Rarely these days do I make it to a concert but a friend of ours follows all the local band scenes and has convinced us that 2013 will the year of concert going. First up, the Smithereens. I liked them “back in the day” and still like them now. They can still rock a show and appear to have the stamina from 20 years ago; although like all of us, have aged in appearance.
We saw them over the weekend at the State Theatre, an old movie house turned concert venue and not too far from us in Virginia. I had never been there before and really liked their cabaret-style set up. I like the Birchmere as well, closer to us and a more intimate environment, but this open and spacious layout took the lead. I didn’t know what to expect, the Black Cat maybe, which I would have liked but would have felt over age. Not quite the cane set (like the Birchmere mostly) but we were within age range, if not underage here. Although, a birthday this week may put me over the quota. :0
We got there early to snag a table and fortunately, were able to do so. Otherwise, we would have been standing in the pit in front. It wouldn’t have been bad but with a table, we had a place to hang and actually had good food. I had a pretty decent shrimp po’boy but too piled high to close the sandwich. Ahh, I didn’t need all that bread anyway. From our viewpoint (table in darkened area on right in back from the stage in this picture — they have since added balcony seating), we could see the stage pretty well and the pit was designed on a declined slope to not block the vantage of the table onlookers. Smart! I like their interactive website page too.
If you’re not familiar with the Smithereens, don’t get them confused with The Smiths, which I always tended to do. They are different, one being American (New Jersey, good old boys) and the other Brittish, but their sound for some songs seemed similar to me. Seeing them at the concert helped to identify and separate their differences even more. The Smithereens played their classics: Blood and Roses, Yesterday Girl, Only a Memory, and Top of the Pops, which I didn’t realize was the same song I listen to at least twice a week while still (admittingly) exercising to a Cindy Crawford video. 😉 We were all up our of our chairs, dancing (the only ones it seemed) when they played their finale A Girl Like You.
Pat DiNizio, lead singer and guitarist, has the same recognizable voice that is just as strong as the early years. Dennis Diken, the drummer, played one of the best solo performances for the drums that I’ve heard. Their recent sound has gotten more contemplative and even jazzy. Here’s Especially for You that we were able to record via the link below (give it a minute to load) and an earlier version for comparison.
I was surprised by the timing of receiving a google alert regading Goyte and Kimbra — both of who’s music I had heard but didn’t realize the extent of their reach at the time — and then I saw them perform on Saturday Night Live this past weekend.
How uncanny. I had just discovered this information on New Digital Landscapes, Word and Art by Walter Smith regarding Goyte’s creative process for producing the song Eyes Wide Open. This documentary is well worth watching to see the in depth strategy and time it took to put this piece together. You would never know upon just listening the amount of work involved but the music has some extra layering and sound pitches that make it unique and the background story makes it all the more interesting. For instance, I never knew a “musical fence” existed. If you’re ever Down Under, like these artists are, you may want to go try it out yourself.
And then there is Kimbra, the New Zealand Katy Perry of sorts but with more unusuality to her work, an equally talented singer and performer. I really like her Good Intent song and video. You can Kick Start the Weekend early with this one:
Very cool websites for both but Kimbra’s had me really looking — especially when her eyes moved. Creepy yet clever.
Where does one find love this Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter, in the heart of Panama. Evidently, the producers of show The Bachelor think so too.
My husband and I celebrated his milestone birthday recently by going back to “his glorious roots,” Panama City, Panama, where he was born. He was only a newborn when his father was stationed in the Panama Canal zone so he doesn’t have memories from this time but we had fun visiting where he and his family had connections and created some new reflections on a modernized Panama.
We started our trip in the heart of the Gamboa Rainforest at the Gamboa Resort – pretty nice and really the only place to stay on the Chagres River right at the point where it cuts into the Panama Canal. From our observatory perch from the jungle tram, we were able to see many cruise liners, tankers and various other sea-faring vessels pass through the Panama Canal. We learned what a major engineering feat it was to build and how thousands of lives were lost in the process. Panama is currently widening the canal to further increase traffic and commerce.
