- Street Musician.
- Mic Opportunist.
We were recently contacted by a customer, Julia, who made these gorgeous clutches. She runs a company called Duct Tape Fun (www.DTFun.biz). We always enjoy seeing what our customers are up to, but we wanted to share Julia’s site with you because of why she started this business.
She’s been making duct tape crafts for two years to help raise awareness for a genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). Her little sister was born with this condition, and Julia wanted to help in any way that she could. You can purchase these clutches on her website for $15 and help her cause in the process.
We wish you and your sister the best, and hope that your business can continue to raise awareness of TSC!
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Today’s band: Big Head Todd and the Monsters. One of my fave indie bands of yesteryear.
I told Rob that I would pick because I am in the middle of boxing stuff up to move while listening to tunes + feeling super nostalgic. Big Head Todd featured prominently in my past life. Just like today.
After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, I brazenly moved to Chicago. Sight unseen. Bright lights, big city! Those who knew me well (and Rob can corroborate this story) understood that I was hell bent to find fame and fortune in the “glamorous” world of advertising. To me, it seemed so terribly exciting – and I was always up for a new adventure! So off I went…Without an apartment. Without a job. With big dreams.
Pavement pounding, I landed a job at Foote, Cone & Belding, an international ad agency on Michigan Avenue. Felt like I hit the big time! (Even though I had to work two side jobs to pay my rent including Brother Jimmy’s BBQ…Yep, my Southern drawl helped me snag a weekend gig as beer tub girl / waitress…slogging drinks + pig, so much for the glamorous life. Ha!).
Soon after, I was invited to a small launch party by Giant Records for Big Head Todd’s upcoming album, Sister Sweetly, at Schubas, a music club housed in the former Schlitz Brewery building built in the early 1900s. It seemed like the Colorado-trio of guitarist/keyboard player Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, and drummer Brian Nevin were destined to go somewhere, if not far. The show was so much fun and afterwards I partied with the band upstairs in the saloon. Todd turned out to be a totally nice guy (not to mention a real cutie with his long jet black hair…). I remember sitting next to him chatting about life in Boulder as we downed a few shots of whisky. It was mid February 1993. A pivotal time in my personal life. Four songs. On repeat.
(Rob just shared the 20th Anniversary Live at Red Rocks with me + I love it! He + his brother actually saw the whole album performed in Atlanta this past January.)
Not only do I get lost in Todd’s raw sexy voice, but also I am moved by the riffs on so many songs. In those moments, the notes speak to me as much as many of the intense lyrics do.
I also think it’s cool that John Lee Hooker contributed “Boom Boom” to Beautiful World. He happened to be recording in the same studio that day as BHT. And I read he was dizzy when he recorded! Now that’s serious commitment to a craft. He’s pretty awesome.
Live at the Fillmore is raucous crowd-loving stuff. Hazel belts it out in back up. It is a jammin’ album! Near to my heart, you gotta love San Francisco (I have lived here off and on since 2000). I wish I had been at that show.
Rock Steady‘s “Beast of Burden” (a fun twist) and “Smokestack Lightnin’” (love the howling) are super fun covers!
BHT also plays under Big Head Blues Club (great article in San Francisco Chronicle here). The band recently released a tribute album to Blues legend Robert Johnson, showcasing a 100 years worth of his tunes along with a serious supporting cast of Blues luminaries! So much talent. So many instruments. Some sizzlin’ stuff! So it seems befitting that “Sweet Home Chicago” wraps up the song selections for this post. Because back then at Schubas, Todd was sizzle – and The Monsters rocked too.
And just as I was trying to make sense out my life there, I find myself doing the same thing here. Box after box. Move after move. Feels like one big circle.
