T. Waits. Alas, no luck.

Ok, one more song before I go, maybe my favorite marimba song. hbd, Tom!

The Pillars of Rock & Roll

This past week I was sad to learn that two Rolling Stones sidemen, Bobby Keys and Ian McLagan, had passed away within one day of each other. Mostly what I knew about Bobby was his rip-roaring sax solos and the excerpts from Keith Richards’ book about throwing TVs out of windows, etc. Honestly, some of the stories about Bobby make Keith’s lifestyle sound tame, haha.

I didn’t know as much about Ian McLagan but was happy to learn that he played piano on one of my very favorite songs: “Ooh La La” (The Faces) as well as the Stones album Some Girls. I also read an NPR interview that included this interesting tidbit:

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.33.31 AM

Wow. Good Guy Pete. What crazy lives these guys led.

Anyway, an article I read recently included this depressing sentence: “The double blow is another reminder that the classic era of rock culture is drawing to a close.” SAY IT AIN’T SO! Sometimes I wonder if classic rock will die out once all its forerunners are gone, like doo wop and swing. I find it hard to believe and very sincerely hope it doesn’t. The good news is that, according to our dearly departed Robin Williams, Keith Richards will outlive us all, in which case ROCK & ROLL WILL NEVER DIE.

R.I.P. 141202-bobby-keys-1709_5ebcae8f252a960c7307c9db99ca1606

Catching up

It finally happened!:

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

I made it through November alive! This was my third time attempting NaNoWriMo, and I finally succeeded in writing 50,000 words in 30 days. WOOO! Quite a lesson in commitment. I guess you could call the (un)finished product a “novel,” except I’d have months of re-writing and de-suckifying to do before I could ever consider it readable. So while there’s a good chance the story will never see the light of day, I must admit I had a lot of fun writing it. :)

That said, I’m happy to be back on the ol’ blog! Here are a couple of things that came up during November that I vowed to blog about once I hit my word count:

Nez on Portlandia
Alex and I have been catching up on Portlandia, and one night we were watching an episode in which the Mayor’s parents are introduced (turns out they’ve been paying for all of Portland’s major purchases, including a 3D printer). And I thought for a split second that my eyes were tricking me but BY GOLLY I was right: the Mayor’s dad was played by NONE OTHER THAN MIKE NESMITH OF THE MONKEES.

AHHHHHH. You have to remember that I have a hardcore crush on Monkee Mike Nesmith, but appearances like this don’t help my cause (I swear he didn’t always look like the dad of a mayor!). Luckily for you (me), I found a very relevant episode of the Monkees:

I may or may not have watched the entire episode after finding that clip. Silliest. Show. Ever. “It’s a watch fob for a giant!”

How the rest of my November was spent: fangirling HARD over Queen
I CANNOT stop loving this band, you guys. My only purchase on Black Friday was Queen Rock Montreal from Rasputin Music (at full price, haha). I have no regrets! It’s an amazing concert.

Ugh I love this song so much. Freddie’s voice is perfect and Brian is the king of the power ballad. It’s also part of my NaNoWriMo14 soundtrack, which I have on 8tracks and might post later, if I can ever think of a good title for it.

Ok, turns out those were the only other things keeping me occupied over the past month. I’m also getting back into Tumblr, which is where obsessions are born. So I’ll probably be back soon. BRACE YOURSELVES.