Wednesday, December 31, 2008

'09 doesn't sound as important as '69

So, I am looking back, mostly because I feel like my memory is getting tired and I have to reread emails and my own blog to remember what happened to me, or how I felt about it

This past year I:

gained and lost an antagonist

got a little bit more confident

struggled with being one woman in a sea of male musicians

threw parties I was proud of, but they were never enough

played shows for a few people

played shows for a slew of people

doubted my talent and then had a good laugh at that one

made some of the best friends I have ever made

became radio obsessed

went to some of my most favorite rock shows: ice cream!!

adopted slogans like: "who put this shit on?" and  "you don't know what you think about, this?!"  

watched my childhood friends get married off to handsome fellows

learned that making an album can be really fun and full of wizards

committed to Cheetah Button

made a full length album, when I meant to make an EP

started a job that feels integral in its challenges

Suffered at the hands of heartache

loved my family more and more

texted out

had my own kind of owl party

tried to dress more like my brother

felt patriotic for the first time in my life

disappointed myself

praised myself

went swimming in cold cold water

moved into my house on the hill

burnt a hole through the porch

tried to party like a rock star

decided to admit to more of my shortcomings

Of course there are so many other things that happened, and if I was patient enough I could really go through and make note of them all, but I am not patient.  

And here to send us with good tidings into the next year is my spirit animal:

photograph of a racing badger

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Shame on me! my blogs are few and far between.....

.....but not for long folks.  I just get really docile and lackluster around  the holidays.  I keep my PJs on all day and read books I have saved up for this very time.  I eat tons of snacks like, mom's homemade fig newtons, and feel very uninterested in being social.  I only hang out with my family and force them to only hang out with me.  I also have been known to have limited text message conversations with my dearest friends.
But that all changes come January, every year I get so fired up from being so lazy that I combust and, be warned, I will start calling you and wondering what you might be up to: would you like to take a walk, write a song, have a party, play scrabble....with me?

So to recap on the season of holiday cheer I have some videos to show you .

First we have a very special Tyler Ramsey moment at the grey eagle:

Next we have a Christmas moment at Granny Ruth's house, where my brother demonstrates his strength:
- Notice that Seth is holding on to his little sweater friend that I made him throughout the whole fiasco...he named him "Joe"

Then we have the boring, but cute to me Katie Bell curled up on the couch:

And for the grand finale William and I show off our special Christmas clothes from Uncle Jimmy, notice the colorful sweater I am wearing and the camo shirt Will is sporting in the up coming two videos

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Putting on the Regency

Oh the plight of the ever-over-thinking.  Yo, why can't I sleep?  Well, the first reason is that I finished a crucial step in album production today: mastering.  It really did some magic, and things are sounding very very good, but that means I have to keep moving forward to the date of real completion, when one thousand shrink-wrapped duplicates arrive at my front door.....yikes!!  Oh, and I forgot to call Toby before I left Chapel Hill this evening...damn it all.  The only thing that has seemed to help in my freak out is watching bits of "Wooster and Jeeves."  Thank the Lord above for Fry and Laurie, honestly the best show ever, well, maybe now I will have to reconsider that superlative due to my recent discovery: I love Gossip Girl.

Here you are... a little bit of good ol' Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sweater friend obsession

Winter lends itself to obsessively stitching.  Thanks Joti for teaching me how to make my own friends who are a little bit silly and keep me entertained while I feed the fire at my house under a gray sky.

When you are small, a tiny kitchen garden can feel like a BIG forest.
Just a little rest
She will never find me here in this big coat...
Look who is hiding on the top of the fridge...
Watch out!  If I don't see you there, I might sit on you when I go to write this blog entry.

Just a little cashmere friend relaxing on the couch listening to "talk of the nation."  What? you think Illinoise is the most courrput state too?
Sweater worm needs a drink of water like anybody else

Hey everyone,  don't worry I haven't completely lost my mind.

Pink Macaroni and Cheese?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I changed my mind

I love "Single Ladies." I think the song is awesome and now want to sing it out loud all the time. Thank you again Beyonce, you are Irreplaceable.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving, Dream Announcement, and Diligent snacking

Lets not start at the Beginning:

Will watches Katie help clean up after the best Thanksgiving ever.

