Every time someone recommends a podcast to me I just sigh knowing that even if it sounds amazing I just don’t have time to add another podcast to my slate. I can’t even keep up with the podcasts I already listen to. So many people have been raving about the Serial podcast, and I admit that it sounds really great but I can’t fit another hour long weekly podcast into my life right now. With that one I’m thinking I’ll wait until they play out the entire season and then it will make for good road trip listening.

I am very glad however that I listened to Glen Weldon, when he recommended the Pitch podcast on Pop Culture Happy Hour. It averages about 10 minutes every other week, with short encore episodes of 2-3 minutes of material cut from the original podcast filling in the weeks in between. Even I can manage to add about 15 more minutes of podcast listening into my life over the course of every 2 weeks. The podcast is produced by Whitney Jones and Alex Kapelman and is a documentary show about music. I am a great music lover, so of course it’s right up my alley. I think it would appeal to other people too though.

When I say that it’s about music, it may not be what you think it’s about. They don’t sit around talking about what music is popular or what bands and songs that they like. They talk about things that are related to music and sometimes the production of music, and who knows what else will come in the future. In the most recent episode they talked about the history behind the no dancing signs seen at many places where music is played in New York City. Some of my other favorite episodes have included an interview with Cristin Milioti about how she had to quickly learn to play the piano in order to get her role in the Broadway musical Once, how certain sounds you hear out in the world can remind you of songs, and pauses in music.

There are only 10 episodes at this point, so you can easily catch up on all the episodes. I highly recommend that you do so. It’s a great little podcast that looks at how music intersects with our lives.

WXPN’s 88 Worst Songs Countdown

My favorite radio station WXPN, does a countdown of 885 songs with a different theme every October after their fall fund drive. I wrote about the one they did last year. This past week was their countdown for this year in which now that they are a decade into doing this they decided to rerun their initial theme of the 885 Greatest Songs of All Time to see what had changed over the past 10 years. I of course greatly enjoyed listening to that and following all the amusing tweets about it. (Fellow Bruce Springsteen haters unite! I don’t really hate Springsteen. I admit he’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever seen live, but in general I find his music meh. There were way too many Springsteen songs on that countdown in my opinion.)

This year they are followed the 885 countdown with a countdown of the 88 worst songs of all time. There were some really, truly awful songs on the list, but I admit that I like a lot of the songs that showed up on it. Since both lists are generated through user voting it was highly amusing to see how many of the songs appeared on both lists. I guess there is no accounting for other people’s tastes. Dan Reed’s commentary about all the songs he was playing was absolutely hilarious.

Both countdowns were so popular and so many people were streaming them that it took out their site for awhile. The countdown hashtags were also trending on Twitter, which is pretty awesome. I had so much fun listening to both countdowns this week. I love this radio station, and stuff like this is why they will continue to get money from me. I want to keep the awesome going.

For anyone who is curious you can find the list of the 885 Greatest songs here and the 88 worst here or if you want to listen check out the lists on Spotify here and here.

Fall 2014 TV Diary

Now that we’re a few weeks into the fall tv season and I’ve had a chance to watch at least 1 episode of all the shows I plan on watching I figure I’d do my annual update on what I’ve tried and what I’ll probably keep watching.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is now in it’s second season and is probably one of the funniest shows on tv right now. It must be the perfect vehicle for Andy Samburg because I don’t actually find his annoying manchild persona annoying in this show. I’m particularly liking the arc they having going on right now with guest star Kyra Sedgwick playing a foil to Andre Braugher’s Captain Holt.


I don’t know why I am still watching this show. I should have quit shortly into season 2 after I realized they had no idea what they were doing after they failed to have Brody follow through on his terrorist plot. This show should really have been like the show An Honorable Woman that aired on IFC this summer. That was designed as a 1 season series and it was great. The first season of Homeland was great, but they have been floundering ever since then. I had even somehow blocked out a season in my mind because I was convinced this was only the third season, but turns out it’s the fourth. I should just walk away, but probably won’t unless my husband says he doesn’t want to watch it anymore.

