Tag Archive: the orange peel


Today I had a doctor’s appointment. And I totally had to Google that to find out that “doctor’s appointment” was the correct way to say that. It was a follow-up to my appointment about two weeks ago, when I had a fasting lab. The results were overwhelmingly positive. My cholesterol and triglycerides continued to come down and all of my other readings were in the normal range. My triglyceride count is still a little high and my “good” cholesterol is still a little low, but compared to where I was a year ago, things are looking pretty good.

I’ve been getting niacin supplements from Amazing Savings for about as long as I’ve been taking them. With it being a discount store, you pretty much know that what you see there won’t be there forever. But they’ve had niacin as long as I could remember, and there didn’t seem to be any end to that. And then there was an end. I’ve looked everywhere, but most stores only carry the “flush free” niacin, which is usually inositol hexaniacinate, which doesn’t seem to really work. The Natrol brand niacin that Amazing Savings had is nicotinic acid, and obviously it’s been working. But now every pharmacy that used to sell the complete line of Natrol supplements only has a few, and no one seems to know why. After my appointment I went on the hunt again, and finally tracked down a 500 mg niacin that wasn’t flush free at Rite Aid, so hopefully it will work as well as the Natrol brand has. Fingers crossed.

Originally I was supposed to go see Andrew Bird with my friend Sarah tonight. We were discussing when to meet up and whatnot when it was announced that the show was cancelled. Evidently his van broke down somewhere in Kentucky. The show was rescheduled for October 21. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do that, I’ll have to look at my finances. I’m already having to miss work on the 20th because that’s when I have to take my stuff down from The One Stop. As of right now I couldn’t afford to miss two days of work in the same week. Maybe I could leave early or something, who knows. Sarah took this as a blessing in disguise and didn’t want to do anything else, instead electing to stay at home and catch up on some things. I thought about calling some friends, but figured it was too short notice. I ended up just getting some Chinese takeout and watching How I Met Your Mother. It’s been rainy and dismal all day, which means that no matter how much sleep I got last night and no matter how much caffeine I’ve consumed, I’m sleepy. So I guess it’s just as well. Going to concerts and/or hanging out with friends while trying to stay awake isn’t exactly idea.

Well that’s about all for now.

 

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This whole two-jobs-classes-and-a-social-life thing is taking its toll on me. I feel like I never get enough sleep, and I’m way behind on my reading for my classes. What I really need is a bit more self-discipline so I can force myself to catch back up, both on homework and sleep.

I’ve been hanging out with my neighbors a lot, after a brief period of locking myself up in my room. I haven’t really seen much of anyone else, however. I haven’t heard from Kat in a while; I’m guessing she’s even more busy than I am, so who knows where that might be going. I’ll be seeing Sarah on Monday – we’re going to see Andrew Bird at the Peel. One last concert before she leaves the country for two years. Fun.

As far as the whole art career thing goes, I’ve been selected to be part of a three person show at the Blend Gallery in November. It’s probably better known as the Blend Lounge or “that place where you can smoke hookah,” but recently they’ve tried to remake themselves as a gallery first and everything else second. It will definitely be good exposure. Also in November we’ll be having our staff show at True Blue, so I’ll have some stuff there too. I’m not sure why I haven’t been more diligent about posting things like this. I guess I’ve just decided that this is my “personal” blog and my Tumblr is more for art related things. So yeah.

And speaking of work, with one employee gone to Penland for two months and another moving soon, we did some hiring. I’ve worked two shifts with one of the new girls, and she seems alright. I’m not really sure why, seeing as how she’s not really anything I usually go for, but I find her quite sexy. But I know better than to even attempt something with a coworker, that pretty much never works. But a customer, well that’s a different story…

This girl came in today and asked if I remembered her. She’s a student and used to come in all the time last year, and she’s absolutely gorgeous, so there’s no way I’d forget her. Out of nowhere she just starts talking my ear off. Not that I minded. She told me about her classes, her art, her roommates, her family, being broke, not having a car, never getting any sleep, quitting smoking, her boyfriend……. Yeah, I was totally on board until that last one. She mentioned him about three times, even telling me that he has the same name that I do. But based on what she was saying and her body language, it seemed like she was totally flirting with me. Even my coworker thought so. And our conversation ended up lasting around 45 minutes, which is probably more than all of our other conversations added together.