Bert watches me watch Bert and Benny help clean up after the best Thanksgiving ever.

And before all that, we have our diligent snacking:

Rebeccah and Michael work very hard to get to a tastey Oyster snack
I, on the other hand, do not work hard and allow my Daddy to do the shucking for me, "Just say yo!"
And a dream announcement:

God damn a camera who can't capture the sunset through my glass 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is pretty cool and pretty lame

My old friend Dave is in this ridiculous guns and roses cover band, Mr Brownstone, and they played on Letterman.  Kind of amazing, but  also kind of sad.  If you were wondering, he is Izzzy.  I felt more proud when Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds were on Conan, because they were in a real band, called Band of Horses, not a joke band.  But jokes are pretty cool

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

stuck to the Huffington Post

I couldn't put anything on my blog, because I felt like the Huffington Post was covering any and all things I, or anyone else, might find interesting.  But then I started watching Kate Bush videos on youtube, then moved onto Beyonce....y'all this stuff is so good I can't quite believe it.

some notes: Ermine? wow!!
OK, how is her voice and that ukulele amplified?
concertina guy!!!!!!!!
this video is so good!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, now for some Beyonce...........

This song is terrible, but dear lord, don't you wish you could dance like that, in that leotard!!!!!!

Life is good as I hold my breath to find out who is gonna be secretary of state!!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The mistakes we make

Last week, I was cleaning the ash out of my wood stove.  I was pretty sure that the ash was cold and could not feel any live embers.  I put the ash into a plastic bag and put it out on the porch, hoping to distribute the ashes around some nice trees the following day.   The next morning I was welcomed by an enormous hole.  All night long, hot ash burnt through two 2by4s.  I immediately felt the most extreme embarrassment I have ever known.  I had done something so stupid that I decided that I should tell the Internet about it in order to pay penance.  No, I did not burn down the house, though my momma had to go through that possiblity outloud when I spoke with her, "Oh Lordy, dear lord above, goodness gracious, oh Angi!"  I begged her to tell me she might have once done something so stupid and she tried to console me, but alas, I am the person that nearly burnt down the house.  Now here are the pictures to prove that I am not that sharp.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama won North Carolina

Now with Obama winning North Carolina and even my backwoods home of Jackson County, we have a sweep:
Beverly Perdue (D) - the state's first female governor
Kay Hagan (D) - unseated the GOP's Elizabeth Dole

Holla back y'all

and this just in......I think my Uncle Jerry was elected to the Swain County school board.  Loving North Carolina right now.

All this cuz people like my Granny Ruth voted Democrat!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Final Countdown

After looking at photos of the Obama's being sweet to each other and having a little cry, I started to get a terrible stomach ache.  This stomach ache was my first sign that I was truly nervous about the election results.  I watched this video this morning and it helped a little, so  maybe if you are feeling it this video might help you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lakme Fashion Week - means Indian fashion week

The reason I love these pieces from Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai  is because they feel like things I actually wear when living in India.  The rich fabrics and contrasts, the layering and irreverence for western sensibilities.
Oh India!!! I miss you.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Guess who voted for Obama....... Southern Baptist Republican Granny.  Hooray Granny, you are the coolest, and you listened to my points, now lets have some biscuits and pinto beans

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Neil Young

When I was little it took a long time to get into town, so there was a lot of time to listen to tapes in the car.   I monopolized the tape player, and I think my brother might finally be happy about that.  He let me be the one with the strong opinions.  I was fanatical about it.  When I was riding in the truck with Daddy, we listened to Ella Fitzgerald, KD Lang, or Neil Young.  When I rode to school or town in the car with Mom, I put on Neil Young, this tape of songs about Meher Baba or the soundtrack to Aladdin. 

There was a lot of other music that I was crazy about, but these stick out among the rest.

 Neil Young got more airplay than anyone else in our car and I sang along loud and clear - weird that my family never voiced an annoyance with this.  