The Affair

I’ve only seen one episode of this new Showtime series so far. I enjoyed it, but I’m guessing unless the ratings start to get much better this will be the only season that we see. As is obvious from the title of the show it’s about a couple who had an affair. It’s now some point in the future after the affair seems to have ended and they are both being interviewed by the police about their relationship. We don’t know why yet. The show is framed so that the first half of the show is from his perspective and then the second half is the same stretch of events filled in with her story and from her perspective. So it’s kind of like a He Said, She Said conceit. It was interesting for the first episode, but I’m not sure how well it will work over an entire season. I guess we’ll find out.


Big Bang Theory

For as old as this show is at this point it’s amazing how good it still is. It’s still fairly reliable entertainment. I think they helped themselves a lot by adding in the additional female characters a few seasons back and then dropping Raj’s inability to talk to women unless he was drunk, a joke which had long since run it’s course.


I am not sold on this show yet. I really wanted to like it, but so far I can’t tell what it really wants to be. I suspect it’s mostly going the way of a crime procedural set in Gotham, which I’m not really into. I prefer my dramas to have overarching stories. This does a little bit, but I’m not sure that I care about whatever that might be. I’ll stick with it awhile longer and see what I think as the season progresses.

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is still as completely wackadoo in its second season as it was in the first. I’m enjoying John Noble as the Horseman of War. I also have not yet tired of Tom Mison’s Ichabod being incredulous about how modern life operates. That’s my favorite part of every episode. I mostly don’t have any idea what is going on in this show half the time, but it’s still fun to watch so I don’t mind.

Jane the Virgin

This is one of the most promising new shows of the season. I’ve only seen one episode so far, but the pilot was excellent so I have high hopes for the show. It’s based on a Venezuelan telenova. Jane is the daughter of a woman who got pregnant as a teenager and as such has always been taught to be the good girl and to not have sex lest she too suffer her mother’s fate. However, she winds up getting pregnant anyway when her gynecologist accidentally inseminates her instead of the patient who was supposed to get it. Turns out that it was the sperm of her first kiss, who has since had cancer hence the frozen sperm. This is now his last chance to actually have a child of his own. It’s all very crazy and soapy, but so far it’s done in a way that’s a lot of fun.


At this point Castle’s best years are definitely behind it, but it’s still good enough to keep watching for now.



I really like both Karen Gillan and John Cho, so despite the tepid reviews for this show I decided to give it a chance. I’ve now watched 3 episodes and am ready to give up on it. I probably would have quit after this last one, but my husband wants to give it a few more. It’s sort of a modern day My Fair Lady with John Cho’s character teaching Karen Gillan to stop relying on her internet life and actually learn to function as a human being in the real world. Her character is entirely unbelievable and cartoon-like, but not in a good way. There’s no way she could possible act like she does and really still have a job or anyone willing to speak to her. Plus they really need to let her just use her real hair and get rid of the awful wig. I don’t know if the pilot was shot before she shaved all her hair off for Guardians, though the timeline of that seems unlikely. I guess for some reason they just really want her to have the long hair she had before, and can’t possibly in real life because there hasn’t been enough time to grow it back. However long it is at this point I’m sure it’s better than the dumb wig.


The Flash is a spin-off from Arrow, which just caught up on in order to start watching with the new season. It’s obviously based on the DC comic. I’m not a comic book reader, so I have no idea how it actually compares to that. So far I’m enjoying it though. It seems like they’re going to do several crossover episodes with Arrow, so I’m glad I’m watching that as well.

New Girl

This show has been hit and miss from it’s very inception. Some weeks I find it very funny. Other weeks I do not. Even though I didn’t actually want Nick and Jess to get together in the first place, I actually really liked what they did with that relationship so I’m not actually happy that they got scared and made them break up last season. Now it just seems ridiculous that all of these people would still be living in an apartment together.

Mindy Project

This show was kind of a mess in the first season, but it has slowly and steadily gotten better until I really felt they finally found their footing last season. This season has been pretty entertaining so far, so it seems they’ve hit their stride. Hopefully they can keep it up.



