December concert flashbacks

Artists To Watch 2021

Eyeball
Again this year my music buying was mostly online, free tracks from NoiseTrade, as well as paid tracks from Bandcamp, and preordering mp3s and CDs from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on Spotify.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on SoundCloud.

Band Song Why them
01. The Misses (Todd Wright, Cassidy Ford and Ethan Daniel Mentzer) Devil’s Got Nothing On Me Local pop supergroup with nice harmonies.
02. The Lemon Twigs No One Holds You (Closer Than The One You Haven’t Met) Two brothers, rockin’ out.
03. Capitol Sun Rays (Luther Dickinson, Amy Helm, Grahame Lesh, Allison Russell, JT Nero & Drew Lindsay) Dream Of Spring Another supergroup, this with some legacies.
04. Man Man Cloud Nein They hade me at “Instruments played by the band include clavinet, Moog Little Phatty, sousaphone, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, flute, bass clarinet, drum set, euphonium, Fender Jazz Bass, Danelectro baritone guitar, xylophone, marimba, melodica and various percussive instruments including pots and pans, toy noisemakers, Chinese funeral horns, spoons, smashing plates, and fireworks.”.
05. A Sound of Thunder Udoroth (That One Club From the Movie Blade Where the Sprinklers Spray Blood) Possibly the best song subtitle ever.
06. Sam Roberts Band Ascension Canadian rocker with pop twists.
07. Kings Daughters Get Up (with Brian May) Harmonies? Brian May? C’mon!
08. Crown Lands Leadfoot Canadian duo known to cover Rush.
09. Drive-By Truckers Armageddon’s Back In Town Ok, they’ve been around for a while, but they’re great.
10. Pillow Queens Handsome Wife Lovely vocals.
11. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Be Afraid Former Drive-By Truckers member, also great.
12. Twisted Pine Papaya Got a summer feel; coincidentally, they also have a fantastic holiday EP out now.
13. Mt. Joy Death I think they’re going to be fun to see live.
14. Pete Droge Skeleton Crew (feat. Elaine Summers) He’s back!.
15. Bonny Light Horseman (Anais Mitchell/Josh Kaufman/Eric D. Johnson) Deep In Love Great new supergroup.
16. We’re About 9 On The Other Side Of The Internet This song’s only here right now, so not on any of the playlists. But it’s perfect for this year.
17. Ellis Delaney You Got This Another song for this year.
18. Midtown Social Savoir Faire Dig that groove.
19. Tanya Donelly and the Parkington Sisters Automatic The Belly singer joins this band for a covers album, including this Go-Go’s song from out of left field.
20. Static In Verona Poor Juliet Nice power pop.
21. Molly Venter Hold It All The Red Molly member has been exceptionally prolific on her Patreon this year, here with a remake of a song she wrote for the group.
22. Julian Velard Half Done My theme song this year, as I turned 50.

November concert flashbacks

October concert flashbacks

October

Friday the 2nd I found a concert recording with this description: “Fifteen minutes into his rousing set, Mellencamp invited to the stage the unspeakably influential, NYC rock provocateur icon Lou Reed. There’s something almost meditative about the crowd’s piercing din — like when DeLillo’s protagonist in ‘White Noise’ finds a zen in a baby’s primal wails.” It does get pretty loud. I miss it. Saturday we and the Grunspans went to the Reston Farm Garden Market Fall Fest which had a moon bounce and bouncy slides, but very little social distancing. The girls did get to do a train ride and pick out pumpkins and plants and one slide, but we thought it would be better to have the moms grab their skateboards from home and head over to the Lake Fairfax skate park, but that was a bust as there was no social distancing and no mask wearing either. So we found a little playground and the girls ran around and played for a while.

Nina

Tuesday Jill took Nina to the dentist. Also I said “Damn it 2020 – just stop” as the news came in about Eddie Van Halen’s death. I found great stories like this one: “After the record’s release, Van Halen would remember shopping in a Tower Records while “Beat It” was playing on the sound system. “The solo comes on, and I hear these kids in front of me going, ‘Listen to this guy trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen,’” he said. “I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘That IS me!’ That was hilarious.”” and one of my favorites: “If the riff to 1991’s “Top Of The World” sounded familiar to you when you first heard it you weren’t imagining it. It just so happens that Edward Van Halen used that same lick on the band’s #1 single “Jump”. Just “jump” to the 3:49 mark of the song and you’ll hear that familiar riff make its brief appearance as the song fades out. Seven years later it would return and carry Van Halen to the top of the charts once more.”. I also made playlists of Van Halen covering other bands, and other bands covering Van Halen. Also this was not the appearance I expected.

