When the pre-mail came on April 28th, alerting us that a KEXP club Triple Door show invite would be sent on the 30th, I just instantly knew it would be for a Cloud Cult performance and I was right. Which pretty much made my week.

As always, it’s an amazing venue for intimate performances and such a treat to sneak off in the middle of the day for a private show. I think I have probably cried at every Cloud Cult show I’ve ever attended –  this time they opened with “Love You All” and yep, my face was drenched in seconds. Then it was 45 solid minutes of overwhelming awesome that got me hyped for the evening show. Except the evening show @ Neumos got sold out during the afternoon, leaving me sans ticket and exceedingly grateful that I got to see the Triple Door show. WTF is wrong with me, not ordering a ticket in advance? Cloud Cult always sells out in this town.

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Somehow I missed the memo that Iron & Wine would be in town for 2 shows this week, and both were sold out. But I hauled my ass over to the Capitol Hill Sonic Boom Records plenty early and stood in line for the free in-store performance.

The store was absolutely packed and I’m not sure if everyone even got in. The show was solo acoustic; easygoing, friendly, causal. He hadn’t prepared a set list and after opening with the 8-minute gorgeousness that is “The Trapeze Singer”, every song was by request. Some songs he hadn’t played in a long time, he said, and every now and then a note went adorably awry. The whole thing lasted about 30 minutes, and made me wish I was able to attend the longer show later that night. Pix after the cut, as usual.

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Nothing really dominated my music listening in April. New stuff I was paying attention to included:

  • Matt and Kim – Grand
  • Throw Me the Statue – Purpleface EP
  • Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
  • Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You

Towards the end of the month I started to enter Sasquatch prep-mode, so I am currently embarking on a binge of familiar and previously unfamiliar stuff including:

  • Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
  • Owl City
  • The Gaslight Anthem
  • Crystal Castles
  • St. Vincent
  • M. Ward
  • Animal Collective
  • Shearwater
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Calexico
  • The Airborne Toxic Event
  • Point Juncture, WA
  • The Wrens
  • The Walkmen
  • TV on the Radio

No doubt to the chagrin of creationists, there is a very cool arena show touring the U.S. called Walking with Dinosaurs. It’s aimed at kids, but was enjoyable for adults too. I’m thinking the stage size must have been approximately the size of a hockey rink, and the Key Arena seating was a U-shape around it. A narrator tells you interesting things about the dinosaurs and the vegetation on Earth during the various geologic eras, and HUGE ASS MOVING REPLICA DINOSAURS move around the stage. Recommended! It has already left Seattle though.

http://www.dinosaurlive.com/index.php/tickets/us/

pix after the jump.

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So I was reading the couple of pages about making candy in Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking and learned something. The temperature of boiling syrup is determined by the concentration of sugar in the water. Meaning, you have to boil off more water and therefore make the syrup more concentrated in order to reach 300 degrees. Which means, if I start with less water in the pan in the first place, it takes less time to make a batch of lollipops than it’s been taking me so far. It seems to be true.

The part that hurts my brain is wondering: does this also mean that if I dumped more sugar into already-boiling syrup, the temperature would rise accordingly? That would be strange.

Something always happens every summer and we never seem to be around town during the Capital Hill Block Party. I hope that isn’t the case this year, because I so wanna see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com/blogentry/2009apr/capitolhillblockpartylineupannounced

You know the internet, right, how one link leads to another, blah blah blah? Well one way or another I recently read about a new online journal –Transformative Works and Cultures — that I’m kind of excited about. Its focus is transformative works, primarily fan-created works that are based on existing works in popular culture. Sounds fancy! The journal’s goal of bridging academic and fandom communities in a free online journal is a laudable one. There is a non-peer-reviewed section that publishes essays from fans outside of the academy. Awesome.

A while back I posted a link to a video that set clips of the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to a song from Requiem for a Dream, giving the clips entirely new meaning. Well, it seems this is an example of a longstanding tradition called “vidding” and like many fandom practices, it has its roots in the practices of female fans of Star Trek. I highly recommend reading the very interesting article:

Women, Star Trek, and the early development of fannish vidding

http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/44/64

The article presents some history and theory about vidding, and being an online publication, it takes excellent advantage of the medium and includes relevant multimedia content to illustrate relevant points. I spent a bunch of time reading the article and viewing the various clips. The most mesmerizing by far was a vid for a show and fandom I don’t know anything about – Battlestar Gallactica. I don’t know if my reaction would be different if I was actually familiar with the show, the characters, the context of the clips, but I can tell you I’ve watched it five times and it gave me 3 solid minutes of skin-crawling chills each time.

(please no clarifying discsussion or BSG spoilers – it’s been on my list of shows to check out for a while and I’m thinking this summer hiatus will be the time I get around to it)

I also recommend viewing the Star Trek vids and reading the discussion about them in the article: