It Sure is Quiet Here

Nope, we have not become hermits for the past three months, sitting at home with the curtains drawn and eating tubs of ice cream for comfort. We haven’t been turning down invites to the social events of the summer just to stare vacantly at our living room wall. Don’t you worry, we are actually very much alive and busy as hell! This has been an insane summer. We’ve barely spent any time at home due to the fact that there was so much going on. Let’s give you a quick rundown of what’s been going on for the past three months:


1. Brian and Leslie’s wedding. What a beautiful couple, congratulations!

2. Paul’s Potluck Party. (Finally, only like 4 years in the making!)

3. Brewfest. And perfect timing, we left right when a mother of a storm came blowing through.

4. Blake Smith Trivia Night. We did not win but we sure did have fun. I do have to say, this is a great trivia night, mostly due to the categories and exorbitant amounts of alcohol flowing.

5. Shakespeare in the Park. I tried it again this time only because I decided, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Brought my folding chair this time, bitches!

6. Katie’s Annual Backyard BBQ. Another fun summertime event which ended with inappropriate questions and a fire big enough to burn down the complex. Good thing the fire department is in front.


7. Fair St. Louis. We had to have fireworks, it’s a must during the Fourth of July.

8. My baby shower. Yes, I said it. I know I haven’t mentioned it much on this website, probably because I thought I was just gaining a few extra pounds. Just kidding. I think I just haven’t mentioned yet because whenever I do, I freak out and have a meltdown. Am I ready to be a mom? Am I ready to have this little person change my entire life? Can I afford to have a baby? Am I ever going to be able to sleep or will I be a zombie for the rest of my life? Will I like him? What if…ahhh!!! Meltdown is commencing!

9. Lake of the Ozark weekend. My last vacation before baby. And spending it with some of our close friends, exactly how to do a weekend trip. And a special shout-out to Krissy’s family for opening their home to us! It was very much appreciated!

10. Baby shower #2. Must breathe, must not panic! Babies need a lot of crap! Oh god, time is ticking away, I need to do so much! Can I handle this? What if he never stops crying? Oh no, I have to clean up all that stuff that comes out of him? Ewww! Meltdown #2 is commencing!

11. Moving day! That’s right, folks! Bob and I are official homeowners! Okay, so we’re homeowners again. We are now living in what I call a “mom and dad” house. Two-story, four bedroom house with a garage and basement. Just picture the house you grew up in and you’ve just seen our house.

Group Shot

12. Loufest 2011. The second year of this indie festival and the weather turned out perfectly! Thank you Mother Nature, I knew you were sympathetic to my condition. That and the two K’s (Kate and Katie) scored VIP tickets where we got to chill out on hammocks in the shade while sipping on free Pearl Vodka mixed drinks. I have the many plastic cups to prove it.

That sums it up, then why we haven’t been around. With being pregnant, buying a house, going to doctor’s appointments, and general life, some things fall to the wayside like updating this site. I could say that I promise to do better but then I would be lying.

An Evening With The National and Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

My cousin Drew shot me an email a couple months ago that he heard that Arcade Fire and The National were coming to St. Louis. It hadn’t even been officially announced yet, but I followed his trail of breadcrumbs and came to the same conclusion. Later that day the news was confirmed, tickets procured and Drew’s travel plans set into motion. Finally the day came, although the day was in question for some — Monika had purchased a ticket but thought that it was on Saturday instead of Thursday so didn’t have a flight in until the next day. Oops.

Regardless, Jen, Kim, Drew and myself trekked down to the Scottrade Center for the show. Since we originally had a party of five, we were not able to get seats all next to each other, so we split into groups: the girls and the cousins. We both had good seats; Drew and I were closer, but Jen and Kim had a better angle. Even with this minor hiccup, we were ready to rock.

The National

First up, was The National. This was our second chance to see them this year and they were just as awesome as the first time. Matt Berninger’s deep baritone swelled to fill the arena and he took to the audience several times, once coming just a few rows from Drew and I. The ended with Terrible Love, a slow song with a stunning crescendo that set the table nicely for Arcade Fire.

After a drink, Drew and I had a conversation with a person taking donations on behalf of Kanpe, an aid organization doing rebuilding in Haiti that Arcade Fire supports. Our donations got us in a raffle for a signed set list, but we did not win. Oh well, we got some sweet buttons and supported a good cause.

Arcade Fire

Now the main event. Arcade Fire has a reputation for being a phenomenal live band and they lived up to it on this evening. Now, any 8 member band is going to have a pretty decent stage presence, but this was beyond my expectations. Situated on risers in front video screens showing scenes of suburbia, Win Butler and company cranked out almost two hours of melodic, emotional rock music, coming out of the gate firing on all cylinders with “Ready to Start,” “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Neighborhood #2 (Laika).” Butler apologized for taking so long between St. Louis appearances, noting that last time they were in the River City they were at the Rocket Bar opening for The Unicorns. Both Rocket Bar and The Unicorns went away in 2004, so it’s been a while.

