Thanks to npr you can now listen to the soon to be released album from The Avett Brothers titled The Carpenter. I’ve given it a couple listens and so far I’m really digging the lead single “Live and Die.” If I had to pick a second favorite at this time I’d go with the upbeat “I Never Knew You” though I think in time many of the softer songs will really grow on me. Songs like “The Once and Future Carpenter,” “Pretty Girl From Michigan,” and “Down With the Shine” could easily become my favorite track with more listening. The album is due out September 11th, the same day as Dave Matthews Band’s Away From the World and two weeks before Mumford & Sons’ Babel. September is shaping up to be an excellent month for new music.
Archive for August, 2012
With all the fun going on down at Williamstown Lake this past weekend, it’s amazing that we still found time to do a little work on the lake house. I was too busy to make it down last weekend, but my future brother-in-law started working on the baseboards and trim in the rooms where I put down new flooring. He came down again on Saturday and we worked together to finish this project. All of the trim is done except for the main living room / kitchen area. We still have some major work to do in the kitchen, so we are waiting to put down the finishing touches.
Slowly more furniture is being added to the house. Two weekends ago bunk beds were brought down for one of the smaller bedrooms for the kids to sleep on. I also think we have two full size beds coming down over the next few weeks. Ideally we won’t have adults sleeping on cots for too much longer. The spare queen size bed that Kim and I brought down has already given us a nice place to sleep for the three nights we’ve stayed at the lake.
After work on Friday I headed to Covington for dinner at Lime Taqueria. I had a LivingSocial coupon that was expiring the next day and I needed to use it before leaving town for the weekend. I looked up the address ahead of time and realized it was basically in the MainStrasse village. As many times as I have been to that part of Covington, I never once noticed Lime.
Once I parked outside the restaurant I realized why I had never noticed it before, the signage doesn’t stand out at all, and the building looks more residential than commercial. The inside of the restaurant is the complete opposite with bright lime green walls and plenty of wood accents throughout. It is a very small space but still has enough room for a few tables inside, as well as outside on the front porch.
My wife, son, and I were greeted by the lone employee upon our entry. I told him about the coupon we had, which was for 2 burritos, chips and dip, and 2 iced teas all for only $9. He took our order and said he would bring the burritos out to us when ready. We decided to have chips served with queso (normally $3) and sat outside so that our son could run around while we waited for the food.
The serving of chips and queso was large enough to share between two. I don’t think the chips were made in-house, but they were fresh and the queso was pretty good. I would have much rather tried the guacamole, but it wasn’t an option with our coupon.
My wife chose the jerk chicken burrito with smoked tomato sour cream and cucumber watermelon salsa (normally $6.50). She seemed to enjoy the cucumber watermelon salsa, but it did very little for me. Both of the ingredients are pretty bland themselves, so it didn’t do much for the burrito. The chicken was good, but I definitely could have used some added flavor. The beans, rice, and sour cream just didn’t do enough.
I ordered the BBQ pork burrito with pineapple salsa, pickled red onion, and ancho sour cream (normally $6.50). I thought this burrito has a little more flavor than the jerk chicken, but again it could have used more spice. The pineapple salsa was better than the cucumber watermelon combination. Though not as large as burritos from Chipotle, they are still of pretty decent size.
The staff member that I met couldn’t have been nicer, and I like the idea behind the restaurant. However, I don’t think I’ll return for more burritos unless I’m already in the area and looking for something quick to eat.
This past weekend was the second annual Paddle Williamstown. Between the hours of 7am and 1pm on Saturday motorized traffic on Williamstown Lake was restricted. We spent the night down at the lake so that we could get up early Saturday and join in the festivities. Trey woke us up a little before 8, and we were out in kayaks before 9. Kim’s uncle Joe has a few kayaks that we all enjoyed throughout the day, including a two-seater that we rode with Trey.
Though our miles of kayaking were quite a bit of work, it was a beautiful morning out on the lake and we had a great time. We spent the rest of the weekend down at the lake with trips on the pontoon boat, swimming in a relatively secluded cove, and even a little tubing.
I took my turn on a tube for the first time in nearly ten years. I forgot how much fun that can be. Only downside to the weekend was losing my wedding band while flying on the tube.
…what should be on your to-do list? This time next week I’ll be on a plane to San Francisco for my first ever trip out that way. A friend of mine is getting married at a winery in Woodside over the weekend and we will be staying a few nights nearby in Palo Alto. Once the festivities are over, we are heading north to San Francisco for half of the week, basically giving us two full days to explore the city. Besides the obvious attractions, are there any other sights to see that I may have missed?
After having mostly disastrous results with a saltwater fish tank in Denver I’m thinking of giving fishkeeping another try. I’ve grown up with a fish tank for most of my life and thought I could handle the more advanced world of saltwater, but I think I’m better off sticking with freshwater tropical fish. I’ve dusted off the tank stand and found a corner spot for it in my office. If I find time this weekend I’m hoping to clean the tank, equipment, and decor items and hopefully get water circulating soon. Trey has loved animals since day 1, so I figure it’s time we get some kind of pet at home.
Late Saturday night I received some saddening news, Evan Bliss had suddenly passed away due to a pulmonary embolism. Evan was the front man of the defunct band The Low Life who broke up in 2005. Since then he has been trying to launch a solo career touring under Even Bliss and The Welchers.
I think I was first exposed to The Low Life in early 2003, though the exact time frame is not clear in my mind. I do know that their album Thixotropic was released late in 2003 and I was a huge fan of it. It continues to be one of those albums I can dig out and listen to all the way through. Back then it received huge play in the summer of 2004 for me.
