Oof! My plans for a quiet weekend sorting through the thousands of Alaska photos was scuppered by way too many good things happening. A normal blogger would probably devote several posts to these, but I’m lazy and will present them as a Top [relevant number] List.
- The start of our LA Phil Autumn/Winter season. It is nigh on impossible for anyone to fall asleep when Ravel’s Bolero is played, and even more impossible when Esa-Pekka Salonen and his orchestra are getting red in the face just from the sheer energy of it all. We’d swapped our usual Sat night tix for a “Casual Friday” performance (so we could make it to the next concert on this list), and were rewarded with a post-performance Q&A with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the principal Oboe, Ariana Ghez.
- Iron & Wine at the Greek Theatre. Sam Bean is an amazing songwriter. His music is very sleep-inducing, but I mean that in the very best way. Perhaps “relaxing” is a better word to use, but that implies “easy-listening”, which is a lame description for music so complex and multi-layered.
- The current guise of The Frames aka The Swell Season aka The Band that was featured in the movie Once¹. Also at the Greek Theatre, natch. Quite possibly the best concert I’ve been at all year. The KT Tunstall concert came close, but the atmosphere at the Greek and the patter of Glen Hansard made this one stand out more. Plus, somehow, the luck of the Irish led to:
- Richard Sherman, of Jungle Book and Mary Poppins fame, to come on stage and wow the audience with a super clappy-happy performance of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
- Seeing our old friend Jo Foster from Edinburgh, who turned up at 2 am after we got back from the Greek, post-dune climbing at Mojave desert and turned our weekend into an even bigger whirlwind. I don’t think we slept that night, or rather, morning. And spent the next day going totally consumerist in a plastic crap store on Sawtelle, not something you’d expect from us hippies who have sworn not to go mental with the credit card in a shop. But who can resist a super-cute dishcloth with a teddy-bear face sewn on?! (photo to follow) And making our annual pilgrimage to Santa Monica Pier. It’s tawdry by day, but post-sunset, it has a certain charm, or lack of it, which is part of its charm.
Naturally, no. 5 on the list was the absolute best thing all week, and makes me wish more of our friends would come over and see us here (hint, hint) and see that we moan and groan about LA, but have found ways to have an amazing time in this crazy place.
¹ I thought P and I were the only ones in the whole audience who hadn’t seen the movie, but Sam Bean of Iron & Wine confessed to the same sin. Anyone else in the whole world not seen the movie? Anyone?