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(mostly) merry february

Holy shit, February.

Here's what's gone by this month thus far / since the last post:

Holy shit, Nada Surf. From the imaginary post:

"The working subtitle for this photoessay was almost Fuck Everything Else, Indie Rock Wins Forever. Because there's no other way to say it: Nada Surf puts on one hell of a pulsing, swoonworthy, face-shredding rock show. And not just any kind of rock, mind you -- this is fully legit indie rock, a term that gets tossed around way too loosely these days. You just have to know it when you see it: in this case, Nada Surf delivers their particular take, with the kind of big-guitar storytelling madness that keeps the crowd moving for the duration of the set, while blowing out eardrums in the most beautiful of ways. Without hesitation, I'll even go so far as to say that Nada Surf comes damn close to giving bands like the Wrens a run for their money -- and those of you who know my personal dedication to all things Wrens know the {musical} gravity with which I speak when I make that kind of a statement."

I've literally been waiting for the Neptune show since the moment the Tractor set stopped buzzing in my ears. More shots in the flickrs here.

Holy shit, pancake breakfast. Simultaneously the best and worst breakfast in recent memory. Best because of the band and the buddies. Worst because most of it tasted like a pile of sugar-covered rubber. But I'd go back again in a heartbeat.

Holy shit, expired disposable camera from Goodwill. Lesson learned? Don't not flash, no matter how bright it is out or how good you think the shot will look. Also, don't pay more than a dollar or two for these at the thrift store.

Holy shit, Dancing on the Valentine. Nine zillion bands, almost eight thousand dollars in funds raised, and some of the best Duran Duran songs that I didn't even know I loved as much as I did. While John Roderick's mini-set was pretty killer, the show-stealer of the night definitely goes to Hotels and NighTraiN covering "Come Undone" {in addition to the inimitable Jenny George herself, of course}. Imaginary postings here, shots in the photobooth by Ben Haley here.

Holy shit, Kim and Kelly!

I'm so, so thrilled that I got to take some happy-couple photos for Kim (one of my dayjob besties), who got engaged to her girlfriend Kelly just after the new year. These are two of my favorites, but take a peep at the link above for the full set on flickr.

Holy shit, Marqopa. Seriously.

Damien Jurado {and friends} managed to sell out the Neptune last Friday for the release of Maraqopa, his latest studio effort with Richard Swift. Paling in comparison only to Saint Bartlett, this is yet another journey into the depths of Damien's ever-evolving gift. A bit on "Nothing is the News" here, showposting here, and flickr set here.

Holy shit, Brad / holy shit, Anna's house.

From my tumblings:

"I had these pictures in my head since the first visit to my friend Anna’s house. Primarily the shot in the bathroom, and then when it was sorted out that Brad would be the one coming with me, the black-and-white shot appeared too.

'Seeing' things like this and then getting to actually make the photos come to life is infinitely satisfying. I can‘t imagine ever getting to do it for a living."

I suppose that's all the news that's fit to update at the moment. We're barely two months into the year and it seems as though there's more going on than I realize, as I look over the volume of stuff I'm getting done regularly -- mostly because I'm saying yes to things about fifteen percent more of the time than I think I ought to, with glorious result. I've found myself pushing past the boundaries of what's comfortable, and squeezing every ounce out of the boost that comes from mainlining vitamin D to combat the inevitable greys, and there's also the 'body in motion tends to stay in motion' logic that's proving itself quite true. I'm not sure which part relates to kale or vitamin cocktails or running or journaling or the lack of ladydrama in my life right now, but I'll take it.

This past week, I've eased on the brakes and left myself a little room in the schedule for pre-Italy doings. I've gone from full-to-the-brim calendar to suddenly having so many strange errands -- exchanging money, learning a language, studying maps, making daytrip plans, putting seemingly necessary liquids into tiny plastic containers -- and I've felt like I can't take on any social commitments for fear of running out of time, which is bizarre now that I'm looking at it all typed out. But the reality is simply that I just need to do a little extra laundry and fit ten days of my life into a giant backpack a day or so before I leave. There's almost an internal exhaustion that has come from it, part nervous and part thrilled and part scared and part getting shit done at the dayjob and the lovejob and on and on and on. I envy people who can just live normally until a day before a giant trip like this, and then launder, pack and leave, without needing a giant buffer beforehand. I've gotten really good at it for stateside trips. Maybe someday I'll get better at it internationally, too.

Bon courage, you guys. Rome beckons. More to follow in a few weeks.