CMJ was a two day-blur this year. Wednesday night was split between the Aquarium Drunkard show at Mercury Lounge, and hanging with friends, colleagues and cohorts at the Team Clermont party in Brooklyn. Thursday night was the New West Records showcase at The Living Room...an excellent but bittersweet night, as I've put on several great shows there but they are soon closing their doors and moving.
Here's a video selection (or two) from each band I saw while in NYC:
Been a bad blogger again, but in my defense it's been a busy few weeks.
Mr. Fonty and I are headed to Croatia today for some R&R. A few months ago I was super down in the dumps trying to figure out why my body refuses to be pregnant, so I figured why not plan a fabulous trip to have something fun to focus on. (Luckily, I have the world's sweetest husband who goes along with such a plan despite being swamped at work.) Well, I ended up booking a fabulous trip a few months out, and didn't think too much of it since it seemed so far away (I've been living my life in 2 week ovulation-based increments, 4 months seemed like a lifetime). I looked at the calendar last week, and realized we leave in 7 days with basically no planning done. So, at this point I have historical highlights and beach recommendations from friends, we're planning on going to a Croatian soccer game, scuba diving (I'm scared shitless, but the Fonty is pumped. The things we do for love), and a sunset booze-cruise. Other than that, Croatia is our oyster!
We are only going for a week, since Mr. Fonty was weary about taking more time off this year. Our first stop is Split, the second largest city in Croatia. Then a few days on the island of Hvar which is known not only for the clubs we won't be patronizing, but also for it's fields of wild lavender. I know, how majestic, right!? Then back to Split and headed home. We've rented some adorable (via the internet, it could be a nightmare) apartments through AirBnB.
The weather is a little chillier than I was expecting with highs around 70 - I consider that sweater weather. It's quite a quandary for me - how to look beachy and on vacation, while managing to stay warm. Thankfully I just received a bundle of Annie Griffin's fall line that will fit the bill perfectly. So along with those, a few scarves, here's what I have come up with: (I've been envying Glynn's Jenni Kayne flats since I visited LA a couple weeks ago and haven't stopped thinking about that to-die-for Alexander Wang bag since I saw it on Le Catch)
Americana Fest Edition
It was a big week of music for the folks of New West in Nashville for the AMAs...here's a recap of the great music I saw.
Americana Awards Show at The Ryman: Delbert McClinton, Holly Williams, John Fullbright, Shovels & Rope, Robert Hunter, Dr. John, Old Crow Medicine Show, Milk Carton Kids, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Duane Eddy, EmmyLou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Stephen Stills
Country & Western Revue at the 5 Spot: Sturgill Simpson, Daniel Romano, Tim Deaux, Courtney Jaye, Josh Hedley
Six Shooter & Gun Street Media party at Second Fiddle: Joe Nolan, Daniel Romano, Jonny Fritz
High Watt/Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom: Lera Lynn,T. Hardy Morris & The Outfit, Hurray For The Riff Raff, North Mississippi Allstars, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Courtney Jaye, Caitlin Rose
New West Records 15th Anniversary Show at Cannery Ballroom: Randall Bramblett Band, Ben Miller Band, Austin Lucas, Howe Gelb, Buddy Miller & Friends (McCrary Sisters, Rodney Crowell, Nikki Lane), Max Gomez, Delbert & Glenn, The Devil Makes Three, Daniel Romano & The Trilliums, Corb Lund
Oh, hello there. No, your eyes are not mistaking you. The blog formerly known as FontyFest is back (for today). I apologize for the lack of posts. I have been feeding my unhealthy addiction to Candy Crush (thanks, mom) and Pretty Little Liars -- preferably feeding said addictions simultaneously (whilst laying in bed) which leads to much Roku rewinding since I was too engrossed in "clearing the jelly" to see what A texted Aria that made her look like this:
Somehow while I was holed up watching 32 episodes of Pretty Little Liars, it became fall! Saturday marks the first home game for the Georgia Bulldawgs, and I am all ready for tailgating and sporting my red & black. Along with football season comes a round of fall weddings. Those October "Save the Dates" have been replaced on the event bulletin board with formal invitations, and it is time to get shopping for another round of weddings... not that I am complaining. I wish my wedding wardrobe included some of this YSL jewelry...
Memphis, TN native Valerie June is bound to be a star (if they still reserve any slots for people with actual talent). Her voice is mesmerizing, combine that with her good looks and her crazy, head-turning, Medusa-style dreads and you can't miss.
Ms. June has been enjoying a good bit of success overseas, and now it's America's turn with her official debut albumPushin' Against A Stone, which was partly produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys:
Husband/wife due Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion are back with their third album, following up 2011's excellent Bright Examples. Wassaic Way is their finest work yet, and rightfully so as they teamed up with producers Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone from Wilco!
Washed Out expands their soundscapes and instrumentation on Paracosym, the infectious new album that creates the perfect summer groove...and now that WO Ernest Greene has moved back to the Classic City, we get to claim them as an Athens band!
Guy Clark is an American songwriting icon, and one of my personal all-time favorites. My Favorite Picture Of You, his latest album, stands up as one of the best of his career. Though Guy is in poor health, his voice still shines.
The title track, about his wife Susanna who recently passed away, is certainly one of the best and most moving songs he has ever written:
Audition Tapes is the hauntingly beautiful and honest solo debut album from Dead Confederate frontman Hardy Morris. The production is a perfect fit for these unique songs, and Hardy's voice is chilling throughout. Harmony vocals from Thayer Sarrano and Matt Stoessel's pedal steel add just the right touch.
