IMG_2678, originally uploaded by meanlouise.

The end of July is generally a miserable time of year here in the mid-Atlantic region. It’s a million degrees out and the humidity hovers around a level my old boss, Dr. Noodles, refers to as “air that makes you feel like you’re breathing through a wet sock.


It’s all (mostly) worth it when you trek over to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to see the lotuses and water lilies in full bloom.

I think it is, anyway.

I try to visit multiple times each summer (and throughout the year) but so far have only made one journey this season. I posted a small set of photos on flickr for those of you who don’t want to trek out into the heat, humidity and punishing sun. (Go super early in the day and take lots of water. Your brain will thank you).

View the most recent Flickr set:
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Washington DC, July 16, 2013

p.s. don’t forget to leave a comment on this other post before Friday if you want the chance to win an exciting prize. I swear to you that none of the prizes involve opossums, although 1 or 2 of them may be opossum-adjacent. Maybe.

I’ve ranted endlessly about my my crowd-sourcing fatigue. I can’t figure out how to turn the volume of pitches down to a manageable level so filtering them ends up being all-or-nothing. I just don’t have the time or energy to read them all. Still, every now and again a project commands my attention. Sometimes, I’m compelled to push the project under your nose.

This is one of those times.

Unfortunately, the tragedy in Boston yesterday made me forget that I was going to post about Gregg Deal’s project. I’m sliding in under the wire today since his funding deadline is tonight. Sometimes getting the word out and spreading ideas is as important as raising funds. Maybe. I hope. Yes, let’s believe that.

Gregg never spammed me, pitched me, or otherwise annoyed me with this project. It caught my eye when he mentioned it on twitter and I bookmarked it. In the interest of full-disclosure, I did kick in a small amount towards the project. You can take that as a conflict of interest. You can take that as me putting my money where my blog is. You can leave now and bide your time until later in the week when I post about the epic Saturday night SyFy Craptacular Monsterwolf.

Oh hey, quite by coincidence, here’s the description of Monsterwolf:

A group of people who represent an oil company find new ground to drill for oil but then accidentally unleash a wolf-like creature. The creature wrecks havoc in the town and can only be stopped by the last surviving native American.

So, um, clearly this was all meant to be.

It’s a sign, damnit. A sign from above that I was meant to tell you about this project and how you can support it.

I probably should have mentioned sooner that I’m (mal)functioning on very little sleep and no adult supervision so please don’t mistake my Crazy for any reflection on Gregg’s art.

Unless that positively influences you to donate…

So, with all that blahblahblah pre-amble, let me introduce you to DC-area artist Gregg Deal, aka @the_lame_sauce. Here’s his blog, which explains the project. Here’s his Indiegogo page, where he’s raising funds to make this project a reality.

Good luck, Gregg!

The nice folks from the Future of Music Coalition are spreading the word about a paid focus group this week:

Are you a musician, visual artist, dancer, actor, filmmaker or other artist living in the DC area?

Are you interested in making $50?

If you answered YES to both questions, we invite you to participate in an artist-centric focus group on Thursday, Feb 16. The meeting will be 90 minutes long and held at a Metro-accessible location in the DC metro area.

Email or call 202-333-0400 and ask for Jillian to find out how you can get involved!

Please repost and share widely with your artist friends. We want to hear from a diverse range of DC-metro artists.

I don’t know anything else about this program, use the contact info in the post to get more details or go to the facebook page to find out more.

When I saw that Philippa Hughes was hosting a performance artist in her apartment for a week as an experimental art piece (Art is Fear) about the relationship between artist and collector, I was intrigued. I’ve been too busy to check in and see how it’s going. Yesterday’s piece in the Washington Post by Kriston Capps gives some clues. Joe Flood’s blog post about visiting Philippa during the experiment tells more of the story, including an unfortunate visit by the ASPCA!

I’m sort of glad I didn’t bother Philippa while the experiment was in progress, it sounds like she had her hands full. I also sort of regret not making some time to visit, because I would have liked to have seen the project in progress for myself.

…just not on the same night.

I think we’ve spent more time at the 9:30 Club in the last few days than in all of last year, total. Mind you, I was abducted by aliens (or possibly artomatic) last year, so that’s all a blur and maybe doesn’t count.

Well, whatever. We’ve been supporting live music lately and we’ve seen a bunch of really good shows.

Friday night we caught George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic. A pared down version of the band opened and then the full funk mob took the stage and played til the club threw on the house lights and threw everyone out.

As always, it was an outstanding show.

And, as always, I had nightmares about an old dude in a big diaper for days after.

Saturday night I dragged Husband to see Dan Auerbach. He enjoyed the show (whew). I figured he would, but I’m not sure he’s ever listened to the Black Keys and I knew he hadn’t listened to “Keep it Hid” – which was only released a couple of days ago. You should get “Keep it Hid”, by the way, it’s a really good album.

Auerbach played in Boston the next night and you can read the review here, it pretty much says what I would have said.

The opening band was Those Darlins, who were a very fun band out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They were followed by a quick set by Hacienda, who were also Auerbach’s very capable backing band.

Was this a trend this week?

Yes, yes it was. Tuesday night Lucinda Williams’ road band, Buick 6, was also her opening act. They’re quite good, plus they did an instrumental cover of Prince’s “Erotic City,” which is Husband’s favorite Prince song.

We met up with a group of friends, one of whom worships Lucinda Williams. I think Jean can die happy now because it was a good show and it sounded great and we didn’t have an obstructed view for even a moment.

There was a couple in front of us, but they stayed primly seated until the encore. Then they stood up and “danced.” They should probably have stayed seated, but I’m not one to judge. Much. It’s safe to say they really love the new album. Really really love the new album. A lot. I think “Real Love” must be “their song.”

Come to think of it, that’s probably a good thing – or at least a far better thing than having some of those early wristcuttin’ songs be your song, because I’m pretty sure that’s not the sign of a healthy relationship.

Although Williams posts her setlists on her website, the most recent shows aren’t up yet. Luckily, Dave of Sound off with Dave posted a setlist so I don’t have to try to reconstruct it. Oh, let’s face it, I wasn’t going to try, but since someone else did the work I can pretend.

People Talkin’
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Circles and X’s
Drunken Angel
Side of the Road
Everything Has Changed
Something About What Happens When We Talk
Over Time
Tears of Joy
Are You Down?
Real Love
Come On
Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings
Honey Bee

Angel (J Hendrix) – solo acoustic
Little Rock Star
Long Way to the Top (AC/DC)

Thanks, Dave!

Saturday night we encountered the Human Eclipse – moments before the show started Saturday, the tallest guy in the place wedged himself in front of me – causing my view of the stage to go from “perfect and unobstructed” to this:

The view from here

We were standing on the steps of the balcony – it was pretty much impossible for the suburban lumberjack to be unaware he was crowding in front of other people when they’re all standing on a ledge.

At least Kyle Bunyon parked his ox outside. Sheesh.

We had a phenomenal view of the stage for Lucinda Williams, thanks in part to the Kennedy Center crowd perched primly on the steps, clearly terrified to stand during the show. Friday night we also had a great view of the stage and of the crowd. (I really like watching the crowd, especially at a George Clinton Show). I think it’s safe to say that Husband and I were the only ones at both of those shows.

And now, because I shouldn’t be the only one who’s haunted:

(That’s from last month, but it’s the right image and, conveniently, the right club. Not my picture, I found it on flickr).