The main set closed with the absolutely epic “Wake Up.” The encore was “Month of May,” “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” Just an awesome way to end a great show. If you like music, you should catch an Arcade Fire show, you won’t regret it.

Chip and Dale, Woo!

Oh, my! What a way to spend a Friday evening, watching these guys dance! They were so hot. I mean, those shoulders, those abs, the way they…wait, a minute. Whoops, my bad! Wrong guys! What I meant was: CHIPPENDALES!!!

Some weeks ago, I had heard that the Chippendales were coming to the Argosy Casino and I thought, “Wouldn’t that be a fun thing to do with the girls?” I gathered up all the women who were willing and ready to be wowed (by the ridiculousness of the show) and went over to the “East Side.”

It was the best $20 that I had spent on a show! I mean, you had singing, dancing, sultry looks, abs, comedy, thongs, shoulders, tattoos, you name it, it probably had it. I knew it was going to be hilarious but I was not prepared how much I was going to scream and laugh. There really are no words to describe a Chippendales show, you just have to see it for yourself. Besides watching the men strut their stuff (go Dr. Thunderbutt!), you had to watch the women in the audience. Lordy, lordy, I have never seen so many women go crazy over some half-naked men. While we all hid when they were looking for volunteers, gobs of women were grabbing the guys and trying to get themselves on stage. It was insane.

Although we were not partaking in flinging ourselves at the Chippendales, we did not escape unscathed. I did get a hug and kiss from my favorite one (my dream of being touched by a Chippendale has finally come true) while Kate danced with the one who looked like Fabio and Katie and Kim got hi-fives. But Sheena got the best deal of all: she got pulled on stage and was spun down the entire row of men and ended up lassoed! Awesome!

I highly, highly recommend checking out this show! I mean, there is nothing wrong with spending 2 hours cat-callin’ at some hot men and objectifying them. Leave your feminism behind and enjoy the ride.

Eleven or So at Mangia Italiano

Eleven Or So

Our friend Albert’s band, Eleven or So, played at Mangia Italiano the other night. We had been trying to see one of their shows for a while, but schedules hadn’t allowed us to make it. Finally, our calendars lined up and we made it out for the show. They were scheduled to start at 11PM, but true to their name, the show went off considerably later than intended. Once it did though, the music was great.

They played two sets. Well, it was really just one set, but the bassist had to take a leak in the middle, so it felt like two. The first set started off with a Radiohead cover, nicely executed, proving that they have good taste. Their original songs were generally, big, sprawling affairs of shoegaze with enough pop edge to keep them focused and tight. The second half was packed full of some of their more accessible songs, save the last, which was, simply put, big. This is the kind of song that gets written, and a band knows they have to close with it. Good stuff all around.

Eleven Or So

Basically, if you enjoy music, you should check out Eleven Or So. Even I wasn’t friends with the guitarist, I’d still be interested in the tunes. If you enjoy photographs, check out the rest of the set on Flickr.

Kings of Leon Return

Kings of Leon

In case you hadn’t heard, earlier in the summer the Kings of Leon stopped their show because they were being pooped on. To make it up to their fans, the Kings scheduled a second (presumably pigeon-free) show. The tickets were only $10, and Chris did the dirty work of ordering them for us and her friend Kari as well.

What started out as a beautiful and warm day took a turn to the cold and rainy by showtime. Thankfully, I went and bought some ponchos to protect us from the elements. Fashionable, no?

En Ponchos

Staying Dryish

The opening bands, The Features and The Whigs were both great. I’m definitely interested in hearing more from these bands. But of course, we were all there to see the Kings of Leon.

The Kings opened with Crawl, Molly’s Chamber and My Party, breaking after that to thank the crowd for coming back and giving them another chance. That gratefulness was pretty much the theme of the night. I’m sure many will say that there are few bands that worry about their image as much as the Kings of Leon, but this felt sincere, for sure. The crowd ate it up and the band reciprocated with a tight, electric show. Their main set ended with Trani, probably my favorite song of theirs, and it was great. In fact, their older songs really came alive in person. A little slower, with a little more swing and a little more sex than the recorded versions, Four Kicks, Molly’s Chambers and Trani have grown into anthems worthy of a venue the size of Riverport.

In the encore, Use Somebody was the obvious closer with its sing-along chorus, but the Kings did us one better with a raucous version of Black Thumbnail, complete with pyrotechnics. It was a great show, a return to form, and only the most jaded a-holes will hold the first aborted performance against them. Click here for all the pictures.