This year- Day thirty-eight. (50 Shows)
2009-08-06/2:55 a.m.

I read a few of these on facebook and found them interesting so I decided to do one of my own. Not because i think mine will be as interesting, but because I can't think of 10 shows off the top of my head and want to joggle to ol' memory ducts. Mikki's was all "Kurt Cobain said to me..." which mine will also not be. Unlike her, I was never really on the forefront of interesting.

1. Duran Duran for my 5th birthday, I think. My mom took me because I totally loved the shit out of Duran Duran and would dance to Hungry Like a Wolf every time it came on. This is one of the perks of having a teenaged mother. I mainly remember the show being very loud (mom, get a kid some earplugs) and that they sang happy birthday to their guitar player... so I was psyched since it was my birthday too.

2. Cheap Trick at some bar with my mom when I was like 14. Again, young mom. She wanted to go and she took me because she promised the bartender I wouldn't drink or smoke. I don't drink or smoke and I was 14. It was not a big place and it was fun but I had to worry about my mom and her friends drinking and smoking too much, which distracted me because I am a nerd.

3. Nirvana (opener was Mudhoney). My friend Alicia and I went and her dad accompanied us. My dad's rule was that I could go to shows as long as a parent went and this was the only show where he (or my mom) was not the parent and another person's parent came. Her dad read a book with a little book light while we nearly died from happiness.

4. Megadeth with my dad when I was going through my metal phase. First thing that happens when we walk in- he runs into one of his students (he is a college professor). Second thing that happens- he pulls out a philosophy book and reads it through the rest of the show. My dad has never really cared for music beyond a few random things that never make sense. And classical, he loves classical. Now that I'm an adult I realize how lucky I was that he was willing to sit through a Megadeth show for me.

5. Guns N' Roses/Metalicca/Body Count. I LOVED GNR. Like, LOVE LOVE. Not like. LOVE. My mom knew this and pulled me out of school the day they were playing Arrowhead stadium. I was in the 8th grade and my friends were jealous as hell. We couldn't afford tickets but her friend Patty had gone ahead and gotten a great parking space where you could see the jumbotrons and brought a bunch of food and we watched it from the parking lot. I was in heaven.

6. Pantera/White Zombie at a horrible outdoor place in Kansas City. I don't like either of those bands!! I never liked them!! My dad's second wife thought she was being "really cool" and got me tickets to this for my birthday and two extras to bring friends. I brought Stacy and Christy, I think. Two people who also didn't like these bands. It was baffling. His wife was an idiot (her only triumph was forcing a "Sassy" subscription on my tomboy self who read "3-2-1 Contact") and I never got what she was doing. Later, when the dude from Pantera died someone mentioned it in my dad's class and he said "oh, I saw them in concert once" and his students were all "hhhahaha, that's not possible." But it was and he did and he called me to verify it that night.

7. REM/Sonic Youth at the same horrible outdoor place in Kansas City. Teresa and I went and the amazing thing was that it was WITHOUT A PARENT. This was my first time being allowed to go without a parent and mainly just because my dad trusted me and Teresa. We waited in line at the HyVee to buy tickets and then yelled "PLAY STAND!" between every REM song. It was a blast! Then we went to IHOP and got pancakes and went home (still before I was supposed to be home) and my dad was pissed because he found out the concert had ended 2 hours before and had been waiting for me to come home. I was grounded, but it was worth it. They never played Stand.

8. Lollapallooza 94. My dad took me and my friends Bobby and Teresa. The Beastie Boys were awesome and the Flaming Lips played the tiny second stage and we were like 3 of 10 people watching them. It was when the Beastie Boys were playing with the monks and my dad went to some international food tent and met the monks and ate with them and we didn't see him for hours because he was having so much fun without us, talking philosophy. That was the day Bobby pointed out that my dad looks like Eric Estrada and started calling him "Ponch." That stuck for years.

9. Egghead./Snuff/The Dickies. My first show in NYC in the fall of '97 at Coney Island High. Michelle, my roommate and virtual stranger until 4 weeks before, talked me into going with her and I loved it. It kicked off me seeing more punk rock shows in NYC and buying more records. Which led me to meeting more people and eventually to becoming great friends with Reno who is dear to me today. What an odd turn of events that turned out to be. Being paired up with Michelle at random our first year at college was such a turn of luck. It led to our friendship and then meeting Kim and then on and on and on. At Kim's wedding shower last weekend I was struck by how different my life would have been had we not been paired up that year.