To further my theory that she was flirting, she told me about how she was a model on the side for the figure drawing classes at UNCA. She said that all up and down the hall are drawings of her nude. She said that pretty much everyone in the art department has at some point in time drawn her. Her boyfriend, while not an art major, has his department in the same building, so he’s seen the pictures too. I commented that it sounded like things could get pretty awkward. She denied it, but at the same time was turning bright red. I told her I didn’t believe her, because she was blushing just telling me about it. She said she wasn’t, that it was just really hot in here. I was at a pretty comfortable temperature. The high today barely hit 70 degrees, and most of the day it was rainy and way below that. And we had the air conditioning running. So either she’s extremely sensitive to warm temperatures, or she was in fact blushing while telling me about posing nude for her entire department.

There were a few other exchanges that were like that, although none quite as awkward. I got the vibe that the whole time she was trying to put forth the best possible image of herself, like she was trying to impress me or something. She giggled a lot, often stammered, and went off on long tangents that weren’t really related to whatever we had been talking about before. I’m convinced that she showed all the signs of flirting with me. Which makes me wonder why she would go out of her way to mention that she had a boyfriend. Perhaps she’s sizing me up as a potential replacement for whenever they happen to break up? A guy can dream! If that was the case I certainly wouldn’t complain. As I said before, this girl is gorgeous, and she really has a wonderful personality. She seems very intelligent, and we obviously have a lot of common interests. Basically, she’s the kind of girl I could fall for in a heartbeat. She said she wanted to see my art, so I gave her my card, and specifically told her to go like my Facebook page. Ever since then that’s pretty much all I’ve thought about, hoping that at some point in the near future I’ll log on and see that she liked my page and I can add her as a friend and send her a message. Who knows, maybe it will happen. But if nothing ever comes of it, I got in some good quality flirting with an amazing girl, and that’s pretty much its own reward, right?

I’m sure there are other interesting things that have happened recently in my life, but I’m kinda blanking on what they might be. I guess that’s my cue to end this thing already…

 

I just got back from the show. Even though I’m physically tired, my brain is still wide awake, so I might as well write a blog about it…

The day began with me doing a little shopping. First I went to Target and used a coupon I have for 5% off a whole day of shopping. I bought a pair of Converse, in the hopes that they will be more comfortable for standing in one place all day at work than athletic shoes, which seem to only be comfortable when you’re moving around. I also got a pair of shorts, some Sudafed, and a CD by a band called Walk The Moon. I’d never heard of them, but it looked really cool and was only $7.99, so I decided to check them out. I listened to a few songs on my phone and was sold. They’re kinda dancey, maybe like a cross between Foster The People and The Killers, but with a dash of punkish guitar, and some really sweet falsetto vocals. It might not ever be one of my favorite CD’s, but I’m pretty sure it will get plenty of spins whenever I’m in the mood for something fun.

After Target I went to Amazing Savings. I chat a lot with the girls that work there, and when I told them it was my birthday they gave me 10% off. Not too shabby. The highlight of my grocery purchase was undoubtably a frozen treat that basically amounts to a Rice Crispie Treat but with chocolate ice cream in the middle. Why did no one think of this sooner? I came home and listened to some music and did a little doodling and then got ready for the evening.

I met up with James and Nici outside of Doc Chey’s, but evidently they’re closed on Wednesdays. Sarah was running a little behind, and just as I was about to call to tell her they were closed she came walking toward us. I was still in the mood for noodles, so we opted for The Noodle Shop right down the street, which was pretty good. We all split a crunchy squid appetizer which was incredible. I got the chicken Pad Thai, which while it wasn’t amazing, was pretty good. Sarah paid for dinner and James and Nici gave me their usual random WTF-inducing Dollar Store birthday presents, which this year consisted of a box of Fiddle Faddle and some silly string. They left after dinner and Sarah and I headed to the Orange Peel.

We got there pretty early and just hung out for a while. A girl approached us and asked if the seat next to us was taken. We started talking and she mentioned how she’s here in Asheville for a summer internship and doesn’t have any friends, so she always ends up going to concerts alone. We chatted some more and exchanged numbers and talked about the possibility of going to see a show sometime. Midway through the opening band’s set she left to go to the bathroom and I never managed to track her down again. I sent her a text, so who knows, maybe she’ll make good on that and we’ll go to a concert soon.

The opening band was called Delicate Steve. Horrible name aside, they were pretty good. Their sound is an interesting mix of jam band, spacey prog rock, and a little of the Vampire Weekend style ethnic yacht rock. For the most part they were instrumental, and on the few songs that did have vocals they were mixed so low you couldn’t hear them. Their lead guitarist was absolutely incredible, using all sorts of weird sounds and tones in conjunction with blues based soloing and some slide work. The rhythm guitarist switched to synthesizer for several songs, and they had a lot of loops and samples thrown in for good measure. A few songs sounded like The Mars Volta, while others were closer to the sort of stuff that you would expect from a band opening up for Yeasayer. I’m not sure how well their sound would translate to a recording, but live it was a great experience.

