Tag Archives: Lissie

NaNoWriMo 2013 Days 16-18

So, back on Day 15, after I posted my update, I went to a fantastic concert at House of Blues’s Parish Room (which is also where I saw Lissie’s phenomenal show a few years ago). I was looking forward to Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes for *weeks*, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go till the day of the show. While waiting for my friends N. and M. outside, I saw a guy who looked vaguely familiar with a lady who didn’t look familiar at all. We had a pretty typical New Orleans conversation:

Me: “Hey, do you know where I know you from?”

Him: “No, but you sure do look familiar to me, too.”

Me (shrug): “Well, it’ll come up again some day, I’m sure.”

And then it took a turn for the surreal, which is still fairly typical of New Orleans conversations:

Her: “Hey, this guy just gave us two tickets to this show and we can’t stay for it. Do you want these tickets?”

Me: “Oh *hell* yeah!” (snatches tickets).

Still, no clue how I know him. Except now I know them both as concert ticket-bequeathing angels.

The Honorable South opened the show, which was exciting. I found out about them when my friends Adam Gambrel and Jax Baker directed and produced the music video for their song The Beast. Realized while grabbing links just now that more friends worked on it: Jil Szewski and Natalie Johnson. Adam’s just directed another video for their new song Saint Charles Parish.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes were everything I’d hope they’d be. N’s friend A. joined us and we totally danced a loopy awesome swing style dance in the midst of the packed crowd. It was probably totally obnoxious to everyone around us, but also totally awesome. It was just one of those nights. I hope you have one or two soon, yourself.

I worked on Day 16 and had another long, fantastic social evening. No words! Ditto with Day 17, except it (Sunday) included a performance of Waiting for Godot at Tulane, attending with a friend with friends in the cast. It was really funny and well-done. Afterwards, we had to sustain ourselves with steak. So, still no words.

So I broke my no-word streak today. After a long day of work, I had an hour-long word war with Sis. At first, I didn’t know what to write. I started reading the next chapter of my book, looking for sections that could use shoring up or extra scenes. And I got inspired. As I was writing the scene, I realized that I may completely discard it, but that it was telling me something about how I felt the story had to go. By the end of the scene, I was fairly sure I’d keep the scene and change the rest of the book. The magic of NaNoWriMo.

I wrote 1,215 words, which brings my total so far this year to 10,538 words. I need more than 3,000 daily in order to hit 50,000 words by the 30th, so it’s increasingly unlikely I’ll “win” this year. But what an educational adventure it’s been. And at least I creeped over the 10K hurdle. In my worst year, I only wrote 6,827 words. So, I’ve already done better than my worst. It’s all gravy after that!

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Emilie’s 2011 Best List

Each year, one or two categories are really easy while others are really difficult. Books will be fairly easy, movies much more difficult. Here we go…

Books:

Because I did my Quarterly Reading Reports, it’s a bit easier for me to pinpoint which books stuck with me all year long. The surprise for me, considering how slow I am when reading nonfiction, is that almost half of my best books of 2011 list are nonfiction titles.

1. House of Prayer No. 2, Mark Richard

2. Across the Universe, Beth Revis

3. Whip It, Shauna Cross

4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick

5. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

6. The Southern Cross, Skip Horack

7. The Devil She Knows, Bill Loehfelm

8. Matched and Crossed, Ally Condie

9. The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

10. Knowing Your Value, Mika Brzezinski

Notables include Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, Jenny Han’s Summer trilogy, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

Movies:

This list is a little longer and includes movies I saw in the theater and watched on DVD (or streaming).

1. Country Strong

2. Daydream Nation

3. The Adjustment Bureau

4. Wild Target

5. Bridesmaids

6. Elvis & Anabelle

7. Winter’s Bone

8. Super 8

9. Hanna

10. HappyThankYouMorePlease

11. Hugo

12. Our Idiot Brother

13. Stupid, Crazy Love

14. Circo

15. War Horse

My list includes one documentary and two others that I really enjoyed were Exporting Raymond and Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. A few films that were far better than I anticipated, rising above their genres should also be noted: X-Men First Class, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Cowboys & Aliens.

TV

1. How I Met Your Mother

2. 2 Broke Girls

3. Raising Hope

4. The New Girl

5. Castle

6. Falling Skies

7. Downton Abbey

8. So You Think You Can Dance

9. Dancing with the Stars

10. Survivor

Notables include Bones, In Plain Sight and Psych of course, Storage Wars, Terra Nova, Suburgatory and Community (which I got into late this year), as well as wonderful cancelled shows I streamed on Netflix: Party Down, The Unusuals and The Good Guys.

Music:

Albums –

1. Adele’s 21

2. CAKE’s Showroom of Compassion

3. Christina Perri’s Lovestrong

4. Jenny Owen Youngs’ Batten the Hatches

5. Lissie’s Covered Up With Flowers

Singles (not from any of the above) –

1. The Generationals “Ten-Twenty-Ten”

2. Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness”

3. Lil Wayne “How to Love”

4. Michael Franti & Spearhead “Say Hey (I Love You)”

5. Timothy Bloom & V. Bozeman “Till the End of Time”

On any other day, I might give different answers, but as of this moment, this is my 2011 Best List.

