Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Last night we took a road trip up to Milwaukee to catch a Steve Earle concert. Steve has a mastery of the entire spectrum of Americana music: country, folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass-- so when I found out that this was going to be just a solo acoustic show, I was a little disappointed thinking that the scope of material would be narrowed to the folkier songs in his catalog. I was gladly proven wrong. Steve Earle played over 2 hours and drew heavily from his extensive songbook. The first half was heavily "folky", just Steve and his guitar. Yet Steve does incredible guitar work that filled the Pabst theater with the bright and gritty sounds of his Martin guitar; Steve's vocals were equally powerful--not any thing less than the best he sounds on records. The second half of the show was Steve and the guitar paired with a DJ who spun some loops and samples for some more of the "rockier" stuff. I was skeptical when I first saw what was happening, but again I was suprised with the quality of the exectution. Some of Steve Earle's best songs are written as duets where his gravely voice contrasts with the pretty vocals of an alto singer. On this night they were beautifully supplied by Steve's opening act and wife, Allison Moorer. Steve writes some pretty heavy stuff-- blues and country inspired by his own battle with addiction, tales of the struggle of southern life, and fierce political convictions. Steve can sing a haunting ballad of lost love that'll make a cowboy weep in his beer. But it wasn't all doom and gloom. American Mountain music has deep roots in celtic music, and Steve is one of the greatest American musicians to tap the sounds of Ireland. It doesn't get better than "The Galway Girl", one of the funnest numbers of the entire concert.

We had a great time. The trip was well worth it, including a stop at the famous "Mars Cheese Castle" for some local Wisconsin delicacies.

We also saw a fantastic vanity plate on the way up I-94:
That's what I said when I saw it.

The night before we went out with a couple friends to see "The Dark Knight" which is about as cool as everyone says it is. Lots of action, a great performance by Heath Ledger as the joker, and great shots of Chicago. Did you know that Batman and Joker have also put together a helpful PSA for the summer.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die


Anonymous said...

Matt & Nicole,

I am learning so much more about both of you on this blog. Sometimes I think it is easier to say things in print than face-to-face and just want you to know how much Dad & enjoy the blog.

Matt, your varied taste in music, your knowledge and passion about baseball, and a gourmet cheese expert too. Wow! I'm impressed!

Nicole, your motivation to become healthier is inspiring me (although I'm having trouble even getting started)and your perseverance to finish your Master's is spite of your grief. I really admire you.

We can't say it often proud we are of you both!!

We love you, Mom "K"

Nicole said...

Thanks, Norma, that's so nice of you to say! We love you too! :)