As I mentioned above, I watched the first two seasons of Arrow over the summer in order to be caught up to this new season. I’m really glad I did because it’s one of my favorite shows right now. I’m a little bummed by who got killed off in the first episode of the season because I really liked the character, but I’m also not surprised. I’m not a huge fan of the flashback part of every episode. Sometimes they serve a purpose, but sometimes they feel like they’re just there because that’s how they’ve decided to frame the show so they have to come up with something to put in the flashback. There’s little suspense in them because you obviously already know where these people end up. And speaking of bad wigs, oh my god I don’t know why they decided Oliver should wear a dead rat on his head for the flashbacks, but that is the worst wig I have ever seen in my life. It makes them even worse. Even though Laurel has so far been the biggest wet blanket of a character and my vote for who should have been killed off, I’m hoping this season will make her more interesting as she’s obviously on the road to taking over the role of the Black Canary. I’m also like Brandon Routh on the show so far and look forward to the inevitable love triangle between him, Oliver, and Felicity.

Modern Family

I’m still watching Modern Family because I think it’s an ok sit-com, but I do enjoy it less than I once did. Partly I think because it’s not as good as it was in its early seasons, but moreso because I don’t think it deserves the domination that it’s had at the Emmy’s the last few years. There are far better shows out there at this point, and my annoyance at it winning everything undeservedly in my opinion makes me dislike the show more.

Red Band Society

I’m not at all sure why I am still watching this show. It is not good and the ratings agree with me. I think I’m still watching because I keep waiting for Fox to cancel it. Seems like they might go ahead and play out the original 13 episode order, but I can’t imagine they’ll pick up the back half of the season for this show. It’s about a group of teenagers who apparently live long term in a hospital for various illnesses. It makes no sense on any level. None of them actually seem that sick, and the plot lines are all over the place. I’ve seen many people compare it to Glee without the singing, which I think is accurate. The problem is that the singing was mostly the only good thing about Glee. Also the voice over kid  on this show needs to go. It’s really annoying and a premise they should have dropped after the first episode. Pretty soon they’ll all be gone though I expect and I’m not sure I’ll even be around to say a proper goodbye.


Black-ish is one of the better new sit-coms of the season so far. It’s about a father who coming from a poor black family feels like his kids don’t understand their black roots now that they are growing up in an upper class environment so he tries to teach them the things he thinks they’re missing out on even though they don’t necessarily fit into his kids’ actual lives. It seems like they’re not going to rigidly stick to that conceit though as the most recent episode really just had more to to do with family and gender stuff than anything related to race or black culture. I don’t really care what they focus on as long as it keeps being funny.


Now in its third season I still enjoy watching the soapy look at the country music scene in Nashville. I like the musical performances. I’m also enjoying the addition of Laura Benanti to the cast as Sadie Stone this season because I like her. I also think it’s good that they finally wrote out Rayna’s father and sister because their storylines were always boring and felt disconnected from what was going in the rest of the show.


Vampire Diaries

Vampire Diaries has definitely been past its prime for several seasons now, but I’m probably going to be with this show for the long haul. I realized recently that I’m perfectly willing to drop a show in its second or third season, but once I’ve watched passed that I turn into a bitter ender watching the show for as long as it runs no matter how bad I think it’s gotten. This show certainly hasn’t gotten to the point where I don’t like watching it at all, but it definitely no longer is a show can’t wait to watch. We’ll see how things progress, but so far I’m enjoying this season more than I have the last couple. They got really bogged down in some mythology I couldn’t keep straight and I’m pretty sure the writers couldn’t either. We’ve moved past that now and things seem to moving along a little better for me. Plus even though for a long time I liked the idea of them just being best friend I think I’ve started shipping Caroline and Stefan and think they’re going to pull the trigger on that at some point this season.

A to Z

I’m really enjoying this rom-com sitcom so far. It’s the story of Andrew and Zelda and the 8 months and change they spend dating. We don’t know what happens to them after those 8 months whether they’re no longer dating because they broke up or it’s because they got married or something else, but each episode tells a chapter in their story. I’ve been a fan of Cristin Milioti since I saw her in Once on Broadway, and then I thought she was the perfect choice to play the mother on How I Met Your Mother, so I was happy to see her get her own sitcom. So far, so good. I could do without the voice over from Katey Segal though. I don’t know why this is a device that so many shows feel like they need to employ now. Why not just let the audience see what’s happening instead of feeling the need to explain it to us.


