cardamom soy lattes...
in the event that anyone is interested in my opinions, this would be the place to see what i'm loving at the moment. this includes, but is not limited to people, places, and things.
make it your business to buy this album! better yet, see them live. you won't know what hit you, but you'll feel it long after the show is over.
Labels: sweet cobra
i was born and raised in the suburbs of chicago. i have lived in the city for almost 12 years (give or take the 2 years that i was jet-setting about as a traveling nurse). i looooooooooooooooove winter and all that comes with it--snow, blustery days, layer upon layer of clothing, commiserating with other mass transit riders, hot beverages, and frozen toes. however, this girl is ready for summer! in preparation (a little wishful thinking never hurt anyone...) for the warmer days ahead, i have begun to reincorporate a certain delicacy into my diet.
i've decided to give this a try at the urging of a friend. it's up to you to decide whether or not you are interested, keeping in mind that these are simply my opinions, likes and dislikes. i'm just trying to put them out there and share some of the things that i find interesting.
today i will start with a person.
this is mat brooke. i didn't take this photo, rather i found it on flickr. thank you to whomever took it, i don't recall your name, or i would absolutely credit you.
in 2001 i lived in seattle for about 7 months while i was working as a traveling nurse. i loved seattle and it's one of the places that has taken over a large part of my heart. it's hard to explain why, exactly i love it so much. perhaps because it was the first place i traveled to, or because i chose to move there without knowing a soul (i would later find that i thankfully had a friend living there and working as a traveling nurse as well). anyway, i digress. for those of you that have never been to seattle, you're missing out. let me clear something up...it's not always raining! especially not in the summer months. sure, they do get their fair share of rain, but the ridiculously blue skies and the permanently clean smell of the air cancels out the intermittent gloom of the overcast days.
seattle is famous for many things: coffee, the space needle, pike place market, the troll under the bridge, an earthquake and grunge. i cringe as i even type the word. this is the city that was made famous in the early 90's by the likes of soundgarden, alice in chains, pearl jam, and (surprise) nirvana. nevermind that most of these bands weren't even from seattle... cameron crowe made singles (a movie that i loved, which seemed so relevant at the time, and now feels so dated--thermal underwear, as leggings!). kurt cobain took up residence on lake washington. doc martens and flannel were an essential part of ones wardrobe. and then came the "alternative" music wave, which was followed by boy bands. dave grohl became a foo fighter and chris cornell an audioslave. but to many ( my mother included) seattle is equated with the "grunge" era.
back to present day. seattle still has a great musical pulse. they know how to do a street fest (capitol hill block party) and a multi-day festival (bumbershoot). this brings me to my original reason for the post. mat brooke was originally the guitarist and singer for carissa's wierd. they were a great band. their sweet melancholy got me through many a long drive from city to city. i witnessed them live in seattle, san diego, and chicago and was never disappointed. and then, as most good things do, the band came to an end.
i will not lie. as much as i loved carissa's wierd as a whole, mat was the driving force behind my love of the band. i remember the first time i saw the band. i had purchased the album, you should be at home here, a day or two prior on the recommendation of the sonic boom (one of my top five favorite record stores) staff. none of my friends were interested in accompanying me, so i went alone to i-spy. the band took the stage and a hush fell over the audience. the quiet man in the "virginia is for lovers" tshirt had everyone's attention. i was amazed by the ferocity of the violin, the bittersweet song lyrics and the harmonizing vocals. this was one quietest bands i had ever witnessed--their sound was seemingly fragile and the audience protected it with a respectful silence. i saw the band a handful of times before i left seattle and was never disappointed. i even had few whiskeys with mat at the chacha before i left. he was polite, and friendly, a bit shy and just as quiet as his songs.
a few years passed, the band parted ways, i was saddened the band was no more and then i got wind of horses. initially, it was only ben (the carissa's wierd drummer) but mat followed suit. the sound was a bit louder this go round, comparisons were made to neil young and my morning jacket and the band opened for iron and wine. this time i brought friends and at the end of the night we all agreed that horses set should have been longer. they officially changed their name to band of horses and finally set out on a tour all their own. cut to schuba's in chicago. i'm driving my friend bill crazy babbling on about how i'm hoping to hear st. augustine tonight. the band takes the stage and...there...is...no...mat...brooke. whhhhhhaaaaatttt? without thinking i immediately tourette-out and shout "where's mat?" to which the reply is a resounding "fuck off". not nice, ben. i go on to see band of horses at pitchfork and the metro. they put on solid performances on both occasions, but i'm sorry to say, they are just not as good without mat. there's just something ethereal about the sound of his voice, and it really rounded out ben's twang.
my friends and i are currently planning a return trip to seattle this summer. i perused the stranger to see what was going on, what venues were still around and what bands were playing out and about. i was pleasantly surprised to find that mat is now with a band called archives. and you know what? this guy just gets better with each band. the sound is different from both carissa's wierd and band of horses, but i urge you to give it a try--you'll like it. http://www.myspace.com/grandarchives
thanks, mat--for continuing to put out great music and for being my first "crush-of-the-week".