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Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at House of Blues

This is late in coming, but better late than never, right? After I reviewed Lissie at House of Blues and suggested everybody check out Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, I promised I would review the show, so here I am.

First of all, it was a sold out show at the main HOB stage, so it was crowded. That’s not my favorite way to enjoy live music and I was a bit grouchy, but also really excited to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals cause I’ve heard that they’re amazing live. And I noticed that most of their shows on this tour have been sold out, if that gives you any evidence.

I am here to tell you that GP&N (for brevity’s sake) are every ounce the phenomenal performers that I’ve heard. Positively electric. An easy comparison to Grace Potter is Janis Joplin, but I read someone compare her to Tina Turner and I think that may be even more apt. Or some kind of combination of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and herself may be the most apt description.

I found a local music blog that has videos and a gallery of images from the show. You should definitely check it out and I’ll include some videos below so you can get an idea for yourself of what it’s like to see GP&N live. There’s a high-energy new-wave psychedelic funky/folky quality that is just utterly unique.

This one is a bit dark, but the audio is pretty good.

The lighting in this one is much better and it’s a great song.

This video is not from her recent New Orleans performance, but I’m including it because she did perform it in a special arrangement and after some discussion of Katrina and our recovery. This performance is close to what she performed here in New Orleans, without her commentary, of course.

If, after all this, you want to re-create the Nola concert for yourself, I found a setlist for the show and there should be videos for almost all of these songs available. Have fun!

P.S. Actually, I did it for you. Here is a playlist of the songs that GP&N played at House of Blues earlier this month. Enjoy!

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Loving Lissie locally

Last year, I wrote about a musician named Lissie who’s become one of my favorites and I ended the post by saying:

“Lissie, when are you coming to New Orleans? Seriously.”

On Tuesday, Lissie performed at the House of Blues Parish Room and to demonstrate what a big fan I am, I was one of the first 30 people to buy my ticket, more than two months ago. I know, I’m a dork. But, I’d be a supreme dork again and buy tickets waaay early if she ever comes back to New Orleans, because she’s an awesome live performer.

It’s easy to see that from her many YouTube videos, but it’s nothing to actually being in the audience. There is something absolutely electric about her when she performs. Because my own taste in music is so eclectic, I think one of things I love best about her is that she can sing bluegrass, then pop, then rock, and always sound like herself. Her covers of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” are genius, but her own songs are clever and infectious as well.

Moll went with me to the show, which was cool because she’d never heard of Lissie and left a fan. I’ve found a video of Lissie’s encore performance of “Pursuit of Happiness” at the show and I’ll include it here:

I probably shouldn’t be so proud of the fact that all the Frenchmen talk happened because I yelled “Frenchmen” in response to her “ready for Bourbon” comment, and that you can hear me screaming in the video. As Moll Tweeted me later:

@emofalltrades I’m pretty sure that I can hear you hollerin’.

While there were a ton of young girls there (singing very loudly to her songs and calling out “You’re so pretty!” between songs), the audience was surprisingly age-diverse. Her opening act, Dylan LeBlanc, was excellent as well, though the feel of his set was very different from Lissie’s performance, of course. He’s worth checking out and I’ve embedded a video here for you:

Moll and I were taking a picture of ourselves on my cell phone when a woman walked by and offered to take our picture, breathlessly telling us afterward that she’d flown from New York, where she’d just seen Lissie and that Lissie was about to blow up in popularity. The woman predicted that Lissie will be performing at the Arena next time she’s in New Orleans. While she took our picture, a strange guy we didn’t know wandered by and posed behind us a few times. So almost all of the pictures that the woman took of us include this guy and us laughing. I’ll include one below and leave you with my wishlist for Lissie’s next New Orleans appearance, whether it’s at the Arena or not:

1. Lissie, come back to New Orleans

2. Perform “Pursuit of Happiness” with Kid Cudi (they could tour together, why not?!)

3. Support a new awesome cd.

Yeah, we don't know that guy, but he did tell us to tag him on Facebook. 🙂

 

P.S. I’ve started writing for NOLAFemmes and my second post for them was a write up of the show.

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Listen to this – Lissie and Grace Potter

Tuesday at the House of Blues Parish Room brought singer Lissie to New Orleans. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time and have written about her on my own blog and for the So You Think You Can Dance fan site PureSYTYCD. So I was stoked when I saw that she was playing the House of Blues. I suspected from her YouTube videos that Lissie is an amazing live performer and I was not wrong.

In between songs, she told many little stories and cited Metallica, Led Zepplin and Janis Joplin as influences. Like Janis Joplin, she has a voice that sounds not just husky, but eternally on the edge of hoarse. She can do a stellar bluegrass, then turn around and sing what could be a pop hit on the radio, but through it all is a solid rock core. She’s a very pretty girl (several female audience members kept calling out, “You’re so pretty!”), but performs with an abandon and lack of concern for her appearance that is refreshing.