Parenthood is now in it’s final 13 episode run. This show hasn’t always fired on all cylinders. Usually it’s a case where some of the story lines are knocking it out of the park and others are well, not. That seems to be no different in what has been happening so far this season, but overall this is a great show that gives me all the feels. I’ll miss getting to spend time with the Bravermans once it’s over.


The Amazing Race

I took last season off of The Amazing Race because I had no desire to watch the collection of abhorrent teams they chose to bring back as “all stars” for their most recent all star season. Most of the teams they brought back were ones I couldn’t stand their first go round and having an entire season composed of people I disliked did not sound like fun viewing for me, so I skipped it. I didn’t hold it against them though and am back for this season. It’s still early and I’m still trying to keep all the teams straight so I don’t really have a favorite yet though I really do want to make those dentists drink some coffee to stain their teeth up a bit because they are ridiculously, blindingly white.


Doctor Who

I’m still feeling my way through Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. Matt Smith was my favorite, so I was sorry to see him go. I’ve generally warmed to the new Doctors faster than I have Capaldi though. Part of the problem I think is that I find the dynamic between Clara and him a bit weird. Perhaps after she leaves at Christmas and he gets a new companion things will get better. The other problem I think is that every episode of his tenure so far has been a monster of the week type episode. There hasn’t really been any ongoing story arc for him yet. As I’ve said many times including earlier in this post, I much prefer some sort of ongoing story line for a season even if it’s not touched on every episode. That being said this past week’s episode, “Flatline” was the best episode of his tenure so far and one that I enjoyed. Given that we’re almost at the end of this series of episodes I’m guessing there won’t be any big story lines developing, but I’m hoping that’s something they’ll go back to.

The First Decade

Today is my 6th wedding anniversary, which also means that my husband and I have been together for 10 years. We got married just shy of having been together for 4 years. I don’t actually remember the exact date of our first date, but it was somewhere around October 23 or 24. We got married on October 18, so it’s essentially all in the same little time span for me to go ahead and count all the years we’ve been together when our wedding anniversary rolls around every year.

We met in May of 2004. I had recently gotten out of a serious relationship that did not end well and realized that essentially all my friends in Baltimore at the time were also friends with my ex and were people he was still working with while I was not. That meant I was in the market for trying to meet some new people. I wound up finding this group online called Meetin Baltimore where people planned various activities to do and other people could join in. I’m not sure if it still exists, but it was really great for me. It’s a good thing I joined because I met some of my best friends in Baltimore and my husband through that group.

I remember meeting Paul at the first event I went to which involved going to the farmers’ market and brunch. I then continued to see him at a lot of other events over the next several months. I thought he was nice, but kind of a weird guy. (He’s still a weird guy. I just think he’s made me weirder and maybe I’ve made him a little more normal.) I certainly didn’t think I would wind up dating him or marrying him. Eventually we wound up hanging out on our own sometimes, but still just as friends.

At the beginning of October of that year a few weeks before actually started dating I had to go to a wedding in New Orleans. I had never been before and wanted to play tourist for a few days ahead of time, but didn’t want to go alone. I convinced Paul, and our friends Kevin and Tracie who themselves had just started dating (and who just celebrated their own wedding anniversary a few days ago) to come with me. I’m not sure I would say that trip was any kind of turning point, but I’m sure spending that much time together helped move things along. A few weeks later we were at trivia night with a bunch of people, which was something we did on a regular basis back then, and I was sitting next to him thinking you know I really like spending time with this guy. I think I like him. I should tell him and see where it goes. So I did and I guess the rest is history.

I was amused watching the new show A to Z the other week though because there was a story line where the guy even though he has started dating this girl he really likes winds up going out on a date he already had scheduled prior to them starting to date. I was like who would do that, entirely joking because both Paul and I already had dates scheduled with other people when we first started going out and both went out on those dates and then never called those people ever again.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been an entire decade since we started dating, but I guess as they say time flies when you’re having fun. It’s been a great first decade together. I couldn’t ask to be married to a better guy. I look forward to the many more decades we’ll be spending together.


