Sunday, August 29, 2010

End of Summer Wrap-up Part 1

Every year my Mom, her husband Max, Kim, and I go down to Ashland and see some plays. It's been a tradition in our family for a really long time, and we all really cherish it. This was Olive's first year. Ashland is a fantastic town, and on the short list of places I'd move to. In the unlikely event I'd leave Eugene that is.

This year was Olive's first year going so we found a small rental house that would be comfortable for a whole family. It was only about 6 or 7 blocks from downtown Ashland, so it was still easy to walk everywhere. An easily walkable town ranks high in my book. My folks watched Olive while we went to some plays, and we did the same for them so they could catch some themselves.

This year we saw 3 plays and they were all pretty fantastic. We saw a brilliant update of Hamlet, American Night - an hilarious examination of the immigration issue, and She Loves Me which is the original musical the classic film The Shop Around the Corner and the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks film You've Got Mail is based on. Very romantic and fun in a classic film sort of way.

Here's my mom and Olive and I with the cute hipster hat I picked out for Olive.

And here is Olive and I at Lithia Park.

The Eugene Celebration was early this year and it seemed to have been a good move with big crowds and the weather holding. I had grand ideas of seeing some bands but ended up turning into a pumpkin too early to catch most of them. Ah, fatherhood. Well, at least we got to eat some delicious street food!

The family in the downtown crowds.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One more band...

I forgot these guys in yesterday's post. This is "Rosie" from Baltimore's Lower Dens off their fantastic debut Twin Hand Movement.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Some New Music and the Whiteaker Block Party

Here are some videos of some new music I've been enjoying lately. Thanks Youtube, Sub Pop, and Brassland. Jaill is in town on August 21st with the Hold Steady. I know I've been saying that show is the 22nd. Sorry. Either way, I'm out of town. Weak.

Also, this weekend was the 4th annual Whiteaker Block Party. We had a really great time - had an Eddo Burger for the first time (oh, why didn't I get a picture?). The cart is located next to Tiny's Tavern on Blair. So good I can't believe it didn't have any meat in it! One of the coolest things going on in Eugene right now is an explosion of food carts and several great ones were at the Party.

Olive got into the spirit.

We also caught a little bit of Sea Bell's set at the Party. I think they're one of the better local bands around right now. Kim said they looked like the cast of Hair, and they sort of sound like the cast of Hair. But in a good way? Did I just say that? Anyway, they're fun to watch live. They'll be playing live at the store later in October.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend Fun in The Eug

What a great weekend. It all started with a little Thai food on Friday night at Tararin.

Then it was off to the Meet Your Maker Craft Fair at the Last Friday Art Walk in Whiteaker.

Olive really loved the Mariachi band across the street.

On Saturday was the pig roast!

I'm an aspiring foodie, so I try and be a brave adventurous carnivore. But I couldn't kill an animal so I feel a little hypocritical eating them. The pig roast really brings you closer to it though, and I have to say I've never seen food celebrated or anticipated in quite the same way. It was also delicious.

Olive got a little snacky while we waited.

Some took off their shirts to just add to the carnal atmosphere.

On Sunday after a few hours playing at the park we went to the food cart competition at Ninkasi.

It was packed! I had a really delicious chicken wrap from a cart called Simplicity. They're normally on 6th and Lincoln Monday through Friday from 11-3.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Doctor Who Finale (Spoilers..Jenny)

I'm a Doctor Who fanatic - have been since I was a kid - and season 5 just recently wrapped up in America with one of the best season finales to one of the show's best seasons ever - new or classic series. And that's saying a lot for a show that originally started in the early '60s. That being said, there was something in the story line of the finale that left me (and a lot of other bloggers and critics) a little confused.

At the beginning of part 2 of the finale, "Future" Doctor travels back in time to give Rory the sonic screwdriver in order for Rory to use it to get the Doctor out of the Pandorica. But how did the Doctor get out of the Pandorica in order to travel back in time to tell Rory how to get the him out of the Pandorica? It's a paradox. Doctor Who is science fiction, but it exists in a comic book realm where you have to suspend quite a bit of disbelief at times. But this seems to me like a stretch, and given Executive Producer and writer Stephen Moffat's attention to detail, and track record of using red herrings and narrative trickery, it seems like it could have been intentional.

Moffat's did it to us once already in season 5. In part one of the Weeping Angels 2-parter the internet lit-up with speculation after the Doctor appeared in a scene with his coat on, after having lost it previously to the Angels. Could this have been a continuity error? Most thought not, and we learned in the finale this was justified. The Doctor was crossing his own timeline as he was erased from history, urging Amy to remember what he would tell her in her bedroom as a little girl - an event that hadn't even occurred yet. Yes, confusing - but also pretty brilliant. And it turns out this memory would be the key to returning the Doctor to reality after slipping to the other side of the cracks in the universe.

So, here's my theory - more happened between part one and part two than we've seen yet. In fact, perhaps the Doctor escapes the Pandorica some other way entirely and only travels back in time to get Amy into the Pandorica to save her - and also devise a way to reboot the universe. There are many unanswered questions at the end of season 5 - what does "Silence will fall" mean?, What's with the creepy voice in the Tardis? Who took over control of the Tardis and blew it up? Could the Doctor have fought those battles on his own between part one and part two? Will we see this later on? (Moffat already has shown us he loves to tell his stories out of order).

This is all of course speculation, and my friend Howard thinks I'm reading too much into this, and I probably am. Who knows how these questions will be answered. Either way, as long as Moffat's helming the show I think it will be fantastic. Season 5 certainly was.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cool Shows Coming Up In Eugene

There are some really great indie rock shows coming up in the Eugene area, especially in the Fall. With a young daughter it's doubtful I will make them all but I thought I'd post this anyway in order to help spread the word. I know Eugene's known as only getting jam bands and such but we get some pretty great indie shows as well.

I already have my tickets for Vampire Weekend at the McDonald Theatre on September 1st. I'm also very excited to see their opening band Beach House - their 2010 release "Teen Dream" is one of the year's best so far. Anybody want to babysit?

Coming up after that on September 11th is Walkmen and Helio Sequence at the WOW Hall. I hope to make it to this one also. Here's the track Stranded from their forthcoming release "Lisbon" also out in September.

Honorable mention: Hold Steady at WOW Hall on August 22nd (I'm going to be out of town!). Jaill is opening. They just put out an album in July on SUB POP that's really great poppy garage-rock. Blitzen Trapper is at the Eugene Celebration on August 28th. Flaming Lips at McDonald Theatre on September 29th. Dr Dog is at WOW Hall on Halloween. And Stars is at the McDonald on November 7th.

As previously stated, I won't make it to all this - but you should try. And BUY A TICKET! If you want good music to come to Eugene it needs to be supported!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Starting Over

After going hot and heavy on my last blog for awhile, I started to neglect it (yeah Katie, you warned me it would happen after the "honeymoon" wore off). So I've decided to wipe the slate clean and start over, this time with broader subjects to blog about - food, music, and family life in Eugene.

That being said this post is going to be about some new bands/artists I've recently discovered called Baths and Beach Fossils. Check them out:

So look out for posts from me (hopefully) more often. Our friends are roasting a pig in their backyard this weekend so I hope to show you some pictures of that. I can't wait!