If she’s ever back in New Orleans, you should definitely check her out. In the meantime, read this excellent Gambit write-up and th audience-made video of Lissie’s encore performance of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” from Tuesday’s show that I found. I’ll also embed my favorite of her songs, “When I’m Alone.” While you’re looking, check out her cover performances of Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” and Lionel Richie’s “Hello.”

Planning ahead, if you haven’t heard of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals yet, start checking them out now. They’re phenomenal and will be at House of Blues February 20th.

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Emilie’s 2010 Best List

I’ve been thinking about this post in the back of my head for the last few weeks. And now it’s come time to look back at my favorites of the year…

Books are pretty easy because I read fewer books this year than…ever. At least, any year since I’ve been keeping track and that’s a decade’s worth of reading. The last time I read fewer than 100 books in a year was my second year of grad school and I read considerably fewer than 100 books this year. So my quantity was down, but not the quality – a read quite a few books this year that I’d had on my to-read list a while.

1. Kai Meyer‘s The Dark Reflections Trilogy and most of The Wave Walkers Trilogy
2. Rebecca Cantrell‘s A Trace of Smoke
3. Audrey Niffennegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
4. John Kennedy Toole‘s A Confederacy of Dunces
5. Alice Sebold‘s The Lovely Bones
6. David Madden‘s Abducted by Circumstance
7. Mary McMyne‘s Wait. (manuscript)
8. Suzanne Collins‘s last Hunger Games book Mockingjay
9. M.O. Walsh‘s The Prospect of Magic
10. Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy (still working on the last, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have some reservations about labeling some of these “best,” as I had some issues with a few of these books – notably Stieg Larsson’s books and The Lovely Bones – but they are unconditionally the ones that I invested the most time in, spent time thinking about. And there are some absolutely stellar BEST books on this list. And, of course, I read dozens of short stories through my work with Narrative, several of which I’d love to put on a best list, but can’t disclose. Interestingly, there’s no non-fiction on my list this year.

I actually saw quite a few movies in the theater this year, or maybe they stand out because I quite liked so many that I saw there. Rentals were often disappointing – slightly better than I’d expected or boring or not as good as I’d heard. So this is tough, but the movies I enjoyed the most this year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I have to do it, it was so good…)
2. Inception (I saw it 3.5 times in the theater)
3. Toy Story 3 (Pixar has always been really smart with these sequels)
4. Easy A (it was as funny and good as my favorite 80s comedies)
5. Red (it was like Sneakers jacked up, so of course I loved it)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (of course, it’s about Banksy)
7. Going the Distance, Get Him to the Greek (a tie)
8. Twilight: Eclipse and How to Train Your Dragon (a tie)
9. Nine (I love musicals)
10. The Kids are Alright

Honorable mentions: Last Station, Hereafter, Black Swan, True Grit, Despicable Me, The Ramen Girl, St. Trinian’s, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Young Victoria and Coco Before Chanel.

TV had to take a serious back burner this year because I never knew when I’d get home from work and had so much going on. This list is basically comprised of the shows that I kept up with in the chaos. Also, it should be said that I watched every episode of Law & Order SVU through Season 10 this year.

1. So You Think You Can Dance
2. Survivor
3. Castle
4. Glee
5. Raising Hope
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. United States of Tara
8. How I Met Your Mother
9. Bones
10. Fringe

My super notables:  The Tudors, In Plain Sight and 30 Rock.

I might go so far as to say that music was one of my biggest influences this year. I probably went to more concerts this year than I have every other year combined. Because my favorite songs are generally still my favorite songs from last year and the year before (with a few new exceptions), I’d much rather outline the best concerts of the year and the cds that I’ve been listening to obsessively.

CDs:

1. Lissie‘s Catching a Tiger, as well as her EP Why You Runnin’
2. Roisin Murphy‘s Ruby Blue
3. Mark Growden‘s Saint Judas
4. The Dresden Dolls‘s Yes, Virginia…
5. Black Gold‘s Rush

Shows:

1. Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s in New Orleans
2. Black Gold at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
3. Citizen Cope at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
4. Simon Lott at Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans
5. Mark Growden at Circle Bar in New Orleans

I think that just about covers the highlights of 2010, so all that’s left to say is Happy 2011!

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Loving Lissie

I’m not sure where or why I first heard Lissie, but I’m so glad I did. One of the folks I work with was playing a clip of her covering Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” the other day and it reminded me how much I love her voice. I wish I could sing like this lady, but I’m so glad she sings the way she does and I can listen in. I’ve listened to this song about a dozen times around today, I think it’s my favorite of hers:

And here’s the “Bad Romance” video, too. Enjoy.

Annnnnnnd this awesome cover of Dylan’s “Ramona,” cause it rocks, too:

Lissie, when are you coming to New Orleans? Seriously.

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