Songs I Love: Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware

The newest song I can’t stop listening to is “Say You Love Me” by British artist Jessie Ware. It’s one of the singles off her sophomore album, Tough Love, which is already out in the UK, but because of dumb international release date differences is not due out in the US until October 21. Luckily NPR Music has the album up right now as part of their First Listen series. If it were possible to wear out a digital copy I might have done so because I have pretty much been listening to it on repeat. The whole album is fantastic, but this is the first song I heard off of it and for now it’s still the highlight.

It’s a great soulful sounding R&B pop song, which is different than what I feel like we normally get when a BritPop star also makes it big in the States. She sort of reminds me of what Alicia Keys was doing back in the early 2000s. Although I would like it anyway, what really kicks this song into the amazing category is when the chorus turns into a choir with hand clapping. I am a sucker for hand clapping. The fact that these things aren’t pervasive throughout the song, but instead the song just sort of build to this crescendo you didn’t know was coming and then just as quickly goes right back to what it was doing is magic. It gets even better on subsequent listens because you know it’s coming so the anticipation builds. Go ahead and take a listen and be sure to check out the whole album as well.

You + Me

Pink and Dallas Green, who you may know under his stage moniker City and Colour have a new collaboration under the name You + Me. Their album was released today and it is wonderful. It’s not much of a departure from what he’s done in the past since City and Colour is already essentially indie folk rock. It is of course a big change from the huge pop rock that Pink has taken the world by storm with. It’s really awesome to hear her powerful voice in these much quieter, slower folk songs. I highly suggest that you check it out. Here’s the first single off the new album which is also called “You + Me”.

Fall Friend Weekend in NYC


I headed up to New York City this past weekend to meet up with some friends. Sarah is one of the many librarian friends I have made over Twitter, though we have subsequently met in person at library conferences. At some point a few months ago I mentioned on Twitter that there were so many shows I wanted to see on Broadway and she responded and said I’m going to be in NYC (she’s from Minnesota) for New York Comic Con in October you should come up and see a show with me while I’m there. I checked my calendar and I was free and since I could crash in her hotel room I decided I was going to go.

At around the same time another Twitter pal who lives in New York said that next time I was going to be there I should let her know so we could get together. So we made plans to meet up after I got to the city on Saturday afternoon. Sadly she got horribly sick and we didn’t actually wind up getting to meet up in person this trip, but she made some excellent plans for us that I wound up doing by myself.

My transit karma on Saturday was impeccable. I was a little worried when the bus driver started to pull out of the stop in Baltimore with the luggage bays open. I was sitting next to the window and noticed that they were still up, so I yelled at him to stop and fix it before we really got going. The rest of the trip went without incidence though, and he was even nice enough to make two stops once we got into New York letting people who wanted off at Penn Station. Their new pick up and drop off location is over near the Javits Center, which is a bit of a trek from central Manhattan so I was really happy to not have to spend the time walking back over to Penn Station to pick up the subway. Instead I got dropped off right in front of the entrance I needed and walked right onto a waiting 1 train. Coming back down I walked from 112 to 96 to get in some exercise and managed to walk right onto a train there right as it was about to leave as well. The 1, 2, and 3 all leave from that station, but I knew it didn’t matter which one I got on, so I hopped it even though I didn’t know what train it was. Turns out it was a 2, which the express train so double bonus for me!

Anyway, I was up at 112 for an architectural tour of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine put on by Open House New York as part of their annual open house weekend. Jess had snagged us tickets. It’s too bad she didn’t get to go because it was really interesting. First though thanks to my great transit karma I had just enough time to grab lunch before the tour. I found this cute little place that serves all kinds of delicious things likes crepes, Belgian waffles, paninis, and gelato. I got myself a 3 cheese crepe that came with a really fresh and delicious side salad. For their weekend brunch you also get a drink with your meal so I got a chai, which was nice on a rainy afternoon.