Another Mayberry – 1989
- I Will Carry (wow words)
Midnight Radio – 1991
- Vincent of Jersey (per Rob, “just a perfect little morsel of a song” + I agree)
- Dinner with Ivan
- Monument in Green
- Bittersweet (Rob and I both think this rendition is the best recorded version…and this acoustic performance on YouTube is worth a watch)
Sister Sweetly – 1993
- Broken Hearted Savior
Beautiful World – 1997
- Heart of Wilderness
- Boom Boom (with John Lee Hooker)
Live at the Fillmore – 2004
- Circle (this version is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, I think)
- It’s Alright
Rock Steady – 2010
- Smokestack Lightnin’ (cover of Howlin’ Wolf)
- Beast of Burden (cover of The Rolling Stones)
Midnight Radio – 20th Anniversary Live at Red Rocks – 2011
- Soul Children
- Love Betsy
Big Head Blues Club – 100 Years of Robert Johnson – 2012
- Crossroads Blues (feat. BB King)
- Sweet Home Chicago (feat. David “Honeyboy” Edwards & Charlie Musselwhite)
P.S. Thinking Rob needs to hit the BHT show in Raleigh on Thursday. How ironic. I’m jealous!
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Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great 4th of July. I had a wonderful time with my kids, friends and their families. It made me truly appreciate how lucky we are to live in such an amazing country, where we are free to express ourselves and be what we want to be.
That brings us to the point of this post. Brenden is on crutches, and was tired of having them define who he was in the eyes of others. He wants people to see who he is first and foremost, and had the idea to transform his crutches–to make them express who he is, instead of him be defined by them. I gotta tell you, when I spoke with his family, this idea really moved me. We’ve always said we want Platypus to be a creative tool for upleveling and upgrading your environment, but never has it meant so much to me to be providing that tool as does here. Please leave some comments for Brenden and tell him what you think on this blog and on Facebook. I’m sure he’d love to hear from y’all!
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My little brother Thomas told me to listen to Arcade Fire years before I ever got around to it. I should have listened to him then. If you haven’t heard them, you should probably listen to me now too, but everyone has to discover music in their own way and time. I came to find them through seeing the movie trailer to Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Something you should know about me–this is my absolute favorite book from childhood. Me and Max, well, I felt like I was right there next to him sailing to that land of horribly fantastic wild things, everyone else be damned…and I was also the little boy that chose to come back to love and a warm meal. My heart and imagination swelled and dwelled in the pages of that book. That’s why I was taken aback when I heard the music for the movie trailer…it was, it was, well, perfect would be the only real word for it. The way it feels like the anthem for all introspective adventurers, as it builds to a celebratory but nostalgic crescendo that I am still not tired of experiencing.
When Arcade Fire won the Grammy for Album of the Year last year (for The Suburbs) it made me pay attention to the Grammys in a way that I haven’t for years. They are unusual enough as a band that in spite of winning a Grammy many people I know still don’t know who they are.
They are anything but your average pop-drivel band. They bounce between hard stadium rock, 50′s bop, punk, new wave, and saturate their songs with poignant and lush string arrangements. They deftly pull from so many musical styles that they somehow become incredibly modern. They rock.
You need to watch them play to truly appreciate how much is being woven together, and to see how many instruments the band plays. I’ll bet everyone in the band can play at least 5 instruments.
Here’s a video of Wake Up.
Well, it’s getting late and I’ve got a big meeting tomorrow and it’s almost Tuesday. Here’s a playlist to get you started. I hope Arcade Fire resonates with you as much as they have with me.
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Dark Was the Night
Month of May
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Quite befitting. The band for today’s Music Mondays is Galactic.
The cool thing is that the Milky Way can be seen from anywhere. It doesn’t really matter where you are in this world. We all see the same night sky.
As John, one of our Platypus People, insightfully says “‘unscripted’ grooves act as a soundtrack to the stories WE create for ourselves! The more barren canvas, if you will, the more tremendously exciting.” And he is right.
While I am a self-professed “Word Girl,” I think that the band’s instrumentals are pretty great and totally up for interpretation in this big ‘ol universe of ours. And we can create our own realities. No matter what they might be.