We passed Noriega’s new home on the way there. He was our neighbor, just down the road from where we were staying.
We had to go over the railway which had been converted into a one-way bridge by covering the tracks with tar. Gamboa is a birder haven and they were everywhere, including in the jeep in front of us, going very slowly, scouting for rare birds.
Then there are the leaf cutting, worker ants that we came upon while walking on a forbidden trail — without a guide, “because it can be peligroso – dangerous.” Well, oops…good thing we didn’t venture too far on another path at night. We actually got scared to go further on that one after we saw bats and thought we hear growling. There are jaguars in the jungle here.
We did however, wander upon a two-toed sloth which was very close to us near the ground. He saw us and then he started slowly but faster than you think a sloth could go right back up the to the top of the tree. We later found out that two-toed sloths can be very dangerous and they only come down from the tree about once a week to do their business….Poor guy. I’m sure we left him in a bad fix.
Tarzan goes jungle vine climbing
I could go on and on about this trip but I just want to give you a few more highlights with pictures and suggest that the secrets that we discovered in Panama may no longer be secrets now that The Bachelor was filmed right where we were for last week’s episode. They stayed at the Trump tower (see the last couple of posts). It was uncanny seeing on TV the same indigenous Embera tribal village that we visited in the jungle and even the same Las Clementinas restaurant that I thought would be lovely to return to, for it reminds me of New Orleans and is also a B&B. We had the best food of our trip there and the most friendly service. Our waiter even knew Peter’s godfather in Panama. Here’s the nutshell of our remaining Panama trip (without even cracking the full nut) in pictures.
Embarking on a trip to Embera Village
Swimming hole on the way to the Embera Village
Being served lunch at the Embera village - baked fish in home-made hibiscus/ leaf cups
Getting Tattoos -- not only an art form but the dye helps to keep the mosquitoes away.
Las Clementinas Restaurant in Panama. They had their own custom wallpaper of family and historical portraits. Very cool!
On our tour back in the city we got to see where Peter was baptized as well as a day in the life of living in the San Felipe or Casco Viejo, old city of Panama.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
Path to San Felipe - the Old City in Panama
A parrot fish is a proud catch at the fish market in Panama, where we had the best ceviche.
Panamanian Indian with beaded socks
Colorful building in the area where Operation Just Cause took place
Just one of the many lovely homes we saw in San Felipe, with a water view
It was hot while we were there — about 87 – 90+ degrees and humid in the rainforest. We were forced to cool off — many times and Balboa was our refreshment of choice.
Balboa beer is our favorite pick in Panama
You can’t beat the sunsets in Panama, particularly poolside.
Panamanian sunset, pool side at the Intercontenintal Hotel
I’ll leave off where I began with a look at Panama City — our final view before leaving — until we return for it’s a romantic spot to leave your heart in Panama.
Although Veterans’ Day has past, I did not get a chance to discuss or show my support in a blog post so I want to mention a few items of note in this one. We have so much to thank our Veterans for. I’m thinking of this as I travel to New Orleans for a family reunion. I think of my many blessings of family as Thanksgiving comes around and the incredible sacrifices military families have given with service and loss to their country — all for our gain and to preserve the American way of life and freedom.
Heading out-water color_Cervantez via Washington Post
A Huge Responsibility_oil by Sgt Martin J. Cervantez via Washinton Post
This last painting is interesting to me because the light on the military personnel’s shirt in the foreground is painted in such a way to suggest that the commander has a priestly robe – the duplicity of wearing both military garb and performing the role of making life and death decisions. I’m not sure if this is intentional, but it’s what I first thought of when I saw it.
Ocean City Veterans Mural by Carla Migliaccio via Shore News Today
Since I haven’t added music here in a while, here’s a little Talking Heads, Life During Wartime, to Kick Start the Weekend. I always feel like I should be doing an aerobic exercise when listening to this music. As it turns out, I probably was when dancing to it in college but now, just watching the video wears me out!