The Head and The Heart

It’s actually a band though not just any band, but likely to be the most up and coming group of the year with their beautiful melodies and simplistic presentation. There’s no pretentious hipster attitude about it. I read a comment from youtube that mentioned they were Seattle’s response to Mumford and Sons(M&S), a raw folky rock group from across the pond. Though I’ve yet to see M&S perform live I have seen The Head and The Heart(TH&TH) now and I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that Mr Mumford himself wouldn’t see this new young group as competition, but rather as complementary to his own outfit’s unique style. Last Monday I received a call from my friend Chris who had seen TH&TH open for Iron and Wine in the Twin Cities and knowing that he and I share a lot of the same musical tastes urged me to do whatever it took to get to KC the following night to see TH&TH perform. After a false start towards KC and a trade out of Sweet Pea for the Honda I was on my way to see this band I’d never even heard of before play a late late show at a bar in Westport. Not really sure what to expect my anxiety was calmed upon hearing the beautiful voice of Abigail Washburn, the opening act, pour out of the bar and flow across the parking lot to greet my arrival. (Interesting side note I just found out she is exactly one month older than I am, how weird) Her voice was full bodied, sultry and powerful yet controlled and not overdriving, as if she was alone out in a field calling out and wooing the night itself. Then if the vocals alone weren’t enough she was accompanied by a full band including up right bass that was tugging and pulling at the crowd to sing along and priming them for the following act. (She performed one of her songs completely in Mandarin Chinese, how impressive is that?) TH&TH took the stage and began to turn the next hour into a rocking and swaying intimate musical encounter. Weaving a living tapestry of lyric and song above the crowd which lent itself to grabbing hold of and tucking it up under your chin to be soothed to sleep or casting it off onto the bed and dancing around upon it. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds in store for this fantastic band from Seattle. Check them out and see for yourself; their self titled and self released debut album is now available re-mastered and released on vinyl through sub pop records. Enjoy.

Family and the Springs

I recently went out to Colorado Springs with the family while Cassie was at camp Barnabas and though the drive was a bit long it was worth it. We spotted an old 70s Mazda RX-3 station wagon on the way out in a small junkyard and a huge salvage yard on the way back that I want to go back and spend some time in looking around. My friend Adam suggested spending as much time as possible in Garden of the gods while out there and I’ve got to say he was right on. The monolithic rock formations and the deep colors of the boulders cast against a back drop of the Rocky Mountains is quite a sight to behold. Also as a side note don’t touch the cacti, you may think they only have those big pricklys to avoid which should be easy enough, but what you don’t see is the smaller hardly noticeable pricklys. Hardly noticeable that is until you touch it and end up with dozens of them oh so delicately embedded lightly in your fingers. We did a few other things while out; the Pikes Peak Cog railway, seven falls, Manitou springs, the Stargate, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo…yes I said Stargate…well not “the” real stargate, but it’s close enough because it’s within a stones throw of Cheyenne Mountain and with the fountain part of the monument running it looks sorta like the event horizon on a regular Stargate. But I digress.

The sights and sounds of Colorado were fun to see, but the real meat of the trip was that I got to hang out with my super cool niece and nephews. Janelle got to play Train Conductor by setting up all of the chairs in the house in a line and then deal with all of us as unruly passengers asking questions and being onry. Payton clearly demonstrated he was King of the mountain during our hike up to Seven Falls and also quite a law breaker I might add(pictures include). I’m also pretty sure Cael managed to spit off of every balcony, ledge, railing and drop off that we came across during the entire trip. Colorado will avoid drought this year if only just because of his contribution back to the landscape. I really enjoy getting to be around them though I’m probably more like an antagonistic teasing uncle than I am a real adult figure for them, but it certainly is fun. We get along so well probably in part because I operate very much on the same plane as most kids and teenagers when it comes to having fun; I have a sophomoric humor, wild imagination, and an appreciation for corny cartoons like Sponge Bob and Regular Show. In truth the fun wasn’t just limited to us and our zany antics rather the whole family had a great time hanging out together, eating together and walking up a bajillion stairs together.

I highly recommend CO Springs as long as you’re willing to have fun!

I’m also in possession of a couple of rascally gnomes, to be placed out at my newly acquired 10 acres north of town, to greet visitors.

And just for Payton I’d like to say, “A bunch of baby ducks — send em to the moon, soda fountain that doesn’t work — send it too the moon.”

Also here’s my goofy parents.

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