Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paul Brady at Somerville Theater

Went to see Paul Brady at the Somerville Theater (after a nice session at Redbones) on Friday night, 10/22. He's probably the leader in the clubhouse in the category of "I have no records of his but I think he's an incredible musician" (which reminds me, I should put The Liberty Tapes on my Amazon wish list). It also occurred to me that he's Tim O'Brien's older brother in some alternate universe.

Anyway, he played solo and alternated between regular acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin, and electric piano. It was one of those concerts where you got the feeling that everyone there (the house was half full??) was there because they were a fanatic about his music, as opposed to just going for a night out somewhere where you barely knew the guy. One of the nicest moments was when he paused at the piano in the middle of The Island and you could have heard a pin drop, but some woman in the audience sang the first line of the chorus ("I want to take you to the island..."). It was so perfect he ended the song right there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tim and Tide

More catching up to do:
  • Went to see Tim O'Brien at the Me and Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead on Friday, 9/24. We'd never been to the Me and Thee before; after some confusion finding the train station in Salem to meet Sarah we went to the Boston Beer Works in Salem and had some excellent brews (which unfortunately aren't listed on their terrible website). Avi and Celia opened for Tim and made some fun music, including a soupcon of spirited washboard playing. Tim was as good as ever, playing most of the tracks from his latest release, alternating between guitar, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle, and mixing in other tunes from his solo repertoire and his vast reservoir of traditional music. He did Nellie Kane to tease the Hot Rize concert in November, and closed with Like I Used To Do. Here's an excellent cover of Nellie Kane with Sarah Jarosz.

  • We've been looking for a next car after our Ford Windstar ... can't really call it a replacement because we're ready to downgrade to a smaller car. We couldn't make up our mind between a smaller minivan and a crossover-SUV but we had it down to the Mazda5 vs. the Subaru Forester. We made a spreadsheet of the differentiating factors (IOO) and showed it to the dealers on Saturday the 25th, pointing out that everything was filled in except for the price column ... what could they do about that? Both Liberty Mazda and Wakefield Subaru seemed to like this approach and offered us good prices. Even though it was several thousand more we decided to go with the Forester. It just seemed to us like we would enjoy the car for longer (which is very important to us) and it would give fewer worries when up in Maine in the winter.
  • Went kayaking that afternoon on the Mystic Lakes and Tufts was hosting the Hood Trophy regatta with 20 teams from 20 different colleges. Very fun to watch! Quite skilled skippers and crew sailing Tufts' Larks with new rigging. Everything was color-coded and everyone was wearing a pinne with their college's mascot on it. Tufts came in second over the weekend.
  • On Wednesday the 29th I put the kayak on the roof of the minivan for the last time and went to the Lowell St. put-in after work. We had a short but nice paddle up the low-low Assabet. Again, nobody on the Assabet though the Concord and Sudbury had traffic. The minivan has been a faithful kayaking companion for many trips and I'll often think of it with Blast or Sunny on top.
  • Picked up the new car on Thursday the 30th after work at Wakefield Subaru. They hadn't yet installed the roof cross-bars, the bumper guard, etc. ... but it was basically ready and we settled final terms and signed on the dotted line. They had had to bring one up from Rhode Island to get the color we wanted in the right trim package. We plan to call her Ester ... for Ester that is. Had the final gewgaws installed on Saturday October 2nd and got her inspected.
  • On Sunday the 3rd the tide was right so drove up to the Rowley River on a more-chilly-than-anticipated early Fall day. Saw a few boats powering at full-speed up and down the river full of people wearing foul weather gear. The sun came out at times, the clouds were high, the wind was up, and it was a beautiful day on the water. From the mouth of the river I paddled South between the shoals towards Ipswich, where the boats were tugging hard at their moorings against the tide and wind. As I watched though, the North by East wind shifted slightly to the East and the tide started to change, swinging the boats around one by one into uncomfortable postures. I took advantage of the incoming tide, though the wind was still stiff against me until I got into the river, and paddled back up North and then West back to Perley's.