28 February 2011

Appy Love is Moving!

From now on, I'll be blogging under my name. Our move to Wisconsin plus my attempt at building a freelance portfolio plus my desire to write more about music all add up to a more practical bloggy existence over at


All AppyLove posts have been transferred there and I'm slowly getting them appropriately catalogued. Thanks for checking it out!

08 December 2010

Limerick Challenge

Earlier this fall, Knoxville's MetroPulse held a limerick contest that a friend challenged me to enter. I didn't enter the contest, but I did just stumble across the limericks I sent him in response to the challenge. It was fun to reread them as I've been missing Knoxville lately.

They primarily focus on music and drinking. For your reading pleasure:

there once was a lady in knoxvul
old records she bought by the boxful
the high lonesome sound
just followed her round
that music is probly unlawful.

there once was an old volunteer
who chased all of his moonshine with beer
but when carbon monoxide
sent popcorn to the far side
he hightailed it like old paul revere

in the rowdy young hamlet of knox
the time is not measured by clocks
it's measured in tears
and the number of years
since hank williams went out in a box

Here's a political one (completely out of my depth but I love the phrase "bronx cheer"):

while climbing atop of the sunsphere
glenn reynolds delivered a bronx cheer
the liberals hollered
"hey, we'll get you collared!
a few of us actually live here."

06 December 2010

Random Musing

I'm gonna see a lot more people's socks this winter due to snowy boots parked on entryway rugs.

16 August 2010

After two call-free weekends in a row with the AppyHubs, I've noticed that having an amazing weekend in the summer in Madison doesn't seem to take much effort. Witness last weekend's rewards just for LEAVING OUR HOUSE:But the real reward was meeting the woman who gave us the chairs. She is amazing.

Anyway, I started a tally in my head tonight, and decided to store it on the old blog for posterity. We've lived in the Great Midwest for exactly two months this Tuesday, and here's what I have to show for it.

3 house concerts
2 neighborhood festivals
1 samba show
1 todd snider show
2 concerts on the square
4 softball games
2 trips to chicago by train
1 pig roast
14 restaurants visited, including 3 breweries
1 game of settlers
1 10-hour job interview
1 house purchased
20 miles jogged (FAIL)
1 visit with high school friends
6 skype conversations
7 pieces of mail from my parents
2 pieces of mail from becca
1 cd cover design process begun and almost finished
1 teaching memoir blog started
250 email conversations
1 art fair
1 farmers' market (also FAIL)
1 vet visit
1 dentist visit
2 graduate school visits
6 songs recorded in garage band
2 movies at the fancy sundance theatre
1 dylan tribute concert at a brewery
1 successful grant edit for a local community center
2 jam sessions with a couple of family docs from galveston
2 concerts at the memorial union, 1 including fireworks
5 trips to trader joe's, which is now 1.5 miles from our house
and countless warnings from locals about how truly harsh the winter is going to be.

I realize some of you out there accomplish approximately this much before I wake up in the morning (I'm looking at YOU, 500Jerk), but I guess what I'm realizing is that we just DO more stuff here. The energy of the town is kind of infectious. I guess when you know a 7 month winter is around the corner, and you dedicate a pretty substantial amount of time to beer-drinking, you sure as heck better get active when you can. Still on the list are camping on one of the beautiful lakes nearby, lining up some shows, and buying a bike. Slightly lower on the list is getting a real job. I'll let you know how that goes.

13 August 2010

Madison Journalism

I meant to post this yesterday, but forgot. A friend here in Madison writes for the alternative weekly, a paper similar to Knoxville's MetroPulse. (Actually, he wrote there for a while too.)

Anyway, last week he wrote the paper's cover story, which shines an even-handed light on the sex trade in Madison. I think it's a well-written piece on a bleak, heartbreaking subject.

Another House Show

So, something kind of unique to our new homeland is the supper club. We haven't been to a traditional supper club yet, but we did go to a house show last week that took place in a basement and uses the old supper club concept as its namesake. The owners of the house, on Madison's northeast side, have retained the very 50s vibe of the house, and when they host shows in their basement, they call it the North Mendota Supper Club. It's just a regular old half-heartedly finished basement, with paneling on three sides and linoleum on the fourth wall. On the linoleum, old 7" records have been tacked up. The room looks like it was decorated by a 15 year old with precocious musical taste as part of some kind of bargain with his parents. You know, keep him out of trouble by encouraging him to start a band in the basement. He can even decorate the room!

In short, it's the kind of space that you could grow to love instantly. It feels familiar and hopeful and honest.

I had seen video from a house show there back in the spring by one of our favorite Knoxville artists, who is absolutely revered by the show's host and other attendees of the show we saw. That made the NMSC feel more familiar as well.

The band we saw perform last week is called The Mimicking Birds. They were incredible. The lead singer's voice is remarkably similar to early Paul Simon, but used in a more trancy, hypnotizing way, funneled through a mic effect pedal that made it sound like he was singing into a toy mic-- the kind that's just cheap plastic with a spring inside. Even though that description is weird, the effect sounded incredible. The band plays as a trio--a drummer, rhythm guitar and vocals, and lead guitar with some light harmony. At times I just leaned back against the linoleum wall and felt the way I used to in college when I listened to Radiohead. It was a moving, intimate concert. What said the most to me about the band, though, was the fact that they had a full drum kit and amps in this tiny basement and it never sounded too loud. They completely nailed the way they needed to sound for the space they were in.

Add that to these other odds and ends: they were heading out that night so they could play Lollapalooza the next morning, their CD is a Glacial Pace release, and unlikely frontman Nate Lacy did the weird, primal artwork for the disc's cover.

It was a great show.