Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some fun shows, and belated news from Winnipeg and Minneapolis

Raina and I went to see Dar Williams and Shawn Colvin at the zoo tonight. Dar was really my first true folkie love in about 1995, so though I haven't liked her later albums as much, I was still admittedly pretty excited to go. And I've always liked Shawn. It was fun. A Portland musician we know, Anne Weiss, is friends with Dar, and got up and sang with her on one song. But I think the most quotable moment of the evening was when Shawn told a story about opening for Sting and how he told her to get a tuner. She called him a "pansy-ass yoga-meister." After the zoo show, we went to Imbibe and saw Lara Michell and then Jamie Stillway play, had a cocktail and celebrated Lara's 35th birthday.

So, in order to give you a full account of my summer, I must mention this trip I took a few weeks ago to Minneapolis and Winnipeg (July 4-11). Also, I've been told to put pictures up here, so... I was in Minneapolis and Winnipeg for a week, visiting Ellen (and her illustrious place of employment - Red House Records) and going to the Winnipeg Folk Festival (an 8-hour drive northwest through scenic North Dakota). Now that was a great festival...... We saw Neko Case, Bruce Cockburn, Richard Thompson (and did I mention Ellen interviewd him for KFAI??!?!), Rickie Lee Jones, Crooked Still, Alejandro Escovedo, Steve Earle, Ruthie Foster, Jay Farrar, the Wailin' Jennys, Oh Susanna, Jerry Douglas, and tons of other great music. And there was no mud like when I went with Jenna in 1998. Lovely weather, lovely Canadians, definitely a good time. See We also got to spend some quality time with Mitch Podolak, who founded the festival 33 years ago. He had plenty of thoughts about festivals to share (should one be interested in music festivals....).

< Ellen and me enjoying the sun and music. We have established a tradition of going to one new music festival every summer (last year was Vancouver), so we'll see where we go next year. Edmonton? Kerrville (but maybe I have to go there with Raina)? Telluride? Suggestions are welcome....

This I think is funny, because it's *so* me in a coffee shop with my laptop and my iPod and my cell phone and my hazelnut latte.

Me at Minnehaha Falls. Emily, who I'd met about 4 days before at the festival, very kindy offered to show me around Minneapolis while Ellen was at work that Tuesday. She brought me to the lovely Blue Moon coffee shop, then we got some massive gyros at a yummy Middle Eastern place, and then we went for a nice walk.

Emily, me, and Ellen taking a picture of ourselves in the parking lot after dinner, before Emily and Scott took me to the airport.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Heat wave and a stop at Mount Shasta

At a coffee shop in the town of Mount Shasta now. I love it here, I first came about 10 years ago and fell in love with this little town and especially the mountain. Came here a few times on various road trips, I guess the last time was 2000 with my friend Emily (?). There is something special about Mount Shasta... I drove up the road 14 miles to a trailhead this morning and went for a short hike in Panther Meadows. Beautiful wildflowers, burbling brooks, pretty idyllic. And everyone hiking up there is very sweet and kind, they all seem to have a deep respect for the mountain, and the quiet.

The drive from Arcata yesterday was not fun, it was 114 degrees in Redding. But I found that the town of Weaverville, CA is actually pretty cute. Nice library, little natural food store downtown, cute coffee shop/music store where I bought some monkey bandaids for Willa (you gotta have cool bandaids!). I'm glad I came to Mt Shasta, but I don't think I need to do it from that direction again. Whiskeytown Lake is beautiful, but highway 299 I can do without.

I guess driving through record-breaking heat waves isn't the best idea. I read that it was 119 outside LA yesterday. It's supposed to be 97 here today, 111 in Redding, and 102 in Medford, OR. Portland will be nice, only 88. Here's a slightly disturbing article about heatwave deaths:

OK, I better finish this IM conversation with Jonah in Cairo, make a stop at Berryvale Grocery, and get back on the road homeward.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A first blog post from Arcata

Well, I guess I inadvertently created my own blog in the process of responding to Rebecca's: It must be fate.

Well, here I am in a coffee shop in Arcata, CA putting up Pickathon posters and drinking carrot juice. I've had a really lovely 4 days with my family here. My grandmother, Happie, and her two sisters, Barbra and Maeluise, and their kids. About a dozen of us, which is a huge reunion for my family. We picked blueberries, visited some llamas, went to some gorgeous beaches, ate lots of bagels and lox, and talked about the benefits of internet dating for widowed women in their 80s. This morning I took my second cousin, David, to a yoga/pilates class. He'd never done it before and he wore jeans, but he loved it.

Got word from my cousin Jonah in Cairo that his wife Jessica's family in Beirut is OK. "They can hear the bombs, but they're mostly further south." Still pretty scary and fucked-up. They are there, and my cousin Amir and his wife and three kids live in a Jewish settlement near Tiberias, in Israel. Not far from the northern border, not farther south than Haifa.... I can't even begin to say anything articulate about how I feel about what's going on in Israel right now. Other than that listening to NPR makes me want to cry a lot these days.

So tomorrow I'm going to drive to Mount Shasta and camp somewhere, then drive back up to Portland on Wednesday, just in time to put on a CD release concert for Myshkin's Ruby Warblers on Thursday night. Have I mentioned to all of you that her new EP, Sigh Semaphore, is gorgeous?

OK, I should go back and hang with my family for one last night. Eat more blueberry pie and teach Judi how to burn CDs.