10. The Mountain Goats at the Continental with Kim and Michelle. I didn't know anything really about the Mountain Goats but they both loved them/him and dragged me along. It was not something I was normally into but I instantly loved it and have been a huge fan ever since whereas Kim has lost interest. Addicted at first listen, I guess. I miss those old shows where he'd just mess around and play whatever and tell weird stories.

11. Belle and Sebastian at the Supper Club in 1998. I did not go to this show. Kim and Michelle went without me and I had never really had the patience for the band. They were so happy after the show that I listened to Michelle's records while I wrote a paper and by 2am I regretted missing that show so much. I have seen B&S like 5 times since and some of those are the best shows I have ever seen but I will always regret not just taking their word for it and going that night.

12. Discount/Snuff/ManOrAstroman at Tramps. We dragged Kim along based on her enjoyment of ManOrAstroman and she ended up being a Discount superfan who went to tons of their shows and bought all their records.

13. Discount's last NYC show at Brownies. Bittersweet. We were all sad they were ending but it was an excellent show. I have it on a VHS tape in the living room.

14. The Rondelles/Atom and His Package in New Brunswick, NJ. Roadtrip! Fun and I fell asleep on the couch in the big house we were in. I loved seeing the Rondelles live so much and we three would see them a lot.

15. The Rondelles at the CBGBs underground space that I can't remember the name of. This is important because Sharon and Eric came with me and Mike and then, years later, got married. It was not a good show and later the band broke up but Sharon and Eric worked out so I guess the night was a success.

16-20 Elvis Costello in various forms, generally with Sharona. The best show we saw, I'd say, was the one with just him and Steve Nieve at the Beacon Theater. My heart hurt later I was so happy.

21-24 Terry Jinn's Enormous Television shows. My friend Terry would throw himself a birthday party where his friends (who were not in bands or really musicians) sang songs and learned them with a band and put on a show in a club. It was bizarre and fun and it made Sharon and I actually play in front of people and then play in front of people every year for like 4 years. If it wasn't for that I would probably never have really been in a band of any kind. I can still remember how I nearly peed my pants the first time and how Shannon O'Neill kicked everyone's ass with that Eminem cover.

25-30 All the other Mountain Goats shows I have been to, highlighted by a CMJ show with Kim and Michelle where it ended with Franklin Bruno joining in on piano and John hanging from pipes and singing to a basement of people from the top of his lungs. It always made me sad that Mike disliked the Mountain Goats when seeing them made me so happy I wanted to burst. As their stuff got more hi-fi, he liked it more and I liked it less. Doomed from the start?

31. Har Mar Superstar/The Gossip at the Warsaw. The Gossip is totally awesome but also totally beloved by lesbians. Har Mar Superstar is totally awesome but a joke and a chubby, hairy guy who would strip to his tight underwear while singing songs about banging. So seeing both bands play to a large room full of lesbians was amazing. Mike was one of the only men in attendance so Har Mar sang to him at one point. The audience was not loving Har Mar at first but when Beth did a duet with him, dirty dancing all over him, the crowd turned to loving it and everyone danced and it ruled. Also, the warsaw serves homemade peirogies.

32. The Ergs/DBA/Apers/Groovie Ghoulies at CBGBs. I had seen the Ergs before and wasn't really a fan but I thought they were funny. I had seen DBA a bunch of times and I loved them live but not a lot of the recorded stuff was for me anymore. I remember the Ergs being psyched because they had never played CBs before and were music nerds. I also remember the audience asking them to play "pool pass" twice and so they did. It was the first time I saw them that I thought they might be getting awesome. The apers were in town from Holland and stayed with us along with Stefan who has now been my friend for 8 years and he's amazing so that was nice.

33. The Folk Implosion at Maxwell's- June 2000. My first date with Mike and I took him to a show that four of my friends were at, talk about throwing him in head first. He was great and yelled out the songs that Kim and I wanted Lou to play. Lou played "Willing to Wait" for Kim and "Slap Me" for me but changed the words to be dirty and then laughed. I had no plans to fall in love with him at all that night.

