Tag Archives: Old97s

Weekend Update

So updating here has been on my neglected to-do list for while now, and this weekend seems like the perfect time to cross it off that list. Why you ask? Because this has been a hella productive weekend for me, so much so that I feel a bit like this:

Friday I took my mom fruit and flowers while she was home sick with the flu, watched my junior high and high school Color Guard girls perform their award winning routines, had a late dinner with my parents, and worked on hotel arrangements for the TLA conference next month.

Yesterday I cleaned the entire apartment (well not Bonnie’s room/bathroom), sprinkled peppermint oil on the doorways (if you’ve read Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen you understand. If you haven’t, get on it!), took 4 bags of stuff to the recycling center, went grocery shopping, went for a jog/walk and goggled at all the uber-fancy houses in River Oaks, did some yoga, worked on the mixtapes I need to send out to some friends, and went to an UHmazing concert.*

Today, I made pancakes, watched Modern Family (which made me cry), did my taxes (what? I’m an adult!), talked to Grandma Cookie  on the phone for an hour, made my bed, and finished painting my plates and bowls (which incidentally, were my grandmother’s once).

Sadly, now I’m not feeling so swell. My logical side is stoutly saying that it’s allergies (pollen count is high today-especially pine, which is my kryptonite) but the rest of me (my logical side is not a large percentage) is afraid I caught what my mom has since my slight headache isn’t sinus related, I feel flushed and a little dizzy. We’ll see how things go in the morning though.

Wow, did I really just write a paragraph on how I don’t feel to hot? Sorry you had to wade through that pity party.

*Onto my gushing about last night’s show!

Okay, if you haven’t heard of the Old 97s, that okay I’ll still be friends with you. But here’s their website if you really value our friendship: http://old97s.com/ They’re billed as ‘alternative country’ but I think that description falls far short of what they do.  They’re one of my favorite bands and bring back all sorts of great memories from high school and especially college.

But the road to actually seeing them perform has been long and riddled with difficulties. Several years ago they play House of Blues here in Houston, but it was graduation night and E couldn’t go with me. Then they played the Continental Club this past October, but I couldn’t get tickets online and when Zharleen and I arrived at the bar it was sold out (I did loiter outside a bit and heard some snatches of songs)! So when I found out they were coming again in the spring to promote their new album The Grand Theatre Volume One, I was determined I would be there. Only at first I got the info wrong, thinking they were playing in April only to discover it was really March. Then Zharleen decided she couldn’t come, which was okay because my sister Robin could, but then she couldn’t go either. If I was more independent this wouldn’t have been a problem, but I don’t like to rock out by myself and I had already paid for 2 tickets…so after asking facebook for takers and getting none, I wracked my brain and asked a friend from high school who I thought would be easygoing and open minded enough to enjoy a band he’d never heard of. Luckily I was right, and the night was a LOT of fun. Totally worth the effort and drama!

Okay, so the show itself! There were 2 opening bands, Buxton a band out of Houston- who were a lot of fun, I’ll definitely be listening to them some more; and Those Darlins’ who also totally rocked it with some Girl Band rock, plus the lead singer had some serious Johnny Ringo-crazy eyes going. So fun.

Rhett at the beginning of the show, his hair will not be fluffy and dry for long

The Old 97s have released an album or EP almost yearly since 1994, so they have a lot of great material for their shows, and that was really evident when we didn’t leave the venue till 1:00am. The fans were all really appreciative of this and there was a nice range of ages/cultural backgrounds/stages of sobriety all singing along and dancing around with goofy grins.

Rhett Miller, the lead singer, has fun Elvis hip swings that definitely put him in my little list of singers who dance while they perform (along with Matt Nathanson and Steven Page-formerly of the Barenaked Ladies), and he also plays so hard that he’s absolutely dripping with sweat halfway through the show and looks totally spent but keeps performing at a crazy high energy. Murry Hammond is, so Brian explained to me, an amazing bassist(though I already knew this). Ken Bethea was mind-blowing on lead guitar and Phil Peeples rocked the drums.

A few highlights of the show:

  • Someone was proposed to during Question
  • Murry dedicated a song to a 14 year old aspiring bassist in the crowd saying “This is not a good song for to dedicate to a 14 year old girl, but it only has like 1 1/2 chords to learn!”
  • The 8 song encore
  • Rhett singing 2 songs off his solo albums including Fireflies in which he sang both his part and Rachel Yamagata’s (looking to his  right when singing the guy part, and to his left for the girl’s :D)
“For the last time, I’m not your mother/I was only 19 and I’m still a firefly”
  • Rhett and Murry singing Valentine
  • "Of all the many things that you were countin' on, Well, there ain't none better than the girl who's movin' on."

    "No, there ain't none better than the girl who's movin' on."

    The entire time we were in HOB I refused to move from my spot (we got there around 7:30).  Poor Brian couldn’t stand still for that long. Near the middle of the encore he left for a bit, probably for a smoke, and a group of dancing drunk people moved into his space so he couldn’t get back. This was okay, since I didn’t really miss him at that point. AND when Rhett threw the last pick out into the audience, it landed on the ground right behind him and HE GOT IT FOR ME! SQUEE!

    Okay, that’s about it for the concert, I mean not really, I could write about it for the rest of the day. But I’m going to go lie down for a little while instead. So I’ll wrap things up, after the show I was too jazzed to think about going to sleep and Brian hadn’t been able to get a cocktail- he’s a cocktail fiend and is usually haunting Anvil when he’s not helping me out by being a show-buddy- so we had some cocktails until that bar closed and then I still couldn’t fall asleep until after 3am…

    Okay, finally done writing. When I cross something off a to do list, I cross it out with a vengeance.


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