Tag Archive | liner notes

The Wedding Edition

So, last weekend was not conducive to writing a wonderful post. However, I did spend the third weekend in PimlicoApril celebrating the occasional fabulousness of Living Social. I spend that Saturday at one of my new favorite events, Decanter at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore. Decanter allows participants to taste local Maryland wines while watching the ponies. Last year, it was cold, rainy and empty. This year it was sunny, brisk and crowded. I do wish that they had better food options. You really needed more substantial eats to soak up all the wine. I found some wines that I just loved. This included a rather new winery, The Winery at Olney, a unique retailer that imports grapes and makes the wine onsite. The fruit wines were so delicious and I am not a fan of sweeter wines, but I was happy. I also purchased a bottle from Detour Winery and wrote down a lot of wines that I will be taking to my local spirits store for when I finally run out.

I also went to the Broccoli City Festival, which I fear I was too old for. How do I know? Well, Phil Ade has about a dozen rappers on stage with him and I thought: “Who are all these people? Why are they on stage? Will all of them be rapping? When will this end?” Yes, so I stole a picture from the twitter feed to illustrate why there shouldn’t ever be that many MC’s on stage. Look, I appreciate that Wu Tang Clan has (had) 10 members, but really only four of them rapped with any regularity. Black Alley did appear, but I was ready to go and we did.

I spent the last weekend in April at the latest edition of Liner Notes. See my first post. It was as fun as always. And then I went to a wedding! I haven’t been to a wedding in about seven years. It’s not that I haven’t known anyone who has gotten married, it’s just that they either had a destination wedding or headed to the Justice of the Peace.

Here’s a truth about me. I am a bit of a humbug about weddings. I blame my first adult weddings. I always weddingwanted to go to a wedding because they look so glorious on television. I couldn’t really remember the weddings from my childhood, even the one where I was a flower girl. Though, I acknowledge that I was probably an awesome flower girl. I finally got my opportunity in college. My first adult wedding was okay. Okay, it was long. There were poetry readings, ballerinas, a choir, a soloist, someone read a psalm. It was a lot. Then we headed to the reception, which was ho hum. This is when I discovered that receptions are pretty mundane. It is hard to describe what I don’t like about them. They are like proms, but not. The food is okay. There are a lot of activities that need to happen: toasts, dances, bouquet throwing, cake cutting. The music is iffy. I have been to two weddings in my life with great DJ’s. That is not a lot.

My next wedding scarred me for life. Terrible is not the word. I was told by someone that it wasn’t a terrible wedding as it was just a terrible day. Fine, I will allow that. Most people I discover judge bad receptions by the food selections and the availability of an open bar. I’ve only been to two open bar receptions. One I was in the wedding party and the other I had a long drive, so I probably had a glass of wine at each. The terrible wedding started late because someone lost the wedding license. Very late. Not Colored People’s Time late, but is this going to happen late? This also taught me to drive everywhere. In fact, my date taught me to drive myself everywhere, because she suffers from the “I don’t know how to make a graceful exit” disease. The lateness of the wedding led to a late reception. I was ready to go, but alas I did not drive. So the caterers left. Straight up departed. They did not feel like waiting any longer. Unfortunately, when the caterer departed they forgot to leave utensils to which to serve and eat the food. So the delicious food sat there, while the guests stared longingly at it. Some in the family was forced to head to the store to find utensils but it was a holiday and everything was closed. So we sat for an hour. Then there was a medical emergency, then people started slipping out and finally the bridal party looked around and there were about 20 people there and the activities hadn’t even started. Sadly, I was part of the 20. Boy, did I want to go home. Boy could I not, because well…things fell further apart.

So in hindsight, I attended a terrible wedding that I was stuck at for hours and was forced to console the bride in the end (see above). I served as a bridesmaid in a wedding, where I didn’t eat, at all because of an oversight by the waitstaff. In fact the entire bridal party wasn’t served and a couple of us went to I believe Applebee’s afterward. I went to a perfectly boring wedding reception where no secular music could be played. A wedding that was shuttered by Hurricane Isabel. The wedding turned out beautifully–getting married by candlelight–and the reception had to be at the in-laws.

