‘music’ Category

13 August 2013

Checking Lolla off my Chicago list

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: music, Random

So this post is going up a bit later than I thought it would but, hey, still worthwhile.

In July, I told a friend that I was going to Lollapalooza this year. And she was like, “aren’t you too old for that?”

For a moment, I was offended, and then I wondered, wait, am I?

I have lived in Chicago for eight years and this is the FIRST time I’ve gone. So I couldn’t help but wonder, why?

Oh yeah:

  • Huge crowds
  • Drunk crowds
  • Intense heat that makes you wonder if you will lose your mind or die in Grant Park

In every year prior, you could always guarantee that it would be hotter than hell for Lollapalooza. Even if it was cool before that weekend, that would change. On top of that, you are crammed in front of a stage with thousands of drunk and high people you never met before. Sounds like fun RIGHT?

Well in my spirit of trying new things in 2013, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go to Lollapalooza for a day. Three days sounded a bit intense and in case I hated it, one day was a doable commitment.

Then the band list leaked and I got more excited and determined, only to be shut out of the day I wanted thanks to Mumford, Matt & Kim, Ellie Goulding and others being stacked that day. Figures.

So a coworker sold me her Sunday wristband and I was off with Arielle and her friend Eric, who were both in town for all three days of the festival. And in a gift from the heavens, it was not center-of-the-sun hot. It was…manageable. Okay!!

Because I was only there for a day, I saw a total of three full sets, each of which were great. I finally got to see Tegan & Sara live and got the added bonus of Vampire Weekend and Phoenix.

And it was awesome. Bands start on time and play continuously during the set. And the music sounds great too. And people sing along and get a little rowdy but not always asshole-like behavior.

I’m still catching up on bands and listening to new and different types of music but this was a really good time. And I would consider going  next year too!

Have you been to any festivals this summer?





19 November 2012

Continuing my music education

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: music

I’ll admit that I’m not the most musically diverse. I tend to keep it simple, Top 40, latest hits and classic rock. I rarely deviate outside of them and that’s, okay.

But lately, I’ve taken on a type of “music education.”

And it’s not exactly like music class in high school.

A friend of mine, who loves music and has an impressive online music collection, has generously started helping open my musical horizons. She’s shared music and even invited me to a few local shows she has tickets for.

The first concert I went to with her introduced me to one of my favorite new bands. And now, I’m more than open to hear new music and break out of my comfort zone.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have One Direction, Rihanna and Flo Rida on my iPod but lately I’ve been loving a few new songs too.

So below is a list of some of the new bands/artists I’ve discovered during my musical education. I’m a tad behind :)

 If you have bands or artists that you’re loving and that I should check out, let me know!

What are you listening to right now that you love?

01 August 2011

Goodbye July, hello August!

By: Jessica B.

Happy Monday and August 1st everyone! Holy cow, it’s August. It is almost the tail end of summer. I know this because it’s almost state fair season, that is the official sign summer is over, at least in the Midwest.

Anyhow, this weekend, I closed out July by doing not a lot, which is good because August is going to be BUSY for me, so I’ll take my rest where I can.

It started off with drinks near Marilyn Monroe from Some Like it Hot (no I’m not making that up) and ended at Wrigley Field for the Paul McCartney concert! Yes, it was hotter than sin in that stadium (like, no air circulation) but it was worth it. Let’s take a look.

View from our seats!

Pre-concert photo montage

Paul McCartney rocking out!

The concert in a word: AWESOME. As a raging Beatles fan, it was heaven, hearing songs I listen to on my iPod and on record live was just amazing. And sitting with the person I went with, both of us singing “Yesterday” is a moment I won’t ever forget. Really, it brings a tear to my eye thinking about it.

I also got a little pre-concert gift from my guest too. Yeah, he gets me.

But as amazing as last night was, it’s on to August! I don’t know about you but this month is cray cray for me and there is lots to look forward to, such as:

  • BlogHer in San Diego! I must brush up on Anchorman lingo
  • Seattle and Vancouver – time to hike, drink wine and stuff my face (sexy!)
  • Birthday – Yeah I’ll work on getting more excited for this
  • Next! Yes, that’s right, I’m going back for Thai cuisine. Very excited

Yeah, that’s all that’s coming up for me, not much at all :)

Do you have any big August plans? How was your weekend?

05 June 2011

Weekend recap: Glee and Thai cooking

By: Jessica B.

That is quite an interesting combination, but that was my weekend!