The Bachelorette is traveling to Antigua this week for her fantasy dates with the final 3 guys: Chris, Brooks, & Drew. To recap, the front runners are as follows: One writes limericks he considers to be deep odes about love, another, despite talking like a chipmunk, can't if even decide if he even like Des, and the last is gay. And yet, in this crowd Des sees her husband. The episode teaser shows the clips we've seen of Des crying for 8 weeks. If this is yet another ABC ploy for ratings I will throw tomatoes at my TV.
The show begins with a recap of where Des has been this season. It's basically a montage of her getting dumped by guys who's only job is to drink beer, wear v-necks, and pretend to like her. I'm not sure what this says about America's Bachelorette.
After the dumping brigade come the "falling in love montages". I fast forward through this part, because when it comes to a lot of these moments, seeing it once is more than enough.
First up for the fantasy dates is Drew. He skips like a first grader to meet Des for their date at... a windmill. Drew gets the obligatory "exploring!" date. They cruise around in a Jeep Wrangler. Drew obviously feels right at home; all he is missing is an "Orange Mocha FRAPPUCCINO!"
As their voice overs talk about falling in love, they limbo with some Caribe drinking locals atop a mountain. I have no idea where the producers found the pieces to put this whole scene together.
Drew says he has found his soulmate, and he would get down on one knee tomorrow. I've seen more believable declarations of love on Degrassi Junior High.
The sun sets, and it is sexy boozy time. Drew and Des enjoy a kiss that takes up way too much television airtime. Drew is obviously overcompensating. It is raining, so they can't have their romantic dinner on the beach. But don't worry, "rain will never ruin my night with Drew", says Des.
Des decides to get right out with it an give Drew the fantasy suite card at the beginning of their date. Hussy.
They talk about love and marriage and kiss on the couch. Des then leads him to her room, and the camera follows them as they sip champagne on her bed. More aggressive making out with a camera 3 inches from their locked lips. If they get this down and dirty in front of the cameras, it's going to be a wild fantasy night. Drew kicks the camera guys out, so they can talk about nail polish and french braid each other's hair.
While Drew and Des are making magic, Brooks is confessing that he is not into Des, because she is lame. In his confessional, Brooks says he is nervous about the overnight, because he is a Mormon, doesn't have lurv feelings for Des. To sort out his feelings, Brooks heads home to SLC to see his mommy and sister.
His family tells him that he should be able to not just say it, but feel like he loves someone he is proposing to in one week. These are some brilliant women. I can't believe it took family wisdom to make this clear to him.
The producers, now high five-ing at Brooks' ratings gold, plan to have Chris meet Des next, so they can drag out the Brooks story-line as long as possible. Chris and Des walk along a rocky beach. Des is wearing pants, a bikini top, and a fringe vest. Another stellar wardrobe pick. A helicopter comes and picks them up where they fly to a Barbuda for a... wait for it... picnic! original idea, ABC.
They talk endlessly about every second of the hometown date. After every detail of their last date has been raked over, they make out in the surf and write their names in the sand, and then it's back to the waves for more making out.
At dinner they cheers their pina coladas to "falling forward". Des super subtly says "let's talk future". Chris basically tells her that his life in Seattle, and she can join him. He bumbles the words out, and you can tell he would feel much more comfortable if his lines were in rhyming couplets coming from his journal. Chris says a line no man has ever said before: "Des makes me feel vibrant". I would have expected this kind of boyish jubilation from Drew. Since they have run out of dates to talk about, the couple plays a word game about their time together.
Des pulls out the date card that says exactly what it said to Drew. Hussy. Chris says he would like to use the overnight card to stay up and watch the stars with no expectations. Des looks disappointed, because she wants to get down two nights in a row. Threw gritted teeth, she says watching the stars is what she wants too. Liar.
But before they can retreat to their room, Chris has a "something to share" with Des. Surprise, surprise, it's another poem for her written in his JOURNAL.
Seriously, where does ABC find these guys? It's going to be a long night. They move from the table to the hot tub where they give each other Eskimo kisses.
It's the next day, and Des' voice over talks about how she likes the other guys but has real feelings for Brooks. At the same time Brooks is preparing to meet with Chris Harrison to tell him that he, like many men before him, realizes Des sucks.
Chris gets all Dr. Drew on Brooks, and tries to see if Brooks' parents' divorce is the real reason he is hesitant to get married. Brooks shoots this down, and says it really is just Des. She sucks that much. This conversation lags on for a solid 15 minutes.
Brooks sighs as he sees Des on the beach. I would make that face too if someone I was dating wore a tie dye crop top and white cut offs in 2013. Brooks talks in a whisper as Des holds back tears about being dumped again. She is officially The Least Desirable Bachelorette in Bachelorette History.
Des cries about how she has never felt completely loved by anyone, and for the first time she was hopeful - hmm... Des, you were hopeful for love from the one guy who wouldn't say it to you? I think you are your worst enemy. Des says "you broke my heart", and Brooks' response is: "I'm glad you're honest with me". Ha!
They leave their beach side perch, and Des walks Brooks out, but not before making him feel even more like an A-hole. Through tears she tells him she hasn't given her heart to anyone else, because she wanted to save it for him. Wow, bet the guy you propose to next week is going to be thrilled to hear that! Did that poem you wrote with Chris mean nothing to you?!
Des and Brooks hug goodbye as a subtle heartbeat sound thumps in the background. Then to really drive home what a jerk he is, Des says "You can go. I'm going to sit by myself." Then she races (pigeon-toed) to the end of a boat dock to cry it out. Cut to Brooks who is hyperventilating trying to pump out the tears. Through gulps he says, "Those times we had together.. I miss them already... I miss them a lot." All 45 minutes they have spent together is racing through Brooks' mind.
And that's where we leave it. Tune in next week for the dramatic finale.