Last night at dinner with some friends I was just feeling the Neil Young love brand new, and was trying to remember the song I wanted to sing in the talent show at six years old.  It was completely inappropriate, but my mom humored the idea for a while before convincing me to sing something else.  Figuring out which song it was will take a little bit more digging, but I did have a very intense obsession with the song "After the Gold rush" as well as the entire album and I thought I would share these versions of the song that are both really amazing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moss! and TV on the Radio

wanna grow some moss? 
- find some
- scoop it up, no need to dig, it doesn't have roots
- squish it into the pot you wanna plant it in, hopefully the soil is acidic
- just really squish it down
- mist it as often as you can

Next, we move to TV on the Radio which I heard and kind of saw on Sunday night in Knoxville.  It was awesome!!!!!!!
My favorite band member, who gets points for hustle, versatility, wackiness and commitment was "saxophone guy."  He is otherwise known by his actual name:  Martin Perna of the band Antibalas.  At one point my friend Isaac pointed out that he had made his way to the balcony, "Look, saxophone guy is in the balcony!!"

Here is a video of TV on the Radio to demonstrate how good they are.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wait for it

OK, the best part of this video is right in the beginning, when the badger runs by the bird and the bird has to do a little hop to get out of the way.  And the second funniest is when the Badger has to sleep off the snake venom.  That badger is so busy!!!!!!

no badger wanna see us together, but it don't matter now, cuz I got you

Ain't no badger back, girl, ain't no badger back girl

and I will always love badger, oh I will always love Badger

I'm still Badger from the block

to the left, to the left, to the left, to the the closet, that's my badger, If I bought baby, please don't touch......badger in the front door telling me how I'm such a fool, talking bout how I'll never find a badger like you......

Wait....I am the one we've been looking for!!

Last night: good stuff at the Grey Eagle- 
Seth Kauffman and his band Floating Action and their pinata robot

But I thought I might share some cute pictures involving my favorite people petting a cat

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let's do this jam

I am going to go listen to Seth Kauffman tomorrow, Saturday the 18th of October, at the grey Eagle.  Are you going?  Since there is one guy who reads my blog (Michael Libramento) and he will be playing I don't know who I am recruiting.  And strangely, yet miraculously the show is free.  Why? No one knows

Absolute Sway - Seth Kauffman from justin plakas on Vimeo.

And if you are too busy to come to that fun show you better make this one........

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some of my favorites

Lanvin spring 2009 ready-to-wear

Lanvin Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Lanvin Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Proenza Schuller Spring 2009 ready-to-wear

Proenza Schouler Spring 2009 Ready-to-WearProenza Schouler Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Sabyasachi spring 2009 ready-to-wear

Sabyasachi Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Sabyasachi Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Sabyasachi Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Akexander McQueen Spring 2009 ready-to-wear

Alexander McQueen Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Alexander McQueen Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

Notice the jumpsuits!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Take it or leave it

It is my word against hers that I am not good at bridesmaid spacing

Skinny Love

I first heard Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) open for Elvis Perkins at the Bowery Ballroom last December. It was one of those performances mostly lost on me, because of my blind obsession with Elvis Perkins. Yet the next morning I woke up smiling with Bon Iver's song in my head. And isn't this video the best way to hear that song?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Morning Blog w/ tea covering such topics as Siara and Ben's Wedding, Alexander McQueen, etc.

Guess what?  My darling friend Siara got married and here we have bathroom potty shots to prove it.
The dress, vintage with spectacular beading and the most beautiful low cut back was so hip it is gonna live, classically, in photos, for generations.

My Friend Alex Cohen  and my sweet brother Will are shown here trying to make flower arrangements for the wedding.

Now we will get to the Alexander McQueen spring 2009 show, watch out for my favorite.....the sparkly black  jumpsuit.  Executed like Haute Couture, but baby this is ready-to-wear!!

And our darlings Jack and Lazaro at Proenza Shouler have a special Obama bracelet

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'll tell you what I did this weekend......

I took up a series of relaxing perches in order to prepare to be the best wedding singer ever!!!!!!

Once we ushered off the new couple- congratulations Elizabeth and Brad - my family and I went up to Brown mountain where I fed apples to goats and tried to get a good profile shot of Nelson's overbite.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Notes from the recording studio: Collapsable Studio 9/24/08

First, Michael took a nap.  He kept two thumbs up to illustrate his default opinion in regards to our mixing decisions.  He needed to conserve energy. 