During the intermission I made my way closer to the stage, while Sarah hung out in the back. When I had gotten about as close as I could I decided to just settle in and take in my surroundings. I noticed two girls, one of whom immediately caught my eye. She was extremely short with curly brown hair, with a bright red streak in it. She had a beautiful tattoo of what looked like a hummingbird on her back, but it was hard to tell because it was partly covered up by her shirt. I kept my eye on her throughout the show and decided that when it was over and I wouldn’t have to scream above the music I would say hello and tell her that I liked her tattoo and then hope for the best. However the very second the music stopped her and her friend headed straight for the back and I lost them. Oh well, maybe I’ll write a “missed connections” ad on Craigslist 😛

So by now you’re probably wondering when I’ll quit rambling about nonsense and talk about Yeasayer. Okay here goes…

Yeasayer put on a very fun, high energy, larger than life type show. There were crazy laser lights and giant mirrors, strobes and colored spotlights that blinded. The vibe was absolutely huge, it reminded me a lot of the Bear In Heaven concert I saw a few months ago. They played a pretty good mix of songs from their first two albums and songs from their upcoming disc, but they tended to focus more on the dance and rave oriented songs and shied away from ballads and their more middle eastern sounding stuff. Their new material sounds really solid, with a few unexpected sounds. One song featured a very prominent bassline and some weird percussion. Another new song was built around vaguely Latin sounding bongos, but then out of nowhere the song was taken over by keyboards that sounded like they were ripped straight out of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. I found it rather curious that their percussionist was standing the whole time, usually letting loops and synths take the place of the kick drum, and focusing instead on snare, bongos, and various pads and triggers. The primary singer also played a little percussion here and there, banging on a synth drum and shaking a tambourine when he wasn’t dialing up sounds on an analog synth or wandering all over the stage. The other singer usually played guitar, switching to keyboard on a few songs. When he played guitar it was usually so buried in effects that it didn’t even sound like a guitar. The same can be said for his vocals, as he often sang through a harmonizer and various other effects. There were a few songs where the two singers formed a three-part harmony with the bassist, recalling their early days in a vocal quartet. After a rather lengthy set they performed an encore consisting of two new songs and two old songs. The crowd was heavily into things from the very first note, and the band played off that energy. While it would be difficult to say that they “rocked” in a conventional sense, their performance was intense, fun, and full of great grooves and top-notch musicianship. The songs from their debut album were given new life and room to breathe, the songs on their second album sounded much better live than on CD, and based on the new songs they played, I’m eagerly anticipating their next album.

So yeah, that’s about it. Now to wind down and attempt to get some sleep before waking up dreadfully early for work. The End.

 

I finally dusted off the ol’ youtube account and uploaded a few videos from the concert last night. I have a few more, but I found them to be lacking in sound quality, so we’ll stick with these…

 

First some songs by the opening acts…..

 

 

And now a few by The Lemonheads…

 

 

So how about a really random and scattershot concert review?

Before the show my friend Sarah and I grabbed some pizza at Barley’s, which was quite good. Then we headed over to the Peel, but there really wasn’t much need to get there when the gates opened, most people didn’t show up until a few minutes before showtime. We chatted with a few of the merch people and hung out until the first act hit the stage.

The first opening act wasFred Mascherino, a.k.a. The Color Fred, a.k.a. The Guy Who Used To Be In Taking Back Sunday. He did a short acoustic set featuring a few new solo songs, some stuff from his The Color Fred album, an old TBS song, and one song by his new band Terrible Things. I wasn’t very familiar with his music, but he’s a great guitarist and has a wide vocal range (more on that later.)

The second act was Meredith Sheldon, who I had never heard of until she was announced as the opening act. In addition to being pretty much gorgeous, she had a great voice, which reminded me a bit of Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, but with less grit. She opened her set with a solo song and then brought out her band, which featured a kick-ass rhythm section and an elvish looking keyboardist who mostly provided spacey drones that floated in the background. Her songs were a good mix of melodic singer/songwriter type stuff with a hard, punkish edge. With a little more exposure I could see her having some chart success. I had the pleasure of meeting her after the show and she seems like a really sweet person. Sarah bought her CD, so I shall have to borrow it soon.