The summer of 2004 would be the only two times that I ever got to see the band perform. The first time on July 3oth at Peabody’s in Cleveland, the night before O.A.R.’s third annual Feeling Better Than Everfine Festival. I would then travel all the way to Washington D.C. to see them perform on August 21st at the famed 9:30 Club, my first and only time at the historic venue. That performance can be streamed below.
Their live shows were full of extended jams and improvisation. Their first live album, Repossess, was only 7 tracks, but still clocked in at over 67 minutes. It is also another favorite of mine that still gets frequent play. I wish I could have seen them play more shows than I did, but they were primarily stuck in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country.
Though I never met Evan personally, I’m told from friends who were fairly close with him that he was such a caring and compassionate person. It’s really unfortunate that he died at such an early age, but his music will continue to live on for me.
Saturday night was the fourth Reds game of the season for me, and the second time I was in attendance when 11 or more Reds’ strikeouts were thrown. That means free pizza from LaRosa’s as well as ice cream from UDF as part of the Strikeouts for Slices and Scoops promotion. The first time it happened I forgot to trade in my ticket stubs, but I’m not going to let that happen this time.
We met up with my friend Tracey and her boyfriend for the game, who had driven down from the Dayton area for the day. Even though Tracey is originally from the area, she spent a good chunk of time in Chicago after college. The Cubs were in town for the weekend and had a double-header with the Reds on Saturday.
Trey was getting a little antsy toward the end of the game, so I took him for a walk around the stadium. I get to see the game from all different angles, while Trey gets to run around and be a kid. It’s a win-win.
The game was a high scoring affair, with 2 home-runs by Ryan Ludwick. The Reds fell behind in the fourth, and though they tried to mount a late comeback they ended up losing 7-9. Tracey was sporting her Cubs gear, so at least there was one happy fan in our group. And even with the loss, we all had a great time at the game.
Last night we walked up to Ault Park for the last Summer Dance Series night. Soul Pocket was supplying the music, and they appeared to be a huge crowd favorite with tons of people up and dancing the night away.
The highlight of the night for me was finally getting to sample more food from Bones’ Burger truck. Bones used to park his truck in a parking lot close to my work, but decided to move on from that location after poor sales. It’s been over a year since I’ve had any food from Bones, and I was glad to finally see the truck again.
Since I last saw the truck, veggie and turkey burgers have added in addition to the beef and grilled cheese sandwiches. I decided to try one of the veggie burgers, which come directly from the Veg Head in Loveland, OH. I ordered it topped with cheddar and all the fixings. This was definitely in the top five veggie burgers I’ve had. The primarily black bean based burger was fairly firm and full of flavor.
My wife had the turkey burger and she ranked it as one of the top turkey burgers she’s had. So the quality of food from Bones is definitely still high. It seems that business has been good since moving on from the first location. Bones is a super friendly guy and I wish him continued success. I hope it doesn’t take me as long to find him and the truck again.
After two years of listening to Mumford & Sons, religiously at times, I finally got to see them perform live last night. They played in Denver back on Oct. 27, 2010, but I missed that show due to another commitment. They again played in Denver June 15 and 16, 2011, but I was already back living in Cincinnati at that time. Since moving last year, none of their very limited US tour dates have been within a four-hour drive. So when a date was announced in Columbus, I jumped on the opportunity to see them, even if it meant driving to the show by myself, which I ended up doing.
Originally the show was scheduled to take place at the LC Pavilion, a small (6,000 seat) amphitheater that I had only been to a couple of times before in 2002 and 2004 to see O.A.R. Once the tickets went on sale and sold very quickly, they decided to move the show to the parking lot behind the venue and to sell 10,000+ tickets. Obviously, a well designed amphitheater would be a much better place to see a show over a car park, as one of the band members called it. It definitely would have had better sight lines and would have felt more intimate.
However, that is where my complaints on the night end. They actually did a pretty good job setting up the parking lot by providing two large screens to view the performers. They brought in numerous portable restrooms, beer booths, etc. Even with the large crowd, I never ran into any lines to get what I needed.
Dawes opened up the show, and I made sure to get in early enough to watch their set. I’m moderately familiar with their latest release 2011′s Nothing is Wrong, and their track “A Little Bit of Everything” was included on last years NOW That’s What Ed Calls Music compilation. That song was the second to last song that they played, following it up with the equally as catchy “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” Marcus Mumford came out before both of those tunes to perform on “When My Time Comes,” which is off of their first album. I’ve never heard the song before, but I really loved the performance.
Mumford & Sons took the stage around 9:30 after an introduction claiming that the next hours were going to be full of dancing and incredible entertainment. I had such high expectations going into the show, and fortunately all expectations were completely met. After leading off with “Lovers’ Eyes,” a track off of their soon to be released sophomore release Babel, the band launched into “Little Lion Man” and the crowd erupted. Throughout the 17 song setlist I don’t think the crowd stopped moving the entire time. Even during the quieter moments, the crowd was mostly respectful and silent.
All songs from their debut album Sigh No More were played except for the title track and “After the Storm,” which hasn’t been played this year. In addition five other songs from Babel were played including the first single “I Will Wait” and my favorite of the bunch “Below My Feet.” It is amazing how much sound the four piece band can produce live. All members are multi-instrumentalists, and lead vocalist Marcus plays a kick drum (and often kick tambourine) at the same time as guitar in most songs. He even sat down at the drum kit for “Lover of the Light.” A three-piece horn section was also added to some songs for an even bigger sound. This really stood out on “Winter Winds,” the second to last song of the night. Fittingly, they ended the night with their biggest hit to date, “The Cave,” leaving everyone in attendance wanting to hear more. I definitely will make an effort to see them again soon.