Next, Jon took a nap and wedged his fist under his chin as if to appear thoughtful.  He was feeling weak because he had to get up "early" and "hates" the morning.

Then, Michael woke up and spun around in his chair wizard.  It made him feel sick.

And, don't worry, we did accomplish something when I realized that the tom toms sounded like "getty-up getty-up" and proceeded to work on my new dance routine.  If I didn't have to play the piano I would have more room to showcase my dancing abilities.

In other news, Sarah Palin made me feel sick today.

Please vote....please please please

It reminds me of the "one who got away."

Sometimes, presidents are like boyfriends: America's boyfriends.

This country had it right, then got its feelings hurt, then started dating an idiot. I miss Bill Clinton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am ready for Jumpsuits

I am guessing that everyone who reads this blog follows fashion and knows we are in the whirlwind of collection viewing.  Someday I will be blogging catwalk side, but I will still have to check out the collections on the internet afterwards because I can  barely see.  

But who  needs expensive pret-a-porter when you can have a jumpsuit!!!!!!!

Next order of business: last night I pinned up my unicorn poster and had a good cry, and this morning received a test message from my dear friend Sarahbrown that read: "Go to the magical horn of plenty, the unicornicopia.  Let the crystal tears come over you."

This topshop jumpsuit, as seen on, is gonna be Asheville's new best friend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh how the Bowerbird loves to decorate!!!!

Here is a video showing the male Bowerbird's bower that it has decorated. It likes to make a really nice display because the females are pretty into raising the kids alone.

I can't embed the most impressive video, but check it out, please because David Attenborough is kind of amazingly funny; he loves to just relax there on the moss. So yes, these cute birds and their fancy houses are my new best friends.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A little inspiration from band practice

And just in case you are one of those people who thought that Carmen Sandiego was the "good guy/girl." She wasn't. She was the one who was always stealing stuff: jeweles, countries, pyramids, etc.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thank goodness Joti found me

From the beloved blog 
my grown-up fashion doppelganger  has been spotted.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cheetah Button makes breakfast

A little song to sing, while making breakfast, on an official Cheetah Button camping trip.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's only funny if you were there.......

Where are you going? Hopefully where the streams of Whiskey are flowing. Three year olds who like the Pogues can help you get there.

My band likes to get comfy when they practice. Notice how relaxed Michael Libramento is. You can tell by his nicely crossed ankles.

Sarahbrown will try anything once for fifteen minutes...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Things I love about Karl Lagerfeld

He has a little pillow from his childhood that he snuggles when traveling.

He takes fantastically hot photos; it helps that the subjects are very attractive

He sticks with his look- note the above photo.

He is very liberal and speaks his mind.

try watching: Lagerfeld Confidential for more snippits like these one

a tiny tiny dog named Foxy Gentleman

In the above photo there is a tiny caterpillar sitting on one of my planters.  It happened to look a lot like foxy gentleman, who is smiling in the below picture.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Notes and observations on Bandazian and their latest album: O Pioneer

Hailing from the strangely diverse amalgamated suburbs of Washington, DC are four boys (men?) who have got it in their heads to live in this town, make music, and get it right and real.  Yes, I have met them.  I have sat while they praise and tease each other.  I have heard them draw a crowd.  I have seen them sad, happy, bored, and awkward.


First comes Ricky “the siphoner” Powderly, perpetually broke and homeless.  It seems no one sat him down and schooled him on how to write a pop song, yet he wields a knowledge and instinct most likely retained from his past life as Ian Curtis of Joy Division.  Here is the deal with Powderly’s (keys) talent: he knows when to stop, when to pull back, and that is what is just right with good rock and roll.  He brings the slightest variation to outlining a chord progression without overplaying, keeping a solid ground on which to build a song.  Listen to Clippership off of “O Pioneer” to hear Powderly work. 


With all of his wits about him, Timothy “the robot” Shull (bass) is the only member of Bandazian with a college degree and a full time job.  Though he has a degree in music, he returns to the point that it was NOT in performance.  Yes, he is irritatingly smart and seems to have a knowledge of music that informs the band’s decisions, but do we really need to be lectured on the history of rock and roll and the African Diaspora.  Maybe we do, maybe every band needs the one guy who can point out why exactly it is preferable to record on an out of tune piano.  I think Josephine off of O Pioneer is a good one to listen to if you want to hear Tim’s brain working.