Nina

Friday the 9th Jill picked up takeout from Sweet Ginger and I enjoyed some sushi. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally figured out that grocery stores carry sake, so now I’ve got some at home since it’s my favorite drink to accompany sushi. Saturday the 10th Nina had been pressuring me to use the refinished paddleboard, and it was getting colder, so we did it. Of course she moved while I wasn’t expecting it, and we both fell into the lake. It was cold, and I was done at that point. Sunday I liked the cold open on SNL fine, but this is friggin’ hilarious. Jill said “Actually cooked tonight! Made this with delicata and butternut squash, dried instead of fresh sage, and half and half instead of heavy cream. I also roasted the delicata seeds to use as a garnish. Win!” On Tuesday Jill said “I’m so happy about my clean countertops and my new mug rack so I can display my seasonal mugs and other favorites!”. Wednesday I was not surprised by this: “Be not afraid of the accusations that you’re a voter suppressor, you’re a racist and so forth”. Thursday I laughed at Nickelback greatest hits compilation just a blank CD.

Kerry Nina

Friday Jill went to stand in line at the Government Center to vote. She said “I voted for Biden/Harris. Proud to do so, proud to say so. 1.5 hours later, no sticker but I get to keep this nifty pen?” Saturday Nina started rehearsals for A Wicked Christmas Carol with Acting for Young People in the morning, then in the afternoon we did the special drive thru hayride at Cox Farms where the jump scare got Jill and we got to pick our pumpkin. Jill said “I may be missing Rhinebeck weekend but we had a great (and pandemic safe) time and the apple cider donuts are on point!” Later the girls had cleaned out our front deck and made a sitting area, so we set up the projector and they watched Halloween themed Phineas and Ferb episodes outside. Sunday Nina had her Girl Scouts bridging ceremony in person. She also started selling magazines, nuts and candy to raise money to go camping and do community projects. After dinner we had a fire in the fireplace and made s’mores. Monday we got takeout from MOD Pizza as proceeds benefited Nina’s school. Late that night, Nina started losing teeth again (eventually lost 4 in the 4 weeks) for the first time in a while.

Kerry Nina Jill

Wednesday the 21st the girls made a massive leaf pile and had fun jumping and rolling around in it. It was a foggy morning on my birthday and there was only one song to wake Nina up… Jill said “Happy Birthday to the one who keeps this family on track through it all, providing that loving, stable foundation we need especially in these times! Next year, minibar, but this year, a homemade cake lovingly baked and decorated. We love you!”. We planned on going out the next night, but I chose some of my favorites for dinner that night since I’m the cook (burgers and artichokes). The restaurant Jill and I went to Friday while Nina had pizza with the Grunspans was Trummer’s, which we’d last been to 10 years earlier. The one weirdness was I told the waiter I was on a low sodium diet, and then the salad Jill and I both had was so salty neither of us took more than a few bites. Good thing the short ribs and the chocolate bourbon pecan pie which followed were delicious. Saturday I said to vote like your life depends on it… because it does. Sunday we saw this and Jill said “Extreme leaf pile antics. I was curious when she ran to get her bike helmet…. safety first?”

Nina

Thursday the 29th Jill started her new job in a hospital. I noted that this was useful information about the pandemic. Also, this is why I supported Alcorn wholeheartedly – they need to stay golf courses. Later we got to livestream with our FRFF friends as we watched this:

Friday we had the girl squad over to watch the livestream of In Search of The Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover, with the reunion of the original cast. But they thought it was boring, so we had them watch cartoons and eat s’mores instead. Saturday was Halloween. Jill said “Ready for trick or treating! It’ll be a grab your own treat bag thing.” and “A vampire roamed the neighborhood tonight looking for socially distanced treats… and got loads!”

Nina

September concert flashbacks

September

Tuesday the 1st we were still on vacation in Bethany Beach. It was another beach day and I brought lunch to the beach. That night it was the Grunspans’ turn to take the girls and they took Nina for pizza and Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf while Jill and I walked over to 14 Global and explored their tapas (the Blood and Smoke was a spicy strawberry cocktail and the shishito peppers were excellent).

Nina

Wednesday morning I went to get a haircut at Cut Above. The Grunspans had left and Jill and Nina went to a big pool in the condo complex. I brought them lunch there. Later in the afternoon, we drove up to Dogfish Head where we picked up a order from the brewery. Then we parked in Rehoboth Beach and shopped a bit, then spent some time in the arcade off the boardwalk. Then it was time for Nina’s birthday dinner on the roof at the Cultured Pearl (sushi is her current favorite) where she enjoyed feeding the koi. Jill said “Today we celebrated this girl’s annual trip around the sun. She’s fierce, feisty, has BIG dreams and is not afraid to chase them! Her confidence grows each year and I’m so proud to know and love her. You will always be my Sunshine Girl.”