I wasn’t familiar with the cathedral at all before this tour, but I guess it’s a fairly famous New York landmark as there were tons of sightseeing tour buses outside. It’s an Episcopal cathedral, which is currently and most likely forever unfinished. What does exist is still a pretty amazing building, which I learned was built in three stages as money allowed over various time periods. Essentially the apse and the nave were built by completely different architects and in completely different architectural styles. I’m always so impressed by buildings like that because there is no way anyone would build something like that today. It would cost way too much money, and just even how they managed to put all that heavy stone and stuff together without modern equipment is a little mind blowing. The tour guide had a story about the 8 columns in the apse that took months just to move up the hill from where they were delivered on the boat, which would only be a few miles away. After the official tour I spent some time walking around the cathedral on my own. It was kind of gross outside though, so I didn’t really walk around the gardens outside at all.

There were also a couple of interesting art installations going on there. They had these two phoenix sculptures hanging from the ceiling that were made by a Chinese artist named Xu Bing. They were apparently made all from reclaimed materials found at building sites yet they looked really ornate. They weigh about 6 tons each, so it’s kind of crazy that they’re even able to be suspended from the ceiling. There was also an installation that they were still working on setting up that just came from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. called AMEN: A Prayer for the World. It’s all these figures with the same face but in 4 different prayer poses. Each one was decorated by a different artist, 30 from Egypt and 18 from the Western world. You can enjoy some of my crappy cell phone pictures of the art and the cathedral that in no way capture the glory of this space.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I met up with Sarah at the hotel after that. We just hung out for awhile and then grabbed dinner before going to see Aladdin. I have a long history with wanting to see Aladdin on Broadway. Perhaps even longer than Disney itself’s thoughts on the matter. My friends and I were obsessed with Aladdin when it was in theatres. I was a freshman in high school at the time and a guy I briefly dated along with some of his fellow theatre friends plotted out how they would make Aladdin into a Broadway show long before Disney essentially trying to create Broadway shows out of all it’s movies. I immediately thought of that when I heard that it was coming. I knew I was going to want to see it no matter what, but I was really happy when the first reviews came out and they were all uniformly positive. Then James Monroe Iglehart won a Tony for his performance as the Genie and it made me want to see it even more.

Since we always get season tickets to the touring Broadway shows for when they come through Baltimore I usually try and pick stuff to see in New York that won’t really be the same if it tours. I pick shows that either won’t tour, shows that have a specific actor in them that I want to see, or shows that will have to be scaled way back to work as a touring production. I initially didn’t think Aladdin fit any of those criteria until I started to get really excited about seeing Iglehart after seeing him perform on TV various places. I am so glad I went to see it in New York because I was totally wrong in my assessment. It’s a show that will definitely tour, but obviously not with Iglehart in the Genie role. Also, I had not realized that Jonathan Freeman who voiced Jafar in the movie was also playing the role on Broadway, so that was pretty cool. There was also a lot of production stuff particularly surrounding the Genie that I expect will have to be scaled way back for the tour, so I am glad I got to see it staged in New York.

It was a really fun and entertaining show and James Monroe Iglehart did not disappoint at all. He was phenomenal. The applause after his performance of “Friend Like Me” went on forever. I think they even beat the applause that Joshua Henry got after “Let It Sing” when we saw Violet in the spring, which up until this point were the most show stopping applause I had ever experienced. I’m also trying to think if I’ve ever been to the a show where an actor had people get up and give him or her a standing ovation in the middle of a show and I couldn’t think of one. He definitely had that happen last night though. Whoever takes over that role either on Broadway or for the tour is going to have some very big shoes to fill. I’m really glad Aladdin was the show I decided to see this trip.

My only complaint was the theatre itself. The New Amsterdam Theatre while beautifully ornate must have been designed for people who don’t actually have legs, at least the balcony section. The orchestra looked like it had a glorious amount of leg room. We peons on the other hand essentially had nowhere to put our legs once the seat was down. I’m a shorty so I can’t even imagine how tall people managed to sit in those seats. It’s crazy steep up in that balcony too. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a balcony that was so steep. I definitely saw some people with height issues having some problems getting to their seats because of it.