The one and only Kevin “Krum” Rumley (beats) secretly runs this town.  Not even he knows it yet, but with a frequent high five and lavish praise he has won over many a cold cold heart.  Though he is a mere 23 years old, Krum has seen more than enough loss for one man. This is not the forum on which to elaborate, but take note that there is something in his playing, in his sensitivity as a drummer, that gives backbone to Bandazian’s music: a will to live and hit hard that comes from surviving tragedy.  A band is only as good as their drummer and thank goodness for these boys, Krum is their strongest asset.  Though Krum’s beats and playing give depth to every song, even if he is just shaking a tambourine, a great one to listen to is Cheap Champagne off of O pioneer. 


Alex “sensei” Keena  (leading/singing/guitaring/engineering), the one with the rat tail/mullet, has faithfully moved down to Asheville with his fiancĂ© after realizing that everyone in his band had left Virginia.  He is not a daft fellow by all means. He is quite the resourceful intelligent type, engineering local Richmond band’s albums on a pirated q-bass. Keena’s true gift, in my opinion, is his lyricism: telling the story that draws Bandazian’s music down through the layers of sediment to rest on bedrock. He has an ear for pop hooks and a blues infused voice to match.  If he danced like Yacht I am sure he would be a superstar by now, but all in due time.   I can’t pick one song out of the eight on O Pioneer to showcase Keena’s multifaceted talent.  Yup, you will have to put it on and listen to it all…..the….way….through!


When they self-released their first album, “in vacant fields” in 2006 they were young and green.  They had, “no reason to do it, we just wanted to make music,” notes Alex.  Not yet sure of what their sound actually was, Rick and Alex road-tripped to Iowa to find some inspiration and record, later Krum and Tim adding tracks. The album itself was the impetus for becoming a band. In Vacant Fields, has a lot of different ideas, it is almost an experiment in pop forms, but what it showcases is their natural talent for  arrangement.  It sounds good, tight, but a little unrealized, not yet the Bandazian I heard play last month.  That is not at all a bad thing, they are actually growing in each recording, which happens to be counterintuitive in the music business.  Many an indie band or a major band for that matter will put out  a great record and never live up to it.  Many of the bands they loved in High School: Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Pearl Jam etc, did just that.  why not keep making better and better albums?

The next year 2007, saw the win of a battle of the bands at the Orange Peel.  A fortuitous win brought them the experience of recording at Echo Mountain, having to write the songs in the few days before starting to record.  The Crocodile Tears EP is a four piece popping’ rock party, both pleasing to the ear and danceable.  Again the arrangements are quite impressive and I have a feeling that Krum’s beats have a lot to do with that. They are all without pretension, willing to learn and grow  and listen to each other.  There is not a lot of ego-driven bullshit that has the ability to stop musicians in their tracks and make them question everything too much.  They are fresh and wide-eyed, full of possibilities.

And now to “O Pioneer” the album they released this year. After scrapping the first draft of it, they found what they really wanted and raced the clock finding a lot of inspiration in the deadlines.  Wanna know what I think of it?  I love it:  it has overarching themes of faith, displacement, renewal, and individuation .  O Pioneer is a complete whole, it has a strong story arch that mirrors a life cycle, from birth to death;  and finds a way to be both pop sensitive as well as political and empathetic.   The songs tell both personal stories, as well as reach into the third person to find and tell the stories of others.  There is musicality in this album: interesting melodies, solid melodic and harmonic hooks, and great beats.  But the most important musical element I hear is simplicity.  There is a feeling of sonic space.  Their sound is stripped to its essential elements without being dumbed down. 

Without any kitsch or gimmicks to hook you in, like matching cardigans or pyrotechnics, these boys still manage to have something uniquely cohesive that identifies them.  They have an innocence and loyalty towards each other, they are brothers: stalwart and loving.   Before they get too big for their breeches, take some time and have a sing along with the boys of Bandazian.