Jill Nina Kerry

Thursday we packed up and headed out, stopping to pick up the paddleboard. We stopped in Annapolis to have lunch outside at Blackwall Hitch with Dad and Patricia. Nina got to open the rest of her presents after we got home. Friday it was our wedding anniversary. We only have the live music from our wedding, but I unearthed the proposal and put it on Facebook. That evening we had Catherine the babysitter over and had dinner at Clarity in their parking lot. I had a choose your own cocktail called the “Builders Permit” where I elected to have the Lagavulin 16 Year Old Whisky in honor of it being our 16th anniversary (the tasting menu was excellent as well, especially the Wagyu steak). Saturday Jill drove to Ikea to get a bookcase just for Nina’s Legos (she had a lot). That night we had pork porterhouse chops from Sylvanaqua Farms crowned with sautéed skillet apples and green beans. Jill said “It feels like Fall!” That night I pulled a bottle of 30 year old port out of the wine rack to drink. Upon closer inspection, it was bottled in 2008, making it 42 years old. So I posted “In honor of that auspicious number, a toast to you and yours – may the rest of this godforsaken year be better than what’s occurred so far.”

Kerry Jill

Tuesday the 8th was Nina’s first day of school and it went a lot smoother than the virtual learning in the spring (the new laptop also helped). She got and hour for lunch and recess, and as soon as she finished eating, she would go outside to play with her friends. Thursday I observed that the British Avengers are gone with the passing of Diana Rigg. Saturday we went out on the boat for lake concert from Irresponsible. During the weekend, a wire came loose from Nina’s braces, so Tuesday I took her to Northern VA Orthodontics for a fix, picking up some Nando’s next door for lunch as a treat. The next day Jill’s mom arrived for a visit (the only possible time with Jill about to start a job in a hospital).

Nina

Nina’s first visit to Jammin’ Java was at 3 weeks old to see Séan McCann (from Great Big Sea). 9 years later she was there on Thursday the 17th to perform “Tomorrow” at the Open Mic for The Music School (she’s been taking virtual lessons there since last month). Friday we started having Catherine the babysitter over after school so the girls got to play at least one guaranteed afternoon a week as virtual and in person activities started filling up the time (Tae Kwon Do, voice lessons, tutoring, etc.). Saturday Nina and Sue made breakfast, then in the afternoon my mom and sister and their families joined us on a Zoom call. Later we walked around the lake and went out on the boat for the last lake concert with The Nighthawks (after a power scare that later turned out one off the batteries in parallel was bad).

Nina

Wednesday the 23rd I had to share this video because we’re briefly in it. I also got an email received today: “I’m writing in regards to some music of mine that you are selling via Amazon. I am no longer playing music professionally, and would like to remove these albums from the Internet. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to take down these albums from your site. I’d really appreciate it.”
My response: “I would be happy to remove those albums. Just add them to your cart and pay for them and they will be gone from the Internet”. Thursday it was back to Northern VA Orthodontics again for a loose wire (unfortunately the Reston location is closed on Thursdays so we had to go to Brambleton). Friday we had the girls over for a pizza party and a planned backyard screening of the premiere of “Miraculous World: New York – United HeroeZ” with our new projector, but the rain had other ideas and the girls sat socially distanced inside to watch the movie.

Kerry Nina Jill

Saturday the 26th Jill and Sue went yarn shopping in Old Town, then in the evening Jill and I went to H Street in DC where we had a lovely dinner at Maketto including some dim sum favorites. Jill had spotted the Pie Shop on the way in, so we got some sweet slices for dessert to take home and share and some savory slices for lunch the next day. We also took the boat out on Sunday.

Kerry Jill

Tuesday Nina managed to sprain her left wrist at her desk (not at the gymnastics routine she’s been doing at recess minutes earlier), so after school got a bandage wrap after a doctor visit. I also asked Facebook that since I had received my absentee ballot and dropped it at the polling place, I had now voted, so please stop giving me ads asking me to register and/or vote. Wednesday Nina and Sue turned their bedtime routine into a show they performed us (Sue was leaving the next morning).

Sue Nina

August concert flashbacks

August

On the 1st we should have been at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, but we still had a virtual meeting and family picture with our Shantytowne peeps. And we still got to see a concert, another boat concert, this time great to have Tommy Gann for concert #6 (so now I’ve been to 6 concerts this year, when I normally would have hit about 50 by now and I’ve produced half of them. 2020 is so strange). I also got requests by text from a neighbor during the show (Jack Johnson was a success, but she also requested Hall and Oates while he was playing one).