Sunday morning, Sarah and I had just enough time to grab breakfast this morning before I had to walk over and catch my bus. It was really great to get to hang out with her again in real life, and I really enjoyed all of the fun activities I got to do on this trip. Now I’m looking forward to my next trip there over Thanksgiving when I’ll be seeing Emma Stone in Cabaret.

Puss N Boot at WTMD’s Live Lunch

Sometimes life works out really well and it’s awesome. I had wanted to see Puss N Boots at the Newport Folk Festival this summer, but sadly their set overlapped almost completely with Nickel Creek, and there was no way I was missing them. I got really excited then when I saw the Ottobar announce their show for last night right after I found out that I was no longer going to have to work Thursday nights. The Ottobar is super close to my house and the kind of venue I don’t mind going alone to so I wasn’t even going to have to worry about finding someone to go with me. And then last week there was a stabbing at the Ottobar. I’ve been to the Ottobar any number of times and never felt unsafe. Based on what I know about the stabbing it seems like it was more related to the type of people who would go to the show that was playing as opposed to the neighborhood so to speak. It was most likely an isolated incident and not something likely to happen again especially at a Puss N Boots show. Despite that my husband said he didn’t like the idea of me going alone anymore, so he would go with me. I’m sure he would actually like Puss N Boots’ music, but I’ve dragged him to a lot of concerts recently so I felt guilty making him take me to this one since concerts really aren’t his thing, especially standing room only ones.

Then earlier this week I found out that Puss N Boots was going to play WTMD’s live lunch concert, which means I could see them without having to drag my husband and for free as a double bonus. It completely worked out for me with work because I needed to stay late last night anyway, so instead of going into work late I just took an extra long lunch in order to see the concert. For whatever reason they decided to make it a seated performance, which meant they only had room for 70 people at the studio. I managed to get there in enough time to snag one of the tickets to get in. I was a little worried when I saw the line walking up, but I think they had 12 more tickets left after me.

If you’re not familiar with Puss N Boots, it’s a country band composed of Norah Jones, Catherine Popper, and Sasha Dobson. I guess they’ve actually been playing together since 2008 when Norah and Sasha started playing gigs doing country covers in order to learn guitar. At some point Catherine joined them on the bass. They’ve just been doing it as a fun side project, but finally decided to release an album. No Fools, No Fun came out in July and they’ve been doing some touring to support it.

The album is an eclectic mix of live recordings, studio recordings, covers, and original songs. All of the music including both the covers and originals is more of your old school country, not the pop country that dominates country radio stations these days. Their great harmonies give new life to the covers and I really like the new stuff a lot as well.

The concert itself was a lot of fun. They had great stage banter even though they claimed to be still asleep at that time of day. They were really funny and had the audience laughing a lot. The music of course was fantastic, and it was so awesome to get to see them play in such an intimate setting. As so often happens when I see a really great show I wanted to see them again immediately, so almost wanted to go again last night but that wasn’t really in the cards. I felt bad about seeing them completely for free and not actually paying to see them at the Ottobar, so I made sure to buy their album instead. And of course I shouldn’t leave out a thanks to the awesome WTMD for putting the show on. Don’t worry I give them money too. I always want to support great music. It was a great little afternoon concert and I’m so glad I got to go.

If you’ve heard any of their music on the radio it was probably “Don’t Know What It Means”, which has been getting some airplay on the non-commercial radio stations I listen to including obviously WTMD. Take a listen.


Songs I Love: Home (Leave the Lights On) by Field Report

Milwaukee based band Field Reports sophomore album Marigolden is due out next week. I enjoyed their first album, but from what I have heard so far Marigolden is even better. I had already fallen in love with their first single from the album “Home (Leave the Lights On)”, but I heard them play a few more songs from it on WNYC’s Soundcheck podcast today and am now even more excited for its release. Written while on the road touring for their first album, this album apparently evokes many feelings of longing for home and obviously “Home (Leave the Lights On)” is no exception. It’s a great song, and I can hardly wait to get my hands (or ears as it were) on the whole album.