Let’s start with Glee. On Friday, TC and I embarked on a magical journey to the suburbs to see Glee in concert again. Last year, we had an awesome time dancing, screaming/singing and going bananas in the crowd. How could we say no to a repeat performance?

This time, Glee was at a bigger stadium in the suburbs, allowing for more screaming pre-teen fans and overzealous moms and less dance room. Not a fan, these hips and arms need to move!

But we made it work, kicking off the night by being the oldest non-parent people at the local Steak n’ Shake (first timer!) where you can get a meal for under $6, wow.

Then it was over to the Arena and to our seats with beers in hands to get our dance on. Best pre-show moment: watching a 10 year old boy lip synch along passionately to “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. A…dorable.

The main show was pretty good, a rotating mix from the New Directions and eventually the Warblers with a good mix of songs from this year and some from season one.

Little number from season one

A little blurry photo of the Warblers. Love.

And TC and I may or may not have starts screaming, jumping up and down while holding hands during Teenage Dream. Seriously, we were 14 years old (just like the people behind us). Fortunately, I could log “dancing” as my cardio for the evening.

After the show, we tried again for autographs and while Chord Overstreet (Sam) denied me an autograph in favor of an elbowing mom ahead of me, TC did get some sweet pictures, see one below.

Taken by TC who made magic with her iPhone

Dear Glee, we’ll see you next summer in concert. Moms, watch out.

Saturday, after some post-Glee-gasm rest, I had a Thai cooking class with the lovely Mananya. And this was serious. We started at the Asian markets in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, collecting ingredients for my dishes and talking through tips on what to look for and what can be substituted.

Then it was home and in to the kitchen with my wok and rice maker. The longest part of the session was just prepping the ingredients, such as water spinach, Thai chilis, garlic and Thai eggplant. Making our three dishes in the wok took less than 30 minutes. Amazing. Also, my grocery bill was only $20 for protein and ingredients and I now have enough food to last the week. More amazing.

Here is a picture of my post-cooking class plate:

Left to right: Pad Boong, Pad Prik with beef and Thai Basil Chicken with jasmine rice.

I learned a lot from the class and had a great time. I cannot wait to try next weekend’s planned dish, chicken curry with rice.

If you’re in Chicago and interested in cooking classes with Mananya, give her a shout on Twitter!

How was your weekend?

09 January 2011

Weekend recap: Weezer and middle aged mosh pits

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, music

Happy Sunday everyone! This weekend was freezing cold in Chicago (the kind of cold that burns your skin) but I had an awesome one anyhow.

There are two bands that really define my high school experience: No Doubt and Weezer. I was a huge fan of both in high school and my fan-dom has stayed with me. I was fortunate enough to see No Doubt in concert two summers ago and Friday night, my high school geekdom was complete by seeing Weezer perform one my favorite albums, the Blue Album, in Chicago.

Yes, I did a little air guitar and drums and even did my 30-something version of head banging but the real “treat” was the crowd. I was expecting an older audience (given that the Blue Album came out in 1994), but nope, it was half teens (dropped off my mom) and full adults. And despite Mega’s warning, it just took one a**hole who drank too much Miller Lite to get a mosh pit going.

A motherf*cking mosh pit.

I don’t mosh, I’m in my 30s. I want to go to a concert, listen to my music, rock out in my seat or designated area, go get some food and go home. And let’s be honest, mosh pits are kind of selfish.

And several other adult concertgoers were not amused by the mostly middle aged mosh pit either. I don’t like it when douchebags of all ages are flying at me because all I want to do is LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. Fortunately, Mega helped me from being pulled in to the mosh pit, thank god.

During a pit break, I had enough of one obnoxious teen and yelled, “Turn around a**hole, are you wearing braces?” The older crowd got a kick out of that.

Moshing aside, it was an awesome show and I loved hearing the songs live. Really, it was like being 16 again and I’m so glad I got to go.

I had to stop “head banging” to take this

Me and my Miller Lite were anxious to get this going

I have a quick crowd photo for you too. Pre-concert, we had to wait outside to be let in and of course it’s freezing cold and SNOWING, but damnit, some people refused to check a coat….or wear a long-sleeved shirt.

I even kept my Weezer love going Saturday night by singing a Blue Album song at Lincoln Karaoke, which has to be the most magical karaoke experience you can have. Yes, I was tone deaf and voice strained by beer and champagne, but I’ll say this, it was an inspired version with more 30-something headbanging.

How was your weekend?

Movie review: I also saw Blue Valentine this weekend. Let’s just say, it’s not an uplifter.