Nina’s musical theatre camps had come to an end, so we made our own plans for August. Our friend Seth taught ukulele to her on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning and she started voice lessons with Rachel through Jammin’ Java on Wednesday afternoons. She also worked on 2 pages of a 3rd to 4th grade workbook each day. In the afternoons, she joined the “Girl Squad”: her and 3 other neighborhood girls, who played together (all masked) under the watchful eye of Julia, our babysitter (that continued from June and July, but more officially with the other girls this month). On Tuesday the 4th I was so glad my state is part of this. Also, this came and looks great to display the alcohol. Wednesday Nina left soap in the tub, then I found she was watching unauthorized videos, plus Seth had a migraine and couldn’t teach. So she practiced ukulele in my office, then went upstairs to do her workbook. When I went upstairs after 30 minutes, she was playing and told me she couldn’t find the workbook. FML. Thursday’s out of context quote: “Dad, how do you clean Gatorade off a skateboard?” Also we found out contact tracing will have to be automated for now.

Nina

Saturday the 8th we took the boat out and Jill and Nina went swimming. Tuesday Nina started Wet N Wild, a twice weekly social distanced pool playtime from RA Camps that she loved. Friday, if you wanted to hear Margo Price cover WAP, here ya go. NSFW if you’re still in an office or have small children nearby. Also, They Might Be Giants made a Schoolhouse Rocks song. Later I took the Girl Squad out on the boat, but swimming was done for a while.

Jill Nina

Saturday the 15th Nina asked for a special breakfast and got a waffle with ice cream toppings and strawberries and peaches with whipped cream. Sunday I wondered if anyone else’s child was cosplaying as all The Loud House children? Just mine? Alrighty then. Also, this was powerful. Thursday we got lobster rolls from Mason’s. Friday was Nina’s last day with her babysitter Julia, so we made a video for friends and family to commemorate the occasion. Saturday we were singing this so had to introduce Nina to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Sunday Nina had an early birthday party as 2 of the neighborhood kids were moving to Spain for the year, so we brought out the slip ‘n slide, juice boxes and cupcakes for all the neighborhood kids.

Nina

Monday the 24th we found new babysitter Catherine, who a long while ago lived next to us. That worked well for our last regular week of summer, then we’d found a good way to have a socially distanced vacation: rent a condo in Bethany Beach for 5 nights (leaving before Labor Day craziness). We left Saturday morning and then stopped at the shopping center. The paddleboard Jill had purchased several years earlier had been shedding fiberglass, and no surf shops around us would repair it, but she had found a place near Bethany that would fix it. Getting the paddleboard tightly tied to our portable roof rack took some doing, but we were soon on out way again without any problems. We stopped for smoothies at Smoothie King in Bowie and lunch at Sonic in Bridgeville, then went to Dollar Book Shuffle in Laurel, DE. They say they have “over 40,000 quality used books and 15,000 DVDs & CDs” and I don’t doubt it, but the CDs are completely unorganized and it I spent a good long while sorting through them. We then ended at Bethany Beach and checked in to our condo. After we unpacked, we checked out the beach, then walked to the downtown area (masks required everywhere) where we had made a reservation at Ropewalk. Unfortunately as were walking there I’d taken my glasses off to wipe the sweat from my face, and felt a hot pain in my right eye, and blinking didn’t help. I went to the restroom in the restaurant and couldn’t see anything, but the pain had lessened. I had crab legs and we all had crushes (Nina’s in a fish bowl). After dinner they left early and stopped at Candy Kitchen, then we had candy for dessert in the condo.

Nina Jill

Sunday we stopped at the nearby Dunkin’ to get donuts for breakfast, then dropped off the paddleboard. I dropped off Jill and Nina, then spent a couple hours shopping at Giant. It turned out one of the neighborhood families, the Grunspans, also decided to spend some time in Bethany Beach and Nina was delighted to go to the beach with her friends, while I spent the afternoon in the condo (my eye had not gotten better, so I got to research eye doctors). I made ribs for dinner, then we went to Ba Roos Ice Cream for dessert. Monday we got to Sussex Eye Center, where my cornea was diagnosed as scratched, and I got a prescription to fix that. We went to DB’s Seafood Co to get takeout for lunch (good lobster roll). For dinner, we’d decide to trade off with the Grunspans and we’d host all the girls while they went out to dinner, then switch the next night. I made grilled chicken and spaghetti for everyone, then we took them to Shipwrecked for mini golf & ice cream.

Nina

July concert flashbacks