34. Stop Making Sense- the movie. My dad LOVES THE TALKING HEADS! This is what I meant about my dad rarely caring about music. He often doesn't even notice music but he owns like every talking heads record and made us watch this movie as a family. I was so bored because I was deep into the GNR phase and watched it begrudgingly (13 year olds are charming). Sarah played Tetris through most of it while Dad was in heaven. Later I would secretly borrow his tapes to listen to in my car and now love the talking heads more than GNR and he has the class not to rub it in all the time.

35. N'SYNC at Continental Airlines Arena. Sharon couldn't come so during "Bye Bye Bye" Kim and I called her at work and held up the cell phone so she could hear. I am not ashamed.

36-37. Madonna at Madison Square Garden. Who all went? I know me and Kim and Sharon but did Meighan and Hambone come both times? It was so great. We were in the same building as Madonna! Dreams came true that night. Before she started the first time, the lights when down and "Vogue" started and Kim squeezed the shit out of my arm. It was so exciting. The second time I think we loved it even more because that was the tour where she played tons of old stuff. I was working on Fahrenheit 9/11 that year and missed the premiere to go to the concert and had to admit that at the after-party to the director. I am not ashamed!

38-42 The numerous local shows of the ergs!/DBA/The Unlovables/The Steinways etc... that made me feel at home going to shows in NYC and are where many of friends come from. It was weird going to a show in LA and knowing like 2 people after getting used to this crowd.

43. The Toys That Kill/Arrivals/Riverboat Gamblers show at some skatepark gallery space in downtown LA in the early summer of 2007. I went with Megan Pants and Johnny and it was one of the first times I had a very good time at a show where I know few people and realized that I had good friends in LA. Then Megan moved because she is a jerk. Johnny was upgraded to friend status number one at that point.

44. The Ergs! last show in November 2008 at Asbury Lanes. They really became one of my most favorite bands to see live and wish that I could share shows like that with everyone I know. Shows where they sound awesome and the audience is singing along and making up backups and going bananas. It was always so fun to look around and see so many people I know having the time of their lives. It's a rare experience.

45. Hiretsukan at Brownies. Michelle rarely told us when they were playing but she told us about this one and we all went out and took photos and generally embarrassed her... because we love her. I swear. We are like embarrassing moms.

46. Cheeseburger on Superbowl Sunday. Mikki posted about this but I think this was my first time seeing them since I missed their first show at a house party. Christy's previous band wore barnyard costumes and got kicked out of bars so my expectations were tempered... then Cheeseburger was so awesome and fun and I was pleasantly surprised! Joe calling the audience "sports fans" was the icing on the cake. Now every cheeseburger show is a delight.

47. The Kung Fu Monkeys at the Knitting Factory in 2005. I am a huge KFM fan but somehow never saw them live. The stars never aligned for me... until 2005. The show was everything I had hoped for and more. The next year I made a video for them and then James made our demo. Thank goodness I know him now- he makes things infinitely better just by existing.

48. Belle and Sebastian and the Shins at the Hollywood Bowl, backed by the LA philharmonic July 2006. Mike got me tickets for this for my birthday the year that I had moved to LA. The show was amazing and sounded so clear and beautiful. This was also the night I realized that I could never marry Mike.

49. The Hi-Fives and Mr. T Experience at Bottom of the Hill January 2007. Anna and I drove to Berkeley on a friday to see this show on a friday night. While we were driving Patrick flew in from NYC. I had never gotten the chance to see the Hi-Fives when I was 14-20 and regretted it big time. The Hi-Fives seemed totally shocked that anyone cared about them anymore, which was endearing. They sounded amazing! What a great show it was! Erika and Pat came out and Bill Moon happened to be in town. The next day we went around SF and met Janelle and I got my sweet drum set from Erika. It was an excellent adventure and I am glad that I had the chance to get to know Erika when I did.

50. Insub Fest 09. The Dead Milkmen played! I have loved them since I was 14 and they played and I loved it. They played Charles Nelson Reilly! Egghead. played! Being at a fest with Johnny and NEW bands, and OLD bands I loved and Jeremy (friend from high school) was wonderful. So many amazing bands played and so many friends from different states and different countries were there and the fact that we played boggles my mind. I'm not sure that I'll ever fully realize that I am in a band.


A note I found in a drawer.
The Extra Lens and Adultery.
Books are beautiful.
Ira Glass made me feel better about things.
Something that happened yesterday.