So, on my way to the wedding last weekend, I started to panic. What if I was some kind of bad wedding juju? Then I remember when I was cleaning my second bedroom, I found a wedding favor for my friends’ wedding and realized that they would be married for 10 years in 2013. That was a great reception, but I did miss the wedding because I got locked out of my apartment. Uh oh. Hey, the weddings I attended are batting about .500, which is the national standard anyway. It cannot be me! I swear.

At the wedding last weekend, I remembered the beauty of weddings: the joy of seeing the bride for the first time in her gown and the happiness of seeing the bride and groom recite their vows and place the rings. It was all too much. It was glorious.

To quote American Beauty:  Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.

Veterans Day Weekend

On 10 November, I attended Liner Notes, courtesy of a wonderful deal through my usual channel for inexpensive events: Goldstar. I am quite broke this month and challenged myself to only spend $50 a week on outings. This may seem easy for many, but proves difficult for me. My problem stemmed from the fact that I purchased a $43 ticket to see Mint Condition. As an aside, I really need to make at least a small effort to go to the box office of concert venues while I am already out because the ticket fees were 43% of the cost of the actual ticket. Then I took one of my best buds who was only in town for a night to birthday drinks.

Amazingly, this dropped me to a remaining $30 for each of the next three weeks. Here’s how I spend my second weekend in November (first on a $30 budget): I went to an Afro-Brazilian dance class for $12. I thoroughly enjoyed my first class, though I had to leave early because I was improperly (i.e. in the grocery store parking lot) parked. I wasn’t particularly good. The instructor only showed the class the move once and then I had to rely on wiggly White girls in front of me to remind me of what it looked like, which I feel wasn’t the best exemplar. Who are we Alvin Ailey members? If we could get a dance on the first try then we wouldn’t need this class, would we? D.C. has the coolest classes to get more interesting exercise but honestly parking precludes my attending most because paying to park is equal or more to the cost of the class, which blows the budget.

Then, I attended the aforementioned Liner Notes for $10.50 with fees. I will admit that I did not know what to expect as the description on Goldstar didn’t give much and shockingly, the theater’s website didn’t link properly to the production company’s site.

Pic from the B-Fly Entertainment website

The event was a celebration of music, connecting original songs through a live full band—bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, horn, vocals—to hip hop songs that sample the content with lyricists under the theme of “Family”. In fact, there were generations present throughout the night with men playing alongside sons, daughters and grandchildren.

I am quite knowledgeable of 70’s era music because my mother has an extensive music collection. It is ridiculous actually. People tried to convince her for years to sell it and she refuses. Being defiant about every damn thing including small items, like “turn right here”, she sabotaged potential sales by discarding all of the album covers. She knew this ruined all resale value. However, this collection means that I can usually identify most samples of hip hop songs easily, not that this is a marketable talent. The event started with Sly and the Family Stone. I actually remembered “Sing a Simple Song” from the recesses of my childhood though I should really go back and re-listen to this stuff. However, I couldn’t remember what hip hop song could have sampled it and then the ending. Yes, the “Ahhs” and pow, “Mama Said Knock You Out”. I was extremely excited to learn new “originals”. I didn’t know the origin of the “They Reminisce Over You” sample at all and it’s a really beautiful song. I had a ball for many reasons. I got to sing and dance. I love singing along to anything, even Garth Brooks songs I remember my high school classmates playing ad nauseum. Plus, I had an opportunity to do something that I have been doing for years inside my head anyway—bridge the gap between the music my mother adored and the hip hop that defined my generation. Great event.

I capped off my holiday weekend, forgetting my migraine jamming to the Chuck Brown band and the band of my generation, Mint Condition. I really could listen to “Nothing More to Say” live over and over again forever.