After a short intermission the Lemonheads finally took the stage. The band at this point is basically a pseudonym for Evan Dando, with the current lineup consisting of the aforementioned Fred Mascherino on bass and backing vocals and a drummer whose name I am currently unable to find on teh interwebs. Dando came on stage solo and played a short acoustic set, consisting of songs from the band’s whole career, including their hit “Into Your Arms” and “Being Around.” Video screens (and the bass drum) showed a very random video loop of what I assume is tour footage from all over the country, including a car wash, a snowy town, and a lot of highway shots. The rest of the band came out shortly and got down to business, playing the album It’s A Shame About Ray in its entirety. For some reason this didn’t stop the annoying girls behind us from screaming out requests in between songs. They didn’t mess with the arrangements very much, mostly playing the songs as close to the album as possible, sans all the overdubs. Let it be said that Fred does a mean Juliana Hatfield impression, hitting the high harmonies with ease and even effecting a girlish timbre for the solo backing vocals. On the last song, “Frank Mills,” Dando stopped playing and stepped away from the microphone and let the crowd carry the song on their own. Shortly after leaving the stage all three band members came back out for an encore set that included several songs off the album Come On Feel, one from Car Button Cloth, and even a song from their pre-breakthrough classic Lovey.

The band was very tight and Evan Dando’s voice was in fine form. The sound was very well mixed, something I haven’t been able to say about a concert in quite some time. My only (minor) complaints were the lack of Juliana Hatfield and “Mrs. Robinson.” In all fairness, Dando and Hatfield did have a pretty ugly and public falling out, so I can understand them not wanting to reunite, and he’s probably sick of having to play that song for 20 years, so I won’t fault the guy too much. I had hoped to meet him after the show, but evidently it was his birthday and his introverted nature was taking over. I did however get to meet Fred, who seems like a pretty cool guy. I also snagged a t-shirt and a CD of demos that Dando recorded to a tape deck in a hotel in 1993, mostly songs that would wind up on Come On Feel. I just got done listening and it’s a rather charming little recording, which the liner notes claim was recorded for only $53.

Overall it was a great show and a very fun evening. Tomorrow when I’m not so sleepy I’ll try to post some pictures and/or a video. Until then I’m going to try to get caught up on a few things and then get some sleep…

My upcoming week should be pretty jam-packed. Let’s see……….

I just got done watching Carolina beat the crap out of Maryland. On Saturday they’ll do the same thing to Duke. But more on that later.

Tomorrow (in addition to being the wonderful and magical day known as “Laundry Day”) I will be meeting a girl named Meghan, whom I have been emailing for the past two months or so. She was in Korea teaching and just recently came back to this neck of the planet. We’re going to meet up at the Carolina cinema for the Thursday Horror Picture Show, which this week will be showing Bride Of Dracula. Should be a fun time.

Friday I may or may not be getting together with Charlie. She’s been a bit hard to get ahold of lately and I’m not exactly sure what’s going on there. Her car is evidently having some serious issues, so if we do get together I’ll be driving there. But I still haven’t heard from her, so it’s all up in the air.

Saturday is the day of the aforementioned ass-whooping that Duke will receive courtesy of my Tar Heels. There’s absolutely no reason they should have won the first meeting, and you know Carolina is pretty pissed at themselves for letting that happen. I expect them to play with more passion than they have all year and put on a clinic on How To Beat Your Opponent Senseless. And let’s be honest, Duke kinda sucks at home this year. Unless Austin Rivers has another career night, things could get pretty ugly for the Devils. Just the way we like it.

And last, but certainly not least… Sunday I will be going to see The Lemonheads at The Orange Peel. Not only that, but I will be going for free, courtesy of my extremely awesome friend Sarah. I can’t even explain how psyched I am about this. They’ll be playing their classic album It’s A Shame About Ray in its entirety. I was about 14 when that album came out, and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, it pretty much shaped my musical tastes for the next 20 years. I spent most of my childhood listening to top 40 pop and my parents’ favorites such as The Beatles and old Motown classics. In the late 80’s I started to get into hair metal, and when Nirvana broke big in 1991 I was a full-fledged rocker. But there was something missing in all this loud noisy stuff I was listening to. That something was big melodic hooks that bury themselves deep in your brain and refuse to leave. Ever. When I first heard The Lemonheads’ cover of “Mrs. Robinson” I knew I had found what I was looking for – the perfect bridge between my earlier pop favorites and the loud guitar rock I was listening to at the time. I bought It’s A Shame About Ray (albeit the rereleased version that included “Mrs. Robinson” and changed “My Drug Buddy” to “Buddy”) and the rest was history. They never became my favorite band, but to this day that is one of my favorite records. Nearly every band I’ve fallen for in the past two decades has had that same combination of crunchy guitars, folksy strumming, and huge pop hooks. Now I’m about to see the band that helped start me on this crazy journey in search of the perfect power pop song. I’ll be sure and post some pictures, maybe a video, and a nice little concert review, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to wrap this up and relax a little. Last night I somehow managed to fall asleep at 10:30, but I’m still somewhat exhausted. I’m pretty sure my body hates me for all the sleepless nights and caffeine binges. The End.